David Howell, who is 16 and Britain's youngest-ever Grandmaster, is confirmed to play in the 2007 Canadian Open Chess Championship.
David, rated 2511, will be playing in Ottawa in July thanks to the kind assistance of the British High Commission.
"This will be my first visit to Canada," says David. "My relatives in Vancouver and Edmonton have told me that it is a very beautiful country. So far I have played chess in 24 countries and I am looking forward to meeting the players and organizers of the 2007 Canadian Open."
Taught the moves of chess at the age of five by his father after they had bought a chess set for £1.00, David a year later defeated WGM (IM) Susan Lalic in a simultaneous display.
When he was eight years old, David shot to prominence in Great Britain, appearing on television and on the front pages of British newspapers, by beating GM John Nunn in a five-minute game.
When he was 11, he scored a draw against world champion Vladimir Kramnik in the last of four blitz games. After the match was over, Kramnik said: "It was definitely not a walk-over, I had to concentrate!" He predicted a great future for David.
David gained his IM title at the age of 14 and made two GM norms soon after. He clinched his Grandmaster title in January at the Rilton Cup tournament in Stockholm, Sweden.
Chess aside, David's favourite music includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Foo Fighters. He is a great fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, and he enjoys reading JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling.
David is the ninth Grandmaster to confirm his participation at the Canadian Open, to be staged July 7 to 15 at the Ottawa Marriott. For more information, please visit: http://canchess.ca/
Photo credit: http://www.chessbase.com/