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Keith Arkell
Photograph courtesy of Keith Arkell.  
Number of games in database: 785
Years covered: 1977 to 2021
Last FIDE rating: 2429 (2391 rapid, 2398 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2545

Overall record: +331 -160 =248 (61.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 46 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (69) 
    E62 E60 E63 E67 E69
 Queen's Pawn Game (55) 
    A46 D02 A40 E10 A41
 Queen's Gambit Declined (39) 
    D35 D37 D39 D38 D30
 Slav (30) 
    D17 D11 D15 D16 D18
 Queen's Indian (25) 
    E15 E12 E17 E16
 English (23) 
    A15 A10 A17 A16 A11
With the Black pieces:
 Caro-Kann (115) 
    B12 B17 B14 B11 B10
 Queen's Pawn Game (59) 
    E00 A46 A45 A40 D02
 French Defense (36) 
    C10 C02 C07 C00 C11
 English, 1 c4 c5 (33) 
    A38 A36 A35 A30 A31
 French (24) 
    C10 C00 C11
 Nimzo Indian (23) 
    E38 E42 E39 E45 E54
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   A Ledger vs Arkell, 2008 0-1
   M Rodshtein vs Arkell, 2015 0-1
   A Greet vs Arkell, 2000 0-1
   A Longson vs Arkell, 2015 0-1
   J Gdanski vs Arkell, 2000 1/2-1/2
   S Franklin vs Arkell, 2012 0-1
   Hebden vs Arkell, 2021 0-1
   Arkell vs Bronstein, 1995 1/2-1/2
   E Ilfeld vs Arkell, 2013 0-1
   Arkell vs A Jaunooby, 2012 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Foxwoods Open (2008)
   British Championship (2013)
   British Championship (2012)
   British Championship (2014)
   British Championship (2008)
   Hastings 2014/15 (2014)
   British Championship (2015)
   British Championship (2018)
   4NCL Div 1a 2018/19 (2018)
   London Chess Classic Open (2014)
   British Championship (2016)
   World Senior Teams Championship (50+) (2017)
   London Chess Classic Open (2013)
   British Championship (2009)
   European Championship (2010)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Caro-Kann, Advance Variation by Gabo5588

   🏆 Hastings Online All-Play-All
   N Pert vs Arkell (Jan-10-21) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   Flear vs Arkell (Jan-10-21) 0-1, rapid
   Arkell vs Adams (Jan-10-21) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   Hebden vs Arkell (Jan-10-21) 0-1, rapid
   Arkell vs A Ghasi (Jan-10-21) 0-1, rapid

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Keith Arkell
Search Google for Keith Arkell
FIDE player card for Keith Arkell

(born Jan-08-1961, 60 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 ♘f6 2.♘f3 g6 3.b4).

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

He kibitzes on as User: GIAaron

Wikipedia article: Keith Arkell

Last updated: 2017-04-25 13:49:03

 page 1 of 32; games 1-25 of 785  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. S Jackson vs Arkell  0-1411977BirminghamB40 Sicilian
2. Arkell vs C Fegan  1-0381977ManchesterA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
3. Spassky vs Arkell  ½-½181979Simul, 30bB08 Pirc, Classical
4. Arkell vs Chandler  0-1481979Benedictine Int TtB07 Pirc
5. Flear vs Arkell 0-1361979Leicester OpenA44 Old Benoni Defense
6. Arkell vs S R Burns-Mannion  1-0341979GlasgowC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
7. Arkell vs K Rasmussen  1-0521980Swiss Junior Masters,OerlikonC05 French, Tarrasch
8. Miles vs Arkell  1-0271982WolverhamptonD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Arkell vs Miles  ½-½191982BCF-chA15 English
10. Arkell vs Psakhis 1-0361983LondonE10 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Arkell vs V Zak 1-0701983Lewisham InternationalD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
12. P Littlewood vs Arkell  0-1541984ARC Masters,EnglandE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
13. Arkell vs Miles  ½-½361984BCF-chA46 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Chandler vs Arkell  0-1401984BCF-chB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
15. J M Hodgson vs Arkell  1-0491984BCF-chB12 Caro-Kann Defense
16. Arkell vs Hebden  0-1501985BCF-chD01 Richter-Veresov Attack
17. Arkell vs A F Ker  0-1801986Lloyds Bank MastersA39 English, Symmetrical, Main line with d4
18. M Basman vs Arkell  1-0581986Southampton ch-GB (06)A00 Uncommon Opening
19. D Barua vs Arkell  0-1751987Calicut InternationalB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
20. Chandler vs Arkell  0-1751987LondonB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
21. Hebden vs Arkell 1-025198711th Lloyds Bank Masters OpenB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
22. Arkell vs I Ivanov  ½-½45198711th Lloyds Bank Masters OpenE62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
23. Nunn vs Arkell 1-020198711th Lloyds Bank Masters OpenB15 Caro-Kann
24. Piket vs Arkell  ½-½301987Ostend opA46 Queen's Pawn Game
25. Arkell vs Flear 1-0551987Ostend opA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
 page 1 of 32; games 1-25 of 785  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
  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

Feb-11-12  AlphaMale: What's Morphy? 1900?
Premium Chessgames Member
  GIAaron: You've lost the plot Alphamale: Talent wise Morphy was arguably stronger than most players pre about 1940.I'd say he was more like 2400. For me Pillsbury is the one who catches the eye from those early days. Remember this: Just because 800 Americans can currently run a mile faster than Roger Bannister ever managed in no way detracts from Bannister's achievement. You can only fairly compare a player with his contemporaries. Of course standards continue to rise. True of chess, athletics and everything else. Bannister's and Capablance's objective standards were obviously way less than today's competitors, but so what!
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Retro ratings are a crock. Lots of meaningless speculation on the infinitely unknowable. Get a life, even if it means playing chess.
Jan-08-13  Kikoman: Happy 52nd Birthday GM Keith Arkell. :D
Aug-21-13  waustad: Today he's playing the 13 year old Zhansaya Abdumalik at the Vienna Open:
Aug-21-13  BlackFront: <Today he's playing the 13 year old Zhansaya Abdumalik at the Vienna Open..>

Such posts rapidly assume the mantle of redundancy. Please desist this anti-social practice.

Mar-17-14  weary willy: Congratulations to the European 50+ champion
Mar-21-14  Doctor Aust: Yep, great result for Keith A winning the European 50+ Individual Championship in Portugal, ahead of the higher-rated Georgian GM Zurab Sturua. Arkell himself has said the games weren't that special (and mostly long) but his winning a probably drawn ending in round 8 in trademark style (R+B+P out-foxing R+4P) was maybe the key result.

Anyway, good to be able to hail an excellent result for a very popular player.

Nov-17-14  sonia91: = 1st and 2nd on tie-break, behind Zurab Sturua, at World Senior Championship (50+) 2014, held in Katerini, Greece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Congrats to Keith Arkell for taking bronze at the European 50+ Championship. The GM was the 3rd seed, and finished in 3rd. He actually finished in a 6-way tie for 3rd with 6/9, but took the tiebreaks, which I'm going to assume is average rating of opponents (2407).
Jun-19-15  sonia91: The bio should also mention he was European senior champion in 2014 (over 50 section): and team bronze medalist at 3rd World Senior Team Championship (over 50 section):
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <BlackFront> -- <Such posts rapidly assume the mantle of redundancy. Please desist this anti-social practice.>

I feel that your long-obsolete post from 2013 still deserves a reply.

Many valuable posts have a certain built-in redundancy. Anything that alerts people to what is happening 'today' will quickly become irrelevant -- but is nonetheless helpful to those who see it on the day.

Equally, many contributions to an ongoing debate soon become obsolete - but that's no argument against making them.

My point is that CG posts are not just for historic reasons -- it is also valuable to take part in live debate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Incidentally, why isn't <GIAaron> mentioned in Keith's bio?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <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? >

Fusilli is not a 'mindless vandal' as Keith/Aaron suggests, though it's easy to see why the confusion occurs. In fact, Fusilli is a strong Argentinian amateur player based in the USA. As such, he perhaps does not appreciate just how many weekend tournaments were held in Britain in the 1970s and 80s -- not to mention those in nearby countries such as France, Ireland and Holland.

American-based players can be surprised to learn just how many playing opportunities were open to players in England.

I can recall seeing Keith play in Cork.

Feb-16-18  nocteus: Hi, I have read many times about his magical handling of the endgame, especially with rooks. But I did not find any collection about it? Any advise, either book or chessgames collection?
Premium Chessgames Member
  skisuitof12: Belated information for Nocteus - Keith Arkell has just (Summer 2020) released his long awaited endgame book 'Arkell's Endings.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Seeing his name in the <Recent Kibitzing>, I surmised either it's <Arkell's Endings> or <Arkell's Ending>. Glad to know he's still with us...for now.
Sep-10-20  Sally Simpson: ***

Keith's speciality is King and Rook v King and Bishop endings, here we have none of his. He has won this 'drawn' endings an incredible number of times.

I Know this because I relied on this on the site to show me a couple and stated on the ECF forum that Keith never played one. (OOPS!) I was very soon corrected.

Some good statements and an in depth review about the book here:

and here you can get a PDF sample.

That is from a crowd who do not hold back if they think a book is naff. If that lot say it's good, then trust them.

Me? No. I won't get it. I'll never study it. I have my one book on endings (Keres Practical Endings.) which I'll open it next year when I'm 70....though I'll have to remember that I'm an old dog and this will be new tricks.


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