Chess tournaments Chess strategy Computer chess Chess players FIDE Chess variants Chess rules and history

British Chess Championship

British Chess Championship, Torquay 2009

The British Chess Championship is organised by the English Chess Federation. There are separate championships for men and women. Since 1923 there have been sections for juniors, and since 1982 there has been an over-sixty championship. The championship venue usually changes every year and has been held in different locations in England, Scotland, Wales and once on the Isle of Man.

The championship was originally open to citizens of any Commonwealth country and has previously been won by Mir Sultan Khan (India) and Abe Yanofsky (Canada). After the Indian R. B. Ramesh finished first in 2002 and several other Indians took top prizes at the same event, many top Britons declined to compete in the 2003 championship. Following the victory of Indian Abhijit Kunte in 2003 and criticism that the British Championship was not serving the interests of British players, it was announced that starting in 2004 only British and Irish players would be eligible to take part. Since 2006 the Commonwealth Chess Championship has been organized on an annual basis.

BCA Congress (1857-1861)

These were the first large tournaments organised by the British Chess Association, international players were allowed to participate.

Year City Winner
1857 Manchester Johann Loewenthal (Austrian Empire) / Hungary
1858 Birmingham Johann Loewenthal (Austrian Empire) / Hungary
1860 Cambridge Ignaz von Kolisch (Austrian Empire) / Hungary
1861 Bristol Louis Paulsen (Germany) / Lippe

London international tournaments (1862-1883)

In July 1862, Adolf Anderssen won the first international tournament organized by the British Chess Association (BCF Congress), held in London. Second place went to Louis Paulsen, followed by John Owen. This was the first round-robin tournament. In August 1872, Wilhelm Steinitz won the second British Chess Federation international tourney, held in London. Second place went to Joseph Henry Blackburne. The great London 1883 chess tournament was won convincingly by Johannes Hermann Zukertort (22 points ouf of 26) ahead of Steinitz (19/26).

# Year City Winner
1* 1862 London Adolf Anderssen (Germany) / Prussia
2* 1872 London Wilhelm Steinitz (Austria-Hungary) / Bohemia
3* 1883 London Johannes Zukertort (German Empire) / Poland

BCF Congress (1885-1899)

In 1884, a new British Chess Association was inaugurated. In July 1885, Isidor Gunsberg won the first British Chess Federation championship in London. In August 1886, Blackburne and Amos Burn tied for first in the second British Chess Federation championship, held in London. Blackburne won the play-off. In December 1887, Burn and Gunsberg tied for first in the third British Chess Federation Congress in London.

# Year City Winner
1 1885 London Isidor Gunsberg (United Kingdom) / Hungary
2 1886 London Joseph Henry Blackburne (United Kingdom) / England
3 1887 London Amos Burn (United Kingdom) / England

Isidor Gunsberg (United Kingdom) / Hungary

4 1888 Bradford Isidor Gunsberg (United Kingdom) / Hungary
5 1889 London Henry Bird (United Kingdom) / England
6 1890 Manchester Siegbert Tarrasch (German Empire) / Prussia
7 1892 London Emanuel Lasker (German Empire) / Prussia
8 1895 Hastings Harry Nelson Pillsbury (United States)
9 1899 London Emanuel Lasker (German Empire) / Prussia

BCA Challenge Cup (1866-1872)

The first British Championship was organized by the British Chess Association as an event at the 1866 London Congress. A rule awarded the B.C.A. Challenge Cup permanently to a player who won two consecutive titles. John Wisker accomplished this in 1872 by defeating Cecil De Vere in a play-off. The British Championship was then discontinued until 1904.

Year City Winner
1866 London Cecil De Vere (Scotland)
1869 London Joseph Henry Blackburne (England)
1870 London John Wisker (England)
1872 London John Wisker (England)

British Amateur Championship (1886-1902)

Ten amateur championships were held between 1886 and 1902, but they did not include the strongest players and were unrepresentative, especially in the earlier years.

Year City Winner
1886 London Walter Montague Gattie
1887 London Charles Dealtry Locock
1888 Bradford Anthony Alfred Geoffrey Guest
1889 London George Edward Wainwright
1890 Manchester Daniel Yarnton Mills
1892 London E. Jones-Bateman
1895 Hastings Henry Ernest Atkins
1897 Southampton Henry Ernest Atkins
1900 Bath Henry Ernest Atkins
1902 Norwich Reginald Price Michell

British Championship (1904-present)

The current championship series was begun by the British Chess Federation in 1904. The championship was not held in war years. It was also not held in 1919, 1922, 1927, and 1930 as major international events were then being held in England. José Raúl Capablanca won the 12th British Chess Congress at Hastings 1919 and the 15th BCC at London 1922, Alexander Alekhine won the 16th BCC at Portsmouth/Southsea 1923, Aron Nimzowitsch and Savielly Tartakower won at London 1927, and Edgard Colle won at Scarborough 1930. In 1939 the championship was also not held as the British team was in Buenos Aires for the 8th Chess Olympiad. In that time, Max Euwe won an international tournament at Bournemouth 1939, played during the BCC. The women's championship was held in most of those years.

Year City Men's Champion Women's Champion
1904 Hastings William Ewart Napier Kate Belinda Finn
1905 Southport Henry Ernest Atkins Kate Belinda Finn
1906 Shrewsbury Henry Ernest Atkins Frances Dunn Herring (née Gwilliam)
1907 London Henry Ernest Atkins Frances Dunn Herring (née Gwilliam)
1908 Tunbridge Wells Henry Ernest Atkins Grace Curling (née Ellis)
1909 Scarborough Henry Ernest Atkins Gertrude Alison Anderson
1910 Oxford Henry Ernest Atkins Mary Mills Houlding
1911 Glasgow Henry Ernest Atkins Mary Mills Houlding
1912 Richmond Richard Griffith Gertrude Alison Anderson
1913 Cheltenham Frederick Yates Amabel Nevill Moseley (née Jeffreys)
1914 Chester Frederick Yates Mary Mills Houlding
1915-1918 - no contest no contest
1919 Hastings no contest Edith Holloway
1920 Edinburgh Roland Scott Agnes Stevenson (née Lawson)
1921 Malvern Frederick Yates Gertrude Alison Anderson
1922 London no contest Edith Charlotte Price
1923 Southsea George Alan Thomas Edith Charlotte Price
1924 Southport Henry Ernest Atkins Edith Charlotte Price
1925 Stratford on Avon Henry Ernest Atkins Agnes Stevenson (née Lawson)
1926 Edinburgh Frederick Yates Agnes Stevenson (née Lawson)
1927 - no contest no contest
1928 Tenby Frederick Yates Edith Charlotte Price
1929 Ramsgate Mir Sultan Khan Mary Dinorah Gilchrist
1930 Scarborough no contest Agnes Stevenson (née Lawson)
1931 Worcester Frederick Yates Edith Michell (née Tapsell)
Amy Eleanor Wheelwright
1932 London Mir Sultan Khan Edith Michell (née Tapsell)
1933 Hastings Mir Sultan Khan Miss Fatima
1934 Chester George Alan Thomas Mary Dinorah Gilchrist
1935 Great Yarmouth William Winter Edith Michell (née Tapsell)
1936 Bournemouth (M)
Nottingham (W)
William Winter Edith Holloway
1937 Blackpool William Fairhurst Rowena Mary Dew
1938 Brighton C.H.O'D Alexander Minnie Musgrave
1939 Bournemouth no contest Elaine Saunders
1940-1945 - no contest no contest
1946 Nottingham Robert Forbes Combe Elaine Saunders
1947 Harrogate Harry Golombek Eileen Betsy Tranmer
1948 London Reginald Broadbent Edith Charlotte Price
1949 Felixstowe Harry Golombek Eileen Betsy Tranmer
1950 Buxton Reginald Broadbent Rowena Mary Bruce (née Dew)
1951 Swansea Ernest Klein Rowena Mary Bruce (née Dew)
1952 Chester Robert Wade no contest
1953 Hastings Abraham Yanofsky Eileen Betsy Tranmer
1954 Nottingham Leonard Barden
Alan Phillips
Rowena Mary Bruce (née Dew)
1955 Aberystwyth Harry Golombek Joan Doulton
Rowena Mary Bruce (née Dew)
1956 Blackpool C.H.O'D Alexander Elaine Pritchard (née Saunders)
1957 Plymouth Stefan Fazekas Anne Sunnucks
1958 Leamington Jonathan Penrose Anne Sunnucks
1959 York Jonathan Penrose Rowena Mary Bruce (née Dew)
1960 Leicester Jonathan Penrose Rowena Mary Bruce (née Dew)
1961 Aberystwyth Jonathan Penrose Eileen Betsy Tranmer
1962 Whitby Jonathan Penrose Rowena Mary Bruce (née Dew)
1963 Bath Jonathan Penrose Rowena Mary Bruce (née Dew)
1964 Whitby Michael Haygarth Anne Sunnucks
1965 Hastings Peter Lee Elaine Pritchard (née Saunders)
1966 Sunderland Jonathan Penrose Margaret Eileen Clarke
Gillian Moore
1967 Oxford Jonathan Penrose Rowena Mary Bruce (née Dew)
Dinah Margaret Dobson
1968 Bristol Jonathan Penrose Dinah Margaret Dobson
1969 Rhyl Jonathan Penrose Rowena Mary Bruce (née Dew)
Dinah Margaret Dobson
1970 Coventry Robert Wade Jana Hartston (née Malypetrova)
1971 Blackpool Raymond Keene Jana Hartston (née Malypetrova)
1972 Brighton Brian Eley Jana Hartston (née Malypetrova)
1973 Eastbourne William Hartston Jana Hartston (née Malypetrova)
1974 Clacton George Botterill Jana Hartston (née Malypetrova)
1975 Morecambe William Hartston Sheila Jackson
1976 Portsmouth Jonathan Mestel Jana Hartston (née Malypetrova)
1977 Brighton George Botterill Jana Hartston (née Malypetrova)
1978 Ayr Jonathan Speelman Sheila Jackson
1979 Chester Robert Bellin Jana Miles (née Malypetrova)
1980 Brighton John Nunn Sheila Jackson
1981 Morecambe Paul Littlewood Sheila Jackson
1982 Torquay Tony Miles Jane Garwell
1983 Southport Jonathan Mestel Rani Hamid
Helen Milligan (née Scott)
1984 Brighton Nigel Short Vasanti Unni (née Khaldikar)
1985 Edinburgh Jonathan Speelman Rani Hamid
1986 Southampton Jonathan Speelman Susan Arkell (née Walker, now Lalic)
1987 Swansea Nigel Short Cathy Forbes
1988 Blackpool Jonathan Mestel Cathy Forbes
1989 Plymouth Michael Adams Rani Hamid
1990 Eastbourne James Plaskett Susan Arkell (née Walker, now Lalic)
1991 Eastbourne Julian Hodgson Susan Arkell (née Walker, now Lalic)
1992 Plymouth Julian Hodgson Susan Arkell (née Walker, now Lalic)
1993 Dundee Michael Hennigan Saheli Dhar
1994 Norwich William Watson Cathy Forbes
1995 Swansea Matthew Sadler Harriet Hunt
1996 Nottingham Chris Ward Harriet Hunt
1997 Hove Michael Adams
Matthew Sadler
Harriet Hunt
1998 Torquay Nigel Short Susan Lalic (née Walker)
1999 Scarborough Julian Hodgson Harriet Hunt
2000 Street Julian Hodgson Humpy Koneru
2001 Scarborough Joe Gallagher Melanie Buckley
2002 Torquay Ramachandran Ramesh Humpy Koneru
2003 Edinburgh Abhijit Kunte Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant
2004 Scarborough Jonathan Rowson Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant
2005 Isle of Man Jonathan Rowson no contest
2006 Swansea Jonathan Rowson Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant
2007 Great Yarmouth Jacob Aagaard Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant
2008 Liverpool Stuart Conquest Jovanka Houska
2009 Torquay David Howell Jovanka Houska
2010 Canterbury Michael Adams Jovanka Houska
2011 Sheffield Michael Adams Jovanka Houska
2012 North Shields Gawain Jones Jovanka Houska
2013 Torquay David Howell Sarah Hegarty
Akshaya Kalaiyalahan
2014 Aberystwyth David Howell, Jonathan Hawkins Amy Hoare
2015 Coventry Jonathan Hawkins Akshaya Kalaiyalahan

Read more: