Britain's biggest chess event by far ended last week with the finals of the UK Chess Challenge, sponsored by Kasparov Chess Computers and Rotary International. Restricted to schoolchildren under 18, the event attracted 24,000 entrants to its preliminary stages in January, with the winners of local competitions going on to regional eliminators, then national finals, before the last 16 survivors contested the finals as part of the Mind Sports Olympiad at the Royal Festival Hall.

The event was the brainchild of Michael Basman, whose unique style of both playing and teaching chess has proved highly effective in encouraging children not only to play well but - even more important - to enjoy it. Perhaps the most impressive performance of all was that of six-year-old David Howell, from Seaford, Sussex, who reached the last eight. The final was between Nicholas Timms, 12, from Somerset and Richard Cleveland, 17, from Wales. After two hard-fought draws, the title went to Richard Cleveland in a five-minute decider. The following game gives an idea of the high quality of play. Black's curious 9...d5? and 10...c5? in the opening (9...e5 is natural and good) left him in difficulties which White exploited in good positional style to force the win of a pawn (19...Rac8 is met by 20.Ba6). In the endgame, however, Black fought back well to save himself.

White: Richard Cleveland

Black: Nicholas Timms

1 Nf3 Nf6 22 Qxb7 Bxb7

2 d4 g6 23 f3 Rac8

3 b3 Bg7 24 Rxc8 Rxc8

4 Bb2 d6 25 Rd7 Rb8

5 e3 0-0 26 Kf2 a6

6 Be2 Nbd7 27 Ke3 Bc6

7 0-0 b6 28 Ra7 Bb5

8 c4 Bb7 29 Bxb5 axb5

9 Nc3 d5 30 Kd4 Rc8

10 Qc2 c5 31 a4 bxa4

11 cxd5 Nxd5 32 bxa4 Rc2

12 Nxd5 Bxd5 33 g4 Rxh2

13 dxc5 bxc5 34 a5 Rf2

14 Rfd1 e6 35 Ke3 Ra2

15 Bxg7 Kxg7 36 Ra8+ Kg7

16 e4 Bc6 37 g5 h6

17 Ne5 Qc7 38 gxh6+ Kxh6

18 Nxd7 Bxd7 39 a6 g5

19 Rac1 Kg8 40 a7 Kg7

20 Qxc5 Qb7 Draw agreed

21 Qc7 Bc8

The event raised close to pounds 6,000 for Save the Children.

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