There was some excellent news for British chess yesterday with the announcement from the British Chess Federation that the national championships are to be sponsored this year by the accountancy firm Smith and Williamson. With a first prize of pounds 10,000, the championship should now attract the top players in a way that it has not done since the 1980s, when Short and Speelman took it in turns to win the title.

In recent years, the national championship has been able to offer neither the prize fund nor the appearance fees necessary to tempt the best professional players. With Smith and Williamson putting pounds 25,000 into the kitty, this year's event, which will be held in Hove in August, may see some of the old glory restored to the event.

Meanwhile, in Linares, the news for British chess was not quite so good. When the seventh round began, there were four undefeated players: Garry Kasparov, Judit Polgar, Vladimir Kramnik and Michael Adams, with Adams half a point behind the other three. By coincidence, the seventh round pairings brought Adams against Kasparov and Kramnik against Polgar. And, as usual, both results showed what an advantage it is to have a name beginning with K.

Adams seemed almost to have got away with his provocative choice of Alekhine's Defence, but he never quite found a solution to the problems of his e7- pawn facing a white rook on e1. Moving it to e6 would have been cramping and created weaknesses on the black squares. As he played, however, the e-pawn just died. Adams succeeded in winning the pawn back, but by the time he did so, White's c-pawn was too strong to be stopped.

White: Kasparov

Black: Adams

1 e4 Nf6 18 c5 Bxb3

2 e5 Nd5 19 axb3 Qc7

3 d4 d6 20 b4 a6

4 Nf3 dxe5 21 Bf4 Qc6

5 Nxe5 g6 22 Rxe7 Nd5

6 Bc4 c6 23 Nxd5 Qxd5

7 0-0 Bg7 24 Qg4 Rae8

8 Re1 0-0 25 Qd7 Qxd7

9 Bb3 Nd7 26 Rxd7 Bxb2

10 Nf3 N7f6 27 Rad1 Re4

11 c4 Nc7 28 Bd6 Rc8

12 h3 c5 29 Rxb7 Bc3

13 Nc3 cxd4 30 Rb1 Rc4

14 Nxd4 Ne6 31 Rc1 Rxb4

15 Be3 Nxd4 32 c6 Rd4

16 Qxd4 Be6 33 c7 resigns

17 Qh4 Qa5

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