This is the final moment of Mickey Adams' victorious progress at the 2010 British Championship in Canterbury on 6 August. He led from the off and never looked in any real difficulty. Peter Wells (left of picture above) came closest to defeating him in the last round but Mickey had already wrapped up the title with a round to spare so it would have made no difference.
I enjoyed my trip to Canterbury yesterday. Perhaps the most significant moment was immediately before play when the president of the English Chess Federation, CJ de Mooi, took the microphone to make an announcement about next year's British Championship in Sheffield. He told us that the first prize was to be upped from £5,000 to £10,000 (as it had been under Smith & Williamson's former sponsorship) and that he obtained a commitment from Britain's four leading players - Mickey Adams, Nigel Short, Luke McShane and David Howell - that they would take part. Also, he said that another ten British GMs would play. This is a welcome shot in the arm for the game in Britain and also an indicator of the dynamism and panache that CJ de Mooi has brought to chess administration in these islands. Well done to him.
I picked a really good day to watch play. As well as the top board game, which was fiercely contested, there was plenty of competitive chess on most of the other leading boards, and in the other sections. Personally I enjoy watching chess more or less whatever the level of play, so long as the game is evenly matched and keenly contested. I also particularly enjoy watching an endgame battle and there were quite a few of these in evidence. One significant one was on the top board of the British Senior (aged 60+) Championship, where Paul Habershon was trying to convert an extra pawn against tournament leader Paul Byway in order to share the title with him and Ken Norman. Paul Byway just needed the draw to take the title on his own.