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The Scotsman

Chess News September 2000

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A THREE-WAY tie has developed in the US Championships being played at the Town Hall in Seattle as defending champion Boris Gelfand is joined in the top spot on 2/3 with the 1995 and 1998 champion, Nick de Firmian, and fellow Russian emigre, Gregory Kaidanov.

However, the trio will have their work cut out in the race for the $10,000 first prize as just a half a point behind them lurks a menacing chasing pack of six: Dmitry Gurevich, Alexander Shabalov, John Fedorowicz, Alexander Ivanov, Joel Benjamin and Gregory Serper.

In the women's championship, which has a record $40,000 prize fund, 17-year-old Elina Groberman is the only player in the tournament with a 100 percent score of 3/3. She leads by half point over 16-year-old Yelina Gorlin, and one and a half points over a chasing pack of five.

"Many chess books provide training in how to round off a successful attack with a final combination but that's really just the easy part," explains Larry Christiansen, one of the finest attacking players in the history of American chess, in his entertaining new book from Gambit Publications, 'Storming the Barricades'. "The difficult thing, however, is to decide how and where to attack in the first place, and to build up the offensive without giving the opponent any real counter chances."

Unfortunately for Christiansen, his opponent, former US champion Joel Benjamin, had no trouble in deciding where to attack, and decided himself to "storm the barricades" for the only win of the third round.


Leader board: 1-3 Gulko, de Firmian, Kaidanov 2/3; 4-9 Gurevich, Shabalov, Fedorowicz, Ivanov, Benjamin, Serper 1.5; 10-12 Yermolinsky, Seirawan, Christiansen 1.


L Christiansen - J Benjamin
US Championships (3), Nimzovitch Defence

1 e4 Nc6 2 d4 e5 3 d5 Nce7 4 Nf3 Ng6 5 h4 h5 6 Bg5 Nf6 7 Nc3 Bb4 8 a3 Bxc3+ 9 bxc3 c6 10 c4 d6 11 Nd2 Qa5 12 Bd3 Ng4 13 Qe2 f6 14 Be3 Nf4 15 Bxf4 exf4 16 0-0 c5 17 Nf3 Ne5 18 Rfb1 Qc3 19 Nxe5 Qxe5 20 a4 g5 21 hxg5 fxg5 22 Ra3 g4 23 Qd2 Rh7 24 Qc3 Qxc3 25 Rxc3 Re7 26 g3 f3 27 a5 Kf7 28 Kf1 Rb8 29 Ke1 Bf5 30 Kd2 Bxe4 31 Bxe4 Rxe4 32 Re3 Rxe3 33 Kxe3 Kf6 34 Kf4 Kg6 35 a6 b6 36 c3 Rf8+ 0-1

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DEFENDING champion Boris Gulko opened his account to take the joint lead in the 2000 US Championships in Seattle after a second round victory over Joel Benjamin.

In a popular line of the Sicilian Richter-Rauzer, Benjamin, the man credited with being the "chess brains" behind IBM's Deep Blue, literally blew a fuse with the gross blunder of 32 Bxe3??, allowing Gulko a mate in one, when he was probably better.

Gulko, one of the few players with a plus score against Garry Kasparov, spent most of his life in the former Soviet Union and is the only player to have won both the USSR and US championships. In 1977 he took joint first place along with Iosif Dorfman in one of the strongest tournaments of all time, the USSR championship.

However, during the late 70's, political persecution thwarted a promising career when it was at its peak. Boris and his wife Anna (who after ending a protest fast was deprived of the 1982 USSR women's title due to a blatant official fraud) attempted to emigrate and had to endured persecution and even imprisonment as "refusniks".

As further punishment both weren't allowed by the Soviet authorities to compete in international competition until 1986 when, under intense international pressure, they were both granted exit visas and settled in the US.


Leader board: 1-3 Gulko, de Firmian, Kaidanov 1.5/2; 4-9 Fedorowicz, Gurevich, Ivanov, Shabalov, Serper, Christiansen 1; 10-12 Benjamin, Yermolinsky, Seirawan 0.5.


J Benjamin - B Gulko
US Championships (2), Sicilian Richter-Rauzer

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 Bg5 e6 7 Qd2 Be7 8 0-0-0 0-0 9 f3 Nxd4 10 Qxd4 a6 11 h4 Qc7 12 Kb1 b5 13 Qd2 b4 14 Ne2 Rb8 15 g4 a5 16 Nd4 a4 17 Bd3 e5 18 Nf5 Bxf5 19 gxf5 a3 20 b3 d5 21 Rhg1 Kh8 22 h5 Rfd8 23 h6 g6 24 Qe1 Rb6 25 Rg2 gxf5 26 exf5 e4 27 fxe4 Qe5 28 Bc1 dxe4 29 Bc4 Rxd1 30 Qxd1 e3 31 Qg1 Rb8 32 Bxe3?? (32 Bxf7 Bc5 [32 .Rf8 33 Bc4 Bc5 34 Rg3 e2 35 Re3!] 33 Rg3 Qc7 [33 ..Qxf5 34 Rxe3!] 34 Bc4 e2 35 Qe1 Ne4 36 Rf3 and White's ok.) 32 Qb2# 0-1

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SEATTLE, dubbed the Emerald City, is situated in America's northwest state of Washington, and is famed for giving the world Starbucks Coffee, Boeing Aircraft, Microsoft, Frasier, Grunge Music and now...the home of the US Chess Championships for the next ten years.

The 2000 Championships with its record-breaking $100,000 prize fund, officially got underway after Seattle Chess Foundation President Erik Anderson opened the tournament with a glitzy reception and drawing of lots ceremony held at the Pacific Science Centre in Seattle.

Inexplicably, this is the first US Championships to be held in the city in the 155-year history of the tournament; and indeed the first major chess event to be held in Seattle since 1990. Twelve of the best US chess players are vying for the overall title and $60,000 prize fund, including, in rating order, 1 Boris Gulko 2748, 2 Yasser Seirawan 2703, 3 Gregory Kaidanov 2695, 4 Alex Yermolinsky 2683, 5 Nick de Firmian 2668, 6 Joel Benjamin 2650, 7 Larry Christiansen 2662, 8 Alexander Shabalov 2672, 9 Gregory Serper 2647, 10 Dmitry Gurevich 2650, 11 Alexander Ivanov 2634, 12 John Fedorowicz 2620.

In addition, concurrently, ten of the United States' best woman players will compete for the US Women's title and prize fund of $40,000. And indeed after all six games in the opening round of the overall championship turned out to be relatively uninspiring draws, we had to look to the women's tournament for all the excitement in the first round.


C Baginskaite - J Shahade
US Women's Ch. (1), Grunfeld Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5 5 e4 Nxc3 6 bxc3 Bg7 7 Be3 c5 8 Nf3 Qa5 9 Qd2 Nc6 10 Rb1 0-0 11 Rb5? cxd4! 12 Rxa5 dxe3 13 fxe3 Nxa5 14 c4 b6 15 Be2 Be6 16 Kf2 Rac8 17 Rc1 Bxc4 18 Nd4 Rc5 19 Qb4 Rfc8 20 Nb3 Nxb3 21 Rxc4 Rxc4 22 Bxc4 Nc5 23 Kf3 Be5 24 h3 Kg7 25 g4 h6 26 h4 Bf6 27 h5 Nd7 28 Bb3 Ne5+ 29 Kg3 Rc1 30 hxg6 Rg1+ 31 Kh3 Nf3 (31 ..Kxg6! 32 Qa4 Nxg4 33 Qe8 Ne5 34 Qg8+ Bg7 35 Qb8 e6 36 Qxa7 Nf3 and there's no defence to Be5 and Rg3 mate.) 32 Qc4 Ng5+ 33 Kh2 Nf3+ 34 Kh3 Ng5+ 35 Kh2 Nf3+ draw.

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DESPITE having, on paper at least, a healthy looking membership of around 90,000, the United States Chess Federation (USCF) has been beset in recent years with internal political disputes that have left them financially in dire straits.

Such was their plight that, after the loss of a major sponsor, the USCF announced that they would have to cancel the 2000 US Championships - unthinkable for such a rich country whose historical championship dates back to 1845.

Help was soon at hand though as the newly formed Seattle Chess Foundation - the brainchild of former champion and US No.2, Yasser Seirawan, his wife, Yvette, venture capitalist Erik Anderson and former Microsoft executive Scott Oki - stepped in at the last minute to not only rescue the 2000 championships but also secure its future for the next ten years as they hope to turn Seattle, holding the national championships for the first time, into a chess Mecca.

Dubbed a "Celebration of the Mind", the Foundation has brought together 22 of the US's strongest male and female players - headed by defending champion Boris Gulko - to do battle in Seattle for a record prize fund of $100,000.

California's Alex Yermolinsky goes to Seattle in good form after recently clinching the title of 101st US Open Champion and $5,000 first prize at St Paul, Minnesota, with an undefeated 8/9, ahead of Kaidanov, Wojtkiewicz, Serper, Blatny, Kaufman and Valvo.


A Shabalov - A Yermolinsky
101st US Open (6), Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Qb6 5 Nb5 a6 6 Be3 Qd8 7 Nd4 Nf6 8 Nc3 e5 9 Nf5 d5 10 exd5 Nb4 11 Ng3 Nfxd5 12 Nxd5 Qxd5 13 Qxd5 Nxd5 14 Bd2 Nb4 15 Kd1 Be6 16 a3 Nc6 17 Bd3 g6 18 Re1 f5 19 Bc3 0-0-0 20 f3 Bh6 21 Ke2 Rhf8 22 Kf2 e4 23 Bf1 Nd4 24 Bxd4 Rxd4 25 fxe4 Bd2 26 Red1 fxe4+ 27 Kg1 Bg4 28 Rdb1 Be3+ 29 Kh1 Bf2 30 c3 Rdd8 31 Nxe4 Bf5 32 Bd3 Rxd3 33 Nxf2 Rd2 34 Rf1 Rxb2 35 Kg1 Rd8 36 g4 Bd7 37 Rab1 Rxb1 38 Rxb1 Bc6 39 Rd1 Re8 40 h4 Re2 41 Rd4 Ra2 42 Rf4 Rxa3 43 Rf7 h5 44 g5 Rxc3 45 Rf6 a5 46 Rxg6 a4 47 Rd6 a3 48 Rd2 Rg3+ 49 Kh2 Rg2+ 50 Kh3 b5 0-1

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CHESS is getting faster and younger these days as the royal game continues to evolve moving into its second millennium.

Not only are chess masters getting younger and younger these days but, like the reduction in the age of players, the game is also getting faster and faster with the growth in popularity of Rapidplay and Blitz tournaments - the chess world's answer to one-day cricket.

These days a time limit of one hour per player per game is described as "serious chess" in comparison to rapids and blitz. Only 20 years ago the great majority of grandmasters and chess officials would have only applied "serious chess" to five hour sessions followed by adjournments and games of indefinite length. However, in the new fast chess world, thrills 'n' spills are the order of the day as the devil may care attitude makes for lively and exciting games.

Looking to cash in on the growth of such events, the world chess federation, FIDE, much like many of their member associations (Scotland being an example here), have now produced a separate rating list for such speed events.

This week Scottish players have the chance to doubly sharpen their speed game as Glasgow and Edinburgh hosts two such popular one-day tournaments. This Thursday evening, 28th September, sees the pre-season Glasgow Polytechnic Quickplay, held at the University of Glasgow College Club (contact: Jim Prentice, 0141-357-1195), followed two days later on the 30th September with the Lothians Allegro at Wester Hailes Education Centre (contact George Anderson, 0131-447-2149).

In the recent Borowski Rapidplay in Essen, Germany, GM Artur Jussupow and IM Daniel Fridman both scored 8/11 in a pre-season Bundesliga 15-minute tournament to take first place ahead of a field of 32.


A Jussupow - R Dautov
Borowski Rapidplay (8), Colle-Zuckertort Opening

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 e3 b6 4 Bd3 Bb7 5 0-0 d5 6 Ne5 Bd6 7 Nd2 Nbd7 8 f4 c5 9 b3 0-0 10 Bb2 cxd4 11 exd4 Ne4 12 Nxe4 dxe4 13 Bc4 a6 14 a4 Bd5 15 Qe2 a5 16 Bb5 Nxe5 17 fxe5 Bb4 18 c4 Bb7 19 Rad1 Qg5 20 d5 Bc5+ 21 Kh1 e3 22 Rf3 Qh4 23 Rg3 Rad8 24 d6 Kh8 25 Rf1 f5 26 exf6 gxf6 27 Rxf6 Rxf6 28 Qg4 Qh6 29 Qxe6 Rdf8 30 d7 e2 31 Bxf6+ Qxf6 32 Rg8+ 1-0

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WHO would you back in a match-up between former world champions Smyslov and Steinitz? Well, chess punters have a chance of placing a bet on the likely outcome when both finally meet - on the racecourse at Newmarket!

For the first time the two racehorses, named after former world chess champions by their owner, ABBA icon Benny Anderson, race together on Tuesday, 26th September.

In the south of Sweden Benny breeds racehorses at his own stable called Chess Racing. The ABBA connection to the royal game is of course the musical "Chess", the Cold War chess story of love and betrayal, devised by lyricist Sir Tim Rice with the musical score by Benny and Bjorn Ulvaeus - the duo's first major project after the demise of ABBA.

So, which of the two is likely to win? Well, on present form it looks like Smyslov, named after Russia's Vassily Smyslov, the 1957-58 world champion, is the in-form horse with it's last two outings - Hamilton and Ayr - securing first and fourth place.

Naming a racehorse after a world chess champion is not a new phenomenon. In the 1980s top trainer Jenny Pittman had a seven-time winner in her stable called Alekhine, named after Dr. Alexander Alekhine. Alas, much like the good doctor who tragically died in 1946 whilst still world champion, the horse died at its peak after breaking its neck in a fall.

Last year there was a critically acclaimed definitive tome on the fourth world champion published by the American firm of McFarland's, Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games, 1902-1946 by Leonard Skinner and Robert Verhoeven, comprising of 824 pages and 2500 games. Recently an unpublished game has surfaced much to the frustrations of the diligent authors. Played at the New York 7th Regiment Armory in 1932, it was against the Weekhawken Chess Club - WJ Bryan, Charles Stewart, Arthur Wortman and EA Beesley - during a simultaneous display against 50 four-man teams, with Alekhine scoring +30, -6, =14.


A Alekhine - Weekhawken C.C.
Old Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 d6 3 Nc3 e5 4 dxe5 dxe5 5 Qxd8+ Kxd8 6 Bg5 Be6 7 0-0-0+ Nbd7 8 Nf3 Kc8 9 e3 c6 10 Bh4 Bg4 11 Be2 Bxf3 12 gxf3 Kc7 13 Rhg1 h6 14 h3 Ne8 15 Bg3 g6 16 f4 f6 17 fxe5 fxe5 18 Ne4 Bg7 19 Bh2 g5 20 f4! Nef6 21 fxe5 Nxe4 22 e6+ Kb6 23 Rxd7 Bf6 24 Bc7+ Kc5 25 a3 a5 26 Kc2 Bd8 27 Be5 Bf6 28 b4+ Kb6 29 Bc7+ Ka7 30 Bf3 1-0

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SCOTLAND'S Elaine Rutherford is on the verge of more honours this year after jumping into second place in the Terence Chapman Group Prixette, the female version of the UK Grand Prix and Britain's richest competition for women and girls.

Rutherford, 17, the world women's amateur champion, boosted her chances of winning the Prixette after scoring 3/5 at the recent Grangemouth Premier which, due to the high prize fund, counted for bonus points. The James Gillespie High School pupil is now in second place, tantalisingly just one point behind the leader, Teresa Khoo, and only needs another 3/5 in another qualifying weekend open to take a clear and perhaps decisive lead.

But there is a problem. Scotland's remaining Grand Prix congresses at Glasgow and Oban clash with the Istanbul Olympiad where Rutherford will be playing second board for her country. The forthcoming Perth Open - a tournament that for the past 22-years has been a major pit stop on the Grand Prix circuit for previous winners - would have been an ideal event for her to gain valuable points as she was the joint winner with Colin McNab last year. However the shortsighted Perth organisers, deciding that the Grand Prix was "a waste of time" as it didn't attract English players and caused them extra paperwork, have withdrawn from the circuit this year.

Now, in her quest for the first prize of (UK)500, Rutherford finds herself having to battle on English soil rather than her homeland in an all-out effort to become the first Scot to take a Grand Prix title.


E Rutherford - N Berry
Grangemouth Premier (2), Barry Attack

1 Nc3 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 d4 g6 4 Bf4 Bg7 5 h3 0-0 6 Ne5 c5 7 e3 cxd4 8 exd4 Nc6 9 Qd2 Ne8 10 0-0-0 Nc7 11 Bh6 Ne6 12 Bxg7 Nxg7 13 Ng4 Nf5 14 Nh6+ Nxh6 15 Qxh6 e6 16 Qf4 f6 17 h4 Ne7 18 Bd3 Bd7 19 Ne2 Rf7 20 Qg3 Qb8 21 Qe3 e5 22 dxe5 Qxe5 23 Qf3 Bc6 24 Qh3 Rd8 25 f4 Qd6 26 h5 Rg7 27 g4 Kf7 28 hxg6+ hxg6 29 f5 g5 30 Qh5+ Kf8 31 Rhf1 Be8 32 Qh8+ Ng8 33 Bc4 Bf7 34 Nd4 Qe5 35 Bb3 Re8 36 Ne6+ Rxe6 37 fxe6 Qxe6 38 Bxd5 Qe3+ 39 Kb1 Bxd5 40 Rxd5 Qe7 41 Rfd1 Rh7 42 Rd8+ 1-0

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THE judges for the British Chess Federations Book of the Year award - Ray Edwards, Mike Fox and John Toothill - have again reached that time of the year when, out of the many chess books published annually, they have to produce a shortlist of books for the title.

It's been a rich year for the publication of good chess books, and indeed this is reflected by the judges' decision to increase the shortlist from four to five - however it won't make their final decision any easier!

The book's they have to decide from are: Kramnik: My Life and Games (Everyman) by Vladimir Kramnik and Iakov Damsky, a highly topical biography on the World Championship challenger; Queen's Gambit Declined (Everyman) by Matthew Sadler, a delightful opening treatise by a renowned openings expert; Soviet Chess 1917-1991 (McFarland) by Andrew Soltis, a highly readable and authoritative history of the rise, triumph and fall of the Soviet chess machine; The Road To Chess Improvement (Gambit) by Alex Yermolinsky, a highly-rated book about practical playing problems; A Gnat May Drink (privately published) by Jonathan Hinton, an entertaining book looking at one hundred annotated games, one from each year of the last century.

So who's going to win? Well, that's ultimately the job of the judges but, for what it's worth, my own personal vote goes to Andrew Soltis' superb hardback and sepia offering of Soviet Chess 1917-1991.

No such problem with the judges' decision in the Golombek Memorial. In a rare show of democracy, the players themselves had to vote for the best game of the tournament, which went to IM Danny Gormally.


A Naumann - D Gormally
Golombek Memorial (7), Sicilian Najdorf

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 Nf6 4 Nc3 cxd4 5 Nxd4 a6 6 Bg5 e6 7 f4 Be7 8 Qf3 Qc7 9 0-0-0 Nbd7 10 g4 b5 11 Bxf6 Nxf6 12 g5 Nd7 13 Bd3 Nc5 14 h4 b4 15 Nce2 Bb7 16 Kb1 f5 17 gxf6 Bxf6 18 Qg4 Bc8 19 Nf3 e5 20 f5 Bb7 21 Ng3 0-0-0 22 Ng5 Kb8 23 b3 d5 24 exd5 Rxd5 25 Be4 Rd4 26 Rxd4 exd4 27 Bxb7 d3 28 cxd3 Na4 29 bxa4 Qc3 30 d4 Bxd4 31 Qf4+ Be5 32 Qc1 Qa1+ 33 Kc2 Qxa2+ 34 Kd3 Rd8+ 35 Ke4 Bxg3 36 Kf3 Rd3+ 37 Kg4 Kxb7 38 Qf1 Qc4+ 39 Kh5 Qd5 40 Rh3 h6 41 Qg1 hxg5 42 Rxg3 Qxf5 43 Qg2+ Kb8 44 Rxg5 Qh7+ 45 Kg4 Rd4+ 0-1

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THE legendary Harry Golombek (1911-1995) was remembered recently by becoming only the third British player (after Howard Staunton and C.H.O'D Alexander, 1951 and 1975 respectively) to be honoured with a memorial tournament, appropriately, at the 50th Paignton Congress, an event he had a long association with both as player and journalist.

Although he played in the 1920s and throughout the 1930s, Golombek, who worked alongside Alan Turing at Bletchley Park in breaking the German Enigma codes, had to wait until after the War for his best results. He was a three-time British Champion (1947, 1949 and 1955) who also became the first British player to play in an Interzonal in 1952. As well as being a strong player, he was also recognised as one of the games top arbiters, acting as judge in six World Championship matches. In 1966 he was awarded the OBE for his services to the game.

Also a prolific chess writer, Golombek was for many years the chess correspondent of The Times and The Observer and had also written numerous books on the game - most notably "Reti's Best Games" and "Capablanca's Best Games".

Fittingly, one of the joint winners of his Memorial tournament, John Nunn, who shared equal first with the German GM Klaus Bischoff on 5.5/9, was the only competitor at Paignton to have actually known Golombek personally.


1-2 Nunn (Eng), Bischoff (Ger) 5.5/9; 3-5 Hebden (Eng), Fontaine (Fra), Turner (Eng) 5; 6 Gormally (Eng) 4.5; 7 Arkell (Eng); 8-10 Hillarp Persson (Swe), Van der Weide (Ned), Naumann (Ger) 3.5.


J Nunn - T Hillarp Petersson
Golombek Memorial (6), French Def

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 c5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 Ne7 7 a4 Qa5 8 Bd2 Nbc6 9 Nf3 Bd7 10 Bb5 f6 11 Qe2 Qc7 12 0-0 a6 13 Bxc6 Nxc6 14 Bc1 cxd4 15 exf6 gxf6 16 Nxd4 Qe5 17 Qd2 Rg8 18 Re1 Nxd4 19 cxd4 Qf5 20 Qb4 0-0-0 21 Ra3 Bc6 22 Rg3 e5 23 Bb2 e4 24 Bc1 h5 25 h4 Rg4 26 Rxg4 Qxg4 27 Qe7 Qf5 28 g3 Rd7 29 Qc5 Rd8 30 Bf4 Qe6 31 f3 f5 32 fxe4 fxe4 33 Be5 Rd7 34 Qf8+ Rd8 35 Qg7 Qd7 36 Qg6 Qe8 37 Qh6 Bxa4 38 Rf1 Bc6 39 Rf6 a5 40 Qf4 a4 41 Rf7 Bd7 42 Bb8 1-0

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FOR the purposes of deciding who qualifies to play in the world championship, the world chess federation, FIDE, divide the world up into "zones" from which six players win through to the big-money knockout final in New Delhi and Tehran.

Mondariz in Spain last week was the venue for the European "zone 1.1", which included the British contingent in action. Scotland was represented by the new Scottish champion Alan Norris and, replacing at the last minute Jonathan Rowson, Jonathan Grant, both whom its fair to say didn't trouble the scorers in a very strong field.

As it was, the French No.1 Joel Lautier, with a score of 8/11, won the event ahead of 2-3 Jon Speelman (England), Loek Van Wely (Netherlands) 7.5, 4-5 Igor-Alexandre Nataf (France), Jeroen Piket (Netherlands) 7, all guaranteeing themselves an automatic qualifying place.

However, with a ten-player play-off to decide who got the final sixth place, there was one tenuous tartan hope that so very nearly won through to the finals. England's IM Jonathan Parker, the 1994 Scottish Champion who was resident in Scotland while a junior, secured yet another GM norm but unfortunately lost out for the final place, which went to the Italian No.1, Michele Godena.

Parker, 24, a City fund manager with M & G in London, is probably one of the strongest IMs on the FIDE rating list, but unfortunately, due to the pressures of his work, doesn't get much time to play in such top level tournaments that would secure his GM title. In Mondariz, he produced yet another bravura performance, drawing with top seeds Van Wely and Tiviakov


J Parker - J Lautier
Mondariz Zonal (10), Nimzo-Indian Def

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Bg5 c5 5 d5 d6 6 f3 h6 7 Bd2 exd5 8 cxd5 0-0 9 e4 Nh5 10 Nge2 f5 11 Qc2 fxe4 12 fxe4 Nd7 13 0-0-0 Ne5 14 Kb1 Bd7 15 h3 Nc4 16 Bc1 Rf2 17 Qd3 Ne5 18 Qe3 Qf8 19 g4 Nc4 20 Qd3 Ne5 21 Qe3 Bxc3 22 gxh5 Ba5 23 Rg1 Kh7 24 Nf4 Rf3 25 Ng6 Qf6 26 Qe2 Rf2 27 Qe3 Rf3 28 Qe2 Re8 29 Nxe5 Rxe5 30 Rg6 Qf8 31 Qg2 Bxh3 32 Rxh6+ gxh6 33 Qg6+ Kh8 34 Bxh3 Rxh3 35 Bxh6 Qg8 36 Qf6+ Kh7 37 Bf4 Rexh5 38 Qxd6 Rh1 0-1

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WITH India's Vishy Anand taking the men's title, it turned out to be an Asian sweep in the 1st FIDE World Cup in Shengyang as China's Xu Yuhua defeated Natalia Zhukova, 1.5-0.5, in an epic 74-move game to take the women's title and $24,000 first prize.

It was the first major international triumph for the relatively unknown 24-year-old, and completed China's dominance of the women's game. They now hold all the major titles in the women's game: World Cup, women's world championship (held by Xie Jun) and the gold medal winners at the women's Olympiad.

The stage is now set for China, who only started competing in the international arena in 1976, to finally make their mark in the men's game for overall domination. They have ambitious plans to dominate word chess by 2010 in much the same style as the 1950s Soviet Union. Beijing now has six of the world top 100 GMs, more than any other country bar Russia, and last year Xiangzhi Bu became the world's youngest grandmaster of the game at just 13 years and 10 months.

Chinese officials now perceive their young star as a 21st-century version of Mikhail Botvinnik, who held the world title with brief intervals from 1948 to 1963 and became an icon of Communist success at mind sports. In what looks ominous for the future, their juniors now dominate the Fide ratings for children aged under-12. The top ten players born after August 1988 are all Chinese - all with high ratings of 2270 or even over 2300, achieved when they were aged just nine or ten.


Xu Yuhua - N Zhukova
FIDE World Cup, Alekhine's Defence

1 e4 Nf6 2 e5 Nd5 3 d4 d6 4 Nf3 dxe5 5 Nxe5 g6 6 Bc4 c6 7 0-0 Bg7 8 Re1 0-0 9 Bb3 a5 10 a4 Be6 11 c3 Nd7 12 Nd3 Bf5 13 Na3 Re8 14 Bg5 N5f6 15 Bh4 h6 16 h3 e6 17 Bc2 Nb6 18 Nc5 Bxc2 19 Qxc2 Ra7 20 Qb3 g5 21 Bg3 Nfd5 22 Rad1 Qe7 23 Nc2 Nc8 24 Ne3 Nxe3 25 Rxe3 b6 26 Nd3 Rb7 27 Rde1 Nd6 28 Ne5 Rc8 29 R3e2 Qd8 30 Nf3 b5 31 axb5 Rxb5 32 Qa2 Nf5 33 Be5 Bf8 34 Nd2 Be7 35 Ne4 Ra8 36 Qa4 Rb6 37 Ra1 Rba6 38 Ree1 Qb6 39 Ra2 Qb5 40 Nf6+ Kf8 41 Qc2 Bxf6 42 Bxf6 Kg8 43 Re5 Qb7 44 Qe2 Kh7 45 Qh5 Rg8 46 Rexa5 Rxa5 47 Rxa5 Rg6 48 Be5 f6 49 Bg3 Nxg3 50 fxg3 Qc7 51 Rc5 Qxg3 52 Qf3 Qe1+ 53 Kh2 f5 54 Rxc6 Rg7 55 Qg3 Qe4 56 Rc7 f4 57 Rxg7+ Kxg7 58 Qf3 Qf5 59 b4 Kg6 60 Qg4 Qd5 61 h4 Qc4 62 Qf3 Kf5 63 Qh5 Qxc3 64 Qf7+ Kg4 65 Qxe6+ Kh5 66 hxg5 Kxg5 67 Qg8+ Kh4 68 Qd8+ Kg4 69 Qd7+ Kg5 70 Qg7+ Kf5 71 b5 Qe1 72 Qe5+ Qxe5 73 dxe5 Kxe5 74 Kh3 1-0

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THE Indian ace Vishy Anand continues his good form of late with a convincing win over Evgeny Bareev to lift the 1st FIDE World Cup in Shengyang, China.

After drawing the first of the two game match, Anand, who was the pre-tournament hot favourite to lift the title, had a comfortable win in the second game for a 1.5-0.5 victory over Bareev to lift the inaugural World Cup and take the $50,000 first prize, while the Russian had to console himself the second prize of $30,000.

Anand, the world No.3, now makes his way to Australia for the Sydney Olympic Games as part of a FIDE delegation where, along with the world No.6, Alexei Shirov, he'll be part of a major presentation on chess - including a live game between the two - in the heart of the Athletes' Village. It's all part of the grand plan by the world chess federation, FIDE, as they move ever closer to having chess recognised as a sport by the IOC - last year Juan Samaranch, the head of the IOC, awarded FIDE "Recognised Federation" status under article 29 of the Olympic charter.

And, with the forthcoming Sydney Olympics being overshadowed by the spectre of drug testing, FIDE, likewise, have now introduced drug testing in international chess tournaments to comply with IOC rules as they seek sport status. This November at the 34th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, will see all the teams (including Scotland) having to provide a urine sample after each game.


V Anand - E Bareev
FIDE World Cup Final, French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 e5 Nfd7 5 Nce2 c5 6 c3 cxd4 7 cxd4 f6 8 Nf4 Bb4+ 9 Bd2 Qb6 10 Bxb4 Qxb4+ 11 Qd2 Qxd2+ 12 Kxd2 Ke7 13 exf6+ gxf6 14 Re1 Nb6 15 Nf3 Nc6 16 Bb5 Bd7 17 Bxc6 bxc6 18 Re2 Rae8 19 Rhe1 Kf7 20 Kc1 Nc4 21 Nd2 Nxd2 22 Kxd2 c5 23 dxc5 e5 24 Nxd5 Bb5 25 Kc3 Bxe2 26 Rxe2 Rc8 27 Kc4 Ke6 28 b4 Rhd8 29 Rd2 Rd7 30 f4 e4 31 Rd4 f5 32 g4 Rg7 33 Ne3 fxg4 34 Rd6+ Kf7 35 Nf5 e3 36 Nxg7 Re8 37 Nxe8 e2 38 Rf6+ 1-0

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THE weekend saw the holding of one of the most popular long-standing congresses on the Scottish scene, the 27th Grangemouth Congress, held, as ever, at Grangemouth Town Hall, and supported by Falkirk Council and BP Amoco.

The tournament is also becoming something of a favourite for the Scottish No.4, the Dundonian grandmaster Colin McNab, who was in top form at the weekend to take his third successive Premier title with an unbeaten score of 4.5/5 - the same winning scoreline he had in 1999 and 1998.

The highlight of the tournament though was the form of some of the junior players on the Scottish scene on the eve of the forthcoming World Age Group Championships in Spain. In the Premier, all eyes were on the impressive performance of 12-year-old Colin Hall from Perth, who, with 3/5 against top opposition, picked up the grading prize and the Brian Currie Memorial Shield for the best junior performance in an adult competition.

Meanwhile, in the Major, 11-year-old Christopher McDonald from Stirling became the youngest Scot to win an adult title with his unbeaten score of 4.5/5 for outright first place.


Premier: 1 GM C McNab (Dundee) 4.5/5; 2 IM S Mannion (Cathcart) 4; 3-5 N Berry (Edinburgh), P McInally (Edinburgh West), J Redpath (Edinburgh West) 3.5.
Challengers: 1 J Konarski (Wandering Fragons) 5/5; Major: 1 C McDonald (Stirling) 4.5/5.
Minor: 1-5 A Clark (Dundee), C Curry (Aberdeen), P Horne (Dunfermline), G Webb (Dunfermline), H Hanlon (Stirling) 4/5.
Juniors: 1 K Martin (Holy Cross) 5/5.


C McNab - C Hall
Grangemouth Premier (3), English Opening

1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 g3 g6 4 Bg2 Bg7 5 d3 Nge7 6 Rb1 0-0 7 b4 a6 8 a4 a5 9 b5 Nb4 10 Nf3 d5 11 cxd5 Nexd5 12 Nxd5 Qxd5 13 0-0 Qa2 14 Bd2 e4 15 dxe4 Be6 16 e5 Rfd8 17 Ra1 Qd5 18 Qc1 Bxe5 19 Nxe5 Qxd2 20 Bxb7 Qxc1 21 Rfxc1 Ra7 22 Bf3 Bd5 23 Bxd5 Rxd5 24 Nc6 Nxc6 25 Rxc6 Rd2 26 e3 Rb2 27 Rac1 Rb4 28 Ra6 Rxa6 29 bxa6 Rb8 30 Rxc7 Ra8 31 a7 Kg7 32 h4 h6 33 Kg2 Kf6 34 Kf3 Ke6 35 Rc6+ Kd7 36 Ra6 Kc7 37 Rf6 Rf8 38 h5 g5 39 Rxh6 f5 40 Rf6 1-0

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THE finalists for the 1st FIDE World Cup are now known after a nerve-wracking semi-final encounter in Shengyang, China, that saw three of the four matches decided by a speed play-off.

In the men's tournament, top seed Vishy Anand continued his good form to win through to the final after beating the Israeli No.1, Boris Gelfand. However, in what was expected to be a close match, the match was only decided after four tie breaking play-off games. With both players drawing their two normal time-control games, the match went into extra time and three more drawn games before Anand booked his passage to the final by winning the sixth game and the match, 3.5-2.5.

In the final, Anand will meet Russia's Evgeny Bareev, who went into extra time and won through after Gilberto Milos of Brazil blundered by lossing his queen in a won ending. The costly blunder allowed Bareev to win the match 2.5-1.5.

In the women's world cup, the host nation's hopes of lifting the title were boosted by the swashbuckling performance of Xu Yuhua, who came from behind three times to finally beat the experienced Swede, Pia Cramling, 3-2. In an enthralling encounter, Xu Yuhua possibly played the best game of the tournament after she produced a stunning queen sacrifice in the second game (given below) to dispatch Cramling and level the match at 1-1.

In the final, Xu Yuhua will now meet the European champion Natalia Zhukova, who outplayed the Vietnamese No.1, Hoang Thanh Trang, for a comfortable 1.5-0.5 win.

The losing semi-finalists go home with $20,000 (men) and $12,000 (women), with the respective winners of the World Cup receiving $50,000 and $30,000.


Xu Yuhua - P Cramling
FIDE World Cup, Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 Ndb5 Bc5 7 Bf4 0-0 8 e5 Ne8 9 Ne4 Be7 10 Bd3 a6 11 Qh5 g6 12 Qh6 axb5 13 h4 f5 14 h5 g5 15 Nxg5 Bxg5 16 Bxg5 Qa5+ 17 Bd2 b4 18 f4 Rf7 19 g4 Ne7 20 Rg1 Rg7 21 Ke2 Kh8 22 gxf5 Nxf5 23 Rxg7!! Nxh6 24 Rxh7+ Kg8 25 Rg1+ Kf8 26 Rxh6 Ke7 27 Rh8 d6 28 h6 Bd7 29 h7 dxe5 30 Rhg8 e4 31 h8Q exd3+ 32 cxd3 Qc5 33 Qh6 Qf5 34 R1g5 1-0


TOP SEED Vishy Anand's crusade in the 1st FIDE World Cup in Shengyang, China, continues after he became the first player to go through to the semi-finals after a convincing win over Vassily Ivanchuk.

The Indian ace from Madras, ranked world No.3, has seen a resurgence in his form in the last six months and now looks odds on to win the inaugural tournament. He went through to the semi-finals, without the need of speed chess playoff, after eliminating Ivanchuk 1.5-0.5 - a clinical win with black in the first game, and an easy draw with white in the second to clinch his semi-final place.

Anand now meets Boris Gelfand in the plum semi-final pairing after the Israeli No.1, with the aid of a speed playoff, defeated the home favourite, Ye Jiangchuan. Similarly, Brazil's Gilberto Milos, who beat Sergey Movsesian in a speed play-off, will meet Evgeny Bareev in the second semi-final pairing after the Russian beat Zureb Azmaiparashvili, also after a speed play-off.

The quarter-finals in Shengyang saw the spectacular demise of the Chinese who lost four of their five players in the tournament. With Ye Jiangchuan going out in the Men's tournament, Zhu Chen, Wang Pin and Qin Kanying also joined him from the Women's World Cup, leaving the hopes of a win from the home nation on the shoulders of Xu Yuha. In the semi-final pairings, she faces the only western player left in the tournament, Sweden's Pia Cramling, while the European champion Natalia Zhukova, from the Ukraine, plays the Vietnamese No.1, Hoang Thanh Trang.


V Ivanchuk - V Anand
FIDE World Cup, Sicilian Scheveningen

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be2 e6 7 0-0 Be7 8 f4 0-0 9 Kh1 Qc7 10 a4 Nc6 11 Be3 Re8 12 Bf3 Rb8 13 Qd2 Bd7 14 Nb3 b6 15 Rae1 Bc8 16 e5 dxe5 17 Bxc6 Qxc6 18 fxe5 Nd5 19 Qf2 Rf8 20 Nxd5 Qxd5 21 Bxb6 Bb7 22 Bc5 Bh4 23 Qe2 Rfc8 24 Rd1 Qe4 25 Qxe4 Bxe4 26 Bd6 Bxc2 27 Bxb8 Bxd1 28 Rxd1 Rxb8 29 Na5 Rxb2 30 g3 Be7 31 Nc6 Bf8 32 Rd8 g5 33 h4 gxh4 34 gxh4 Rc2 35 Nb8 Kg7 36 Rd4 a5 37 Nd7 h5 38 Nxf8 Kxf8 39 Rd8+ Kg7 0-1


THE 1st FIDE World Cup in Shengyang have so far proved to be a success for the host nation, China, as six of their players have won through to the quarterfinals stages of the tournament.

Although in the top open section they had only one qualifier, Ye Jiangchuan, they have - as expected by being the reigning women's world team champions - dominated the women's world cup by having five of their seven players going through to the last eight.

Despite this, they also had the biggest shock so far of the tournament when the top seed and favourite to win, women's world champion Xie Jun, failed to make it to the knockout stages.

Among the qualifiers, Zhu Chen has so far proved to be the most impressive, and now meets the only western player to go through to the quarterfinals, Sweden's Pia Cramling. Another Chinese player who is making steady progress on the world stage is Wang Yu, who increased her rating by 100 Elo points in the last six months, and now faces her compatriot, Xu Yuhua.

The reigning European women's champion, Natalia Zhukova, from the Ukraine, meets another rising Chinese star, Wang Pin, while Hoang Thanh Trang of Vietnam will play Qin Kanying of China.

However, as women chess players have a lack of experience in playing in knockout tournaments, it could be that nerves will be the deciding factor that determines the overall winner.


E Kovalevskaya - Zhu Chen
FIDE World Cup (5), Petroff Def

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 d4 Nxe4 4 Bd3 d5 5 Nxe5 Nd7 6 Nxd7 Bxd7 7 0-0 Bd6 8 Nc3 Nxc3 9 bxc3 Be6 10 Rb1 Rb8 11 f4 f5 12 Re1 Kf7 13 Bd2 Qf6 14 Qh5+ g6 15 Qh6 Bf8 16 Qh3 Bd6 17 Rb2 c6 18 a4 b6 19 Rbb1 Rbe8 20 Kh1 h5 21 Qf3 Re7 22 Bf1 Rhe8 23 Be3 Kf8 24 c4 dxc4 25 Qxc6 Bd7 26 Qf3 Bxa4 27 Bxc4 Bxc2 28 Rbc1 Be4 29 Qf2 Ba3 30 Rcd1 Qc6 31 Bf1 Qd5 32 Bd2 Kg7 33 Qg3 Bd6 34 Rc1 b5 35 Qc3 b4 36 Qa1 a5 37 Kg1 Kh7 38 Bc4 Qa8 39 d5 Bc5+ 40 Kh1 Bxd5 41 Bf1 Qa7 42 Qa4 Bf7 43 Red1 Rd8 44 Be1 Rxd1 45 Rxd1 Bf2 46 Bd2 Qc5 47 Bc1 Bd4 48 Bd2 Bc3 49 Bc1 Qf2 50 Qb5 Re1 0-1


A little over a decade ago, Garry Kasparov's then organisation, the Grandmasters' Association (GMA), held a series of six "World Cup" tournaments comprising a Grand Prix which was finally won by numero uno himself ahead of Anatoly Karpov.

A second GMA World Cup cycle began in Reykjavik in 1991 but collapsed - soon to be followed by the organisation itself. Now, in what looks like a success story for the world chess federation FIDE, the new look World Cup in Shenyang in China has finished its group section and is about to move on to the decisive quarterfinal knockout stages.

After playing - for the first time - and defeating his "successor" to the Ukrainian throne, Rusam Ponomariov, Vassily Ivanchuk tied for second spot in Group B with England's Nigel Short behind the winner, Ye Jianchuan. In the playoff for the vacant quarterfinal spot, Ivanchuk went through after Short 2-0.

Now, in the plumb quarterfinal pairing, Ivanchuk meets the world no.3, India's Vishy Anand, the top seed and favourite to lift the inaugural FIDE World Cup, which is bound to be an enthralling showdown.


Quarterfinal pairings
Gilberto Milos (Brasil) vs. Sergei Movsesian (Czech Rep)
Evgeny Bareev (Russia) vs. Zurab Azmaiparashvili (Georgia)
Ye Jianchuan (China) vs. Boris Gelfand (Israel)
Vishy Anand (India) vs. Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)


V Ivanchuk - R Ponomariov
FIDE World Cup (5), King's Indian Def

1 e4 g6 2 d4 Bg7 3 c4 d6 4 Nc3 Nf6 5 Nf3 0-0 6 h3 e5 7 d5 Nh5 8 Nh2 Na6 9 g3 Nc5 10 b4 Na6 11 Rb1 f5 12 exf5 Bxf5 13 Rb3 Qf6 14 Be3 Nf4 15 Nb5 Nxh3 16 Qd2 Rae8 17 Be2 h5 18 c5 Bd7 19 Nc3 Nf4 20 c6 Bc8 21 Bxa7 Nxe2 22 Qxe2 e4 23 0-0 Qf5 24 Rd1 Kh7 25 Nb5 Qf7 26 Bd4 e3 27 fxe3 bxc6 28 dxc6 Bh6 29 e4 Be6 30 Nxd6 cxd6 31 Rf3 Qe7 32 Qxa6 Rxf3 33 Nxf3 Bg4 34 Qd3 d5 35 e5 Rf8 36 Bc5 Qf7 37 Bxf8 Qxf8 38 Rf1 Qxb4 39 Nh4 Qe4 40 Qxe4 dxe4 41 Rf7+ Kg8 42 Rf6 Be3+ 43 Kf1 Bb6 44 e6 e3 45 Rxg6+ Kf8 46 Rxg4 hxg4 47 Nf5 1-0


IN what was seen by many as a form of compensation to losing out to India and Iran for hosting the forthcoming FIDE Knockout World championships, China got the rights to host the inaugural FIDE World Cup.

It's only in the last few decades that chess has made inroads behind the Bamboo Curtain as its seen as the poorer cousin of a more popular equivalent, Chinese Chess.

The Chinese soon got on the map when they competed in their first Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires in 1978 when one of their players, Liu Wenzhe, rated just 2200, defeated in spectacular style with a stunning queen sacrifice a top western grandmaster, the hapless Jan Hein Donner of The Netherlands, in just 20-moves.

China it seems now has ambitious plans to dominate word chess by 2010 in much the same style as the 1950s Soviet Union. However, to date they have had more success in the women's game where they hold the Olympiad gold medal, and in top board Xie Jun, they also hold the women's world title.

Now, things look as if they are also starting to improve for the men also. Last year, Xiangzhi Bu became the world's youngest grandmaster of the game at 13 years, 10 months and 13 days. Nowadays they dominate the world-rating list for juniors as a massive generation of Chinese children, trained by masters from primary school age, look for further glory in the game.

In Group B of the World Cup they now have two players who could possible qualify through to the quarterfinal knockout stages: Ye Jiangchuan, who leads on 2.5/4 after defeating the former world championship challenger Nigel Short, and Xu Jun, who is equal second on 2.


N Short - Ye Jiangchuan
FIDE World Cup (3), Closed Sicilian

1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 g3 g6 4 Bg2 Bg7 5 d3 d6 6 Nh3 e5 7 f4 Nge7 8 0-0 h6 9 Be3 exf4 10 Nxf4 0-0 11 Qd2 Kh7 12 Rae1 Rb8 13 Ncd5 Nxd5 14 exd5 Ne7 15 Bf2 Nf5 16 Be4 b5 17 g4 Qg5 18 Kh1 Be5 19 gxf5 Bxf4 20 Be3 Bxe3 21 Qxe3 gxf5 22 Bg2 Rg8 23 Bh3 Qxe3 24 Rxe3 Rg5 25 Re7 Kg6 26 Rxa7 b4 27 Rc7 Kf6 28 d4 cxd4 29 Rd1 Ba6 30 Bg2 Be2 31 Rd2 Re8 32 h4 Rg4 33 Rc6 f4 34 Rxd6+ Kg7 35 Rxd4 h5 36 Rb6 f3 37 Rxg4+ hxg4 38 Rxb4 f5 39 d6 Rd8 40 Rd4 Kf6 41 c3 Ke5 42 h5 f4 43 d7 fxg2+ 44 Kxg2 Bf3+ 45 Kg1 g3 46 h6 Be4 47 Ra4 0-1


JUST started in Shengyang, in China, is the first FIDE World Cup, featuring 48 top stars from the game competing for both the men and women's cup in this novel competition.

The 24-player tournament has a duel format, first a round robin of six players in four groups and then the top two qualifiers from the four groups moving forward to the knock-out quarter final stages. The overall winner will receive $50,000 and $30,000 in the women's cup.

Although the FIDE world champion Alexander Khalifman is playing, the overall favourite for the tournament is the world no.3, India's Vishy Anand, who are both in the same section.

Both met in the second round of the group sections and, for the third time this year, Anand defeated the FIDE world champion in a violent and complicated game. The crucial 40-move victory gives Anand a full point lead in his group section and virtually guarantees him a place in the quarterfinals.


Group A: 1-2 G Milosh (Bra), Z Azmaiparashvili (Geo) 2/3; 3-5 A Dreev (Rus), A Aleksandrov (Blr), B Gulko (USA) 1.5; 6 A Morozevich (Rus) 0.5.
Group B: 1-2 Xu Jun (Chn), Ye Jiangchuan (Chn) 2/3; 3-4 M Gurevich (Bel), V Ivanchuk (Ukr) 1.5; 5-6 N Short (Eng), R Ponomarev (Ukr) 1.
Group C: 1-2 E Bareev (Rus), S Movsesian (Cze) 2/3; 3-5 P Svidler (Rus), Zhang Zhong (Chn), A Fedorov (Blr) 1.5; 6 A Rizouk (Alg) 0.5.
Group D: 1 V Anand (Ind) 2.5/3; 2-5 A Khalifman (Rus), B Gelfand (Isr), P Tregubov (Rus), V Tkachev (Fra) 1.5; 6 M Tisser (Mar) 0.5.


V Anand - A Khalifman
FIDE World Cup (2), Sicilian Scheveningen

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e6 7 f3 b5 8 g4 h6 9 Qd2 Nbd7 10 0-0-0 Bb7 11 h4 b4 12 Na4 Qa5 13 b3 Nc5 14 a3 Rc8 15 Qxb4 Qc7 16 Kb1 Ncd7 17 Qd2 d5 18 Bh3 dxe4 19 g5 hxg5 20 hxg5 Nd5 21 fxe4 Nxe3 22 Qxe3 Ne5 23 Rhf1 Bxa3 24 g6 Nxg6 25 Bxe6 fxe6 26 Nxe6 Qe7 27 Qb6 Nf8 28 Rd8+ Rxd8 29 Nc7+ Qxc7 30 Qxc7 Rd7 31 Qb8+ Ke7 32 Qe5+ Ne6 33 Rg1 Kf7 34 Nb6 Rhd8 35 Ka2 Bf8 36 Nxd7 Rxd7 37 Qf5+ Ke7 38 Rf1 Bc8 39 Qf7+ Kd6 40 e5+ 1-0


DEEP BLUE, the computer that beat Garry Kasparov in their infamous match in 1997, is now beating some celebrities at what they do best - being famous.

Marketing Evaluations/TvQ Inc., the company that tracks celebrity and product recognition worldwide (creating a "Q-score"), was surprised to find that the chess-playing computer rates higher than CNN talk-show host Larry King and as high as Carmen Electra, one of the stars of Baywatch!

Henry Schafer of Marketing Evaluations, which carried out the survey, commented: "This computer got its 15 minutes of fame and three years later we are still counting." Much to the angst of Garry Kasparov, IBM closed down their chess-playing department after becoming the first computer to defeat a world champion in a match, thus depriving the Russian of any chances of restoring his pride with a rematch.

Deep Blue is still lurking in the New York offices of IBM, where it is used for research projects. Occasionally its given the chance to "push some wood" by taking on visiting dignitaries, like the chess-mad Israeli Cabinet Minister, Nathan Sharansky.

Another computer programme that's more than had its 15-minutes of fame this year is ChessBases' Fritz, the chessplayers favourite silicon sidekick, which came under the media spotlight after it controversially took part in the Dutch championships. In the recent World Micro Computer Championships at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London, Fritz, who came second behind last year's winner Shredder, produced this entertaining last round game.


Crafty - Fritz
WMCCC (9), Sicilian Najdorf

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Bg5 e6 7 f4 Be7 8 Qf3 Qc7 9 0-0-0 Nbd7 10 g4 b5 11 Bxf6 Nxf6 12 g5 Nd7 13 f5 Nc5 14 f6 gxf6 15 gxf6 Bf8 16 a3 h5 17 Rg1 Bd7 18 Kb1 Rb8 19 b4 h4 20 bxc5 dxc5 21 Nde2 b4 22 axb4 Rxb4+ 23 Ka1 Qxh2 24 Qd3 Qc7 25 Bh3 Bb5 26 Nxb5 Rxb5 27 Nc3 c4 28 Qd4 Bc5 29 Qxc4 Rb4 30 Qxa6 Bxg1 31 Nb5 Qe5+ 32 c3 0-0 33 Rxg1+ Kh8 34 Qa3 Qc5 35 cxb4 Qxg1+ 36 Ka2 Qh2+ 37 Ka1 Rg8 38 Nc3 Qxh3 39 Qc1 Kh7 40 e5 Rg2 41 Qb1+ Kg8 42 Qc1 Qf3 0-1

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