Chess

Share
It was a good British Championship, but not a great one. The excellence was in the competitive spirit and the excitement of a tight finish, but with most of the top British players absent, the general quality of the field was disappointing.

There are some 22 surviving ex-British champions. Only one played in Swansea. There are around 25 British grandmasters, of whom three took part. It was fitting, however, that the destination of the title was decided by a final-round game between two of them.

With Mark Hebden in atrocious form at the start, and Jonathan Levitt conceding a string of draws against unfancied opposition, it was left to the third GM, Matthew Sadler, to make the early running.

In the first week, he looked a likely winner, but his sixth-round loss to Chris Ward left the competition quite open. For the next few rounds, nobody held the lead for more than a day. Ward, Keith Arkell and Jonathan Parker all took turns at the top, before Levitt sped past them with a string of three wins in a row.

Then Sadler came back strongly, beating Arkell in round nine and Parker in round ten. In the first of those he showed fine temperament in coping with some tricky tactics.

When Black played 10...Bxf2, his intention was to exchange his d-pawn for White's f-pawn, leaving White with an isolated e-pawn, but he may have overlooked the force of 14.e4!

The point is that 15...g4 is met by 16.Qh4, attacking the knight on h5. As the game went, White emphasised his advantage with 18.Bxb5! and 20.Bxc6, leaving Black's Q-side pawns rather sickly.

With 23...Nxe4 losing to 24.Ne7+, Arkell nudged his king out of the way, then sacrificed a rook by taking on e4 the following move. White needed to tread carefully to avoid the threats of Black's queen and bishop, but after 28.Qa8! he was always winning.

In the final round, Sadler met Levitt, with whom he shared the lead on 71/2 points. If they were to draw, then any of Ward, Arkell, Turner and Summerscale could share first prize by winning. Tomorrow, we shall continue with a blow-by-blow account of the final round.

White: Matthew Sadler

Black: Keith Arkell

British Championship 1995

Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 21 Rxc6 bxc6

2 c4 e6 22 Ne5 Nf6

3 Nc3 Bb4 23 Nxc6 Kh7

4 Qc2 c5 24 Ka1 Nxe4

5 dxc5 0-0 25 Nxe4 Qxe4

6 a3 Bxc5 26 Qxf8 Qc4

7 Nf3 Nc6 27 Nb4 a5

8 Bf4 Nh5 28 Qa8 axb4

9 Bd2 d5 29 axb4 Bd5

10 0-0-0 Bxf2 30 Qa5 Bxg2

11 cxd5 exd5 31 Qf5+ Kh8

12 Bg5 f6 32 Rd1 Qc7

13 Rxd5 Qe8 33 Qf8+ Kh7

14 e4 fxg5 34 Qf5+ Kh8

15 Qxf2 h6 35 b5 Qa5+

16 Qc5 Be6 36 Kb1 Qa8

17 Rd6 Bf7 37 Rd4 Qa5

18 Bb5 Rc8 38 Qd3 Qe1+

19 Kb1 a6 39 Ka2 Qe6+

20 Bxc6 Rxc6 40 b3 resigns

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Secondary supply teachers needed in Peterborough

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: The JobAre you a trai...

Year 3 Teacher Cornwall

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

Year 3 Teacher Plymouth

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Fifi Geldof (left) with her sister Pixie at an event in 2013  

Like Fifi Geldof, I know how important it is to speak about depression

Rachael Lloyd
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering