David Howell was held to a draw by Mark Hebden but still retained a half-point lead after the seventh round of the 100th British Championships was over. Howell has 6/7 with Hebden, GM Simon Williams, GM Keith Arkell and IM Ameet Ghasi on 5.5.
The players seemed invigorated by Sunday’s rest day and a large proportion of the games were won by Black. Arkell won quickly against Peter Wells and Ghasi played a nice combination to defeat Jonathan Hawkins, but this was the game of the day:
S. Gordon – S. Williams
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0–0 6.h3 a6 7.Be3 Nbd7 8.c5 (A very interesting novelty. c4-c5 is usual if Black has also played c7-c6, as b6 is weak) 8…b5 9.Qc2 (9.e5 dxe5 10.dxe5 is good for White, or 9…Ne8 10.Ng5!?) 9…Bb7 10.a3 Qe8 11.Be2 e5 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.0–0 Nxf3+ 14.Bxf3 Nd7 15.cxd6 cxd6 16.Rad1 f5!? 17.Rxd6 Ne5 18.Qb3+ Kh8 19.Be2 f4 20.Bd4?! f3!
21.Bxf3 Rxf3 22.Re6 (22.gxf3 Nxf3+ 23.Kh1 Nxd4) 22…Qf7 23.Bxe5 Bxe5 24.gxf3
Position after 24.gxf3
24…Bc8!! (The rook is pinned to the queen 24…Qf4 25.Rxe5 wins) 25.Qd5 Qxe6 26.Qxa8 Qxh3 27.Rd1
Position after 27.Rd1
Black to play and mate in three
Two junior players again performed well. Ravi Haria followed his defeat of David Eggleston with a draw against Simon Knott and Matthew Wadsworth held GM John Emms to a draw.
27…Bh2+ 28.Kh1 Bg3+ 29.Kg1 Qh2+ 30.Kf1 Qxf2# 0–1