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The Scotsman

Chess News November 2001

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THE seeds are starting to fall as early as the first round of Fide's $3m world Championship knockout circus at the Kremlin Palace of Congresses in Moscow, with some high-profile former stars of the game proving to be "the weakest link" as the 128-player field now gets reduced to 64.

Saying "goodbye" as they take the walk of shame out of the tournament hall, included the likes of former world champion Anatoly Karpov, and former title challengers Nigel Short and Viktor Korchnoi.

The most sensational, however, was unquestionably former great Karpov, who was originally scheduled to play in the "3K Botvinnik Memorial" - a mega event held just up the road in Moscow with Kasparov, Kramnik and Karpov, but then withdrew at the last minute much to the chagrin of the organisers.

After two lacklustre draws with China's Zhang Penzhiang, Karpov lost both play-off games and thus deprives Mother Russia of the title. On withdrawing from the Botvinnik Memorial, Karpov boasted, that: "I brought the title back to Russia from the West in 1975. Now in 2001 I feel it is my duty to wrest the crown from the East and take it back to Mother Russia."

However, despite the early exit of some top seeds, the heavyweights are still in the competition. After sensationally losing his first game against the unknown Internet qualifier Olivier Touzanne, defending champion and top seed Vishy Anand got a reprieve as the Indian ace went through to the second round after easily winning the speed play-offs.


M Adams - G Sarthou
FIDE World Ch. (1.2), Sicilian Rossolimo

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 e6 4 0-0 Nge7 5 c3 a6 6 Ba4 d5 7 exd5 Qxd5 8 d4 Ng6 9 Be3 Qh5 10 dxc5 Bd7 11 b4 f5 12 Na3 f4 13 Bd4 Be7 14 Nc4 Rd8 15 Nb6 e5 16 Nxd7 Rxd7 17 Nxe5 Qxe5 18 Bxc6 bxc6 19 Bxe5 Rxd1 20 Raxd1 Nxe5 21 Rfe1 Bf6 22 Rxe5+ Bxe5 23 Re1 Kf7 24 Rxe5 Rd8 25 h4 Rd1+ 26 Kh2 Rd3 27 Rf5+ Ke7 28 Rxf4 Rxc3 29 Re4+ Kf7 30 Rd4 a5 31 bxa5 Ra3 32 Rd7+ Kg8 33 Ra7 Rc3 34 a6 Ra3 35 h5 h6 36 f3 Rxa2 37 Kg3 Ra4 38 Ra8+ Kh7 39 a7 Ra2 40 Kf4 Ra5 41 Ke4 g6 42 hxg6+ Kg7 43 g4 1-0

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THE "Battle of Moscow" is now well underway at the Kremlin with the start of the $3m Fide World Championship knockout tournament, soon to be followed early next week by the rival faction of Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik, who'll be going head to head in the $500,000 Botvinnik Memorial just a short subway trip away.

The 128-player Fide Championship, which started on Tuesday at the Palaces of Congresses in the Kremlin, runs to December 14th with the players playing a series of mini-matches in a six round knockout tournament to determine the two finalists who will contest the crown in an 8-game final, scheduled to run January 16-26, in Moscow's House of Columns.

Defending champion Vishy Anand got off to the worst possible start to the defence of his title when he was sensationally defeated in the opening round by the relatively unheard of Internet qualifier GM Olivier Touzanne, from France, who is rated over 400 points lower than the top seed. Anand immediately stormed back in the match to win the second game yesterday, but now needs to win the nerve-wracking play-offs with Touzanne to go forward to the next round.

Other top seeds also involved in the embarrassment and inconvenience of the dreaded play-offs include former Russian world champions Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman, and the Hungarian world number 6, Peter Leko. Not so lucky to make the play-offs, however, was former world championship challenger Nigel Short, who somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as he lost 1.5-0.5 to Daniel Campora.


V Anand - O Touzane
FIDE World Ch. (1.1), 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 Re1 Be6 11 cxd5 Nxd5 12 a3 Bf6 13 Be4 h6 14 Bc2 Nxc3 15 bxc3 Bc4 16 Nd2 Bd5 17 Rb1 Bg5 18 c4 Bxd2 19 cxd5 Bxe1 20 dxc6 Ba5 21 Qd3 g6 22 cxb7 Rb8 23 Bxh6 Re8 24 Qf3 Re6 25 Bb3 Rf6 26 Qg4 Rb6 27 Bg5 Qe8 28 Qf3 R8xb7 29 h4 Qd7 30 g4 Rxb3 31 Rxb3 Rxb3 32 Qxb3 Qxg4+ 33 Kf1 Qxd4 34 Be3 Qa1+ 35 Kg2 Bb6 36 Bxb6 axb6 37 Qg3 Qc1 38 h5 Qc6+ 39 Kf1 Qh1+ 0-1

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THE 4NCL at the weekend was not as strong as in previous rounds due to a clash with the German Bundesliga, which saw players such as Jon Speelman, Julian Hodgson and Murray Chandler opting to fly to Hamburg, Erfurt, Solingen or Wattenschneid to play for their respective Bundesliga team.

Unlike football, where you can only register with one club as a professional, in chess there is no such thing as loyalty with many of the top players earning their crust by playing for different teams in the Bundesliga, the French League and the 4NCL.

Inevitably some of these dates clash, and players have to decide a la Mo Johnston which was the team they only ever wanted to play for. For British champion Joe Gallagher, who is now a resident of Switzerland, this quandary could well have saved his life.

With the late withdrawal of Division one outfit Magdeburg, for the first the Bundesliga operated with an odd number, with each of the 15 teams taking it in turn for the bye. With Joe's team, SV Castrop Rauxel, playing in Erfurt and having the bye on the Sunday, he instead headed over to Birmingham and the 4NCL to play two games for Beeson Gregory.

Chain-smoking more than usual and looking decidedly more "twitchy" on Sunday morning after breakfast, he informed your correspondent that if he had instead opted to play in the Bundesliga then I could have been busy that morning writing his obituary! He would have been booked on the last flight home to Switzerland from Berlin on Saturday evening - the very same Crossair flight to Zurich that crashed a few miles short of the runway, killing 24 of the 29 passengers!

Meanwhile, Bundesliga title holders Lubeck, despite missing Moscow-bound Fide world championship contenders Alexei Shirov, Michael Adams, Evgeny Bareev and Stuart Conquest, had strength in-depth in their squad as they defeated Konigsspringer 7-1 on the Saturday and Werder Bremen 4.5-3.5 to move into the clear lead at the top.

Now unbeaten with 8/8 match points and 21/32 game points, Lubeck lead ahead of Tegernsee on 6/8 (21); with a three-way tie on third between Neukolin (20), Porz (20) and Cologne (20) all on 6/8.


H Hochgraefe - J Hodgson
Bundesliga 2001-2 (3), Wade Defence

1 Nf3 d6 2 d4 Bg4 3 c4 Nd7 4 e4 e5 5 Be2 Be7 6 Nc3 Bxf3 7 Bxf3 exd4 8 Qxd4 Bf6 9 Qd2 Ne7 10 b3 0-0 11 Bb2 Nc6 12 0-0 Nc5 13 Rab1 Re8 14 Rfe1 a5 15 Ba1 Nb4 16 Re2 Nbd3 17 g3 a4 18 b4 Ne5 19 Bg2 Nxc4 20 Qd1 Ne6 21 Nxa4 Na3 22 Rc1 Bxa1 23 Rxa1 Qf6 24 Rc1 Nb5 25 e5 dxe5 26 Bxb7 Red8 27 Bxa8 Rxd1+ 28 Rxd1 Ned4 29 Re3 Qa6 0-1

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WOOD Green continue to set a relentless pace at the top of Division one in the Four Nations Chess League, as yet another big win extended their lead at the end of the second weekend of the team tournament held at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham.

Following their 7.5-0.5 rout over Barbican in round three, Wood Green had yet another convincing win with a 6-2 win over arch-rivals, Slough, in the fourth round. As in the previous round, Slough handicapped themselves in the match when again they stood down their top board in tribute to Tony Miles - and, of course, one of the team paying homage at the board with an obligatory St George's Defence: Andrew Smith in today's game against Andrew Martin.

For the last ten years Miles had become an inspirational figure at the Checkmate Club, Birmingham's outstanding junior club where he was president, coach and all-round helper. Realising that Slough would not have the resources this year to vie for the 4NCL title, Miles took the bold step of adopting a youth policy by 'blooding' two of England's most promising juniors at the top level in Division one, as he added ten year-old David Howell and twelve year-old Murugan Thiruchelvam to the squad.

Both were selected to play by Miles before his death and, rather than see one of the two not playing during the weekend as Slough stood down their top board, they were instead allowed to play in the two matches against Wessex and Wood Green. The two players standing down came at the top end of the squad with Canada's former world Candidate Kevin Spraggett and Scottish GM Colin McNab.

At the end of the second weekend, Wood Green and Beeson Gregory are the only two teams with a 100 per cent match record in the competition after Bristol's 5-3 lose to Barbican I. However, Wood Green, looking for their first division one title, crucially increased their game point lead over Beeson Gregory after the latter in comparison had two tight matches during the weekend.


Round 4: Wood Green I 6-2 Slough; Beeson Gregory I 4.5-3.5 Midland Monarchs; Wessex 3-5 Barbican II; Bristol 3-5 Barbican II; Guildford 5.5-2.5 Thistle White Rose; Beeson Gregory II 2.5-5.5 Wood Green II


Division One Standings: 1 Wood Green I 26/32 (8/8); 2 Beeson Gregory I 21 (8); 3 Guildford 19 (6); 4 Bristol 17.5 (6); 5 Wood Green II 17 (4); 6 Barbican I 16 (4); 7 Thistle White Rose 12.5 (4); 8-9 Wessex, Midland Monarchs 13.5 (2); 10 Slough 13 (2); 11 Barbican II 12 (2); 12 Beeson Gregory II 11 (0).


A Martin - A Smith
4NCL (4), St George's Defence

1 d4 a6 2 e4 b5 3 Nf3 Bb7 4 Bd3 Nf6 5 Qe2 e6 6 0-0 c5 7 c3 Be7 8 Nbd2 cxd4 9 cxd4 d6 10 a4 b4 11 a5 Nbd7 12 Nb3 0-0 13 Bd2 d5 14 e5 Ne4 15 Be3 f6 16 exf6 Bxf6 17 Rac1 Qb8 18 Nfd2 Qd6 19 f4 Rfc8 20 Ra1 Rf8 21 Nf3 Be7 22 Ne5 Nxe5 23 fxe5 Qd7 24 Rxf8+ Bxf8 25 Qg4 Rc8 26 Nd2 Nxd2 27 Bxd2 Rc7 28 Rf1 Qe8 29 Qe2 Rc6 30 h4 Be7 31 Qe1 Qh5 32 Bxb4 Rc7 33 Bxe7 Rxe7 34 Qf2 Qe8 35 Qc2 g6 36 Rf6 Rf7 37 Bxg6 hxg6 38 Qxg6+ Kf8 39 Qh6+ Ke7 40 Rxe6+ Kd7 41 Rxe8 Kxe8 1-0

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On the day after Tony Miles' funeral in Birmingham, a rather sombre 4NCL meeting at the Grand Hotel in the city started on Saturday with a one minute silence for Britain's first Grandmaster.

His team, Slough, felt that it would be impossible to fill the shoes of their captain so soon after his funeral, so decided beforehand that they would simply default his accustomed top board for the weekend, despite the obvious handicap.

Alongside where Slough were playing, the league organisers had erected a "chess shrine" to Miles: a bronze bust of the player in his prime with his World Junior Championship gold medal around its neck, a framed picture of the player himself, and a wooden Staunton set and board with the moves 1 e4 a6 2 d4 b5 on it.

The moves commemorated his finest hour at the board when he totally humiliated world champion Anatoly Karpov during the England-USSR encounter from the 1980 European Championships in Skara, Sweden.

After his famous victory, the obscure defence was immediately christened the "Birmingham Defence" in honour of his home city. However, after discovering that another English eccentric, Michael Basman, had been using the same defence with success for a year or two before the Karpov encounter, the defence became accepted as the "St. George's" - both commemorating the patron saint of England and Miles, whose birthday, 23 April, falls on St. George's Day.

As a further tribute to Miles during the Slough-Wessex match, Australian Grandmaster Alex Wohl, one of the pallbearers at his funeral, decided to play a reversed St George's (Birmingham Attack!?) with 1 a3 to bamboozle his opponent.


Round 3: Barbican I 3-5 Beeson Gregory I; Wood Green II 7.5-0.5 Guildford; Barbican II 5-3 Wood Green II; Thistle White Rose 5-3 Beeson Gregory II; Midland Monarchs 3.5-4.5 Bristol; Slough 3.5-4.5 Wessex.


A Wohl - A Corkett
4NCL (3), Birmingham Attack(!?)

1 a3 Nf6 2 b4 a5 3 b5 c5 4 c4 e6 5 Nf3 Be7 6 Bb2 0-0 7 e3 b6 8 Nc3 Bb7 9 Qc2 d5 10 cxd5 exd5 11 d4 Nbd7 12 Bd3 cxd4 13 exd4 Ne4 14 Nxe4 dxe4 15 Bxe4 Bxe4 16 Qxe4 Re8 17 Ne5 Nxe5 18 dxe5 Qd7 19 Qe2 Bc5 20 0-0 Re6 21 Rad1 Qe7 22 Kh1 Re8 23 Qd3 Qh4 24 f4 Rh6 25 h3 Rg6 26 Rf3 h6 27 f5 Rg4 28 Qd7 Rf8 29 f6 Rf4 30 fxg7 Kxg7 31 g3 Rd8 32 gxh4 Rxd7 33 e6+ 1-0

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THE funeral of Britain's first grandmaster, Tony Miles, takes place today in Birmingham, at Lodge Hill Crematorium, Selly Oak, on the eve of the second weekend of the 4NCL in Birmingham.

Miles, aged just 46, died tragically young in his sleep at home on Monday, 12 November. The post mortem revelled that he died of natural causes - heart failure brought on by his diabetes.

Ironically, the last event Miles played in before his untimely death was the first weekend of the 2001/2002 season of the 4NCL. Tony was regarded as the mainstay of the successful Slough team in Britain's only professional chess league; captaining them to three title wins in seasons 1999/2000, 1998/99 and 1995/96. During Slough's peak years under Miles, the main opposition they had came in the form of their London-based rivals Wood Green - the meeting of both being the nearest thing you could have in the chess world to an Old Firm encounter.

Sadly, the first game of the second weekend features that same fixture, yet somehow I doubt whether the traditional "grudge match" will have the same atmosphere as in previous encounters due to recent events. A large number of players from the 4NCL are expected to attend Miles' funeral, and naturally the league will be observing a one minute silence before the start of play on Saturday.

Fittingly, Tony's last award for his creativity at the chessboard came during the first weekend of the new season, with the traditional 4NCL awards for the previous season. Miles was the winner of the Game of the Season title with today's outstanding effort against Wood Green's Alexander Baburin - and using the English Defence, an opening he did so much to advocate during the 1970s.


Division 1 standings: 1-3 Wood Green 1 (12.5), Beeson Gregory 1 (11.5), Bristol 1 (10) 4/4; 4-9 Guildford (8.5), Wood Green 2 (8.5), Barbican 1 (8), Slough (7.5), Midland Monarchs (6.5), Thistle White Rose (5) 2/4; 10-12 Barbican 2 (6.5), Wessex (6), Beeson Gregory 2 (5.5) 0/4.


A Baburin - A Miles
4NCL 2000/2001 (2), English Defence

1 d4 e6 2 c4 b6 3 a3 g6 4 Nc3 Bg7 5 e4 Ne7 6 Nf3 Bb7 7 Bd3 d6 8 0-0 Nd7 9 Re1 h6 10 h3 a6 11 Be3 g5 12 Rc1 c5 13 d5 Ng6 14 Bc2 Qe7 15 Qd2 0-0 16 Rcd1 Nde5 17 Nxe5 Bxe5 18 Bd3 Qf6 19 Na4 Rab8 20 Nxb6 Bc8 21 Na4 (21 Nxc8 Rxb2! 22 Qa5 Rxc8 23 Qxa6 Rcb8 with ..Nf4 and ..Bd4 to follow.) 21 ..Bd7 22 Nc3 Rb3 23 Rb1 Rfb8 24 Nd1 exd5 25 cxd5 Nf4 26 Bxf4 gxf4 27 Bc2 Rxh3 28 gxh3 Kh8 29 f3 Rg8+ 30 Kh1 Qh4 0-1

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THE Scottish chess fraternity made its annual pilgrimage to the gateway to the Highlands at the weekend for the 8th Oban Congress, held at the Royal Hotel.

What first started as a "little social event" to help commemorate the 60th anniversary of Oban Chess Club in 1993, has now grown in stature to become one of the most popular tournaments on the UK Grand Prix circuit.

As ever, Oban bucks the trend in attendance numbers due to the legendary local hospitality. This year the congress had a record-breaking entry of 166 (which coupled with accompanying family and friends boosted the numbers to over 300) that booked out the Royal Hotel for the whole weekend.

With additional support and backing of over 40 local businesses which raised over 1,500(UK) in prize money for the four sections, this allowed congress director Jonathan Davies, and his enthusiastic committee, to yet again put on another memorable weekend at Oban.

As in previous years, the winners from each of the four sections go home with a unique memento of their victory with a unique glass trophy, especially hand-crafted for the tournament by Caithness Glass. The four recipients being GM Colin McNab who was the outright winner of the Open, and, on Sum Of Opponents Score in the other sections, Walter Mather, Douglas Heatlie and Stuart Crosbie.



Open: 1 GM C McNab (Dundee & Victoria) 4.5/5; 2-5 IM S Mannion (Cathcart), A Stalker (Holy Cross), S Tweedie (Holy Cross), C Macdonald (Stirling) 3.5.
Challengers: 1-5 W Mather (Grangemouth), K Feighan (Grangemouth), D Hall (Perth), D McKerracher (Harrogate), R Evans (Glasgow Montrose) 4/5.
Major: 1-3 D Heatlie (Wandering Dragons), O Graham (Nottingham), M Jones (England) 4.5/5.
Minor: 1-2 S Crosbie (Edinburgh West), N Grant (Bon Accord) 4.5/5.


A Grant - C McNab
Oban Congress (4), English Opening

1 c4 e5 2 g3 d6 3 Bg2 g6 4 Nc3 Bg7 5 d3 f5 6 Nf3 Nf6 7 0-0 0-0 8 Rb1 Kh8 9 b4 c6 10 b5 Qc7 11 a4 Nbd7 12 Ba3 h6 13 a5 c5 14 a6 Nb6 15 Bb2 Kh7 16 Nd2 Rb8 17 axb7 Bxb7 18 Bxb7 Rxb7 19 e4 Qc8 20 f3 h5 21 Nb3 Rbf7 22 Qe2 Ne8 23 Ra1 Bh6 24 Nd5 Nxd5 25 exd5 f4 26 Qg2 fxg3 27 hxg3 Be3+ 28 Kh2 Ng7 29 Rae1 Nf5 30 Qh3 Nxg3 (31 Kxg3 [31 Qxg3 Bf4] 31 ..Rxf3+ 32 Rxf3 Rxf3+ 33 Kxf3 Qxh3+) 0-1

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ONE of the great chess enigmas was the first official British Champion, Cecil Valentine De Vere (who changed his name from Valentine Brown), who died destitute from tuberculosis in Torquay at the tragically young age of 29 in February 1875.

It was a sad and rather squalid end for someone who only a few years earlier had been dubbed with the sobriquet "A Young Morphy", and by no less a figure than the future World Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz. And, much like Paul Morphy, De Vere could well have been best described as the pride and sorrow of British Chess.

At his peak in 1866, De Vere was seriously being talked about as a potential World Champion. That year he had won the 1st British Chess Associations Challenge Cup (the forerunner of the British Championship) with a 100 per cent score. This was followed by another big win at Redcar and respectable showings in the international arena at Paris and Dundee, before the rot set in with a diagnosis of TB ultimately leading into a spiral of alcoholism and ill-health.

However, so little is known about his short, tragic life that his chess talents and achievements are constantly being forgotten, leaving each generation to rediscover them afresh.

An interesting new biography on De Vere has just been published, entitled "A Young Morphy?" (Keverel Chess Books, 12.99) by Owen Hindle and Bob Jones. Despite the authors forensically picking through as many clues as possible to the life and times of De Vere, they both freely admit that many questions remain to be answered as they try to unravel all the mysteries surrounding the life and times of De Vere - none bigger than that of his death, funeral and final resting place. A true gem of a book on a little-known master of the 19th century.


C De Vere - W Steinitz
Dundee 1867, Berlin Defence

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 0-0 Nxe4 5 Re1 Nd6 6 Nxe5 Nxe5 7 Rxe5+ Be7 8 d4 f6 9 Re1 Nxb5 10 Qh5+ g6 11 Qxb5 c6 12 Qb3 d5 13 c4 Kf7 14 Nc3 dxc4 15 Qxc4+ Kg7 16 d5 cxd5 17 Nxd5 Bf8 18 Nxf6 Qxf6 19 Bd2 b5 20 Qd5 b4 21 Rac1 Qf7 22 Qxa8 Be6 23 Qe4 Bxa2 24 Qe5+ Kg8 25 Rc7 Qd5 26 Qxd5+ Bxd5 27 Re8 1-0

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FOLLOWING hard on the heels of the Netherlands becoming the European Team Champions, it seems that, for the first time in 66-years, they now have another World Champion to accompany Dr Max Euwe, who won the crown in 1935 after beating Alekhine.

After a long and strenuous five-year campaign in the diligent world of correspondence play, mathematician Gert Timmerman, 45, from Rotterdam, has just been crowned the 15th ICCF world champion.

Although the tournament to determine the world champion started in 1996, and looks likely to take at least another year or two to finish, Timmerman, with a score so far of 12/15, has an unassailable lead and cannot be caught by his opponents.

With a top rating of 2747, Timmerman has consistently been at the top of the correspondence tree for the last five- years. Last year he was voted 2nd on an all-time 20th century list of the greatest correspondence players behind the 5th World Champion, Hans Berliner.

Correspondence chess has a rich history in the game stretching back more than 150-years. Although the first World Correspondence tournament started in 1950 (lasting three-years), the present governing body of the game (the postal equivalent of FIDE though without the shenanigans - and headed by a sensible Scot, President Alan Borwell), the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) was formally constituted fifty-years ago in 1951.

And, to commemorate the 50th Jubilee, Timmerman heads the field in a special World Champions tournament that's just got underway, featuring all eight living World CC Champions.


J Carleton - G Timmerman
15th WCCF, Frankenstein-Dracula Variation

1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bc4 Nxe4 4 Qh5 Nd6 5 Bb3 Nc6 6 Nb5 g6 7 Qf3 f5 8 Qd5 Qe7 9 Nxc7+ Kd8 10 Nxa8 b6 11 d3 Bb7 12 h4 f4 13 Qf3 Nd4 14 Qg4 Bxa8 15 Bd2 Bg7 16 Nh3 Bf6 17 Bb4 Kc7 18 c4 a5 19 Ba3 Qg7 20 Ng5 h5 21 Bxd6+ Kxd6 22 Qh3 Bxg5 23 hxg5 Qe7 24 Ba4 Rh7 25 0-0-0 Qxg5 26 f3 Qg3 27 Rd2 h4 28 Kb1 g5 29 Bd1 Qxh3 30 Rxh3 Kc5 31 b3 Nf5 32 Rh1 Kd4 33 a3 Ne3 34 b4 g4 35 fxg4 Bxg2 36 Rxg2 Nxg2 37 Bf3 Ne3 38 Be4 Rh8 39 Rc1 axb4 40 axb4 Rf8 0-1

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IT was a case of Dutch courage in the final round of the European Team Championships in Leon, as the Netherlands, with a final score of 24.5/36, finally lifted a team tournament title after an impressive 3-1 victory over Israel.

Sharing the overnight lead with France going into the final round, the Dutch team of Loek Van Wely, Jeroen Piket, Sergei Tiviakov, Friso Nijboer and Erik Van den Doel made sure of their first team title with their decisive victory clinching them the title ahead of France, who took silver on 23/36. A final round defeat from Slovenia saw England losing out on the bronze to Germany by just a half point; though English top board Mickey Adams took the individual gold with his final tally on board one of 6.5/9.

It was better news for France - and England - in the women's tournament. France took gold ahead of Moldova with England hanging on for the bronze; English stalwart Susan Lalic achieving the highest rating performance of the whole championship with her reserve board score of a majestic 5/5.

A final round 2-2 draw with Albania resulted in the Scottish men's team finishing on 15/36 in 29th-31st place (on par with their seeding), the individual scores being: John Shaw 5/9; Douglas Bryson 3/7; Andy Muir 1/7; Tim Upton 3/7; Neil Berry 3/6.

The women faired slightly better finishing on 7/18 in 26th-27th place. Unfortunately top board Helen Milligan missed out on a WIM norm by half a point when she could only draw her last round game in Scotland's 1-1 draw with Turkey. With a final tally of 4/9, she had an overall rating performance of 2232, with Carey Wilman finishing on 3/9.


J Piket - I Smirin
European Team Ch. (9), English Opening

1 d4 d6 2 c4 e5 3 Nf3 e4 4 Ng5 f5 5 g3 Be7 6 Nh3 c6 7 Nc3 Nf6 8 Bg2 d5 9 cxd5 cxd5 10 Bg5 Ng8 11 Bxe7 Nxe7 12 Nf4 Nbc6 13 e3 0-0 14 h4 Qd6 15 Qb3 Rd8 16 a3 b6 17 Bf1 Bb7 18 Rc1 Rac8 19 Be2 Kh8 20 Kf1 g6 21 Kg2 Kg7 22 Qa4 a6 23 Bxa6 Ra8 24 Bxb7 Rxa4 25 Nxa4 Na5 26 Ba6 Ra8 27 Bb5 Nc4 28 Rc2 h6 29 Nc3 Na5 30 b4 Nb7 31 Ncxd5 Nxd5 32 Nxd5 Qxd5 33 Rc7+ Kf8 34 Bc4 1-0

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AS the 18th European Team Championships in Leon heads for the decisive, final round, we could be in for a Dutch treat as the Netherlands take the lead from France going into the final round.

Despite being close on a number of occasions in team tournaments in the past, the Netherlands are online for a historic first win of the modern era after beating Sweden 2.5-1.5 in the penultimate eighth round. The Dutch snatched the lead from the French after the overnight leaders were held to a 2-2 draw with Israel.

Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the table, Scotland avoided the ignominy of a bye in the final round after drawing 2-2 with Luxemburg. Unfortunately for Scotland, however, top board John Shaw has again narrowly failed in his quest for a first GM norm after drawing with David Alberto. Shaw, who is the top Scottish scorer on 4.5/8, needed two wins in the final rounds to secure the elusive GM norm performance of 6/9.

However, all is not lost in the hunt for a norm for Scotland. Despite a 1.5-0.5 loss to Switzerland, women's top board Helen Milligan, after a tough draw with WGM Barbara Hund, needs a win in the final round against a 2075 WIM to secure her first WIM norm.


Round 8 Men's - Scotland 2-2 Luxemburg: 1 J Shaw draw D Alberto; 2 D Bryson 1-0 C Wagener; 3 A Muir 0-1 S Brittner; 4 N Berry draw J Weber.
Women's - Scotland 0.5-1.5 Switzerland: 1 H Milligan draw B Hund; 2 C Wilman 0-1 J Ramseier.


Leader board (Men's): 1-2 Netherlands, France 21.5; 3 England 20; 4-5 Germany, Israel 18.5...29 Scotland 13.
Women's: 1 England 11.5; 2 France 11; 3 Moldova 10.5..27 Scotland 6.5.


D Bryson - C Wagener
European Team Ch. (8), French Winawer

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 c5 5 a3 Ba5 6 b4 cxd4 7 Qg4 Ne7 8 bxa5 dxc3 9 Qxg7 Rg8 10 Qxh7 Nbc6 11 Nf3 Qc7 12 Bf4 Bd7 13 a6 0-0-0 14 axb7+ Qxb7 15 Qd3 Qb2 16 Qd1 Kc7 17 Bd3 Rg4 18 Bg3 Ra4 19 0-0 Rxa3 20 Rb1 Qa2 21 Qe2 Ra5 22 Qe3 Qa3 23 Rb3 Qc5 24 Qf4 d4 25 Qxf7 Nd5 26 Rfb1 Ncb4 27 Ng5 Re8 28 h4 Ra2 29 Ne4 Qa5 30 Nf6 Re7 31 Qf8 Rb2 32 Nxd5+ Nxd5 33 Qb8+ Kc6 34 Qd6# 1-0

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AS a mark of respect after the sudden death of Tony Miles, a one minute silence was observed in the playing hall of the European Championships in Leon before the start of the seventh round.

A win from England would have been more ideal, but they lost a little ground for the title with a 2-2 draw against Germany - a result, however, that keeps them in third place with an easier run-in after playing all the strong opponents. It's still neck and neck at the top between France and the Netherlands, as England's draw allowed them to extend their lead at the top after 3-1 wins respectively over Sweden and Belarus.

For Scotland, however, it was another day of mixed fortunes. The men's team were comprehensively defeated by Spain B (the host nation by rights having two teams); the only conciliation for the Scots being yet another solid, top board performance from John Shaw.

The women's team, however, again had another excellent result with a draw with another higher-ranked team. In the 1-1 draw with Belarus, it was the Scots who had the better of the draws against two solid WIMs.


Round 7 Men's - Scotland 0.5-3.5 Spain B: 1 J Shaw draw J Arizmendi Martinez; 2 D Bryson 0-1 S Del Rio Angelis; 3 A Muir 0-1 J Manuel Lopez Martinez; 4 T Upton 0-1 H Herraiz Lopez.
Women's - Scotland 1-1 Belarus: 1 H Milligan draw N Popova; 2 C Wilman draw I Tetenkina.


Leader board (Men's): 1 France 19.5; 2 Netherlands 19; 3-4 England, Israel 17.5... 30 Scotland 11.
1-2 Ukraine, France 10; 3-4 Moldova, England 9.5...26 Scotland 6.


A Muir - J Lopez Martinez
European Team Ch. (7), Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 6 Nf3 c5 7 0-0 cxd4 8 exd4 dxc4 9 Bxc4 b6 10 Bg5 Bb7 11 Ne5 Be7 12 Qd3 Nc6 13 Nxc6 Bxc6 14 Rad1 Rc8 15 Bb3 h6 16 Bh4 Re8 17 Bc2 g6 18 Rfe1 Nd5 19 Bxe7 Rxe7 20 Qg3 Qc7 21 Qxc7 Rexc7 22 Ne4 Kg7 23 Bb3 Rd8 24 Rc1 Nf4 25 Rc4 Rcc8 26 f3 Nd3 27 Re2 Bxe4 28 fxe4 Rxc4 29 Bxc4 Rxd4 30 Bxd3 Rxd3 31 e5 g5 32 g4 h5 33 gxh5 Kh6 34 Rf2 Rd7 35 Kg2 Kxh5 36 a3 Kg6 37 Kg3 Rd3+ 38 Kg2 Re3 39 Rc2 Rxe5 40 Rc7 Re2+ 41 Kg3 a5 0-1

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FITTINGLY in the week of the 151st anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin (1850-1908), the great patriarch of the Soviet School of Chess, we come to the latest edition of his annual memorial tournament, which ended last week in his home city of St Petersburg.

Although at 16 Chigorin was alate starter to the game, he went on to contribute greatly to the cause of chess in Russia. He founded the famous St Petersburg Chess Club; became the first person to tour Russia lecturing on the game, and writing on chess for several magazines and newspapers in Russia. Also one of the best players in the world towards the end of the 19th century, Chigorin twice unsuccessful challenged for Steinitz's world title in 1889 and 1892.

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

Last year's event didn't exactly pay tribute to the founding father of the Soviet game with a six-way tie on a low score (for an Open) of 7/9. This year it was a different story. Out of a field of 175 including 25 grandmasters and six women's grandmasters, top seed Mikhail Kobalija stormed through the opposition with five wins to finish clear first on 8/11, winning ahead of Vladimir Belov, Alexei Kocrnev and Andrei Rychagov on 7.


M Kobalija - S Gavrilov
Chigorin Memorial (3), Caro-Kann Advanced

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 Bf5 4 Nc3 e6 5 g4 Bg6 6 Nge2 h6 7 Be3 Nd7 8 h3 Ne7 9 Qd2 c5 10 f4 Nc6 11 Bg2 Rc8 12 f5 exf5 13 gxf5 Bxf5 14 0-0 Be6 15 Nxd5 cxd4 16 Nxd4 Nxd4 17 Bxd4 Bc5 18 Nf4 Nxe5 19 Nxe6 fxe6 20 c3 Nc6 21 Kh1 Bxd4 22 cxd4 Rf8 23 d5 Rxf1+ 24 Rxf1 Ne7 25 Qf4 exd5 26 Qf7+ Kd7 27 Bxd5 Rc5 28 Rd1 Kc7 29 Bf3 1-0

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IT could be double joy for France in the European Team Championships in Leon, Spain, as both their men and women's teams top the table going into the crucial last three rounds. And, in yet another amazing double, French No.1 Joel Lautier is top scorer with 5/6 in the men's section, while wife Almira Skripchenko-Lautier, playing for Moldavia, leads the women with 4.5/6.

England's chances of once again regaining the title suffered a major setback in round six when they lost 2.5-1.5 to nearest rivals, the Netherlands. However, with France overpowering Switzerland 3.5-0.5, they moved to the top of the table on 16.5/24; a half point ahead of the Dutch, with England still in the chase in third on 15.5.

Again heavily out-graded on every board, Scotland very nearly pulled off a 2-2 draw against Macedonia but unfortunately went down 2.5-1.5 in a close match. Scotland are now in 26th place with 10.5-points.

In the Women's competition, France holds a similar half point lead at the top over the Netherlands with Moldova in third place. The Scottish team of Helen Milligan and Carey Wilman - despite the physical handicap of having no reserve player available and therefore having to play in every round - continue to battle against the odds to produce a good 1-1 draw against Latvia. They are now in 25th place with a score of 5/12.


Round 6
- Scotland 1.5-2.5 Macedonia: 1 J Shaw draw V Bogdanovski; 2 D Bryson draw N Mitkov; 3 T Upton 0-1 T Nedev; 4 N Berry draw D Jacimovic.
Women's - Scotland 1-1 Latvia: 1 H Milligan 1-0 D Reizniece; 2 C Wilman 0-1 L Rogule.


H Milligan - D Reizniece
European Team Ch. (6), Sicilian Kalashnikov

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 e5 5 Nb5 d6 6 c4 Be7 7 N1c3 a6 8 Na3 f5 9 Bd3 f4 10 Nc2 Nf6 11 Be2 Be6 12 g3 0-0 13 gxf4 exf4 14 Nd4 Nxd4 15 Qxd4 f3 16 Bxf3 Nd7 17 Be2 Ne5 18 Nd5 Bh4 19 Be3 b5 20 Rg1 bxc4 21 Kd1 Bxd5 22 Qxd5+ Kh8 23 f4 Ng6 24 Rc1 Nxf4 25 Bxf4 Rxf4 26 Rxc4 Rb8 27 b3 Qf6 28 Rc7 Qa1+ 29 Rc1 Qxa2 30 Qb7 Rg8 31 Qxg7+ 1-0

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WITH top rated teams Russia, Hungary and Armenia posted missing for the 18th European Team Championships in Leon, Spain, England are making the most of the weakened line-up.

England, who were the European Champions in 1997, have moved into a crucial half point lead over the Netherlands as the tournament moves into the final rounds. With a highly-experienced squad of Michael Adams, Nigel Short, Jon Speelman, Stuart Conquest and newcomer Luke McShane making his senior international debut, this could be all of a lead they need to regain the title they won four years ago in Croatia.

For Scotland, however, it's been a case of mixed fortunes in the tournament; however they seem to be making better progress than expected despite their weakened line-up. In round three they scored their first match win with a stylish 4-0 whitewash of Wales, only to avoid a similar scoreline themselves in the next round when they went down 3.5-0.5 to Croatia; a complicated draw on top board from John Shaw avoiding the whitewash.

Impressive wins in round five from John Shaw and Tim Upton (using his trusty old Ponziani Opening once again to demolish a 2400+ player in a beautiful modern day miniature) made sure that the Scots held Finland to a 2-2 draw - a result that boost their standing in the tournament to 23rd place with a score of 9/20; just a half point behind strong chess nations such as Iceland and Yugoslavia. Both players have been the top scorers so far for Scotland. On top board Shaw, who has played in every round as he try's to get his first GM norm, has scored 3/5 and veteran Upton on 2.5/4.


Leader board
1 England 14/20; 2 Netherlands 13.5; 3-5 Germany, Switzerland, France 13; 6 Sweden 12.5; 7-11 Greece, Slovenia, Spain A, Czech Rep, Belarus 11.5...23 Scotland 9.
Women's - 1 Poland 7.5/10; 2-4 Netherlands, France, Georgia 7; 5-7 England, Moldova, Germany 6.5...24 Scotland 4.


T Upton - J Norri
European Team Ch. (5), Ponziani Opening

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 c3 Nf6 4 d4 Nxe4 5 d5 Ne7 6 Nxe5 Ng6 7 Qf3 Qf6 8 Nxg6 Qxg6 9 Bd3 f5 10 Nd2 Nxd2 11 Bxd2 d6 12 0-0 Bd7 13 Rfe1+ Kf7 14 Re6 Qg4 (Black's busted as early as move 14: 14 ..Bxe6 15 dxe6+ Kxe6 (15 ..Kf6 16 Qxb7 Be7 17 Qd5) 16 Re1+ Kd7 17 Bxf5+) 15 Qe3 g6 16 Re1 Qh4 17 g3 Qd8 18 c4 Rg8 19 Bc3 Bg7 20 Re7+ Kf8 21 Bxg7+ 1-0

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ONE glaring omission from the line-up of the 18th European Team Championships in Leon has been the late withdrawal of top seeds and perennial favourites, Russia.

No official explanation has come forward for their mysterious non-appearance, however, it's believed that the Russian Federation were hit by a player's revolt over non-payment of fees from previous team tournaments; the inevitable being the no-show of the favourites. Other missing teams include Hungary and even defending champions Armenia, who won the title two-years ago in Batumi.

All of which is a pity for the Spanish organisers who have put in all the hard work for the event, as the European Championships have become devalued by the omissions. Israel has now been installed as top seeds, closely followed by previous winners England who have moving up to second favourites in a competition that's now been thrown wide open.

All the missing stars haven't helped the Scottish cause any as they too have had their problems fielding a full-strength squad. The GM triumvirate of Rowson, Motwani and McNab are missing for financial reasons (players have to fund all their personal costs), all of which means that despite the experience still in the squad, they are going to be constantly struggling.

The omission of Russia, Hungary and Armenia now means that there are an odd number of teams in the tournament, thus making a possibility of a seven round norm for those seeking titles. As early as round two, John Shaw's chances of becoming Scotland's fourth GM suffered a set-back when he lost on top board as the team went down to their second successive defeat, losing 3-1 to Iceland.


Round 2

Men's - Scotland 1-3 Iceland: 1 J Shaw 0-1 H Stefansson; 2 D Bryson draw J Gunnarsson; 3 T Upton draw B Thorfinnsson; 4 N Berry 0-1 S Kristjansson.
Women's - Scotland 0-2 Sweden: 1 H Milligan 0-1 S Agrest; 2 C Wilman 0-1 V Johansson.


Other scores - Men's: England 3-1 Croatia; Ireland 0-4 Spain A.
Women's: England 1.5-0.5 Czech Republic; Ireland 0-2 Albania.

Leader board - Men's: 1-2 Poland, France 6.5/8; 3-6 England, Slovenia, Germany, Switzerland 6; 7-10 Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Germany, Belarus 5.5...28 Scotland 2.5; 33 Ireland 1.5.


H Stefansson - J Shaw
European Team Ch. (2), Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nf3 dxc4 5 a4 Bf5 6 e3 e6 7 Bxc4 Bb4 8 0-0 0-0 9 Nh4 Nbd7 10 Nxf5 exf5 11 Qc2 Nb6 12 Be2 Qd7 13 a5 Nbd5 14 Bd2 Rfe8 15 a6 b6 16 Nxd5 Nxd5 17 Bxb4 Nxb4 18 Qb3 Qd6 19 Bf3 Rac8 20 Rfc1 g6 21 Rc4 c5 22 Bb7 b5 23 Rc3 c4 24 Qa3 Rc7 25 Qa5 Nd3 26 Qxb5 Rce7 27 Qxc4 Nxf2 28 Kxf2 Qxh2 29 Qe2 Qh4+ 30 Kg1 Rxe3 31 Rxe3 Qxd4 32 Ra4 Qxe3+ 33 Qxe3 Rxe3 34 Rc4 1-0

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THE 18th European Team Championships are underway in León, northern Spain, with 40 countries, 37 men's teams and 32 women's, making a grand total of 134 GMs, 49 IMs, 13 FMs, 33 WGMs and 20 WIMs in the competition.

In board order, the Scottish men's team flying the flag is IM John Shaw (Kilmarnock), IM Douglas Bryson (Shettleston), IM Andrew Muir (Shettleston), FM Tim Upton (Luxembourg) and Neil Berry (Edinburgh) - the women's team being Helen Milligan (London) and Carey Wilman (Wandering Dragons).

The GM triumvirate of Rowson, Motwani and McNab are missing for financial reasons (players have to fund all their personal costs) so Scotland will be one of the lower seeded teams.

In the first round, the men’s team very nearly caused a minor sensation against the No.13 seeds, Yugoslavia, after Tim Upton’s opponent, GM Bojan Vuckovic, gifted him the point in a totally drawn position, while John Shaw easily drew on top board with Zlatko Ilincic. Outrated heavily on every board, they came close to drawing the match with every game going in excess of 60 moves.


Men - Scotland 1.5-2.5 Yugoslavia: 1 IM J Shaw draw GM Z Ilincic; 2 IM D Bryson 0-1 GM I Ivanisevic; 3 IM A Muir 0-1 GM A Kovacevic; 4 FM T Upton 1-0 GM B Vuckovic.
Women - Scotland 0-2 Slovakia: 1 H Milligan 0-1 Z Hagarova; 2 C Wilman 0-1 E Repkova.


Other scores:

Men's - England 3-1 Latvia; Ireland 1.5-2.5 Greece.
Women - England 2-0 Macedonia; Ireland 0-2 France.


B Vuckovic – T Upton
European Team Ch. (1), Ruy Lopez

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 d6 5 c3 f5 6 exf5 Bxf5 7 0–0 Bd3 8 Re1 Be7 9 Bc2 Bxc2 10 Qxc2 Nf6 11 d4 e4 12 Ng5 d5 13 f3 h6 14 Nh3 0–0 15 Nd2 exf3 16 Nxf3 Rf7 17 Re2 Bd6 18 Be3 Qd7 19 Nf2 Ng4 20 Qg6 Nxf2 21 Bxf2 Rf6 22 Qd3 Raf8 23 Kh1 Qg4 24 Bg1 Qh5 25 Ne5 Ne7 26 Re3 Qf5 27 Rae1 Qxd3 28 Nxd3 Ng6 29 g3 h5 30 Kg2 Rf5 31 Re8 Kf7 32 Rxf8+ Nxf8 33 h3 Ne6 34 Be3 Ng5 35 Bxg5 Rxg5 36 Re3 Rf5 37 Rf3 Ke6 38 g4 hxg4 39 Re3+ Kf7 40 hxg4 Rf6 41 Rf3 Ke6 42 Rxf6+ Kxf6 43 Kf3 Kg5 44 Nf2 Kh4 45 Nd1 c6 46 Ne3 g6 47 Ng2+ Kg5 48 Ne1 Kf6 49 Nd3 Kg5 50 b3 Kf6 51 c4 g5 52 Ke3 Ke6 53 c5 Bc7 54 Nf2 b5 55 cxb6 Bxb6 56 Nh3 Kf6 57 b4 a5 58 bxa5 Bxa5 59 Nf2 Bb6 60 Nd3 Ke6 61 a4 Kd6 62 Ne5 Bxd4+ 63 Kxd4 c5+ 0–1

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DESPITE a last round victory over the tiring Veterans, the Ladies lost their Klompendans match in Amsterdam by the narrow margin of 26-24.

This is the last in the ten-game series of tournaments based on a local dance and sponsored by Dutch software multi-millionaire JJ van Oosterom through his Monaco-based Association Max Euwe. The first started in 1992 in the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba with the Tumba, with other events in this evenly-balanced contest including a Waltzer in Vienna, the Polka in Prague, the Cancan in Paris and the Foxtrot in London.

And, with the victory going to the 'Wrinklies' in the final event held in the city of birth of the popular sponsor, they are the overall winners in the series by a margin of 299-289, and by a 5.5-4.5 match score.

The Veterans team of stars from yesteryear included Viktor Korchnoi, 70, Mark Taimanov, 75, and former world champion Vassily Smylsov, 80. However, this time around they had to rely on the performance of "youngsters" such as Vlastimil Hort, 57, and in particular the silky-smooth skills of Lajos Portisch, 64, who was the overall top scorer in the tournament with 6.5/10.

Despite the sponsorship for this event ending, van Oosterom's support continues with the Amber Blindfold and Rapid event next year in Monaco, and, replacing the Ladies and Veterans match, a new tournament for the world's top juniors.


Veterans 26: L Portisch (Hungary) 6.5/10; V Hort (Germany), V Korchnoi (Switzerland) 5.5; V Smyslov (Russia) 5; M Taimanov (Russia) 3.5.
Ladies 24: Zhu Chen (China) 6/10; Xie Jun (China) 6; N Ioseliani (Georgia) 5; A Galliamova (Russia) 4; S Polgar (Israel) 3.5.


L Portisch - A Galliamova
Klompendans (8), Bogo-Indian

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Bb4+ 4 Nbd2 d6 5 a3 Bxd2+ 6 Qxd2 a5 7 b3 Qe7 8 Bb2 Nbd7 9 g3 b6 10 Bg2 Bb7 11 0-0 0-0 12 Rfe1 Be4 13 Bf1 d5 14 Ne5 h6 15 f3 Bh7 16 cxd5 exd5 17 Rac1 Ne8 18 Nc6 Qe6 19 Rc3 Nb8 20 Ne5 f6 21 Ng4 Kh8 22 Rcc1 c6 23 a4 Nd6 24 Ba3 Re8 25 Qf4 Nf7 26 Rc3 Na6 27 Rec1 Rac8 28 Nf2 Nb4 29 Qd2 Rc7 30 e4 Ng5 31 Re3 dxe4 32 fxe4 Nxe4 33 Nxe4 Bxe4 34 Bxb4 axb4 35 Qxb4 f5 36 Bg2 Qd5 37 Qxb6 Rce7 38 Qc5 Qd7 39 Rce1 Re6 40 a5 Bxg2 41 Rxe6 Rxe6 42 Qf8+ 1-0

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FIRST started in 1962 and now reaching its 40th edition, the Glasgow Congress, Scotland's longest running weekend tournament, took place at the weekend at its new-found home of Glasgow Caledonian University.

Five titled players, including past winners Jonathan Rowson, Colin McNab, Steve Mannion and long-time Glasgow favourite Roddy McKay, making a much-welcomed return to the tournament scene, were among the line-up looking to win the 550(GBP) first prizes in the Open.

However, the player making all the early running was second seed IM Alexander Chernaiev, a notoriously tough Russian professional now based in London. After successive wins over top seed Rowson and Mannion (not to mention the obligatory five-move "GM draw" with McNab), he had the luxury of a half point lead over the field going into the final round.

After doing all the hard work, Chernaiev found the going got even tougher when he was paired against the weakest titled player in the final round: Edinburgh's Elaine Rutherford, the former Women's World Amateur champion. Gambling all by spurning the repetition on offer that would have given him a share of first, the Russian soon found himself being outplayed by Rutherford, who won the game for a highly creditable share of first place - her second such placing in an elite tournament on the Terence Chapman Grand Prix circuit.

Now 18, Rutherford has become one of Scotland's best home-grown female talents in the game. In 1999 she became the first Scottish female to play in the Scottish Championships. This success was followed up by her becoming the first Scottish woman to win a national Grand Prix Open when she shared first equal at Perth with GM Colin McNab.

However, unquestionably the highlight of her successful year was victory in the Woman's World Amateur Championships at Hastings, which in the process made her only the second Scot to lift a world title.



Open: 1-4 GM J Rowson (Bon Accord), IM S Mannion (Cathcart), WFM E Rutherford (Edinburgh), GM C McNab (Dundee) 4/5. Major: 1-2 G Ashcroft (Preston), M Cavanagh (Bon Accord) 4.5/5. Minor: 1-2 J Watson (Paisley), D Logue (Inverclyde) 4.5/5. President's: 1 K McGeoch (Stirling) 5/5.


J Rowson - A Chernaiev
Glasgow Congress (3), Sicilian Rossilimo

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 e6 4 0-0 Nge7 5 Re1 Nd4 6 Nxd4 cxd4 7 d3 g6 8 c3 Bg7 9 cxd4 Bxd4 10 Nc3 a6 11 Ba4 b5 12 Bb3 Qb6 13 Be3 0-0 14 Qd2 Bb7 15 Bxd4 Qxd4 16 a4 Qb4 17 Bd1 Nc6 18 h4 f6 19 Rc1 Nd4 20 Re3 Rf7 21 Nb1 Qd6 22 Nc3 f5 23 e5 Qe7 24 Rh3 f4 25 Ne4 Bxe4 26 dxe4 Nc6 27 Qd6 Kg7 28 axb5 axb5 29 h5 Qg5 30 Rc5 Ra1 31 Kh2 f3 32 h6+ [A nice piece of interference theme - the pawn on f3 can't be taken: 32 Bxf3? Qf4+ 33 Rg3 Qh4+ 34 Rh3 Qxf2 wins; 32 gxf3 Rb1! 33 b3 (33 Rxb5 Qc1!; 33 hxg6 Rxb2! 34 Rxh7+ Kxg6 wins) 33 ..Rb2 34 Bc2 Qc1! 35 Qd3 Nb4 36 Qd1 Qxd1 37 Bxd1 Rd2] 32 ..Kg8 33 g3 Rc1 34 Bc2 Rf1 35 Rxc6 Rxf2+ 36 Kg1 Rg2+ 37 Kf1 dxc6 0-1


E Rutherford - A Chernaiev
Glasgow Congress (5), Grand Prix Attack

1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 f4 g6 4 Nf3 Bg7 5 Bb5 Nd4 6 0-0 e6 7 d3 Ne7 8 Nxd4 cxd4 9 Ne2 0-0 10 Ba4 d6 11 Kh1 Bd7 12 Bb3 f5 13 Qe1 Kh8 14 Ng1 Nc6 15 exf5 gxf5 16 Bd2 Qf6 17 Nf3 e5 18 Ng5 Rae8 19 Qh4 h6 20 Qh5 e4 21 Nf7+ Kh7 22 Ng5+ Kh8 23 Nf7+ Rxf7 24 Qxf7 Qxf7 25 Bxf7 Rf8 26 Bh5 d5 27 a3 Be6 28 Rae1 Kh7 29 Bc1 b5 30 Rf2 a5 31 Rg1 b4 32 b3 Ne7 33 axb4 axb4 34 Bd2 Nc6 35 Ra1 Rc8 36 Be1 Bf8 37 g3 Kg7 38 h3 Bd6 39 Ra6 Kf6 40 Be8 Rxe8 41 Rxc6 Bf8 42 Rb6 Ra8 43 Bxb4 Ra1+ 44 Kg2 Bxb4 45 Rxb4 Bf7 46 g4 Be6 47 Rxd4 Re1 48 dxe4 dxe4 49 Kg3 e3 50 Rg2 Bc8 51 Rd6+ Ke7 52 Rxh6 Be6 53 c4 Rb1 54 Ra2 Rh1 55 Ra7+ Bd7 56 Rh7+ 1-0

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AT the Fide press conference on Friday at Stamford Bridge, hosted by BBC sports personality John Inverdale, Fide President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced officially that their knockout world championship will now become a biennial competition instead of annual, with the next, in 2003, with a $3.5m prize fund, set to be held in London.

However, in its place in the intervening years, Fide have announced the setting-up of a $2.5m Rapid Chess Grand Prix with a series of five tournaments, starting next year. Events so far confirmed are: UAE in Febuary, New Delhi in March, Croatia in April, Moscow in May and Rio de Janeiro in September or October.

The top 32 players in the World by rating plus the top 16 in the World Chess Championships will be amongst the competitors making up the field. Although Ilyumzhinov is hopeful that world number one and World Rapidplay champion Garry Kasparov will participate, any form of reconciliation with the governing body looks very unlikely despite the fact that Kasparov played this year in two Fide-styled rapidplay events.

Fide's "spoiling" policy also continues with an attempt to outflank their rivals from the Brain Games Network. They announced that they would be holding a match this summer between the new Fide World Champion and a yet to be announced chess-playing program.

Meanwhile, way from the politics of chess at the World Youth Chess Festival in Oropesa del Mar, Spain the Europeans have broken India's recent dominance in the tournament. Overall, Georgia won the most gold medals. Of the ten on offer, they won four; three by girls in the under-14, 16 and 18 categories. China and Hungary won two golds each, with one apiece for Russia and the Ukraine.

Russia's GM Dimitri Iakovenko took the top-rated World Under-18 crown with a winning score of 9/11.


Under 10: Boys - Tamas Fodor (Hungary) 8.5/11; Girls - Zhongyi Tan (China) 10/11.
Under 12: Boys - Sergei Karyakin (Ukraine) 8.5/11; Girls - Yang Shen (China) 9/11.
Under 14: Boys - Viktor Erdos (Hungary) 9/11; Girls - Salome Melia (Georgia) 9.5/11.
Under 16: Boys - Konstantin Shanava (Georgia) 8.5/11; Girls - Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia) 9/11.
Under 18: Boys - Dmitri Iakovenko (Russia) 9/11; Girls - Sophio Gvetadze (Georgia) 10/11.


V Bachin - D Iakovenko
World Under-18 (3), Four Knight's Opening

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 d4 exd4 5 Nxd4 Bb4 6 Nxc6 bxc6 7 Bd3 d5 8 exd5 cxd5 9 0-0 0-0 10 Bg5 c6 11 Na4 h6 12 Bh4 Re8 13 c3 Bd6 14 b4 a5 15 a3 axb4 16 axb4 Be5 17 b5 Qd6 18 Kh1 c5 19 Bc2 c4 20 Rb1 Ng4 21 h3 g5 22 hxg4 gxh4 23 f4 Bg7 24 Qf3 Bb7 25 g5 Re7 26 gxh6 Bxh6 27 Rbd1 Rae8 28 f5 f6 29 Nb2 h3 30 Rd4 hxg2+ 31 Qxg2+ Rg7 32 Qh3 Bg5 33 Bd1 Re3 34 Rf3 Re1+ 35 Kg2 Re3 36 Qg4 0-1

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AFTER his disappointment of trailing last with an uncharacteristic -4 score a few months ago at Dortmund, FIDE World Champion Vishy Anand looks as if he's put the disaster out of his mind with a sparkling performance to win the extremely strong Corsica Rapid Open in Bastia, France.

The three-day tournament started with a field of 99 which, after a nine round Swiss tournament, won by Russia's Sergei Rublevsky on 7/9, had whittled the field down for the 16-player knockout stages. However, it wasn't all plain sailing for the top players looking to qualify for the knockout stages.

A last round defeat at the hands of Loek Van Wely saw defending champion Anand squeezing through to qualify with 6/9, and former top-ten player Alexei Shirov, who was hindered by an early round lose to the unknown Cyril Marzolo, failing to qualify after a last round defeat by Igor Glek.

In the knockout stages, Anand's expertise came to the fore with wins over Etienne Bacrot, Peter Leko and Sergei Tiviakov before meeting Alexander Chernin in a tense final. After two draws to tie the final 1-1, Anand took the title on tiebreak for the second time after only needing to draw with the black pieces.

The event was Anand's final warm-up tournament before he defends his FIDE title later this month in Moscow. Today at Chelsea Football Ground in London, Anand is due to attend a FIDE press conference where, among other things, the official pairings will be announced for the $3m, 128-player final.


Viswanathan ANAND (2770) - Alexander Chernin (2592) 1/2 1/2 1/2


Semi Finals
Sergei Tiviakov (2599) - Viswanathan ANAND (2770) 0-1 1/2
Alexander CHERNIN (2592) - Joel Lautier (2653) 1-0 1/2


Quarter Finals
Sergei Rublevsky (2634) - Joel LAUTIER (2653) 1/2 0-1
Alexander CHERNIN (2592) - Vladislav Tkachiev (2632) 1-0 1/2
Viswanathan ANAND (2770) - Peter Leko (2739) 1/2 1/2 1/2
Igor Glek (2590) - Sergei TIVIAKOV (2599) 1/2 1/2 0-1


Knockout stages
Sergei RUBLEVSKY (2634) - Andrei Kharlov (2656) 1-0 0-1 1-0
Sergei TIVIAKOV (2599) - Mikhail Gurevich (2605) 1/2 1/2
Predrag Nikolic (2652) - Peter LEKO (2739) 0-1 1/2
Loek Van Wely (2714) - Alexander CHERNIN (2592) 0-1 1-0 0-1
Vladislav TKACHIEV (2632) - Alexander Schneider (2506) 1/2 1/2 1-0
Etienne BACROT (2653) - Viswanathan Anand (2770) 0-1 0-1
Alexander Rustemov (2611) - Igor GLEK (2590) 0-1 1/2
Alexei Barsov (2525) - Joel LAUTIER (2653) 1/2 1/2 0-1


V Anand - S Tiviakov
Corsica Masters (3.1), Accelerated Dragon

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3 g6 4 d4 cxd4 5 Nxd4 Bg7 6 Be3 Nf6 7 Bc4 0-0 8 Bb3 a5 9 0-0 d6 10 Ndb5 Be6 11 h3 Nd7 12 Re1 Bxb3 13 axb3 Nc5 14 Qd2 b6 15 Bh6 Bxh6 16 Qxh6 Nb4 17 Re2 Qd7 18 Rd1 f6 19 f4 a4 20 e5 axb3 21 cxb3 fxe5 22 fxe5 Nbd3 23 exd6 exd6 24 b4 Nf4 25 Red2 Ne4 26 Nxe4 Qxb5 27 Rxd6 Qe2 28 Nf6+ Rxf6 29 Rd8+ Qe8 30 Rxe8+ Rxe8 31 Rd7 Ne2+ 32 Kh2 Rf7 33 Rxf7 Kxf7 34 Qxh7+ Kf6 35 Qh4+ Kg7 36 Qc4 Kf6 37 b5 g5 38 g3 Re3 39 Kg2 Nxg3 40 Qd4+ 1-0

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LATVIA'S Janis Klovans has again become the FIDE World Senior Champion after winning the title held in the picturesque Italian city of Arco on Lake Garda.

Klovans, 66, took the senior crown for the second time with his winning score of 9/11, half a point ahead of Hungary's Istvan Csom and Croatia's Vladimir Bukal, who respectively took silver and bronze. Klovans made history when he first captured the title in 1997, which in the process made him the oldest player in the world (aged 62) to gain the grandmaster title in competitive play.

Apart from former world candidate Mark Taimanov, who won the senior title in 1993, none of the "usual suspects" who regularly line-up for the veterans in their annual dance match with the ladies has played for the senior crown.

After seven rounds of the Klompendans in Amsterdam, the veterans, thanks to some inspired play by tournament top scorer Lajos Portisch, have recovered to now take a two point lead over the ladies after seven rounds.

At his peak in the late 1960s and early 70s, Portisch was dubbed "the Hungarian Botvinnik" due to his professional approach to the game. Despite his disappointment of never playing for the world crown, he holds the record for appearing eight times in the Candidate cycle - however going no further than the semi-finals on three occasions, losing to Spassky in 1977, Hubner in 1980 and Timman in 1988.


Veterans 18.5: L Portisch (Hungary) 4.5/7; V Hort (Germany) 4; V Korchnoi (Switzerland), V Smyslov (Russia) 3.5; M Taimanov (Russia) 3.
Ladies 16.5: Xie Jun and Zhu Chen (China) 4/7; N Ioseliani (Georgia) 3.5; A Gallimova (Russia) 3; S Polgar (Israel) 2.


L Portisch - N Ioseliani
Klompendans (6), Semi-Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 e3 e6 5 Nf3 Nbd7 6 Be2 Bd6 7 0-0 0-0 8 b3 Re8 9 Bb2 dxc4 10 Bxc4 b5 11 Bd3 Bb7 12 Rc1 Rc8 13 Ng5 h6 14 Nge4 Nxe4 15 Nxe4 Bf8 16 Nc5 Nxc5 17 dxc5 Qg5 18 f4 Qe7 19 Bb1 Rcd8 20 Qc2 f5 21 b4 g6 22 Rcd1 Bg7 23 Bxg7 Kxg7 24 e4 Rxd1 25 Rxd1 Rd8 26 Qc3+ Kf7 27 Rd4 Bc8 28 Bc2 Rxd4 29 Qxd4 Qd7 30 Qc3 Qd8 31 h3 Qf6 32 Qd3 Qa1+ 33 Kh2 Qc1 34 Qd6 Ke8 35 exf5 gxf5 36 Bd1 Bd7 37 Bh5+ Kd8 38 Bf3 Ke8 39 Bxc6 Bxc6 40 Qxc6+ Kf7 41 Qc7+ Kf6 42 Qd6 h5 43 Qf8+ Kg6 44 Qg8+ Kf6 45 Qg5+ Kf7 46 Qxh5+ 1-0

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