GRANDMASTER KEITH Arkell regained the lead in the pounds 3000 Onyx Grand Prix at the weekend with a perfect 6/6 at the Midland Open Championship in Birmingham. This brought him up to 183.4/200, ahead of his main rival Bogdan Lalic, who remains on 180.7.

The leading pair are now a most significant 10 points clear of the chasing pack, which consists of Gormally 169.9, Andrew Ledger 166.6, Summerscale 165.0, Plaskett 163.2, Hebden 160.5 and Simon Williams 157.6.

Not that their pursuers have been idle, with Ledger improving his total with victory in the Richmond Rapidplay on 6 June while Plaskett and Summerscale were among the joint winners at the Reading Open in Reading College on 5-6 June, sponsored by Towry Law.

The contest attracted 106 players in total, including three grandmaster and three international masters in the Open field of 24. After four of the five rounds, the grandmasters Nunn, Plaskett and Summerscale and international master Turner were clear with 3.5/4 and when they played among themselves both games (Summerscale vs Nunn and Turner vs Plaskett) were drawn, leaving the four equal first on 4/5.

Ten-year-old Murugan Thiruchelvam made 3.3/5, including a win against the IM Miroslav Houska in the first round. Houska ended on 3.5/5 while the other IM, Danny Gormally, made just 3 but did beat Murugan. Meanwhile the junior prize itself went to Matthew Broomfield, loser of the game shown below, who scored 2.5. A Horton-Kitchlew won the Major with a perfect 5/5 .

Many thanks to John Nunn for this game and variations. In the opening, with 8 g5!? he effectively transposed back into an older line that usually starts 7 g5!? hxg5 8 Bxg5. 15 ...b4?! looks committal and directs the horse after 16 Na4 towards b6, which Nunn controlled with the excellent 18 Qf2!.

If 19 ...Rb8 20 Bxf6 Bxf6 21 Nd5 Qd8 22 Nxf6+ Qxf6 23 e5! Nxe5 (23 ...dxe5 24 Nc5) 24 Bxb7 Rxb7 25 Nc5! Re7 (25 ...dxc5 26 Qxc5 causes immediate slaughter) 26 Ne4 Qxh4 27 Nxd6+ Kf8 28 Qc5 and wins.

22 ...0-0 looks wrong, though Black was already in difficulties. With 27 Bh3 Nunn aimed for the e6 square. In time trouble, 27 ...Qg5 made it easy though 27 ...Qe5 28 Qb3+ Kh8 29 Bxc8 Rxc8 30 Qxb4 was also horrible.

Black resigned in view of 29 ...Rxc8 30 Ne6 but the question neither I nor indeed Nunn himself can easily answer remains: where did Black go wrong?

John Nunn

vs Matthew Broomfield

Sicilian Scheveningen Keres Attack

1 e4 c5

2 Nf3 d6

3 d4 cxd4

4 Nxd4 Nf6

5 Nc3 e6

6 g4 h6

7 h4 Be7

8 g5!? hxg5

9 Bxg5 Nc6

10 Qd2 Qb6

11 Nb3 a6

12 0-0-0 Qc7

13 f4 b5

14 Bg2 Bb7

15 Rhe1 b4?!

16 Na4 Rc8

17 Kb1 e5

18 Qf2! exf4

19 Nb6 Ng4

20 Qxf4 Qxb6

21 Bxe7 Nxe7

22 Qxg4 0-0?!

23 h5 Rcd8

24 Nd4 Bc8

25 Qg5 f6

26 Qg3 Qc5

27 Bh3 Qg5

28 Qb3+ Kh8

29 Bxc8