The new knock-out format for the Fide world championship has produced some major casualties in its early rounds. Vassily Ivanchuk and Veselin Topalov - both ranked among the world's top half-dozen - have both been eliminated. Judit Polgar is out too.

The good news is that all three British competitors won their second- round matches. Michael Adams overwhelmed Tamaz Georgadze by 2-0, while both Nigel Short and Matthew Sadler edged their way past difficult opponents in quick-play tie breaks, Short against Korchnoi and Sadler against Ehlvest.

With all the early rounds decided by two-game knock-out matches, the event seems to be as much a test of nerves as chess ability, and the British are standing up to it very well. The third round has pitted all three Britons against Russian opponents. In the opening games, Michael Adams beat Sergei Tiviakov, while Nigel Short defeated Andrei Sokolov; Matthew Sadler drew his first game as Black against Alexei Dreyev. We shall be giving full coverage of all these matches - and the rest of the world championship - tomorrow and later in the week.

The nationalities of the players who have reached the last 32 make interesting reading: there are nine Russians, three Englishmen, two each from Belarus, the Netherlands and Armenia and no more than one from any other single country. A total of 20 competitors, however, were made in the USSR.