Chess stars fight for shot at title

THE INDIAN grandmaster Viswanath Anand is leading the competition to find a challenger for the Professional Chess Association's world champion, Garry Kasparov, in 1995, writes William Hartston.

After seven rounds in the recently-formed PCA's world championship qualifier in Groningen, the Netherlands, he has 51 2 points, a point ahead of England's Michael Adams, who is joint fourth. Fifty-four of the world's top players are contesting an 11-round event, at the end of which the top seven will join Nigel Short in a series of eliminating matches.

With Anand, Adams and several other contestants in Groningen already qualified for the last 16 of the long-established FIDE (International Chess Federation) world championship, held by Anatoly Karpov, the immediate future promises great confusion in the battle for supremacy between the two organisations.

With a first prize of dollars 40,000 (pounds 27,000) the PCA event has attracted five of the top ten players in the world.

Leading scores: Anand 51 2 ; Tiviakov and Gulko 5; Shirov, Kamsky, Kramnik, Adams, Nikolic, Benjamin, Bareyev and Belyavsky 41 2 .