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THE YORK Vikings tournament enters its second half today after some fiery chess. Although the first round was a relatively mild affair with just one decisive game, there were six more out of the next nine, including a perfect 3/3 in round four leaving the scores after four of the ten rounds: Alexei Barsov (Uzbekistan) 3.5/4, Tiger Hillarp Persson (Sweden) 3; Julian Hodgson, Jonny Hector (Sweden) and Emil Sutovsky (Israel) 1.5; and Jonathan Rowson (Scotland) 1.

Meanwhile, in the "Grandmaster B" tournament Danny Gormally was leading with 3/3 and his first round game with Harry Lamb in hand - postponed to today (a rest day for them but not the Vikings who are playing ten days straight) after Odion Aikohje from Nigeria failed to turn up and Lamb stepped in as substitute - ahead of Irina Krush (USA) William Paschall (USA) and Georg Seul (Germany) all on 2.5/4.

This very interesting game was played in round 4 on Thursday. Having tried the side line 5.Bd2 against Jonathan Rowson in the first round without much success, Hector this time steered for the main lines with 5.a3. Nigel Short played 14.Kf1 against Lev Psakhis in the recent Isle of Man tournament and got into trouble though he finally won.

I don't much like 19.Bxh6 since it abandons the bishops best diagonal and can't return with 21.Bf4 which is met by Nfxd4!.

In the diagram, if 23.Nxe5 Nxe5 24.dxe5 Rxg3! is very strong. 23.dxe5 Rxg3 is much more complex but also seems very good for Black eg 24.fxg3 Nxg3+ 25.Kf2 Qb6+ 26.Nd4 Nxd4 27.cxd4 Qxd4+ 28.Be3 Qxe5 29.Qc5+ Bc6 30.Bf3 Qf5 31.Rh4 Qxc2+ 32.Kg1 h5! 33.Qxa7 Kd7! 34.Rh2 Qf5 and the attack will crash through.

If 24.Nh4 Nxg3+ 25.fxg3 Rxg3 must surely be good but equally Black must be winning after the exchange on e5 and 25...e3! But not 29...Qxe3+?! 30.Ke1 Rg2? 31.Rf8+ Be8 32.Rc7+! with at least a draw. The end was slaughter.

White: Jonny Hector v

Black: Tiger Hillarp Persson

York Vikings, 1999

French Winawer

1 e4 e6

2 d4 d5

3 Nc3 Bb4

4 e5 c5

5 a3 Bxc3+

6 bxc3 Ne7

7 h4 Nbc6

8 h5 Qa5

9 Bd2 Bd7

10 h6 gxh6

11 Nf3 0-0-0

12 Bd3 c4

13 Be2 Ng8

14 a4 Rf8

15 Qc1 f6

16 Qa3 Rf7

17 Bf4 Nge7

18 exf6 Rxf6

19 Bxh6?! Rg8

20 Kf1 Nf5

21 Bd2 Rfg6

22 g3 e5

(see diagram)

23 Rxh7 e4

24 Ne5Nxe5

25 dxe5 e3!

26 Bxe3 Nxe3+

27 fxe3 Rxg3

28 Kf2 Qb6

29 Rf1 Rxe3

30 a5 Rg2+

31 Kxg2 Qg6+ 0-1