The winner was Gawain Jones, the youngest player in the very strong sixteen-player line-up (with 14 GMs and equivalent to a category 11 classical chess tournament). Gawain Jones took the £1,000 first prize with an impressive 13/15, losing only to Yasser Seirawan and Jon Speelman, but defeating favourites and long-time front-runners Matthew Sadler and Luke McShane. Second place went to Luke McShane on 12, followed by Yasser Seirawan on 11½, Matthew Sadler on 11 and Jon Speelman on 9½.
The tournament, played at the traditional blitz rate of 5 minutes per player with no increments, was conducted in a friendly but competitive spirit and was notable for a number of winning/losing streaks. Matthew Sadler started with 9/9 but could not win another game from his final six. Keith Arkell, after starting with a win, lost his next six, but bounced back immediately to win the next seven in a row.
Following the tournament, drinks and canapés were served, with speeches from Yasser Seirawan and ‘the Doc’, as John Nunn is affectionately known to his friends and colleagues.
The celebration was made possible by David Norwood, Ali Mortazavi and Peter Ariowitsch, and hosted by Home House. Chess & Bridge (www.chess.co.uk
) provided the equipment, while John Saunders acted as arbiter and photographer.