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The Scotsman

Chess News April 2001

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A veritable galaxy of stars past and present congregated in Switzerland at the weekend to officially celebrate the 70th birthday of one of the games indefatigable veterans: Viktor Korchnoi, who incredibly still shows no sign in slowing down despite his advancing years.

The twelve-player field in the rapid-chess knockout tournament at the Hotel Savoy in Zurich included current world champion Vladimir Kramnik, former world champions Garry Kasparov and Boris Spassky, world championship challenger Nigel Short and Korchnoi himself.

Since his debut in 1945, Korchnoi has amassed an incredible 4,000+ internationally rated games, and is regarded as one of the world's most experienced match-players with victories in Candidates matches against the likes of Reshevsky, Tal, Geller, Mecking, Petrosian, Polugavesky and Spassky. He's played in over 120 strong international tournaments throughout his illustrious career, winning or sharing over 40 of them spanning five different decades from the 1950s through to the 1990s. In 1981 at the age of 50, when most would be reaching for the pipe and slippers with retirement on the horizon, Korchnoi was defying the odds and preparing for his second World Championship match in Merano against Anatoly Karpov.

At 70 Korchnoi has not lost any of his appetite for the game that he once described as 'his life' (and indeed when his biography came out in the late 70s, it was suitably entitled "Chess Is My Life"). Regarded as one of the toughest and most tenacious players of all time, he's one of the few players of his generation who can still mix it with the world's elite.

Along with Kasparov, Kramnik, Spassky, Short, Svidler, Piket and Unzicker, Korchnoi qualified from the group sections of his birthday tournament to reach the knockout stages. Unfortunately for the grand old man of chess, Garry Kasparov wasn't reading from the script and proved to be the party pooper when he defeated Korchnoi 1.5-0.5 in their quarterfinal match.


G Kasparov - V Korchnoi
Korchnoi Birthday (1.1), French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 e5 Nfd7 6 h4 Bxg5 7 hxg5 Qxg5 8 Qd3 Nc6 9 Nf3 Qg6 10 Qxg6 fxg6 11 Nb5 Ke7 12 Nxc7 Rb8 13 Nb5 Nb6 14 c3 Bd7 15 Bd3 Na5 16 b3 Bxb5 17 Bxb5 h6 18 Nh4 Rhc8 19 Rh3 g5 20 Ng6+ Kf7 21 Rf3+ Kxg6 22 Bd3+ Kh5 23 Rh3+ Kg4 24 f3+ Kf4 25 Kf2 g4 26 g3+ 1-0

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HE may have failed miserably (twice!) as a contestant on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire", but at least Jim Plaskett can console himself by the fact that he can still make some money on the tournament circuit.

The Hastings-based grandmaster was in top form recently when he outclassed the field to take outright first place in Adam Raoof's 10-player category six Hampstead Grandmaster tournament at University College School in North London. Plaskett dominated the tournament from start to finish with some dazzling displays, finishing on an unbeaten score of 7/9 - a clear one and a half point lead over his nearest rival.

Showing a return to form of sorts, Scotland's Colin McNab couldn't quite match Plaskett's performance at Hampstead, but at least had the satisfaction of beating the tournament top seed, Uzbekistan's Alexei Barsov, to take outright second place.

The "mysterious" sponsor that aided Jonathan Rowson in his quest for the GM title by backing a number of top flight (UK)5,000 challenge matches organised by Raoof alongside his events for the young Scot, now seems to have switched his allegiances in support of the English GM wannabes, Matthew Turner and Danny Gormally. Yet again he put up a similar purse for a six-game match between the two young IMs, which ended up all-square at 3-3.


Final placings:

1 GM J Plaskett (England) 7/9; 2 GM C McNab (Scotland) 5.5; 3-5 GM A Barsov (Uzbekistan), IM A Rizouk (Algeria), IM I Krush (USA) 5; 6 IM C Crouch (England) 4.5; 7-9 WIM H Koneru (India), R Palliser (England), J Richardson (England) 3.5; 10 A Hunt 2.5.


C McNab - A Barsov
Hampstead International (5), Reti Opening

1 c4 e6 2 Nf3 d5 3 b3 Nf6 4 g3 c5 5 Bg2 d4 6 e3 Nc6 7 exd4 cxd4 8 0-0 Bd6 9 d3 h6 10 Na3 0-0 11 Nc2 e5 12 Rb1 a5 13 a3 Rb8 14 b4 axb4 15 axb4 b5 16 Nd2 Bg4 17 Qe1 Qd7 18 cxb5 Rxb5 19 Nc4 Bh3 20 Nxd6 Bxg2 21 Nxb5 Bf3 22 Qd2 e4 23 Ne1 Rb8 24 dxe4 Bxe4 25 Na3 Bxb1 26 Nxb1 Rxb4 27 Na3 Ne4 28 Qc2 Nc3 29 Nd3 Rb8 30 Re1 Re8 31 Rxe8+ Qxe8 32 Nb1! Qe4 33 Nxc3 dxc3 34 Be3 Ne5 35 Ne1 Nf3+ 36 Kh1! 1-0

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IN an unprecedented move in the annals of chess, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik, respectively the 12th, 13th and 14th world champions, have joined forces in signing a declaration attacking the "foolhardy and cavalier" plans of the world chess federation, FIDE, which the trio believe will harm the spirit of the game.

The Russian trio said in a recent joint letter, that they had "set aside our differences and speak out in defence of the game that has brought us so much joy." The trio went on to say that they were "very concerned about FIDE's policy changes regarding time controls, their treatment of the history of the world championship, and their open hostility towards the organisers of traditional events."

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov plans to change the time allowed to play a game by nearly a half, supposedly to attract television coverage (though Rapid Chess, where games have to be completed in 30min, is already popular and indeed have had TV coverage), have players wear uniforms when they play in tournaments, and, more worrying, to set-up tournaments in direct opposition to well-known and established ones - like Linares, Wijk aan zee and Dortmund – who have refused to join their Grand Prix.

Karpov, world champion from 1975-1985, and surprisingly the brainchild behind the declaration, said: "Chess is in real danger from the changes to our art, our sports and our rights." Speaking during his odds match in London with businessman Terry Chapman, Kasparov, who replaced Karpov as champion until last year when he lost to Kramnik, commented: "It is now up to the rank and file players, leading players and organizers to make FIDE take heed."


G Kasparov - T Chapman
Charity Odds Match (2)

1 e4 Nc6 2 g3 e6 3 Bg2 Nf6 4 f4 d5 5 e5 Nd7 6 Nf3 Bc5 7 c3 a6 8 Nbd2 Ne7 9 b4 Ba7 10 Nd4 Bxd4 11 cxd4 Nf5 12 Nf3 Nb6 13 Bf1 Bd7 14 Bd3 Bb5 15 Bb1 Nc4 16 Kf2 b6 17 Qb3 Qe7 18 Re1 Rc8 19 Rd1 Kf8 20 g4 Nh4 21 f5! Nxf3 22 Qxf3 h5 23 g5 Ke8 24 Qc3 Kd7 25 Rg1 Kc6 26 f6 gxf6 27 gxf6 Qf8 28 Rg7 h4 29 Bd3 Kb7 30 Bf4 Ra8 31 h3 Qe8 32 Be2 Qf8 33 Qb3 Ra7 34 Qc3 Ka8 draw

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WIMBLEDON is the home of tennis; Wembley is the home of football; and Lords is the home of cricket. In the chess world, the nearest spiritual home we have is the venue for the Chapman-Kasparov Charity Odds Match: Simpson's-in-the-Strand.

In 1828 Samuel Reiss opened the Grand Cigar Divan (which changed its name to Simpson's in 1848 when headwaiter John Simpson teamed up with Reiss), where gentlemen came to drink coffee, play chess and read the journals of the day. The establishment quickly earned the sobriquet, 'home of chess', through the matches played against rival coffee houses in the vicinity. This association has continued through the years and in 1851, when London hosted the first International Chess Tournament, it was here that players congregated to practise their strategies and discuss tactics.

Everywhere there's a chess theme at the top restaurant. Displayed on the walls are many historic photographs of famous players of the past who frequented Simpson's, and two special display cabinets hold original sets and boards from circa 1828, used by the greats of the past like La Bourdannais, Staunton, Morphy, Anderssen, Steinitz, Zukertort (who had a stroke there while playing chess for a shilling and died the next day), Tarrasch, Tchigorin, Bird, Mason, Janowsky and Lasker.

However, modern day chess is a far different proposition to the cavalier days of yore when an odds match at Simpson's was relatively easy for one of the above giants - especially as most of the challenges were organised in the space of one or two days and not the eight months Terry Chapman has had to prepare for Kasparov!

With the match precariously balanced at 1.5-1.5, the position Kasparov feared most against Chapman came in the final game. Fortunately for the world number one, it all became too much for a tiring Chapman who tragically blundered badly to allow Kasparov to triumph 2.5-1.5 in this fascinating contest.


G Kasparov - T Chapman
Charity Odds Match (4)
(White plays without the e- and a-pawn)

1 f4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 g3 b6 4 Bg2 Bb7 5 0-0 Be7 6 d3 0-0 7 Nbd2 d6 8 h3 c5 9 g4 Qd7 10 Qe2 Nc6 11 c3 Rae8 12 Nc4 Qc7 (12 ..Nd5!?) 13 Nfd2 b5 14 Ne3 Bd8 15 g5 Nd5 16 Ne4 Nxe3 17 Bxe3 a5 18 Rf2 Kh8 (18 ..Qd7!?) 19 Qh5 Nb8? 20 Nxd6 Qxd6 21 Bxb7 Nc6? 22 g6! fxg6 23 Qxc5 Qxd3?? 24 Bxc6 1-0

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DREAMS do come true. Another of Terry Chapman's boyhood dreams was fulfilled during game three of his intriguing four-game odds charity match against Garry Kasparov in London.

The venue, Simpson's-in-the-Strand, famed for one of the most famous games ever in chess history, "The Immortal Game" between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky in 1851, became the field of dreams for the chess-loving city slicker after he produced his own version of the "immortal game" to defeat Kasparov in a truly emphatic style to tie the match at 1.5-1.5 with one game in the series to play.

Undaunted by the fact that Kasparov had, in the words of commentator Julian Hodgson, "thrown the kitchen sink at him," Chapman stayed calm during the tactical melee to record a historic win.

After the game, an elated Chapman echoed the words of a former frequenter of Simpson's, Siegbert Tarrasch, to recall in full one of the early 20th century German masters most famous quotes to best describe how he felt after defeating Kasparov in such a masterful way: "Chess is a form of intellectual productiveness, therein lies its peculiar charm. Intellectual productiveness is one of the greatest joys - if not the greatest - of human existence. It is not everyone who can write a play, or build a bridge, or even make a good joke. But in chess everyone can, indeed must, be intellectually productive and so can share in this select delight. Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy'. And added, 'Well, that's how I felt after game three!'


T Chapman - G Kasparov
Charity Odds Match (3), (black plays without a and b pawn)

1 e4 Bb7 2 d3 e6 3 Nf3 d6 4 g3 g6 5 Bg2 Bg7 6 0-0 Ne7 7 Nc3 0-0 8 Be3 h6 9 h4 Nd7 10 Qd2 Kh7 11 Rfe1 Qc8 12 a4 f5 13 Nd4 Nf6 14 exf5 Bxg2 15 fxg6+ Nxg6 16 Kxg2 c5 17 Nde2! d5 18 h5! Ne5 19 d4! Neg4 20 Qd3+ Kg8 21 Qg6 e5 22 Bxh6!! Nxh6 23 dxe5 Nd7 24 Nf4 Rxf4 25 gxf4 Nf8 26 Qg3 Nf5 27 Qh3 Qe6 28 Nb5 Rd8 29 a5 Qf7 30 a6 Ne6 31 Kg1 Nxf4 32 Qg4 Nh6 33 Qh4 Kh7 34 a7 Rg8 35 a8Q Bxe5+ 36 Kf1 Rg4 37 Qxg4 1-0

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AS a youngster, Terry Chapman - he of the eponymously titled IT Group fame - had, what he calls, "childhood dreams." Nothing too outlandish, just your usual wish list: 1, Make a million (done), and 2, Play the greatest chess player in the world in a match (done).

As a junior, Chapman was a good chess player. A former British under-14 champion and England junior international captain, he decided to give up chess in the 1980s to make his fortune in the City with the founding of The Terence Chapman Group plc, with a market value of (UK)100m. He was lured back into the chess limelight after a friend put the question to him: "What would you need to beat Garry Kasparov?" Instantly he replied "two pawns should do it!" The dream became a reality when, after reading about it in a magazine, Kasparov decided to pick up the gauntlet - but at a price.

A deal was soon struck between the two: Kasparov agreed to play for nothing, and in return for playing in the special odds charity match at Simpson's-in-the- Strand in London, Chapman would donate (UK)100,000 to the Garry Kasparov Chess Academy in Jerusalem, a non-profit making organisation that specialises in the development of chess in schools worldwide.

However, odds games are virtually unheard of in the modern game today. Although the world number one was instantly regarded as the favourite in this match, Kasparov himself wasn't so sure. And sure enough, in the first game of this intriguing four-game challenge, Kasparov, despite the fact that he won, should really have lost.


T Chapman - G Kasparov
Charity Odds Match (1)

1 Nf3 d5 2 d4 c6 3 c3 Bf5 4 Bf4 Nd7 5 e3 Qb6 6 b3 Ngf6 7 Bd3 g6 8 Qc2 e6 9 Nbd2 Nh5 10 0-0 Nxf4 11 exf4 Qc7 12 Ne5 Bxd3 13 Qxd3 g5 14 fxg5 Nxe5 15 dxe5 Qxe5 16 Nf3 Qf4 17 Qd4 Qxd4 18 Nxd4 Ba3 19 Ne2 Ke7 20 g3 Bb2 21 Rad1 Rxa2 22 Rd2 Rha8 23 Kg2 c5 24 h4 b5 25 h5 Kf8 26 Kf3 R8a3 27 Kg4 Rxb3 28 Nc1 Ra4+ 29 f4 Bxc1 30 Rxc1 Kg7 31 h6+ Kh7 32 Kh5 b4 33 cxb4? (33 f5! wins in all lines) 33 ..Rxg3 34 bxc5? (34 Rxc5 draws) 34 ..Rxf4 35 Rh2 f6 36 gxf6 Rxf6 37 Kh4 Rg8 0-1

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ODDS games, where a top player gives his or her opponent a fighting chance by playing with less material from the start, is a rarity in chess these days and is seldom seen.

It's all a glorious throwback to the romantic era of the game 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 amuse the Victorian elite for a fee by playing against rich amateurs in their Gentleman Clubs or Simpson's-in-the-Strand in London.

Fast-forward a couple of centuries to Simpson's-in-the-Strand, and all of a sudden its making a comeback thanks to the interest generated by this weekends four-game charity match there between the world number one, Garry Kasparov, who is giving two pawn odds and 30 minutes on the clock when he faces the London businessman and former junior internationalist, Terence Chapman.

While everyone and his dog makes Kasparov the odds-on favourite, former Scottish champion and Scotland On Sunday correspondent, Douglas Bryson, experimented at his own club with similar odds and rating disparity against a weaker opponent. His verdict? It's not so easy as he thought it would be, though still favoured Kasparov to win 3-1.

You can follow Chapman's chances live over the Internet on the special site for the match, www.chess.co.uk/ chapmankasparov.html. Chapman, whose company also sponsor the UK-wide Grand Prix, has also decided to put up $300 for a similar odds tournament as he has against Kasparov, which will be hosted this weekend by the Internet Chess Club at www.chessclub.com.

Former world champion Mikhail Tal, when asked to comment over Bobby Fischer's assertion that he could give knight odds to the then top female player (Nona Gaprindashvili) and still win, replied: "Fischer is Fischer. But knight is knight!" Maybe Fischer at his peak could have taken Nona on at such odds, but one of his fellow countrymen and a player he admired, Paul Morphy, arguably one of the most naturally gifted players of all time, specialised in such odds matches during his reign at the top during the mid-19th century.


P Morphy - T Worrall
New Orleans 1857
King's Gambit (White playing without the b1 knight)

1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 Bc4 g4 5 d4 gxf3 6 0-0 Bh6 7 Qxf3 Nc6 8 Bxf7+ Kxf7 9 Qh5+ Kg7 10 Bxf4 Bxf4 11 Rxf4 Nh6 12 Raf1 Qe8 13 Qh4 d6 14 Qf6+ Kg8 15 Qxh6 Bd7 16 R1f3 (16 Rf8+! Qxf8 17 Qg5+ Qg7 18 Qd5+ Qf7 19 Qxf7#) 16 ..Ne7 17 h4 Ng6 18 h5 Bg4 19 hxg6 hxg6 20 Rf8+ Qxf8 21 Rxf8+ Rxf8 22 Qxg6# 1-0

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IT'S a nice little Easter earner for the world number four Mickey Adams, as he stayed cool, calm and collected (UK)2,000 and his second successive Redbus title. After the tough time he had in last year's final against Bogdan Lalic, Adams had a relatively easy time of it this year after easily beating the British Champion, Julian Hodgson, 2-0 in the final played at Southend Civic Centre in Essex.

It didn't take long for Adams to assert his authority and world ranking in the final when he made short work of Hodgson in game one. Hodgson's favourite Modern Defence was ripped to pieces in just 27 moves as Adams hacked his way through to his opponents stranded king in the centre for the inevitable result that virtually guaranteed his second successive title.

In the second game, despite more of a show from a dispirited Hodgson, who by this time had to play all out for a win to stay in the match, Adams remained in total control of the board to take the second game, and with it his second successive title.

The Redbus tournament is now firmly established as one of the top attractions on the British calendar with its novelty attraction of 16 of the UK's top players battling it out in a knockout format. Coming second only to the Smith & Williamson British Championships in terms of financial remuneration, the new tournament fits the credo of sponsor Cliff Stanford who set up Redbus, from the profits of the sale of Demon Internet to Scottish Telecom, to allow entrepreneurs to turn ideas into opportunities.


J Hodgson - M Adams
Redbus Knockout Final (4.2), English Opening

1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 e5 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 g3 Bc5 5 Bg2 d6 6 d3 h6 7 0-0 a6 8 e3 Ba7 9 b3 0-0 10 h3 Re8 11 Kh2 Rb8 12 Bb2 b5 13 Rc1 Ne7 14 Qc2 bxc4 15 dxc4 Bf5 16 Qe2 Ng6 17 Rfd1 h5 18 Nd2 Nf8 19 Nde4 N8d7 20 Bf3 Qc8 21 Rh1 Nxe4 22 Nxe4 Bg6 23 Nc3 Nf6 24 Nd5 Re6 25 Bg2 Bc5 26 Rhf1 Nxd5 27 cxd5 Re7 28 Rc4 f5 29 Rxc5 dxc5 30 Rc1 Rb5 31 Qd2 Qd8 32 Bf1 Rb6 33 Rxc5 h4 34 gxh4 Qd6 35 Rc1 e4+ 36 Kh1 Bh5 37 Bg2 Rb5 38 Rg1 Rxd5 39 Qc3 Rd1 40 Qc4+ Kh7 41 Bd4 0-1

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LIKE some sort of Agatha Christie novel, fourteen of the competitors in the 3rd Redbus Knockout tournament in Southend have been "killed off", leaving just two prime suspects to contest the final: world number four Mickey Adams and British Champion Julian Hodgson.

In a re-run of last year's final which was extremely close despite the rating gap (Adams winning a sudden death blitz game after four draws), Adams found life easier this year with a 1.5-0.5 win over Bogdan Lalic in the first semi-final. Yet, despite the scoreline, Lalic again pushed the top seed all the way and only lost in the decisive game due to an error in the time scramble.

Hodgson, playing in the tournament for the first time, didn't have an easy time of it however in his match up with 17-year-old Luke McShane. After drawing both of their normal time-control games, Hodgson won 3-1 after winning both the 10-minute tie-breaker.

The result has left the organisers with the prospect of the "dream final" of top seeds Mickey Adams and Julian Hodgson. While both are regarded as being the best of friends off the board, come the final with the (UK)3,000 prize fund, they'll be no quarter (or even half!) asked as the gloves come off in an all-out effort to pocket the (UK)2,000 winners cheque.


M Adams - B Lalic
Redbus KO (3.2), Sicilian Modern Paulsen

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 a6 5 Bd3 g6 6 c4 Bg7 7 Nb3 Ne7 8 0-0 Nbc6 9 Nc3 d5 10 cxd5 exd5 11 Bg5 h6 12 Bh4 g5 13 Bg3 dxe4 14 Bxe4 0-0 15 Qc2 Bg4 16 f3 Be6 17 Rad1 Qb6+ 18 Bf2 Qb4 19 Kh1 Bxb3 20 axb3 Rac8 21 Rd7 Rfd8 22 Rfd1 Rxd7 23 Rxd7 Rd8 24 Rxd8+ Nxd8 25 h4 Ndc6 26 hxg5 hxg5 27 Be3 g4 28 fxg4 Qd6 29 Qe2 Qe6 30 Qc4 Qd7 31 g5 Ne5 32 Qe2 Nf5 33 Bf2 Nd4 34 Qd1 Ng4 35 Bg1 Be5 36 Nd5 f5? (36 ..Qe6!=) 37 gxf6 Nxf6 38 Bxd4 Nxe4 39 Bxe5 Qe6 (39 ..Nf2+? 40 Kg1 Nxd1 41 Nf6+ Kf7 42 Nxd7 Ke6 43 Bd4 Kxd7 44 Kf1!) 40 Ne7+ Kf7 41 Qf3+ Ke8 42 Qxe4 Qh6+ 43 Kg1 1-0

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ONE by one, the competitors are packing their bags and leaving Southend in Essex as the Redbus tournament starts to reach the decisive stages with only four players left in the UK's top knockout competition.

Defending champion Mickey Adams cruised effortlessly into the semi final after a comfortable 1.5-0.5 win over Murray Chandler. He now meets last year's defeated finalist, Bogdan Lalic, who beat John Emms 1.5-0.5. After making the finals in 1999 and 2000, Lalic now faces the daunting task of having to beat Adams, the number one seed and world number four, to appear in the finals for the third year running.

British Champion Julian Hodgson booked his place in the semi-final after defeating Nigel Davies 2-0 in a play-off. He now goes through to meet Luke McShane, Britain's youngest GM, in the semi-final after the teenager defeated the tournaments weakest link, Jonathan Levitt.

The time control is 100 minutes plus 30 seconds a move for the whole game. There is one round each day and two games per round. Matches tied at 1-1 will be decided by two 10-minute games followed by sudden death blitz games if necessary.

The prize fund for the tournament is (UK)7,400 with the eight first round losers receiving (UK)200, second round (UK)400 and the semi-finalists taking home (UK)600. The two finalists will split (UK)3,000; (UK)2,000 going to the winner if the match is settled without the speed chess play-off.


Quarter Finals:

Adams 1.5-0.5 Chandler; Emms 0.5-1.5 Lalic; Davies 1-1 Hodgson (Hodgson won the 10 min play off 2-0); McShane 1.5-0.5 Levitt.


B Lalic - S Conquest
Redbus KO (1.1), Slav Noteboom Variation

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 e6 4 Nc3 dxc4 5 e3 b5 6 a4 Bb4 7 Bd2 a5 8 axb5 Bxc3 9 Bxc3 cxb5 10 b3 Bb7 11 bxc4 b4 12 Bb2 Nf6 13 Bd3 Nbd7 14 0-0 0-0 15 Re1 Ne4 16 Nd2 Nxd2 17 Qxd2 e5 18 f4 e4 19 Be2 f6 20 Rec1 Kh8 21 c5 Nb8 22 Bb5 Bd5 23 c6 Na6 24 Bxa6 Rxa6 25 c7 Qa8 26 Rc5 Rc8 27 Qe2 Bg8 28 Qb5 Ra7 29 Rac1 a4 30 Qxb4 a3 31 Ba1 Rb7 32 Qd2 Qa7 33 Qc2 a2 34 Kf2 h6 35 d5 Bxd5 36 Bd4 Bg8 37 Rc6 Qa5 38 Rxf6 Bd5 39 Rxh6+ Kg8 40 Rg6 Rcxc7 41 Rxg7+ Rxg7 42 Qc8+ Kh7 43 Qh3+ Kg8 44 Rc8+ Kf7 45 Qf5+ Ke7 46 Qf8+ 1-0

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THE chess equivalent of "Big Brother" is unquestionably the highlight of the Easter weekend, as the 3rd Redbus Knockout tournament takes place at Southend in Essex featuring 16 of the UK's top players battling it out for the 7,500(UK) prize fund.

Getting stronger and stronger with each year, the latest edition features an impressive all-GM line-up: Michael Adams, Julian Hodgson, Stuart Conquest, Luke McShane, Jim Plaskett, Mark Hebden, Murray Chandler, John Emms, Nigel Davies, Bogdan Lalic, Jonathan Rowson, Chris Ward, Glenn Flear, Peter Wells, Aaron Summerscale and Jonathan Levitt.

The tournament is the brainchild of one of the original Internet entrepreneurs, Cliff Stanford (also a keen chess player). After forming Demon Internet in 1992 with just (UK)20,000, Stanford hit the big time after selling it on to Scottish Telecom in 1998 for (UK)66 million. He then formed a new company, Redbus Investments, and earmarked (UK)15 million to back innovative high-tech ideas.

In the first round four of the eight seeds fell at the first hurdle, though, ominously, the first and second seeds, world number four Michael Adams and British Champion Julian Hodgson, easily cruised through to the quarter finals and look on course for an Easter Monday showdown in the final. Unfortunately for Scotland, Jonathan Rowson had the misfortune of going out in the opening round at the hands of the "Master of Disaster" himself, Julian Hodgson.


Round one:

Ward 0.5-1.5 Adams; Flear 1.5-2.5 Chandler; Conquest 0-2 Lalic; Plaskett 0.5-1.5 Emms; Hodgson 1.5- 0.5 Rowson; Wells 0.5-1.5 Davies; Hebden 0-2 McShane; Summerscale 0.5-1.5 Levitt.


J Rowson - J Hodgson
Redbus KO (1.1), Scandinavian Defence

1 e4 d5 2 exd5 Qxd5 3 Nc3 Qa5 4 d4 Nf6 5 Bc4 Bg4 6 f3 Bh5 7 Nge2 Nc6 8 Bd2 0-0-0 9 a3 Nxd4 10 Nxd4 Rxd4 11 Nb5 Qb6 12 Nxd4 Qxd4 13 Qe2 Qxb2 14 0-0 e6 15 Qf2 Nd7 16 Be3 Qc3 17 Bb5 c6 18 Bd4 Qxd4 19 Qxd4 Bc5 20 Qxc5 Nxc5 21 Be2 Bg6 22 Rac1 Na4 23 Rfd1 Nc3 24 Rd2 Kc7 25 Bf1 b5 26 Kf2 a5 27 Bd3 c5 28 Bxg6 hxg6 29 Rd3 b4 30 Ra1 Rh5 31 h3 Re5 32 Re1 Rxe1 33 Kxe1 a4 34 axb4 cxb4 35 Kd2 e5 36 h4 a3 37 Kc1 f5 38 Rd2 e4 39 fxe4 fxe4 40 Rf2 e3 41 Rf1 e2 42 Re1 a2 43 Kb2 Kd6 0-1

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THERE was a very nice April Fool's Day spoof recently from the Internet Chess Club (ICC), which claimed it had gone into a partnership with the world chess federation, FIDE, in an effort to defray the costs of staging international tournaments by holding them all over the internet.

Gone, they said, was the GQ fashion model appearance required of elite players when on duty on the tournament circuit. Instead, they could just sit at home in their underwear, eating pizza, and play FIDE-rated events on-line! However, this isn't far from the truth these days - apart from the freighting vision of an unshaven Garry Kasparov in his underwear chomping on a Pizza Hut special! - with the growth and development of chess over the internet.

The ICC (www.chessclub.com) is one of largest and most active chess club's in the world. They have a membership of over 35,000 (and growing), and for an annual fee of $49.00, you can easily find an opponent (usually playing under an alias) willing to take you on at any time during the day or night in the comfort of your own home.

A massive 4,424 players (including 48 GMs and 85 IMs) from 70 countries played recently in the 2nd Internet Chess Tournament, "Ciudad de Dos Hermanas", hosted by the ICC. After five days of play, the field was whittled down to 32 players (17 GMs and 12 IMs) who battled it out in the finals last weekend for the $4,300 prize fund.

In the end, the Russian GM Sergei Shipov, who plays under the sobriquet of "Crest", won the event, after beating GM Alexander Rustemov 1.5-0.5 in the final.


S Shipov - A Dreev
Dos Hermanas ICC (4.2), Semi-Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nf3 e6 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bxf6 Qxf6 7 e3 Nd7 8 Bd3 dxc4 9 Bxc4 g6 10 0-0 Qe7 11 Rc1 Bg7 12 Qe2 0-0 13 e4 b5 14 Bd3 Bb7 15 Rfd1 a6 16 e5 c5 17 Be4 Bxe4 18 Qxe4 c4 19 d5 Nc5 20 Qe3 Nd3 21 d6 Qa7 22 Rxd3 cxd3 23 Qxd3 Rac8 24 Rd1 Qc5 25 d7 Rb8 26 Ne4 Qe7 27 Qc3 Qd8 28 b4 Rb6 29 a3 Qb8 30 Rc1 Rd8 31 Qc8 Bf8 32 Nd4 Rb7 33 Qxb8 Rdxb8 34 Nf6+ Kg7 35 Nc6 Ra8 36 d8Q 1-0

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A couple of years ago during the height of the troubles in the Balkans, the 54th Yugoslav Championships in Belgrade had to be abandon after seven rounds due NATO's heavy bombing of the city.

While ethnic barriers divided the communities there, chess (which is extremely popular in Yugoslavia) remained one of the few cohesive factors in the troubled area. And, in an act of defiance at the 1999 title being declared void, the legendary Svetozar Gligoric decided to stage his own protest at the bombing by playing an open air simultaneous against all-comers during one of the NATO air raids!

For decades, Yugoslavia was the second chess power in the world after The Soviet Union. Belgrade was the overwhelming first choice for the strongest team match ever played in chess history, when in 1970 the USSR came face to face with a Rest of the World team for the first time.

This year the Yugoslav championships took place outside the capital in Hercog Novi. In the men's championship there was a four way tie for first place on 9/15 between GMs Branko Damljanovic and Aleksandar Kovacevic and IMs Nikola Ostojic and Dejan Pikula; with the four playing off for the title at the end of the month.

At the age of 78, Gligoric continues to defy the odds by playing as energetically as ever. Playing fighting chess as usual (six wins, six defeats and five draws), the man who in the 1950s and 1960s was regarded as the most consistent player outside of the Soviet Union, scored a creditable 50 per cent in this tough tournament.


S Gligoric - I Ivanisevic
56th Yugoslav Ch. (1), French Defence

1 d4 e6 2 e4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 dxe4 5 Nxe4 Be7 6 Bxf6 gxf6 7 Nf3 a6 8 Bc4 f5 9 Ng3 c5 10 dxc5 Qa5+ 11 c3 Qxc5 12 Qd4 Qxd4 13 cxd4 Nd7 14 0-0 0-0 15 Rac1 Bf6 16 Bb3 Rd8 17 Nh5 Bh8 18 Rc7 Nf6 19 Nxf6+ Bxf6 20 Rfc1 Rb8 21 Ne5 Bxe5 22 dxe5 Bd7 23 Bd1 Kg7 24 Bf3 Bc6 25 Bh5 Rf8 26 Rc3 Rbd8 27 f4 Rd2 28 Rg3+ Kh8 29 Bxf7 Rd1+ 30 Kf2 Rfd8 31 Re3 R8d2+ 32 Re2 Rd4 33 Kg3 R1d3+ 34 Kh4 Kg7 35 Bxe6+ Kg6 36 g3 Bf3 37 Rf2 h5 38 Bf7+ Kh6 39 Re7 Rd2 40 Re6+ Kg7 41 Rxf3 1-0

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THE annual Edinburgh Congress, efficiently organised as ever by the Edinburgh League, goes from strength to strength with the latest at the weekend producing one of the strongest-ever weekend tournaments ever held in Scotland.

It was a daunting task for those entered into the Open as the field was boosted by the presence of no less than 13 titled players (!) - Four GMs, seven IMs, one WGM and one WFM - battling it out for the 500(UK) first prize.

After a tough battle in the Open, Grand Prix leader GM Keith Arkell, with a trademark last round grind, secured the first prize and the much-need Elite Prix points to keep him ahead in the race.


1 GM K Arkell 4.5/5; 2-4 GM J Rowson, GM J Plaskett, IM M Turner 4. Challengers: 1 K Strather (Phones) 4.5/5; 2-5 P Jaszkiwsky (Kettering), J Willman (Castlehill), I McLean (Balerno), C Sykes (Edinburgh), E Sloan (Wandering Dragons) 4. Major: 1 J MacRae (Crowwood) 4.5/5; 2-4 J Marr (Edinburgh), J McAteer (Stirling), J McCornachie (Juniper Green) 4. Bishops: 12 R Koli, S McKinney (Dalry) 4.5. Knights: 1 N Grant (Bon Accord) 5/5; 2 S Breslaw (Sandy Bell's) 4.5.


"I wonder what Fritz will make of it all?", remarked GM Jonathan Rowson after his fourth round mauling of Colin McNab - a game that went on to win the Best Game prize. His two-piece sacrifice was certainly entertaining stuff, but after being scrutinised under the silicon microscope of Deep Fritz, the correct McNab continuation was soon found.


C McNab - J Rowson
Edinburgh Congress (4), English Opening

1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 a3 g6 5 g3 Bg7 6 Bg2 0-0 7 0-0 d6 8 d3 Nd4 9 Nd2 c6 10 b4 d5 11 Bb2 Re8 12 Rc1 Bg4 13 h3 e4 14 hxg4 e3 15 fxe3 Nxg4 16 exd4 (16 Nxd5! cxd5 [16 ..Nf5 17 Bxg7 Kxg7 18 Rxf5 gxf5 19 Nf4 Nxe3 20 Qb3] 17 Bxd4 Bxd4 18 exd4 Ne3 19 Qe1 dxc4 20 Nxc4 Nxf1 21 Kxf1 Qxd4 22 Bxb7 Rad8 23 Bf3 is good for White) 16 ..Bxd4+ 17 e3 Nxe3 18 Qf3 Nxf1+ 19 Kxf1 Re3 20 Qf4 Rxd3 21 Ke2 Be3 22 Qxe3 Rxe3+ 23 Kxe3 Qg5+ 24 Ke2 Qxg3 25 Bf3 dxc4 26 Nce4 Qh2+ 27 Kd1 Rd8 28 Kc2 h5 29 Rh1 Qf4 30 Re1 f5 31 Bc3 fxe4 32 Be2 b5 33 Rf1 Qh2 34 Re1 Qg2 35 Kc1 e3 0-1

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The following appeared in The Scotsman of April 10th


Walter Munn

Born: 19 November, 1931, in Shawlands, Glasgow Died: 31 March, 2001, in Glasgow, aged 69



WALTER Munn was president of the Scottish Chess Association for 16 years, and proved an inspired choice for the top job in the aftermath of the controversial reign of the noted bridge designer, Dr William Fairhurst.

It was often said of him that he was born to be an accountant, and on leaving Hutcheson’s Grammar School in Glasgow he joined the firm of Harold Sinclair and Blair, duly becoming a chartered accountant in the mid-Fifties. While there he met another employee, Margaret Herbetson. They got engaged shortly after he became a CA and married in 1958.

He later moved on to become a partner in another Glasgow-based company, Wardhaugh and McVean, before opting to take the bold step at that time of becoming a freelance accountant from home, where he provided professionally meticulous and immaculate work for a select clientele who enjoyed his personal service.

He had a lifelong interest in chess and became an active member of the Cathcart Chess Club and a dedicated correspondence player. He was instrumental in creating the Scottish Correspondence Chess Association in 1962 with his friend and neighbour, Bernard Partridge. With the imminent demise of Busby & Clarkston Chess Club in the early Sixties, he had the vision to develop the growth of chess in his own area by forming a new club in the leafy suburbs of Clarkston in 1965. The new club, Giffnock & Clarkston, met (as it still does today) in Rhuallan House.

Walter’s commitment, organisational skills, and enthusiasm quickly raised the club’s status and in no time at all it became one of the largest and most active in the country. He was the club’s first secretary and remained in the post until September last year, when, after 35 years’ service, he retired because of persistent ill-health.

His organisational skills were called on to the full during one of the most challenging periods in the game’s history in Scotland. Because of an antiquated structure in the Scottish Chess Association that meant that each year a different club took the top posts in the organisation, Dr Fairhurst decided to take control of the SCA in 1959 and changed the rules to declare himself president and appoint his own office-bearers. By and large, this worked out better than the muddle that had gone before. Unfortunately, Dr Fairhurst also had a reputation for ruling the game with more iron in his fist than was needed in the design of his beloved Tay Bridge. Things came to a head during the selection of the Scottish team to play in the 1968 Lugano Olympiad, when Dr Fairhurst refused to allow one of the chosen players to joiln the team. There was a very public row that led to several resignations from the board and the split from the governing body of Junior Chess.

Dr Fairhurst was then told that his time as president had now reached an end. But since there were no elections for the top post, it fell on Fairhurst himself to appoint his successor. Several candidates made the daunting trip to Torr Hall, his imposing mansion in Bridge of Weir, to be personally vetted. One candidate stood out: Walter Munn, the quiet-spoken Glasgow chartered accountant with a gift for administration.

On assuming the presidency in 1969, Walter proved to be a breath of fresh air for the game and a figure of respect who was popular with the grassroots. He immediately set about demo-cratising the SCA with a proper board structure and annual elections and plotted a true course of success for chess in Scotland, sacrificing his own playing career in favour of organisation.

Not only did he bring about some much-welcome administration and financial rigour to the SCA, he was also the key figure in many monumental improvements that took place in through the Sixties and Seventies, such as the annual Scottish Championship and Glasgow Congresses. Along with the unstinting help and support of his own family and a dedicated team of officials and workers, he created such a special atmosphere at these tournaments - particularly the flagship event of the Scottish Championship with the popular decision to use the alternate venues of Troon and St Andrews.

The highlight of his presidency came in 1984 when the SCA, one of the world’ s oldest chess associations, celebrated its centenary year. Walter built around him an able team that more than met the challenge for that demanding year - and without going over budget! The main features of the celebrations were the staging of the World Microcomputer Championships in Glasgow, the Scottish Centenary Grandmaster Tournament in Troon, and the official visit to Glasgow of the then world champion, Anatoly Karpov.

The Fischer boom of the late Sixties and early Seventies, with more and more people worldwide taking up chess, coincided with him being secretary of the Glasgow Congress, the biggest and most popular tournament in the country at the time, which supported Scotland’s only international event. It was through Walter’s perseverance that a similar-styled junior international was added to the congress.

Back at Giffnock & Clarkston, he added a large junior feeder club where he developed and wrote all of the teaching aids. He also put in many years of dedicated input to local schools in his area. One of those, Ashcraig, was a special needs school for the disabled. His work there caught the eye of Peter McCann, Lord Provost of Glasgow, himself disabled, who offered Walter the services of his office and the facilities of Glasgow City Chambers to set up the world’s first junior international chess tournament for the disabled.

Chess prospered rapidly during Munn’s inspired leadership and he became a father figure to a whole generation of players. All good things must come to an end, and in 1985, on announcing his resignation a year in advance to culminate in the end of the centenary year celebrations, he relinquished his high-profile post to become the first person to be made the honorary president of the SCA.

A self-effacing character with a wickedly dry sense of humour, it was impossible not to like - and be liked by - Walter. He got on well with everyone. Despite all the many events, functions and committees he was involved in throughout his distinguished chess career, no-one ever had a bad word to say about him - they would accept his rulings (always invariably right) and listen carefully to his wise council.

He was a much loved and caring family man and will be greatly missed by his devoted wife, Margaret, children, Derek and Rosanne, and grandchildren, Alexander and Rachel - and by the many friends and colleagues he made wherever he went in life and in the chess world.


PRESSURES of work prevented millionaire businessman Terry Chapman making the trip north to get in a bit of last-minute match practice before his intriguing handicapped match later this month with Garry Kasparov.

Chapman unfortunately had to make a late withdrawal from Scotland's top weekend tournament, the Edinburgh Congress, and instead now has to rely on an intense, weeklong training camp this week with the likes of top British GMs Jon Speelman, John Nunn and Julian Hodgson to better prepare himself for his charity match against the world number one.

In addition to being the sponsors of the annual tournament Grand Prix circuit in the UK, The Terence Chapman Group last year also initiated (albeit only for English juniors) a new award scheme for juniors. At least the latest recipient of this year's gold medal and 1,000(UK) prize, 17-year-old GM Luke McShane, sounds Scottish (and does have a Scottish grandparent)!

In the Grand Prix race, it was a typical Keith Arkell tournament grind (an opening round Easter Bunny and four tough games in excess of 50+ moves) at the super-strong Edinburgh Congress at the weekend held at George Heriot's School in the city. With a field containing four GMs, seven IMs, one WGM and one WFM, Arkell, the Grand Prix leader, boosted his chances of winning the 2001 title when he took outright first place in the tournament with an unbeaten score of 4.5/5.

With Edinburgh being an Elite event for the Grand Prix, Arkell's winning score will have increased his lead over his nearest rival for the 5,000(UK) GP prize, IM Matthew Turner, who shared second equal with Jonathan Rowson and Jim Plaskett.


I Robertson - K Arkell
Edinburgh Congress (1), Caro-Kann Defence

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 cxd5 4 Bd3 Nc6 5 c3 g6 6 Bf4 Bg7 7 Nf3 Nf6 8 0-0 Bf5 9 Re1 Bxd3 10 Qxd3 0-0 11 Nbd2 Ne8 12 h4 h5 13 Ng5 Qd7 14 Nf1 Nd6 15 Ng3 Nf5 16 Nxf5 Qxf5 17 Qxf5 gxf5 18 Nh3 f6 19 b4 Rfe8 20 Rad1 Kf7 21 Bc1 a5 22 b5 Na7 23 a4 Nc8 24 Nf4 Nb6 25 Ne6 Rac8 26 Nc5 Bf8 27 Re6? (Black was winning after 27 Nxb7 Nxa4 28 Bd2 [28 Nxa5 Nxc3 29 Rd3 Nxb5] 28 ..Nb2 29 Nxa5 [29 Ra1 Nc4 30 Ra2 Rc7 31 Nc5 e6] 29 ..Nxd1 30 Rxd1 Ra8 31 c4 Bh6! 32 Bc3 Reb8) 27 ..Nxa4 0-1

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SET in the rustic Rutland countryside in England lies a school that dates backs to the Elizabethan period, and over the years since has managed to build-up an impressive chess pedigree: Oakham School.

Not only in FM Graham Lee does it have the only full-time chess teacher in the UK, but there is also a Kasparov Scholarship (with two Russian students, Alexander Yastrebov and Zhanna Lazhevskaya, nominated by Kasparov himself) at the school supported by the former world champion. For educational reasons, chess has become a major part of the curriculum since the early 1980s thanks to a generous bequest from an old Oakhamian, John Jerwood. Due to this sponsorship, there have been many top international junior tournaments over the years, graced by the likes of Kramnik, Anand, Shirov, Short and Adams.

The latest in the series has just ended with a surprise result as it looked as if it was going to be a "crushing" runaway win for one of the players with just two rounds to go. After doing all the hard work by defeating three GMs and three IMs, 17-year-old American IM Irina Krush, needing only two draws, set herself up with a golden opportunity to not only gain her first GM norm but also win the tournament.

Facing the 12-year-old Canadian prodigy Mark Bluvshtein, Krush's winning streak came to a halt after missing a tactical trick in a crucial position. In the final round, playing India's 14-year-old Humpy Koneru (who need to win herself to gain her first full IM norm), Ms Krush was totally outplayed and again was defeated, thus losing her norm chance and first place. This allowed another old Oakhamian, Nick Pert, to sneak in for his second successive Masters title.


Final standings:

1 IM N Pert (England) 6.5/9; 2 IM I Krush (USA) 6; 3 WIM H Koneru (India) 5.5; 4-5 IM D Gormally (England), GM C McNab (Scotland) 5; 6-7 IM D Tyomkin (Israel), IM J Nieto Estrada (Mexico) 4; 8 M Bluvshtein (Canada) 3.5; 9 GM J Levitt (England) 3; 10 GM N McDonald (England) 2.5.


I Krush - H Koneru
Oakham Masters (9), Caro-Kann Advanced

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 Bf5 4 Nc3 e6 5 g4 Bg6 6 Nge2 f6 7 Bg2 Nd7 8 Bf4 fxe5 9 dxe5 Qb6 10 Rb1 h5 11 g5 0-0-0 12 0-0 Ne7 13 Be3 Qc7 14 b4 Nf5 15 Bf4 Nxe5 16 b5 Bd6 17 bxc6 Nxc6 18 Nb5 Qf7 19 Qd2 Bxf4 20 Qxf4 a6 21 Nbc3 Nfd4 22 Qc1 Nf3+ 23 Kh1 h4 24 h3 Be4 25 Qe3 Rhf8 26 Nxe4 dxe4 27 Rfd1 Rxd1+ 28 Rxd1 Qc7 29 Bxf3 Rxf3 30 Qxe4 Rxh3+ 31 Kg1 Qh2+ 32 Kf1 Qh1+ 33 Qxh1 Rxh1+ 34 Ng1 h3 0-1

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After 34 e5!


THE exclusive members of the "2800 club", Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik, look all set for an early showdown with both set to met next month in a new tournament to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the independence of Kazakhstan.

The top Russian duo who are the world no's. 1 and 2, head the field in the six-man double round robin event that will also include elite players Alexei Shirov, the ex Latvian who now represents Spain, Boris Gelfand of Israel and the Bulgarian no.1, Veselin Topalov. Completing the star-studded line-up in SuperGM event is the unknown 22-year-old local, Darmen Savakhasov, Kazakhstan's top player, who just scraps in to the world's top 200.

The tournament is being hosted by the Kazakhstan president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, as part of the anniversary celebrations and will be staged in Astana, the newly designated capital that replaces Almaty.

Vishy Anand, the FIDE world champion and world no. 3, was also invited to the new tournament (which is likely to be a one-off), but unfortunately (or fortunately - depends on how you view it from the beach!) had to decline as it clashed with another top event he had already signed up for at the opposite end of the globe.

Instead, the Indian ace is heading for the sunnier climbs of Mexico, where, alongside Nigel Short, Alexander Khalifman and Gilberto Hernandez, he'll be the top seed in the Carlos Torre Memorial in Yucatan.


V Anand - V Ivanchuk
Amber Rapidplay Monaco (5), Ruy Lopez

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 0-0 8 a4 b4 9 d3 d6 10 a5 Be6 11 Nbd2 Bxb3 12 Nxb3 Re8 13 h3 Qd7 14 Bg5 h6 15 Bh4 Nh7 16 Bxe7 Rxe7 17 d4 exd4 18 Nfxd4 Nf6 19 f3 Nxd4 20 Qxd4 Qb5 21 Qd3 Qg5 22 Qd2 Qxd2 23 Nxd2 Rae8 24 Nb3 c5 25 Red1 Re6 26 Rd2 Kf8 27 Rad1 Ke7 28 Nc1 Rd8 29 Nd3 Rd7 30 b3 g5 31 Kf2 Rb7 32 Nb2 Rb5 33 Nc4 Ne8 34 e5 dxe5 35 Rd7+ Kf6 36 Ra7 Kg6 37 Rdd7 f6 38 Rd8 h5 39 Rda8 h4 40 Rxa6 Nc7 41 Rxe6 Nxe6 42 a6 Nc7 43 Ra7 1-0

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HIS former prodigy has taken his world title...and now he's after his world No.1 spot! Life's not been easy for a dethroned Garry Kasparov, who now finds that for the first time in 16-years, he has very serious competition for his coveted world no.1 spot on the FIDE world rating list.

The latest rating list from the world chess federation, FIDE, published on April 1st, was no April Fool's joke for Kasparov, who saw a large 27-point dip in his rating that has now fallen to 2822. This was largely due to FIDE finally getting round to rating his ill-fated Brain Games world title match from last year with Vladimir Kramnik, who subsequently became the largest riser in the top ten on the new list.

Overtaking India's Vishy Anand on the no.2 spot, Kramnik, with a stratospheric rise of 30-points, now becomes only the second chess player in history to breach the magical 2800 barrier. And, with the increase of Anand's rating by 4-points also, it surely cant be long before the Indian ace himself joins the exclusive "2800 club" alongside the Russian duo.

Another big riser, just outside the top ten, was former world champion Anatoly Karpov (who in the 1980s was Kasparov's only real challenger for the top spot), who jumped 14-points to re-enter the top twenty - by playing no games! This was a correction due to FIDE erroneously rating one of his poor results twice last year.

Top ten: 1 G Kasparov (Russia) 2822; 2 V Kramnik (Russia) 2802; 3 V Anand (India) 2794; 4 M Adams (England) 2750; 5 A Morozevich (Russia) 2749; 6 P Leko (Hungary) 2739; 7 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2731; 8 A Shirov (Spain) 2727; 9 B Gelfand (Israel) 2712; 10 E Bareev (Russia) 2709.


A Shirov - V Kramnik
Amber Rapidplay (4), Berlin Defence

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 0-0 Nxe4 5 d4 Nd6 6 Bxc6 dxc6 7 dxe5 Nf5 8 Qxd8+ Kxd8 9 Nc3 Bd7 10 b3 Kc8 11 Bb2 Be7 12 Rad1 a5 13 h3 h5 14 g3 Ra6 15 Bc1 Re8 16 Bg5 Bb4 17 Rd3 Ne7 18 Bxe7 Bxe7 19 Kg2 Bf5 20 Re3 Bxc2 21 Ne4 a4 22 Rc1 axb3 23 axb3 Bxe4 24 Rxe4 c5 25 Rf4 Rf8 26 g4 hxg4 27 Rxg4 g6 28 h4 b5 29 Ng5 Ra3 30 Rg3 Kb7 31 Rf3 Kb6 32 Nh7 Re8 33 Rxf7 Rxb3 34 Rg7 Bxh4 35 Rxg6+ c6 36 f4 c4 37 Rh1 Rd8 38 Rxh4 Rd2+ 39 Kh1 Rb1+ 40 Rg1 Rxg1+ 41 Kxg1 c3 0-1

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IT'S the sort of bet you would consider putting a little flutter on: Garry Kasparov NOT being at odds with an opponent during a match!

Kasparov decided to take a moral stand in his forthcoming charity handicap match against Terry Chapman, founder and chief executive of the 100m(UK) Terence Chapman Group, by requesting links to an online betting site offering odds on the match to be removed from all chess links.

The bookmakers Sporting-Odds.com have made Kasparov 1-7 favourite, Chapman 9-2 and give 14-1 the draw, but the ex world champion, who has consistently opposed betting in chess, objected on the grounds that the whole concept of the handicapped match was to make it an even encounter. "Although seven to one in my favour is laughable, the problem is if I am beaten I will lay myself open to criticism that I somehow lost on purpose, having bet on Chapman. Neither I nor anybody associated with me will be laying a bet."

"If anything," added Kasparov, "I believe that Chapman should be the 2-1 favourite." Kasparov, who is against all betting on chess, believes that gambling can only bring discredit on the sport and successfully requested that all links to gambling websites be removed from the chess links covering the match, which takes place at Simpson's-in-the-Stand in London, 21-22 April.

The businessman, who was a former London boys champion, is reported to have spent the last six months in deep training with the help of several top notch British GMs, studying positions on ChessBase and Fritz rather than analysing the movements on the stock market in an all-out effort to win the match.

You can see at first hand whether Terry Chapman is worth a flutter against Kasparov. He'll be getting in some last minute practise as a competitor this weekend at the Edinburgh Congress, which takes place at George Heriot's school. Anyone looking for a late entry into Scotland's top weekend tournament can do so by contacting George Anderson on 0131-447-2149.

Today's game, against aspiring GM James Howell, comes from the British Championships in Southport in 1983, just before Chapman gave up chess for a lucrative career in the City.


J Howell - T Chapman
British Championship 1983, Pirc Defence

1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 g6 4 Nf3 Bg7 5 Be2 0-0 6 0-0 Bg4 7 Bg5 Nbd7 8 Re1 c5 9 e5 cxd4 10 exf6 exf6 11 Nxd4 Bxe2 12 Ndxe2 fxg5 13 Qxd6 Ne5 14 Qb4 Qc8 15 Rad1 Kh8 16 Nd4 Rd8 17 Ndb5 Rxd1 18 Rxd1 b6 19 Qe7 h6 20 Nd6 Qf8 21 Qxf8+ Rxf8 22 Kf1 Rd8 23 Ndb5 Rxd1+ 24 Nxd1 Nc6 25 c4 Kg8 26 Ke2 f5 27 b3 Kf7 28 Ne3 Be5 29 h3 a6 30 Na3 Nb4 31 Nd5 Nxd5 32 cxd5 Ke7 33 Nc4 Bd4 34 a4 Bc5 35 f3 b5 36 axb5 axb5 37 Na5 Kd6 38 Kd3 Kxd5 39 Kc3 Bf2 40 Kb4 Ke5 41 Kxb5 Kf4 42 Kc6 Kg3 43 b4 Kxg2 44 b5 Kxh3 45 Nb3 g4 46 Nc5 Bxc5 0-1

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BLINDFOLD chess, in moderation, has been recommended by many sources as a method for improving a player's analytical powers.

However this was not the medical advice in the former Soviet Union. There, it was frowned upon to such an extent that the authorities banned it as they thought it to be a health hazard.

This could have something to do with the fact that two of the greatest blindfold exponents from the first half of the last century, Pillsbury and Alekhine, died rather young and supposedly suffered great headaches after these "seances" (although it is well-documented that Pillsbury died from Syphillis; Alekhine through alcohol abuse. Such is the life of a chess master!).

The earliest blindfold performance dates back as far as 1265 when the Saracen expert, Buzecca, toured in Europe and played two games blindfold in Florence. It took 518 years before Philidor attempted the same feat in 1783, despite being begged by his friend, Diderot, who pleaded in public for him not to risk his sanity in such a dangerous pursuit!

Thankfully in Monaco, the players were aided in their blindfold matches to take away some of the strains of blindfold chess. Whilst only playing one game per day, they did have the added benefit of a computer showing only their own pieces on the board.


V Topalov - V Kramnik
Melody Amber Blindfold (3), Queen's Gambit Declined

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 Be7 5 Bf4 0-0 6 e3 c5 7 dxc5 Bxc5 8 a3 Nc6 9 Qc2 Qa5 10 Nd2 Bb4 11 cxd5 exd5 12 Bd3 d4 13 0-0 Bxc3 14 Nc4 Qh5 15 bxc3 Nd5 16 Bg3 dxe3 17 Rae1 Be6 18 fxe3 Rad8 19 Nd6 Ne5 20 Bxh7+ Qxh7 21 Qxh7+ Kxh7 22 Bxe5 f6 23 e4 Nb6 24 Bg3 Na4 25 e5 f5 26 Bh4 Rd7 27 Re3 f4 28 Ref3 Bd5 29 Rh3 Be6 30 Be7+ Bxh3 31 Bxf8 Be6 32 Ne4 Kg8 33 Ng5 Kxf8 34 Nxe6+ Ke7 35 Nxf4 Rd2 36 Rf3 Nc5 37 h4 Ne6 38 Kh2 Ra2 39 Nxe6 Kxe6 40 Rg3 Kf7 41 e6+ Kxe6 42 Rxg7 Rxa3 43 Rxb7 Kf5 44 Rb5+ Kg4 45 Rb4+ Kh5 46 g3 Ra1 47 Kh3 a5 48 g4+ Kh6 49 Rb6+ Kg7 50 h5 a4 51 Ra6 a3 52 Kh4 a2 53 Kg5 Kh7 54 Ra7+ Kg8 55 Kg6 Kf8 56 g5 1-0

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IT'S perhaps not what every 11-year-old girl would like to see in her wish list for a birthday, but, for Melody Amber, the daughter of Dutch software multi-millionaire Joop van Oosterom, each year she gets an exclusive chess tournament held in her honour in Monaco.

The perennial venue of the exclusive Metropole Palace Hotel again played hosts to the 10th edition of this novelty 12-player double-round tournament, held under the auspices of the Max Euwe Association. And, with a hefty prize fund of $193,000, this is the only elite event in the chess world that combines the disciplines of rapidplay and blindfold chess.

Despite having a lean year or so, the Bulgarian No.1 Veselin Topalov was in top form in the tournament with some dazzling play to tie for first place with the Brain Games world champion Vladimir Kramnik on a score of 15-7.

Topalov scored 8-3 to win the blindfold event, a half-point ahead of Kramnik. In the rapid (25-min per game) competition, Kramnik and the Israeli No.1 Boris Gelfand tied for first place with 7.5-3.5, with Topalov finishing third with 7-4.


Combined Standings:

1-2 V Topalov (Bulgaria), V Kramnik (Russia) 15/22 3 V Anand (India) 13.5; 4 A Shirov (Spain) 11.5; 5-6 B Gelfand (Israel), P Leko (Hungary) 11; 7 J Piket (Netherlands) 10.5; 8-9 L Ljubojevic (Yugoslavia), Z Almasi (Hungary) 9.5; 10-11 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine), A Karpov (Russia) 9; 12 L Van Wely (Netherlands) 7.5.


V Kramnik - V Ivanchuk
Melody Amber Rapidplay (8), Queen's Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 b5 6 cxb5 Bxb5 7 Bg2 c5 8 0-0 Bc6 9 Ba3 Na6 10 Nbd2 Be7 11 dxc5 Bxc5 12 Bxc5 Nxc5 13 Rc1 Nb7 14 e4 0-0 15 Nd4 Rc8 16 Nxc6 dxc6 17 Qe2 Qc7 18 Rc2 Rfd8 19 Rfc1 h6 20 h3 Nd7 21 Nf3 Qb6 22 e5 c5 23 Nd2 Na5 24 Nc4 Nxc4 25 Rxc4 Qc7 26 b4 Qxe5 27 Qxe5 Nxe5 28 Rxc5 Rxc5 29 bxc5 Rc8 30 c6 Rc7 31 f4 Nd7 32 Rd1 Nb6 33 Rd8+ Kh7 34 Kf2 g6 35 Ke3 Kg7 36 Kd4 Kf6 37 Re8 Re7 38 Rb8 Rc7 39 Rb7 Rxb7 40 cxb7 Nd7 41 Bc6 Nb8 42 Kc5 Ke7 43 Bb5 f6 44 h4 g5 45 fxg5 fxg5 46 h5 e5 47 Kd5 Kd8 48 Kxe5 Kc7 49 Kf6 Kxb7 50 Kg6 1-0

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