Independent Pursuits: Chess

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THE CHRISTMAS competition was in two sections.

Part I Match the Brat Pack

I asked you to match a list of juniors with events.

1f Murugan Thiruchelvam was the youngest player ever to draw with a Grandmaster - Bogdan Lalic, at the Kent Open Championship in Maidstone in October.

2c Nicholas Pert won the World Boys' under-18 championship at Oropesa del Mar in November.

3a Ruth Sheldon won the World Girls' under-18 championship, also in Oropesa.

4g Luke McShane beat Alexander Baburin twice - first at the 4NCL (Four Nations Chess League), then the Kilkenny Open.

5e Ruslan Ponomariov competed in the Hastings Premier.

6d Darmen Sadvakasov is the World Junior Champion (under-20).

7b Hoang Thanh Trang is the World Girls' Champion (under-20).

Part II Events in 1998

1. Topalov vs Shirov, Linares (February). Shirov played the astounding 47 ...Bh3!!

2a Shirov beat Kramnik in Cazorla.

b) He should have played Kramnik.

c) The match was cancelled following the collapse of the WCC (World Chess Council) or, as AN Walker splendidly answered my specific question (which was "What in fact happened?") - "not a lot. Well, quite a lot, but little of it progress."

3 Svidler vs Timman Elista Olympiad (last round). Timman played 50 ...Bg6?? and resigned immediately.

4a Eight players competed for six places in the play-offs at the Andorra zonal in November.

4b Tony Miles was the other English player to go through (apart from myself).

5. Kasparov and Kramnik won $12,000 each in their 24-game blitz match at the Kosmos Hotel in Moscow.

Congratulations to Alan Smith, PB Dodson and Michael J Yeo who receive copies of the excellent new Chessmaster 6000 for PCs using Windows 95 or 98. Paul Carey-Kent, Duncan Chambers, SG Dighton, AN Walker and John Richards receive copies of the British Chess Federation book of the year, Vishy Anand's Best Games (Gambit pounds 15.99) for which many thanks to the BCM Chess Shop (0171-603-2877) in Kensington.

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