LATVIAN Pavel Besedin won the open title at the Worcestershire Chess Congress.

Besedin, from the city of Daugavpils, edged out West Bromwich’s Tomasz Sygnowski after a tie-break at the University of Worcester.

Both were on 4½ points for joint first place, which led to blitz games, lasting just five minutes, to decide the winner.

The first game went to Besedin, meaning a draw or win in the second would net the title. But, in a complex rook and minor piece ending, Sygnowski levelled the score.

The decider was an armageddon game where white has one minute more, but black has the advantage of the draw.

This game started with the double-edged king’s bishop’s gambit. Besedin, playing black, turned the tables with a pawn sacrifice and then launched a fierce king side attack that led to mate and the open title.

Miroslav Gruca took third place with four points, while Stephen Mellor was the highest-placed Worcester player on three.

The major section saw a three-way tie for first place between Richard Desmedt (Barnsley), Brendan O’Gorman (DHSS) and Dean Hartley (Amber Valley, Derbyshire), all on four points.

Brothers James and Joseph Friar were joint first in the intermediate category with Tony Shaw (Malvern) third.

Matthew Trigg (Solihull) was first in the minor tournament and nine-year-old Jacob Boswell, from Leek, won the under 115 grading prize.

Other grading prize winners were Ian Kingston (Nottingham) in the u175 and Ben Graff (Leamington) in the u150.

Two juniors took the other grading prizes with Martin Hollan (Prague) taking the u125 honours and Boswell the u105 award.

The event, organised by Andrew Farthing, attracted 114 players and raised more than £650 for Age Concern, Sandwell.