GM entries for the British

The British Chess Championships, sponsored by Capital Developments Waterloo Ltd and taking place in Llandudo, Wales from Saturday 29th July to Sunday 6th August, is proud to announce that the entries of six Grandmasters have already been confirmed. More GM entries are expected in the coming weeks and will each be announced when we receive confirmation.


(top row l-r – Gawain Jones, Luke McShane, Mark Hebden; bottom row – Danny Gormally, John Emms, Keith Arkell … 1,2, and 6 by Ray Morris-Hill, 3 by Brendan O’Gorman, 5 by John Saunders)

Full profiles are in preparation for each of our GM participants but, in the meantime, thumbnail sketches for those already confirmed. Ratings are from the March 2017 FIDE list. 

Gawain Jones 2676: A regular in the English Olympiad team. Gawain won the British in 2012, has been well established in the world top 100 for some years now and in March 2017 reached his highest FIDE rating so far: 2676. A winner of the Hastings International, Gawain had perhaps his best year so far in 2016, with wins at the New Zealand Open and the Dubai Open in April. In January 2017, he played in the Challengers section of the Tata Steel invitational all-play-all at Wijk aan Zee and overcame exceedingly strong opposition to win the section and thus qualify for a place in the prestigious and historic Wijk aan Zee Masters next year. He will be among the favourites for the title.  

Luke McShane 2644: Recognised as a chess prodigy when he won the World under 10s at the age of 8, and becoming a Grandmaster at 16, McShane was consistently among the leading juniors in the world. After university, he chose to abandon full-time professional chess to work in the City but was still able to maintain a very high standard, becoming one of only 3 English players to breach the 2700 barrier when he achieved a rating of 2713 in July 2012. He is certainly among the leading amateurs in the world and, having defeated elite players such as Nakamura and Aronian, remains a threat to any opponent and a prospect for a prize in every tournament he chooses to enter.

Mark Hebden 2490: A perennial presence among the leading players in the UK since the late 70s, Hebden is a regular winner of the Tradewise sponsored ECF Grand Prix, and has won numerous tournaments on the domestic scene and internationally. He has been British Rapidplay Champion on a number of occasions, the last being 2015, and his international successes include =1 at the Neuchatel Open in 2001 and =1 at Hasting 2009/10.   

Danny Gormally 2471: =1 in the British Rapidplay Championships in 2006 and =2 in the British in 2015, Gormally reached a career high FIDE of 2573 in January 2006 at which time he represented England in both the European Championships and the Olympiad.

John Emms 2464: =1st in the British Championships in 1997 and reaching a FIDE career high of 2586 in July 1999, Emms has been a less frequent competitor in chess events over the last few years and has concentrated on coaching and writing, but remains a regular entrant in the British.

Keith Arkell 2408: Arkell is among the most active players on the circuit, playing in numerous open events, both domestic and international, and is member of the England Seniors Team. He was European Seniors (+50) Champion in 2014 and tied for the World Seniors (+50) in the same year, coming 2nd on tie-break. He tied for 1st in the 2008 British Chess Championships, coming 2nd after losing the tiebreak match to Stuart Conquest, and was =1 in the very strong Vienna Open in 2015.

— Mark Jordan Email: manager.publicity@englishchess.org.uk