David Howell, Eastbourne’s record breaking chess player, will take part in the London Classic this week, hoping to win the illustrious title for the first time.
He is the youngest chess Grandmaster in the United Kingdom, a title he earned when he came second during the 35th Rilton Cup in Stockholm in January 2007 when he was just 16.
He began playing chess at the age of five after his father purchased a second-hand chess set at a jumble sale.
After gaining his Grandmaster status, Howell, now 23, has continued to compete at the top level. In August 2013 he won his second British Chess Championship title.
“It would mean the world to me to be able to win it as it is one of the biggest tournaments in the world but it’ll be a long shot.
“Anyone can win this time around but (Hikaru) Nakumura and Kramnik are strong contenders.
“Me and many of the other players have said the game improves concentration and at that age that is important.” said the current British Champion.
“But most importantly it is fun and a great form of social interaction because you can play it with anyone, any place, anywhere in the world.”
The competition, in which Howell finished third in 2009 another of his greatest achievements, involves 16 of the top players in the world has been set up by the Chess in Schools and Communities charity.
The foundation campaigns for primary school children to play chess due to the educational and social developments that the game has to youngsters. While the players battle it out for the ‘Elite’ prize there will be a host of activities for children, such as free lessons.
The London Chess Classic runs 7th-15th December at London’s Olympia Conference Centre.
For more information and to win the chance to play chess with David, visit www.londonchessclassic.com.