The annual British congress opens in Torquay this weekend with more than a thousand entries for titles that include categories for women, junior age groups from under 8 to under 21, and seniors over 50 and over 65.

Among 55 entries for the British Championship and its £5,000 first prize, two stand out. David Howell, the current England No1, and Michael Adams, the defending champion, are the clear top seeds.

Adams has won six British titles and Howell three, mostly in the last decade. Cornishman Adams, 47, won the 2016 British with a co-record 10/11 total, and will be on home ground in the West Country. He was the undisputed England No1 for 20 years until below-par results in 2019

Can Adams recover against a rival 19 years younger? Howell’s own recent form is good, and he will be ambitious to confirm his new status. Chess fans will watch an interesting struggle, free and live online, and it will be a major shock if neither wins the title.


White mates in two moves, against any defence (by Michael Keller,1972). This puzzle stumped German solvers 47 years ago.

The black king has no moves at all, so a single white check will do it. As a clue, the answer is a white queen move to vacate c5 for a knight check, but what is the correct square for the queen? Even with the clue, the answer is tricky.

Click here for solution

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