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The Scotsman

Chess News April 2002

"The Scotsman" chess column

30th April, 2002

“IT’S getting better and better”, remarked Garry Kasparov during the grandiose opening ceremony of the €500,000 Eurotel World Trophy at the Zofin Palace in Prague, which was officially opened at the weekend by the First Lady of the Czech Republic, Dagmar Havel.

And, not only is it getting better and better, it also looks as if the tournament is getting bigger and bigger since mobile phone giants Eurotel first hosted a match in Prague between Kasparov and Jan Timman in 1998. The event has now grown into one of the top events on the chess calendar, with 32 of the world’s top players competing in an event that literally has the crowds turning up in their droves to watch.

More than nine days before the start of the mega event organised by chess impresario Bessel Kok, and all 10,000+ admission tickets for the week were sold-out! Who says chess isn’t a spectator sport?

The first game of the tournament featured an onstage blindfold challenge during the elaborate the opening ceremony between the two main commentators, Lubosh Kavalek and Genna Sosonko, who’ll be entertaining the large crowds throughout the week.

Kavalek, who majored in journalism at Prague University, was the Czechoslovakian champion during the Prague Spring of 1968, when the Soviets invaded. He was fortunate enough to be playing in Poland at the time, and with the prize money he won from the tournament, he bought crates of vodka to bribe his way to freedom to the west, where he eventually settled in the USA and now writes for the Washington Post.


L Kavalek – G Sosonko
Eurotel Challenge, Sicilian Dragon

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 g6 6 Be3 Bg7 7 f3 Nc6 8 Qd2 0–0 9 Bc4 Nd7 10 0–0–0 Nb6 11 Bb3 Na5 12 Qd3 Bd7 13 h4 Rc8 14 h5 Nbc4 15 hxg6 hxg6 16 Bh6 e5 17 Bxg7 Kxg7 18 Nd5 exd4 19 Qxd4+ f6 20 Rh2 Be6 21 Rdh1 Bg8 22 g4 Nxb3+ 23 axb3 Ne5 24 Qd2 Kf7 25 Rh7+ Bxh7 26 Rxh7+ Ke8 27 Qh6 Nf7 28 Qxg6 Qa5 29 c3 Qa1+ 30 Kc2 Qf1 31 Qxf6 Qe2+ 32 Kb1 Qf1+ 33 Ka2 Qa6+ 34 Kb1 Qf1+ 35 Kc2 Qe2+ 36 Kb1 Qf1+ draw

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29th April, 2002

A seminal event takes place this week in the Czech Republic, as the Zofic Palace in Prague plays host to the world’s strongest tournament as 32 top players take part in the €500,000 Eurotel World Chess Trophy – and in-between the chess attempt to square the circle by reconciling the chess world!

Organised by chess impresario Bessel Kok, the mega event boasts the cream of the world elite, featuring the likes of world number one and top seed Garry Kasparov, World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, world numbers three, four and five Vishy Anand, Vesselin Topalov and Michael Adams, Judit Polgar, the world’s highest rated female player, former title challenger Nigel Short and former world champion Anatoly Karpov.

However, despite all the action on the board with the star-studded line-up, the goings on off the board could prove to be more intriguing as genuine attempts will be made during the week to reunite the chess world following the schism created by the Kasparov-Short breakaway from FIDE in 1993.

Thanks to a major initiative from American GM Yasser Seirawan, who started to knock some heads together with his proposal for unity entitled “Fresh Start”, the leading players, politicos and fixers have started to see the errors of their ways and have now opened a genuine dialogue with each other – something unthinkable in the past due to their frictious history.

A ten-player category 16 tournament has just ended in the unlikely surroundings of Poikovsky, a settlement of 20,000 people in the remote Nefteyugansk region of western Siberia that honoured one of the contestants in Prague: the legend that is Anatoly Karpov.

Ukrainian GM Alexander Onischuk, now settled in the US, led from start to finish and won convincingly with 6/9, a half point ahead of the Russian duo of Sergei Rublevsky and Vadim Zvaginsev.


A Onischuk – G Vescovi
3rd Karpov International (5), 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 Re1 Nbd7 12 Rc1 Rc8 13 Qb3 Bxc3 14 Rxc3 Qe8 15 Nd2 h6 16 Bxh6 gxh6 17 Rh3 Rxc4 18 Nxc4 Kg7 19 Qg3+ Kh7 20 Qd3+ Kg7 21 Nd6 Qb8 22 Rxe6 fxe6 23 Rg3+ Ng4 24 Rxg4+ Kf6 25 Qh7 1–0

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26th April, 2002

ONE of the biggest misconceptions within Scottish chess circles is the naming of top club Glasgow Polytechnic, who this season lifted the double of the Glasgow League (GCL) Division One and Richardson Cup titles.

The club was founded in 1919 and took its name not - as many believe - from an academic institution but from the club's first meeting rooms in premises of Anderson's Royal Polytechnic, a large department store in Glasgow's Argyle Street. Shopping at the 'Poly' became standard Glasgow parlance even after the store was taken over by Lewis's in 1929 and is now occupied by Debenham's.

Due to the demise of the once mighty Glasgow Club, who closed up shop in the early 1990s, Poly are now the oldest chess club in the city, and the only surviving club from the pre-war era when city-centre and works clubs dominated the chess scene in Glasgow.

The confusion over the name usually comes from the club now having rooms within the College Club of Glasgow University. However, this ideal venue has often led to Poly being able to cherry-pick from the visiting students with a prowess for chess.

One such was my opponent in this year's Richardson Cup final, Spanish student Manual Perez Carballo, who has quite had a remarkable first season for Poly. In the GCL, he lost only one game and won all the others, was undefeated in the Club Championship to win the Lyons Trophy with 6/7, and won all his games in their successful Richardson Cup run. Not surprisingly with a score of 18/19 in competitive play, he also lifted the Thomson Trophy for Poly Player of the Year!


J Henderson - M Perez
Richardson Cup Final, English Opening

1 c4 Nf6 2 g3 g6 3 Bg2 Bg7 4 Nc3 0-0 5 d3 d6 6 e4 Nc6 7 Nge2 Bg4 8 f3 Bd7 9 0-0 Rb8 10 Be3 a6 11 a4 a5 12 Qd2 Nb4 13 Na2 Nc6 14 Rab1 Ra8 15 b3 Re8 16 d4 Rf8 17 d5 Ne5 18 h3 Bc8 19 f4 Ned7 20 Nac1 b6 21 Nd3 Nc5 22 Nxc5 bxc5 23 g4 Nd7 24 Ng3 Ba6 25 h4 Nb6 26 Rbc1 e6 27 dxe6 Qxh4 28 exf7+ Rxf7 29 Qe1 Raf8 30 Bf3 Bd4 31 Bxd4 cxd4 32 f5 Bb7 33 Kg2 Nd7 34 Rh1 Qg5 35 Qxa5 Ne5 36 Rcg1 Nxg4 37 Bxg4 Bxe4+ 38 Kh3 Qh6+ 39 Nh5 Rxf5 40 Qe1 Rxh5+ 41 Bxh5 Qxh5+ 0-1

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24th April, 2002

WITH Scotland being one of the oldest chess associations in the world (formed in 1884), it's only naturally that their cup competitions also have a rich heritage.

In 1898 to coincide with his term in office as president of the national association, Mr J.B. Richardson offered a stunning silver trophy to be competed for by the leading clubs in the country, with Dundee being the inaugural winners in 1899.

However, following the death in 1900 of one of the founding-members of the Scottish Chess Association, Sheriff Walter Spens, a leading Glasgow legal officer of his day, a public subscription among the membership was organised for a fitting memorial in his name. So, in 1902, the Spens Cup was initiated as a subsidiary event to allow teams to qualify for the Richardson Cup.

This year's centenary winners of the Spens Cup are Shettleston Chess Club, who with a strong team that has two IMs - former Scottish Champions Douglas Bryson and Andrew Muir - on the top boards, easily overpowered their opponents, Phones, to win the match 5-1 - Shettleston therefore qualifying for next year's Richardson Cup.

A strong team who will easily hold their own next year, Shettleston are multi-time winners and reigning Scottish Team Lightning Champions, and also were once winners of the Richardson Cup themselves in 1983.


Spens Cup Final

Phones 1-5 Shettleston

1 R Dickson 0-1 IM D Bryson;
2 S Brady 0-1 IM A Muir;
3 K Strathern 0-1 G Nolan;
4 J McIntyre draw J Doyle;
5 B Henderson 0-1 P Hopper;
6 J Carlin draw A Gallagher


The Spens consolation tournament, the Jack Campbell Rosebowl, was won this year by Holy Cross who defeated Edinburgh Civil Service 5-1.


D Bryson - R Dickson
Spens Cup Final, French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 c5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 Qc7 7 Nf3 b6 8 Bb5+ Bd7 9 Bd3 h6 10 a4 Nc6 11 0-0 Na5 12 Re1 Ne7 13 Ba3 Bxa4 14 dxc5 bxc5 15 Nd2 Bd7 16 Qg4 g6 17 Nf3 Nb7 18 h4 Nf5 19 c4 d4 20 Nd2 Bc6 21 Ne4 Bxe4 22 Bxe4 Rc8 23 Qf3 Nd8 24 g4 Ne7 25 Qf6 Rh7 26 Rab1 Qa5 27 Qf3 h5 28 g5 Rh8 29 Red1 Rf8 30 Rb5 Qa4 31 Rxc5 Rxc5 32 Bxc5 Qxc4 33 Qa3 d3 34 cxd3 Qc2 35 Rc1 Qe2 1-0

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23 April, 2002

GLASGOW POLYTECHNIC clinched the double at the weekend, after an emphatic 6-2 victory over Edinburgh West at Grangemouth Sports Centre gave them their tenth Richardson Cup title.

What on paper looked like one of the most evenly matched finals in the cup's 103-year history didn't work out that way, as Polytechnic were undefeated over the evenly-rated eight-board match to not only win their tenth title, but also with it their fourth successive cup victory.

Despite the impressive recent record, 'Poly' are only third in the order of merit in the competition. The tournament was dominated in its early days by the likes of Glasgow and Edinburgh Chess Clubs. The now defunct Glasgow lead with 33 victories and the record of five successive titles between seasons 1963-67; with Edinburgh second on 23 wins.

And, coupled with the capture of the Glasgow Chess League Division One title this year, the successful season is perhaps a fitting tribute to Poly stalwart Gerry Wilson - regarded by many as the heart and soul of the club - who tragically died at the age of 49 last year after a short illness.

Gerry was a self-confessed anorak who spent many hours meticulously researching the history of the Richardson and Spens Cups and the Glasgow League, much of which now appears on the SCA website at www.scottishchess.com, allowing future generations of Scottish players to better understand their heritage.


Glasgow Polytechnic 6-2 Edinburgh West

(Polytechnic had white on odds)

1 IM J Shaw 1-0 WGM Arakhamia-Grant;
2 I Swan 1-0 J Grant;
3 E Davis 1-0 J Redpath;
4 L Kirk draw P Roberts;
5 D Byrne draw N Farrell;
6 M Perez 1-0 J Henderson;
7 N Reid draw P McInally;
8 D Watt draw W Buchanan


J Grant - I Swan
Richardson Cup Final, English Opening

1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 c5 3 e4 Nc6 4 f4 d6 5 Nf3 g6 6 d3 Bg7 7 g3 Bg4 8 h3 Bxf3 9 Qxf3 Nd4 10 Qf2 Nd7 11 Bg2 Rb8 12 0-0 f5 13 Be3 0-0 14 a4 a6 15 Rab1 e6 16 b4 Nc6 17 Na2 cxb4 18 Nxb4 Nxb4 19 Rxb4 Nc5 20 Rd1 a5 21 Rb5 Nxa4 22 Bd4 Nc3 23 Bxc3 Bxc3 24 exf5 gxf5 25 d4 Qf6 26 Qe3 Bb4 27 Kh1 b6 28 Rf1 Kh8 29 Qd3 Rg8 30 Rf3 Rg6 31 Re3 Rbg8 32 Rxb6 Qg7 33 Rb7 Qh6 34 c5 Be1 35 cxd6 Bxg3 36 Re2 Bxf4 37 d7 Bb8 38 Rxb8 Qc1+ 39 Kh2 Qc7+ 40 Kg1 Qxb8 41 Qe3 Qd6 42 Qe5+ Qxe5 43 dxe5 Rd8 44 Rd2 Rg7 45 Rd6 Rdxd7 46 Rxe6 Rd1+ 0-1

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22nd April, 2002

AT this time of the year on the domestic scene, league seasons are coming to an end with all the titles more or less decided.

Here in Scotland, there are ten leagues (eleven if we count the Scottish National League which is available for all teams to compete in) for the club players that covers the length and breadth of the country, stretching from the North East Scotland League (which takes in the Aberdeen, Peterhead and surrounding areas) down to the Dumfries & Galloway League.

However, by far the most important league titles are the two that are joined at each end of the M8 motorway: the Glasgow Chess League (GCL) and the Edinburgh & Lothians Chess Association (ELCA) Premier League.

In the West, Glasgow Polytechnic added to their record number of wins to secure their 21st GCL division one title with a maximum 18 points from nine matches. Meanwhile in the East, the oldest club in Scotland, Edinburgh Chess Club, which was formed in 1822, won their first-ever ELCA Premier title (the new league was formed in season 1994-95, Edinburgh being the last winners of the old Division one title in season 1993-94) with a score of 17 points from ten matches.

For the clean sweep of league titles, Edinburgh also won this year's Scottish National League and the ELCA Allegro League. On top board for Edinburgh in the ELCA Premier League, Neil Berry proved to be a rock with an undefeated score of 6.5/9.


J Grant - N Berry
ELCA Premier League, English Opening

1 c4 e5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 c6 4 d4 Bb4+ 5 Nc3 exd4 6 Qxd4 0-0 7 Bg5 Na6 8 Nf3 Nc5 9 Bxf6 Qxf6 10 Qxf6 gxf6 11 0-0 Bxc3 12 bxc3 Na4 13 Rfc1 d6 14 Rab1 Nb6 15 Nd2 Bf5 16 Rb4 Rab8 17 Be4 Be6 18 Bd3 Rfd8 19 Rcb1 Kg7 20 R4b2 f5 21 Kg2 Kf6 22 f4 Rd7 23 Kf3 Na4 24 Rc2 Nc5 25 Nb3 Nxb3 26 axb3 a5 27 Ra2 b6 28 Kf2 c5 29 Re1 d5 30 cxd5 Bxd5 31 Rb2 Rbd8 32 c4 Bc6 33 h3 Rd4 34 Rbb1 h5 35 Rbc1 h4 36 gxh4 Rxf4+ 37 Ke3 Rxh4 38 Rg1 Rxh3+ 39 Kf2 Be4 40 Bxe4 fxe4 41 Rb1 Ke5 42 Rg7 f5 43 Rg6 Rd6 44 Rg8 Rh2+ 45 Kg1 Rxe2 46 Re8+ Re6 47 Rg8 e3 0-1

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19 April, 2002

THE furore caused by the threat of four leading players to stage a walkout after discovering that nearly $400,000 of prize money for the inaugural FIDE Grand Prix in Dubai had "suddenly" failed to materialise, continues.

In an open letter published on the TWIC website (www.chesscenter.com/twic/twic.html), Alexei Shirov, one of the four who threatened to withdraw from the tournament in protest, said that according to FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who averted the crisis at the eleventh hour with a personal donation of $100,000 to increase the prize fund to $240,000 after a private meeting with the players involved, the blame lay firmly at the door of Octagon, the outside organisers brought in by the world chess federation to run their events.

Shirov, who has always respected Ilyumzhinov's involvement and sponsorship of chess, said that during the meeting before the first round, the FIDE president was upset at Octagon who "had done a bad job failing to accomplish the players' conditions" and threatened not to deal with the company for future events.

Octagon quickly retaliated to Shirov's letter, and on the same site they claimed that they were not responsible for the prize funds at the FIDE Grand Prix events, explaining that the reason for the reduction in the prize fund was due to a last minute withdrawal of support from a private investor, with whom FIDE Commerce had been negotiating with.

All the confusion has immediately raised alarms over the running of the remaining four events in this year's cycle, which will include Russia (12-19 May), India (9-16 July), Croatia (2-9 August) and Brazil (9-16 September). Some of these events could be in jeopardy, not only because of the confusion over the prize fund, but also due to the participation of some of the world's elite players.

Not only has the Grand Prix been shunned by the world's top two, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik, other elite players have already announced they will be preparing to play in other top events, such as the forthcoming Dortmund tournament that will determine a challenger for Kramnik's world crown.

However, despite the absences, the next Grand Prix scheduled for Moscow in May looks the most likely to be guaranteed to go ahead - and even if the prize fund is reduced again.

Halfway through the strong Internet qualifying tournament hosted on the FIDE website (www.worldfide.com) that will ultimately produce four qualifiers who will play-off on the eve of the Grand Prix for two places in the tournament, Muscovite GM Sergey Shipov, who plays under the pseudonym of "crest", looks a sure bet for an appearance in the Grand Prix on his home patch as he leads the tournament with a perfect score of 5/5.


P Blatney - S Shipov
FIDE Internet Qualifier (5), Kopec System

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 c3 Nf6 4 Bd3 Nc6 5 Bc2 Bg4 6 d3 e6 7 Nbd2 d5 8 0-0 Be7 9 Ba4 0-0 10 Bxc6 bxc6 11 h3 Bh5 12 Qe2 Qc7 13 Re1 Nd7 14 Nf1 h6 15 Ne3 Bd6 16 Ng4 f5 17 exf5 exf5 18 Qe6+ Kh8 19 Nxh6 Rae8 20 Qxe8 Bxe8 21 Nxf5 Bh5 22 N5h4 Ne5 23 Nxe5 Bxe5 24 Bg5 Bh2+ 25 Kh1 Rxf2 26 Re3 Bf4 27 Re7 Qb8 28 Bxf4 Qxf4 0-1

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18 April, 2002

TWO of the world's top player's, BGN world champion Vladimir Kramnik and ex FIDE champion Vishy Anand, respectively world numbers two and three, are set for a computer-aided showdown this summer.

Following their participation in the Astana super tournament alongside Garry Kasparov, both will head for Leon in Spain to compete in the 15th "Torneo Magistral-Ciudad de Leon 2002" - otherwise known as Advanced Chess, the Kasparov innovation that allows players to consult state of the art chess software programs and one million game plus databases during play.

All the software and databases will be supplied by the German chess software specialists and co-sponsors of the tournament, ChessBase. This strive for perfection is tempered by the fact that both players in their four-game match, running from 20-24 June, will only have an hour each on the clock and will therefore have to decided quickly on whether to use the computer or rely on their own judgement in certain positions.

Four of the ChessBase stables leading software programs - Deep Junior, Chess Tiger, Hiarcs and Deep Shredder - are competing just now in their second grandmaster challenge in as many weeks organised on KasparovChess.com.

The first challenge came from experienced GM Boris Gulko, Kasparov's bete-noire - and the only player in the world with the distinction of having been crowned USSR champion and US champion. Gulko unfortunately was no match for the silicon beasties, who took three games of him to run out easy winners by a score of 5-3.

However, the second Man vs. Machine challenge involving world number 15 Ilya Smirin is proving more hopeful for mankind. After two of the eight scheduled games, Smirin has proved more resourceful in dealing with the computers having won the first game against Deep Shredder, the single-processor world champion, and easily drew the second game against Hiarcs.


Deep Shredder 6 - B Gulko
KasparovChess Challenge, French Defence

1 d4 e6 2 e4 d5 3 Nd2 b6 4 Ngf3 Nf6 5 Bd3 c5 6 0-0 c4 7 Be2 dxe4 8 Ng5 Bb7 9 Nxc4 Be7 10 Ne5 0-0 11 Bc4 Bd5 12 Be2 h6 13 Ngxf7 Rxf7 14 Nxf7 Kxf7 15 Bf4 Bb7 16 c3 Nc6 17 f3 exf3 18 Bxf3 Qd7 19 Qe2 Re8 20 Bh5+ g6 21 Bg4 Nxg4 22 Qxg4 Kg7 23 Bxh6+ Kxh6 24 Qh3+ Kg7 25 Rf7+ 1-0

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17 April, 2002

THERE'S no denying that comedian, novelist and sometime disappearing actor Stephen Fry is an avid chess player - though freely he admits that chess is "ludicrously difficult."

He once confessed to owning the prized possessions of a superb board of bird's-eye maple and Moluccan ebony, edged in sycamore, an 1871 boxwood and ebony Staunton set, plus a chess clock by Grant's of Stamford. "Unfortunately," he sighed, "what I bring to this wonderful equipment is the playing talent of a dead rat."

Chess fans may be interested to learn that one of his new films, due for release in the UK in the next few months, is based on the 1992 best-selling novel The Discovery of Heaven by Dutch author Harry Mullisch, which posthumously pays tribute to the legendary Dutch grandmaster Jan Hein Donner.

In the film, Fry plays the part of Onno Quist, who is modelled on Donner, whom Fry bears an uncanny resemblance to. The legendary Donner - whose collection of newspaper columns entitled The King, published by New In Chess, is compulsive reading - was witty, opinionated and often very cranky.

At the weekend the Dutch again paid tribute to Donner with a memorial rapidplay tournament held in his honour in The Hague. The occasion was the 150th anniversary of one of Holland's oldest chess clubs, The Royal Dutch Chess Society Discendo Discimus (DD), where Donner started his career as first board player for the second team.

The venue for the six-player invitational was the impressive clubrooms of DD, held at 'Het National Schaakebouw' (The National Chess Building), which until 1944 was also the administrative centre for FIDE. The special field included many of Donner's friends and fellow journalists: GM Genna Sosonko, GM Hans Ree, IM Gert Ligterink, IM Kick Langweg, IM Rob Hartoch and IM Frans Kuijpers.

In between the rounds, the players were invited to reminisce on their old friend with many of the anecdotes of old being retold. De Volkskrant journalist Gert Lighterink won the tournament with a score of 3.5/5, taking first place half a point ahead of top seed Sosonko, with Kuijpers in third.


K Langeweg - G Ligterink
Donner Memorial Rapid (4)

1 Nf3 Nf6 2 b3 d5 3 Bb2 Bg4 4 d4 Nbd7 5 e3 e6 6 Be2 Bd6 7 Nbd2 c6 8 h3 Bxf3 9 Nxf3 Qc7 10 0-0 0-0 11 c4 Rad8 12 Bd3 e5 13 c5 e4 14 cxd6 Qxd6 15 Bc2 exf3 16 Qxf3 Rfe8 17 a4 Ne4 18 Qe2 Qh6 19 b4 f5 20 Rfe1 Rf8 21 b5 Rde8 22 f3 Ng5 23 Qf2 Re6 24 h4 Ne4 25 fxe4 fxe4 26 Qg3 Rg6 27 Qh3 Rf3 28 Qxd7 Qxh4 29 Qe8+ Rf8 30 Qe5 Qf2+ 0-1

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16 April, 2002

FORMER Scottish champion and computer expert David Levy once famously made a wager of a whole year's salary in 1968 that no computer program would be able to beat him in a match during the following ten years.

In 1978, playing against the top chess playing computer of the day in a six-game match, he won that bet by defeating CHESS 4.7 by a score of 3.5-1.5. The bet was further renewed for another six years, and in 1984 David beat Cray Blitz 4-0. The bet renewed for a third time, his final computer match came in 1989 when he lost 4-0 - - a result he correctly predicted beforehand due to the advances in the development of chess computers - to Deep Thought, the forerunner of IBM's Deep Blue.

The Holy Grail in artificial chess intelligence was finally achieved in 1997 when Garry Kasparov became the first world champion to lose a match to a computer when he lost to Deep Blue in a $1 million challenge. Whilst this 1997 New York match is regarded as the ultimate challenge of humans vs. computers, there are many challenges made each year - though none ever coming anywhere near the hype and hysteria of Kasparov vs. Deep Blue.

This October in Bahrain sees another world champion Vladimir Kramnik taking on top software program Deep Fritz in another $1 million challenge. In a special computer challenge on the KasparovChess.com website, top Israeli player Ilya Smirin is playing a special challenge match against four top commercial programs: Deep Junior 7, Tiger, Hiarcs 8 and Deep Shredder.

The prize money at stake is $1500 per win, $500 per draw and nothing for a loss. In the first match, Smirin, using one of Levy's computer maxims of doing nothing but doing it well, shows that computers still have lots to learn as he easily beat the reigning single processor world champion - and in a similar fashion to how Loek Van Wely defeated Fritz in the Dutch championships of a couple of years ago.


I Smirin - Deep Shredder
English Opening, KasparovChess Challenge

1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 g3 Bb4 4 Bg2 0-0 5 e4 Bxc3 6 bxc3 d6 7 Ne2 Bg4 8 f3 Be6 9 d3 c5 10 0-0 h6 11 h3 a6 12 a4 b6 13 f4 Nc6 14 f5 Bd7 15 g4 Qc7 16 Ng3 Na5 17 h4 Nh7 18 g5 hxg5 19 hxg5 Qb7 20 Be3 b5 21 axb5 axb5 22 Qh5 bxc4 23 f6 Rfc8 24 fxg7 Bg4 1-0

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15 April, 2002

THE weekend saw Garry Kasparov celebrate his 39th birthday, and with it came the present of the publication of the FIDE April rating list that once again shows him (surprise, surprise) as the world number one - a position he's now held since as far back as 1984.

Kasparov enjoys the luxury of a near 30-point gap at the top over his nemesis, Vladimir Kramnik. Whilst he may be able to take his world crown, it looks as if we will have a long wait before Kasparov is replaced at the top - especially after his recent win at Linares for a remarkable run of winning ten successive elite tournaments.

Meanwhile, as the two Russians maintain their rating and kudos at the top, India's Vishy Anand's position looks very vulnerable as his rating continues to slide with a huge chasm of 57-points now separating second and third place. Anand lost a further five points at Linares, and his position as world number three now looks very fragile as he comes within easy striking distance of three players.

Veselin Topalov's equal first at the NAO Masters in Cannes saw his rating rise a further six-points, and he now moves into fourth place, replacing Michael Adams who could only increase his rating by two-points. Next - and probably more worrying for Anand - with another huge jump of 16-points, comes the teenage FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov.

And, with another teenager Alexander Grischuk hovering just outside the top-ten in thirteenth place on 2702, we may have to rely on the next generation with these two talented players to replace Kasparov at the top. Ironically two players who, both born in late 1983 hadn't even celebrated their first birthday when Kasparov first became world number one!


FIDE top-ten: 1 G Kasparov (Russia) 2838; 2 V Kramnik (Russia) 2809; 3 Vishy Anand (India) 2752; 4 V Topalov (Bulgaria) 2745; 5 M Adams (England) 2744; 6 R Ponomariov (Ukraine) 2743; 7 E Bareev (Russia) 2724; 8 A Morozevich (Russia) 2718; 9 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2711; 10 B Gelfand (Israel) 2707.


A Grischuk - T Radjabov
FIDE Grand Prix (2.1), Advanced French

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 Nc6 5 Nf3 Bd7 6 Be2 Rc8 7 0-0 a6 8 Kh1 Nge7 9 dxc5 Ng6 10 Be3 Ncxe5 11 Nxe5 Nxe5 12 b4 Be7 13 Nd2 Nc6 14 f4 Bf6 15 Rc1 0-0 16 Nf3 Re8 17 a4 Qc7 18 Bd3 g6 19 b5 axb5 20 axb5 Ne7 21 Bd4 Bg7 22 Qd2 f6 23 c4 dxc4 24 Bxc4 Nf5 25 Bg1 Rcd8 26 Qa2 Qxf4 27 Nd4 Qg4 28 Rxf5 gxf5 29 c6 bxc6 30 bxc6 Bxc6 31 Bxe6+ Kh8 32 Nxc6 Rd1 33 h3 Qh5 34 Bf7 1-0

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12 April, 2002

FOUNDED in 1628, George Heriot's School, the historic site of Scotland's premier weekend tournament has an ambience that most traditional chess venues simply cannot compete with.

Oliver Cromwell commandeered the school for his military government in Scotland, and is even reputed to have fired on Edinburgh Castle from the grounds in 1650 before turning it into a military hospital.

It has just been announced that next year sees a veritable chess bonanza taking place within the grounds of the school, with three major tournaments being staged there. Returning North of the Border for the first time in ten-years, the British Chess Federations Director of Congress Chess, Neil Graham, announced on the final day of the Edinburgh Congress that the richest purse in British Chess with a 10,000(UK) first prize, the Smith & Williamson British Championships will be held in the school from 20th July to 2nd August, 2003.

Traditionally "the British", which will have an entry of over 1,000 competitors staying in Edinburgh over the two week period, starts in early August. However, due to the logistical problems of clashing with the Edinburgh Festival, the BCF has wisely moved to the new dates.

And, to accommodate this move, the 110th Scottish Championships, which will also take place at George Heriot's School, will move for the first time in its long history from its traditional July berth to Easter, running from the 5th-13th April, 2003 - with the Edinburgh Congress of that year running concurrently with the Scottish in the same venue on the final weekend.

The British has been held three times before in the Scottish capital (1920, 1926 and 1985), and it is only the seventh time since its inception at Hastings 1904 that it has been hosted in Scotland. Home advantage may just be enough to give an on-form Scottish No.1, Jonathan Rowson, his best chance of becoming the first Scot since Elgin lawyer RF Combe in 1946 of winning the British crown - and without the aid of the cannons as used by Cromwell!


J Shaw - J Rowson
Edinburgh Congress (5), Sicilian Rossolimo

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 e6 4 0-0 Nge7 5 b3 a6 6 Bxc6 Nxc6 7 Bb2 b5 8 c4 bxc4 9 bxc4 Qb6 10 Bc3 Nd4 11 Na3 f6 12 Nh4 g6 13 f4 Qc6 14 d3 Bb7 15 f5 exf5 16 exf5 0-0-0 17 Nc2 Nxf5 18 Rxf5 gxf5 19 Ne3 Qe6 20 Nd5 Bxd5 21 cxd5 Qxd5 22 Bxf6 Rg8 23 Bxd8 Kxd8 24 Nf3 Bg7 25 Rb1 Qxa2 26 g3 Qd5 27 Kg2 Re8 28 Qd2 Re6 29 Rc1 Ke7 30 Rc2 h6 31 Qd1 Re3 32 Kf2 Rxd3 33 Qe2+ Qe4 34 Qxe4+ fxe4 35 Ne1 Rb3 36 Ke2 Bd4 0-1

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11 April, 2002

THE annual Edinburgh Congress, efficiently organised as ever by the Edinburgh League at its now perennial venue of George Heriot's School in Lauriston Place, goes from strength to strength with the latest edition taking place last weekend.

A field of over 300 was split over five sections grouped by rating from grandmaster to novice. The first prize of 500(UK) in the top-rated Open section was enough to lure seven titled players - 3 GMs, 3 IMs and 1 WGM - to do battle for the top honours.

Going into the penultimate fourth round, the Scottish GM duo of Colin McNab and Jonathan Rowson were the only players on a 100 per cent score of 3/3, and therefore had to play each other - the game though proving to be indecisive after a tough draw.

In the final round, McNab made easy work of veteran Oliver Penrose to secure himself a share of first on 4.5/5, while Rowson faced the sterner test of having to beat IM John Shaw. However the reigning Scottish Champion was up to the task and steadily outplayed Shaw to join McNab on 4.5/5, as both shared first place with their unbeaten score.


Open: 1-2 GM J Rowson (Oxford), GM C McNab (Dundee) 4.5/5; 3-4 GM P Wells (England), WGM K Arakhamia-Grant (Edinburgh West); Joe Redpath (Edinburgh West) wins the Evening News Cup for top Edinburgh junior.
Challengers: 1-2 I Mason, D Will (both Grangemouth) 4.5/5; Major: 1-2 R Forsythe, G Aschcroft (both England) 4.5/5;
Knights: 1 K McGeoch (Stirling) 5/5; Bishops: 1-7 K Campbell (Motherwell), P Elders (Corstorphine), L Harvey (Edinburgh), D Rooney (Holy Cross), H Key (Wardie), M Ridge (Edinburgh), S Black (Dunfermline) 4/5.


P Wells - C McNab
Edinburgh Congress (4), Pirc Defence

1 d4 d6 2 e4 Nf6 3 Nc3 g6 4 f4 Bg7 5 Nf3 0-0 6 Bd3 Nc6 7 0-0 e5 8 dxe5 dxe5 9 f5 gxf5 10 exf5 e4 11 Nxe4 Bxf5 12 Nxf6+ Qxf6 13 Ne5 Nxe5 14 Bxf5 Ng6 15 c3 Rad8 16 Qg4 Qb6+ 17 Kh1 Rd5 18 Bc2 Re5 19 Bb3 Kh8 20 Bd2 f5 21 Qf3 f4 22 Rae1 Rxe1 23 Bxe1 Ne5 24 Qd5 Qe3 25 Bf2 Qe2 26 Qd1 Qxb2 27 Bc5 Re8 28 Bd4 Ng6 29 h4 Re2 30 Bxg7+ Kxg7 31 Qd7+ Kh6 32 Qg4 Re5 33 Bd1 Qd2 34 h5 Re1 0-1

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10 April, 2002

IN a tense struggle in the first FIDE Grand Prix final in Dubai, Peter Leko of Hungary defeated the young Russian Alexander Grischuk 3-2 to take the title.

After four nerve-wracking draws, the match went to a deciding fifth and final sudden death game, which Leko won on time with two seconds left on his own clock to take the winner's trophy and $43,200 first prize; Grischuk having to be content with the runners-up prize of $22,800.

"When I reached Dubai, nobody saw me as a contender for the title," commented Leko to the press after being presented with the trophy by Ibrahim Al Bannai, the President of the Arab Chess Federation. "My victory is an answer to those who took me lightly in this format of the game". When questioned whether he would consider this as the most prestigious win of his career, Leko said: "I reckon my victory in the Dortmund 1999 as the best. There were many top players in that event."

The next Grand Prix will be held at Moscow in May. Three other GP events are also planned for Dubrovnik in Croatia, Bangalore or Mumbai in India and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Though Leko needs one more title triumph in the Grand Prix series to take the bonus prize, unfortunately due to prior commitments - the prestigious eight-player Dortmund tournament that will determine a challenger to Vladimir Kramnik's world title - he cannot play in the next two events in the series.


Final standings (with GP points gained): 1 P Leko (Hungary) 1176; 2 A Grischuk (Russia) 840; 3 A Shirov (Spain) 644; 4 K Georgiev (Bulgaria) 532; 5 A Karpov (Russia) 392; 6 Z Azmaiparashvili (Georgia) 364; 7 V Topalov (Bulgaria) 336; 8 E Bacrot (France) 308; 9 V Anand (India) 224; 10 A Khalifman (Russia) 196; 11 A Dreev (Russia) 168; 12 T Radjabov (Azerbaijan) 140; 13 J Lautier (France) 112; 14 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 84; 15 N Short (England) 56; 16 Zhu Chen (China) 28.


P Leko - A Grischuk
FIDE Grand Prix (5.5), Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6 6 Nxc6 bxc6 7 e5 Nd5 8 Ne4 Bb7 9 Be2 c5 10 0-0 Qc7 11 Nd6+ Bxd6 12 exd6 Qc6 13 f3 c4 14 Qd4 0-0 15 Bxc4 Rfc8 16 b3 Qxd6 17 Bb2 e5 18 Qf2 Nf4 19 Rad1 Qg6 20 Kh1 d6 21 Rd2 Qf6 22 Rfd1 d5 23 Bf1 d4 24 Rc1 h5 25 c3 dxc3 26 Bxc3 h4 27 h3 Nd5 28 Bb2 Rxc1 29 Bxc1 Rc8 30 Bb2 Qf4 31 Re2 f6 32 Re4 Qg5 33 Bc4 Qg3 34 Qxa7 Rxc4 35 Rxc4 Nf4 36 Rxf4 exf4 37 Qd4 Qe1+ 38 Qg1 Qe2 39 Bc1 Qxa2 40 b4 Qc4 41 Bd2 Bc6 42 Qe1 g5 43 Kh2 Kf7 44 Bc3 Qe6 45 Qd2 Qd5 46 Bd4 Bb5 47 Qc3 Qc6 48 Bc5 Qd5 49 Qa1 Kg6 50 Qb1+ Qf5 51 Qd1 Qd3 52 Qe1 Qd7 53 Qe4+ Qf5 54 Qb7 Qd7 55 Qb8 Qe8 56 Qa7 Qd7 57 Qa1 Qc6 58 Qb1+ Kg7 59 Qf5 Qd7 60 Qc2 Qc6 61 Qd2 Qd7 62 Bd4 Kg6 63 Qc3 Qf5 64 Qc7 Qd5 65 Bc5 1-0

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09 April, 2002

THE future doesn't look very secure for the FIDE Grand Prix, as details are now immerging that the start was seriously threatened over a player dispute with regard to the prize money.

Originally the prize fund for each of the five events in the cycle was announced at $500,000. However, when the players arrived in Dubai for the inaugural event, they were informed that the prize fund had "suddenly" been reduced to just $120,000. Four leading players, Alexei Shirov, Alexander Khalifman, Evgeny Bareev and Peter Leko immediately launched a serious protest and even threatened to withdraw from the tournament unless the prize money issue was resolved.

A compromise was soon sorted out between the players and FIDE, with the prize money increased to $240,000 out of the pocket of its president, Kirjan Iljumzhinov, and a promise to seek additional sponsors for the shortfall. The compromise allowed to tournament to continue without the threatened walkout by the four players.

Two of the four, Alexei Shirov and Peter Leko, have now progressed to the semi-final of the Grand Prix. In a titanic struggle that lasted over five hours, Leko came from behind to overcome Kiril Georgiev and progress to the final by winning the match 3-2. In the final, he'll meet Russian teenager Alexander Grischuk who defeated Shirov 2.5-1.5.


P Leko - K Georgiev
FIDE Grand Prix (4.5), Sicilian Najdorf

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be2 g6 7 g4 h6 8 Be3 Bg7 9 f3 b5 10 Qd2 Bb7 11 a3 Nbd7 12 0-0-0 Nb6 13 Nb3 Nfd7 14 Na5 Qc7 15 Bd4 Bf6 16 h4 Bxd4 17 Qxd4 0-0-0 18 Nxb7 Qxb7 19 a4 bxa4 20 Nxa4 Nxa4 21 Qxa4 Kc7 22 Rd4 Nc5 23 Qa3 Rb8 24 Rhd1 Qb6 25 e5 Rhd8 26 b4 Nd7 27 exd6+ exd6 28 Rxd6 Qxd6 29 Rxd6 Kxd6 30 Qxa6+ Ke7 31 c3 Rdc8 32 Kd2 Rc7 33 Qa5 Rb6 34 c4 Rcb7 35 c5 Rxb4 36 c6 Rb2+ 37 Ke1 R7b6 38 cxd7 Kxd7 39 Bc4 Ke7 40 Qc5+ Ke8 41 Qc8+ Ke7 42 Qc7+ Kf6 43 Qxf7+ Ke5 44 Bd3 Kd4 45 Bxg6 Ke3 46 Kf1 Rf2+ 47 Kg1 Rbb2 48 Qe6+ Kxf3 49 Qe4+ Kg3 50 Qe3+ Rf3 51 Qe5+ Kxg4 52 Qxb2 Rh3 53 Qg2+ 1-0

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8 April, 2002

THE top seeds continue to fall at the inaugural FIDE Grand Prix in Dubai, with the second round seeing Vishy Anand and Vassily Ivanchuk joining opening round casualty Ruslan Ponomariov.

Indian world number three Anand, who, after losing to Garry Kasparov in their 1995 title match, went on to win the chess Oscar for Best Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998 and then crowned FIDE World Champion in 2000, has seen his form slump in the last year or so as he's struggled to retain his world ranking. A big favourite to win in Dubai, things didn't get any better for Anand as he sensationally lost 2.5-1.5 to Georgia's Zurab Azmaiparashvili.

After losing to eighteen year old Ponomariov in the FIDE final in January, Ivanchuk went out this time to a 19-year-old after he faced a determined challenge from Etienne Bacrot, the young French star gunning down the Ukrainian in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.

Meanwhile, former world champion Anatoly Karpov showed his form of old with a convincing 2-0 win over China's women's world champion Zhu Chen. However, Karpov was knocked out in the next round by Bulgaria's Kiril Georgiev - though did beat his fellow compatriot Veselin Topalov 3-1 to take fifth place in the tournament.

The semi-final line-up will now see Geogiev playing Peter Leko, with Alexander Grischuk meeting Alexei Shirov.


Places 5-8: KARPOV 3-1 Topalov; Bacrot 0.5-1.5 AZMAIPARASHVILI. Places 9-12: Dreev 0.5-1.5 KHALIFMAN; Radjabov 1-3 ANAND. Places 13-16: Zhu Chen 0-2 LAUTIER; IVANCHUK 1.5-0.5 Short.


Z Azmaiparashvili - V Anand
FIDE Grand Prix (2.4), Modern Benoni

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 d5 d6 5 Nc3 exd5 6 cxd5 g6 7 Bf4 Bg7 8 e3 0-0 9 Be2 Re8 10 Nd2 Na6 11 Nc4 Ne4 12 Nxe4 Rxe4 13 Bg3 Rxc4 14 Bxc4 b5 15 Be2 Bxb2 16 0-0 Bxa1 17 Qxa1 Nc7 18 e4 f6 19 f4 b4 20 Bh4 Ne8 21 e5 Qd7 22 e6 Qe7 23 Bb5 Bb7 24 Bxe8 Rxe8 25 Bxf6 Qf8 26 Rd1 Bxd5 27 Rxd5 Rxe6 28 Bg5 Qe8 29 Rd1 Re2 30 Bh6 Qe3+ 31 Kh1 Qc3 32 Qxc3 bxc3 33 f5 c2 34 Rc1 d5 35 Kg1 d4 36 Kf1 d3 37 Re1 d2 38 Kxe2 gxf5 39 Kxd2 Kf7 40 Kxc2 1-0

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5 April, 2002

IT looks as if Zhu Chen's opening round upset in the FIDE Grand Prix in Dubai of beating top seed Ruslan Ponomariov has put the 26-year-old woman's world champion into the record books - for the first time in the history of any sport let alone chess, she has defeated her male counterpart.

The only female player in the 32-player field in Dubai, Zhu's reward after her stunning performance is a second round meeting with the wily old fox himself, former world champion Anatoly Karpov.

In the second half of the first round, the biggest casualty was world number four Alexander Morozevich. Fresh from his victory in Monaco at the Amber tournament, Morozevich had an epic five-game tussle with fellow Russian Alexander Grischuk - Grischuk going through by virtue of the fact that in the fifth sudden-death game, Black only needs to draw to win, which he did.

Another epic tussle was the match-up of good friends Nigel Short and the former three-time Russian Champion Peter Svidler. Despite the legendary friendship off the board, on the board there was no love lost as Short progressed to the next round with 3-2 win.


Round 1 (second half): A Grischuk 2.5-2.5 A Morozevich; S Jasim 0.5-1.5 T Radjabov; E Bareev 1-3 V Ivanchuk; J Ehlvest 1.5-2.5 E Bacrot; P Svidler 2-3 N Short; A Shirov 1.5-0.5 M Othman; Z Azmaiparashvili 1.5-0.5 S Belkhodja; V Anand 1.5-0.5 M Taleb


N Short - P Svidler
FIDE Grand Prix (1.4), Ruy Lopez

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3 0-0 9 h3 Na5 10 Bc2 c5 11 d4 Qc7 12 Nbd2 cxd4 13 cxd4 Nc6 14 d5 Nb4 15 Bb1 a5 16 a3 Na6 17 b4 axb4 18 axb4 Bd7 19 Qb3 Qb7 20 Bd3 Bd8 21 Nf1 Bb6 22 Bg5 Nh5 23 Be7 Rfe8 24 Bxd6 Bxh3 25 Bxe5 Qd7 26 N1h2 Bxg2 27 Kxg2 Rxe5 28 Nxe5 Nf4+ 29 Kh1 Qh3 30 Rg1 Bd4 31 Bc2 Bxe5 32 Qxh3 Nxh3 33 Ng4 Bxa1 34 Rxa1 Nc7 35 Rxa8+ Nxa8 36 Kg2 Nf4+ 37 Kf3 g5 38 d6 Nb6 39 Nf6+ Kg7 40 e5 h6 41 Bf5 Kf8 42 Ke4 h5 43 Nh7+ Ke8 44 Nxg5 Nfd5 45 d7+ Ke7 46 Nxf7 1-0

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4 April, 2002

CHESS is getting faster and younger these days. Rapid and blitz tournaments, which should in theory favour the younger generation, seem likely to be more numerous and with a higher profile than ever before.

The average age of the competitors in the inaugural FIDE Grand Prix in Dubai, which started yesterday, was drastically reduced with the inclusion of the latest Ukrainian prodigy, 12-year old Sergey Karjakin. With a convincing score of 5.5/6, he made his debut on the world chess stage after winning the face-to-face challenge among the four Internet qualifiers to take one of the two places in the star-studded tournament.

However, Karjakin only got as far as the first round proper of the rapidplay knockout tournament with the $102,000 prize fund, after he was easily outplayed by Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov, who won the match-up 2-0 to progress to the next stage.

The big sensation of the opening round, however, was the "battle of the sexes" showdown as women's World Champion Zhu Chen defeated the current World Champion and No.1 seed, Ruslan Ponomariov.

And, with tournament veteran and former world champion Anatoly Karpov, now 50, winning a sudden death playoff against Loek Van Wely, suddenly the average age of the tournament has shot back up again for the next round!

The tournament is split into two halves, and the rest of the first round games, involving the likes of Vishy Anand, Vassily Ivanchuk, Nigel Short, Alexei Shirov and Teimour Radjabov took place yesterday.


Round 1: Zhu Chen 1.5-0.5 R Ponomariov; A Karpov 2.5-1.5 L Van Wely; Ye Jiangchuan 0-2 A Dreev; K Georgiev 1.5-0.5 P Nikolic; J Lautier 1.5-0.5 M Novik; V Topalov 2-0 S Karjakin.


S Karjakin - V Topalov
FIDE Grand Prix (1.2), Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 d6 4 d4 cxd4 5 Qxd4 Bd7 6 Bxc6 Bxc6 7 Nc3 Nf6 8 Bg5 e6 9 0-0-0 Be7 10 Rhe1 0-0 11 Qd2 h6 12 Bf4 e5 13 Bg3 Rc8 14 Kb1 b5 15 Qe2 b4 16 Nd5 Nxd5 17 exd5 Bd7 18 Nd2 Qc7 19 Rc1 Bf5 20 Ka1 Qa5 21 f4 Qxd5 22 Nf1 Be6 23 Qa6 exf4 24 Bxf4 Bf6 25 Red1 Qe4 26 Bxd6 Rxc2 27 Rb1 Qxg2 28 Rd2 Rxd2 29 Nxd2 Qxd2 30 Bxf8 Kxf8 31 Qxa7 g5 32 a3 Kg7 33 Qa5 Ba2 0-1

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3 April, 2002

IT turned out to be third-time lucky for top seed Bogdan Lalic, as the two-time former finalist won the 4th Redbus Knockout tournament at Southend over the Easter weekend.

Sixteen of the UK's top players, including Scots Jonathan Rowson and Colin McNab, battled it out for the 7,500(UK) prize fund. However Lalic, who lost in the inaugural 1999 final to Jim Plaskett, and also the following year to Michael Adams, was by far the most experienced knockout player in the event, and his route to the final included an impressive semi-final victory over Rowson.


Bogdan Lalic

Bogdan Lalic


The former Croatian, who now plays under the English flag, made no mistake in this year's event with a convincing performance to beat Chris Ward 1.5-0.5 to take the 2,000(UK) first prize - his victory making him the only player in the tournament to be undefeated.


Bogdan Lalic

Cliff Stanford


The tournament is the brainchild of Cliff Stanford, one of the original Internet entrepreneurs. After forming Demon Internet in 1992 with just (UK)20,000, he made his fortune by selling it on to Scottish Telecom in 1998 for (UK)66 million, and in the process formed Redbus Investments, earmarking 15 million to back innovative high-tech ideas. Sadly, however, it looks as if this will be the last Redbus tournament.


Round 1: B Lalic 3-1 A Matros; M Turner 2.5-1.5 J Levitt; J Rowson 1.5-0.5 A Martin; N Davies 1.5-0.5 J Emms; C Ward 3.5-2.5 M Chandler; P Wells 1.5-0.5 N Pert; L McShane 1.5-0.5 J Plaskett; A Summerscale 3.5-2.5 C McNab. Quarter-final: Lalic 1.5-0.5 Turner; Rowson 3-2 Davies; Ward 1.5-0.5 Wells; McShane 3-1 Summerscale. Semi-final: Lalic 1.5-0.5 Rowson; Ward 3-1 McShane. Final: Lalic 1.5-0.5 Ward.


B Lalic - J Rowson
Redbus Knockout (3.2), Slav Defence

1 Nf3 d5 2 d4 Bf5 3 c4 e6 4 Nc3 c6 5 Qb3 Qb6 6 c5 Qc7 7 Bf4 Qc8 8 Nh4 Bg4 9 h3 Bh5 10 g4 Be7 11 Bg3 Bg6 12 Nxg6 hxg6 13 e4 Nf6 14 exd5 Nxd5 15 Ne4 Nf6 16 Nxf6+ Bxf6 17 0-0-0 a5 18 h4 Na6 19 Bc4 a4 20 Qe3 Nb4 21 f4 Qd7 22 Kb1 Nd5 23 Qf3 b5 24 cxb6 Nxb6 25 Bd3 0-0 26 g5 Bxd4 27 h5 Rfb8 28 hxg6 Nd5 29 gxf7+ Kf8 30 Rh8+ Ke7 31 Re8+ Rxe8 32 fxe8Q+ Qxe8 33 Be4 Ba7 34 f5 Qf7 35 Qa3+ Ke8 36 Qxa4 Qb7 37 Bxd5 exd5 38 Rxd5 Bd4 39 Qxd4 cxd5 40 Qe5+ Kf8 41 Qe6 Qf7 42 Bd6+ Kg8 43 g6 1-0

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02 April, 2002

THE inaugural event of FIDE's World Chess Grand Prix gets underway today at the Al-Bustan Hotel in Dubai, with a star-studded line-up headed by the new FIDE world champion, Ruslan Ponomariov.

The 32-player field battling it out for the prize fund of $106,000 also includes Vassily Ivanchuk, Vishy Anand, Aleexei Shirov, Alexander Morozevich, Veselin Topalov, Anatoly Karpov, Nigel Short and Teimour Radjabov.

Four other Grand Prix's have been announced for this year, and they include Russia (12-19 May), India (9-16 July), Croatia (2-9 August) and Brazil (9-16 September). The overall winner will be crowned the Grand Prix winner with an extra cash bonus.

FIDE has legitimised the use of qualifying tournaments via the Internet for their world chess championship, and have done so again for all of the FIDE Grand Prix events this year.

The top four players from the first online qualifying tournament were the Russian trio of Maxim Novik, Nugzar Zeliakov, Genrikh Chepukaitis, and the final player being a certain 12-year old from the Ukraine, Sergey Karjakin, who only a few months ago set a record for being the youngest player to ever achieve a grandmaster norm.

All four met each other face-to-face on the eve of the first Grand Prix in Dubai, with the top two going through to the Grand Prix. It looks as if Karjakin is set to make a name for himself here also as one of the qualifiers, as after the first two games he leads with 2/2!


S Karjakin - R Singh Sandhu
FIDE Internet Qualifier, Petroff's 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 Be2 0-0 10 Nc3 Bf5 11 a3 Nxc3 12 bxc3 Nc6 13 cxd5 Qxd5 14 Re1 Bf6 15 Bf4 Na5 16 Qa4 b6 17 Rad1 Be6 18 Bd3 c6 19 c4 Qh5 20 Qc2 b5 21 cxb5 cxb5 22 Qc5 Qxc5 23 dxc5 Nc4 24 a4 Nb2 25 axb5 Nxd1 26 Rxd1 Rfd8 27 Bd6 Rac8 28 Kf1 g6 29 Be2 Re8 30 Nd4 Bd5 31 Nc6 Bxc6 32 bxc6 Rxc6 33 Bb5 Rec8 34 Bxc6 Rxc6 35 Ke2 Bg7 36 Kd3 Bf8 37 Ke4 Ra6 38 Rd2 Bh6 39 Rc2 f5+ 40 Kd5 Kf7 41 c6 Ra5+ 42 Kc4 1-0

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01 April, 2002

JUST a few weeks after the worst performance of his career which saw him coming rock bottom in Cannes, Alexander Morozevich has bounced back in dazzling style on the French Riviera with a sparkling first in Monaco at the 11th Melody Amber tournament.

The Amber tournament, sponsored by Dutch multi-millionaire Joop Van Oosterom as a birthday tribute to his daughter of the same name, features the unique blend of rapid chess, blindfold chess and a hefty prize fund of $193,000. Apart from the notable exception of world no.1 Garry Kasparov, almost all of the world's elite have played in this novelty event, although few these days practise the art of blindfold chess - Kasparov's main objection to playing in the tournament.

Making his debut in the tournament, Morozevich suddenly found a hidden talent for the art of blindfold chess. Conceding just four draws, Morozevich won the blindfold section with an unbeaten score of 9/11; Alexei Shirov taking second on 8/11, and Peter Leko third on 7/11.

In the rapid section, Boris Gelfand took first with 7.5/11; Veselin Topalov second on 7/11, and Vassily Ivanchuk third on 7/11. With Morozevich only coming seventh with 6/11, his high, winning score in the blindfold section gave him the lion's share of the prize fund as he took the overall title and the blindfold title.


Final standings (combined): 1 A Morozevich (Russia) 15/22; 2 A Shirov (Spain) 14.5; 3 P Leko (Hungary) 13.5; 4 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 13; 5-7 B Gelfand (Israel), V Topalov (Bulgaria), E Bareev (Russia) 12; 8 V Kramnik (Russia) 11; 9-10 Z Almasi (Hungary), J Piket (The Netherlands) 9; 11 L Van Wely (The Netherlands) 6; 12 L Ljubojevic (Yugoslavia) 5.


J Piket - A Morozevich
Amber Blindfold (9), English Opening

1 Nf3 Nc6 2 g3 e5 3 d3 g6 4 Bg2 Bg7 5 0-0 h6 6 c4 d6 7 Nc3 Nf6 8 Rb1 a5 9 a3 0-0 10 b4 axb4 11 axb4 Be6 12 b5 Ne7 13 Nd2 c6 14 Bb2 Qc7 15 Qb3 Nd7 16 Ra1 Nc5 17 Qb4 Nf5 18 Nce4 Nd7 19 Rfb1 Rfc8 20 h3 Bf8 21 Qb3 Rxa1 22 Bxa1 d5 23 bxc6 bxc6 24 cxd5 cxd5 25 Nc3 d4 26 Nd5 Qc2 27 Rd1 Qc5 28 Qc4 Nd6 29 Qxc5 Rxc5 30 Nb4 Ra5 31 Nc6 Ra2 32 Kf1 Nb5 33 Nf3 Bd6 34 Rc1 Nc5 (Nb3 wins) 0-1

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