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100th British – 11th & Final Day.

The top end of the Championship Rd. 11 draw looks like this.

  White       Black  
1 Howell (9) ½  ½  Jones (7½)
2 Wells (7)  ½  ½ Hebden (7½)
3 Gordon (7)  1 Meszaros (7)
4 Zhou (7)  ½  ½ Gormally (7)
5 Lalic (7)  ½  ½ Arkell (7)
6 Palliser (6½)  ½  ½ Flear (7)

The afternoon started with the presentation of the Rd. 10 Game of the Day to GM Glenn Flear.

l-r: Glenn Flear; Lara Barnes & John Edwards.

So, Mr. Jones - we meet at last!

Much interest shown in the start on Bd. 1

Wells v Hebden

Gordon v Meszaros.

Zhou v Gormally.

Lalic v Arkell

Sarah Hegarty - Ladies Champion candidate.

There was bound to be an element of anti-climax at the start of the round, knowing that the big prize had already been decided, but this didn’t prevent a large crowd of spectators and photographers gathering around the top board. In fact, if Jones had been able to spring a surprise, it would undoubtedly have take a little of the shine off Howell’s prize, so there was no sign that he was in danger of resting on his laurels. The others, too, were fighting amongst themselves for a place on the prizelist. In spite of the fact there were draws a-plenty, they were mostly hard-fought – only Lalic and Arkell settled for a quick draw.

The fact is that Howell likes Torquay. He won there in 2009, and nowhere else. When I first did the publicity job, at Torquay in 1997, I was asked by the local TV company to obtain the oldest player in the building to act out a short encounter with the youngest. I located an old gent, while a colleague, Victor Cross, brought along a 5 year old boy, who quickly outplayed his vastly senior opponent while the camera rolled. The boy was called David – David Howell.

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