Speelman leads English chess success

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The Independent Online
THE LLOYDS BANK Masters chess tournament ended in a tie for first place between Jonathan Speelman (England) and Gennadi Timoshchenko (Russia), both with six wins and four draws to finish on eight points. Five players finished half a point behind - David Norwood, Matthew Sadler, James Howell, William Watson and James Gallagher.

The tournament at the Cumberland Hotel in London was a triumph for the home players, particularly for Speelman, who has been short of tournament victories in recent years. When the last round began, he led the field by half a point but was uncharacteristically on the defensive for most of the game against the Russian master Sherbakov. Finally, after four hours play, Speelman found a way to save himself further hard work by liquidating into a drawn end game and ensure himself a share of first place.

The only question that remained was whether David Norwood could make it a triple tie for first place. Playing Igor Ivanov, an ex-Russian, naturalised Canadian who plays for the United States, Norwood had a typically complex and murky game. Eventually when all possibilities were exhausted, a draw was agreed.