Comfortable win for Speelman

Jonathan Speelman coasted to victory in the Lloyds Bank Masters chess tournament with a comfortable last-round win against Glenn Flear. The tournament was a considerable success for English grandmasters, who took the top three places ahead of a strong entry from overseas.

Speelman played his final game in his usual unpretentious manner with the white pieces, content to maintain a nagging advantage, but some loose play by Flear presented him with an opportunity to win a piece, the game and the pounds 2,000 first prize. His score of 8 1/2 points from the 10 rounds could no longer be matched by anyone else and the interest shifted to second prize. That issue was resolved by two fine games, with Tony Miles beating Igor Naumkin and John Nunn beating Stuart Conquest.

For Miles, who became the first Briton to gain the grandmaster title in 1976, it was an encouraging return to international chess in this country after a long period during which he had played for the United States.

Nunn, who sacrificed rook for bishop to win his final game with a devastating attack, shared second place with Miles.

Final leading scores: Speelman 8 1/2, Nunn and Miles 8, van der Sterren (Netherlands) 7 1/2 .

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