Suffolk’s Alan Merry has again been invited to take part in the British Knockout Championships, starting tomorrow (Saturday 8 December) in London. England No. 1 Mickey Adams heads a stellar lineup, with 12 of the UK’s top players battling for a total prize fund of £50,000 over four rounds, finishing on 17 December.
The format is similar to last year, when Alan was unfortunate to be knocked out in the preliminary round by GM Nigel Short. Alan held a great position in the first of two standard-play games, but missed the winning move 32… b4. He was slightly better in game 2, but unfortunately blundered his bishop.
This year, he faces seasoned GM John Nunn in the preliminary round. The top four players, Adams, David Howell, Gawain Jones and Luke McShane are seeded through to the Quarter-Finals, but the other eight players are paired to find the four who will join the top seeds. Nunn is now 63 years old, a full ten years older than Nigel Short.
The final four will play standard-play, rapidplay and blitz games in the semi-final, with the two winners playing the same series of games in the Final. The semis take place at Google’s London HQ, whilst the Final is being held alongside the London Chess Classic, at Olympia.
The winner of the Championships will receive £15,000. Other prizes include: £10,000 for the losing finalist, £5,000 each for the semi-finalists, £2,500 each for the quarter-finalists, and £1,250 for the players knocked out in the preliminary round. So Alan is guaranteed a nice pay-packet, even if he gets knocked out in the first round.