Chess: Keith Arkell captures online British title after rival is disqualified

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Leonard Barden

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Popular 60-year-old grandmaster’s eighth-round defeat is overturned while England’s No 1, Michael Adams, halves with 10-year-old from Scotland

Keith Arkell became online British champion at age 60 in controversial circumstances last weekend when the popular grandmaster from Paignton, Devon, scored 7.5/9 in the nine-day contest to finish a full point clear of GMs Michael Adams and Bogdan Lalic, with the England No 1 and defending champion taking second place on tie-break. Mohammed Ismail, the under-16 champion, was fourth.

Victory had seemed remote a day before the finish when Arkell, the 2008 English champion and author of Arkell’s Odyssey and Arkell’s Endings, was defeated in round eight. Then the result was reversed as his opponent, Gerasimos Giachos, whose only recorded over-the-board results were five inter-university games for Swansea a decade ago and who had no international Fide rating, was disqualified for allegedly violating the host site Chess.com’s fair play policy.

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