11-year-old David adds the circular crown to his impressive array of chess trophies

The Duke William Hotel 2002 World Circular Chess ChampionshipBishop Edward King House, Lincoln, England, Sunday, May 19, 2002

Eleven-year-old schoolboy David Howell, who caused a sensation when he drew an exhibition game with Russian square chess world champion Vladmir Kramnik earlier this year, has just won another major title.

David, from Seaford, East Sussex, triumphed at the seventh World Circular Chess Championship tournament, held in Lincoln.

His victory came after five tightly-fought games staged in the grand Bishop Edward King House, next to Lincoln Cathedral. Twenty-nine competitors from England, Scotland, Holland, Ireland and Finland took part.

The tournament, sponsored by the city’s Duke William Hotel, pitted the youngster against defending champion Francis Bowers, from Spalding, and combined services chess master Neil McInnes.

After his victory, which came with a trophy, £200 prize and a distinctive Lincoln-made circular board, David said: “This is the first time I have played in a circular chess contest and it was difficult.

“Circular chess is a lot harder to play than square chess. Every time you or your opponent makes a move, you have to think about what is happening on the other side of the board.”

His father, Martin, said: “It hasn’t sunk in yet. We are very proud.”

Peterborough-based engineer Mr Bowers, who won the title in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001, and David were evenly matched in the hour-long final game. The match ended when Mr Bowers failed to move his king out of check, as the last few seconds ticked away on his clock.

The youngster has won the under-eight, under-nine and under-10 British square chess championships, and came joint first in the European under-12 tournament. He met Vladmir Kramnik in the New Year at an exhibition tournament organised by the Einstein Group, and drew one of four speed games against the Russian champion.

That took him into the record books as the youngest person ever to score a point off a serving world champion. He first attracted national acclaim in 1999 when he beat a grandmaster.