The final of the 2016-17 Winton British Chess Solving Championship took place at Eton College on 18th February. These days the event doubles as one leg of the Solving World Cup, which attracts overseas solvers eager to gain SWC points. 46 solvers competed, including guest solvers from Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Switzerland, Poland and Morocco. The event consists of six timed rounds, each featuring a different type of problem. The favourites were seven-times World Champion Piotr Murdzia from Poland, and three-times World Champion John Nunn, who in January won the year’s first major event, the International Solving Contest, with a near perfect score.
The problems proved to have a high level of difficulty, and the winning score was much lower than usual. The top placings were as follows —
1 Piotr Murdzia (Poland) 54.5/65
2 Ian Watson 52.5
3 John Nunn 50
4 Jonathan Mestel 48.5
5 Colin McNab 43
6 Dolf Wissmann (Netherlands) 40
Ian Watson’s first win in the British Championship was unexpected and well-deserved. In his 20-odd years of competing in the event he has tended to finish around 5th or 6th. The most difficult problem of the set proved to be a helpmate in 4 moves with 2 solutions. Ian found one solution, gaining 2.5 points, while no-one else scored any points! Had he failed to gain these points John Nunn would have taken the title by virtue of having used less time overall.
The full results are linked below, along with the two-movers from the event. The full set of problems will be published in due course on the BCPS website, along with photos from the event – http://www.theproblemist.org/