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Tuesday 17 January 2017

The 102nd British Chess Championships took place in Coventry from July 26 to August 8. GM Jonathan Hawkins won this tournament with 8.5 points out of 11. Three Grandmasters - David Howell, Nicholas Pert and Daniel Gormally - tied for second place with 8 points each.

Published 16/08/2015 | 02:30

The 102nd British Chess Championships took place in Coventry from July 26 to August 8. GM Jonathan Hawkins won this tournament with 8.5 points out of 11. Three Grandmasters - David Howell, Nicholas Pert and Daniel Gormally - tied for second place with 8 points each.

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I would like to show the first round game played by the new British Champion.

Hawkins - Wager

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6

3.Nf3 e6 4.Nc3 f5

Black has chosen the Stonewall Variation of the Dutch Defence. Its main drawback is the weakness of the e5-square.

5.Bf4 Nf6 6.e3 Be7

7.Bd3 0-0 8.Qc2

White is going to play h2-h3 and g2-g4, trying to open up files on the kingside. This plan yields White very good results in modern practice.

8...Ne4 9.g4! Na6

10.a3 fxg4?

This move isn't consistent with Black's previous play, although White would also have the initiative after 10...Qa5 11.Ke2!.

11.Ne5 Nf6 12.c5! Nb8 (D)

White's energetic play in the opening has brought him a great position. He could play 13.0-0-0!, followed by Rd1-g1, but Hawkins chose another plan, immediately targeting the g-pawn:

13.h3! g3 14.Rg1 gxf2+

15.Qxf2 Nh5 16.Qc2 Bh4+

17.Kd2 Nxf4?

Black had to play 17...Rf5, blocking the b1-h7 diagonal at a small material cost.

18.Bxh7+ Kh8

19.exf4 Qf6 20.Rg4 Bf2

21.Bd3 Bxd4 1-0

Black resigned, not waiting for 22.Rh4+! Qxh4 23.Ng6+ Kg8 24.Nxh4.

Sunday Independent

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