BCN sends Birthday greetings to David Howell on this day.
David Wei Lang Howell was born in Eastbourne, East Sussex on Wednesday 14th of November 1990. His parents are Martin and Angeline Howell (née Choo).
An unknown jumble sale (Eastbourne?) provided the Howell family with a chess set.
David learnt the moves from Martin, his father and rapidly improved and he joined Sussex Junior Chess Association and he began representing his county in EPSCA matches and other competitions.
In Torquay in 1998 whilst Nigel Short and Susan Lalic were busy winning the main championships David made his mark by winning the British Under-8 Championship, an event that had started only ten years beforehand.
A trip to Scarborough in 1999 yielded both the Under-9 and Under-10 championships.
Sponsorship from now dissolved software company JEB (Hove) enabled David to be coached by Glenn Flear.
David became a FIDE Master at the age of ten years, nine months and 26 days. He became an International Master aged 13 years, 2 months and 22 days.
Finally the Grandmaster title came at 16 years, 1 month and 22 days.
David’s rise has been well documented both here and here and therefore we will not attempt to improve on these sources.
David was Southern Counties (SCCU) champion for the 2010-11 season sharing with Danny Gormally.
With the white pieces David is a firm believer in 1.e4 but he has played (and continues to do so) 1.Nf3, 1.c4 and 1.d4 and he has scored 89% over nineteen games with. 1.g3
Like Sheila Jackson and Susan Lalic David was a big fan of the Sicilian Alapin but nowadays the Moscow and Rossolimo variations.
As the second player David prefers open games and has played the closed Ruy Lopez and the Marshall Attack. David also employs the Berlin Defence.
Defending against the Queen’s pawn David is less varied and plumps for the Grünfeld defence most of the time. On critical occasions David will use the Caro-Kann as a winning weapon.
So, a wide repertoire with both the white and black pieces and therefore not easy to prepare for: a very modern player!
David has plus scores against Mark Hebden, Peter Wells, Nick Pert, Simon Williams, Jonathan Speelman, Nigel Short and almost all of his fellow British GMs except for Gawain Jones, Michael Adams and Luke McShane.
David started his 4NCL career with Invicta Knights with a FIDE rating of 1432 in May 1999. By 2001 he was playing for Nigel Johnson and his Slough team. In 2004 the inevitable occurred and David transferred (as is common) to either cash rich Wood Green or Guildford. In fact it was Guildford on this occasion. In 2009 David moved to Pride & Prejudice. 2012 saw David playing for Wood Green Hillsmark. In 2015 he switched to Cheddleton and remained with them until 2019 finally returning to Guildford in 2020.
In November 2021 David took part in the 108-player FIDE Grand Prix event in Riga and after nine round he lying equal third on 6.5 with with Alireza Firouja and Fabiano Caruana. He eventually finished on 7/11 with a TPR of 2764.
Here is a tough struggle from that event:
David regularly hosts chess24 commentary of major tournaments, such as the 2020/21 Candidates.