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The Scotsman

Chess News August 2001

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CHESS in Scotland has gone through a metamorphosis recently with the merger of the Scottish Chess Association and the Scottish Junior Chess Association to form a new, single administrating body, Chess Scotland.

The amalgamation sees the game turning full circle since the acrimonious split from the governing body in 1967 - due to the lack of support and development from within the SCA for junior chess - with the forming of the SJCA.

Although the name change breaks the link with over 100 years of tradition with the SCA (formed 1884) being one of the world’s oldest national chess associations, some radical new ideas were need in the game in Scotland to revitalise an ageing chess population. The key project for Chess Scotland is to promote chess teaching in schools.

Irvine in Ayrshire was the venue last weekend for the first congress to be run under the new administration, with IM Stephen Mannion winning the Open ahead of IM John Shaw at the annual Marymass Congress held at the Irvine Royal High School.


Open: 1 S Mannion 4.5/5; 2 J Shaw 4; 3 R Wiltshire 3.
Major: 1 D Heron 4.5/5; 2 T Dimitrov 4; 3= J Konarski, C Sykes & D Hall 3.5. Minor: 1= J McGrannigan, A Birnie 4/5; 3= D Gillespie, A Murphy, R Yates, J McRae, M Theodoreson 3.5. Reserve: 1 D Rooney 5/5; 2= B Bonnyman, A Frew 4.


The next Chess Scotland weekend tournament with ChessBase Grand Prix points at stake will be the 28th Grangemouth Congress, 7-9 September. For further information contact organiser Jim Watson on 01324-714314.


S Mannion – D Sime
Marymass Congress (4), French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 Nf6 4 e5 Nfd7 5 c3 c5 6 f4 Nc6 7 Ndf3 cxd4 8 cxd4 f5 9 Ne2 Be7 10 Nc3 0–0 11 Be2 Nb6 12 0–0 Bd7 13 h3 Be8 14 Kh2 a5 15 a4 Nb4 16 b3 Rc8 17 Bd2 Nd7 18 Rc1 Nb8 19 Be3 Bh5 20 Qd2 Qb6 21 Rg1 Bxf3 22 Bxf3 Kh8 23 g4 g6 24 gxf5 gxf5 25 Rg2 N4a6 26 Bxd5! exd5 27 Nxd5 Qe6 28 Nxe7 Qxe7 29 d5 Rxc1 30 Qxc1 Nd7 31 Bd4 Nb4 32 e6+ Nf6 33 Bc5 Qc7 34 d6 Qc6 35 d7 1–0

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IN 1951, Yugoslavia’s Borislav Ivkov hit the headlines when he became the first player to be crowned World Junior Champion after winning the first tournament in Birmingham.

Then, there were only eighteen players taking part in the tournament organised by the world chess federation, Fide. The Soviets boycotted the tournament due to an objection to the Swiss system used to determine the winner. However, despite the protests, the novel event had, in a short space of time, captured the imagination of the chess world as it gave a showground on the world stage for future stars in the game.

Since the inaugural world junior exactly half a century ago, its champions have gone on to become some of the all-time greats in the game: Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasaprov and Vishy Anand. Though the tournament has lost a bit of its appeal and mystique in recent years, the event is still hugely popular.

The latest world junior championships produced a record-breaking event in terms of participation (150 boys and girls spanning 56 countries) and ended yesterday afternoon in Athens with Hungary’s Peter Acs lifting the world junior crown.

Seeded seventh at the start of the tournament, Acs faced stiff opposition throughout the gruelling thirteen rounds of the by the likes of the Chinese pair of top seed Ni Hua and the world’s youngest grandmaster, Bu Xianzhi; and the Caucasus combination of Lev Aronin, Gabriel Sargissian and Merab Gagunashvilli. However, showing his mettle with three successive wins in the final three rounds (against Gagunashvilli, Sargissian and Bu), Acs took the crown with a final score of 10/13 – a half point ahead of Gagunashvilli and Aronin on 9.5; Ni Hua 4th with 9.

The only British winner of the world junior was England’s Tony Miles who took the crown in Manila in 1974. Though Yorkshire’s Richard Palliser, the British U-21 champion, couldn’t emulate Miles’ feat of 1974 by taking the title, he did cause a scare in the opening rounds with a first round round victory over top seed Ni Hua, followed by a second round draw with second seed Lev Aronin. Finishing 14th with 8/13, he at least ended the tournament as the player with the biggest rating increase with a TPR of 2554 – a result that should guarantee him his IM title. Fellow countryman Nick Pert finished 32nd with 7/13; Ireland’s Sam Collins 58th with 6/13; and Scotland’s James Parkin finishing 69th with 5.5/13.

After the recent success of Pentala Harikrishna at the Commonwealth Championships, the Indian summer continues in the World Girls U-20 Championships with Humpy Koneru taking the crown on tiebreak from China’s Xue Zhao with both finishin on 9.5/13. Koneru, who holds a full GM norm, has now taken world crowns in four different age groups: U-10, U-12, U-14 and now U-20.


X Bu – P Acs
World Junior Ch. (13), Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0–0 5 Nge2 d5 6 a3 Be7 7 cxd5 Nxd5 8 Nxd5 exd5 9 Nc3 c6 10 Be2 Bf5 11 0–0 Bg6 12 b4 Nd7 13 b5 Nb6 14 Qb3 Qd6 15 Bb2 Qe6 16 Na4 Nxa4 17 Qxa4 f5 18 bxc6 bxc6 19 Rac1 Be8 20 Qa6 Bd7 21 Bc3 f4 22 exf4 Rxf4 23 Rce1 Bd6 24 Bb5 Qf7 25 Ba4 Rf8 26 Re2 Rh4 27 f3 Bxh2+ 28 Kf2 Qf4 29 Re3 Bg3+ 30 Ke2 Rh2 31 Rg1 Bg4 32 fxg4 Qf2+ 33 Kd3 Qxg1 34 Qxc6 Qb1+ 35 Bc2 Qf1+ 36 Re2 Rf3+ 0–1

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THE US Open, first staged in Minnesota in 1900, thus making this traditional National tournament one of the oldest of its kind, this year took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham in Boston with a field of 487 vying for the $40,000 prize fund.

As ever with US tournaments (apart from having to turn up with your own board, set and clock to play!), nothing is ever simple due to the chaotic nature of the beast for financial reasons. For the first six rounds, players can choose their schedule: one game a day, or five games daily. Slow starters can even withdraw and re-enter via a faster rate of play.

All schedules then link up for the final rounds. This flexibility does have its side effects: You can’t tell who is leading the tournament until after round six when the ‘Grand Merger’ takes place.

In an international line-up, 17 GMs and 9 IMs were in the hunt for the first prize purse of $5,000. And, in a closely fought competition, the title went to Polish GM Alex Wojtkiewicz who shared first place with IM Fabian Doettling of Germany and US grandmasters Joel Benjamin and Alex Stupinsky. All four scored 7.5/9, but Wojkiewicz took the title on tiebreak.

The US Open also doubled as a qualifying event for the newly-structured US Championships, organised by the Seattle Chess Foundation, which takes place in January 2002 in the Emerald City with a record $200,000 prize fund. To do so, players unfortunately had to declare their intent to play beforehand by paying a $50 fee.

This financial policy backfired on 12-year-old Igor Schneider, who missed his big chance to follow in the footsteps of American icon Bobby Fischer by becoming one of the youngest players to play for the National title. After turning in a superb result, the youngster gained the final qualifying place - but alas had opted not to pay the qualifying fee!


A Wojtkiewicz – J Friedman
US Open (8), King’s Indian Defence

1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 g3 Bg7 4 Bg2 0–0 5 d4 d6 6 Nc3 c5 7 0–0 Nc6 8 d5 Na5 9 Nd2 a6 10 Rb1 Nd7 11 Qc2 Ne5 12 b3 Bd7 13 h3 f5 14 f4 Nf7 15 Bb2 b5 16 Nd1 Bxb2 17 Nxb2 bxc4 18 bxc4 Rb8 19 Nd3 Qc7 20 Qc3 Rfc8 21 e4 fxe4 22 Nxe4 Nb7 23 Rb2 Nbd8 24 Re2 Nb7 25 g4 Rf8 26 Ng3 Rbe8 27 Rfe1 Bc8 28 f5 Nfd8 29 Be4 g5 30 Nh5 Rf7 31 Qc1 h6 32 h4 Kh8 33 hxg5 hxg5 34 Qxg5 Rg8 35 Qh4 Rh7 36 Ndf4 1–0

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THE Israeli programme of Deep Junior 7 dominated the field with a two-point advantage to take the World Microcomputer title in Maastricht with an undefeated score of 8/9.

It’s another success story for the highly-rated Junior, created by Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky, who first became microcomputer champion in 1997 and won the tournament of the best programs in Cadaques 2000.

However, the recent success of winning the world crown is no conciliation for the top program after it somehow “blew a fuse” by failing to win from two up with two to play in the Brain Games qualifier against Deep Fritz earlier in the year - a major setback for the Israeli program that saw its main rival from the ChessBase stable go through to play in a lucrative $1m Man vs. Machine match in Bahrain this October against world champion Vladimir Kramnik.

Dutch programmer Frans Morsch, the creator of Deep Fritz, strenuously denied that his program is playing under a different name. Morsch revealed that his latest creation, Deep Fritz 7, which will take on Kramnik, was completed on August 1st and will be commercially available on the eve of the Bahrain showdown.

“It [Deep Fritz 7] was canned and sealed for the Bahrain match, commented Morsch in a statement. “It has been handed over to Kramnik for his preparations. Quest, the program that is playing in Maastricht, is an experimental program with new search techniques.

“It has been optimised for games against other computers. Quest is not the program that will face Kramnik. You need quite different programs to play successfully against human beings and against computers.”

The most remarkable game from the World Microcomputer championships in Maastricht was unquestionably Deep Junior’s remarkable sixth round epic win against Stefan Meyer-Kahlen’s Shredder (which coincidently took the single-processor title). From a lost position after 40 moves, Deep Junior somehow managed to confuse Shredder’s circuit board with some remarkable complications as can be seen below.


Final scores: 1 Deep Junior 8/9; 2-3 Quest Maastricht, Shredder 6; 4 GromitChess (amateur title) 5.5; 5-11 Chess Tiger, Rebel, Crafty, Goliath, Ferret, Gandolf, Parsos 5; 12-13 Diep, Tao 4; 14 Isichess 3.5; 15-16 Ruy-Lopez, Pharaon 3.


Deep Junior 7 - Shredder
18th WMCCC Maastricht (6), Sicilian Najdorf

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e6 7 Be2 Qc7 8 f4 b5 9 a3 Bb7 10 Bf3 Nbd7 11 Nde2 Rc8 12 0–0 Be7 13 Kh1 0–0 14 b4 Nb6 15 Qd3 Rfd8 16 f5 Nc4 17 fxe6 fxe6 18 Bd4 Rd7 19 Bxf6 Bxf6 20 Bg4 Re7 21 Qh3 Rce8 22 a4 bxa4 23 Bh5 Rf8 24 Bg4 Bc8 25 Rxa4 Ree8 26 Raa1 g6 27 Qg3 Qb6 28 Bh3 Qxb4 29 Qd3 Bg7 30 Rfb1 Qc5 31 Na4 Qc7 32 c3 Rf6 33 Nd4 Ref8 34 Nf3 Rf4 35 Nd4 Re8 36 Rf1 Rxf1+ 37 Rxf1 Bd7 38 Ra1 Kh8 39 Qf1 g5 40 Qd1 Ne5 41 g3 g4 42 Bg2 a5 43 Qc2 Rb8 44 Qc1 Nc4 45 Qe1 Bh6 46 h3 Ne3 47 hxg4 e5 48 Nf5 Bxf5 49 exf5 Nc2 50 Qd1 Nxa1 51 Qxa1 e4 52 Qd1 e3 53 Bf3 Bg7 54 Kg2 Re8 55 Kh3! Qc4 56 Be2 Qc6 57 g5 Be5 58 Nb2 d5 59 Nd3 Bxc3 60 Nf4 d4 61 Kh4! a4 62 f6 Rb8 63 Bf3 Qb5 64 g6 Rd8 65 g7+ Kg8 66 Qc2 Rd6 67 Qa2+ Qb3 68 Bd5+!! Rxd5 69 Nxd5 Kf7 70 Qg2 d3 71 Qf3 Qb8 72 Qh5+ Ke6 73 Nxc3 e2 74 Qg4+ Kf7 75 Kg5! h6+ 76 Kxh6 e1Q 77 Qg6+ Ke6 78 f7+ Kd7 79 Qxd3+ Kc7 80 Qc4+ Kb6 1–0

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THREE titans of the chessboard look as if they have buried any differences they may have had to play in a special tournament in honour of their mentor and first Fide world champion – and at the same time deliver a combined slap in the face for the world chess federation, Fide.

The “three K’s” of Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov and Vladimir Kramnik, who between them have ruled the chess world for three decades, intend to steal the limelight from Fide by playing in a lavish $600,000 triangular tournament (Nov 30–Dec 10) that will deliberately clash with the governing body’s own world championship (Nov 25–Dec 12).

The triangular match is being organised by a close confidant of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and will be staged as a tribute to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the birth of the man who taught all three champions – the legendary Soviet chess coach and former five-time world champion, Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995).

The Botvinnik Memorial, which sees the three K’s playing each other four times, is also set to be played in a high-profile Kremlin location, the Hall of Mirrors, a venue that became synonymous with Botvinnik’s seven title matches played between 1950 and 1963.

The tournament is a fitting tribute from the trio to a man who was regarded as a god of Soviet chess. A favourite of Stalin who promoted his cause, Botvinnik was the first player to be awarded the title of Soviet Grandmaster and holds the record for winning seven USSR Championship titles. His results in the 1930s and 1940s formed the basis of the Soviet Union’s dominance of world chess, which was only broken by Bobby Fischer in 1972.


M Botvinnik – J Capablanca
AVRO 1938, Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 d5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 c5 7 cxd5 exd5 8 Bd3 0–0 9 Ne2 b6 10 0–0 Ba6 11 Bxa6 Nxa6 12 Bb2 Qd7 13 a4 Rfe8 14 Qd3 c4 15 Qc2 Nb8 16 Rae1 Nc6 17 Ng3 Na5 18 f3 Nb3 19 e4 Qxa4 20 e5 Nd7 21 Qf2 g6 22 f4 f5 23 exf6 Nxf6 24 f5 Rxe1 25 Rxe1 Re8 26 Re6 Rxe6 27 fxe6 Kg7 28 Qf4 Qe8 29 Qe5 Qe7 30 Ba3 Qxa3 31 Nh5+ gxh5 32 Qg5+ Kf8 33 Qxf6+ Kg8 34 e7 Qc1+ 35 Kf2 Qc2+ 36 Kg3 Qd3+ 37 Kh4 Qe4+ 38 Kxh5 Qe2+ 39 Kh4 Qe4+ 40 g4 Qe1+ 41 Kh5 1–0

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CHESS in Scotland received a boost with the announcement that ChessBase, the world leading chess software company, will replace Tod & Mitchell as the new sponsors of the year-long Scottish Grand Prix circuit.

Despite being a Hamburg-based company, it is a little known fact that ChessBase, the software programme once famously described by Garry Kasparov as “the single most important innovation in the game since Caxton and the invention of the printing-press”, has a very strong Scottish connection. Its creator, Matthias Wullenweber, first had the idea to develop a software programme to store his many chess games in while a student at Edinburgh University in the early 1980s.

From small acorns to store his Edinburgh League games, Wullenweber’s ChessBase has grown into a major product on the chess market, which in the process has turned the company into the Microsoft of the chess world, though admittedly without a few zeros or two (or even three, four, five...) in its annual turnover. ChessBase has now reached version No.8 and can sort, retrieve and catalogue millions of chess games stretching back as far as 1610. No serious chessplayer (or journalist for that matter!) can work without this chess programme these days, and it is now probably the single most important tool when the likes of Kasparov, Kramnik and Anand et al prepare for world championship matches.

Three of the ChessBase stables playing programmes – Quest (Deep Fritz in disguise!), Chess Tiger and Shredder – are competing just now in the 18th World Microcomputer Chess Championships taking place in the Dutch town of Maastricht. However, the Israeli programme of Deep Junior (also marketed through ChessBase) by Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky is turning in an impressive performance and looks certain to take the world crown with a commanding lead with just two days of play left.

Leader board: 1 Deep Junior 5.5/6; 2 Chess Tiger 4.5; 3 Quest 4; 4-9 Crafty, Shredder, Rebel, Ferret, Goliath, GromitChess 3.5; 10 Isichess 3; 11-13 Diep, Gandalf, Pharaon 2.5; 14-17 Ruy-Lopez, Tao, Parsos, SpiderGirl 2; 18 XiniX 0.5.


Deep Junior 7 - Chess Tiger
18th WMCCC Maastricht (4), Spanish Opening

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0–0 b5 6 Bb3 Bb7 7 c3 Nxe4 8 d4 Na5 9 Bc2 exd4 10 Bxe4 Bxe4 11 Re1 d5 12 Nxd4 c5 13 Nf5 g6 14 Ne3 Be7 15 f3 d4 16 cxd4 cxd4 17 Ng4 f5 18 Nh6 Bxb1 19 Rxb1 d3 20 Bg5 Qd4+ 21 Kh1 Nc6 22 Rc1 Ne5 23 Be3 Qd5 24 Bf4 Nc6 25 Rxc6 Qxc6 26 Qxd3 Rd8 27 Qe3 Rd7 28 Bg5 Qc7 29 Qe6 Rf8 30 Ng8 Qc4 31 Nf6+ Rxf6 32 Qxf6 Qf1+ 33 Rxf1 Bxf6 34 Bxf6 Kf7 35 Bg5 Rd4 36 Rc1 Ke6 37 b3 a5 38 h3 a4 39 Rc7 Rd1+ 40 Kh2 Ra1 41 bxa4 bxa4 42 Rxh7 Rxa2 43 Rg7 f4 44 h4 Kf5 45 Rf7+ Ke5 1–0

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THE governing body of world chess, Fide, have just released their latest rapidplay rating list for speed games played over just 30 minutes.

The list, which contains the top 1,000 players from around the world, is headed (just!) by the British No.1 Michael Adams, who drops four to hold a slender one-point lead over an impressive chasing pack of Garry Kasparov, Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik.

The top-ten places are: 1 M Adams (England) 283; 2 G Kasparov (Russia) 282; 3 V Anand (India) 280; 4 V Kramnik (Russia) 278; 5 B Gelfand (Israel) 276; 6-8 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine), V Topalov (Bulgaria), E Bareev (Russia) 273; 9-10 J Piket (Netherlands), A Shirov (Spain) 271.

Speed king Vishy Anand lost out on his second spot to Kasparov due to his indifferent results at Monaco (and by the fact that the results for the Marabal Rapidplay weren’t submitted – despite the fact that he won it!). However, Anand could well head the next list if the event is subsequently rated – together with his powerful performance at the weekend in the strongest rapidplay tournament of the year in his adopted homeland of Villarobledo in Spain.

Heading a strong field of 36 GMs and 22 IMs, the Indian ace was at his dazzling best again following his disaster in Dortmund when he shared first place with Alexei Shirov on 7.5/9 – Anand taking the title with a better tiebreak score following a last round win.


Final scores: 1-2 V Anand (India), A Shirov (Spain) 7.5/9; 3-8 A Kolev (Bulgaria), L Ljubojevic (Yugoslavia), E Agrest (Sweden), B Lalic (England), D Collas (France), A Chernin (Hungary) 7


V Anand – E Ubilava
Villarrobledo (5), Alekhine’s Defence

1 e4 Nf6 2 e5 Nd5 3 d4 d6 4 Nf3 Bg4 5 Be2 e6 6 0–0 Be7 7 c4 Nb6 8 Nc3 0–0 9 Be3 dxe5 10 Nxe5 Bxe2 11 Qxe2 N8d7 12 Rad1 c6 13 Bf4 Nf6 14 Rd3 Nbd7 15 Rfd1 Re8 16 h4 Qb6 17 h5 Rad8 18 Rg3 Bf8 19 Rdd3 c5 20 Bh6 g6 21 Bxf8 Rxf8 22 hxg6 hxg6 23 Nxd7 Nxd7 24 d5 Rde8 25 d6 Kg7 26 Ne4 Rh8 27 Ng5 Rh4 28 Rgf3 Rf8 29 Nxf7 Rxf7 30 Qxe6 Nf6 31 Rxf6 Rxf6 32 Qe7+ Rf7 33 Qxh4 Qxb2 34 d7 Qa1+ 35 Kh2 Qe5+ 36 Qg3 1–0

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THE 6th Computer Olympiad, a multi-games event in which all participants are computer programs covering 17 mind games, has just got underway in the infamous Dutch town of Maastricht.

The highlight of the week-long event is the inclusion for the first time of the World Microcomputer Chess Championships, run under the direction of the International Computer Chess Association.

Looking to pick up the coveted gold medal and world title are many of the top commercial programs in the game, including defending champion Shredder, Deep Junior, Chess Tiger, Ferret and Crafty. However, once crucial name seems to be missing from the event: Deep Fritz.

With the rating-list leader due to play world champion Vladimir Kramnik in early October in Bahrain in a $1m Man vs. Machine match, maybe it needed some time off to prepare? Well, no. In a funny way, Deep Fritz is actually playing in the tournament - but under a different name!

Fearful of nothing less than a victory would damage the prestige and PR of the top programme on the eve of the showdown in Bahrain, its inventor Frans Morsch uses the name of "Quest" as a working title for his many chess-playing engines; the strongest of which ChessBase select and market under the now household name of "Fritz". And this is what's happened here.

After the opening three rounds in Maastricht, Chess Tiger and Deep Junior lead the field with 3/3, as defending champion Shredder blew a fuse when it faced none other than Deep Fritz - sorry, Quest! I've no doubt those cunning Germans will change its name back should they indeed win the gold.

Shredder - Quest
18th WMCCC Maastricht (3), Sicilian Najdorf

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Bg5 e6 7 f4 Be7 8 Qf3 Qc7 9 0-0-0 Nbd7 10 Be2 b5 11 Bxf6 Nxf6 12 e5 Bb7 13 Qg3 dxe5 14 fxe5 Nd7 15 Bxb5 axb5 16 Ndxb5 Qc5 17 Qxg7 Qxe5 18 Qxe5 Nxe5 19 Nc7+ Kf8 20 Nxa8 Bxa8 21 Rhe1 Ng4 22 Rd4 Rg8 23 Rc4 Nxh2 24 a4 h5 25 b4 h4 26 Ne4 Ng4 27 Re2 f5 28 Nf2 Nxf2 29 Rc8+ Kf7 30 Rxg8 Kxg8 31 Rxf2 Bxb4 32 c3 Bxc3 33 Rc2 f4 34 a5 Bd4 35 Rc8+ Kf7 36 Rxa8 f3 37 gxf3 h3 38 Rd8 h2 39 Rd7+ Kg6 40 Rxd4 h1Q+ 41 Kc2 e5 42 Rg4+ Kh7 43 Ra4 Qg2+ 44 Kc3 Qxf3+ 0-1

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IT'S only in the last few decades that chess has made inroads in China, where the game is seen as the poorer cousin of the more popular Chinese Chess.

Chess was banned during the first eight years of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), but by 1974 there was an easing of the ban that saw the Chinese start to take part in international competitions.

In 1975, the Malaysian business tycoon Dato Tan Chin Nam decided that chess in China had enormous potential, and set-up the "Big Dragon Project"; the aim being to see China dominate the chess world by 2010. They now hold every title in the women's game, and are now starting to make inroads in the much tougher men's game.

Recently he supported again the 7th edition of the Tan Chin Nam Cup in Shanghai - a competition that sees top GMs from the eastern bloc meeting their Chinese counterparts. The event ended in a three-way tie between Michal Krasenkow (Poland), Viktor Bologan (Moldavia) and Ye Jiangchuan (China, with the Polish GM taking the title on tiebreak.

Krasenkow's only loss in the competition was to bottom-placed Ni Hua - obviously placed in the tournament to gain him valuable experience amongst such a tough opposition. During the recent USA vs. China match in Seattle earlier in the year, the star performer for the Chinese in their historic victory was the little-known and untitled 17-year-old Ni Hua from Shanghai. Although he came last amongst the strong field in the Tan Chin Nam Cup, much is expected in the future from the youngster.

Final scores: 1-3 GM M Krasenkow (Poland), GM V Bologon (MDA), GM Ye Jiangchuan (China) 5.5/9; 4-7 GM I Sokolov (BIH), GM Zhang Zhong (China), GM Xu Jun (China), GM A Dreev (Russia) 4.5; 8 GM Peng Xiaomin (China) 4; 9 GM V Tkachiev (France) 3.5; 10 Ni Hua (China) 3.

Ni Hua - M Krasenkow
7th Tan Chin Nam Cup (6), Scotch Game

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Bc5 5 Nxc6 Qf6 6 Qd2 dxc6 7 Nc3 Ne7 8 Bd3 Bd4 9 0-0 Ng6 10 Kh1 Ne5 11 f4 Ng4 12 Qe1 Nxh2 13 Kxh2 Qh6+ 14 Kg3 Qg6+ 15 Kh2 Qh5+ 16 Kg3 g5 17 f5 Be5+ 18 Kf2 Qh4+ 19 Ke2 Bg3 20 Qd1 Qg4+ 21 Rf3 Bxf5 22 exf5 0-0-0 23 Be3 Rhe8 24 Qh1 Be5 25 a3 Bd4 26 Kd2 Bxe3+ 27 Rxe3 Rxe3 28 Kxe3 c5 29 Rf1 Qd4+ 30 Kd2 c4 31 Qg1 Qg4 32 Qxa7 Qxg2+ 33 Rf2 Qc6 34 Qa8+ Kd7 35 Qa4 Qxa4 36 Nxa4 cxd3 37 cxd3 Kd6 38 d4 h5 39 Nc5 Kd5 40 Kd3 g4 41 Ne4 Kc6 42 Rc2+ Kb6 43 Rh2 Rh8 44 Rh4 1-0

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AFTER the remarkable feats yesterday of septuagenarian Viktor Korchnoi, today we go to the other end of the age group with the stunning performances lately of ten-year-old wunderkind David Howell from Seaford, Sussex.

Missing out this year on the British Championships, Howell instead decided to travel to France to play. There, he scored probably the best international result for a ten-year-old in the history of chess when he achieved a Fide performance of nearly 2400 in the Creon Open in Bordeaux.

Howell defeated three unrated opponents and held his own with 3/6 against the others, who all hold Fide titles. En route to Bordeaux, he drew with GM Marc Santo-Roman at Montpellier and defeated IM Jean-Pierre Boudre at Saint-Affrique - a result that broke Luke McShane's 1994 UK record for the youngest win over an IM in a Fide competition.

Thanks to some generous sponsorship from local Sussex computer firm Jeb Hove, Howell was aided in his French tour by having the services of GM Glenn Flear as his trainer.

According to the legendary top talent-spotter Leonard Barden, who in the past has discovered many of Britain's best talents in the game including Nigel Short and Michael Adams, Howell is on course to break a landmark record. "David has made a quantum leap to near master strength. It's realistic now for him to target the youngest ever IM norm record, achieved at 11 by two Hungarians including Judit Polgar, and the youngest IM title at the age of 12."

Howell's final score of 6/9 at the Creon Open, was made up from the following results: 1 G Dumont (FRA,) 1; 2 IM Z Bratanov (BUL, 2422) 0; 3 R Amram (FRA) 1; 4 D Ramdine (FRA) 1; 5 WGM G Olarasu (ROM, 2312) 1; 6 GM B Badea (ROM, 2487) 0; 7 FM M Saucey (FRA, 2331) 1; 8 IM A Colovic (MKD, 2384) 1; 9 IM A Vajda (HUN, 2405) 0.

G Olarasu - D Howell
Creon Open (5), Grunfeld Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 c4 Bg7 4 Nc3 d5 5 g3 0-0 6 Bg2 c5 7 dxc5 dxc4 8 Qa4 Nd5 9 Qxc4 Nxc3 10 bxc3 Be6 11 Qb4 Nc6 12 Qa3 Qa5 13 Qxa5 Nxa5 14 Nd4 Rac8 15 Nxe6 fxe6 16 0-0 Bxc3 17 Bh6 Bxa1 18 Bxf8 Kxf8 19 Rxa1 Rxc5 20 Be4 Kf7 21 Rd1 Rc4 22 f3 Ra4 23 Rd2 Nc4 24 Rd4 b5 25 Bc6 a6 26 Rf4+ Kg7 27 Re4 Kf6 28 Rf4+ Kg7 29 Re4 e5 30 Bd5 Kf6 31 f4 Nb6 32 fxe5+ Kf5 33 Rxa4 Nxa4 34 Bg8 h6 35 Bb3 Nc3 36 Kf2 Kxe5 37 Ke3 Nd5+ 38 Kd3 g5 39 a3 Nf6 40 e3 Ng4 41 h4 Nf2+ 42 Ke2 Ne4 43 hxg5 hxg5 44 g4 a5 45 Bc2 b4 46 a4 Nc5 47 Kd2 b3 48 Bd1 Ke4 0-1

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A medical report published in last November's issue of "Neurology" by Dr. Lawrence Whalley, a professor of psychiatry at Aberdeen University, showed that playing chess as a youngster (and later in life) helped to ward off Alzheimer's disease. Dr Whalley's findings were subsequently confirmed a few months later by a number of similar medical reports in America.

Highlighting a survey of people in their 70's, it showed that those who regularly participated in hobbies that were intellectually challenging during their younger adult years, tended to be protected from Alzheimer's. And, adults with hobbies that exercise their brains - such as reading, jigsaw puzzles or chess - were 2.5 times less likely to have Alzheimer's, while leisure limited to TV watching may increase the risk, the studies concurred.

To my knowledge, there has never been a reported case of Alzheimer's amongst the ageing greats in the game over the years, like Lasker, Najdorf, Smyslov, Lilienthal etc. More recently, we only have to show the remarkable results of our leading septuagenarian, Viktor Korchnoi, who has been dubbed "the Anthesis of Alzheimer's".

After celebrating his 70th birthday a few months ago, the redoubtable Viktor (world ranked 67th) notched-up his 47th major tournament victory of his long and illustrious career when he took first place in the seriously strong category 16 (average Elo: 2649) six-player double-rounder in Biel.

Biel: 1 V Korchnoi (Switzerland) 6/10; 2 P Svidler (Russia) 5.5; 3 B Gelfand (Israel) 5; 4-6 Y Pelletier (Switzerland), J Lautier (France), A Grischuk (Russia) 4.5.

V Korchnoi - Y Pelletier
Biel (8), Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 e3 Bf5 5 Nc3 e6 6 Nh4 Bg6 7 Qb3 Qc7 8 Nxg6 hxg6 9 Bd2 Nbd7 10 g3 Nb6 11 c5 Nbd7 12 Qc2 e5 13 b4 Be7 14 Bg2 Nf8 15 b5 Ne6 16 bxc6 bxc6 17 Qa4 0-0 18 0-0 g5 19 Rab1 Rfb8 20 Ne2 exd4 21 exd4 Rxb1 22 Rxb1 Nd7 23 Bh3 Rb8 24 Rxb8+ Nxb8 25 f4 gxf4 26 Nxf4 Nxf4 27 Bxf4 Qb7 28 Bxb8 Qxb8 29 Qxc6 Qb1+ 30 Bf1 Qe4 31 Qe8+ Kh7 32 Qxf7 Qxd4+ 33 Kg2 Bxc5 34 Kh3 Qe3 35 Qxd5 g6 36 Bd3 Kh6 37 Be4 Qf2 38 Qe6 Qf1+ 39 Kh4 Kg7 40 Qxg6+ Kf8 41 Qf5+ Qxf5 42 Bxf5 Bg1 43 Kh3 Kf7 44 g4 Kf6 45 Kg3 Be3 46 Bc2 Bd2 47 Kh4 1-0

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THERE are certain things in life that you come to expect like death and taxes.

Winner of the Smith & Williamson British Championships Joe Gallagher, who now lives in the tax haven of Neuchatel in Switzerland, discovered this the hard way on opening his winners envelope on Saturday: he had been taxed at source by 22 per cent.

Instead of a cheque for (UK)10,000, Gallagher was only paid (UK)7,800 after losing out to his toughest opponent in the tournament - The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown MP, who "won" (UK)2,200 of Gallagher's winnings!

It's fitting that the Iron Chancellor should make money out of chess - after all, it was the chess world that gave him his job title.

Look in any good quality dictionary or encyclopaedia under "Exchequer", and you'll discover that it came from counting out money on a very large chequer-board used for chess. In 1080 the Normans named their financial departments of State l'excheiquier after the chessboard, which was used as a form of abacus as they would tally up the squares with various sums of money on it.

And in another happy coincidence, the sponsors Smith & Williamson just happen to be tax consultants - maybe Gallagher should have also have asked for some free financial advice when he went up to collect the trophy and cheque from the Group Managing Director, Gareth Pearce!

M Chandler - J Gallagher
British Ch. (8), Sicilian Moscow Variation

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bb5+ Nd7 4 d4 Ngf6 5 Nc3 cxd4 6 Qxd4 e5 7 Qd3 h6 8 Be3 Be7 9 Bc4 a6 10 a4 Qc7 11 0-0 Nc5 12 Bxc5 Qxc5 13 Rab1 Be6 14 Nd2 Rc8 15 Bxe6 fxe6 16 Qh3 Kf7 17 Nb3 Qc7 18 Kh1 g5 19 Rbd1 h5 20 Qd3 Qb6 21 Qe2 Qb4 22 Rd3 b5 23 axb5 axb5 24 h4 g4 25 f4 Qc4 26 Nd2 Qc5 27 f5 b4 28 fxe6+ Kxe6 29 Nd5 Nxd5 30 exd5+ Kd7 31 c3 Rhf8 32 Ne4 Qc4 33 Ra1 bxc3 34 bxc3 Ra8 35 Rb1 Ra2 36 Qe3 Rf4 37 Ng3 Qa6 38 Nxh5 Ra1 39 Rxa1 Qxa1+ 40 Kh2 g3+ 41 Kxg3 Bxh4+ 42 Kh2 Bf2 43 Qxf4 exf4 44 Nxf4 Qg1+ 45 Kh3 Be3 46 Ne2 Qh1+ 47 Kg3 Qe1+ 48 Kf3 Qf2+ 49 Ke4 Bh6 0-1


IN a controversial ending to the Smith & Williamson British Championships in Scarborough, Swiss-based GM Joe Gallagher won his first British title after a five-move (!) draw against Keith Arkell.

Gallagher's decision to offer the draw was perfectly understandable as it guaranteed him a share of first place since he was the overnight leader. For his opponent, though, the decision to accept seems puzzling. Needing a win to take also take his first title, he'll never be placed in a better opportunity to win the British crown.

The top board cop-out meant that wins on the other three top boards would have left Gallagher facing a playoff to decide the title. However, luck turned out to be on his side when, after some hard fought games, they also ended with draws, surprisingly allowing Gallagher to take first outright with a low winning score of 8/11.

The Alexander Best Game Prize for the British was won jointly for this last round combative encounter between John Emms and Bogdan Lalic. Both needing a win for a playoff, there were plenty of opportunities for a decisive outcome in a game that could have gone either way.

Final scores: 1 J Gallagher (Sui) 8/11; 2-8 J Hodgson (Eng), K Arkell (Eng), P Wells (Eng), J Emms (Eng), D Gormally (Eng), B Lalic (Eng), M Hebden (Eng) 7.5; 9-13 C Ward (Eng), J Shaw, (Sco), J Rowson (Sco), A Summerscale (Eng), M Turner (Eng) 7.

Other Scots: 37 N Berry 5.5; 63 E Rutherford 4.

J Emms - B Lalic
British Ch. (11), Caro-Kann Defence

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 cxd5 4 c4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6 6 Nf3 Bb4 7 Bd3 dxc4 8 Bxc4 0-0 9 0-0 b6 10 Bg5 Bb7 11 Ne5 Bxc3 12 bxc3 Qc7 13 Bb3 Nc6 14 Bxf6 gxf6 15 Ng4 f5 16 Nf6+ Kg7 17 Nh5+ Kh8 18 d5 Rad8 19 c4 (19 Qc1! exd5 20 Qh6 f6 21 Nf4! wins.) 19 ..e5 20 Qd2 Nd4 21 f4 f6 22 Rae1 b5 23 fxe5 fxe5 24 Qg5 bxc4 25 Bxc4 Bxd5 26 Bxd5 Rxd5 27 Re3 Rc5 28 Qh6 Rf7 29 Ree1 Qb6 30 Qg5 h6 31 Qg3 f4 32 Qh4 f3 33 Rf2 Rc2 34 Kh1 Nf5 (34 ..fxg2+! 35 Rxg2 Rxg2 36 Kxg2 Nf3 37 Qe4 Nxe1+ 38 Qxe1 Qb2+ wins.) 35 Qa4 fxg2+ 36 Rxg2 Rxg2 37 Kxg2 Qb2+ 38 Kh1 Nd6 39 Qa5 Kh7 40 Qd5 Qf2 draw.

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AS the race to become the Smith & Williamson British Champion reaches the home stretch, again the odds were reduced on Scotland's John Shaw as he stays in the lead going into the crucial, final three rounds at the Spa Centre in Scarborough.

An eighth round draw with yet another top seed, GM Peter Wells, kept Shaw's unbeaten run in the tournament intact as he edges slowly towards his first GM norm - and more importantly the winning post on Friday with the 10,000(UK) first prize.

With his TPR now over 2700, Shaw has played the tournament of his life to again see online betting firm Flutter.com reduced him further to 5/1 third favourite for the crown.

However, his draw with Wells allowed a couple of thoroughbreds to join him in the lead. With big wins on the other top boards, defending Champion (and 5/2 favourite) Julian Hodgson and Joe Gallagher (second favourite now at 4/1), join Shaw in first equal on 6/8.

Leader board: 1-3 J Shaw (Sco), J Hodgson (Eng), J Gallagher (Sui) 6/8; 4-11 J Emms (Eng), K Arkell (Eng), G Lane (Aus), P Wells (Eng), D Gormally (Eng), C Ward (Eng), S Ansell (Eng) 5.5; 12-19 A Summerscale (Eng), M Hebden (Eng), A Ledger (Eng), M Chandler (Eng), J Rowson (Sco), N Pert (Eng), B Kelly (Ire) 5.

J Hodgson - A Summerscale
British Ch. (8), Semi-Tarrasch

1 c4 c5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 Nc6 4 Nc3 e6 5 Nf3 d5 6 cxd5 Nxd5 7 d4 Be7 8 0-0 0-0 9 Rb1 Bf6 10 Nxd5 Qxd5 11 dxc5 Qxc5 12 Be3 Qe7 13 Qc1 Rd8 14 Bc5 Qe8 15 b4 b6 16 b5 Na5 17 Bb4 Bb7 18 Bxa5 bxa5 19 Qe3 Qe7 20 Rfc1 h6 21 h4 Bd5 22 Ne5 Bxg2 23 Kxg2 Bxe5 24 Qxe5 Qb7+ 25 Rc6 a6 26 e4 axb5 27 Rc7 Qb6 28 Rxb5 Qd4 29 Qf4 Rd7 30 Rxd7 Qxd7 31 a4 Qd4 32 e5 Qxf4 33 gxf4 h5 34 Kf3 Rc8 35 Rxa5 Rc3+ 36 Ke4 Rc4+ 37 Ke3 Kh7 38 Ra7 Kg6 39 a5 Ra4 40 a6 Ra3+ 41 Kd4 Ra4+ 42 Kc5 Rxf4 43 Rc7 Rxf2 44 a7 Ra2 45 Kb6 Kf5 46 Rxf7+ Kxe5 47 Kb7 Kd4 48 Rd7+ Kc4 49 a8Q Rxa8 50 Kxa8 e5 51 Rxg7 e4 52 Rh7 1-0

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THE price on a Scot to win the Smith & Williamson British Championships in Scarborough was dramatically slashed in half as John Shaw, from Kilmarnock, took the sole lead in the tournament.

Shaw upset the formbook in the seventh round when he easily defeated the 1996 Champion, Chris Ward, to leave him a half a point clear of the trailing GM pack with just four rounds to go.

His odds were immediately reduced to 10/1 by the online betting firm Flutter.com (Hodgson still favourite at 5/2), though not before a lot of money changed hands before the round when he was overpriced at 20/1.

Shaw has now played the top five seeds in the Championships, his undefeated score of 5.5/7 giving him a TPR now nudging the 2700 mark - a performance that virtually guarantees him his first GM norm. The only question begging now is: Can he go on to win the 10,000(UK) first prize to become the first Scot since 1946 to bring home the British crown?

Leader board: 1 J Shaw (Sco) 5.5/7; 2-10 J Hodgson (Eng), P Wells (Eng), A Summerscale (Eng), M Chandler (Eng), Gallagher (Sui), Ansell (Eng), J Emms (Eng), B Lalic (Eng) 5; 11-20 M Hebden (Eng), T Miles (Eng), G Lane (Eng), K Arkell (Eng), M Turner (Eng), C Ward (Eng), R Palliser (Eng), S Williams (Eng), D Gormally (Eng), A Ledger (Eng) 4.5.

J Shaw - C Ward
British Ch. (7), Sicilian Moscow Variation

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bb5+ Bd7 4 Bxd7+ Qxd7 5 c4 Nc6 6 Nc3 Ne5 7 d4 Nxf3+ 8 gxf3 cxd4 9 Qxd4 e6 10 Be3 Ne7 11 0-0-0 Nc6 12 Qd2 Ne5 13 Qe2 Qc6 14 b3 Be7 15 Rhg1 0-0 16 f4 Nd7 17 f5 Bf6 18 Bd4 e5 19 Be3 b5 20 Nxb5 Qxe4 21 Nxd6 Qc6 22 Qg4 e4 23 Nxe4 Ne5 24 Nxf6+ Qxf6 25 Qg5 Qxg5 26 Rxg5 f6 27 Rg3 Rf7 28 Bf4 Nc6 29 Rgd3 Re7 30 Re3 Kf7 31 Rd6 Rc8 32 Kb2 Rb7 33 Red3 Ke8 34 Rh3 Ne7 35 Kc3 Nxf5 36 Ra6 h6 37 Rd3 Kf7 38 Rd5 Ne7 39 Rda5 Nc6 40 Rc5 Ne7 41 Rxc8 Nxc8 42 c5 g5 43 Be3 Kg6 44 Bd4 Rf7 45 Kc4 g4 46 b4 Kg5 47 Be3+ Kg6 48 b5 h5 49 Rc6 Ne7 50 Rc7 Nf5 51 Rxf7 Kxf7 52 b6 axb6 53 cxb6 Ke6 54 Bc5 Kd7 55 Kb5 h4 56 b7 1-0

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After 27 Qb2!


FANCY a little flutter on the British? Top online betting firm Flutter.com (www.flutter.com), are offering odds (and generous at that) on the overall winner of the Smith & Williamson British Championships, now into the decisive final week in Scarborough.

Prices on offer after round six, are: Hodgson 3/1, Miles 7/1, Chandler 8/1, Emms 8/1, Lalic 10/1, Ward 10/1, Wells 10/1, Gallagher 12/1, Rowson 12/1, Hebden 20/1, Shaw 20/1, 25/1 Bar.

Kilmarnock's John Shaw, in first equal on 4.5/6 and needing something like 2/4 for a GM norn, seems to be rather generously priced at 20/1. If he does win, Shaw will become the first Scot to win the British title since Elgin lawyer RF Combe shocked everyone - including the organisers who initially rejected his entry because they felt he was "too weak"! - in 1946 when he won the Championship.

It would be nice to see a good return on odds at 20/1 with a long overdue Scottish victory, but in reality Shaw's more likely to be more concerned about gaining his first GM norm. A much better bet, however, is the reigning Champion Julian Hodgson, looking for his third successive title. Looking good at a price of 3/1, Hodgson joined the leaders on 4.5/6 with a nice, sixth round win.

J Hodgson - M Turner
British Ch. (6), Trompowsky Attack

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 f3 Qa5+ 5 c3 Nf6 6 d5 Qb6 7 Bc1 e6 8 c4 exd5 9 cxd5 c4 10 e3 Bc5 11 Kf2 0-0 12 Bxc4 d6 13 Ne2 Nbd7 14 Nbc3 Ne5 15 Na4 Qb4 16 b3 Nxc4 17 bxc4 Qxc4 18 Nxc5 Qxc5 19 Nf4 g5 20 Nd3 Qxd5 21 e4 Qa5 22 Bd2 Qb5 23 Qe2 Re8 24 a4 Qb6+ 25 Be3 Qa5 26 h4 Bg4 27 Qb2 Nxe4+ 28 fxe4 Rxe4 29 Qb5 Qxb5 30 axb5 gxh4 31 Rxh4 h5 32 Rhh1 Rae8 33 Rhe1 Bd7 34 Nf4 Bxb5 35 Nxh5 R4e6 36 Bxa7 Rxe1 37 Rxe1 Rxe1 38 Kxe1 Kf8 39 Nf4 Ke7 40 Bd4 Bc6 41 Kd2 Kd7 42 Kc3 Be4 43 Kc4 Kc6 44 Be3 Bb1 45 Ne2 Ba2+ 46 Kb4 Bb1 47 g3 Bd3 48 Nd4+ Kd5 49 Kc3 Bg6 50 Bf4 Kc5 51 Nb3+ Kd5 52 Na5 b6 53 Nb7 f6 54 Kb4 Bf5 55 Nxd6 1-0

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THE Smith & Williamson British Championships in Scarborough goes into the decisive, second week of the tournament with any one from a group of 16 in contention for the British title in a close competition.

With a score of 8-8.5/11 likely to take first place, just a half point separates one of the most open Championships in recent years - and the good news is that two Scots, John Shaw and Jonathan Rowson, are amongst the two groupings in contention for the crown and the 10,000(UK) first prize.

Not only are Rowson and Shaw vying to become the first Scot to win the British title since 1946, but also there's an added bonus that one of them is online to reach his first GM norm.

In an outstanding first week, Kilmarnock's John Shaw has played the top four seeds - Hodgson, Miles, Chandler and Hebden - with his undefeated score (TPR:2640) of 4.5/6 putting him in equal first. It now looks likely that a final week score of around 2.5/4 could be enough to secure him his first norm.

Leader board: 1-7 P Wells (Eng), J Emms (Eng), C Ward (Eng), B Lalic (Eng), J Hodgson (Eng), J Shaw (Sco), M Chandler (Eng) 4.5/6; 8-16 A Miles (Eng), D Gormally (Eng), S Ansell (Eng), J Gallagher (Sui), J Rowson (Sco), A Summerscale (Eng), M Walker (Eng), S Knott (Eng), R Palliser (Eng) 4.

M Hebden - J Shaw
British Ch. (6), Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 e3 Bg4 5 h3 Bxf3 6 Qxf3 e6 7 Nc3 Nbd7 8 Bd2 Bd6 9 g4 h6 10 h4 Qe7 11 g5 Ne4 12 Nxe4 dxe4 13 Qxe4 hxg5 14 hxg5 Rxh1 15 Qxh1 Qxg5 16 0-0-0 0-0-0 17 f4 Qf6 18 Bg2 Bc7 19 Bc3 Qe7 20 Qh3 Nb6 21 Bf1 Kb8 22 Qg2 g5! 23 Qxg5 Qxg5 24 fxg5 Rg8 25 Bd3 Rxg5 26 Rh1 Kc8 27 e4 Rg3 28 Rd1 Rg2 29 b3 Rf2 30 Bc2 Nd7 31 Rh1 Bf4+ 32 Kb1 Bd2 33 Bb2 Kc7 34 e5 Re2 35 Bd1 Rf2 36 a3 Be3 37 Bc2 Rf4 38 Rd1 Kc8 39 d5 c5 40 Rh1 Bd4 41 Bc1 Rf2 42 Rh8+ Kc7 43 d6+ Kb6 44 b4 Nxe5 45 Rc8 Rf1 46 Ba4 Be3 47 d7 Rxc1+ 48 Ka2 Nxd7 49 Bxd7 Rxc4 50 Kb3 Rf4 51 b5 Bd4 52 Be8 Rf3+ 53 Ka2 e5 54 Rd8 c4 0-1

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THERE'S only one sole leader in the Smith & Williamson British Championships being played at the Spa Centre in Scarborough, as GM Peter Wells remains the only player on 100 percent with three wins from three games.

Scotland's John Shaw missed a glorious opportunity to join Wells on full points for a top board clash when he failed to go in for the kill in a superior position against Britain's first grandmaster, Tony Miles.

With an overwhelming position after Miles played an obscure opening, Shaw failed to find the correct winning that would have secured the full point. Instead, he opted for a speculative sacrifice, which unfortunately allowed his opponent to escape with the half-point.

The result, however, keeps Shaw in place for a GM norm. His chances of gaining his first norm was further strengthened in round four when he had the better side of a draw with defending champion and top seed, Julian Hodgson, to be unbeaten on 3/4.

Leader board: 1 P Wells (Eng) 3/3; 2-9 N Pert (Eng), J Shaw (Sco), J Hodgson (Eng), J Emms (Eng), C Ward (Eng), A Miles (Eng), M Walker (Eng), J Gallagher (Sui) 2.5; 10-26 K Arkell (Eng), B Kelly (Ire), M Turner (Eng), L D'Costa (Eng), S Knott (Eng), M Chandler (Eng), R Palliser (Eng), A Summerscale (Eng), R Eames (Eng), Z Zhao (Aus), M Hebden (Eng), J Rowson (Sco), A Ghasi (Eng), M Broomfield (Eng), B Lalic (Eng), C Hanley (Eng), D Ledger (Eng) 2.

J Shaw - T Miles
British Ch (3), Modern Defense

1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 c6 4 f4 Qa5 5 e5 Ne4 6 Qf3 d5 7 Bd3 f5 8 exf6 exf6 9 Bd2 Nxd2 10 Kxd2 Qb6 11 Qh5+ Kd8 12 Nf3 Qxb2 13 a3 Qb6 14 Rhe1 Bd6 15 g3 Qc7 16 Re3 Qd7 17 Rae1 Kc7 18 Nh4 b5 19 Bxb5!? (19 Ng6! hxg6 [19 Rd8 20 Qxh7 Kb6 21 Ne7!] 20 Qxh8 Bxa3 21 Bxg6 Bb4 22 Be8 and white's winning) 19 Bxa3 20 Nxd5+ Qxd5 21 Qxd5 cxd5 22 Rxa3 Kd6 23 Rae3 Nc6 24 Bxc6 Kxc6 25 Re7 Rg8 26 Rf7 a5 27 Ree7 a4 28 Kc1 a3 29 Kb1 Ba6 30 Rc7+ Kb6 31 Nf5 Rgb8 32 Ne3 Ka5+ 33 Ka2 Ka4 34 Nxd5 Rb2+ 35 Ka1 Re8 36 Nc3+ Kb4 37 Nd5+ Ka4 38 Nc3+ Kb4 39 Nd5+ draw

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BRITAIN'S first grandmaster, Tony Miles, leads a group of six players in first place with 2/2 in the Smith & Williamson British Championships being played at the Spa Centre in Scarborough.

Joining Miles in the leading pack is Kilmarnock's John Shaw, now ideally placed for a crack at his first GM norm. Standing in his way in the top board clash in round three round, however, is none other than the man who went through the process himself exactly twenty-five years ago: Tony Miles!

In 1976, Miles became Britain's first over-the-board Grandmaster as he beat William Hartston and Ray Keene in the race to become Britain's first holder of the highest accolade in the game. And by doing it the hard way. Accepting at short notice a late invitation to travel to a snow-swept Dubna in Russia, he came ahead of eight very strong GM's in a Soviet tournament to win his third and final norm.

In winning the race to become Britain's first GM, Miles took the 5000(UK) Slater prize donated by city financier Jim Slater, and was awarded a lucrative publishing contract by Faber & Faber for his first book.

Leader board: 1-6 GM A Miles, GM P Wells, GM C Ward, IM J Shaw, M Walker, C Hanley 2/2; 7-28 GM J Hodgson, GM M Hebden, GM M Chandler, GM J Emms, GM J Gallagher, GM J Rowson, IM M Turner, GM A Summerscale, IM N Pert, IM B Kelly, GM K Arkell, A Ghasi, IM S Ansell, S Knott, IM S Williams, Z Zhao, L D'Costa, M Waddington, R Palliser, R Eames, M Broomfield, N Berry 1.5.

T Miles - A Ledger
British Ch. (2), Slav Defence

1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 c6 3 d4 d5 4 Nc3 Qb6 5 Qc2 Bg4 6 c5 Qc7 7 Ne5 Nbd7 8 h3 Be6 9 Bf4 Nxe5 10 Bxe5 Qc8 11 Bxf6 gxf6 12 e3 Bf5 13 Bd3 Bxd3 14 Qxd3 f5 15 b4 Rg8 16 0-0 Qe6 17 f4 Rg3 18 Kf2 Rg8 19 Kg1 Rg3 20 Rf3 Rxf3 21 gxf3 Qg6+ 22 Kh2 Qh5 23 b5 Rc8 24 Qe2 f6 25 Rb1 Kf7 26 bxc6 bxc6 27 Rb7 Bh6 28 Qf2 a5 29 Na4 Rg8 30 Rc7 Rg6 31 Nc3! (31 Rxc6? Bxf4+! 32 exf4 Qh6=) 31 ..Kf8 32 Rxc6 e5 (32 ..Bxf4+? 33 exf4 Qh6 34 Nxd5!) 33 Nxd5 e4 34 Qb2 1-0

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