The European Youth Championships, which just finished in Verdun, France, provided more depressing evidence that the Made-in-the-USSR domination of world chess could continue for a generation after the demise of the powers that created it.

Of the four titles being contested - Girls' and Boys' under-14 and under- 12 - two went to players from the Ukraine, one to Georgia and one to Azerbaijan. All the runners-up were from former countries of eastern Europe too.

Rosalind Kieran secured an excellent fourth place for England in the Girls' under-12, but Luke McShane had one of his rare disappointing results, finishing 10th in the Boys' under-12 competition.

Having won the under-10 title a couple of years ago, Luke now has the curious distinction of being an 11-year-old ex-world champion.

Stewart Haslinger finished seventh in the under-14 section and had the added satisfaction of playing one of the best games in the event. White's attacking plan with Bg5, Qd2, Bh6 and h4, is a standard piece of brutality which was not as dangerous as Black made it look. Either 11...Nbd7 or 11...Bxh6 12.Qxh6 Ng4 would have been better than Re8, and anything would have been better than 13...Nxh5. After 14.Bxb5! Black went meekly to his doom.


1 e4 d6 11 Qg5 Rfe8

2 d4 g6 12 h5 Bxh6

3 Nc3 Bg7 13 Qxh6 Nxh5?

4 Nf3 Nf6 14 Bxb5! cxb5?

5 Bg5 0-0 15 Rxh5! gxh5

6 Qd2 c6 16 Nd5 Qa5+

7 Bh6 Qc7 17 b4 Re6

8 h4 b5 18 Ne7+! Rxe7

9 Bd3 e5 19 bxa5 resigns

10 dxe5 dxe5