Chess

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The Independent Online
In the Hastings Challengers' tournament, Harriet Hunt, 16, became the youngest English girl to secure a qualifying norm for the (men's) International Master title. Her last-round win against a Danish master was achieved with ease.

White: E. Mortensen Black: H. Hunt 1 e4 c6 13 Qg2 Nc7

2 Nf3 d5 14 b4 h6

3 Nc3 Bg4 15 Ne2 hxg5

4 h3 Bxf3 16 hxg5 Rh4

5 Qxf3 Nf6 17 Be3 Qa6

6 d3 e6 18 f4 dxe4

7 a3 Bd6 19 Bf2 Rh7

8 g4 Qb6 20 Rfd1 Rfh8

9 g5 Nfd7 21 Bg4 f5

10 h4 Na6 22 exf6 Nxf6

11 Bh3 0-0-0 23 b5 cxb5

12 0-0 Rdf8 White resigns R 8.g4 backfired badly. With Qb6, Na6 and 0-0-0! Hunt extracted its sting. 12.Qxf7? loses to Rhf8 and Qxf2+, so White had to castle, when his advanced pawns were a liability. With 14...h6! Black opened lines and 16...Rh4! added to the strain. Facing the threat of Rfh8 followed by Bh2+, White tried to block the bishop with 18.f4, but after 18...dxe4 19.Qxe4 costs a bishop, while 19.dxe4 also loses to Rxh3.

23.b5 was the last act of a dying man. 23...Nxb5 would allow Bxe6+, but 23...cxb5! left him with no move at all.

On another front, Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov are back in the FIDE rankings after a year's absence for bad behaviour. Here are the top 20: 1 Kasparov (Russia) 2805

2 Karpov (Russia) 2755

3= Anand (India) 2715

3= Kramnik (Russia) 2715

3= Salov (Russia) 2715

6= Kamsky (US) 2710

6= Shirov (Latvia) 2710

8= Gelfand (Belarus) 2700

8= Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2700

10= Bareyev (Russia) 2675

10= Piket (Netherlands) 2675

12 Yusupov (Germany) 2660

13= Adams (England) 2655

13= Akopyan (Armenia) 2655

13= Lautier (France) 2655

13= Short (England) 2655

17= Belyavsky (Ukraine) 2650

17= Dreyev (Russia) 2650

19= Nikolic (Bosnia) 2645

19= Sokolov (Bosnia) 2645

. . . and all but two of the top dozen were made in the USSR.

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