Lowest Graded British Champion

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:12 pm

Well, my experience is that there are a few clubs (not just school-based ones, but obviously including them) with lots of juniors - and the majority, with hardly any :(
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:26 pm

I think a lot of the problem is advertising. I didn't know about the existence of the Birmingham Chess League until someone who played in it told me about it in conversation one day. It would help if the league results were published in the local newspapers - as they are for snooker.

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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:33 pm

Again, I find myself thinking "come on Keith". France and Spain would not expect to lose to us even without any ex Soviets. Even Iceland and Norway ... It is not just the split of the USSR and the explosion in China which has changed our position in world chess.

I agree that things always looked deceptively good in the mid to late 1980s, and continuing to finish in the top three in Olympiads was unsustainable. But before the recent tournament wins by Short and Conquest (and they were B or C tournaments) when did an English player last win an international event outside England?

And as for Aagaard being British Champion in 2007 .....

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:41 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:And as for Aagaard being British Champion in 2007 .....
Naturalised Scot isn't he? I can think of worse examples than him at any rate.......

(a few years before that when Kotronias - with no known links to these isles whatsoever - nearly won, for example :shock: )
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:59 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: It would help if the league results were published in the local newspapers
It certainly would - and *that* is something which used to happen in the 1970s/80s FAR more than it does now! :evil:
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Matthew Turner
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Matthew Turner » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:32 pm

All the British Champions have deserved their title because they were the best player at the event and it is difficult for there to be a fluke result over 11 rounds. However, if you take say the last ten champions I doubt many, if any, would be competitive in the French Championships.
However, I think he award for the weakest ever champion has to go Brian Eley. Less and less people will remember what happened at Brighton in 1972, but he will for ever be epitomised as the 'Rabbit' in Chess for Tigers. Few other British Champions could be described as Rabbits.

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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Keith Arkell » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:35 pm

Ok Jonathan I guess you are right that we have lost some ground in any case,relative to such countries as France and Spain,but not a great deal - not an unsurmountable chasm!
Maybe the explanation is economic.Perhaps if it weren't for the availability of relatively well paid 'proper jobs'',we would be able to assemble our best ever olympiad team - Adams,Short,Sadler,Howell and McShane. I don't think we have ever had a team that strong!

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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Keith Arkell » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:40 am

Ok Jonathan I guess you are right that we have lost some ground in any case,relative to such countries as France and Spain,but not a great deal - not an unsurmountable chasm!
Maybe the explanation is economic.Perhaps without the availability of relatively well paid 'proper jobs'',we would be able to assemble our best ever olympiad team - Adams,Short,Sadler,Howell and McShane. I don't think we have ever had a team that strong!

Ok I just took a look. Excluding ex Soviets,England is stronger than Spain over both 5 and 10 boards,and that's not using Sadler,McShane,Nunn,Hodgson....

''English'' England matches up quite closely to ''French'' France.I've left out inactive players,using FIDE's criteria for determining them.

Bacrot 2728 Adams 2703
Lagrave 2684 Short 2674
Fressinet 2664 Howell 2613
Bauer 2605 McShane 2596
Edourd 2594 Jones 2550
Cornette 2573 Conquest 2549
Maze 2571 Haslinger 2544
Degreave 2558 Gordon 2540
Fontaine 2546 Pert 2537
Feller 2539 Speelman 2534
Nataf 2533 Parker 2523
Sebag 2527 Arkell 2517
Apicella 2521 Williams 2512
Dunis 2517 King 2512

With the next name on the French list being Kosten(but the next ''French'' French bein Hauchard versus you Matt) I'll stop there. It continues to be very close as you work down the lists.
In the list coming out in a few days our players are gaining 84 in total and theirs are gaining 23.

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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Keith Arkell » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:00 am

So the top 14 French are ahead by 166 ELO points using the list about to be published,which equates to about 12 per player,ie 1.5 ECF grading points

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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:24 pm

Inspired by the above, I spent my morning using the FIDE rating list to see how may GMs/head and IMs/head there are in each country. That ought to give a fair indication of how popular the sport is in the country.

R Country Population GMs IMs GMspp IMspp FR
1 Iceland 320,000 11 11 34.3750 34.3750 43
2 Monaco 33,000 1 0 30.3030 0.0000 103
3 Andorra 90,000 1 1 11.1111 11.1111 106
4 Montenegro 675,000 6 10 8.8889 14.8148 50
5 Armenia 3,000,000 26 22 8.6667 7.3333 7
6 Serbia 7,500,000 49 97 6.5333 12.9333 19
7 Croatia 4,500,000 29 57 6.4444 12.6667 23
8 Georgia 4,750,000 24 32 5.0526 6.7368 14
9 Slovenia 2,000,000 10 23 5.0000 11.5000 28
10 Israel 7,400,000 34 42 4.5946 5.6757 4
11 Hungary 10,000,000 41 106 4.1000 10.6000 8
12 Bulgaria 7,500,000 29 51 3.8667 6.8000 12
13 Macedonia 2,100,000 8 11 3.8095 5.2381 52
14 Latvia 2,250,000 8 9 3.5556 4.0000 48
15 Estonia 1,350,000 4 13 2.9630 9.6296 49
16 Czech Republic 10,500,000 24 64 2.2857 6.0952 21
17 Norway 4,750,000 10 21 2.1053 4.4211 32
18 Azerbaijan 8,200,000 17 12 2.0732 1.4634 5
19 Lithuania 3,500,000 7 15 2.0000 4.2857 38
20 Luxembourg 500,000 1 2 2.0000 4.0000 80
21 Slovakia 5,500,000 10 21 1.8182 3.8182 30
22 Sweden 9,000,000 16 36 1.7778 4.0000 24
23 Bosnia & Herz 4,000,000 7 19 1.7500 4.7500 34
24 Ukraine 46,000,000 70 182 1.5217 3.9565 2
25 Cuba 11,500,000 17 34 1.4783 2.9565 20
26 Belarus 9,500,000 14 25 1.4737 2.6316 22
27 Moldova 4,100,000 6 21 1.4634 5.1220 40
28 Denmark 5,500,000 8 34 1.4545 6.1818 36
29 Russia 142,000,000 190 454 1.3380 3.1972 1
30 Netherlands 16,500,000 22 68 1.3333 4.1212 13
31 Scotland 5,200,000 6 8 1.1538 1.5385 59
32 Qatar 1,750,000 2 3 1.1429 1.7143 99
33 Greece 11,000,000 11 22 1.0000 2.0000 25
34 Finland 5,500,000 5 19 0.9091 3.4545 56
35 Switzerland 7,750,000 7 32 0.9032 4.1290 37
36 Germany 82,000,000 73 202 0.8902 2.4634 11
37 Romania 21,500,000 19 76 0.8837 3.5349 18
38 Kazakhstan 16,500,000 13 28 0.7879 1.6970 31
39 Poland 38,000,000 27 89 0.7105 2.3421 15
40 Spain 46,500,000 33 88 0.7097 1.8925 16
41 Austria 8,500,000 6 38 0.7059 4.4706 41
42 England 51,000,000 36 56 0.7059 1.0980 17
43 Mongolia 3,000,000 2 4 0.6667 1.3333 67
44 Singapore 5,000,000 3 10 0.6000 2.0000 64
45 Turkmenistan 5,000,000 3 6 0.6000 1.2000 63
46 France 65,000,000 36 86 0.5538 1.3231 9
47 Argentina 40,500,000 17 61 0.4198 1.5062 29
48 Belgium 10,500,000 4 15 0.3810 1.4286 46
49 Uzbekistan 28,000,000 10 9 0.3571 0.3214 26
50 Albania 3,200,000 1 5 0.3125 1.5625 70
51 Paraguay 6,800,000 2 2 0.2941 0.2941 72
52 Portugal 10,500,000 3 11 0.2857 1.0476 61
53 Uruguay 3,500,000 1 3 0.2857 0.8571 75
54 New Zealand 4,250,000 1 6 0.2353 1.4118 71
55 Costa Rica 4,500,000 1 7 0.2222 1.5556 78
56 United States 306,000,000 65 109 0.2124 0.3562 6
57 U. A. Emirates 5,000,000 1 5 0.2000 1.0000 83
58 Tunisia 10,500,000 2 3 0.1905 0.2857 88
59 Kyrgyzstan 5,500,000 1 4 0.1818 0.7273 73
60 Canada 33,500,000 6 27 0.1791 0.8060 47
61 Chile 16,900,000 3 9 0.1775 0.5325 57
62 Ireland 6,000,000 1 6 0.1667 1.0000 66
63 Australia 21,800,000 3 17 0.1376 0.7798 60
64 Tajikistan 7,500,000 1 3 0.1333 0.4000 74
65 Bolivia 9,000,000 1 1 0.1111 0.1111 86
66 Dom. Republic 9,500,000 1 6 0.1053 0.6316 76
67 Peru 29,000,000 3 8 0.1034 0.2759 42
68 Italy 60,000,000 6 33 0.1000 0.5500 39
69 Philippines 90,500,000 9 24 0.0994 0.2652 33
70 Iran 70,500,000 5 8 0.0709 0.1135 51
71 Vietnam 86,000,000 6 5 0.0698 0.0581 35
72 Ecuador 14,500,000 1 8 0.0690 0.5517 65
73 Mexico 110,000,000 5 26 0.0455 0.2364 53
74 Colombia 45,000,000 2 24 0.0444 0.5333 58
75 Egypt 76,000,000 3 22 0.0395 0.2895 54
76 Brazil 191,000,000 7 27 0.0366 0.1414 27
77 Venezuela 28,000,000 1 10 0.0357 0.3571 68
78 Bangladesh 161,000,000 5 1 0.0311 0.0062 62
79 Algeria 34,000,000 1 10 0.0294 0.2941 84
80 Turkey 71,500,000 2 13 0.0280 0.1818 45
81 Indonesia 237,500,000 6 12 0.0253 0.0505 55
82 South Korea 50,000,000 1 0 0.0200 0.0000 138
83 Myanmar 55,500,000 1 4 0.0180 0.0721 44
84 China 1,340,000,000 24 14 0.0179 0.0104 3
85 India 1,150,000,000 18 60 0.0157 0.0522 10
86 Faroe Islands 50,000 0 3 0.0000 60.0000 79
87 Barbados 300,000 0 1 0.0000 3.3333 112
88 Wales 3,000,000 0 3 0.0000 1.0000 82
89 El Salvador 6,000,000 0 3 0.0000 0.5000 94
90 Puerto Rico 4,000,000 0 2 0.0000 0.5000 98
91 Angola 17,000,000 0 6 0.0000 0.3529 110
92 Nicaragua 6,000,000 0 2 0.0000 0.3333 91
93 Panama 3,500,000 0 1 0.0000 0.2857 109
94 Lebanon 4,000,000 0 1 0.0000 0.2500 92
95 Zambia 12,000,000 0 3 0.0000 0.2500 100
96 Zimbabwe 13,000,000 0 3 0.0000 0.2308 101
97 Jordan 6,000,000 0 1 0.0000 0.1667 89
98 Syria 19,500,000 0 3 0.0000 0.1538 85
99 Honduras 7,500,000 0 1 0.0000 0.1333 135
100 Yemen 23,000,000 0 3 0.0000 0.1304 90
101 Iraq 31,250,000 0 4 0.0000 0.1280 77
102 South Africa 48,000,000 0 6 0.0000 0.1250 87
103 Malaysia 28,250,000 0 3 0.0000 0.1062 81
104 Morocco 31,250,000 0 3 0.0000 0.0960 69
105 Guatemala 13,000,000 0 1 0.0000 0.0769 102
106 Nigeria 148,000,000 0 4 0.0000 0.0270 104
107 Pakistan 173,000,000 0 2 0.0000 0.0116 93
108 Japan 127,500,000 0 1 0.0000 0.0078 95
109 Palestine 1 1 97

For some of the smaller countries, or countries with few GMs, it's not very helpful, but by comparing countries with similar populations, it is more useful. England are 42nd - Scotland are 31st. So there are more GMs per capita in Scotland than there are in England. Also, Russia isn't all that great, it just benefits from having such a large talent pool. England is doing fine though compared to Germany, France, Spain and similarly populated countries like it. Ukraine however, is much higher than us, and with a similar population. Some of the data here is rogue, Luxembourg, Andorra and Monaco will probably play most of their chess in Germany, Spain and France. The most interesting thing here for me though, is how popular chess is in the Balkan states. Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia are all in the top 10, with Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina not too far behind. The Balkans seem to be a match for the former Soviet states. I could find no population information for Palestine.

I think it's interesting to compare GMs/capita to the FIDE ranking system though.

P.S. If you click "Quote" when viewing that table, it should drop out in nice neat columns.

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Ben Purton
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Ben Purton » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:54 pm

Azeri in my view the most impressive nation relative to size.

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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:05 pm

There is clearly only one cost-effective solution to the England v France debate - Keith must play a match with Marie Sebag.

Mind you, it used to be a running joke how weak the "native" French were (say) twenty years ago, the general belief being that any of our IMs could hop over the channel and win any tournament they cared to enter. So I can accept Keith's point that "we are still quite good, you know!" but would still tend to concur with the view that changes over the last twenty years have "not necessarily been to our advantage" ...

Now for something completely different. Does anyone here like quizzes? if so, since 1983 onwards

(1) which British champion lost two games in the second week ?
(2) which Champion recovered after a loss to Basman in the first week?
(3) when did the two favourites play in the second round?
(4) when did the players who eventually finished first and second play in the second round?
(5) In which years have the two leaders after round ten - BOTH of them clear of the rest of the field - played each other in the last round (i.e, when have we had a real title decider in the last round, with either player sure to take sole first place in the event of victory)?

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:30 pm

1) is Jacob Aagaard in 2007; he lost to Haslinger in round 8 and Gordon in round 10.
3) is Julian Hodgson and Jonathan Speelman in 2000. (Speelman won, but Hodgson went on to take the title anyway.)

You might want to add

6) In what year did the winner and runner-up not play each other? (I know this has at least one answer; I don't know if the answer is unique.)

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Ben Purton
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Ben Purton » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:42 pm

Talking of ENGLAND V FRANCE.........................


http://previews.chessdom.com/salome-neu ... arty-match

Ben
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I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
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Ola Winfridsson
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Ola Winfridsson » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:01 pm

James Pratt wrote:Dr Fazekas was an IM, sent back his trophy in protest at his treatment.
What happened? In what way did Dr Fazekas feel ill-treated?

I think the "rise and fall" of England as a chess power just goes to prove how hard it is to build up a strong base from which to challenge the top, and how quickly this can be eroded or overtaken by events. Even in the early to mid 1970s Sweden (my easiest point of reference since I'm Swedish) would still probably have considered a 2-2 draw against England in an Olympiad as something of a failure (and most definitely so in the '50s and '60s, when we were able to field two GMs and IM who declined[!] the GM title) whereas in the 1980s such a result was considered a brilliant success!

Much of England's demise (probably too strong a word) in the last 20 years can in all likelihood be put down to the fairly rapid increase in living standards and salaries in this country plus of course the "flooding of the market" by players from the former Soviet Union, i.e. the alternative cost of an uncertain chess career quite simply became too high. I don't think there was any coincidence that both Sadler and McShane "retired early" to well-paid jobs in Amsterdam and London (although I'm very glad to see that Luke's come back!).

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