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Commonwealth Chess Championship

Commonwealth Chess Championships logo

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.

Oxford 1950

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.

Melbourne 1983

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.

Hong Kong 1984

The winners of the 1984 Hong Kong tournament were Kevin Spraggett (Canada) and Murray Chandler (England).

London 1985

The winners of the 1985 London tournament were Praveen Thipsay (India) and Kevin Spraggett.

London 1987

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.

London 1988

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.

London 1989

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.

Calcutta 1996

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.

Bikaner 1999

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.

Sangli 2000

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.

London 2001

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.

Mumbai 2003

Nguyen Anh Dung from Vietnam finished first with 8.5/10, the title went to 4th placed Dibyendu Barua.

Mumbai 2004

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.

Mumbai 2006

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.

New Delhi 2007

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.

Nagpur 2008

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.

Singapore 2009

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.


# Year City Winner
(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)