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Keith Arkell
Photograph courtesy of Keith Arkell.  
Number of games in database: 645
Years covered: 1977 to 2017
Last FIDE rating: 2438 (2420 rapid, 2490 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2545

Overall record: +271 -132 =215 (61.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 27 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (65) 
    D02 A46 E10 A40 A41
 King's Indian (52) 
    E60 E62 E63 E67 E66
 Slav (28) 
    D17 D16 D11 D15 D18
 Queen's Indian (21) 
    E15 E12 E17 E16
 Modern Benoni (15) 
    A64 A62 A70
 Reti System (14) 
    A06 A04
With the Black pieces:
 Caro-Kann (106) 
    B12 B17 B14 B11 B10
 Queen's Pawn Game (50) 
    E00 A46 A40 A45 D05
 English, 1 c4 c5 (28) 
    A35 A38 A36 A39 A31
 French Defense (27) 
    C10 C02 C00 C03 C11
 French (19) 
    C10 C00 C11
 Nimzo Indian (17) 
    E39 E38 E45 E42 E43
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   A Ledger vs Arkell, 2008 0-1
   Arkell vs A Jaunooby, 2012 1-0
   M Rodshtein vs Arkell, 2015 0-1
   S Franklin vs Arkell, 2012 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Foxwoods Open (2008)
   British Championship (2008)
   British Championships (2012)
   British Chess Championships (2014)
   London Chess Classic (Open) (2014)
   Hastings Chess Congress (2014)
   100th British Championship (2013)
   British Championship (2010)
   Hastings Chess Congress (2013)
   British Championships (2015)
   London Chess Classic (2013)
   British Championships (2016)
   British Championship (2009)
   PokerStars IoM Masters (2015)
   European Individual Championships (2010)

   C Henriquez Villagra vs Arkell (Mar-08-17) 1-0, rapid
   Arkell vs I Agrest (Mar-08-17) 1-0, rapid
   W Spoelman vs Arkell (Mar-01-17) 0-1, rapid
   A Bitalzadeh vs Arkell (Mar-01-17) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   Arkell vs Van Wely (Mar-01-17) 0-1, rapid

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FIDE player card for Keith Arkell

(born Jan-08-1961, 56 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
Keith Charles Arkell was born in Birmingham, England. When he learned chess at the age of 13 he immediately demonstrated a talent for the game. He earned the IM title in 1986 and became a GM in 1995. He is the winner of over 300 tournaments. He won the Wroxham GM Tournament in 2002; placed 2nd at the Hastings Premiership 2002/3; won the British Grand Prix three times; and was English Chess Champion in 2008. In 2014, he was =1st (runner up on tiebreak) at the World Seniors Championship.

His contributions to opening theory include the Arkell-Khenkin Line of the Caro-Kann Defense (B12) (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5!?) and the "Speckled Egg Opening" (1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.b4).

He was married to Susan Walker (now WGM Susan Arkell Lalic) from 1986 to 1993.

Wikipedia article: Keith Arkell

 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 645  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. S Jackson vs Arkell  0-141 1977 BirminghamB40 Sicilian
2. Arkell vs C Fegan  1-038 1977 ManchesterA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
3. Spassky vs Arkell  ½-½18 1979 Simul, 30bB08 Pirc, Classical
4. Arkell vs Chandler  0-148 1979 Benedictine Int TtB07 Pirc
5. Flear vs Arkell  0-136 1979 Leicester OpenA44 Old Benoni Defense
6. Arkell vs S Burns-Mannion  1-034 1979 GlasgowC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
7. Arkell vs K Rasmussen  1-052 1980 Swiss Junior Masters,OerlikonC05 French, Tarrasch
8. Miles vs Arkell  1-027 1982 WolverhamptonD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Arkell vs Miles  ½-½19 1982 BCF-chA15 English
10. Arkell vs Psakhis 1-036 1983 LondonE10 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Arkell vs V Zak  1-070 1983 Lewisham InternationalD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
12. P Littlewood vs Arkell  0-154 1984 ARC Masters,EnglandE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
13. Arkell vs Miles  ½-½36 1984 BCF-chA46 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Chandler vs Arkell  0-140 1984 BCF-chB19 Caro-Kann, Classical
15. J M Hodgson vs Arkell  1-049 1984 BCF-chB12 Caro-Kann Defense
16. Arkell vs Hebden  0-150 1985 04 BCF-chD01 Richter-Veresov Attack
17. M Basman vs Arkell  1-058 1986 Southampton ch-GB (06)A00 Uncommon Opening
18. Arkell vs A F Ker  0-180 1986 Lloyds Bank MastersA39 English, Symmetrical, Main line with d4
19. Adams vs Arkell  ½-½49 1987 London NWYMB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
20. A J Whiteley vs Arkell  1-027 1987 London NWYMA07 King's Indian Attack
21. Arkell vs Igor Ivanov  ½-½45 1987 London (England)E62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
22. D Barua vs Arkell  0-175 1987 Calicut InternationalB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
23. Chandler vs Arkell  0-175 1987 LondonB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
24. Nunn vs Arkell 1-020 1987 London 44/160 (Nunn,J)B15 Caro-Kann
25. Hebden vs Arkell 1-025 1987 Lloyds BankB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 645  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Arkell wins | Arkell loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Keith Charles Arkell
Born 8th January 1961 in Birmingham England
He was awared the IM title in 1985.
Jan-07-06  BIDMONFA: Keith Arkell


Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: Now a GM. Well known in England, nice guy, tough opponent. Particularly good at grinding people down in the endgame. Sadly, we don't seem to have a legendary game which he managed to win with rook and bishop against rook and knight. No pawns. Anyone know which it is?
Jan-22-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: I used the endgame explorer to find it,it is not in this database yet.
Sep-15-06  Rocafella: This guy is a frequent visitor to Bury Chess Club!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  GIAaron: Arkell Kosten Montpellier 2002 annotated in 'Chess' magazine
Mar-30-09  VaselineTopLove: I am trying to find the game Gdanski vs. Arkell from 2000 which was mentioned here

Premium Chessgames Member
  GIAaron: I'll submit the game now for you.It should appear withing a week or two.
Apr-03-09  Dredge Rivers: He was cute in Family Matters!

No, wait. That was URKEL!

My bad! :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  GIAaron: For Pawn to QB4 and Tomothy Glenn Forney,I've now submitted the game you were looking for: Arkell-Kosten Montpellier Open 2002
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: Thanks very much; sorry it's taken me so long to look back here. To the guy at my club who thought I'd had a drink too many when I mentioned this endgame...err, yeah you were right about the drink, but here is the game in all its glory: Arkell vs A Kosten, 2002. I had forgotten that the poor guy on the receiving end was such a distinguished player. R&B 1-0 v R&N, no pawns, no howling blunder as far as I can see.
Nov-19-09  FHBradley: Since when have 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5!? been known as the "Arkell-Khenkin line in Caro-Kann"? I learned on my mother's knee that it's the Botvinnik-Carls variation, or defence, or gambit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: You must have had an interesting childhood, FHB.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: "He is the winner of over 300 tournaments"? Assuming he started around age 10, this means about 8 tournaments per year. What kind of tournaments are being counted? His neighborhood's little league? The All-Unknowns Remoteland Open? ICC blitz tourneys? (The latter would certainly explain it.)
Jan-08-10  JaneEyre: <What kind of tournaments are being counted?>

For many years, Arkell and Mark Hebden were kings of the weekend rapidplays.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GIAaron: It's a pity that this great site allows mindless vandalism of Fusilli's type. For the record,the 300+ tournaments comprise approximately 14% Internationals,57% weekend tournaments,and 24% rapidplays etc;the other 5% being juniour events. FHBradley,I believe that the 3...c5 Caro was first christened the ''Arkell-Khenkin line by ''New in Chess'' yearbook number 42.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: 3...c5 in the Caro is the Botvinnik-Carls line, way before Keith was born. But he plays it very well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GIAaron: I'm no expert on these things Eric,but are there not circumstances when a variation,perhaps casually named in its infancy,can be renamed later on in union with players who dramatically advance its developement?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: It is rare, and mostly happens when the initial name is frivolous. For example it didn't take long for Mexican Defense to replace "black knights tango" but once a name is established it tends to stick around. Later on players who make contributions get subvariations named for them.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GIAaron: Perhaps more interestingly who has the authority to decide these things? I guess it can just be a gradual public opinion thing,but I agree it's more common with sub variations.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: There is no authority other than authors of books and articles. I tried to get FIDE to set up a commission but that was during the Cold War so it was too controversial. Many openings had different names depending on politics (Benko/Volga Gambit, for example).

In my research for Gambit Chess Openings and Unorthodox Chess Openings I did my best to find the player who first seriously promoted an opening idea. As those books cover over 1200 openings I no doubt got some wrong but haven't had any major complaints. For new editions I am always willing to reconsider decisions based on new information.

All the names I come up with are publicly available as part of the Caxton project on my website and are used here, as far as I know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: During one of his simultaneous exhibitions, GM Keith Arkell allowed fast losers to set up the pieces and start another game, and offering every player the choice of color.
Jan-06-11  ughaibu: The Kosten case is reported in an exaggerated way. It's not an endgame with rook and bishop against rook and knight, no pawns, when the last pawn comes off it's a three move combination to win the exchange. My memory of K.Arkell is of him tearing up his prize cheque, for the first MSO, and throwing it at Keene.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: another one for GM Arkell..

In rook and bishop against rook endgame, English GM Keith Arkell has apparently won 16 times out of 16. This ending has been known for many years to be a theoretical draw, but in practice the defender frequently loses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Perhaps the most strident advocate of the rising standards theory is GM Keith Arkell. He’s quite militant in his views and is of the opinion that players like Capablanca and Alekhine were barely 2400 strength. He thinks if they came back now, they’d struggle to beat IMs. He thinks the great Aron Nimzowitsch would barely scrape a 2200 rating. Controversial views, no doubt, but thought-provoking."

- GM Danny Gormally

Source: Chess Monthly Feb. 2012

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