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Brits abroad

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:17 am
by Keith Arkell
On some thread somewhere recently I remember reading a curmudgeonly remark about how Brits no longer win strong International tournaments,because we are supposedly going down the plughole.

In doing so they dismissed the 'exception' of Short and Conquest's brilliant recent victories.

Well,here is another one:

Rapidly improving GM Simon Williams has just won the Swiss open Championship,beating en route chess legend Victor Korchnoi with Black.

Well played Simon! and also Stuart and Nigel...oh and does Stewart Haslinger recently coming equal first with Nikolic and Krasenkov in the Netherlands count?

Re: Brits abroad

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:59 am
by Jonathan Rogers
Presumably this comment was made before those recent tournament wins - and it would have been perfectly true then?

Funnily enough, when i saw your thread yesterday on betfair where you mentioned that Williams was 14-1 to win the British, I thought then (without knowing of his latest result) that that sounded like a good bet. At least, it would be if one could make an each way bet, since Howell seems like a very clear favourite for first place.

Even so, Keith, don't get carried away with these recent results. The odd 2650 or even 2700 performance here or there is very gratifying for the individuals concerned, but they are not compelling signs that our country is (say) just about to return to the top ten in the world.

Re: Brits abroad

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:47 pm
by Keith Arkell
The comment was made after Short's and Conquest's victories,but before Haslinger's and Williams's

I'm more optimistic about this than you are Jonathan.

Take a look at the Indian list on the FIDE site,and look at the difference in the size of the countries! They are 10th and not really very far ahead of us. We've got a number of players improving in leaps and bounds,so chin up!

Re: Brits abroad

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:17 pm
by Leonard Barden
The relative size of India and England was the same as now in the 1970s and 1980s, was it not? And perhaps Keith could try the same argument on England and Armenia.....

Re: Brits abroad

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:23 pm
by Alex Holowczak
This shows the number of GMs and IMs relative to population.

Re: Brits abroad

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:27 pm
by Keith Arkell
Nice one Alex,yes I saw that before - a very impressive analysis.It puts things in perspective.

I don't see any advantage in dwelling on one amazing,brief moment in our recent history,and using that as some kind of yardstick by which we measure and condemn all subsequent efforts.
Adams and Short are obviously very strong.Ok,so are McShane,Sadler and Hodgson,but they have made the choice to stop playing professionally.Nunn has retired,and Tony Miles is sadly no longer with us.
We should be eagerly watching the rapid pogress of great talents such as David Howell,Gawain Jones,Stephen Gordon,Stewart Haslinger and Simon Williams;not undermining them with condemnations that they supposedly don't or won't match up to our best players 2 decades ago.

Frankly,the level at the top of world chess today is phenomenal,and it would be a tremendous achievement if one or two more English players were to climb up to that calibre.