Independent Pursuits: Chess

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FOR OUR Christmas competition, you're invited to answer questions on chess world events in 1998:

Part I - Match the Brat Pack

Match the following seven juniors with the achievements listed.

1. Murugan Thiruchelvam

2. Nicholas Pert

3. Ruth Sheldon

4. Luke McShane

5. Ruslan Ponomariov

6. Darmen Sadvakasov

7. Hoang Thanh Trang

a) World Girls' under-18 champion

b) World Girls' champion (under 20)

c) World Boys' under-18 champion

d) World Junior champion (under 20)

e) Is competing in the Hastings Premier, about to start.

f) Youngest player ever to draw with a grandmaster.

g) Beat the same ex-Soviet Grandmaster twice in just over a week.

Part II - Events in 1998

The questions in this section are in chronological order.

Q1 Black to play

1. What did Black now play (see diagram above) - and who is he?

2. a) Whom did the winner of Q1 defeat in Cazorla in Spain?

b) Whom was he supposed to play as a result?

c) What in fact happened? (1 word will do fine, but you may amplify)

Q3 Black to move

3. What did Black play here (see diagram above), and who was it?

4. a) Where did eight people have a "balloon debate" for six places last month?

b) Which English player, apart from myself, stayed airborne?

5. Who received "Kosmic" remuneration at speed?

The first three correct entries, drawn at random, will win the excellent new Chessmaster 6000 for PCs using Windows 95 or 98. The next five will win the British Chess Federation book of the year, Vishy Anand's Best Games (Gambit, pounds 15.99), which have been kindly donated by the BCM Chess Shop (0171-603-2877) in Kensington.

Send your entries to Jon Speelman, c/o Features, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL - or e-mail to - to arrive by Friday 8 January 1999. Results will be announced on Monday 18 January.