Matthew Sadler has opened up a big lead in the Hastings tournament after winning his seventh round game against James Plaskett. Scores are now: Sadler 6; Relange 41/2; Nunn, Rozentalis and Tkachiev 31/2; Rausis, Plaskett and Hebden 3; Ward and McShane 21/2.

Sadler finished off a well-played game with a fine mating combination. In the diagram position (see above) Plaskett had just played 34...Be7, attacking the white knight. Sadler replied 35.Rxa6! (easy enough, since Qxa6 loses the rook on e8 with check) 35...Qc8 36.Rxf5! exf5 37.Nxh7!! This is the real point of the combination: after clearing the road to the K-side for his rook on a6, Sadler completes the demolition of the black king's shelter. Now 37...Rxh7 loses to 38.Rg6+ Rg7 39.e6! Bf8 (Rxg6 is met by Qh8 mate) 40.Rxg7+ Bxg7 41.Qf7+ and mate next move. Plaskett tried 37...Qxa6, hoping for 38.Qxe8+ Kxh7, but Sadler got on with his attack with 38.Nf6+! forcing a quick win. Here are the full moves:

White: Matthew Sadler

Black: James Plaskett

Pirc Defence

1 d4 d6 21 Rxb6 c4

2 e4 Nf6 22 Bc5 Rd7

3 Nc3 g6 23 c3 Rb8

4 f4 Bg7 24 Rfb1 Rbd8

5 Nf3 0-0 25 Bd4 e6

6 Be3 b6 26 h4 Bf8

7 Qd2 c5 27 a4 Bc6

8 d5 Nbd7 28 h5 gxh5

9 h3 Rb8 29 f5 Be4

10 Bb5 a6 30 fxe6 fxe6

11 Bxd7 Qxd7 31 Rf1 Bf5

12 e5 Ne8 32 Ng5 Re8

13 0-0 Bb7 33 Qh4 Rg7

14 Rad1 Nc7 34 Qxh5 Be7

15 a3 Rbd8 35 Rxa6 Qc8

16 b4 Qc8 36 Rxf5 exf5

17 Qf2 Qa8 37 Nxh7 Qxa6

18 bxc5 dxc5 38 Nf6+ Bxf6

19 Rb1 Nxd5 39 Qxe8+ Kh7

20 Nxd5 Bxd5 40 exf6 resigns

At the end, Black is helpless against 41.f7. Black's opening play, based on pressure against d5, did not work badly, but he overestimated his chances with 18...dxc5 instead of taking back with the b-pawn.

In the following game from the fourth round, Sadler showed some clever play in the opening. After 12...Bd7! Black is better, since 13.dxc6 Bxc6 wins back the piece with advantage. At the end 28.Rxc3 Nxc3 29.Qxc3 Rd1+ forces mate.

White: Edouard Rozentalis

Black: Matthew Sadler

1 e4 c5 15 Kf1 g6

2 c3 Nf6 16 Nge2 Bg7

3 e5 Nd5 17 Ng3 Bc2

4 d4 cxd4 18 Qd2 e4

5 cxd4 d6 19 Ngxe4 Bxe4

6 Bc4 Nb6 20 Nxe4 Qxd5

7 Bb5+ Nc6 21 Qd3 0-0

8 Nc3 dxe5 22 h4 Rfd8

9 d5 a6 23 Rh3 Rac8

10 Ba4 Nxa4 24 Nc3 Qe6

11 Qxa4 b5 25 Rb1 Nb5

12 Nxb5 Bd7 26 Qc2 Bxc3

13 Nc3 Nd4 27 bxc3 Rxc3

14 Qd1 Bf5 White resigned

Karpov and Anand had a rest day in the world championship. Coverage of the match will resume tomorrow.