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Friday, 1 March, 2002, 17:03 GMT
Chess prodigy checks into record books
David Howell
David defeated a grandmaster when he was aged eight
An 11-year-old British boy has become the youngest player to score against a world chess champion.

David Howell, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, drew one of four "blitz matches" against world champion Vladimir Kramnik, from Russia, in a special challenge match.

The blitz matches, for which each player has 10 minutes on the clock, were invented to speed the game up.

David, also the youngest player to take on the current world champion, shot to fame in August 1999, after beating a grandmaster.

Nerves of steel

He lost Friday's match overall with Kramnik winning three games and one being drawn.

But that draw put David into the record books.


It was always going to be quite difficult psychologically

Vladimir Kramnik
After the game in central London, David said: "I was not nervous because there was nothing to lose.

"I have played in front of an audience before, but there were so many people watching.

"I learned quite a lot today. He is such a strong player and he makes good moves.

"Not many people get to achieve these kinds of records."

Kramnik said: "It was always going to be quite difficult psychologically because it can always happen that you lose."

Kramnik said David could be a future world champion.

"You never know for sure. There is only one world champion and many people who want to be there."

Kitted out

David has won the under eight, under nine and under-10 British Chess championships and came joint first in the European under-12 championship.

He plays mostly on the adult circuit, only competing against children his age in major championships.

David is also a keen Manchester United fan and he was presented with a kit after the series of four matches.

Kramnik became world champion in 2000 after ending Garry Kasparov's 15 year reign.

The event was organised by media group Einstein.


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See also:

08 Aug 01 | Sci/Tech
Chess brains take it easy
31 Jul 01 | Europe
Chess champion to battle computer
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