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Check It Out: British Youth Makes the Right Moves

February 15, 1988|JAMES MARNELL

--When you're 16 years old and you've just whipped the world chess champion, it's time to yell it from the rooftop. Michael Adams, described as a British chess prodigy, is 16, and he defeated title holder Gary Kasparov of the Soviet Union on Sunday in a special match via satellite. Kasparov, in Cannes, France, for the Third International Festival of Games, won 8, lost 1 and drew 1 while simultaneously playing 10 opponents in Berlin; Geneva; London; Los Angeles; Moscow; Paris; Rome; Sydney; Tokyo, and St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. "I don't think I was ever losing the game. I gained a positional advantage when he allowed me to swap bishops and then had an advantage in space," said Adams in the jargon of chess masters. Kasparov drew with Mikhail Ulybin, the Soviet junior chess champion.

--It's not a horse race, but former President Richard M. Nixon is trying his hand at handicapping the presidential race. In a column written for the Sunday Times of London, Nixon, the prognosticator, said that the Democrats' best hope lies with . . . Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. "The only flat prediction about the election in November that I will make at this stage is that it is going to be close," Nixon wrote. "If there is a recession, which most economists now believe is not likely, any one of the Democrats will win. If there is not a recession, the Democrats cannot win without a charismatic candidate, such as Kennedy." He sees the possibility that there might be a draft, in which case he sees Kennedy as the most logical contender. "If he (Kennedy) is ever going to run for President, a 1988 draft would be his best shot. . . . Drafting Kennedy would bring the still-potent magic of the Kennedy name." On the GOP side, he sees Vice President George Bush clearly ahead.

--Fernando Garrido Velasco of Barcelona, Spain, has topped his mountain climbing career with a first, scaling Mt. Cho Oyu, 26,906 feet in the Himalayas on Nepal's border with Tibet. Garrido's feat--without the use of oxygen--will go down in the record books as the first solo winter ascent over 26,250 feet. The Nepalese Tourism Ministry just announced the record accomplishment, although Garrido, 29, a skiing and mountaineering instructor, reached the summit on Feb. 6. Cho Oyu is the world's sixth-highest peak. A Nepalese Sherpa accompanied him up to 19,685 feet, but then Garrido continued alone. "Sometime I think I can make it, sometime I think I cannot," he said before leaving Nepal's capital, Katmandu, in late December.

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