A 17-year-old Prince George's county youth was awarded the top prize of $10,000 last night in a nationwide science competition for his complex design of a game theory concept, dealing with the ways in which the maximum number of mathematical opportunities are achieved.

The youth, Michael Stephen Briggs of 8504 Laverne Dr., Adelphi, a senior at High Point High School, was selected over 40 other finalists in the 37th annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search Competion. More than 13,00 students from around the country entered the contest this year, according to contest officials.

In effect, Briggs developed a way of taking a set number of potential actions and then suggesting the next number of potential moves that might be made as a result, according to contest officials.

His concept might be applied in a chess game, in which each move could be countered by an almost infinite number of variables.

The concept could also be applied to business, in which a wide variety of alternative strategies in a field such as marketing could be considered before a commitment was made to a single strategy, the officials said.

Briggs told officials he intends to use his $10,000 scholarship award to study next year at Princeton University, aiming toward a career in physics, or astronomy, as well as teaching.

He said he became interested in the concept of game theory after reading an article on computer chess. CAPTION: Picture, Michael Briggs gets $10,000 top national prize.