Meaning of YEAR IN REVIEW 1998: SPORTS-AND-GAMES in English

Skiing Alpine Skiing. The 1997 world championships enjoyed favourable snow conditions in Sestriere, Italy, particularly welcome after the difficulties experienced during recent years. Deborah Compagnoni virtually deposed Alberto Tomba as Italy's skiing superstar by winning both the women's slalom and giant slalom, the only racer at the meeting to gain more than one title. Hers was a commendable comeback in a career fraught with injuries. Another Italian, Isolde Kostner, added to the home crowd's delight by successfully defending the supergiant slalom (super G) title; her championship a year earlier was the first by an Italian woman since 1932. In her 11th season Hilary Lindh of the United States atoned for the absence of her injured titleholding compatriot, Picabo Street, by winning the downhill. The combined title went to Renate Gtschl of Austria, who unexpectedly outpointed the favourite, Katja Seizinger of Germany. Three of the five men's events were won by Norwegians, Atle Skaardal retaining the super G, Tom Stiansen claiming the slalom despite a late surge from Tomba, and Kjetil Andre Aamodt emphasizing his versatility by taking the combined. Bruno Kernen gave Switzerland its first gold medal in four years by upsetting the favoured racers in the downhill, and another Swiss, Michael von Grnigen, was a less-surprising giant slalom victor. Appreciated more than the world championship meeting because it reflected a season's consistency of form, the 31st Alpine World Cup series suffered minimally from snow problems, thanks to an early start in reliable conditions in North America. Luc Alphand, ranking first in the downhill and super G, won the overall men's trophy at the last tournament when runner-up Aamodt failed to finish high enough to overtake him in the slalom at Vail, Colo. The first French champion since Jean-Claude Killy in 1968, Alphand also became the first downhill specialist to win the cup since Karl Schranz of Austria in 1970. Norwegians and Swedes, once prominent only in Nordic skiing, were becoming more numerous in Alpine events. Emphasizing this development, Sweden's Pernilla Wiberg became the first Scandinavian to win the women's crown, comfortably ahead of Seizinger, her predecessor and closest rival. Finishing first in the slalom, Wiberg demonstrated her ability in contrasting disciplines by placing fourth in the downhill. The concurrently decided Nations Cup was won by the Austrian men and German women. Because of recurring knee injuries, Marc Girardelli, an Austrian-born skier representing Luxembourg, reluctantly announced his retirement at 33 after a distinguished 17-year career. He was the overall World Cup champion five times and won 46 cup races plus four gold, four silver, and three bronze medals in six world championships. Tomba, another veteran expected to quit, pledged to compete at one more Winter Olympics in 1998. A bizarre moment occurred during the season when the International Ski Federation belatedly awarded France's Marielle Goitschel a gold medal for the 1966 world championship downhill. The woman who had beaten her, Erika Schinegger of Austria, subsequently became Erik after surgery. Nordic Skiing. At the world championships in Trondheim, Nor., Bjrn Daehlie, on home terrain, and Yelena Vyalbe (seeBIOGRAPHIES) of Russia were dominant in the cross-country men's and women's events, respectively. It was Dhlie's fifth overall title in six years, and Vyalbe won all five gold medals, the first person ever to accomplish this. In the 18th Nordic World Cup series, Dhlie and Vyalbe also proved the most successful during the 15 tournaments. Primoz Peterka of Slovenia ranked ahead of Germany's Dieter Thoma in the Jumping World Cup, and the separate Combined World Cup title was comfortably won by Samppa Lajunen of Finland. Several major venues, notably Planica, Slovenia; Kulm, Austria; Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Ger.; Sapporo, Japan; and Lahti, Fin., offered improved jumping facilities during the year. The spectacular visual appeal of this sport resulted in increased international television coverage. ARCHERY In August 1997 the biennial Fdration Internationale de Tir l'Arc (FITA) world target championships were held in Victoria, B.C., with preliminary rounds shot at 90 m, 70 m, 50 m, and 30 m (1 m = 3.28 ft). One-on-one shooting determined the champions. In the women's Olympic (recurve) division, Kim Du Ri of South Korea defeated Cornelia Pfohl of Germany. The men's Olympic division was won by Kim Kyung Ho of South Korea, with a narrow 108-107 victory over Christophe Peignois of Belgium. Fabiola Palazzini of Italy captured the gold medal in the women's compound bow, and Catherine Pellen of France won silver. Dee Wilde won the men's compound title over fellow American Terry Ragsdale 109-105. At the U.S. National Field Archery Association (NFAA) indoor championship in March, the top male unlimited professional division ended in a three-way tie at 118 x-rings out of 120. Ken Young, Roger Hoyle, and George Ryals shot two ends of five arrows to determine Young the winner by one x-ring. Pro women's unlimited champion Michelle Ragsdale posted an impressive 117 score on the same difficult 4-cm (1.6-in) centre-ring target. She also swept the same division at the NFAA outdoor championship in July. Russ Weatherbee won the men's outdoor pro unlimited trophy, and Steve Gibbs was the limited men's winner in this five-day, 500-arrow tournament. Waldo Cleland was awarded the Shooter of the Year title for posting the highest total score for all four NFAA championships held during the year. The U.S. National Archery Association (NAA) indoor champions were Richard Johnson and Janet Dykman in the Olympic bow division, while Mark Penaz and Becky Pearson won in the compound bow division. At the NAA national target championship in August, Richard ("Butch") Johnson won the men's Olympic bow division with a score of 2,631 out of a maximum 2,880. The women's Olympic bow winner was Dykman with 2,606. In the largest compound division ever, the winners were Kevin Eldredge with 2,637 and Diane Hooper with 2,594. LARRY WISE Australian Football. Adelaide FC won its first premiership in the Australian Football League (AFL) in 1997--in its seventh season in the competition. A crowd of 99,645 packed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground and saw Adelaide come from behind to defeat St. Kilda. Adelaide, in its first grand final, won the match 19.11 (125) to 13.16 (94) to become only the second club from outside Victoria to have won the title (West Coast won in 1992 and 1994). St. Kilda, the crowd favourite, was in its first grand final since 1971 and was seeking its first premiership since 1966. The victory was a triumph for Malcolm Blight, in his first season as Adelaide's coach, who had tasted bitter grand final defeat three times as coach of Geelong (1989, 1992, and 1994). It was a record-breaking 101st season for the AFL, with attendances, club membership, and television ratings all reaching new marks. A total of 5,842,591 watched the 176 first-round games and a further 560,406 the eight finals, for a grand total of 6,402,997. This bettered the 5,694,960 of the 1996 season. Port Adelaide played its first season in the AFL and fared brilliantly, narrowly missing the finals. It replaced Fitzroy, which merged with Brisbane. Footscray had a name change and became known as the Western Bulldogs. The major award winners for the year were: Brownlow Medal (awarded to the best and fairest player in the competition), Robert Harvey of St. Kilda; Norm Smith Medal (for best player in the grand final), Andrew McLeod of Adelaide; Coleman Medal (given to the leading goalkicker in home and away rounds), Tony Modra of Adelaide, with 81. Several of the game's greats retired after the 1997 season, including Stephen Kernahan and Greg Williams (both of Carlton), Gary Ablett (Geelong), and Chris Langford and John Platten (both Hawthorn). GREG HOBBS Badminton The major international badminton events of 1997 were thoroughly dominated by players from China. At the All-England championships in Birmingham, Eng., in March, Chinese athletes claimed titles in four of the five divisions. Dong Jiong defeated 1996 Olympic gold medalist Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen of Denmark in the semifinals of the men's singles event and then beat teammate Sun Jun in the final. In another all-Chinese final, Ye Zhaoying confirmed her world number-one ranking by overpowering Gong Zhichao 11-1, 11-3 for the women's singles crown. Olympic gold medalists Ge Fei and Gu Jun took the women's doubles title, defeating Indonesians Eliza and Resiana Zelin. Ge Fei then teamed with Liu Yong to claim the mixed doubles title with a victory over the top-seeded Indonesian pair of Trikus Heryanto and Minarti Timur. Kang Kyung Jin and Ha Tae Kwon of South Korea prevented a Chinese sweep by winning the men's doubles title over Denmark's Michael Sogaard and Jon Holst-Christensen. The Sudirman Cup, an international mixed-team competition held every other year, was contested in Glasgow, Scot., in May. South Korea scored a mild upset in the semifinals with a close 3-2 win over Denmark, setting up a final-round confrontation with China. China had earlier advanced to the finals by narrowly defeating Indonesia 3-2. In the championship round China defeated South Korea in all five events to capture its second consecutive title. The world championships were staged in Glasgow immediately after the Sudirman Cup. Chinese players advanced to four of the five title matches, with two events featuring all-Chinese finals. In a rematch of the one-sided All-England women's singles final, defending world champion Ye Zhaoying again bested compatriot Gong Zhichao. Denmark gained some revenge on China in the men's singles final, with Peter Rasmussen edging Sun Jun in a marathon two-hour match. In the men's doubles competition, the Indonesian team of Budiarto Sigit and Chandra Wijaya overcame the Malaysian duo of Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock in an impressive 8-15, 18-17, 15-7 comeback victory. DONN GOBBIE Baseball Major league baseball, though still scarred by a damaging strike in 1994, enjoyed signs of revival in 1997. Paid attendance for the season exceeded 63 million spectators, an increase of about 3.5 million over the previous year. National League and American League teams also played a limited schedule of interleague games, a historic development that cultivated renewed interest, particularly in regions that had franchises in both leagues, such as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles-Anaheim, and San Francisco-Oakland. Boxing The reputation of boxing's heavyweight division sank to an all-time low in 1997 with the disqualification of former undisputed world champion Mike Tyson for biting the ears of Evander Holyfield (see BIOGRAPHIES) during a World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight title bout in Las Vegas, Nev., on June 28. Tyson received a warning from referee Mills Lane after biting a chunk out of Holyfield's right ear in the third round. When the fight resumed, Tyson sank his teeth into Holyfield's other ear, and Lane was forced to disqualify him. Declaring Tyson a "discredit to boxing," the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for at least one year and fined him 10% of his $30 million purse, the maximum penalty permitted under existing rules. Subsequently, however, the commission gave itself the power to confiscate the entire purse of a boxer who commits a serious offense. Apart from the Tyson horror show, several contests for other versions of the heavyweight crown only tarnished the division further. A fight for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) title ended in a farce as Lennox Lewis avenged a knockout loss to Oliver McCall (U.S.). McCall, who had been in and out of drug rehabilitation programs in the months prior to the rematch, showed a complete reluctance to throw punches and sometimes turned his back on his opponent. After five frustrating rounds the referee stopped the bout, disqualifying McCall for refusing to defend himself. In another dreary exhibition early in the year, Henry Akinwande (Eng.) retained the World Boxing Organization (WBO) crown by defeating reluctant challenger Scott Welch (Eng.). In July Akinwande relinquished the WBO title to challenge Lewis for what was considered the more prestigious WBC championship. During the bout, which was held in South Lake Tahoe, Nev., and also refereed by Lane, Akinwande did little more than force clinches with Lewis. In the fifth round Lane disqualified Akinwande for "blatant and persistent holding." An International Boxing Federation (IBF) title match between champion Michael Moorer and challenger Vaughan Bean (U.S.) provided no great boost to the unhappy heavyweight situation as Moorer outpointed Bean over 12 lacklustre rounds. Fortunately, some excitement came late in the year in two separate fights involving Lewis and Holyfield. In a bout held in Atlantic City, N.J., in October, Lewis raised his standing in the eyes of many boxing enthusiasts by destroying Polish-born challenger Andrew Golota (U.S.) in only 95 seconds to retain the WBC crown. Golota, whose penchant for throwing low blows had cost him two disqualification losses to former champion Riddick Bowe (U.S.), suffered a seizure in his dressing room after the fight, and at year's end his future in boxing seemed uncertain. In November Holyfield restored some pride to the heavyweight division in an impressive performance against Moorer, knocking Moorer to the canvas five times before the referee, on advice from the ringside physician, stopped the fight in the eighth round. Holyfield was declared the winner by technical knockout and added Moorer's IBF championship belt to the WBA belt he already held. Named Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, Holyfield hoped to face Lewis in a unification match in 1998. The 48-year-old former heavyweight champion George Foreman made news in November as well, in part because of the respectable performance he put in against Shannon Briggs, who was nearly half his age, and in part because of his announcement--for the second time--of his retirement from the ring. Foreman lost the controversial majority-decision fight to Briggs in Atlantic City, N.J.; the crowd was clearly convinced that Foreman, at 118 kg (260 lb), should have won, but two of the judges scored the match for Briggs and the ring referee called it even. Among the champions in the lower weight divisions, Oscar de la Hoya proved outstanding again, remaining undefeated after 27 bouts. After retaining the WBC lightweight crown against Miguel Gonzlez (Mex.), de la Hoya moved up and captured the WBC welterweight crown from highly rated Pernell Whitaker, albeit on a controversial decision. De la Hoya later silenced loudmouth Hector ("Macho") Camacho (U.S.) in a 12-round decision before administering a sound beating to Wilfredo Rivera (P.R.), which the referee stopped in the eighth round. De la Hoya's purse total for 1997 was $33 million, an amount seldom seen outside the heavyweight ranks. Another extraordinarily talented champion, Roy Jones, Jr., carelessly gave away the WBC light heavyweight title in a fight with Montell Griffin (U.S.) in March. After flooring Griffin in the ninth round, Jones threw two quick punches while his opponent was down. The referee had no choice but to disqualify him. A rematch between the two in August was aptly billed under the slogan "Unfinished Business," and it did not take long for Jones to settle matters; he knocked out Griffin in the first round for the title. Ricardo Lpez made his 19th defense of the WBC strawweight crown by beating Mongkol Charoen (Thai.). A victory over Alex Sanchez later in the year boosted Lpez's record to 46-0. IBF welterweight king Felix Trinidad moved up a division and flattened Troy Waters (Austr.) in the first round. WBC super welterweight champion Terry Norris blew his chance for a future meeting with de la Hoya when he was stopped in the ninth round by 7-1 underdog Keith Mullings in December. WBO featherweight champion Naseem Hamed won the IBF title by stopping Tom Johnson (U.S.) in eight rounds. Hamed later defeated Billy Hardy (Eng.) in one round, Juan Cabrera (Arg.) in two, and Jos Badillo (P.R.) in seven. Before his fight with Badillo, Hamed gave up the IBF crown rather than agree to a mandatory defense against Hector Lizarraga. The 23-year-old Hamed made a highly publicized U.S. debut on December 19 at Madison Square Garden in New York City against Kevin Kelley (U.S.). In a wild match that saw each fighter hit the canvas three times, Hamed eventually prevailed, knocking out Kelley in the fourth round. With the win, Hamed, who was born in Great Britain to Yemeni parents, boosted his record to 29-0. In 1997 boxing suffered a double blow from the deaths of two former world champions, Willie Pastrano (U.S.) and Edwin Rosario (P.R.). (See OBITUARIES.) Pastrano won the light heavyweight title in June 1963, defended the title twice before losing it to Jos Torres (U.S.) in 1965, and retired with a record of 63-13-8. Rosario, a three-time world lightweight champion active in the 1980s and '90s, had a career record of 43-6. His death was believed to be related to drug abuse, a problem he battled for most of his career. Zambian Felix Bwalya fell into a coma and died on December 23 after a two-day drinking spree to celebrate winning the Commonwealth light welterweight title. FRANK BUTLER Canadian Football. The Toronto Argonauts became the first Canadian Football League (CFL) team since 1982 to win two consecutive championships when they defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 47-23 in the Grey Cup at Edmonton, Alta., on Nov. 16, 1997. Toronto quarterback Doug Flutie, the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP), was superb, completing 30 of 38 passes attempted for 352 yd and scoring three touchdowns passing and one running. He also won the regular season's MVP award for the sixth time in seven years. Flutie led CFL passers with 47 touchdowns, 5,505 total yards, and a 97.8 efficiency rating. Toronto, which won the Eastern Division with a 15-3 record, featured league leaders Robert Drummond, with 18 touchdowns; Mike Clemons, with 122 catches; and Mike Vanderjagt, with 190 points scored. Saskatchewan was only 8-10 in the regular season, tied for third behind the Western Division winners, the Edmonton Eskimos (12-6). Edmonton linebacker Willie Pless was the league's top defensive player for the fourth consecutive season. Other Toronto award winners were centre Mike Kiselak, the top offensive lineman, and slotback Derrell Mitchell, the top rookie and a league leader with 17 touchdown catches. British Columbia Lions running back Sean Millington was voted the top Canadian player, and Calgary Stampeders kicker Mark McLoughlin won the Tom Pate Award for sportsmanship. Milt Stegall of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers led the league with 1,616 yd receiving; the Montreal Alouettes' Mike Pringle had a league-topping 1,775 yd rushing; and Montreal's Elfrid Payton had 14 sacks. KEVIN M. LAMB Billiard Games Carom Billiards. The Billiards World Cup Association (BWA) three-cushion billiard world championship was won in 1996 for an unprecedented third consecutive year by Torbjrn Blomdahl of Sweden. It was his sixth career world title, as he had previously won the BWA world's event in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1994, and 1995. The BWA championship is determined by a four-stop annual international tour with a round-robin format. Points are awarded in accordance with each player's final position in each event and accumulate throughout the tour. Therefore, it is possible to win the world title without actually winning any of the qualifiers. Indeed, Blomdahl captured his 1994 championship in that exact manner, but that was far from the case in 1996. Blomdahl claimed his latest crown by finishing third at the Dutch Open, fourth at the Korean Open, and then first at both the Belgian Open and the tour finale, the Efes Pilsen Open in Istanbul. The tour runner-up was Dick Jaspers of The Netherlands, with Marco Zanetti of Italy in third overall. Eight-time U.S. national champion Sang Lee finished a close fourth. Lee was perhaps even more impressive in an invitational tournament in Queens, N.Y., in late 1996. A field of 32 of North America's finest carom players was reduced to 8 over two days of preliminary rounds. As national champion, Lee was seeded into the nine-player round-robin finals, but he accepted a very unusual handicap: he would play his games to 57 points, whereas all of his opponents would need only 40 points to win. Despite this onerous burden, Lee tied with two other players with 6-2 records and then prevailed in a play-off to capture a very hard-earned and prestigious championship. Lee's points-per-inning (PPI) average was a stunning 1.594. Next-best was the 1.061 mark of tournament runner-up Pedro Piedrabuena, a stylish young player from Ecuador. No other contestant reached the 1.000 PPI threshold. Pocket Billiards. The Professional Billiards Tour (PBT), the principal organization representing the men's pocket billiard professionals for the past decade, suffered what many industry observers believed could be fatal blows during 1997. RJ Reynolds' Camel brand cigarettes, the PBT tour's major sponsor in 1996, canceled their affiliation completely, citing "a lot of politics out there holding the game/sport up from getting a lot of corporate involvement." At the same time, Camel expanded its sponsorship of the American Poolplayers Association (a national amateur league pool organization) and announced plans to conduct a seven-stop "Camel Pro Billiard Series" with well over $500,000 in prize money. The series would be totally independent of any players' group, with neither the PBT nor its newer rival, the Professional Cuesports Association (PCA), having any input or involvement in the venture, but all players would be eligible to participate. Controversial PBT Commissioner Don Mackey, promising that bad prize-money checks from some 1996 PBT tour events would be made good, was also threatening litigation over the loss of Camel sponsorship. The PBT tour became essentially nonexistent, with a nine-month void on its 1997 tournament schedule. The PBT finally "released" its member players to participate in any tournament or event they wished. The PCA did only slightly better in generating tournaments, and both groups were, at best, leery about the new Camel series events. The Women's Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) concluded the tour year at the WPBA Nationals in Crystal City, Calif., where former English snooker star Allison Fisher was victorious. Given her stunning dominance on the tour, she easily won the 1996 women's Player of the Year honours. She continued on the winning track in 1997, taking her second consecutive World Pool-Billiard Association world nine-ball title in October. In the men's ranks the conflicting sanctioning groups led Pool & Billiard Magazine to name both C.J. Wiley (PCA) and Johnny Archer (PBT) as 1996 Players of the Year. Both led their respective organization's annual point standings; Wiley won the PCA inaugural Dallas (Texas) Million $ Challenge, and Archer took the 1996 PBT Pro Tour Championship in Providence, R.I. A national nine-ball Senior Tour for players aged 50 and older was established by the Mizerak Group (headed by hall-of-famer Steve Mizerak). Player and fan response was enthusiastic, and the first eight tournaments produced eight different winners. Dagenham, Eng., was the site for the third Mosconi Cup competition in December 1996, pitting seven-man squads from the U.S. and Europe in team competition. Although trailing 9-12 on the final day, the Americans pulled out a stunning comeback victory 15-13. The Billiard Congress of America inducted Arthur ("Babe") Cranfield and Ruth McGinnis into the BCA Hall of Fame in ceremonies in Las Vegas, Nev. Cranfield was the only person to win the U.S national junior, national amateur, and world professional pocket billiard titles. McGinnis, who died in 1974, was acclaimed as women's world champion 1932-40, had had a high run of 128 balls, and had toured the U.S. extensively, giving exhibitions. Chess The year 1997 was dominated by the blow to Garry Kasparov's prestige when he lost a six-game challenge rematch in New York City to the Deep Blue computer program developed by IBM. The match, played May 3-11, was a follow-up to the dramatic contest won by the Russian champion in 1996. The prize money was much greater in 1997, with $700,000 to the winner and $400,000 to the loser. Yet much more than this was at stake, for the immense interest generated by the contest and the machine's success led to a rise in IBM stock prices and to the assumption by the general public that a computer program had finally proved superior to the best of humankind. Interestingly, this latter conclusion was not the view of chess experts, who would have required a more rigorous proof under tournament conditions against a variety of human opponents over at least 11 rounds. Kasparov, too, assumed that he would get the chance of a replay, so IBM's low-key announcement in September that the program was being devoted to things other than chess was a grave disappointment to him. He even drew a comparison between IBM and the old Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, with which he had had difficult dealings. The course of the match proved dramatic. Kasparov won the first game in 45 moves but then made the error of resigning in the second game after 45 moves, in a position that was shown subsequently to be a forced draw had Black played for perpetual check. This proved a grave psychological blow to Kasparov, who reacted badly by giving vent to the suspicion that some outside human intervention had helped the program in making certain positional decisions earlier in the game. Having thus lost his equanimity and, some would say, objectivity, the champion drew the next three games and then went down ignominiously in only 19 moves in the final game. This was his worst defeat ever and showed a lack of his usual preparation, for the gambit variation essayed by Deep Blue had already been tried in a game the previous October between a Fritz program (of Dutch origin) and Gennady Timoshchenko (a former second to Kasparov). It was assumed that Kasparov must not have known of this game; otherwise, he would surely not have played the loosening pawn move at his 11th turn. Kasparov was scheduled to defend his world title against Russian archrival Anatoly Karpov in October. Lawyers for both sides had reached agreement on the terms, but the principals were unable to bring the match to fruition, largely owing to lack of sponsorship. This in turn was the result of several recent inferior performances by Karpov, notably his joint third place at Dos Hermanas, Spain, in April, behind Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Viswanathan Anand of India, and his shared sixth place at Dortmund, Ger., in July, when Kramnik led Anand by a point to finish first. In fact, the results in 1997 indicated that Kramnik, still only 22 years old, was the logical successor to Kasparov, once financing could be raised for such a match. The Fdration Internationale des checs (FIDE), the world ruling body, endeavoured to regularize the anomaly of two world champions, Kasparov and Karpov, when it arranged a knockout contest for the 100 likeliest contenders, which would start in early December and conclude in January 1998. This event was marked by meticulous planning, including the issuing of exacting contracts to the players in which the old question of the copyright of games was raised. Kasparov, however, refused to take part, indicating that the short matches of the envisaged knockout format was a break with 111 years of chess history. Precedent demanded that the title change hands only after a long match of, say, a minimum of 18 games. Kasparov failed to prove his superiority when he could only tie for first place at the Tilburg, Neth., tournament in early October. After a start of 5.5/6, he lost in the seventh round to 21-year-old Peter Svidler of St. Petersburg, who for four years had shown excellent form in the Russian championships. The outcome was a tie on 8 points out of 11 for Kasparov, Svidler, and Kramnik. In the other strong tournament of the year, at Linares, Spain, in February, the top scores were Kasparov 8.5/11, Kramnik 7.5, Michael Adams of England and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria both 6.5, Judit Polgar of Hungary 6, and Anand 5.5. In team contests England won the European championship at Pula, Croatia, in mid-May after a tie on points with Russia, 22.5 points out of 36; Armenia finished third with 22 points. Russia recovered at the world team championship in October by beating the Georgian women 4-0 in the last round. This single whitewash of the whole event led to some dark mutterings among the American team, which had led throughout the tournament until then. The final scores at the top were Russia 23.5 out of 36, the U.S. 23, Armenia 21, and England 20.5. In individual contests the West had a rare success in the world junior (under-20) championships at Zagan, Pol., in July. In the boys section Tal Shaked of the U.S. made 9.5/13 to head the massed ranks of former Soviet and other Eastern European players who normally dominated such events. An even greater break with tradition came when Harriet Hunt of Oxford, Eng., took the girls title with a late burst of six wins and a draw in her last seven games. BERNARD CAFFERTY This article updates Chess. U.S. Football. College. The Universities of Michigan and Nebraska shared the national championship of college football in 1997-98 when voters in the two major polls selected different number one teams for the third time in eight years. As the only two undefeated teams in Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Big Ten Conference champion Michigan (12-0) won the writers' poll, and Big 12 champion Nebraska (13-0) narrowly won the coaches' poll. Michigan finished its season on Jan. 1, 1998, by winning the Rose Bowl 21-16 over Pacific-10 champion Washington State, which made its first trip to the Pasadena, Calif., game in 67 years. Nebraska earned its third championship in four years by defeating Southeastern Conference champion Tennessee (11-2) by a score of 42-17 in the Orange Bowl at Miami, Fla., the next day. The polls agreed on Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State (11-1) at number three after the Seminoles led Division I-A in rushing defense with a yield of 51.9 yd per game and bested the Big Ten's Ohio State (10-3) 31-14 in the Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, La. It was the Seminoles' 11th consecutive season in the top four college teams. The 1997 season was the third in four years that the Rose Bowl's commitment from the Big Ten and Pac-10 champions prevented a national championship game between the only two major college teams undefeated in the regular season. Beginning with the 1998 season, the Rose Bowl would cooperate with the Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta bowls to ensure a championship game between the two highest-ranked teams in the regular season. While Michigan won its first national championship since 1948, Wolverine junior cornerback Charles Woodson became the first primarily defensive player ever to win the Heisman Trophy, which was awarded every year to honour the best college football player in the nation. Woodson, who also won the similar but less-prestigious Walter Camp Award, ranked second nationally with seven interceptions, scored two touchdowns with 11 catches as a part-time wide receiver, and scored once as a punt returner. He also won the Chuck Bednarik and Jim Thorpe awards for best defensive player and best defensive back, respectively, as Michigan's defense led the country by allowing only an average 8.9 points, 206.9 total yards, and 115.9 passing yards per regular-season game. Nebraska coach Tom Osborne retired after 25 seasons and a 255-49-3 record, including 60-3-0 in his last five years. The Cornhuskers' offense led the country with per-game averages of 47.1 points, 392.6 rushing yards, and 513.7 total yards. Nebraska was the first team since 1980 with players who won both of the top awards for linemen; the Vince Lombardi/Rotary Award went to defensive end Grant Wistrom, and the Outland Trophy for interior linemen was awarded to guard Aaron Taylor. Tennessee star quarterback Peyton Manning, the Heisman runner-up who had been considered the favourite to win the award, won the Maxwell Award as player of the year, as well as the Scholar-Athlete Award and the Davy O'Brien National Quarterback Award. Rose Bowl coaches Mike Price of Washington State and Lloyd Carr of Michigan won different Coach of the Year awards, and Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson retired after 57 seasons with a record of 408-165-15, the most victories in college football history. Other conference winners in Division I-A were Syracuse (9-4) in the Big East, Southern Mississippi (9-3) in Conference USA, Colorado State (11-2) in the Western Athletic, Utah State (6-6) and Nevada (5-6) in the Big West, and Marshall (10-3) in the Mid-American. In Division I-AA, Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern University (11-1) won the Heritage Bowl for predominantly black colleges on Dec. 27, 1997, in Atlanta, Ga., 34-28 over South Carolina State (9-3). Other Division I-AA conference champions were Harvard (9-1) in the Ivy League, Villanova (12-1) in the Atlantic 10, Eastern Washington (12-2) in the Big Sky, Western Illinois (11-2) in the Gateway, and Hampton (10-2) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic. In Division III, 14-0 Mount Union (Ohio) defeated 12-1 Lycoming (Pa.) 61-12. Mount Union earned its second consecutive championship with the country's longest winning streak, 28 games, behind quarterback Bill Borchert, who won the Gagliardi Trophy as the top player in Division III and set all-division career records with 141 regular-season touchdown passes and a 194.08 efficiency rating. The outstanding players in the other divisions were Villanova wide receiver Brian Finneran, who won the Walter Payton Player of the Year Award in Division I-AA, and Bloomsburg University running back Irv Sigler, who was awarded the Harlon Hill Trophy in Division II. Professional. After four previous Super Bowl losses (three with veteran quarterback John Elway at the helm), the underdog Denver Broncos finally captured the National Football League (NFL) championship, defying the odds and outplaying the defending champion Green Bay Packers, led by quarterback Brett Favre (see BIOGRAPHIES), by a score of 31-24 in Super Bowl XXXII on Jan. 25, 1998, in San Diego, Calif. Denver was the first American Football Conference (AFC) champion to win the Super Bowl since the Raiders (then in Los Angeles) in 1984 and only the second wild-card team ever to win it (the Raiders won as a wild card in 1981). Elway, at age 37 the oldest quarterback ever to win the Super Bowl, passed for only 123 yd, compared with Favre's 256 passing yards, but Denver took advantage of three Green Bay turnovers and a tired Packer defense to put the game away. Broncos running back Terrell Davis, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP), carried the ball 30 times for 157 yd and three touchdowns (a Super Bowl record), despite being forced to sit out much of the second quarter after a blow to the head left him suffering from a migraine headache. The Broncos, the first wild-card team even to reach the Super Bowl since the Buffalo Bills in 1992, trounced the Jacksonville Jaguars 42-17 in the wild-card round and slipped past the Kansas City Chiefs 14-10 in the division play-offs. In the AFC championship, Elway passed for two touchdowns with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, and with the help of four forced turnovers in the second half, Denver held on for a 24-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Packers, with their third consecutive National Football Conference (NFC) Central Division title, earned a bye in the wild-card play-offs. They beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-7 in the division play-offs and won the NFC championship 23-10 over the San Francisco 49ers as Favre passed for 222 yd and one touchdown. The Packers were one of three teams to repeat as division winners. The Steelers won their fourth consecutive title in the AFC Central, and the New England Patriots took their second in a row in the AFC East. The New York Giants won the NFC East for the first time since 1990, and the Buccaneers ended a 15-year absence from the play-offs by earning one of the wild-card berths for the top three division runners-up in each conference. None of the other 10 play-off teams had missed postseason play for more than one year. The New York Jets' eight-game improvement to 9-7 tied the biggest in NFL history, whereas the Indianapolis Colts had the worst decline, six games to 3-13. The Giants improved by 4 games and played in one of the league's two tie games, its first since 1989. The Dallas Cowboys' six-year streak of play-off appearances ended, and the Steelers and 49ers were left with league-high streaks of six apiece. The Bills missed the play-offs for only the second time in 10 seasons. The 1997-98 season was characterized by resurgent rushing attacks, with the most yards on the ground since 1988. Players rushed seven times for at least 200 yd in a game, the most in NFL history, and 121 times for at least 100 yd, the most since the NFL's 1970 merger with the American Football League. Corey Dillon of the Cincinnati Bengals ran for 246 yd in a December 4 game against the Tennessee Oilers, breaking the rookies' record that Jim Brown had set 40 years earlier. Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders, who shared the regular-season MVP award with Favre, became the third player to run for at least 2,000 yd in a season when he led the league with 2,053. Sanders also reached a career total of 13,319 yd and became the second leading rusher in NFL history, behind Walter Payton. The NFL's leading offensive teams were the Broncos, with 29.5 points and 367 total yards per game; Pittsburgh, with 154.9 rushing yards; and the Seattle Seahawks, with 247.4 passing yards behind 41-year-old quarterback Warren Moon. Detroit led the NFC in rushing and total yards, and Green Bay led the conference in passing yards. Pittsburgh also had the best defense against the run, allowing only 82.4 yd per game. Defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield won the Defensive Player of the Year award for San Francisco, which led the NFC in rushing defense, and Denver and Indianapolis led the AFC in total defense and pass defense, respectively. John Randle was the first defensive tackle ever to lead the NFL in sacks, with 15.5 for the Minnesota Vikings, and Ryan McNeil led the league with 9 interceptions for the St. Louis Rams. The Lions' Herman Moore caught more than 100 passes for a record third consecutive season and tied Oakland Raider Tim Brown for the NFL lead, with 104 receptions. Other receiving leaders were Rob Moore, with 1,584 yd for the Arizona Cardinals; Cris Carter, with 13 touchdowns for the Vikings; and Pittsburgh's Yancey Thigpen, with 17.7 yd per catch. Tennessee's Ronnie Harmon became the first back to gain more than 6,000 yd receiving in his career. Steve Young of San Francisco led NFL passers for the sixth time in seven seasons with a 104.7 passer rating and also led with 8.5 yd per pass attempt. Oakland's Jeff George passed for a league-best 3,917 yd, and Indianapolis's Jim Harbaugh's four interceptions for the Colts gave him a 1.3 interception percentage, the NFL's lowest. Denver's Super Bowl hero, Davis, also led the AFC for the season with 1,750 yd rushing, and his 15 touchdown runs tied for the NFL lead with the Miami Dolphins' Karim Abdul-Jabbar, who led the league with 16 total touchdowns. Kicker Mike Hollis of Jacksonville led NFL scorers with 134 points. Contract Bridge The two most important world championships in contract bridge, the Bermuda Bowl and the Venice Cup, which is restricted to women, took place in Hammamet, Tun., Oct. 19-Nov. 1, 1997. The Bermuda Bowl was won by France, which defeated the United States 328-301 in the final. Norway finished third. The winning team comprised Alain Lvy, Christian Mari, Herv Mouiel, Frank Multon, Paul Chemla, and Michel Perron, with Jean-Louis Stoppa as the nonplaying captain. (The first four players were part of the French team that won the 1996 World Team Olympiad.) The silver medalists were the defending champions, Nick Nickell, Dick Freeman, Bob Hamman, Bobby Wolff, Jeff Meckstroth, and Eric

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