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David Howell
D Howell 
Number of games in database: 1,277
Years covered: 1998 to 2021
Last FIDE rating: 2663 (2624 rapid, 2677 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2712

Overall record: +467 -208 =387 (62.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 215 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (130) 
    B22 B40 B90 B52 B30
 French Defense (55) 
    C05 C07 C03 C02 C10
 English (54) 
    A15 A14 A13 A10 A16
 Ruy Lopez (47) 
    C65 C67 C84 C69 C89
 French Tarrasch (42) 
    C05 C07 C03 C04 C09
 English, 1 c4 e5 (33) 
    A29 A28 A21 A20 A25
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (136) 
    C67 C65 C96 C77 C78
 Grunfeld (107) 
    D85 D78 D86 D80 D94
 English (52) 
    A15 A10 A16 A13 A18
 Caro-Kann (43) 
    B12 B10 B15 B13 B11
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (38) 
    C96 C84 C99 C91 C85
 Giuoco Piano (26) 
    C50 C53 C54
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   D Howell vs M Roiz, 2015 1-0
   D Howell vs A Bitalzadeh, 2009 1-0
   R Palliser vs D Howell, 2005 0-1
   D Howell vs T Ringoir, 2008 1-0
   Aronian vs D Howell, 2019 0-1
   D Howell vs R Jumabayev, 2016 1-0
   D Howell vs A Jansson, 2006 1-0
   D Howell vs Carlsen, 2009 1/2-1/2
   D Howell vs R Pruijssers, 2008 1-0
   M Karttunen vs D Howell, 2017 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   British Championship (2009)
   British Championship (2014)
   British Championship (2013)
   Hastings Online All-Play-All (2021)
   British Championship (2016)
   Hastings 2009/10 (2009)
   New Zealand Open (2015)
   Gibraltar Masters (2019)
   Corus Group C (2009)
   British Championship (2011)
   British Championship (2007)
   World Junior Championship (2008)
   World Junior Championship (2006)
   Tromso Olympiad (2014)
   Batumi Olympiad (2018)

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

   🏆 Hastings Online All-Play-All
   D Howell vs Adams (Jan-10-21) 1-0, rapid
   M J Turner vs D Howell (Jan-10-21) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   D Howell vs McShane (Jan-10-21) 1-0, rapid
   D Gormally vs D Howell (Jan-10-21) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   D Howell vs N Pert (Jan-10-21) 1-0, rapid

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

(born Nov-14-1990, 30 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 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, Samuel Shankland, Ioan-Cristian Chirila and Samvel Ter-Sahakyan. This last result was something of a disappointment as he lost over 10 rating points from this result.

<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 Championships (2012) and winning twice outright: at the British Championship (2009) with 9/11 and at the 100th British Championship (2013) with a round to spare. He was co-winner, with Jonathan Hawkins, of the British Chess Championships (2014), and then a runner-up alongside Nicholas Pert and Daniel Gormally behind Hawkins the following year at the British Championships (2015).

<Continental> David's first tilt at a continental championship was at the European Individual Championships (2007) where he scored a par-for-rating 6/11. He improved with his next effort, that being at the European Union Championships (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 Individual Championships (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 13th European Individual Championship (2012) and 6.5/11 at the European Individual 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 Schiavo. 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 Chess Congress (2010) 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 Tradewise Gibraltar (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 PokerStars IoM 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 Tradewise Gibraltar (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 Olympiad (2008) held in Dresden, Chess Olympiad (2010) in Khanty-Mansiysk, Chess Olympiad (2012) in Istanbul and Chess Olympiad (2014) in Tromsø, 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%).

<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) and is currently playing for the Trier team in the Bundesliga (2014/15). (9)

Rating and ranking history

Howell first cracked 2600 in January 2009 when he was 18, and has remained above that rating since, apart from a single rating period in November 2009 when he dipped below the 2600 by three points. His progress since then has been slow and steady, averaging a rating increase of about a point a month until he reached 2700 in August 2015 at the age of nearly 25. (10)

David first became one of the world's top 100 ranked players in April 2014. He dropped below #100 from June to August 2014, regaining his ranking in the top 100 in September 2014 where he has remained. (11)

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 A 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: 2017-11-14 05:16:26

 page 1 of 52; games 1-25 of 1,277  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kasparov vs D Howell 1-0501998BT Wireplay challengeA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
2. Vachier-Lagrave vs D Howell 1-0262000Wch U10C29 Vienna Gambit
3. Vachier-Lagrave vs D Howell 1-0542000Rapid MatchC29 Vienna Gambit
4. D Howell vs Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½302000Rapid MatchB22 Sicilian, Alapin
5. Vachier-Lagrave vs D Howell  1-0552000Rapid MatchC29 Vienna Gambit
6. D Howell vs Vachier-Lagrave  1-0392000Rapid MatchB22 Sicilian, Alapin
7. Vachier-Lagrave vs D Howell 1-0392000Rapid MatchC29 Vienna Gambit
8. D Howell vs Vachier-Lagrave 0-1662000Rapid MatchB30 Sicilian
9. Vachier-Lagrave vs D Howell 0-1342000Rapid MatchC29 Vienna Gambit
10. D Howell vs Vachier-Lagrave  0-1492000Rapid MatchB22 Sicilian, Alapin
11. D Howell vs Cherniaev  0-1402001Kidlington Congress-25B22 Sicilian, Alapin
12. D Howell vs Jan Turner 0-1302001Kidlington Congress-25C40 King's Knight Opening
13. D Howell vs A Ledger  ½-½272001Portsmouth opE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
14. D Howell vs M J Franklin  ½-½252001Frome XII Congress opB22 Sicilian, Alapin
15. C Kinloch vs D Howell  0-1312001EYCC B12C50 Giuoco Piano
16. D Howell vs O Eminov  1-0342001EYCC B12B52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
17. Milos Osatovic vs D Howell  1-0422001EYCC B12D70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
18. D Howell vs Dan Golub  ½-½342001EYCC B12B06 Robatsch
19. S Zhigalko vs D Howell  ½-½272001EYCC B12C28 Vienna Game
20. D Howell vs Ali Kavakdere  1-0392001EYCC B12C42 Petrov Defense
21. A Romashko vs D Howell  0-1502001EYCC B12C77 Ruy Lopez
22. D Howell vs M Olszewski  1-0612001EYCC B12C02 French, Advance
23. D Howell vs Nepomniachtchi 1-0322001EYCC B12B40 Sicilian
24. P Benson vs D Howell 0-139200110th Monarch AssuranceD01 Richter-Veresov Attack
25. D Howell vs Hebden  0-153200110th Monarch AssuranceC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
 page 1 of 52; games 1-25 of 1,277  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 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-20-15  fisayo123: Congratulations to him. He's improved quite a lot in the last 1-2 years.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Howell is playing in Leiden. I caught today's game on chessdom vs Arghyadip Das after 17 moves.

click for larger view

Howell had 37 (!) seconds left to reach move 40, but Das chose 17...Nb3, when Howell was ready with 18 Ba3! Nc5 19 Qe3 Qa5 20 Bb2! Nca4 21 Bxg7 Rg8 22 Bd4 Rg4 23 Qg5 Rxd4 24 Nxd4 Bc3 25 Qg8+ Ke7 26 Rxb7+ 1-0

17...Ba6 was the only move not to lose outright, but even there White has 18 Ne5 Nxd5 19 Bd2 Bxd2 20 Qxd2 Nxc4 21 Nxc4 Bxc4 22 Rfc1 trapping the bishop. But probably the position is then a draw with Black having a pawn and knight for the Rook.

Crazy time management by Howell, but he is used to it, and his opponent may have tried too hard to exploit with tricky moves.

Jul-26-15  luzhin: Howell has just won Leiden with the amazing score of 8.5 out of 9 -- sending his live rating soaring well above 2700.
Aug-03-15  fisayo123: Adams over Howell for the London Chess Classic? I don't know about that. Howell deserves it more.
Nov-02-15  Avun Jahei: Howell won the world championship in circular chess when he was 12 (against amateurs). Not a big achievement, but worthy to mention it if just as curiosity.
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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Congratulations on winning the Winter Classic!
Premium Chessgames Member
  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!
Premium Chessgames Member
  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,


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