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THE YORK Vikings tournament in the Lady Anne Middleton Hotel finished on Wednesday in a triple tie after a dramatic last round in which all three games ended decisively.

The action started with Julian Hodgson and Alexei Barsov first equal on 6/8, a point clear of Tiger Hillarp-Persson. But both leaders lost - Barsov as Black against Emil Sutovsky and Hodgson against Hillarp-Persson in today's very expensive game below.

Normally, three players tied would expect to split the prize money but not in the tournaments bank-rolled by Jonathan Rowson's mystery sponsor who demands a clear-cut result. Not only did Hillarp-Persson join the party but he happened to be first on tie-break and so won the first prize of pounds 4,000 plus an extra pounds 700, having been adjudged the winner of the pounds 200 best game of the day in three rounds and splitting this prize in one more.

His pounds 4,700 (and I'm not telling any secrets to the Inland Revenue since it's all there in black and white on organiser Adam Raoof's web site ( uk) was more than twice as much as Barsov's haul of pounds 2,100 (pounds 1,500 + pounds 600) while Julian Hodgson made a mere pounds 1,500!

The other results were Sutovsky 5/10; Rowson, who lost in the last round to Jonny Hector, 4; and Hector, himself 3; while Danny Gormally, who had led throughout, was first in the Grandmaster B event on 6.5/9, ahead of Aaron Summerscale, George Seul (Germany) and William Paschall (USA) 5.5.

With so much money at stake in a single game, both players were understandably very nervous. Hillarp-Persson blundered - or possibly felt that he'd best "sacrifice" - a pawn with 18...Bg7? but instead of the impatient 27 Ne4?, Hodgson should simply have protected it with 27 e4!.

The game then veered heavily in Black's favour but Hodgson missed a golden opportunity in 42 Rxd3!! when if Bxd3 43 Qg8+ Kf5 44 Qd5+ Kg6 45 Qg8+ is a draw but 44...Re5? would lose to 45 Qd7+ Re6 46 Qh7+ Kf4 47 g3+! Kxf3 48 Qxd3+.

White: Julian Hodgson

Black: Tiger Hillarp-Persson

York Vikings 1999 (Round 10)

Queen's Pawn Opening

1 d4 e6

2 Nf3 Nf6

3 b3 c5

4 e3 b6

5 Bd3 Bb7

6 0-0 Be7

7 Bb2 0-0

8 Nbd2 d6

9 c4 Nbd7

10 Rc1 Rc8

11 Bb1 a6

12 Qe2 Re8

13 Rfd1 Bf8

14 Ng5 d5

15 cxd5 exd5

16 Bf5 g6

17 Bd3 Nh5

18 Qg4 Bg7?

19 Nxh7 Kxh7

20 Qxh5+ Kg8

21 Qg4 b5

22 Bc3 c4

23 Bb1 Bf8

24 bxc4 dxc4

25 d5 Ne5

26 Qg3 Bg7

27 Ne4? Bxd5

28 Ng5 Nd3

29 Bxg7 Kxg7

30 Bxd3 cxd3

31 Rxc8 Qxc8

32 e4 Bc4

33 h4 f6

34 Nf3 Rxe4

35 h5 Rg4

36 Qd6 Qe6

37 Qc7+ Qf7

38 Qd8 Re4

39 Qa8 Qe6

40 hxg6 Kxg6

41 Qh8 Qg4

42 a4 Qh5

43 Qc8 Re7

44 axb5 axb5

45 Ra1 Rh7

46 Qe8+ Bf7

47 Qe4+ Kg7

48 Kf1 d2

49 Ke2 Rh8

50 Ra8 Rxa8

51 Qxa8 Qg4

52 Qa7 Qxg2

53 Nxd2 Qg4+

54 Kd3 b4

55 Qd4 Qf5+

56 Ke3 b3

57 Ne4 Kg6

58 Nd6 Qe5+

59 Qxe5 fxe5

60 Ne4 b2

61 Nd2 Kg5

62 Ke4 Kf6

63 f4 Bg6+

64 Ke3 e4 0-1