Chess: Manchester Ruth defeats the girls

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THE BRITISH Championships begin today in Dundee in the glow of an exceptionally fine weekend for British chess. In Bratislava, Ruth Sheldon, 13, from Manchester, won the World Girls' Under-14 Championship, while in Biel, Switzerland, Michael Adams became only the third Briton ever to qualify for the World Championship Candidates Matches.

Adams, 21, has a style of forceful simplicity that is in the best classical manner. Without striving to complicate, or play brilliant attacks, he consistently plays good, strong moves and knows how to put the boot in when his opponent makes an error or runs short of time. Add to that a good technique and implacable temperament, and you have the perfect recipe for qualification from an Interzonal.

In Biel, 10 places were on offer for the Candidates with 73 players, including most of the world's top 20, scrabbling for them. Adams started badly, losing two of his first three games, then scored five wins in a row. After that, he could coast home with draws in the last five games.

Adams's second round win against the Swiss master Lucas Brunner was typically efficient. White's over-ambitious 15. g4 was splendidly punished by Adams's 16 . . . h5] In conjunction with 19 . . . c4] and 20 . . . Bc5], this gave Black the initiative. After 22 . . . Rg4], Black threatened Rxg3+] followed by Rh1 mate. Brunner tried to block the crucial line with 24. Nd5, but his position became untenable after everything attacked the knight. With 25. Ne3 still losing to Rxg3+, White was reduced to hopeless desperation.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Brunner ----------------------------------------------------------------- Black: Adams 1 e4 e5 20 Bg3 Bc5 2 Nf3 Nc6 21 Nd5 Rxe4 3 Bb5 a6 22 Nxc7 Rg4 4 Bxc6 dxc6 23 Rd8+ Kb7 5 0-0 f6 24 Nd5 Rgg5 6 d4 exd4 25 b4 cxb3 7 Nxd4 c5 26 c4 bxa2 8 Ne2 Qxd1 27 Ra1 Bxd5 9 Rxd1 Bd7 28 cxd5 Rxd5 10 Nbc3 0-0-0 29 Rb8+ Ka7 11 Be3 b6 30 Rxa2 a5 12 Rd2 Re8 31 Re2 Rd7 13 Rad1 Bc6 32 Ree8 Ka6 14 Bf4 Ne7 33 Ra8+ Kb5 15 g4 Ng6 34 Re2 Rhd5 16 Bg3 h5 35 Rb8 a4 17 gxh5 Rxh5 36 Rb2+ Kc4 18 Nf4 Nxf4 White resigns 19 Bxf4 c4 -----------------------------------------------------------------