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The Independent Culture
The British championship in Nottingham has been thrown wide open by the defeat of the leader, Chris Ward, by Jonathan Parker in the eighth round. From having a comfortable one-point lead, Ward suddenly found the chasing pack at his heels. He responded well by winning in round nine, and with two rounds to go is back in the lead. Top scores after round nine: Ward 71/2; Summerscale 7; Sadler, Parker and Buckley 61/2; Cobb, Emms, Ferguson, Hebden and Wilson 6.

The game that slowed Ward down was a confident attacking display by Parker. White's 15.c5! is a thematic pawn sacrifice in such positions - with the K-side already an unsafe home for Black's king, this move makes the Q- side unattractive, too. Black left his king in the centre as long as he dared, but when he finally castled at move 24, White's attack was ready to roll. The decisive move was 27.Qd6! - a curious case of an attack gaining in strength after the exchange of queens.

White: Jonathan Parker

Black: Chris Ward

1 d4 Nf6 21 Rb1 cxd4

2 c4 e6 22 cxd4 Qd6

3 Nc3 Bb4 23 e5 Qc6

4 Nf3 b6 24 Qa3 0-0-0

5 Bg5 h6 25 Rc1 Qe6

6 Bh4 g5 26 Bf5 Qd5

7 Bg3 Ne4 27 Qd6 Qxd6

8 Rc1 Bxc3 28 exd6 c5

9 bxc3 d6 29 dxc5 bxc5

10 Nd2 Nxg3 30 Ne5 Rxg2

11 hxg3 Nd7 31 Kf1 Rdg8

12 e4 Bb7 32 Rxc5 Kd8

13 Bd3 Qe7 33 Nxf7 Ke8

14 Qa4 e5 34 Bxd7 Kxd7

15 c5 dxc5 35 Rc7+ Ke6

16 0-0 a6 36 Re7+ Kd5

17 f4 gxf4 37 d7 Rg1+

18 gxf4 exf4 38 Ke2 R1g2

19 Rxf4 Rg8 39 Rf2 R2g7

20 Nf3 Rg7 40 Re8 1-0