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The Scotsman

Chess News September 2001

to "The Scotsman" chess column


THE Scottish squad has been announced for the forthcoming European Team Championships (5-15 November), which this year takes place in Leon, Spain. In board order, the men’s team is IM John Shaw (Kilmarnock), IM Douglas Bryson (Shettleston), IM Andrew Muir (Shettleston), FM Tim Upton (Luxembourg) and Neil Berry (Edinburgh); with the women’s team being Helen Milligan (London) and Carey Wilman (Wandering Dragons).

Meanwhile, in the European Club Cup competition taking place all this week in the sunny Mediterranean resort of Crete, the top seeds in the tournament now start to meet each other in the tournament after being paired in the first few rounds against some of the minnows.

The surprise package of the tournament is turning out to be the inspired performance of the young Russian team of Norilsky Nikel, with a line-up of Sergei Dolmatov, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Rublevsky, Vadim Zvaigintsev, Vladimir Malakhov and Alexander Rustemov. After four rounds, they lead the tournament with a 100% record of four wins out of four – including victories against the fourth seeds and the reigning title holders.

In the third round they easily defeated the strong Warsaw team of Polania - led by the world number six Vassily Ivanchuk and number eight Evgeny Bareev - 1.5-4.5 to take the joint lead with holders and hot favourites to retain their title, top seeds Bosna Sarajevo.

Being the only two teams on full points, the two had to play as early as the fourth round. Norilsky Nikel again dominated this match – winning on the top three boards against higher rated players – to humble the reigning champions 4.5-1.5.


Leader board: 1 Norilsky Nikel (18.5) 8/8; 2-4 St Petersburg Ltd (16), Gazovik (16), SV Werder Bremen (14) 7; 5-11 Beer Sheva CC (17.5), Bosna Sarajevo (17), Merkur Versicherungen Graz (16), Danko Donbass (14), Alkaloid (14), Polonia Plus GSM Warsaw (13.5), Chess Association Plock (13) 6...


A Grischuk – E Bareev
European Club Cup (3), Advanced French

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 Nc6 5 Nf3 Nh6 6 Bd3 cxd4 7 Bxh6 gxh6 8 cxd4 Bd7 9 Nc3 Qb6 10 Bb5 Rg8 11 0–0 Nxe5 12 Nxe5 Bxb5 13 Qh5 Rg7 14 Rfe1 Rd8? (14 ..Be7 15 Qxh6 Kf8!=) 15 Nxb5 Qxb5 16 Nxf7 Rxf7 17 Rxe6+ (17 ..Be7 18 Rxe7+! Kxe7 19 Re1+ Kf8 20 Qxh6+ Kg8 21 Qg5+ Kh8 22 Qxd8+ wins) 1–0


S Rublevsky - K Georgiev
European Club Cup (4), Rossolimo Sicilian

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 g6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 5 d3 Bg7 6 h3 e5 7 Be3 Qe7 8 Qd2 Nf6 9 Bh6 Bxh6 10 Qxh6 Nd7 11 Nc3 f6 12 Nd2 Nf8 13 f4 exf4 14 Qxf4 Be6 15 0-0 Nd7 16 Rae1 0-0 17 Nd5 Qf7 18 Nc7 Rad8 19 Qd6 Bxa2 20 b3 Ne5 21 Qe6 Kg7 22 Qxf7+ Kxf7 23 Ra1 Rc8 24 Na6 Bxb3 25 Nxb3 bxa6 26 Nxc5 Ke7 27 Rxa6 Rc7 28 Rfa1 Kd6 29 d4 Rff7 30 Kf2 Nc4 31 Ke2 Nb6 32 Kd3 Nd7 33 Nb3 Ke6 34 c4 Re7 35 Kc3 Nb8 36 d5+ Ke5 37 R6a5 cxd5 38 exd5 Rf7 39 Re1+ Kf4 40 Nd4 Rc8 41 Ne6+ Kg3 42 Re3+ Kh4 43 c5 g5 44 Nd4 Kh5 45 Nf5 Rd8 46 g4+ Kg6 47 Ne7+ Kg7 48 c6 1-0

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THE peripatetic nature of the Terence Chapman Grand Prix at this crucial juncture of the season means that the leaders in the hunt for the (GBP)5,000 first prize continue to chase each other around the country in a “spoiling” operation, preventing anyone from scoring a maximum in an “Elite” tournament.

This was precisely the situation the four leaders – Julian Hodgson, Keith Arkell, Danny Gormally and Mark Hebden – found themselves in with just over two months to go in the year-long campaign. All had entered the Leek Congress in Wales with one intention in mind: preventing each other from scoring a maximum 5/5 to gain bonus points in the GP.

Following a third round draw with Mark Hebden, Hodgson had the satisfaction of spoiling Arkell’s chances of bonus points with a last round victory to take first equal with Hebden on 4.5/5 at Leek.

Now, following his first place at Grangemouth, Hodgson has extended his lead in the GP race to 195.3/200 (and online for a perfect 200/200). Arkell, who led for most of the season, is still in second on 191.8, IM Danny Gormally third on 184.0, and Hebden, following his performance at Leek, jumping into fourth place with 175.1.

Remaining Elite tournaments in the title chase include Staffordshire, Scarborough, Isle of Man, Leeds British Rapidplay, Guernsey, Bury St Edmunds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Kilkenny in Ireland. However, another Elite event looks likely to make a much-welcomed comeback to retake its rightful place as the finale to the GP season. For many years the Islington Christmas Congress - with its ten-fold bonus points on offer - brought the chequered flag down in the race, and now, after a one-year gap, looks likely to return.

Meanwhile, the next leg of the GP in Scotland (and the ChessBase.com Scottish GP) takes place this Saturday with the Scottish Allegro Championship taking place at the Wester Hailes Education Centre in Edinburgh. For further information contact George Anderson on 0131-447-2149.


J Hodgson – K Arkell
Leek Open (5), English Symmetrical

1 c4 c5 2 g3 Nc6 3 Bg2 g6 4 Nc3 Bg7 5 a3 a6 6 Rb1 Rb8 7 b4 cxb4 8 axb4 b5 9 cxb5 axb5 10 Nf3 d5 11 d4 Bf5 12 Rb3 Nf6 13 Bf4 Rb6 14 0–0 0–0 15 Ne5 Ne4 16 h3 Nxe5 17 dxe5 Nxc3 18 Rxc3 Be4 19 Bxe4 dxe4 20 Qxd8 Rxd8 21 Rfc1 h6 22 Rc8 Rxc8 23 Rxc8+ Kh7 24 h4 Rb7 25 e6 fxe6 26 Rc6 e5 27 Be3 Bf6 28 Kf1 Kg7 29 Ke1 g5 30 hxg5 hxg5 31 g4 Kf7 32 Bc5 e6 33 Kd2 Be7 34 Ke3 Rd7 35 Bxe7 Kxe7 36 Rb6 Rd4 37 Rxb5 Kd6 38 Rb6+ Kd7 39 Rb7+ Kd6 40 Rb8 Ke7 41 b5 Rb4 42 b6 Kf6 43 b7 Kg7 44 Kd2 1–0

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WITH the Booker Prize making the news as Beryl Bainbridge yet again losses out in the top literature award, this can only mean one thing for the chess world: it must be time also for the British Chess Federation’s Book of the Year Award.

And sure enough, timed deliberately to coincide with the Booker Prize (though obviously without the lavish ceremony and financial rewards), the three BCF judges - Ray Edwards, Mike Fox and John Toothill – had the onerous task of producing a shortlist of four from the many chess books churned out for the annual title.

This year, according to the judges, the four selected have avoided that curse of modern chess book publishing, namely regurgitated chess data bases with little added value by the author.

The four in contention include “My Best Games Vol 1: Games with White” by Viktor Korchnoi and published by Olms; “The Seven Deadly Chess Sins” by Scotland’s own Jonathan Rowson published by Gambit; “Russian Silhouettes” by Genna Sosonko from New In Chess; and last, but not least, another from the Gambit stable, “Understanding Chess Move by Move” by Dr John Nunn, Caissa’s answer to Ian McEwan.

All outstanding candidates and all equally worthy winners - without a doubt this year the judges have a thankless task in producing the winner. However, two of the titles with a Russian theme do stand out in my opinion.

Sosonko’s personal insight into the Russian chess psyche with his vivid essays in “Russian Silhouettes” from the Dutch chess giants New In Chess, on some of the players and characters - from world champions to others who, for a variety of well-documented political and personal reasons did not make it to the top - makes for an enthralling read, but maybe a controversial choice due to the fact that no games or diagrams appear anywhere in the book (a godsend if you ask me).

Another outstanding work - and perhaps the more likely winner with superb games and notes aplenty - comes from septuagenarian Viktor Korchnoi with “My Best Games Vol 1: Games with White” from Swiss publishing house of Olms. Renowned all his life in the chess world as a ferocious fighter on and off the board, this first volume of his best games also illustrates, according to the judges, “the originality and creativity that formed the foundation of his many successes”.

Even at the grand old age of seventy with an international chess career spanning over 50 years, the redoubtable Korchnoi continues to defy the odds by playing competitive chess at the very top. Although he now lives in Switzerland following his well-publicised defection form the Soviet Union in 1976, this week in Crete the elder statesman of the game will be playing an active part in trying to win the European Club Cup for St Petersburg (where he was born), one of the favourites for the title.


M Borriss – V Korchnoi
European Club Cup (1), French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 e5 Nfd7 5 f4 c5 6 Nf3 Nc6 7 Be3 a6 8 Qd2 cxd4 9 Nxd4 Bc5 10 0–0–0 0–0 11 h4 Nxd4 12 Bxd4 b5 13 Rh3 Bb7 14 g4 b4 15 Ne2 a5 16 g5 Qb6 17 Kb1 Ba6 18 Re3 Rfc8 19 Bg2 Bxe2 20 Rxe2 a4 21 f5 b3 22 cxb3 axb3 23 a3 Bxd4 24 Qxd4 Rc5 25 h5 Rac8 26 Qd3 Rc2 27 g6 Qc5 28 gxf7+ Kf8 29 Qxb3 Rxe2 30 fxe6 Nxe5 31 Bxd5 Qc2+ 32 Ka2 Qxb3+ 33 Bxb3 Rb8 34 Rd5 Nc4 (35 Bxc4 Rexb2+ 36 Ka1 Rb1+ 37 Ka2 R8b2#) 0–1

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THE recent Europe vs. Asia Rapid match in Batumi, Georgia, highlighted just how dominant Women’s chess is in China, and begs the question just how long will it be before the Chinese men make the big breakthrough for total dominance of the game?

Although Europe won the match 58-46, it was, in effect, “a tale of two sexes.” Whilst the European men - thanks to a Herculean effort of 11/12 on top board from Garry Kasparov - demolished a far from weak Asian line-up 47.5-24.5, the Asian women had an even more impressive score in percentage terms with a 21.5-10.5 annihilation of a Georgian-based European team.

The Women’s match showed just how far Asian chess has come in the past two decades since China emerged from behind the Bamboo Curtain in 1978 for the first time to compete in the international arena, as it more or less saw the old order coming face to face with the new order.

A decade ago the Georgians – apart from the Hungarian genius Judit Polgar who deliberately shunned women-only tournaments to become the best female player ever - were the dominant force in the female game; with their famed training methods reaping the rewards of the Women’s world title and many Olympic gold’s.

Now it’s the Chinese, led by the inspirational figure of their reigning world champion Xie Jun who dominate the women’s game – and look likely to be unchallenged into the future – as they now hold all the titles: World Championship, World Cup and Olympic gold.


Xie Jun – N Gurieli
Europe vs. Asia (1), King’s Indian Attack

1 e4 e6 2 d3 d5 3 Nd2 c5 4 g3 Nc6 5 Bg2 Nf6 6 Ngf3 Be7 7 0–0 0–0 8 Re1 dxe4 9 dxe4 e5 10 c3 h6 11 Qc2 Be6 12 Nf1 c4 13 Rd1 Qa5 14 Ne3 Rad8 15 Re1 b5 16 Nf5 Bxf5 17 exf5 e4 18 Nd2 Bc5 19 Nxe4 Nxe4 20 Qxe4 Rde8 21 Qxe8 Rxe8 22 Rxe8+ Kh7 23 Bxc6 Qb6 24 Bf3 Bxf2+ 25 Kg2 Bg1 26 Re2 a5 27 Bf4 Bc5 28 Rd1 b4 29 Re8 bxc3 30 Rdd8 g6 31 Rh8+ Kg7 32 Be5+ f6 33 Rdg8+ (33 ..Kf7 34 Bd5+ Ke7 35 Rh7#) 1–0

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THE former world champion Garry Kasparov continued to stamp his authority in the first-ever intercontinental match between Europe and Asia, as a remarkable unbeaten performance from the world number one paved the way for him to led his European team to a memorable 58-46 victory in the three-day competition held at the Batumi Opera House in Georgia.

Conceding just two draws – to Utut Adianto and Ye Jiangchuan – in the novel Scheveningen double-round team tournament, Kasparov was on top form from start to finish, ending the competition as the “most valuable player” in the match, with a final tally on the European top board of 11/12.

In a Scheveningen team tournament, each player plays every member of the opposition, with the top boards from each team playing the bottom board from the first round, culminating in a last round match-up. Defeating his opposite number – and closest rival in the individual scores contest - Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2-0 in the final round, Kasparov ended the tournament with a stunning performance nearing the 3100 mark(!).

The European team totally dominated the men’s match to win that particular series 47.5-24.5, but, however, they were likewise similarly defeated by the Asian women to make the overall match score much closer at 58-46. Led by the reigning women’s world champion Xie Jun, the Asian women team easily overhauled a Georgian-based European team 21.5-10.5; a result that again reinforces Asia’s dominance in the women’s game.

Dao Thien Hai – G Kasparov
Europe vs. Asia (4), Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 d5 5 cxd5 exd5 6 Bg5 c5 7 Nf3 h6 8 Bxf6 Qxf6 9 a3 Ba5 10 e3 cxd4 11 Nxd4 Nc6 12 Rd1 Bg4 13 Be2 Nxd4 14 Rxd4 Bxc3+ 15 Qxc3 Bxe2 16 Kxe2 0–0 17 Rc1 Qf5 18 Qd3 Qh5+ 19 g4 Qxh2 20 Rxd5 Rae8 21 Rd7 Qg2 22 Qf5 Re5! 23 Qf3 (23 Qxe5 Qxg4+ 24 Ke1 Qxd7 25 Rc7 Qd3 26 Rxb7 Rd8) 23 ..Rxe3+!! 24 Qxe3 (24 Kxe3 Re8+ 25 Kf4 g5+ 26 Kf5 Qxf3#) 24 ..Qxg4+ 25 Kf1 Qxd7 26 Qxa7 Qb5+ 27 Kg2 Qg5+ 28 Kf1 Qxc1+ 0–1

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Match to be delayed until early 2002 in respect of the tragedy in USA
Press release


OUTSIDE of the normal team tournaments such as the Olympiad and European Championships, the chess world has thrown up some interesting chess matches over the years.

Perhaps the most famous have been the two USSR vs. The Rest of the World encounters in Yugoslavia 1970, and London in 1984, both won by the all-powerful USSR. More recently, we’ve seen China involved in two Summit matches against the USA and Russia.

Taking place just now in Batumi, the capital of Ajaria autonomous region in south west Georgia, is yet another intriguing chess match, where a European team led by the world No.1 and former world champion Garry Kasparov is taking on Asia in a double round Scheveningen system rapidplay match, being held at the Batumi Opera House from 17-19 September.

The two teams and their line-ups are

Europe: Gary Kasparov (Russia), Loek Van Wely (Netherlands), Zurab Azmaiparashvili (Georgia), Etienne Bacrot (France), Emil Sutovsky (Israel), Mikhail Gurevich (Belgium), Maia Chiburdanidze (Georgia), Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Russia), Nana Ioseliani (Georgia) and Nino Gurieli (Georgia);

Asia: Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan), Ye Jiangchuan (China), Eugeny Vladimirov (Kazakhstan), Utut Adianto (Indonesia), Dao Thien Hai (Vietnam), Ian Rogers (Australia), Xie Jun (China), Xu Yuhua (China), Zhu Chen (China) and Hoang Thanh Trang (Vietnam).

In the first two rounds of the match, Asia held a slender lead. However, thanks to a perfect 4/4 from top-scorer Kasparov, Europe ended the first day of the three day match with a 13-11 lead in the men's event, but trail Asia 23-17 thanks to the Asian leading Europe 12-4 in the women's event.


I Rogers – G Kasparov
Europe vs. Asia (1), Trompowsky Attack

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 d5 3 Bxf6 exf6 4 e3 Bd6 5 c4 dxc4 6 Bxc4 0–0 7 Nc3 f5 8 Nf3 Nd7 9 0–0 Nf6 10 Nb5 Be7 11 Ne5 c6 12 Nc3 Nd7 13 f4 Nxe5 14 fxe5 g6 15 Ne2 b5 16 Bb3 c5 17 Nf4 Bb7 18 dxc5 Bxc5 19 Qe2 Qb6 20 e6 Bxe3+ 21 Kh1 Bxf4 22 exf7+ Kg7 23 Rxf4 Rad8 24 Re1 Be4 25 Rxe4 fxe4 26 Qxe4 Qd4 27 Qe2 Qc5 28 h3 a5 29 a3 Rd6 30 Rf1 Rf6 31 Rxf6 Kxf6 32 Qd2 a4 33 Bd5 Kg7 34 b4 Qd6 35 Qd4+ Qf6 36 Qxf6+ Kxf6 37 Bc6 Rxf7 38 Bxb5 Ra7 39 Bc6 Ke5 40 Kh2 Kd4 41 b5 Kc5 42 Kg3 Rf7 43 Kg4 Rf2 44 Kg5 Ra2 45 Be8 Rxa3 46 b6 Kxb6 47 Kh6 Ka5 0–1

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SPEAKING to your correspondent after their 21-19 victory over the USA in Seattle earlier in the year, Chen Zu De, the president of the Chinese Chess Association commented, “China has big ambitions to dominate world chess by 2010 in much the same way as the 1950s Soviet Union.”

China may have had a historic victory in the first of their four game matches against the USA, but recently, in a similar styled encounter against Russia, they discovered just how hard it will be to overtake the ultimate chess superpower when both teams met in a similar-styled four year match - China hosting in 2001 and 2003, Russia staging in 2002 and 2004.

In the first match of the series staged at the Shanghai International Convention Center (Sept. 7-12), Russia overpowered China for a comprehensive 41.5-30.5 victory to win the inaugural match of the series to take the Riverside Weicheng Estate Cup.

Sposors Weicheng Real Estate Corp. also had an added attraction of a lucrative prize fund on offer, with $30,000 for the men, $10,000 for the women and $6,000 for the juniors.


Final standings:

Men’s - Russia 21.5-14.5 China
Women’s - Russia 9-9 China
Junior’s - Russia 11-7 China

Individual standings:

Men - 1 A Motylev, 4.5 2-3 A Grischuk, A Khalifman 4; 4 A Dreev 3.5; 5-7 P Svidler, Xu Jun, Ye Jiangchuan 8-10 S Rublevsky, Peng Xiaomin, Zhang Zhong 2.5; 11 Liang Chong 2; 12 Zhang Pengxiang 1.5;

Women - 1-2 Wang Lei, Kovalevskaya 4; 3 Stepovaia 3.5; 4 Wang Pin 3; 5. Xu Yuhua 2; 6 Zimina 1.5;

Juniors - 1 Bu Xiangzhi 4.5; 2-3 Kosteniuk, Sharposhnikov 4; 4 Smirnov 3; 5 Ni Hua 2; 6 Xu Yuanyuan 0.5


Zhang Pengxiang – A Motylev
Russia-China Summit Match (3), Petroff Defence

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 d4 d5 6 Bd3 Nc6 7 0–0 Be7 8 c4 Nb4 9 cxd5 Nxd3 10 Qxd3 Qxd5 11 Re1 Bf5 12 g4 Bg6 13 Nc3 Nxc3 14 Qxc3 f6 15 b3 Kf7 16 Qxc7 Rhe8 17 Qc4 Qxc4 18 bxc4 b6 19 Bb2 Rac8 20 Rac1 Bd6 21 Rxe8 Rxe8 22 c5 Bf4 23 Rc3 Be4 24 Nh4 bxc5 25 Ra3 Rb8 26 Rb3 c4 27 Rxb8 Bxb8 28 Ng2 Bxg2 29 Kxg2 Ke6 30 h3 Kd5 31 Kf3 g6 32 Ke3 Bc7 33 Bc3 Bb6 34 a4 a6 35 f3 f5 36 h4 fxg4 37 fxg4 h5 38 gxh5 gxh5 39 Kf4 Bxd4 40 Be1 c3 41 Kf5 c2 42 Bd2 Kc4 0–1

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FORMER world champion Anatoly Karpov gave himself a belated 50th birthday present with his best result in over four years to win outright the Najdorf Memorial in Buenos Aires.

Going into the final round in equal first with Viktor Korchnoi and Teimor Radjabov, Karpov, who had the easier last round opponent, turned in the only decisive game of the round to take the title by a half point ahead of his overnight joint leaders.

Argentina is regarded by the locals as “the graveyard of giants” due to the many poor performances by world champions there over the years. For Karpov, however, it was his first tournament win there – and a moral boosting one at that as he prepares for a much sterner test shortly when he faces Kasparov and Kramnik eight times in during the Botvinnik Memorial in December.

Inn recent years Karpov has slipped out of the top ten in the game, and more recently saw his rating slip below the all-important 2700 mark to 2692. However, at the Najdorf Memorial he showed even at 50 he’s capable of producing some of his old form of the past, and indeed in the last three rounds scored 2.5/3 to win, in the process turning in a TPR of 2750 – a result that should see his rating once again breach the 2700 barrier.


Final standings: 1 A Karpov (Russia) 6.5/9; 2-3 V Korchnoi (Switzerland), T Radjabov (Azerbaijan) 6; 4 N Short (England) 5; 5-6 Xie Jun (China), J Polgar (Hungary) 4.5; 7 R Felgaer (Argentina) 4; 8-9 H Mecking (Brazil), P Ricardi (Argentina) 3.5; 10 G Milos (Brazil) 1.5.


A Karpov – P Ricardi
Najdorf Memorial (9), Queen’s Gambit Exchange

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 d5 4 cxd5 exd5 5 Bg5 Nbd7 6 e3 c6 7 Bd3 Bd6 8 Nf3 Nf8 9 Ne5 Ng6 10 f4 Qb6 11 Qc2 0–0 12 Bxf6 gxf6 13 Nf3 Re8 14 Kf2 Bg4 15 Rhe1 Rac8 16 g3 Kg7 17 Rac1 Qd8 18 Bf5 Bxf3 19 Kxf3 Rc7 20 a3 Rce7 21 Rcd1 Bc7 22 Re2 Qd6 23 Kf2 a6 24 Bg4 Bb6 25 Qf5 Ba7 26 Kf3 b5 27 Qd3 a5 28 Kf2 b4 29 axb4 axb4 30 Na4 Re4 31 Bf3 R4e7 32 Rc1 Qd7 33 Nc5 Qh3 34 Bg2 Qh5 35 h3 Nf8 36 Nb3 Re6 37 f5 Rd6 38 Bf3 Qh6 39 Na5 Bb8 40 h4 Rc8 41 Qa6 Rc7 42 Rxc6 Ra7 43 Qb6 Nd7 44 Qxb4 1–0

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TUESDAY’S enduring images of the epic drama unfolding in New York, as the World Trade Centre was destroyed in an inexcusable terrorist attack was one of those defining moments of global experience and emotion, shared by all through television.

For the chess world, it must be particularly hard to believe that those two icons of the Manhattan skyline are no more – especially as the attack came practically six years to the day when the World Trade Centre was agreed by all to be the perfect venue for an enthralling world championship encounter.

There, on the 107th floor of the Observation Deck on the 10th September 1995, it was a much more happier Mayor Giuliani, guided by match arbiter and resident New Yorker Carol Jarecki, made the opening move in the first game of $1.5m PCA world championship match, sponsored by Intel, between the number one and two in the world at the time: the long-awaited meeting of Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand.

The Manhattan financial centre has always been a hotbed of chess activity – backed with a vibrant chess community that always went out of their way to make visitors welcome to the many memorable tournaments there. I’m sure right now that the thoughts and feelings of the extended chess family are with the victims and their families.

eanwhile, at the Najdorf Memorial in Buenos Aires, septuagenarian Viktor Korchnoi continues to defy the odds with an eighth round victory to join Anatoly Karpov and Teimour Radjabov in first equal on 5.5/8 – the trio a full point clear of the chasing pack.


P Ricardi – V Korchnoi
Najdorf Memorial (8), French McCutcheon

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Bb4 5 e5 h6 6 Bd2 Bxc3 7 bxc3 Ne4 8 Qg4 Kf8 9 Qd1 c5 10 Bd3 Nxd2 11 Qxd2 Nc6 12 Nf3 c4 13 Be2 Qe7 14 a4 b6 15 g3 Ke8 16 Nh4 Kd8 17 f4 g6 18 Ng2 h5 19 h3 Kc7 20 Bf3 Bb7 21 Kf2 Rh7 22 g4 hxg4 23 hxg4 Rah8 24 Rxh7 Rxh7 25 f5 gxf5 26 gxf5 exf5 27 Qf4 Qe6 28 Qg3 Qg6 29 Bxd5 Qxg3+ 30 Kxg3 Rg7+ 31 Kf2 Nxe5 32 Bxb7 Ng4+ 33 Kf3 Kxb7 34 Kf4 Kc6 35 Rb1 a6 36 d5+ Kc5 37 d6 Rg6 38 Nh4 Rxd6 39 Nxf5 Rg6 40 Re1 Nf6 41 Ne7 Nh5+ 42 Kf5 Ng7+ 43 Kf4 Re6 44 Rg1 Rxe7 45 Rxg7 Re2 46 Rg8 Rxc2 47 Rc8+ Kd5 48 Rd8+ Ke6 49 Rb8 Rxc3 50 Rxb6+ Kd5 51 Rxa6 Ra3 52 a5 Kd4 53 Ra7 c3 0–1

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OVER the years, many tournaments on the Scottish scene have changed their identity with a new venue or perhaps held on different dates – sometimes even both. Good or bad, in general these tournaments have never really been the same after such a change.

However, amongst all the changes due for various reasons (though mainly financial), thankfully, the Grangemouth Congress has become an oasis of stability on the congress circuit. Since it first started in 1974 at the height of the aftermath of the Fischer-Spassky match, when the game was at an all-time high, it’s remained loyal to its venue of Grangemouth Town Hall, and held on the same date of the first weekend in September.

And, since its inception on the same year as the gruelling UK Grand Prix circuit, Grangemouth has proved to be a popular Scottish pit-stop for players looking for elusive elite tournaments needed to win the top prize.

Now sponsored jointly by Falkirk council, BP Amaco and the Bank of Scotland, at the weekend the 28th edition of the tournament took place, with the 500(UK) first prize going to Grand Prix hopeful GM Julian Hodgson, who was undefeated with a winning score of 4.5/5.


Premier: 1 GM J Hodgson (England) 4.5/5; 2-3 IM S Mannion (Cathcart), IM A Muir (Shettleston) 4; Challengers: 1-2 I Mason (Grangemouth), S Tweedie (Holy Cross) 4.5/5;

Major: 1 R Murray (Bank of Scotland) 4.5/5; 2-3 A Thomson (Grangemouth), S Clark (Irvine) 4;

Minor: 1 R Kelso (Cumbernauld) 4.5/5; 2-6 G Grant (Dunfermline), S Black (Dunfermline), G Allcock (Stirling), C Ballard (Quarryhill), D Leslie (Aberdeen) 4;

Juniors: 1 H Brechin (Edinburgh) 5/5; 2-3 G Greig (Dunfermline), A Melvin (Quarryhill) 4.


A Muir – J Hodgson
Grangemouth Premier (2), Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 a6 5 a4 Bg4 6 Ne5 Bf5 7 Qb3 Ra7 8 Bg5 h6 9 Bxf6 exf6 10 Nf3 dxc4 11 Qxc4 b5 12 Qb3 b4 13 Nb1 Be6 14 Qc2 b3 15 Qd2 c5 16 e3 Nc6 17 Nc3 cxd4 18 Nxd4 Nxd4 19 exd4 Bb4 20 Be2 0–0 21 0–0 Qa5 22 Qd3 Bxc3 23 Qxc3 Qxc3 24 bxc3 Rc8 25 c4 Bxc4 26 Bxc4 Rxc4 27 d5 Rd4 28 Rab1 Rb7 29 Rfc1 b2 30 Rc8+ Kh7 31 Kf1 Rxa4 32 Re8 Ra1 33 Ree1 Rxb1 34 Rxb1 Kg8 0–1

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THE world of chess is again heading for more turmoil as world no.1 Garry Kasparov officially turns down the proposed new Brain Games Network World Chess Championship Qualifying Cycle to determine Vladimir Kramnik’s challenger.

In a stinging statement issued through his Florida-based manager Owen Williams on Friday evening, Kasparov let it be known that, as he analysis the BGN offer, he regards it as nothing more than a way to calculate “a quasi-legitimate challenger for Kramnik”. Furthermore, he also lashed out at the choice of Dortmund – and the system of selection of Kramnik’s challenger - as the venue for the BGN Candidates-styled tournament.

Kasparov annoyance with the Ruhr metropolis goes back to 1995 when Dortmund recognised only Anatoly Karpov, the Fide champion, as world champion because he [Kasparov] had made the break from the governing body. If they felt Kasparov was not the true champion then he asks, how do they think Kramnik won the title?

BGN have little choice now but to carry on regardless without Kasparov - and probably also without world no.3 Vishy Anand - who is more isolated now than ever. BGN have yet to announce a sponsor for Kramnik's next title defence - scheduled for 2002, and rumoured to be in Bahrain - and without Kasparov, raising the necessary funds will be difficult without the top attraction in the game.

Meanwhile, on the playing front, Anatoly Karpov and Judit Polgar share the lead with teenager Teimour Radjabov at the Najdorf Memorial in Buenos Aires.


Leader board: 1-3 T Radjabov (Azerbaijan), J Polgar (Hungary), A Karpov (Russia) 3.5/5; 4 V Korchnoi (Switzerland) 3; 5-6 Xie Jun (China), P Ricardi (Argentina) 2.5; 7-9 H Mecking (Brazil), N Short (England), R Felgaer (Argentina) 2; 10 G Milos (Brazil) 0.5;


A Karpov – H Mecking
Najdorf Memorial (4), Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 e3 a6 5 Qc2 e6 6 Nbd2 Nbd7 7 b3 Be7 8 Bd3 c5 9 Bb2 0–0 10 cxd5 exd5 11 0–0 h6 12 Rad1 b6 13 e4 Bb7 14 dxc5 Nxc5 15 e5 Nfe4 16 Qb1 Nxd3 17 Qxd3 Rc8 18 Nd4 Qd7 19 Nxe4 dxe4 20 Qg3 Bc5 21 b4 Bxd4 22 Rxd4 Qe7 23 Rd6 Rc6 24 h4 e3 25 Bd4 e2 26 Re1 g6 27 Bxb6 Rxd6 28 exd6 Qe6 29 f3 Bc6 30 Qf4 Kh7 31 Kf2 Bb5 32 Be3 Kg8 33 Qxh6 Qe5 34 a4 Bc4 35 Qg5 Qxg5 36 hxg5 f5 37 Bb6 Rf7 38 Rc1 Bb3 39 Rc8+ Kh7 40 Bd4 1–0

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IT’S not everyone that can say they have come up against a reigning world champion, but this was the situation 11-year-old Andrew Green from Morningside in Edinburgh found himself in when he came interface to interface with Vladimir Kramnik in Moscow.

The Mary Erskine and Stewart Melville’s Junior school pupil was one of ten luck people from around the world to be randomly selected to play Kramnik, Garry Kasparov’s nemesis, in a special ten-board Internet simultaneous match, hosted on the former world champion’s web site, KasparovChess.com, on Wednesday evening.

Not only was he the youngest competitor in the special match-up, he was also the only player in the UK to take part in the international line-up that included players from Egypt, Austria, USA (Alaska, Maryland, New Jersey, Kentucky, Mississippi) and Italy.

Andrew, who moved north from Wimbledon in London last year, is a new recruit to Edinburgh Chess Club and Chess Scotland. He was “surprised but delight” to have been chosen to be one of Kramnik’s final opponents before the champion heads to Bahrain for his $1m Man vs. Machine Brain Games showdown with the top computer program, Deep Fritz.

During his summer holidays he received training from WFM Elaine Rutherford at Edinburgh Chess Club and has gained an above average 2000+ rating on the Playing Zone at the KasparovChess site.

Thousands of spectators tuned in to the special online simultaneous exhibition that publicised the Champions Club on the site, and weren’t disappointed as the reigning BGN champion showed no mercy with a ruthless performance to notch-up a 10-0 win over the selected Champions Club members.


V Kramnik- A Green
KC Online Simultaneous, Bogo-Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Bb4+ 4 Nbd2 0-0 5 a3 Be7 6 e3 b6 7 Bd3 Bb7 8 0-0 Na6 9 b4 c5 10 dxc5 bxc5 11 b5 Nc7 12 a4 d5 3 Bb2 Rc8 14 Qc2 h6 15 Rfd1 Re8 16 h3 Na8 17 a5 a6 18 b6 Bd6 19 e4 dxe4 20 Nxe4 Nxe4 21 Bxe4 Bxe4 22 Qxe4 Nxb6 23 axb6 Qxb6 24 Rab1 Qc6 25 Qg4 Bf8 26 Ne5 Qa4 27 Nd7 g6 28 Nf6+ Kh8 29 Nxe8+ Kh7 30 Rd7 Rxe8 31 Rxf7+ Bg7 32 Rxg7+ Kh8 33 Rg8+ Kh7 34 Qxg6# 1-0

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THE chess world pays homage to the late, great Miguel Najdorf with the category XIV Najdorf Memorial getting underway in the former giants adoptive home city of Buenos Aires in Argentina, with an impressive line-up featuring world champions and challengers – past, present and possibly future!

Old foes Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi who played in two of the most bitterly disputed world championship matches head the field that also includes world championship challenger Nigel Short, the world’s top female player of all-time Judit Polgar, and the reigning women’s world champion Xie Jun.

Also in the intriguing line-up is the enigmatic former world candidate and Brazilian child prodigy of the 1960s, Henrique Mecking, making another much-welcomed return to the game he was forced out of by illness. The youngest competitor in the field is 16-year-old Teimour Radjabov, one of the world’s youngest GMs, and a player heavily-tipped to become a future world champion.

The full line-up in rating order is: Anatoly Karpov (Russia), Judit Polgar (Hungary), Nigel Short (England), Viktor Korchnoi (Switzerland), Gilberto Milos (Brazil), Xie Jun (China), Pablo Ricardi (Argentina), Henrique Mecking (Brazil), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), Ruben Felgaer (Argentina).

With four of the five games drawn, top seed Anatoly Karpov got off to a flying start with the only decisive game of the opening round.


G Milos – A Karpov
Najdorf Memorial (1), Petroff Defence

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 d4 d5 6 Bd3 Nc6 7 0–0 Be7 8 c4 Nf6 9 Nc3 0–0 10 cxd5 Nxd5 11 Re1 Be6 12 a3 Bf6 13 Be4 Rb8 14 Qd3 h6 15 Bh7+ Kh8 16 Bf5 Nxc3 17 bxc3 Bd5 18 Bf4 Ne7 19 Bg4 Ng6 20 Bg3 b5 21 Qf5 a5 22 Re3 Rb7 23 Qh5 b4 24 axb4 axb4 25 Rae1 c6 26 cxb4 Rxb4 27 Ne5 Rxd4 28 Nxg6+ fxg6 29 Qxg6 Bf7 30 Qf5 g6 31 Qf3 Bd5 32 Qe2 Bc4 33 Qf3 Bd5 34 Qe2 Bc4 35 Qf3 Bg7 36 Qxc6 Rxg4 37 Bd6 Qa8 38 Qxa8 Rxa8 39 Be5 Bd5 40 Bxg7+ Kxg7 41 f3 Rd4 42 R1e2 h5 43 Kf2 Kf6 44 Rb2 Ra6 45 Re8 Be6 46 Rf8+ Kg5 47 Rb5+ Bf5 48 Rb2 Rad6 49 Ke3 Rc4 50 Rfb8 Rd3+ 51 Kf2 h4 52 Rh8 Rdc3 53 Rh7 Rc2+ 54 Rxc2 Rxc2+ 55 Kg1 h3 56 g4 Bd3 57 Rxh3 Kf4 58 Rh8 Kxf3 59 h3 Ke2 0–1

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AKIBA Rubinstein occupies a unique position in chess history. One of the greatest players ever to sit down at a chess board, Rubinstein was unquestionably the strongest player in the world never to have had a shot at the title of World Champion.

After taking the game up late in life when he was 16, Rubinstein went on to dominate international chess in the period from 1907 to 1912. With famous victories ahead of all his main rivals – Emmanuel Lasker, Jose Raul Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine - in 1912 at San Sebastian, Breslau, Pistyan and Vilnyus, he looked destined to become the natural heir to Lasker’s world crown.

His challenge for the ultimate prize foundered on a combination of a lack of funds (which in those days the challenger had to raise), the rise of the Cuban genius Capablanca, the onset of the First World War and illness. In 1921 he issued a challenge to new world champion Capablanca, but the title match floundered when he was struck down with a tragic psychological illness.

Despite his failing mental health, Rubinstein continued to play until his illness forced him in to early retirement from active play in 1932 – subsequently resulting in his fellow players from around the world raising a special fund to save the Polish genius from penury and starvation. Following his death in 1961, Rubenstein became one of the few players to be honoured by having an annual memorial tournament, held annually in his home town of Polancia Zdroj.

Despite being weaker than in previous editions with no super-GM tournament, Rubinstein’s 38th memorial was won on tiebreak by the Ukrainian GM Vladimir Baklan, ahead of Robert Kempinski and Orest Gritsak, when all three tied on 8/11.


B Grabarczyk – V Baklan
Rubinstein Open (6), Sicilian Richter Rauzer

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 Bg5 e6 7 Qd3 a6 8 0–0–0 Qb6 9 f4 h6 10 Bh4 Qxd4 11 Qxd4 Nxd4 12 Rxd4 Bd7 13 Be2 Bc6 14 Bf3 Be7 15 Rhd1 e5 16 Rc4 Nd7 17 Bg3 exf4 18 Bxf4 Ne5 19 Rcd4 Bg5 20 Ne2 Bb5 21 Bxg5 hxg5 22 Nc3 Bc6 23 Rxd6 Rxh2 24 Nd5 Kf8 25 Ne3 Re8 26 Rg1 g6 27 Rd4 Kg7 28 Be2 Rh4 29 Bd3 Reh8 30 Re1 Rh2 31 Bf1 R8h4 32 Nd5 g4 33 Nb4 g3 34 Nxc6 bxc6 35 Re3 Rg4 36 Rd2 a5 37 a4 c5 38 Rc3 Rxe4 39 Bb5 Re1+ 40 Rd1 Rxd1+ 41 Kxd1 Rxg2 42 Rxc5 Nf3 0–1

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BLITZ (derived from the German word for lightning) is a fast and furious form of chess, where each player has five-minutes for the entire game.At his peak, Bobby Fischer’s Blitz feats were phenomenal.

In 1970 at Herceg-Novi in Yugoslavia, he dominated the field with a winning score of 19/22 at the World 5-minute Lightning Tournament - arguably the strongest Blitz tournament of all-time – to take the title ahead of the Russian favourite, Mikhail Tal.

Tal was unquestionably Russia’s finest Blitz (and blitzed!) player, with a huge collection of Russian samovars (tea urns) to his name for memorable victories in the traditional Moscow Lightning championships, a prize also won by the likes of Petrosian and Bronstein.

At the weekend in Moscow, twenty of Tal’s contemporaries lined up at the Park of Culture museum in the city for the latest edition of the tournament - the 54th Moscow Lightning Championships, organised by the newspaper Vechernjaja Moskva (Evening Moscow) with the traditional Russian samovar for the winner.

In the end, after a tense struggle between Sergei Rublevsky, Peter Svidler and Alexander Morozevich, Rublevsky, who lead for most of the tournament, edged out his two higher-profile rivals to take his first with a winning score of 14/19.


Final scores

1 S Rublevsky 14/19; 2-3 P Svidler, A Morozevich 13.5; 4-5 A Korotylev, V Zviagintsev 12.5; 6 A Dreev 11.5; 7-8 E Bareev, A Grischuk 11; 9 A Lastin 10; 10-12 P Dvalishvili, A Riazantsev, A Rychagov 9.5 etc.


S Rublevsky – V Arbakov
54th Moscow Lighting Ch.,Sicilian Rossolimo

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 d6 4 Bxc6+ bxc6 5 0–0 e5 6 c3 Nf6 7 Re1 Be7 8 d4 cxd4 9 cxd4 exd4 10 Nxd4 Bd7 11 Nc3 0–0 12 Bf4 Re8 13 Qf3 Qb6 14 Nb3 Be6 15 e5 dxe5 16 Bxe5 Nd7 17 Bg3 a5 18 Rad1 Bf6 19 Ne4 Bxb2 20 Rb1 Be5 21 Nbc5 Qd8 22 Bxe5 Nxe5 23 Qg3 Bxa2 24 Rbd1 Bd5 25 Nb7 Qe7 26 Ned6 Reb8 (26 ..Nf3+!? 27 gxf3 Qxe1+ 28 Rxe1 Rxe1+ 29 Kg2 a4 is unclear.) 27 Rxe5 Qd7 28 Nc5 Qc7 29 Nf5 g6 30 Re8+ Rxe8 31 Qxc7 gxf5 32 Qg3+ Kh8 33 Qc3+ Kg8 34 Nd7 Red8 35 Nf6+ Kf8 36 Nxh7+ Kg8 37 Nf6+ Kf8 38 Qg3 Ke7 39 Qe5+ Kf8 40 h4 a4 41 h5 a3 42 h6 a2 43 Nh7+ 1–0

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THERE’S an old military adage that you should never march on Moscow when at war, but one seems to be unfolding there in the chess world over who should best honour the first Fide world champion, Mikhail Botvinnik, the player who became the first in a series of Fide champions following the death of Alexander Alekhine in 1946.

After last week’s announcement that the 3K’s of Kasparov, Karpov and Kramnik would be clashing with the Fide world championships in December by holding a special triangular memorial tournament in Moscow in honour of their former teacher and mentor, in the year of the 90th anniversary of his birth, the world chess federation immediately retaliated - by moving their world championship to Moscow, also as a tribute to Botvinnik!

In a surprise announcement at a Moscow press conference late last week, Fide President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov went to war with the 3K’s with his choice of Moscow as the host city for the preliminaries to the semi-finals of the world championships - the final of the men's competition will take place 3rd-13th January 2002 in a venue as yet to be announced, thought to be London - and all of the Women’s World championships starting 24 November to 11 December.

It’s more than likely that the Fide championships will be blocked out by the more intrigue prospect of watching Kasparov, Karpov and Kramnik playing each other four-times in their triangular match-up. However, Ilyumzhinov is going to try and take on this event as a direct challenge from the governing body – living up to the warning made earlier in the year from his deputy at Fide Commerce, Artim Tarasov, who threatened to take on directly tournaments like Wijk aan Zee, Dortmund and Linares if they didn't toe the Fide line.

The only good thing that can come out of this is that chess journalist will have a field day with two major tournaments and all the stars in the one place at the same time – I wonder if the two groupings could agree on a communal press centre in no man’s land with staggered starting times?

Meanwhile, away from the frontline, a European team consisting of former Fide world champions and challengers led by Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman, Viktor Korchnoi, Viktor Bologan, Vladimir Akopian and Maia Chiburdanidze drew 6-6 in a two-day match in Kazan with a Tartarstan team led by Alexey Dreev, Sergei Rublevsky, Andrei Kharlov, Artyom Timofeev, Ildar Ibragimov, and Alisa Galliamova.


A Khalifman – S Rublevsky
Europe vs. Tartarstan (2), Sicilian Kan

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 a6 5 Bd3 Nf6 6 0–0 d6 7 c4 Bd7 8 Nc3 Nc6 9 Nxc6 Bxc6 10 b4 b6 11 Bb2 Be7 12 Qe2 0–0 13 Rad1 Nd7 14 f4 Bb7 15 Rf3 g6 16 Rh3 Bf6 17 e5 dxe5 18 Be4 Qc7 19 Bxb7 Qxb7 20 Ne4 Bg7 21 fxe5 Qc7 22 Nf6+ Bxf6 23 exf6 e5 24 Rf3 Rfd8 25 Rd5 h5 26 Rfd3 Nf8 27 Qxe5 Qxe5 28 Bxe5 Rxd5 29 Rxd5 Ne6 30 c5 bxc5 31 bxc5 Rc8 32 Bd6 g5 33 Kf2 Kh7 34 Be7 Kg6 35 Ke3 Rb8 36 Rd2 Kf5 37 Kd3 Rb4 38 Kc3 Rb1 39 Kc4 Rc1+ 40 Kd5 h4 41 c6 g4 42 Kd6 g3 43 hxg3 hxg3 44 Kd7 Rc3 45 Bd6 Kxf6 46 c7 1–0

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