Saturday, August 06, 2011

Michael Adams is 2011 British Chess Champion

Michael Adams won the 2011 British Chess Championship in Sheffield this morning, defeating Nigel Short in a two-game play off after they had finished tied on 8½ after the 11 rounds. The first game of the play off was drawn, but Adams won the second and the title. You can replay this decisive game on the official website - the diagram shows the position in which Short resigned.

This play off took place after all the other prizes from the fortnight had been awarded. According to the Guardian C.J. de Mooi was asked not to present the prizes, as previously arranged, because he was wearing a Stonewall (the gay rights group) T-shirt.

De Mooi himself has described what took place in a posting on the English Chess Forum:
At this morning's prizegiving ceremony of the Darwin Strategic British Chess Championships 2011 an arbiter approached me saying she had "personal reservations" about me wearing a Stonewall t-shirt when presenting prizes to juniors. It was apparently inappropriate for me to wear something mentioning "sexuality" in such an environment.
I did not consider this an issue as I had worn it the previous day in the playing hall and no objections were raised. I am fully CRB checked and was registering my public support of a charity. 
The other 2 arbiters said "no problem with it" and "I hadn't actually noticed" but after a discussion returned and suggested if I wanted to wear it, I could just present to the adults. I refused saying "I either present all the prizes or none" but I would leave it as their decision. 
After another consultation (I point out that this whole series of events took 5 or 6 minutes in total) I was asked if I would reconsider, to which I responded "Will you?" This gentleman then said he had been told there had been "some complaints" but I have seen nothing to corroborate this so cannot comment. 
I took a seat and the awards party was named with Roger Edwards (who has done a wonderful job for the fortnight) taking the honours.
Having played in chess tournaments myself when I was younger, I can confirm Leonard Barden's observation in the Guardian that "there has never been a dress code before". That is putting it mildly.


Anonymous said...

Wearing a t-shirt encouraging impressionable junior players to take up the turgid Stonewall Defence against 1d4? Of course he should be banned!

Jonathan Calder said...

A bit of chess-related humour there.

I didn't mind the Dutch, as I liked to play the Staunton Gambit. What I hated were people who played 1 ... e6 and 2 ... f5 to get a Dutch without allowing it.