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The Scotsman

Chess News November 2000

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John Henderson's expulsion from the Braingames World Chess Championships


SPEAKING yesterday on Russian television, Vladimir Kramnik immediately dismissed any idea of a quick rematch with Garry Kasparov. It now looks likely that Kasparov, as per his Brain Games contract, must now join (if its ever arranged with the spectre of dotcom companies fast running out of funding) a qualification cycle in an effort to regain the crown.

More worrying for Kasparov, however, is the possibility that, should Brain Games be unable (within a 90 day period) to come up with the financing for a new challenger cycle, Kramnik then becomes a free agent to open negotiations with the likes of Fide on the possibility of a reconciliation match.

While the prospect of returning to the Fide fold might not appeal to Kasparov after his acrimonious split with the governing body in 1993, for Fide, the mouth-watering prospect of a reconciliation match and once again having control of the world crown could see them rolling out the red carpet specially for Kramnik.

The speculation is rife that he could be lined-up to meet the winner of the Fide World Knockout Championship, which got underway on Monday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Delhi. However, as in the past, these month-long 100-player events have been known to descend into a lottery with no guarantee that one of the lucrative big names like Vishy Anand, Alexei Shirov or Michael Adams will win.

And, indeed, the opening round of the tournament proved this with the likes of Jon Speelman, Alexei Federov, Ruslan Ponomariov and Lev Psakhis falling by the wayside. However, the big opening round seed to be knocked out was none other than than Kramnik's main seconds during his recent match with Kasparov, French ace Joel Lautier, who lost to the Brazilian Rafael Leitao.


J Lautier - R Leitao
FIDE KO Wch (1.1), Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 b6 5 Nge2 Ba6 6 Ng3 c5 7 d5 exd5 8 cxd5 Bxf1 9 Kxf1 0-0 10 e4 d6 11 Bf4 Re8 12 f3 Bxc3 13 bxc3 Nfd7 14 Bxd6 Qf6 15 Bxb8 Raxb8 16 Qc2 Ne5 17 Kf2 c4 18 Rhb1 b5 19 Kg1 Nd3 20 Kh1 b4 21 cxb4 Rxb4 22 a3 Rb3 23 Rf1 Rb2 24 Qxc4 Nf2+ 25 Rxf2 (25 Kg1 Qb6!) 25 ..Rxf2 26 Rb1 g6 27 a4 h5 28 Ne2 Qg5 29 Rg1 Qe3 30 Nd4 Rb8 31 Qc7 Rb6 32 Qd8+ Kh7 33 Ne6 Rxg2!! 34 Ng5+ Rxg5 35 Qxg5 Qxf3+ 36 Qg2 Qe3 37 Rf1 Kg7 38 Rd1 Rf6 39 d6 Rf2 40 Qg3 Qe2 41 Rc1 Qxe4+ 42 Kg1 Rf3 43 Qe1 Qd4+ 44 Kg2 Rd3 0-1

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ENGLAND'S youngest grandmaster Luke McShane proved to be a popular winner of the Norkom European Masters held at Kilkenny Castle in Ireland, when the 16-year-old took outright first place after a dramatic last round victory over IM Malcolm Pein.

With both players looking like a couple of Kilkenny cats as they fought it out in an entertaining last round battle on the top board, the youngster had the luck of the Irish on his side when, with just 30 seconds left on his clock, his opponents flag fell when he had a forced draw on the board.

McShane, who shared first place in 1998, has been a regular at Kilkenny since he made his debut there in 1995 when he was just 10, has now become part of the "extended Kilkenny family". The appreciative Irish crowd greeted him to a tumultuous applause at the Clubhouse Bar during the prize giving ceremony, as the club's Honorary President, Boris Spassky, presented him with his trophy and first prize of (UK)500.

Later in the evening (and the early hours of the next day!), McShane also went on to defeat the Lithuanian GM Eduard Rozentalis to take first place in the Blitz tournament.


Final scores: 1 GM L McShane (England) 5/6; 2-5 GM E Rozentalis (Lithuania), IM R Bellin (England), A GM Baburin (Ireland), IM M Heidenfeld (Ireland) 4.5; IM J Shaw (Scotland) 4.


Fittingly, in the decisive game from the weekend that secured the title for McShane, the youngster seemed to pay his own tribute to Spassky by playing one of his long-time favourite defences, the Hippopotamus - so-called because Black fianchettos both bishops and sets up a defensive line on the third rank and initially his position is 'low in the water'.

Spassky played the Hippopotamus against Tigran Petrosian in their world chess championship match in 1966; virtually the only time the defence was adopted at top level.


M Pein - L McShane
Norkom European Masters (6), Hippopotamus

1 d4 b6 2 e4 Bb7 3 Nd2 e6 4 Ngf3 d6 5 Bd3 g6 6 b3 Bg7 7 Bb2 Ne7 8 0-0 Nd7 9 Re1 h6 10 Rb1 g5 11 Bf1 Ng6 12 Nc4 g4 13 Nfd2 Qg5 14 a4 h5 15 Ne3 0-0-0 16 a5 f5 17 axb6 axb6 18 d5 Bxb2 19 Rxb2 exd5 20 Nxd5 Nc5 21 c4 Ne5 22 Ra2 Rde8 23 Qa1 Rhg8 24 b4 Nxe4 25 Rxe4 fxe4 26 Nxe4 Qd8 27 Nef6 Kb8 28 b5 h4 29 Nxe8 Rxe8 30 Ra3 Qg5 31 Re3 Rf8 32 Qe1 Qf5 33 Re4 h3 34 Rf4 Qc8 35 Re4 Qe6 36 Qe3 Rg8 37 Rf4 Qg6 38 Ne7 Qb1 Time 0-1 (Sadly White has a forced draw: 39 Nxg8! Bxg2 40 Rf8+ Kb7 41 Qe2 Bf3 42 Qe3 Bg2 43 Qe2 Bf3 44 Qe3=)

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"ALL my life I was dreaming to be an Honorary President. Long live Kilkenny Chess Club!", so wrote the former world champion Boris Spassky when he enthusiastically accepted their offer to become the club's figurehead, following a highly successful visit to Kilkenny in 1991.

Thanks to Spassky's devotion and genuine feelings towards the Irish town and its humble little club, the 10th world champion in accepting the title of Honorary President has proved to be the catalyst for once again putting Kilkenny firmly on the chess map, which in turn has seen the growth in popularity of their tournament; now recognised as one of the finest and most enjoyable weekend congresses on the chess circuit.

In the past, Kilkenny has also had its fair share of chess fame, with other famous names from the game championing their cause. The town was the birthplace of the early American legend James Mason - who escaped the Irish Famine by immigrating to New Orleans with his family in 1861 - to become one of the world's best half-dozen players in the early 1880s. Even form the weird and wonderful world of chess composition, Sam 'Puzzle King' Loyd immortalised the Kilkenny chess-wise in 1888 when he composed two similar, chess problems - entitled 'The Kilkenny Cats' - where the formation of 24 chess pieces on a board resembled the outline of two cats.

Now, through Spassky and the club's staging of their ever-popular weekend tournament staged within Kilkenny Castle, the Norkom European Masters, they aim to keep the Irish town firmly on the chess map for many more years to come.


M Neville - M Pein
Norkom European Masters (3), King's Indian\Benoni

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 d6 4 Nc3 e5 5 e4 g6 6 Bd3 Bg7 7 Nge2 0-0 8 f3 Ne8 9 0-0 Nd7 10 Be3 Ndf6 11 Ng3 h5 12 Bg5 Qd7 13 Bc2 a6 14 a4 Nh7 15 Be3 h4 16 Nh1 f5 17 exf5 gxf5 18 Nf2 Qe7 19 a5 Nef6 20 Qe1 Nh5 21 Na4 f4 22 Bd2 Ng3 23 Bxh7+ Kxh7 24 hxg3 hxg3 25 Nh3 Qh4 26 Bc3 Bf5 27 Qd2 Kg6 28 Rfe1 Rh8 29 Kf1 Bxh3 30 gxh3 Qxh3+ 31 Qg2 Qxg2+ 32 Kxg2 Rh2+ 33 Kf1 Rah8 0-1

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THE magical chess atmosphere of Kilkenny in Ireland was enough to lure a truly international field to do battle for the Norkom European Masters at the weekend.

With generous sponsorship yet again from Norkom, the Dublin-based software group that's due for an early New Year floatation on the Nasdaq, the tournament had an added attraction this year of the grandiose surroundings of the recently renovated Kilkenny Castle, one of Ireland's foremost mediaeval sites, as the perfect playing venue.

And, as if that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, the 10th World Chess Champion Boris Spassky, Honorary President of Kilkenny Chess Club, officially opened the tournament, and also made it his job to personally welcome the competitors.

Despite the fact that the event was clashing with other tournaments on the chess calendar, the enthusiastic organisers yet again managed to maintain the tournament's high standards with a cosmopolitan field headed by the Lithuanian GM Eduards Rozentalis. Also included in the line-up is the Russian-Irish GM Alexander Baburin, England's youngest GM Luke McShane, Irish champion Mark Heidenfeld, nine-year-old chess prodigy David Howell and last, but not least, the Scottish champion John Shaw.

In the first round John Shaw found himself involved in an entertaining opening round skirmish with one of the true Irish stalwarts of the game, Eamon Keogh. Now a successful businessman and also a part sponsor of the tournament, Keogh, who was twice champion of Ireland in the 1970s, became the first Irishman to officially beat a grandmaster following his victory over Sweden's Gideon Stahlberg at the Tel Aviv Olympiad of 1964 - a win that guaranteed the home team of Israel a place in the finals instead of the Swedes.


J Shaw - E Keogh
Norkom European Masters (1), French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Bd7 5 Nf3 Bc6 6 Bd3 Nf6 7 Nxf6+ gxf6 8 0-0 Bxf3 9 Qxf3 c6 10 c3 Bd6 11 Re1 Nd7 12 b4 Qc7 13 Qh5 0-0-0 14 Qxf7 Bxh2+ 15 Kf1 e5 16 g3 h5 17 Bf5 h4 18 Kg2 hxg3 19 fxg3 Rdg8 20 Qxd7+ Qxd7 21 Bxd7+ Kxd7 22 Re3 e4 23 Bd2 f5 24 Rf1 Ke6 25 c4 Rh5 26 Ra3 Rd8 27 Be3 Bxg3 28 Kxg3 Rg8+ 29 Kf2 Rh2+ 30 Ke1 Rgg2 31 Rf2 Rxf2 32 Bxf2 f4 33 Rxa7 Kf5 34 Ra3 Kg4 35 d5 1-0

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NOVEMBER is most definitely a busy month if you're a serious chessplayer - or journalist come to that. Hard on the heels of the Kasparov-Kramnik world championship match in London and the Fide Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, we have, of course, yet another world championship due to start.

This Monday in New Delhi sees the start of the $3 million Fide knockout world championship, a month-long 100-player event which, believe it or not, culminates with the final in Tehran...or perhaps Russia - depending on whether you've got an Israeli passport or not! (More of this in a later column.)

With the possibility of a reconciliation match in the air after Kasparov lost his crown to Kramnik, Fide will be hoping that one of the remaining top six on the rating list - Vishy Anand, Alexei Shirov, Michael Adams and Peter Leko - wins through for such a mouth-watering prospect.

If this does happen, Fide, who have been in world championship limbo-land after Kasparov walked away with his world crown after an acrimonious split in 1993, could find themselves once again being the legitimate organisers of the "official" world championship matches.

Pre-tournament favourite, India's Vishy Anand, playing in his homeland, limbered up for the endurance test of the Fide world championship with an easy win in the Corsica Masters Speed Chess Invitational at Bastia. Anand dominated the event and, after making his way through a qualifying section and a knockout phase, conceding only three draws in 13 games, he defeated Sinisa Drazic 2-0 in the final.


S Drazic - V Anand
Corsica Masters, Pseudo Trompowsky

1 d4 d5 2 Bg5 h6 3 Bh4 c6 4 e3 Qb6 5 b3 e5 6 Nf3 e4 7 Nfd2 Be7 8 Bg3 Be6 9 Be2 Nf6 10 0-0 0-0 11 c4 Qd8 12 Nc3 Bd6 13 Bxd6 Qxd6 14 Rb1 Nbd7 15 a4 a5 16 c5 Qe7 17 Rb2 Rfb8 18 Qb1 b6 19 cxb6 Rxb6 20 Rc1 Rab8 21 Bf1 h5! 22 Ne2 h4 23 Rbc2 Qd6 24 Nf4 Bf5 25 Rc5 g5! 26 Ne2 Nf8 27 Qc2 Bd7 28 Rxa5? Ng4 29 g3 Qf6 30 Nxe4 dxe4 31 Nc3 hxg3 32 hxg3 Qh6 33 Bg2 Rxb3 34 Nxe4 Rb2 35 Rxg5+ Ng6 36 Qc5 Qh2+ 37 Kf1 Nxe3+ 0-1

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AFTER losing his world title earlier this month, it didn't take long for the outspoken Garry Kasparov to be at "odds" with someone - this time the Chief Executive of a London Stock Exchange-quoted company!

In April of next year at Simpson's-in-the-Strand in London, the former world champion will play a specially arranged four-game charity challenge match - with odds of two pawns and 30 minutes deficit on the clock - against Terence Chapman, who is the founder and chief executive of the Terence Chapman Group which focuses on IT-related services in the finance sector.

Chapman, 44, who was a very strong junior internationalist and university player in the middle 1970s, gave up the game to concentrate on a career in business - though unofficially a top player has privately rated him at about 2300. His company is already a mainstay of the UK chess scene through generous sponsorship of the congress Grand Prix circuit and the Terence Chapman junior chess awards.

Commenting on the challenge, world number one Kasparov said: "This idea of the match at odds is very interesting. I have waived any fee so that the proceeds can go to charity, in this case to the development of chess in schools worldwide which is being organised by the Kasparov Chess Academy."

The format of playing at "odds" is a glorious throwback to the romantic era of chess at the tail end of the 19th century, when it was commonplace among the chess elite. Stars such as Paul Morphy, Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort would entertain the Victorian elite for a fee by playing such games against rich amateurs in their Gentleman Clubs or Simpson's-in-the-Strand in London.


J Zukertort - "Amateur"
London, 1875, Bird's Opening (Odds of White's Queen's knight)

1 f4 e6 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 b3 d5 4 Bb2 c5 5 e3 Nc6 6 a3 a6 7 Bd3 Bd6 8 Qe2 0-0 9 g4 Nxg4 10 Qg2 Nf6 11 h4 h6 12 h5 Kh8 13 0-0-0 Ne8 14 Rdg1 Rg8 15 Bh7! f6 [15 ..Kxh7 16 Qg6+!! fxg6 17 hxg6+ Kh8 18 Rxh6#] 16 Bxg8 Kxg8 17 Qg6 Kh8 18 Ng5! hxg5 19 fxg5 Ne7 20 gxf6! Nxg6 21 hxg6+ Kg8 22 Rh8+! Kxh8 23 f7 1-0

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WITH his best days at the chessboard now firmly behind him, the former world champion Anatoly Karpov has started to make strategic moves towards helping deprived children with an announcement from UNICEF that he's to become one of the organisations Regional Ambassador's.

The Executive Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy, confirmed Karpov as the new Regional Ambassador for Central and Eastern Europe, describing his appointment as "a great honour for UNICEF." "Of all the moves Mr. Karpov has made in his illustrious career, this is perhaps the most important move of all," she added.

UNICEF noted that the countries where Karpov will concentrate his efforts are roiling with change - places where millions of young people have been hit by growing poverty, weakened social safety nets, ethnic discrimination and armed conflict over the past decade.

Karpov, who has collaborated with UNICEF on an informal basis for several years, said he would continue a personal battle to put children's rights "at the centre of the region's political agenda." As the chairman of the International Association of Peace Foundations, Karpov has in the past taken a special interest in substance-abuse prevention among the young, and provided support for child victims of armed conflict and the Chernobyl disaster.

Meanwhile, over the board, Karpov was in good form recently in the prestigious Cap d'Agde knockout tournament in the south of France. After battling through the group stages and then beating Zhong Zang and Alexey Dreev, Karpov was eventually beaten 2.5-1.5 in the grand final by the Belgium grandmaster, Mikhail Gurevich.


M Gurevich - A Karpov
Cap d'Agde (3.2), English Opening

1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 e5 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 a3 d5 5 cxd5 Nxd5 6 Qc2 Nxc3 7 bxc3 Bd6 8 g3 0-0 9 Bg2 h6 10 0-0 Rb8 11 d4 Qe7 12 e4 Bd7 13 Be3 b6 14 Nd2 Na5 15 f4 f6 16 Nf3 Nc4 17 Bc1 b5 18 Nh4 Qe8 19 Qd1 c5 20 dxe5 fxe5 21 f5 Rf6 22 g4 Be7 23 Qe2 Rd6 24 Nf3 Qd8 25 a4 a6 26 axb5 Bxb5 27 Qf2 Rd3 28 h4 Rxc3 29 g5 hxg5 30 hxg5 Rxc1 31 Raxc1 Bxg5 32 Nxg5 Qxg5 33 Rc3 Qd2 34 Qg3 Qd4+ 35 Kh1 Be8 36 f6 g6 37 Rd3 Qb2 38 Rd7 Bf7 39 Qh3 1-0

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IN what was cruelly dubbed "staff humiliation week" at KasparovChess Online, a special internet challenge match was organised over their website www.kasparovchess.com between ten titled employees, pitting their wits against two of the world's top chess playing programs, Deep Fritz and Deep Junior.

With the silicon beasties running on a multiprocessor machine and a time limit of 60 minutes per game, as expected, the staff took a serious pounding with no one getting a plus score - though thankfully nobody lost their job! With the computers having an easy time of it with a 14.5-5.5 victory, ChessBase's Deep Fritz just edged out its main rival, Deep Junior, 7.5-7.

The only saviour for mankind came in the form and shape of one of the trainers to Deep Junior, Boris Alterman, who emerged from the weeklong event as the only player to win a game - and in what "deep" anti-computer style, too!

Today's diagram after 26 e4 - placing all eight pawns on the fourth rank - could be a historic first for chess. Most experts have trawled through millions of games on chess databases and haven't managed to find a pawn formation like Alterman's.


Computers 14.5: Deep Fritz 7.5; Deep Junior 7.
Humans 5.5: GM B Alterman (Israel) 1/2; GM A Bezgodov (Russia) 1/2; R Har-Zvi (Israel) 1/2; IM N Vlassov (Russia) 0.5/2; GM V Belov (Russia) 0.5/2; GM S Janovsky (Russia) 0.5/2; WGM S Polgar (Hungary) 0.5/2; GM J Levitt (England) 0.5/2; GM M Golubev (Ukraine) 0/2; IM M Khodarkovski (Ukraine) 0/2.


B Alterman - Deep Fritz
Human-Machine Challenge (9.2), Stonewall Attack

1 f4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 e3 g6 4 Be2 Bg7 5 d4 0-0 6 c3 Bf5 7 Nbd2 e6 8 h3 Ne4 9 g4 Ng3 10 Rg1 Nxe2 11 Kxe2 Be4 12 Ng5 Na6 13 b4 c6 14 Bb2 Qe7 15 Ndxe4 dxe4 16 Nxe4 Rad8 17 Qb3 Qh4 18 Rh1 Rfe8 19 Rag1 f6 20 Nd2 Nc7 21 Nf3 Qh6 22 h4 Rf8 23 Bc1 Rde8 24 a4 Nd5 25 c4 Nb6 26 e4 f5 27 g5 Qh5 28 e5 Rf7 29 Be3 Rd7 30 Kf2 Red8 31 Rd1 Na8 32 b5 Bf8 33 a5 Be7 34 b6 axb6 35 axb6 Kg7 36 c5 Kf7 37 Ra1 Rb8 38 Qc4 Bd8 39 Nd2 Bxb6 40 cxb6 Nxb6 41 Qe2 Qxe2+ 42 Kxe2 and White won in 87 moves.

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A massive 230-player field, from 13 countries, battled it out recently in St Petersburg in a nine round Swiss tournament that honoured the founding father of Soviet Chess, Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin (1850-1908).

Despite being a late starter to the game (starting at 16), Chigorin soon became hooked on chess and, in 1873, began to play seriously in the Cafe Dominik in his home city of St Petersburg. Twice an unsuccessful challenger for Steinitz's world title (1889 and 1892), he was one of the finest tacticians of his day - and certainly one of the best players in the world towards the end of the 19th century.

Chigorin contributed greatly to the cause of chess in Russia: founding the famous St Petersburg chess club, becoming the first person to tour Russia lecturing on the game, and writing for several magazines and newspapers - all of which contributed to the founding of the Soviet School of Chess.

He has been commemorated many times in memorial tournaments won by no fewer than five world champions, Lasker, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Smyslov and Tal, not to mention other luminaries such as Korchnoi, Polugaevsky and Taimanov. From 1947 onwards, the Chigorin Memorial was held mainly in the Black Sea resort of Sochi but moved to his home city of  St Petersburg in 1993.

The latest edition of his memorial ended in a tie with Valerij Filippov (Rus), Evgeniy Najer (Rus), Alexey Korotylev (Rus), Petr Kiriakov (Rus), Maxim Sorokin (Arg), Alexey Eliseev (Rus) coming equal first on 7/9, Filipov winning on tiebreak.

Today's game was adjudged by the legendary grandmaster Andor Lilienthal, 89, as the best game from the tournament.


S Yuferov - E Sveshnikov
Chigorin Memorial (6), Semi-Slav Botvinnik Variation

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c6 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bh4 dxc4 7 e4 g5 8 Bg3 b5 9 Be2 Bb7 10 h4 b4 11 hxg5 bxc3 12 gxf6 cxb2 13 Rb1 Qa5+ 14 Nd2 c3 15 0-0! Ba6 (15 ..cxd2 16 Rxb2 is very strong) 16 Nc4 Qxa2 17 Ne3 Bxe2 18 Qxe2 Nd7 19 d5 cxd5 20 exd5 Bc5 21 Nc4 Nxf6 22 Be5 Nxd5 23 Bxh8 Rc8 24 Ne5 Ke7 25 Qb5 Rxh8 26 Qxc5+ Kf6 27 Ng4+ Kg6 28 f4 Qa6 29 f5+ Kg5 30 Ne5 Rc8 31 Nxf7+ Kh5 32 g4+ Kxg4 33 Qd4+ Kh5 34 Rf2 exf5 35 Rh2+ Kg6 36 Rxh6+ Kxf7 37 Rxa6 Ne7 38 Qf6+ Ke8 39 Rxa7 1-0

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DESPITE the news of late being dominated by the Olympiad and Garry Kasparov losing his world crown, there was still plenty of action on the domestic scene.

The 39th Glasgow Congress took place on the weekend of 3-5th November, held at the Caledonian University, and sponsored by the University, Glasgow City Council and Luddon Construction, where some 240 competitors took part in Scotland's longest running weekend congress.

With most of the Scottish stars on Olympiad duty, suddenly this meant that the top-rated Open became a bit more "open" than usual. This resulted in an international battle of Olympiad proportions between a top-rated Georgian female player, a visiting Russian, a New Zealander and two local heroes!

Despite beating WGM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant in round three, Kiwi Alistair Compton led the tournament until a disastrous loss in the final round to Alan Grant took him out of the prize money. In the end, there was four-way share of first, with Arakhamia-Grant, IM Alexander Cherniaev, Alan Grant and Kevin McDonald sharing first equal with 4/5.


Open: 1-4 A Grant (Cathcart), WGM K Arakhamia-Grant (Edinburgh West), IM A Cherniaev (Russia), K McDonald (Inverclyde Central) 4/5. Major: 1-3 R Burridge (Bon Accord), R France (Sand Bells), S Hadi (Phones) 4.5/5.
Minor: 1 M Pollock (Holy Cross) 4.5/5; 2-6 P Gorman (Glas Montrose), W Hynd (Wester Hailes), D Logue (Inverclyde Central), J McAteer (Stirling), D Ross (Knight Moves) 4.
President's: 1-2 J Galloway (Perth), R Murray (Bank of Scotland) 4.5/5.

U16 (Sat) 1 G Reid (Quaryhill) 5/5;
U12 1 D Oswald (Edinburgh) 5/5;
U16 (Sun) 1 G Phillips (Bishopbriggs) 4.5/5;
U12 1-4 L Hughes (Edinburgh), C McQueen (Bishopton), K Martin (Holy Cross), K Montgomery (Bearsden) 4/5.


K Arakhamia-Grant - A Compton
Glasgow Open (3), French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 e5 Nfd7 5 Nce2 c5 6 c3 Nc6 7 f4 cxd4 8 cxd4 f5 9 Nf3 Be7 10 g3 b5 11 h4 Nb6 12 h5 b4 13 a4 a5 14 b3 Ba6 15 Be3 Rc8 16 Nc1 Bxf1 17 Kxf1 0-0 18 Nd3 h6 19 Rg1 Nd7 20 g4 fxg4 21 Nh2 Rf5 22 Nxg4 Kh8 23 Nxh6 gxh6 24 Rg6 Nf8 25 Rxh6+ Kg7 26 Rxe6 Nxe6 27 Qg4+ Kh8 28 Qxf5 Qg8 29 Ra2 Ncxd4 30 Qh3 Rc3 31 Rg2 Qh7 32 Bxd4 Rxd3 33 Qxe6 Rd1+ 34 Kf2 Bh4+ 35 Rg3 Bxg3+ 36 Kxg3 Rxd4 37 f5 Qg8+ 38 Qg6 Qxg6+ 39 hxg6 Kg7 0-1

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MUCH like the disputed American presidential race, except without the lawyers' legal Disneyland wrangles in Florida, the outcome of the bronze medal at the Istanbul Olympiad in the men's tournament was overturned after a mathematical error.

With both Hungary and the Ukraine finishing on a score of 35.5, initially Fide had awarded the bronze to Hungary and reported it as such. However, after a closer inspection, it was discovered that, on tiebreak, the medal in fact went to the Ukrainians.

Individual gold medals were awarded for board performances in the men's tournament to: Board 1, Utat Adianto (Indonesia); Board 2, Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine), Board 3 Dragoljub Jacimovic (Macedonia); Board 4, Ashot Anastasian (Armenia); 1st reserve, Taleb Moussal (UAE); 2nd reserve, Alexei Barsov (Uzbekistan). In the women's competition: Board 1, Viktorija Cmilyte (Lithuania); Board 2, Chen Zhu (China); Board 3, Nino Khurtsidze (Georgia); 1st reserve, Ghaby El Zahira (Morocco).

For Scotland, despite the fact that he wasn't the top scorer, the best performance has to have been Paul Motwani's outstanding score of 8.5/13 (65%) on board two (overall the 15th best performance on board 2). However, the "official" title of top Scot went once again to Cathcart's Stephen Mannion for his score of 5/7 (71%) as 1st reserve, which was the 8th best performance overall.

Top Scottish performer in the Olympiads of 1992, 1994 and 1996, Mannion just edged out John Shaw's score of 7/10 on board 4 (70%, and also 8th best performance on 4th board at the Olympiad).


Scottish individual scores
Men - 1 Jonathan Rowson 3/11; 2 Paul Motwani 8.5/13; 3 Colin McNab 4.5/9; 4 John Shaw 7/10; 5 Steve Mannion 5/7; 6 Douglas Bryson 3.5/6.
Women - 1 Helen Milligan 4.5/11; 2 Elaine Rutherford 7/13; 3 Carey Wilman 5.5/11; 4 Heather Lang 3/7.


C Rossi - S Mannion
34th Chess Olympiad (13), Trompowsky Attack

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 d5 3 Bxf6 exf6 4 e3 Bd6 5 Bd3 0-0 6 Qf3 Re8 7 Ne2 Nc6 8 a3 Be6 9 Nbc3 Qd7 10 h3 a6 11 0-0-0 Ne7 12 Nf4 c6 13 Nh5 b5 14 Ne2 Ng6 15 Nef4 f5 16 Rdg1 Bxf4 17 exf4 b4 18 axb4 Reb8 19 g4 f6 20 g5 fxg5 21 Rxg5 Rxb4 22 Rhg1 Qf7 23 h4 Rab8 24 b3 a5 25 Nxg7 Qxg7 26 Qh5 Bf7 27 Bxf5 Qxd4 28 Bxg6 Qxf4+ 29 Kd1 hxg6 30 Rxg6+ Kf8! 31 Qh8+ Ke7 32 Re1+ Kd7 33 Qf6 Rd4+ 34 Ke2 Rd2+ 0-1

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AS expected, Russia and China lifted gold and their respective trophies as winners of the men and women's tournament at the 34th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.

Scoring 38/56, Russia lifted gold and the Hamilton Russell Cup, Germany taking the silver, and Hungary squeezing out the Ukraine for bronze. In the women's competition, China, with 32/42, lifted gold and the Vera Menchik Cup, Georgia taking silver and Russia the bronze; Scotland finishing 56th= with 20/42 and unfortunately no WIM norm for Elaine Rutherford.

However it was a double celebration for Scotland in the men's competition. A last round victory over Brazil not just secured them their highest-ever score in the tournament; it also provided one of the squad with a GM norm! Reigning Scottish Champion John Shaw, from Kilmarnock, with an impressive win over the Brazilian Cicero Braga, notched-up his third successive win in the closing rounds to secure his first ever GM norm with a final tally of 7/10.

Scotland's strong finish with four wins in the last four rounds (Iran, Australia, Italy and Brazil) propelled them up the table for their best performance ever at an Olympiad. Finishing just 1.5-points behind second seeds England, Scotland, who were seeded 50th, ended the Olympiad with 31.5/56 to come 26th equal - the same score as top nations such as the USA and the Netherlands!


Round 14
Men - Scotland 2.5-1.5 Brazil
1 J Rowson draw R Leitao, 2 P Motwani 1-0 G Vescovi, 3 C McNab 0-1 D Lima, 4 J Shaw 1-0 C Braga.
Women - Scotland 0.5-2.5 Finland
1 H Milligan 0-1 J Tella-Paasikangas, 2 E Rutherford 0-1 T Rantanen, 3 C Willman draw H Puuska.


J Shaw - C Braga
34th Chess Olympiad (14), Sicilian Moscow Variation

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 d6 4 0-0 Bd7 5 Re1 Nf6 6 h3 a6 7 Bf1 e6 8 c3 Be7 9 d4 cxd4 10 cxd4 d5 11 e5 Ne4 12 Nc3 Nxc3 13 bxc3 Rc8 14 Rb1 Na5 15 Bd2 b5 16 Nh2 Nc4 17 Bxc4 dxc4 18 Qg4 Bf8 19 Nf3 Bc6 20 Ng5 Qd5 21 Ne4 h5 22 Qg3 Rd8 23 f3 h4 24 Qg4 b4 (24 ..a5 25 Bg5 Ra8 26 Bf6!) 25 Rxb4!! Bxb4 26 Qxg7 Be7 (26 ..Rf8 27 Nf6+ wins) 27 Qxh8+ Kd7 28 Qg7 (28 ..Rf8 29 Qxf8! Bxf8 30 Nf6+ Kc7 31 Nxd5 Bxd5 32 Bg5 wins easily) 1-0

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THE gold medal beckons yet again for Russia and China, as both look poised to regain their respective titles having virtually unassailable leads in the men's and women's tournament going into the final round of the 34th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.

In the men's competition, Russia's post war dominance of the Hamilton-Russell Cup continues as they have a 1.5-point lead with 36/52 over second placed Germany, and a 2.5-point lead over third placed Hungary. In the women's competition, China, with 30.5/39, is in an even stronger position having a 2-point cushion over Georgia, with Russia in third, 3.5-points of the lead.

For once Scotland seems to be having a strong finish in the Olympiad as the men's team continue to progress further up the table. Despite Paul Motwani's unbeaten streak ending at the hands of Australia's Ian Rogers in round twelve, this didn't deter the Scots as they avenged the 30-9 defeat by their rugby counterparts at Murryfield with a comfortable 2.5-1.5 win.

Coupled with a penultimate round win over Italy by the same score, Scotland, seeded 50th, have now reached the dizzy heights of 30th equal on 29 points.


Round 12
Men - Scotland 2.5-1.5 Australia
1 P Motwani 0-1 I Rogers, 2 C McNab draw D Johansen, 3 J Shaw 1-0 G West, 4 D Bryson 1-0 L Sandler.
Women - Scotland 1.5-1.5 Malaysia
1 E Rutherford draw N Lim Jean, 2 C Wilman 1-0 S Lee, 3 H Lang 0-1 Z Siti.

Round 13
Men - Scotland 2.5-1.5 Italy
1 J Rowson 0-1 I Efinov, 2 P Motwani draw M Godena, 3 J Shaw 1-0 C D'Amoce, 4 S Mannion 1-0 C Rossi.
Women - Scotland 3-0 Albania
1 H Milligan 1-0 E Shabanaj, 2 E Rutherford 1-0 R Cima, 3 C Wilman 1-0 A Shabanaj.

Final round placings:
Men - 1 Russia 36/52, 2 Germany 34.5, 3 Hungary 33.5...30= Scotland 29.
Women - 1 China 30.5/39, 2 Georgia 28.5, 3 Russia 27...42= Scotland 19.5.


D Bryson - L Sandler
34th Chess Olympiad (12), Sicilian Scheveningen

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 f4 a6 7 Be2 Be7 8 0-0 0-0 9 Be3 Qc7 10 g4 Nc6 11 g5 Nxd4 12 Qxd4 Nd7 13 f5 Re8 14 fxe6 fxe6 15 Bh5 g6 16 Nd5! exd5 17 Qxd5+ Kh8 18 Qf7 Qd8 19 Bd4+ Ne5 (19 ..Bf6 20 Rxf6!) 20 Bxg6 hxg6 21 Qxg6 Be6 (21 ..Rf8 22 Qh6+ Kg8 23 g6!) 22 Qh6+ Kg8 23 Qxe6+ (23 ..Kh8 24 Qh6+ Kg8 25 g6 Bf6 26 Qh7+ Kf8 27 g7+ Ke7 28 g8Q+!) 1-0

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IN a race for the gold that was once as close as the American presidential elections, Russia and China look set to once again regain their titles as the 34th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, draws to a close.

In the men's competition, Russia once again moved up a gear as a 2.5-1.5 win over Ukraine, combined with Germany and Armenia losing, gives Russia, on 30.5/44, a 1.5 point lead with just two rounds to play. Meanwhile, in the women's competition, China also extended their lead over Georgia to 2.5 points after the former lost 2-1 to the Ukraine.

Yet another Paul Motwani win (now 6.5/9!) allowed Scotland to leap up the table as they beat Iran 2.5-1.5. Going into the final rounds, this is perhaps Scotland's best placing ever in the tournament as they lie in 37th place with 24/44.

Unfortunately Elaine Rutherford's WIM norm chances suffered a setback as the women lost 2.5-0.5 to Norway. The defeat put the women's team back to 63rd place with 15 points.


Round 11
Men - Scotland 2.5-1.5 Iran
1 J Rowson draw E Ghaem Maghami, 2 P Motwani 1-0 M Mahjoob, 3 C McNab 0-1 A Mallahi, 4 S Mannion 1-0 H Abbasifar.
Women - Scotland 0.5-2.5 Norway
1 H Milligan draw E Hagesaether, 2 E Rutherford 0-1 S Bernsten, 3 C Wilman 0-1 S Johnsen

P Motwani - M Mahjoob
34th Chess Olympiad (11), King's Indian Attack

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 g3 Nc6 4 Bg2 Nf6 5 d3 d5 6 Qe2 Be7 7 0-0 0-0 8 e5 Ne8 9 Bf4 b5 10 h4 b4 11 Nbd2 a5 12 Rfe1 Nc7 13 Nf1 Nb5 14 N1h2 Ncd4 15 Qd2 a4 16 c4 bxc3 17 bxc3 Nxf3+ 18 Nxf3 Ba6 19 Qc2 Nc7 20 d4 Qd7 21 dxc5 Bxc5 22 Rad1 Qe7 23 Ng5 g6 24 Nf3 Rfc8 25 Bg5 Qf8 26 Qd2 Rab8 27 Bh6 Qe8 28 Nh2 Qe7 29 Ng4 Ne8 30 h5 a3 31 Bg5 Qa7 32 Rb1 Bc4 33 Bh3 Rb2 34 Rxb2 axb2 35 Qxb2 Bd3 36 Qd2 Be4 37 Bg2 Bxg2 38 Kxg2 Bf8 39 Rb1 Qa4 40 Qe2 Rc4 41 Nh6+ Bxh6 42 Bxh6 Qa8 43 Qb2 gxh5 44 Qb7 Qxb7 45 Rxb7 Rc8 46 a4 f5 47 Re7 Nc7 48 a5 Kh8 49 f3 Kg8 50 Kh3 Na6 51 Rxe6 Nc5 52 Rf6 Nd7 53 Rxf5 Rc6 54 Bd2 h4 55 g4 Kg7 56 Kxh4 Kg6 57 Rh5 Kg7 58 e6 Rxe6 59 Rxd5 Ne5 60 Kg3 Nc4 61 Bf4 Ra6 62 Rd4 Rc6 63 a6 1-0

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TIMING is everything in determining the gold medal at the Chess Olympiad and those masters of timing, Russia, have once again struck at the crucial moment to take the lead.

After trailing back in the pack for several rounds, they've taken a crucial half point lead at the top as the tournament moves into its closing stages following a convincing 4-0 whitewash over Romania in round 10. However, with just three rounds of play left, and Russia on 28/40, anything can happen in the closing stages as only one point separates the top three: Russia, Germany and Ukraine.

Scotland had a minor setback in round ten as both teams went down to Indonesia and Croatia. Paul Motwani, playing his best chess for Scotland since his heroics in Dubai 1986, remains unbeaten after holding on two pawns down in a difficult rook ending to salvage a draw.

However, there's good news for Edinburgh's Elaine Rutherford as she battles to achieve Scotland's first ever WIM norm. Facing the 2277 rated Croatian Vlasta Macek, she held the better part of draw to keep her norm hopes alive. With the average rating of her opposition now being 2141, a win in round eleven against Norway will give her a 2151 performance and the norm.

With 21.5/40, the men's team are in equal 43rd place, and the women, on 14.5/30, are in equal 49th.


Round 10
Men - Scotland 1.5-2.5 Indonesia
1 J Rowson draw U Adianto, 2 P Motwani draw E Handoko, 3 J Shaw draw D Juswanto, 4 D Bryson 0-1 C Barus.
Women - Scotland 0.5-2.5 Croatia
1 H Milligan 0-1 M Medic, 2 E Rutherford draw V Macek, 3 C Wilman 0-1 M Jelica.

Individual scores
Men - J Rowson 1.5/6, P Motwani 5.5/8, C McNab 3.5/5, J Shaw 2.5/5, S Mannion 2/4, D Bryson 2/4.
Women: H Milligan 2/7, E Rutherford 4.5/7, C Wilman 3/6, H Lang 1/4.


A Khalifman - M Marin
34th Chess Olympiad (10), Open Lopez

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O Nxe4 6 d4 b5 7 Bb3 d5 8 dxe5 Be6 9 Nbd2 Nc5 10 c3 Be7 11 Bc2 Bg4 12 Re1 Qd7 13 Nf1 Rd8 14 Ne3 Bh5 15 b4 Ne6 16 g4 Bg6 17 Nf5 O-O 18 a4 Rfe8 19 axb5 axb5 20 Bd3 Rb8 21 Qe2 Ncd8 22 Ra5 d4 23 Rd1 c6 24 N3xd4 Bg5 25 Nxe6 Nxe6 26 Bc4 Qc7 27 Bxe6 Bxc1 28 Rd7 Qb6 29 Bxf7+ Bxf7 30 Raa7 Ra8 31 Rxa8 Rxa8 32 e6 1-0

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THE race for the gold medal and the Hamilton-Russell Cup at the 34th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, is heating up with a close finish expected as only one-point separates five teams.

Germany and Armenia continue to hold a slender lead at the top on 25/36, with the Ukraine in third on 24.5, and Russia and Bulgaria with 24 - any of which can win gold in the remaining three rounds. There's also going to be a close finish in the women's event with China holding a slender half point lead over Georgia.

Scotland continues to make good progress in Istanbul, with teams having good 9th round wins. The men's team defeated Singapore 2.5-1.5 (again Paul Motwani remaining unbeaten), and the women's team scoring their first whitewash with a 3-0 win over Costa Rica.

The big performer in the women's team has been Edinburgh's Elaine Rutherford, the women's amateur champion, who is playing in her first Olympiad. The James Gillespie High Scholl pupil is on a score of 4/7 so far, and if she defeats her Croatian opponent in round 10, she will be in line to achieve Scotland's first-ever WIM norm.


Round 9
Scotland 2.5-1.5 Singapore
1 J Rowson 0-1 S Wu; 2 P Motwani draw M Wong; 3 J Shaw 1-0 L Hsu; 4 S Mannion 1-0 P Chan.
Scotland 3-0 Costa Rica
1 H Milligan 1-0 C Murioz; 2 E Rutherord 1-0 K Ramirez; 3 H Lang 1-0 C Vega.


E Rutherford - K Ramirez
34th Chess Olympiad (9), Giucoco Piano

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 d3 Nf6 5 c3 d6 6 Bb3 Bg4 7 Be3 Qe7 8 Nbd2 Nd8 9 h3 Bd7 10 Bxc5 dxc5 11 Nc4 Nc6 12 Ba4 Rd8 13 Qb3 b6 14 Bxc6 Bxc6 15 Ncxe5 Bb7 16 Qa4+ Nd7 17 Nc6 Bxc6 18 Qxc6 Qd6 19 Qxd6 cxd6 20 0-0-0 0-0 21 Nd2 Ne5 22 Kc2 d5 23 f4 Ng6 24 g3 dxe4 25 dxe4 Rd7 26 Nc4 Rfd8 27 Rxd7 Rxd7 28 Rd1 Rxd1 29 Kxd1 Ne7 30 Kc2 Nc8 31 e5 Kf8 32 Kd3 Ke7 33 Ke4 f6 34 Kd5 fxe5 35 fxe5 Kd7 36 e6+ Ke7 37 Ke5 a6 38 Ne3 g6 39 Nd5+ Kd8 40 Kf6 b5 41 e7+ Kd7 42 Nb6+ Nxb6 43 Kf7 Nc4 44 e8Q+ Kc7 45 Qe7+ 1-0

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A simply majestic Motwani performance at the 34th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, is helping to keep the Scottish squad in the top half of the tournament.

Paul Motwani seems to be in hot form as he demolishes opponent after opponent to put himself in contention for a possible individual medal. Unbeaten so far on 5/7, the highlight of his performance so far has been his seventh round demolition with a King's Gambit of one of the world's top 50 players, Bosnia's Ivan Sokolov.

While Germany continue to lead the chase for gold with 23.5/32, Motwani's performance has helped to lift the squad into equal 39th with 17.5 - just two points adrift from second seeds England!

Still finding the going tough, the Scottish women team are in equal 56th with 11 points.


Round 6
Scotland 2-2 Cuba
1 P Motwani draw J Nogueiras; 2 C McNab 1-0 R Vera; 3 S Mannion draw W Arencibia; 4 D Bryson 0-1 L Bruzon.
Scotland 1-2 Sweden
1 H Milligan draw S Agrest; 2 E Rutherford draw S Buervenich; 3 H Lang 0-1 V Johansson.

Round 7
Scotland 1.5-2.5 Bosnia & Hertz
1 J Rowson 0-1 P Nikolic; 2 P Motwani 1-0 I Sokolov; 3 J Shaw draw B Kurajicn; 4 S Mannion 0-1 E Dizdarevic.
Scotland 2-1 IBSA
1 H Milligan 0-1 L Zsiltzova-Lisenko; 2 E Rutherford 1-0 T Debowska; 3 C Wilman 1-0 E Sanchez.

Round 8
Scotland 2-2 Venezuela
1 J Rowson draw J Rohl; 2 C McNab draw J Alvarez; 3 J Shaw draw J Sequera; 4 D Bryson draw C Gallegas.
Scotland 1-2 Turkey "A"
1 E Rutherford 0-1 N Cinak; 2 C Wilman 0-1 F Oney; 3 H Lang 1-0 B Yildiz.


P Motwani - I Sokolov
34th Chess Olympiad (7), King's Gambit

1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Bc4 Ne7 4 Nf3 d5 5 exd5 Nxd5 6 Bxd5 Qxd5 7 Nc3 Qd8 8 d4 Be7 9 Bxf4 0-0 10 Qd3 Nc6 11 0-0-0 Bd6 12 Bxd6 cxd6 13 Rhf1 Bg4 14 Qb5 Na5 15 h3 a6 16 Qd5 Be6 17 Qh5 h6 18 d5 Bd7 19 Nd4 Nc4 20 Rf3 Qe7 21 b3 Ne5 22 Rg3 Qf6 23 Qe2 Qf4+ 24 Re3 Rae8 25 g3 Qg5 26 Ne4 Qg6 27 g4 f5 28 gxf5 Bxf5 29 Nxf5 Rxf5 30 Rg3 Rg5 31 Nxg5 hxg5 32 Rdg1 Qf6 33 Kb1 Re7 34 Re3 b5 35 Rf1 Qh6 36 Rc3 Re8 37 Qe4 Qh5 38 Qf5 Qe2 39 Rg1 Nf7 40 Rc8 Qe3 41 Rf1 1-0

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THERE are some things in life that you naturally took for granted: Death, taxes and Garry Kasparov as world champion. But now the fateful day has finally come, and his former pupil and fellow Russian, Vladimir Kramnik, 25, has usurped an ageing Kasparov, now 37.

Unlike this column, before the match started, many commentators and pundits predicted another big Kasparov victory. But who would have believed that the he could have gone 15 games without winning one, thus becoming the first champion since Lasker in 1921 to be shut out?

In the same token, Kramnik, now the only top player to have a plus score against Kasparov, has a phenomenal record of losing just one of his last 100 games (Michael Adams, Dortmund 2000). But, at the end of the day, these are the statistics that all add up to Kasparov losing his crown and the start of Kramnik's new reign.

In addition to now having the title of the fourteenth world champion after his name, Kramnik lifted the Howard Staunton Memorial trophy and the winner's cheque of $1.3 million. Now, after taking Kasparov's world title, another milestone is now within his reach: Kasparov's world No.1 spot!

After this match the rating distance between the No.1 and No.2 players in the world has drastically shortened. As Kasparov's rating drops in the fallout of the match, likewise Kramnik's increases as he stands on the threshold of becoming only the second player to break the 2800 barrier. Who knows, perhaps before the end of 2001, Kramnik may also have replaced Kasparov as the new No.1? A new era is indeed before us.


G Kasparov - V Kramnik
Braingames World Ch. (15), Catalan Opening

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 d5 4 Bg2 Be7 5 Nf3 0-0 6 0-0 dxc4 7 Qc2 a6 8 Qxc4 b5 9 Qc2 Bb7 10 Bd2 Be4 11 Qc1 Bb7 12 Bf4 Bd6 13 Nbd2 Nbd7 14 Nb3 Bd5 15 Rd1 Qe7 16 Ne5 Bxg2 17 Kxg2 Nd5 18 Nc6 Nxf4+ 19 Qxf4 Qe8 20 Qf3 e5 21 dxe5 Nxe5 22 Nxe5 Qxe5 23 Rd2 Rae8 24 e3 Re6 25 Rad1? (25 Rac1!) 25 ..Rf6 26 Qd5 Qe8 27 Rc1 g6 28 Rdc2 h5 29 Nd2 Rf5 30 Qe4? (30 Qc6!) 30 .. c5! 31 Qxe8 Rxe8 32 e4 Rfe5 33 f4 R5e6 34 e5 Be7 35 b3 f6! 36 Nf3 fxe5 37 Nxe5 Rd8 38 h4 Rd5 draw.

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FIELDING their strongest ever team in the competition, Scotland continue to impress in the 34th Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, as they move steadily up the leader board.

After five rounds, the surprise leaders are Germany with 16.5/20 after defeating holders Russia, who are second on 15.5. With just one defeat so far in the competition, Scotland have shot up the table thanks to a fourth round win over the world composite blind team, IBSA, and a solid draw with Uzbekistan in round five.

They now lie in 34th place on 12 points, and have set themselves up for potential clashes with some of the top teams in the tournament. In round six, they face a strong challenge against Cuba.

In the women's tournament, as expected, China and Georgia look set for a battle royal for the gold medal as they hold the joint lead on 12/15. Scotland, however, are finding the going tougher than the men, and find themselves in 52nd spot on 7 points.


Round 4
Scotland 3-1 IBSA
1 J Rowson draw S Krylov; 2 P Motwani draw V Berlinsky; 3 C McNab 1-0 P Dukacewski; 4 J Shaw 1-0 S Wassin
Scotland 2-1 Bangladesh
1 E Rutherford 1-0 R Hamid; 2 C Wilman 1-0 Z Sultana; 3 H Lang 0-1 N Khan

Round 5
Scotland 2-2 Uzbekistan
1 J Rowson 0-1 R Kasimdzhanov; 2 P Motwani 1-0 S Safin; 3 C McNab draw M Dzhumaev; 4 J Shaw draw A Barsov
Scotland 1-2 Switzerland
1 H Milligan 0-1 B Lund; 2 C Wilman draw J Ramseier; 3 H Lang draw E Gruenenwauld.


P Motwani - S Safin
34th Chess Olympiad (5), Slav Exchange

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 cxd5 cxd5 4 Nc3 Nf6 5 Bf4 Nc6 6 e3 a6 7 Bd3 Bg4 8 f3 Bd7 9 g4 e6 10 Nge2 Rc8 11 h4 Qb6 12 Qd2 Na5 13 Kf2 Nc4 14 Bxc4 dxc4 15 e4 Be7 16 Rag1 Bc6 17 h5 h6 18 g5 hxg5 19 Bxg5 Rd8 20 e5 Nxh5 21 Bxe7 Kxe7 22 Qg5+ f6 23 Qg4 Be8 24 Rxh5! Rxh5 25 Qxg7+ Bf7 26 Qxf6+ Ke8 27 Rg7 Rf5 28 Qh4 Kd7 29 Ng3 Qxb2+ 30 Nce2 Qc2 31 Qh7 Rxf3+ 32 Kxf3 Qxh7 33 Rxh7 Rf8 34 Ke3 Kc6 35 Rh6 Rg8 36 Rf6 Rg7 37 Nf5 Rh7 38 Nh6 Bh5 39 Nf4 1-0

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VLADIMIR Kramnik managed to survive a Halloween frightener from Garry Kasparov to move closer to capturing the world title. With a hard-fought draw in game fourteen, the challenger managed to thwart Kasparov's last-gasp attempt to cling on to his crown. Now, leading 8-6, he needs just a half point from today's game to become the fourteenth world champion.

However, the manoeuvrings off the board are more intriguing than for Kramnik. Following Kasparov's acrimonious split from Fide in 1993, the world chess federation now see a Kramnik victory as their golden opportunity to once again control the ultimate prize in chess.

I can exclusively reveal that, in an email yesterday from the Chairman of the Fide World Championship Committee, Willy Iclicki, he has been discussing this in great detail at the Istanbul Olympiad with the Fide president, Kirsan Iljumzhinov. The email, which urgently asked me to forward on Kramnik's London telephone number to open negotiations, informed me that Iljumzhinov seriously thought about cancelling the Fide World Championship (due to start at the end of the month!) in New Delhi and Tehran, to be able to accommodate a reconciliation match.

However, this looks as if it may be impractical as everything is now firmly in place for New Delhi and Tehran to go ahead as scheduled. The smart money, however, is now firmly on Kramnik and the new Fide World Champion playing such a match before December 2001. Watch this space!


V Kramnik - G Kasparov
Braingames World Ch. (14), English\Hedgehog

1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 b6 3 g3 c5 4 Bg2 Bb7 5 0-0 g6 6 Nc3 Bg7 7 d4 cxd4 8 Qxd4 d6 9 Rd1 Nbd7 10 Be3 Rc8 11 Rac1 0-0 12 Qh4 a6 13 Ne1 Bxg2 14 Nxg2 Re8 15 b3 Qc7 16 Bg5 Qb7 17 Ne3 b5 18 Ned5 bxc4 19 bxc4 h5 20 Qf4 Qc6 21 Bxf6 Nxf6 22 Nxf6+ Bxf6 23 Nd5 Bb2 24 Rb1 Bg7 25 Qg5 Kf8 26 Rdc1 e6 27 Nf6 Red8 28 h4 Qa8 29 c5! Rxc5 30 Rxc5 Bxf6 31 Qxf6 dxc5 32 Kh2 Kg8 33 Rb6 Re8 34 Qf3 Qxf3 35 exf3 Rc8 36 Rxa6 c4 37 Rd6 c3 38 Rd1 Ra8 39 Rc1 Rxa2 40 Rxc3 Rxf2+ 41 Kg1 Ra2 42 Rc7 Kf8 43 Rb7 Ke8 44 Rb8+ Ke7 45 Rb7+ Kf6 46 Kf1 e5 47 Rb6+ Kf5 48 Rb7 Ke6 49 Rb6+ Kf5 50 Rb7 f6 51 Rg7 g5 52 hxg5 fxg5 53 Rg8 g4 54 Rf8+ Ke6 55 Re8+ Kf5 56 Rf8+ Kg6 57 Rg8+ Kf5 draw

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IN the second round of the 34th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul Turkey, Scotland "paid the penalty" of the Swiss System after their opening round whitewash, with a top board clash against the reigning European Team Champions, Armenia.

Heavily outranked on each board, the Scots put up a spirited display against one of the world's top nations but eventually succumbed 3-1. Top boards Jonathan Rowson and Paul Motwani turned in the best performances of the day, with draws respectively against former world candidate Rafael Vaganian and Artashes Minasian.

However, despite this loss, Scotland bravely continued with their early promise in round three with an encouraging 2-2 draw against Croatia. Hungary and Germany are tied in first place in the men's section with 10.5/12, with Scotland in 51st place with 7 points. In the women's section, both China and the Netherlands lead with 8/9, with Scotland in 50th place with 4 points.


Round 2
Scotland 1-3 Armenia
1 J Rowson draw R Vaganian; 2 P Motwani draw A Minasian; 3 C McNab 0-1 A Anastasian; 4 J Shaw 0-1 G Sargission
Scotland 2.5-0.5 Iceland
1 H Milligan 1-0 H Ingollsdottir; 2 E Rutherford 1-0 A Kristindottir; 3 H Lang draw A Larusdottir.

Round 3
Scotland 2-2 Croatia
1 J Rowson 0-1 Z Kozul; 2 P Motwani draw O Cvitan; 3 S Mannion draw N Sulava; 4 D Bryson 1-0 D Rogic
Scotland 1-2 France
1 H Milligan draw M Leconte-Nepeina; 2 E Rutherfor draw C Flear; 3 C Willman 0-1 A Muller.


J Rowson - R Vaganian
34th Chess Olympiad (2), French Winawer

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 c5 5 a3 Ba5 6 Qg4 Ne7 7 dxc5 Bxc3+ 8 bxc3 Ng6 9 Nf3 Qa5 10 Bd2 Nd7 11 c4 Qa4 12 Qd4 dxc4 13 Bxc4 0-0 14 Bb4 a5 15 0-0 Qc6 16 Bd2 Nxc5 17 Be3 b6 18 Rab1 Bb7 19 Rfd1 Rfc8 20 Bf1 Qc7 21 Qd6 Bxf3 22 gxf3 Nxe5 23 Qxc7 Rxc7 24 Bf4 Nxf3+ 25 Kg2 e5 26 Bg3 Ng5 27 Bxe5 Rc6 28 Rd6 Rxd6 29 Bxd6 Na4 30 Re1 Ne6 31 Bc4 Rd8 32 Bg3 Rd4 33 Bxe6 fxe6 34 Rxe6 Rc4 35 Re7 Rc5 36 Rb7 h6 37 Bc7 Kh7 38 Bd6 Rd5 39 Bf8 Rg5+ 40 Kf1 Kg8 41 Bd6 Rd5 42 Bf4 Kh7 43 Be3 Kg6 44 Kg2 Rd6 45 c3 Nxc3 46 Bxb6 Rd3 47 Bxa5 Nd5 48 Bc7 draw.

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