chess

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The Independent Online
When the last round began at Hastings, more than half the field still had a chance of first prize. Khalifman and Lalic led with 5 points, half a point ahead of Sadler, Conquest, Yermolinsky and Miles.

Lalic made no impression, as Black in a Ruy Lopez against tournament back-marker Luther, and was happy to agree a draw in 21 moves. Khalifman, White against Speelman, had a more exciting time, but that game also ended in a draw:

Khalifman-Speelman: 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Nd7 5 Ng5 Ngf6 6 Bd3 e6 7 N1f3 Bd6 8 Qe2 h6 9 Ne4 Nxe4 10 Qxe4 Qc7 11 Qg4 Kf8 12 0-0 c5 13 Re1 b6 14 Ne5 cxd4 15 Qf3 Bxe5 16 Qxa8 Bxh2+ 17 Kf1 Bd6 18 Bd2 Ke7 19 Qe4 Qc5 20 b4 Qh5 21 Bf4 Bxf4 22 Qxf4 Bb7 23 Kg1 Qg5 24 Qxg5+ hxg5 25 Be4 Bxe4 26 Rxe4 Rc8 27 Rxd4 Rxc2 28 Rad1 Nf6 29 R4d2 Rc4 30 Rd4 Rc2 31 R4d2 Rc4 draw agreed.

With Miles and Yermolinsky having an uneventful draw, all interest moved to the Sadler-Conquest game. Sadler's queen's side attack seemed to be dictating the game, but with his bishop entombed on h1, it was never clear who stood better. An up-and-down contest ended when Conquest launched a sudden mating attack.

Sadler-Conquest: 1 d4 e6 2 c4 Bb4+ 3 Bd2 a5 4 Nf3 d6 5 g3 Nc6 6 Bg2 e5 7 d5 Bxd2+8 Nfxd2Nb8 9 Nc3 Nd7 10 a3 f5 11 b4 Nh6 12 0-0 0-0 13 Rc1 b6 14 Nb5 Ba6 15 Qc2 Rf7 16 bxa5 bxa5 17 a4 g5 18 Nb3 f4 19 Qd2 g4 20 Rc2 Kh8 21 e4 Rf6 22 Nxa5 Bxb5 23 cxb5 f3 24 Bh1 Nf7 25 Nb7 Qb8 26 Rfc1 Rxa4 27 Rxc7 Nb6 28 Na5 Qa8 29 R7c6 Qa7 30 Qe3 Qxa5 31 Rxb6 Ra3 32 Rb8+ Kg7 33 Qe1 Qa7 34 Rbc8 Ra2 35 R8c6 Qd4 36 b6 Ng5 37 R1c2 Nh3+ 38 Kf1 Qd3+ White resigned.

Final scores: Conquest, Khalifman and Lalic 51/2; Miles and Yermolinsky 5; Sadler and Speelman 41/2; Atalik 4; Hodgson 3; Luther 21/2. The Challengers tournament was won by Mark Hebden. Luke McShane scored 6 out of 11.

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