Chess contest focuses on battle for second place

THE BRITISH Chess Championships drew to a close at the Plymouth Pavilion yesterday, where 930 entrants had spent most of the past fortnight contesting titles, writes William Hartston.

With Julian Hodgson already certain to win the championship, the principal questions left to be answered were who would come second, and could Hodgson win his final game to set a new record score for the tournament.

Abe Yanofsky in 1953, and Jonathan Mestel and Nigel Short more recently, had all won the championship with 9 1/2 points from the 11 rounds, but Hodgson, with 9 out of 10, could overtake that mark with a final win over Adam Collinson. Hodgson complicated the game then sacrificed a rook to claim victory with a violent and swiftly decisive attack.

Andrew Martin shared second place with Jonathan Mestel.

Final leading scores: Hodgson 10; Mestel and Martin 8; Kumaran, Levitt and Hebden 7 1/2 ; Emms, Crouch, and Webster 7. Susan Arkell, who scored 6 points, won the women's championship.