Chess prodigy defeats master

WILLIAM HARTSTON

Luke McShane, England's promising 12-year-old chess player, became the youngest Briton to defeat a grandmaster when he beat Colin McNab in the third round of the Challengers Tournament at Hastings.

McShane, who comes from Richmond, Surrey, is the third in line in recent British chess prodigies but is now surpassing the records for precociousness set not so long ago by Nigel Short and Michael Adams, both of whom are now among the world's top 20 players.

Last year McShane became the youngest ever to qualify for the finals of the British championship and he has already attracted a pounds 20,000 sponsorship deal from Psion Computers.

Last month he faced the world champion, Garry Kasparov, in a game over the Internet and had his estimable opponent in considerable difficulties. Sadly, Luke made a bad mistake that lost the game instantly, but he still has two or three years to go if he wants to become the youngest British player ever to defeat a world champion.

His first win against the grandmaster showed great maturity. After weakening McNab's pawns in the opening, he developed a strong bind on the position and never let his opponent escape.

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