Saturday, August 04, 2007

ECF Player of the Year 2007

The English Chess Federation has named, David Howell, born 1990, as their Player of the Year for 2007. He is also England's youngest Grandmaster ever, earning the title at the Rilton Cup this year. Howell was also the British champion for the Under-8, Under-9, and Under-10, but he is also known as the youngest player (12) to have scored (a draw) against a reigning world champion ( Kramnik).
Here is Howell, playing white, against Dean Ippolito at the World Open 2007 in Pennsylvania. Black's winning chances center around his outside passed H pawn, if only he could get it rolling. White, however, has a winning position due to his more actively placed rook, bishop, and queen. Black moved 34...Ke8 35. Qe4 Kd8 36. Qf4 Kd7 37. Qf7 Qe7 38. Qf5 Ke8 39. Rg4 Can you see what Howell is threatening to do? Nasty, huh. Qd7 40. Be6 Qd1 41. Ka2 Qd6 There is no way to defend the f7 square now 42. Qf7 1-0. The threat being 43. Rg3 and then 44. Rd3. Capturing the rook would lead to mate after Qf8.


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