Chess: Failing a test of nerves

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AS THE British Championship in Dundee approaches its end, the play becomes entertaining. The top players, afflicted by nervousness, lose their calm control, while lower down the field - where chances of a decent prize have vanished - restraint gives way to cheerful adventurism.

Two sixth round games typified these second-week attitudes. On the top board, Michael Hennigan and Julian Hodgson blundered in turn to stagger to a draw. At one moment Hodgson lost material by picking up the wrong piece, Hennigan promptly blundered it back, but Hodgson overlooked the right move.

J Henderson-R Noyce 1 d4 g6 17 Bd3 Qg2+ 2 e4 Bg7 18 Qf2 Qxh3 3 Nc3 d6 19 Ba7 Nd5 4 Be3 a6 20 c4 Bxb2 5 a4 Nc6 21 Rb1 Bc3+ 6 h3 e5 22 Kc2 Nb4+ 7 dxe5 Nxe5 23 Rxb4 Bxb4 8 f4 Qh4+ 24 Qb6+ Ke7 9 Kd2 Ng4 25 Qxb4 Qg2+ 10 hxg4 Qxh1 26 Kb3 c5 11 Nh3 c6 27 Qe1+ Kd8 12 Nd5 Nf6 28 Qh4+ g5 13 Nc7+ Kd8 29 Qh6 Ke7 14 Nxa8 Bxg4 30 Nb6 gxf4 15 Qe1 Bxh3 31 Nd5+ 1-0 16 gxh3 Qxe4

Meanwhile, Henderson and Noyce were playing the most exciting game of the event so far. White set the uninhibited tone with a full frontal king march at move 9. He gave up the exchange to tuck Black's queen away in the corner, then launched his attack with 12. Nd5] (when cxd5 loses the queen to Bb5+). The most attractive move was 19. Ba7] getting the bishop out of the way in order to threaten Qb6+. With both kings exposed, Black's always looked in more danger. At the end, it was surrounded with 31 . . . Kd7 losing quickly to 32. Qf6.