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David Howell
D Howell 

Number of games in database: 1,441
Years covered: 1998 to 2023
Last FIDE rating: 2663 (2624 rapid, 2677 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2712
Overall record: +501 -239 =439 (61.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 262 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (146) 
    B22 B40 B52 B90 B51
 French Defense (62) 
    C07 C05 C02 C03 C10
 English (59) 
    A13 A15 A14 A10 A16
 Ruy Lopez (53) 
    C65 C67 C69 C84 C89
 French Tarrasch (44) 
    C07 C05 C03 C09 C04
 Reti System (40) 
    A06 A04 A05
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (156) 
    C67 C65 C96 C77 C84
 Grunfeld (113) 
    D85 D86 D78 D80 D90
 English (54) 
    A15 A10 A16 A13 A18
 Caro-Kann (50) 
    B12 B10 B15 B13 B18
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (43) 
    C96 C84 C99 C85 C91
 Giuoco Piano (29) 
    C50 C53 C54
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   D Howell vs T Ringoir, 2008 1-0
   D Howell vs A Bitalzadeh, 2009 1-0
   D Howell vs M Roiz, 2015 1-0
   R Palliser vs D Howell, 2005 0-1
   Aronian vs D Howell, 2019 0-1
   D Howell vs A Jansson, 2006 1-0
   C Storey vs D Howell, 2015 0-1
   D Howell vs Carlsen, 2009 1/2-1/2
   D Howell vs R Jumabayev, 2016 1-0
   D Howell vs M Meinhardt, 2007 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 2009/10 (2009)
   British Championship (2014)
   British Championship (2009)
   British Championship (2013)
   Hastings Online All-Play-All (2021)
   Rilton Cup (2007)
   British Championship (2016)
   British Championship (2011)
   Corus Group C (2009)
   British Championship (2007)
   World Junior Championship (2008)
   E.U. Championship and Cork Chess Congress (2005)
   World Junior Championship (2006)
   European Championship (2010)
   Chennai Olympiad (2022)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   England at the Dresden Olympiad by capybara
   B22 by blohmoremoney

   🏆 24th European Teams
   G Sargissian vs D Howell (Nov-20-23) 1/2-1/2
   D Howell vs A Sarana (Nov-19-23) 1/2-1/2
   R Svane vs D Howell (Nov-18-23) 1/2-1/2
   D Howell vs M Warmerdam (Nov-17-23) 1-0
   D Mastrovasilis vs D Howell (Nov-15-23) 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for David Howell
Search Google for David Howell
FIDE player card for David Howell

(born Nov-14-1990, 33 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

FIDE Master (2001); International Master (2004); Grandmaster (2007); British U8 champion (1998); British U9 Champion (1999); British U10 Champion (1999); IAPS U13 Champion (1999); British Champion (2009 & 2013), British co-Champion (2014).

Early days (1)

David Wei Lang Howell learned the moves from his father in July 1996 when he was five years old. He played his first tournament, the Sussex U11 Open, two months later, winning three games out of six. He studied under the guidance of GM Glenn C Flear. (2) His initial rating at the age of 10 was 2193, above which it has always remained. Since that time he has steadily progressed through the ranks such that by 2015, he is the second rated player in the United Kingdom, second only to Michael Adams.

Master qualifications and norms

<FIDE Master> Howell won his FM title when he placed =1st in the European U12 Championship which ended 9 September 2001. (1) He gained his FM title at the age of 10 years 9 months and 26 days.

<International Master> He gained his three IM norms at the First Saturday IM Tournament in Budapest in April 2003, which he won; the British Championship, Edinburgh, in 2003; and at the Gibraltar Masters (2004) which finished 5 February 2004. (1) Howell thereby gained his IM title at the age of 13 years 2 months and 22 days.

<Grandmaster norms> He obtained the three necessary GM norms between 2004 and 2007 at the 4NCL team tournament (season 2004/5); the CCA-ICC International at New York in 2005 and at Stockholm's Rilton Cup (2007). (2) Thus on 5 January 2007, he earned his GM title aged 16 years and 1 month and 22 days.


<Youth> Howell was the British Under-8 Champion in 1998 and the British Under-9 and Under-10 champion in 1999. He won the London Junior Under-14 Chess Congress in 1999, while he was nine years old, breaking the record set by Nigel Short. He was second at the European U10 Championship staged in Halkidiki, Greece in October 2000 and =1st (3rd on tiebreak) at the European U12 Championship 2001 that was staged in Oropesa del Mar in Spain. In November 2002, he won bronze at the World U12 Championship played in Crete.(1) In October 2008, he scored 7.5/11 at the World U18 Championship staged in Vietnam, half a point behind the five co-leaders Ivan Saric (the winner on tiebreak), Ngoc Truongson Nguyen, Sam Shankland, Ioan-Cristian Chirila and Samvel Ter-Sahakyan.

<School> Howell won the Independent Association of Prep Schools U13 Championship in April 1999 a the age of eight, the youngest player to do so. (1)

<Junior (U20)> He first participated in the World arena in this division when he was 15 years old at the World Junior Championship (2006), scoring a solid 8/13. The following year he improved with 7.5/11 at the World Junior Championship (2007), placing =5th. Further improvement followed at the World Junior Championship (2008) where scored 9/13 to place =3rd behind Abhijeet Gupta and Parimarjan Negi. He lost momentum at the 48th World Junior Championship (2009) where his 8/13 was sufficient for =9th, 2.5 points off the lead.

<National> He first played in the British Championship in early 2000 at the age of nine, the youngest person ever to qualify for that event. (1) He has regularly participated in this event, placing 3rd at the British Championship (2012) and winning twice outright: at the British Championship (2009) with 9/11 and at the British Championship (2013) with a round to spare. He was co-winner, with Jonathan Hawkins, of the British Championship (2014), and then a runner-up alongside Nicholas Pert and Daniel Gormally behind Hawkins the following year at the British Championship (2015).

<Continental> David's first tilt at a continental championship was at the European Championship (2007) where he scored a par-for-rating 6/11. He improved with his next effort, that being at the European Union Championship (2008), where he scored 7/10 and placing =5th, a point behind the winner Jan Werle, and half a point behind joint second place getters Nigel Short, Viktor Laznicka and Michael Adams. The following year at the European Championship (2010), he scored 7.5/11, placing =11th. Unfortunately, his placement on tiebreak meant that he missed the cut for the World Cup 2011. His 7/11 at the European Championship (2012) and 6.5/11 at the European Championship (2015) were below his usual standard and again he failed to qualify for the next World Cup.

Standard Tournaments

<2001-2006> The most significant tournament David played in during this early stage of his career was the Hastings Challenger Tournament played over the 2001-02 New Year period when he defeated Colin McNab (see below). In April 2003 he won first prize at the First Saturday IM Tournament, Budapest also gaining his first IM norm. He gained his third IM norm at the Gibtelecom Masters tournament in early 2004 (see above) and in February 2005, he won the Jersey Festival Open with 6/7 and two months later placed 2nd to veteran IM Ralf Akesson at the category 7 Gausdal Classics GM B in Norway.

<2007-2009> He placed =2nd at the 2006-7 Rilton Cup, scoring 7/9 - this was the event in which he won his final GM norm. In March 2008, he won the category 10 round robin Jack Speigel Memorial at Southend in England with 6/7, well clear of Peter K Wells (4.5/7) and Lawrence Trent (4/7). In July 2008, he was clear first at the 26th Andorran International Open with 8/9, half a point ahead of outright 2nd placed Romain Edouard. In October 2008, he won the Master Open at the 8th Winterthurer Chess Week (in Switzerland) with 7.5/9 on tiebreak ahead of Axel Bachmann. 2009 started with his initiation into the major events at Wijk aan Zee, where he was invited to play in the Corus Group C (2009). There he scored =4th with 7.5/13 behind Wesley So, Tiger Hillarp Persson and Anish Giri. David's introduction to supertournaments was as the bottom seed at the category 18 London Chess Classic (2009) where he was undefeated with 4/7 (+1 =6) to place =3rd behind the winner Magnus Carlsen, runner-up Vladimir Kramnik, alongside compatriot Michael Adams and ahead of Hikaru Nakamura, Nigel Short, Luke McShane and Ni Hua.

<2010-2011> David saw in 2010 by sharing first prize with Romain Edouard, Mark Hebden and Andrei Istratescu at the Hastings (2009/10) scoring 7/9. His success at the Corus C event in 2009 saw him invited to the Corus Group B (2010), where he scored a par-for-rating 6/13 to place =8th. In April 2010, he won the Southend Open outright with 6/7. 2010 finished with a mediocre 2/7 at the category London Chess Classic (2010), although he only lost 3 rating points highlighting that the event was the most powerful ever staged in Britain. 2011 started with =2nd at the Hastings Masters, scoring 6.5/9, half a point behind the winner Deep Sengupta. There followed =2nd behind Sergei Tiviakov at Leiden in July 2011 and he finished 2011 with 2/11 at the category 20 London Chess Classic (2011), again losing only a few rating points.

<2012-2014> Following a mediocre performance at the Hastings Masters tournament at the beginning of the year, Howell scored a strong 7/10 at the powerful Gibraltar Masters (2012), enough to place =7th. In May he was =1st alongside Vitaly Teterev with 6/7 in the Masters section of the 6th International Chess Festival staged in Wunsiedel in Germany. Two months later he won clear first at Leiden with 7.5/9. He started 2013 with another win at the Southend Open in March, scoring 6/7. There followed a series of championships and team events (see other sections) before he scored =2nd behind Nigel Short at the powerful Isle of Man Masters (2014) in October 2014.

<2015> The year started with =2nd behind Zhao Xue at the New Zealand Open. He placed outright second at the Gibraltar Masters (2015) with 8/10 (+6 =4), half a point behind the winner Hikaru Nakamura for one of the best performances of his career. He followed this in April with =1st from 7/9 at the Dubai Chess Open (2015) and in July 2015 with clear first place at Leiden in Netherlands, scoring an outstanding 8.5/9 (TPR of 2895) to propel him into the 2700 club for the first time

Team Events (3)

<National representation> Howell represented England on board 3 at the U16 Olympiad staged in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 2002, his team placing 13th. He also represented his country at the Dresden Olympiad (2008) held in Dresden, Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad (2010) in Khanty-Mansiysk, Istanbul Olympiad (2012) in Istanbul and Tromso Olympiad (2014) in Troms, usually on board 4. During those Olympiads, he played 38 games for a percentage result of 65.8% (+18 =14 -6). He also represented England at the European Team Championship (2011) and European Team Championship (2013), playing board 3 in the former and reserve in the latter for a +2 =2 -7 result (27.3%).At Astana in 2019, Howell was part of the England Team that won the silver medal at the World Team Chess Championship. His performance on board 3 also earned him an individual bronze medal

<City> Howell played board 2 for London in the World Cities Team Championship (2012), his team placing 9th upon elimination in the Round of 16.

<National Leagues> David played in every 4NCL season from 2002 until 2013 inclusive. From 2002 to 2004 he played with the Slough Chess Club, and for the Guildford 2 team from 2005 to 2008 winning team silver in 2007 and 2008. He also played for the Guildford 1 team from 2006 to 2009 winning team silver, gold, gold and silver respectively. In 2010 and 2011 he played for the Pride and Prejudice team winning team silver and gold respectively, and in 2012 and 2013 he played for the Wood Green Hilsmark Kingfisher 1 team, winning gold and silver respectively.

He played in the French Top 16 League in 2006 (4), in the French Nationale I in the 2006-7 season and in the Catalan League in 2008. (5) He also played in the Greek Team Championship of 2009 (6) and the Dutch Team Championship in 2013. (7) He has played in the Bundesliga since the 2010-11 season (8)

At Astana in 2019, Howell was part of the England Team that won the silver medal at the World Team Chess Championship. His performance on board 3 also earned him an individual bronze medal. Howell went undefeated in the 2021 Hastings online tournament, cruising to victory and eclipsing the pack by 1.5 points. Also in 2021, he qualified and participated in the 54 player FIDE Grand Swiss 2021 where he tied for 4th through 16th, with seven points out of eleven rounds.

In the Nov 2021 FIDE list of top 100 active players, Howell is ranked 100th. He is expected to go up on the rankings in the next FIDE ratings list.

Other (1)

In August 1999 at the age of eight, Howell became internationally famous when he broke the world record for the youngest player to have defeated a Grandmaster in an official game, when he defeated John Nunn at blitz chess. At the beginning of 2001, a few weeks after his 10th birthday, he became the youngest Briton to defeat a Grandmaster when he defeated Colin McNab at the Hastings International 2000-01. In 2002, David had a draw in blitz against Vladimir Kramnik, becoming the youngest player ever to have scored against a reigning world chess champion in an official game.

References and sources

Note: the primary source of information in this bio was derived from the FIDE database, and is not explicitly footnoted except in those passages where it was necessary to distinguish the information it provided from other sources.

<Sources> (1) Biography:; (2) Wikipedia article: David Howell (chess player); (3); (4); (5); (6); (7); (8); (9) [; (10); (11)

<References> David's chess blog has been at and Live rating:

Last updated: 2021-11-14 00:26:58

 page 1 of 58; games 1-25 of 1,449  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kasparov vs D Howell 1-0501998BT Wireplay challengeA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
2. Nunn vs D Howell 0-1661999MSO BlitzC77 Ruy Lopez
3. D Howell vs J Dodgson  0-1392000Jersey OpenB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
4. G Keeling vs D Howell  1-0382000Jersey OpenC45 Scotch Game
5. D Howell vs J Ebner  1-0712000Jersey OpenC02 French, Advance
6. H Westerman vs D Howell  ½-½312000Jersey OpenA25 English
7. D Howell vs T Nixon  0-1602000Jersey OpenC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
8. M Ruston vs D Howell  0-1452000Jersey OpenC45 Scotch Game
9. D Howell vs A Farley  ½-½212000Jersey OpenB01 Scandinavian
10. D Howell vs R J McMichael  0-1602000British ChampionshipC41 Philidor Defense
11. S Collins vs D Howell  1-0552000British ChampionshipC67 Ruy Lopez
12. M Buckley vs D Howell  0-1222000British ChampionshipC24 Bishop's Opening
13. D Howell vs D Wise  ½-½502000British ChampionshipB22 Sicilian, Alapin
14. D Tan vs D Howell  1-0682000British ChampionshipC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
15. D Howell vs M Binks  0-1302000British ChampionshipC41 Philidor Defense
16. D Evans vs D Howell  1-0452000British ChampionshipC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
17. D Howell vs T Hebbes  0-1372000British ChampionshipC10 French
18. S L A Orton vs D Howell  ½-½242000British ChampionshipC77 Ruy Lopez
19. D Howell vs P Obiamiwe  0-1362000British ChampionshipC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
20. D Howell vs A Pleasants  1-0372000British ChampionshipB01 Scandinavian
21. D Howell vs P Potapov  ½-½392000EU-ch U10B22 Sicilian, Alapin
22. Vachier-Lagrave vs D Howell 1-0262000Wch U10C29 Vienna Gambit
23. D Howell vs J Tomczak  1-0442000Wch U10B01 Scandinavian
24. Vachier-Lagrave vs D Howell 1-0542000Rapid MatchC29 Vienna Gambit
25. D Howell vs Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½302000Rapid MatchB22 Sicilian, Alapin
 page 1 of 58; games 1-25 of 1,449  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Howell wins | Howell loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-02-15  starry2013: fisayo123: <Adams over Howell for the London Chess Classic? I don't know about that. Howell deserves it more.>

It's very normal that the top rated local player gets an invite for a tournament. Maybe they could have invited two local players, but now it's part of this 'chess tour' thing maybe that wouldn't fit in.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Howell-Jumabayev Rd 8 Keres Memorial (Rapid)

click for larger view

Black was counting on 19...e5. but David found a star 20th move.

Nov-14-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, David Howell!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: David is in the lead in the A-group of the St Louis "Winter Classic". This new tournament presents itself as <the first of four tournaments each year> which sounds very promising. The Winter Classic has 2 groups, each a 10-player RR. The A-group is quite strong, with only 2 players below 2600. The remaining players are all in the 26-2700 range, including recent winner of the Aeroflot tournament Vladimir Fedoseev.

Mar-19-17  thegoodanarchist: Congratulations on winning the Winter Classic!
Mar-20-17  Paint My Dragon: Fantastic performance in St Louis. Heart stopping final game due to David's usual crazy clock antics.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Happy birthday to the 3-time British chess champ GM David Howell!
Oct-01-18  thegoodanarchist: All of his moves are Howellers!
Apr-26-19  sonia91: Number 1 of England (and UK) at 2701 in the April list, ahead of Michael Adams.

<So I don't pay much attention to elo ratings these days, but a friend just made me aware of the new April list. When I retire it will be nice to say that I was (briefly) number 1 in the UK :)>

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He has been doing the London Times chess column for about 6 months, since he took over from the decrepit Ray Keene, pbuh.

Howell is different in that he isn’t concerned with historical chess tournaments. That is the easy route taken by Keene and Keene’s partially great predecessor Harry Golombek (qv).

Howell concentrates on top players in current tournaments or young and promising players.

For example, in Sunday’s Times he gave a game between Shreyas Royal and Tanitoluwa Adewumi from the UK v USA Rising Stars Match, 2020.

His eye is also on the ball for recent puzzles. Sunday’s was “Kane-Bispo, 2020”.

The main problem is that these games are not on, nor will they ever be.... And 90% of the games Howell writes about will never be on

And these game are not findable on the sites they were played on. Anything from, and lichess are lost forever except to a few that were involved in the games creation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: A recent column from the "decrepit" Ray Keene : What the Thunder said.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Great article on Donner !


Perhaps we one day should call it Donner chess,instead of Blitz !?

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: <moronovich> thanks very much. Appearing in the online magazine I have written about thirty columns ...hope you enjoy them😀
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Nothing 'decrepit' about Keene's contribution to chess, both OTB and in writing. Let's drop the bickering...
Premium Chessgames Member

<HeMateMe> He is larger than life, and it's not been an uncontroversial life.

You should add Event Organizer to his lengthy list of contributions to chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <ray keene: A recent column from the "decrepit" Ray Keene ...>

I was using the word in its Pickwickian sense.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: "Please sir, more chess?"
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He has another good column in today’s London Times. That paper might seem a bit steep at £2.20 but it’s a big paper, a bit like its sister in New York.

Howell talks about the upcoming Biel Chess Festival, and how online chess has become very popular. He mentions the 16 game blitz match between two greats, Ivanchuk and Kamsky, “Fiona’s Fight Night” on Lichess. He annotates one game from its crucial stage, and gives one ending.

Howell says “Nowadays Ivanchuk plays draughts as often as chess.”

He ends with a puzzle position from Svidler-Naroditsky lichess 2020.

Ray Keene’s column was okay but there is a definite sharpness, a contemporaneousnessness, that used to be was lost but now it is found. Well done, Dave.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Is this a man or a snickering schoolboy?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Dear <alice24>,

Thank you for the kind recommendation, but I am afraid I cannot go for it. I am not in the USA, and about one hour ago I received my first AstraZeneca-type vaccination dosage. Most probably the already raging chess fever will be extended with a regular one - it is very highly unlikely that girls would not reject me, no matter how much I pay.

Thank you for your understanding,


Nov-04-21  Ilkka Salonen: Has David Howell been changed? Probably not and I just tripping or something. I kind of thought he looked different some time ago. But maybe I am just confusing with somebody else. Anyway, a horrible thing about the modern world that you cannot know for sure always if someone is for real.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: < Has David Howell been changed?>

Is there a telephone box handy?

Dec-28-21  Dionysius1: Brilliant David, 8/13 at this year's World Rapids. There's an option: you don't have to succumb to the English disease and hide your light under a bushel!

Looking forward to seeing you headlining.

Mar-15-22  Albertan: Howell beats Grandelius in England versus Sweden match:

Nov-14-23  Brenin: Happy Birthday, David!
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