Thursday, July 31, 2014


Somehow it feels more like Jonathan Hawkins won it than David Howell. I’m not sure why. It just does.

Perhaps it’s something to do with Hawkins leading from first to last. Or the fact that he was unbeaten over the 11 games. Then again, if you compare their respective fields he 'only' played 4GMs, 3IMs and an FM as opposed to 4GMs, 4IMs and an FM and Howell also won more games. That should count for something. Although so should having the slightly higher TPR and the fact that he would have won on a Sum of Progressive Scores tie-break if it comes to that.

Is it just that Howell ending up on top is Same Old Same Old whereas for Hawkins it’s all new? Is it a sense that Hawkins deserves it more? The latter is not something I share - I’ve never really understood what people mean when they say stuff like that - and yet it feels more like a victory for him that the other guy who shared first place nonetheless.

Which makes no sense. Whatsoever.

It was Hawkins’ tournament

8.5 points is 8.5 points: everything else is meaningless

BORP? Index


Jonathan Rogers said...

I guess that Hawkins might be thought by some to be more deserving because he was never in trouble. Only once or twice was he even arguably somewhat worse, and he could probably have scored more in his final five games. Also, we give credit to those who bear the psychological strain of defending a lead from the chasing pack; they have to decide whether to stick or twist both before and again during each game. It is some ways easier to be the chaser who knows he simply has to win.

But it's not my view. I agree that Hawkins played the best but I think that a champion should also be associated with certain qualities such as courage and winning when the pressure is on. Hawkins could quite possibly have won the Britsh outright by playing on in the last round; and he elected not to. Had he still won outright by drawing (ie if Howell had drawn too) he would, I think, have been the first outright winner since Hodgson in 1991 not to have won any of his last three games (and Jules had +7 after round 8, rather than +6) let alone the first winner not to have won any of his last five!

So a shared title is fine in my book. (Though I'd like to see a play-off, which I think would be much closer than people assume, but that's a separate issue).

Anonymous said...

Hawkins had two Blacks in the last two rounds, let's not forget.

Somewhat harsh.

Jonathan Rogers said...

Anonymous - if Howell had been in Hawkins' position, do you think he would have continued in the final position v Richard Pert?

Jack Rudd said...

Analysis by title is a rather crude method of doing things; Hawkins's field includes Harvey (an untitled player) while Howell's includes Rudd (an IM), but the two players in question have almost identical ratings. Similarly, Hawkins played Zhou (an IM) and Howell played Ward (a GM), but Zhou is significantly higher rated than Ward.

Jonathan B said...

Jack- you’re quite right of course. It was only intended to be a rough and ready measure.

You might also say that Hawkins could count as a GM strength opponent for Howell, for instance.

Interesting stat that, the Hodgson 1991 one. One thing I find out about the 'Hawkins deserves it' hypothesis is that had he played on against Howell and tried to win the issue of a tie/playing on the in the last round would never have arisen.

ejh said...

I'd have thought nearly all players would have taken a draw in Hawkins' position, if it guaranteed them at least a share of first. No?

John Cox said...

Winning more games shouldn't count for anything, rather the reverse. Chess is like any war - what shows class isn't winning; it's not losing.

Anonymous said...

Would be good to see Hawkins play an appropriate tournament abroad to see if he can secure that final GM norm.