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GRANDMASTER KEITH Arkell cemented his lead in the pounds 3,000 Onyx Grand Prix last weekend with his second successive clean sweep. His 5/5 at the Heywood Open in Lancashire, added to his 6/6 at the Midland Open in Birmingham on 11-13 June and 5/5 at Rhyl on 16-18 April brought him up to 186.6/200, well clear of Bogdan Lalic on 180.7, who in turn is far ahead of the pack led by Gormally on 169.9.

Sadly, Onyx has announced that after an extended spell this is to be the last year of its support, and the British Chess Federation is seeking a new sponsor for this excellent annual competition. A new idea it may not be, indeed the first (Cutty Sark) Grand Prix was as long ago as 1974. But it continues to generate publicity both from the main event and the subsidiaries, particularly the Junior Prix.

Currently this is headed by Simon Williams on 79.4/100 ahead of 10-year- old Murugan Thiruchelvam - the top under-18! - on 59.6, Jovanka Houska on 56.6 and eight-year-old David Howell - the top under-16 - who improved his standing by winning the under-14 section at Kensington last weekend. Were I a marketing person, a line-up like this would make me croon with delight at the potential column inches; and we can only hope that the gap is soon filled.

Co-sponsored by five local firms, the Heywood Open had 180 players in five sections, including 26 in the Open. Arkell had a relatively easy ride in his first four games but had to work hard against 17-year-old Stewart Haslinger, who was still alone in second place on 4/5, despite losing to Arkell.

After Haslinger had to refrain from 21 Bxh7+ hoping for 21 ...Kxh7 22 Qh5+ and 23 Qxc5 but bad in view of 21 ...Kf8! with ...g6 to come trapping the bishop, Black got an edge.

28 ...a3! detonated the queenside and White had to play 31 b3 since if 31 bxa3 then after 35 Qd4 in the game continuation 35 ...Qb1+! forces immediate mate. After the time control White refrained from 42 Kh1 in view of 42 ...Qf2! 43 Rh8+ Kxh8 44 Qxe5+ Kh7 45 h3 Qxa2 etc.

White: Stewart Haslinger

Black: Keith Arkell

Heywood Open 1999 (Round 5)

Caro Kann Defence