The Commonwealth Chess Championship is a gathering of chess players from Commonwealth countries.
A championship was planned for New Zealand in 1949, but it was canceled because the British Chess Federation was unable to attend.
In 1950 an informal all-play-all championship was held as the strongest players of Canada (Daniel Yanofsky), New Zealand (Robert Wade), and South Africa (Wolfgang Heidenfeld) were all in England. The field was rounded out with a player from England, Scotland, and a promising Australian. William Fairhurst (Scotland) won the unofficial championship held in Oxford.
The Commonwealth Chess Association (formed in 1981) planned a 1982 championship in Nigeria, but it was not held. The 1983 Swiss system tournament was held in Melbourne, and won by Ian Rogers and Gregory Hjorth, both of Australia.
The winners of the 1985 London tournament were Praveen Thipsay (India) and Kevin Spraggett.
The winner of the 1987 London tournament was Murray Chandler (England). The title was awarded to the highest eligible player in the 11th Lloyds Bank Masters, played at the Park Lane Hotel, London, 22-31 August 1987. Chandler tied for first place on 8/10 with Michael Wilder (USA), who was not eligible for the Commonwealth title.
In 1988 the championship title was shared by Gary Lane and Michael Adams. It was awarded to the highest eligible player(s) in the 12th Lloyds Bank Masters, played at the Ramada Inn, London, 20-29 August 1988. At the time Gary Lane was registered as an English player. Scores: 1-2 Gary Lane, Michael Adams 8/10.
In 1989 the championship was won by Ian Rogers (Australia). It was awarded to the highest eligible player(s) in the 13th Lloyds Bank Masters, played at the Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, London, August 1989. Ian Rogers scored 8/10, behind the ineligible Zurab Azmaiparashvili (Georgia) on 8½.
Mithrakanth of India won with 7.5/10 above Gokhale, Sriram, Praven Thipsay and McNab on 7.0. Seventeen-year-old Vijaylaxmi won the women's title and earned an IM norm.
Grandmaster Alexander Baburin of Ireland remained undefeated throughout with 8.5/10 but since Ireland is outside the Commonwealth federation the title went to Atanu Lahiri.
The championship with 72 players was played as an 11 round Swiss event. Four players ended with 8.5/11: Max Sorokin, Krishnan Sasikiran, Evegeny Vladimirov and Aleksander Fominih. Sorokin won the championship on tie-break points but the title went to Krishnan Sasikiran.
The commonwealth chess championships was incorporated into the main Mind Sports Olympiad chess event, "The Ron Banwell Masters" at the Southbank University. India sent a strong contingent of GMs and the event was won for India by Pentalyu Harikrishna.
Nguyen Anh Dung from Vietnam finished first with 8.5/10, the title went to 4th placed Dibyendu Barua.
The 2004 Championships were held in Mumbai, India. The winner was Nigel Short. In 2005 the event was scheduled to be played, but was in the end cancelled.
The event was won by Nigel Short with the emphatic score of 9/10. Indians Chanda Sandipan and M R Venkatesh scored 8/10 for 2nd-3rd places.
Sponsored by Parvnath Developers Ltd., the 2007 tournament was held at the Sirifort Sports Complex, Khel, New Delhi. The Delhi Chess Association organized the event on behalf of the All India Chess Federation and Commonwealth Chess Association and The ten-round Swiss system tournament boasted a record field of 282 players included entries from eleven commonwealth countries: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad & Tobago, with 13 Grandmasters, 35 International Masters, 5 Woman Grandmasters and 7 Woman International Masters. The prize fund totaled US$20,000, with $4000 for the winner.
Former British Champion GM R. B. Ramesh won the final three rounds to tie with top seed GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly at 8½/10 points. Ramesh won the title on tie-break, with Ramesh and Ganguly splitting the top two prizes equally for Rs 137,500 (approximately €2400). IM Abhijeet Gupta finished third with 8, completing the requirements for the Grandmaster title to become India’s 17th Grandmaster. He also won the Under-20 prize and received Rs 75,000. IM Dronavalli Harika won Rs 40,000 by taking the women’s title for the second consecutive year with an overall finish in seventh place. There were three medals (gold, silver, and bronze) awarded in each fifteen categories: Overall, Women, Seniors, Under-20, Girls Under-20, and boys and girls U-18, U-16, U-14, U-12, and U-10. Players from India won 44 of the 45 medals, with English GM Gawain Jones preventing the sweep by winning the U-20 bronze.
The 2008 tournament was held in the orange city of Nagpur at the navedhyam celebration center. The tournament was won by two time previous champion Nigel Short and won the prize money of 1,80,000 INR.
The 2009 tournament was won by Singapore IM Enrique Paciencia with a score of 7.5/9. Indian IM Jayaram Ashwin finished in 2nd place with 6.5/9, and Australian master Max Illingworth finished in third place with 6/9.
|(1)||1950||Oxford||William Fairhurst (SCO)|
|1||1983||Melbourne||Ian Rogers (AUS) & Gregory Hjorth (AUS)|
|2||1984||Hong Kong||Kevin Spraggett (CAN) & Murray Chandler (ENG)|
|3||1985||London||Praveen Thipsay (IND) & Kevin Spraggett (CAN)|
|4||1987||London||Murray Chandler (ENG)|
|5||1988||London||Gary Lane (ENG) & Michael Adams (ENG)|
|6||1989||London||Ian Rogers (AUS)|
|7||1996||Calcutta||Poorna Sharma Mithrakanth (IND)|
|8||1999||Bikaner||Alexander Baburin (IRL) (off contest)
Atanu Lahiri (IND)
|9||2000||Sangli||Krishnan Sasikiran (IND)|
|10||2001||London||Pentala Harikrishna (IND)|
|11||2003||Mumbai||Nguyen Anh Dung (VIE) (off contest)
Dibyendu Barua (IND)
|12||2004||Mumbai||Nigel Short (ENG)|
|13||2006||Mumbai||Nigel Short (ENG)|
|14||2007||New Delhi||Ramachandran Ramesh (IND)|
|15||2008||Nagpur||Nigel Short (ENG)|
|16||2009||Singapore||Enrique Paciencia (SIN)|
|17||2010||New Delhi||Rajaram Laxman (IND)|
|18||2011||Ekurhuleni||Gawain Jones (ENG)|
|19||2012||Chennai||Babu M.R. Lalith (IND)|
|20||2013||Port Elizabeth||Abhijeet Gupta (IND)|
|21||2014||Glasgow||Deep Sengupta (IND)|
|22||2015||New Delhi||Abhijeet Gupta (IND)|