Gazette: Chess

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GRANDMASTER JULIAN Hodgson completed a virtuoso performance at the 86th British Championship in the Spa Centre in Scarborough on Friday, with a calm draw as White against Tony Kosten.

His final tally of 9/11 yielded him victory by a clear point and his third British title since 1991. In the end, he couldn't match his record- breaking 10/11 of 1991, but the winner's cheque for pounds 10,000 from the sponsors Private Bank and Chartered Accountants Smith & Williamson surely made up for this.

Final scores behind Hodgson's were: Wells and Rahman (Bangladesh) 8; and Rowson (Scotland), Turner, Davies, Lalic (whose chess nationality is now English), Conquest, Kosten, Webster, Sashikiran (India) and Kunte (India) 7.5.

There were 92 players and the tournament was notable for the debut of 10-year-old Murugan Thiruchelvam from New Malden who made a creditable 4/11 (I made 4.5/11 in my debut at the age of nearly 16) including a win against the former Irish champion Tom Clarke.

Sometimes thought of as rather manic, Julian Hodgson in reality mostly plays controlled positional chess, as in this crisp victory. In a reverse Sicilian Dragon, 14 ...Nd4? was quite wrong. Hodgson got a big positional advantage after 16 Bd5! and kept control admirably. At the end, Black is losing far too many pawns.

White: Julian Hodgson

Black: Danny Gormally

English Opening