The best game of the play-off for the Smith & Williamson British Championship in Hove was played in the first round. Sadler and Miles had had one chance to play for the title when they met in the last round of the tournament proper. Economic considerations, however, led them to agree an instant draw, sharing the prize money but leaving the title to be decided by a play-off in which Adams and Emms joined them. When Sadler met Miles in the first round of the play-off, we thus had a glimpse of what might have been - but speeded up to a rate of 15 minutes for the whole game.

In an unusual line of the French Defence, Miles borrowed an idea from the Caro-Kann with 10...Qd5, attacking both a2 and g2. His 13...Qxg2, however, led him into great difficulties after a fairly obvious temporary queen sacrifice by Sadler.

In the endgame, Black was a pawn ahead, but quite helpless. 30...Rgg6 finished him off.

White: Matthew Sadler

Black: Tony Miles

1 d4 e6 19 Rxh5 Bxf2

2 e4 d5 20 Rd2 Be3

3 Nd2 dxe4 21 Rg2 Bd7

4 Nxe4 Nd7 22 Ng5 Bxg5

5 Bd3 Ngf6 23 Rgxg5 Rf7

6 Qe2 c5 24 Rh6 Raf8

7 Nxf6+ Nxf6 25 b3 Bc6

8 dxc5 Bxc5 26 Bc4 Bd7

9 Bd2 0-0 27 a4 a6

10 0-0-0 Qd5 28 a5 Bc8

11 Bc3 Qg5+ 29 Kb2 Bd7

12 Kb1 Nd5 30 Rgg6 Bc8

13 Be5 Qxg2 31 Bxf6+ Rxf6

14 Qh5 f5 32 Rxf6 Rxf6

15 Nf3 Qg4 33 Rxf6 Kg7

16 Rhg1 Qxh5 34 Rxe6 Bxe6

17 Rxg7+ Kh8 35 Bxe6 f4

18 Rg5+ Nf6 36 Bd5 resigns

Meanwhile, Adams had drawn with Emms. In the next round, Adams beat Sadler and Miles beat Emms. In the final round, Miles and Adams drew, leaving Sadler needing to beat Emms to share the title with Adams. They reached this position:

White has two extra pawns, but they are little more than ballast. Sadler found a good plan: 1.Rb4 Rh5 2.Kd4 Rxh4 3.Kc5 Rxh3 4.Kb6 Rh6+ 5.Ka7 Rf6 6.a5! Kh7 7.Kb7 Kg7 8.Rc4 Kh7 9.Rc6 Rxf4 10.Kxa6 f6 11.Kb7 Kg6 12.a6 Rb4+ 13.Rb6 Re4 14.a7 Re8 15.Ka6! (15a8=Q Rxa8 16.Kxa8 Kf5! 17.Kb7 Ke5 is a likely draw) 15...Re1 16.Rb5 Re6+ 17.Ka5 Re1 18.Rb4! Re5+ 19.Ka4 Re8 20.Rb8 Re1 21.a8=Q Ra1+ 22.Kb3 Rxa8 23.Rxa8 resigns.

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