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

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Newspaper stands have been criticised by the Child Eyes campaign  

There were more reader complaints this year – but, then again, there were more readers

Will Gore
 

People drink to shut out pain and stress. Arresting them won’t help

Deborah Coughlin
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced