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The Scotsman

Chess News May 2002

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31st May, 2002

SARAJEVO occupies a special place on the world chess map. Apart from a ten-year gap in its long run when the town suffered badly during the Balkans war, thirty-two tournaments have been held there since the inaugural event in 1957 won by Stojan Puc.

Among those that have played in the tournament are world champions like Tal, Petrosian, Spassky and Kasparov, and candidates for the world crown such as Keres, Bronstein, Gligoric, Larsen, Portisch, Polugaevsky and Korchnoi. This rich chess tradition makes Sarajevo the third longest-running international tournament behind famous events such as Hastings (77) and Wijk aan Zee (64).

And, since 1978, the organising committee of the event which the tournament is named after has been the triple European Club Champions Bosna Chess Club, under the patronage of the Federations of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH), the Canton of Sarajevo and the town of Sarajevo. The attractive line-up of this year's category 16 event (average rating 2628), running 22-31 May, is: Alexei Shirov (Spain), Ilya Smirin (Israel), Alexey Dreev (Russia), Kiril Georgiev (Bulgaria), Ivan Sokolov (BIH), Sergey Movsesian (Czech Rep), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), Zdenko Kozul (Croatia), Bojan Kurajica (BIH) and Emir Dizdarevic (BIH).

After a slow start, top seed and favourite Shirov finally produced the fireworks with an impressive sixth round victory over Dreev to join early leaders Movsesian and Sokolov in first place. Now going into the final round of the tournament, Shirov and Movsesian hold the joint lead on 5/8 and must play each other in what could be a decisive, last round game.


A Shirov - A Dreev
Bosnia 2002 (6), Semi-Slav Meran

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nf3 e6 5 e3 Nbd7 6 Bd3 dxc4 7 Bxc4 b5 8 Bd3 Bb7 9 0-0 a6 10 e4 c5 11 d5 Qc7 12 dxe6 fxe6 13 Bc2 Bd6 14 Ng5 Nf8 15 f4 0-0-0 16 Qe1 e5 17 Nd5 Bxd5 18 exd5 exf4 19 a4 b4 20 Qe2 c4 21 b3 h6 22 Ne6 Nxe6 23 dxe6 Nd5 24 bxc4 Nc3 25 Qf3 Qb7 26 Qh3 Kb8 27 Kh1 Qc7 28 Bb2 Be5 29 Rae1 Bf6 30 Bg6 Qxc4 31 Qf3 Be7 32 Rc1 Rc8 33 Bxc3 bxc3 34 Rb1+ Bb4 35 Rxb4+ Qxb4 36 Rb1 Qxb1+ 37 Bxb1 g5 38 h4 Rc5 39 Qd3 1-0

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30th May, 2002

THE recent 2nd NAO Masters in Paris, which featured the world's leading shogi player Yoshiharu Habu, also had the added attraction of a famous player who was equally gifted in music as he was in chess: former world seniors champion and USSR champion Mark Taimanov, a highly gifted pianist who celebrated international success in the concert halls with his first wife, Lyubov Bruk.

A couple of years ago Philips introduced the music series "Great Pianists of the 20th Century" (volume 15) which featured for the first time in the West a double album of the piano duets of Bruk (who died in 1996) and Taimanov, taken from recordings when the duo were at their height between 1959 and 1968.

Sadly the partnership, both personally and professionally, ended in the early seventies just prior to their debut in the West. It's argued that this may have been due to the enormous pressures placed upon Taimanov, who at the time had to play Bobby Fischer in an ill-fated Candidates match.

Taimanov soon fell from favour with the Soviet authorities following his 6-0 drubbing at the hands of a rampant Fischer, who went on to take the world crown from the Soviets in 1972 after beating Boris Spassky. "At least I still have my music," said Taimanov at the time when the Soviet authorities stripped him of his chess privileges (which included his monthly salary) and barring him from playing outside the USSR.


M Taimanov - T Serafimov
2nd NAO Masters (6), English Opening

1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 g6 3 d4 Nc6 4 dxe5 Nxe5 5 b3 Bg7 6 Bb2 Ne7 7 g3 0-0 8 Bg2 d6 9 Qd2 Nf5 10 e4 Bh6 11 f4 Nh4 12 0-0-0 Nxg2 13 Qxg2 f5 14 Nf3 Qe8 15 Rhe1 fxe4 16 Nxe5 dxe5 17 Qxe4 Bg4 18 Nd5 Bxd1 19 Nxc7 Qe7 20 Qd5+ Qf7 21 Qxe5 Bg7 22 Qxg7+ Qxg7 23 Bxg7 Rfc8 24 Re7 Rxc7 25 Rxc7 Bf3 26 Be5 h5 27 Rg7+ Kf8 28 Rxg6 Kf7 29 Rd6 h4 30 Kd2 Rg8 31 Rd7+ Ke6 32 Rg7 Rxg7 33 Bxg7 h3 34 Ke3 Bd1 35 b4 a6 36 Kd4 Kf5 37 Be5 Be2 38 a4 Bd1 39 a5 Be2 40 Kc5 Ke4 41 b5 Kf3 42 f5 Ke4 43 f6 Bh5 44 Kd6 1-0

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29th May, 2002

JUST as Rudyard Kipling would have it in The Ballad of East and West that "never the twain shall meet", likewise on the chess scene the East and West of Scotland Championships traditionally never clash by being played over consecutive weekends.

This week it is the turn of the West, held over the weekend at Clarkston Halls in the south-side of Glasgow. With three former Scottish Champions - IMs Roddy MacKay, Steve Mannion and John Shaw - among the line-up, there was sure to be a tough fight among the triumvirate for the trophy.

The pendulum swung firmly in favour of Cathcart's Steve Mannion, after a fourth round victory over fellow team-mate Roddy MacKay gave the former a crucial half-point lead going into the final round. And, with Mannion having much the better of a last round draw against John Shaw, he easily secured his fourth West of Scotland title.

As titled players and former champions are exempt from needing to qualify for the Scottish Championships (6-14 July, in Stirling), Alan Grant therefore takes the qualifying spot from the West. For enquiries regarding the Scottish, please contact George Anderson on 0131-447-2149, or at G1ANDERSON@aol.com.

Championship: 1 IM S Mannion (Cathcart) 4.5/5; 2-3 IM J Shaw (Kilmarnock), A Grant (Cathcart) 4. Challengers: 1-2 B Henderson (Bellshill), A Ahmed (Renfrew) 4.5/5. Seniors: 1-2 J Parks (Cumbernauld), R Yates (Irvine) 4/5.


S Mannion - E Davis
West of Scotland Ch. (3), Sicilian Richter-Rauzer

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 Bg5 e6 7 Qd2 a6 8 0-0-0 Bd7 9 f3 Qc7 10 Bxf6 gxf6 11 Kb1 Ne5 12 f4 Nc4 13 Bxc4 Qxc4 14 f5 0-0-0 15 Qf2 Rg8 16 Nb3 Kb8 17 g3 Be7 18 Rhe1 Rc8 19 Rd4 Qc7 20 a4 Bc6 21 Red1 Qb6 22 a5 Qa7 23 Qd2 Bd7 24 Qh6 Rg5 25 Rxd6 Bxd6 26 Rxd6 Bc6 27 Qxf6 Rgg8 28 Rd4 exf5 29 Qxf5 Rgd8 30 Nd5 Bxd5 31 exd5 Rd6 32 Qf4 Rcd8 33 Nd2 Ka8 34 Nc4 Qc5 35 Nxd6 Rxd6 36 b4 Qc7 37 c4 Qd7 38 Qg4 Qa4 39 Qc8+ Ka7 40 Qc5+ Ka8 41 Kb2 Rf6 42 Rf4 Rxf4 43 gxf4 Qd1 44 Qe3 Qf1 45 d6 Qxc4 46 Qd2 1-0

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28th May, 2002

IN the far west of Germany in Essen on the Dutch border, Julian Borowski, an entrepreneur and chess fan, sponsors through his Electronics firm a top tournament which bears his name. His aim is simple: supporting and developing the game in Germany, particularly in the Essen region.

He also personally chooses the field each year himself, his only stipulation being that they must be great fighters at the board. This year's event - the fourth in the series - which ran from 16-25 May at the Astoria Hotel proved to be the strongest yet, with a ten-player all-play-all averaging 2634 (category 16) headed by Peter Leko and featuring the likes of Viktor Korchnoi, Michal Krasenkow and German champion Christopher Lutz.

However, the top seeds didn't have it all their own way. Russian GM Vadim Zviaginsev, world ranked No.41, who seldom gets the opportunity of such top class invitations, led the tournament from start to finish with his uncompromising brand of fighting chess, his unbeaten winning score of 7.5/9 proving to be the best result of his career - and one that should lead to more invites in the post.

Not only that, but Zviaginsev's winning score, which included six wins and three draws, gave the young Muscovite the extra satisfaction of turning in the best performance rating of the year with a TPR of 2905 - another such performance would be enough to instantly propel him into the world's top 20.


Final Standings: 1 V Zviaginsev (Russia) 7.5/9; 2 P Leko (Hungary) 7; 3-4 C Lutz (Germany), M Krasenkow (Poland) 5.5; 5-8 A Yusupov (Germany), V Korchnoi (Switzerland), D Fridman (Latvia), R Kasimzhdanov (Uzbekistan) 3.5; 9-10 T Luther, R Dautov (both Germany) 2.5.


V Korchnoi - V Zviaginsev
4th Borowski International (4), Semi-Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c6 4 Qb3 Nf6 5 Nf3 dxc4 6 Qxc4 b5 7 Qd3 Nbd7 8 e4 b4 9 Na4 Qa5 10 b3 c5 11 e5 Nd5 12 Bd2 Be7 13 Rc1 cxd4 14 Nxd4 Bb7 15 Qg3 0-0 16 Bh6 g6 17 Bxf8 Bxf8 18 Be2 Bh6 19 Rc2 Nf4 20 0-0 Bxg2 21 Qxg2 Nxg2 22 Nc6 Ne3 23 fxe3 Bxe3+ 24 Kg2 Qd5+ 25 Bf3 Qd3 26 Rb2 Qb5 27 Re1 Bg5 28 Rd1 Nb6 29 Nd4 Qe8 30 Nxb6 axb6 31 Bxa8 Qxa8+ 32 Nf3 Bf4 33 Kf2 Qe4 34 Re2 Qf5 35 h4 h6 36 Rg1 g5 37 hxg5 hxg5 38 Ree1 Kf8 39 Nd4 Qh3 40 Rg2 Qh4+ 41 Ke2 Bxe5 42 Nf3 Qe4+ 0-1

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27th May, 2002

CUBAN chess has been alive and well ever since the great Jose Raul Capablanca wrested the world crown from an aging, out-of-favour, Emanuel Lasker at Havana in 1921.

Capablanca, nicknamed "The Chess Machine", was perhaps the greatest natural talent the game has ever seen. The aura of invincibility surrounding him continued to grow as he dominated the game from the end of the First World War until 1927 when, due to complacency as he was similarly blessed by being bone idle, he lost the world title to Alekhine.

Unfortunately, Capablanca could never raise the funds for a return match to bring the title back home to Cuba, although he continued to play successfully in tournaments. And, of all the world champions, he must have suffered the lowest proportion of defeats in all his match and tournament games.

To this day he's still idolised in tiny chess-mad Cuba which, despite the economic sanctions, boasts more grandmasters for any other nation of its size. In 1962, twenty years after his death, the Cubans initiated a fitting tribute to better remember their fallen hero with the first Capablanca Memorial tournament in Havana.

Now, on the sixtieth anniversary of his death, the series has reached its 37th edition, ending in success for the Cubans with their new superstar Lazaro Bruzon - who along with Walter Arencibia has become the only Cubans since Capa to be crowned world champion, albeit the junior variety: Arencibia 1987, Bruzon 2000 - winning the category 13 event with an unbeaten score of 6/9. The tournament was an unreserved success for the hosts, who also took the next four places ahead of the invited foreigners: Lenier Dominghuez 5.5; Jesus Nogueiras and Reynaldo Vera 5; Walter Arencibia 4.5.


A Kogan - L Bruzon
Capablanca Memorial (3), Sicilian Scheveningen

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Nc3 Nc6 4 d4 cxd4 5 Nxd4 e6 6 g4 h6 7 Bg2 Bd7 8 Ndb5 Qb8 9 Bf4 e5 10 Nd5 exf4 11 Ndc7+ Kd8 12 Nxa8 Ne5 13 Nbc7 Bc6 14 Qd4 Nf6 15 0-0-0 Nfd7 16 Bf1 b6 17 Bb5 Bxb5 18 Nxb5 Qxa8 19 Nxd6 Qc6 20 Nf5 Kc8 21 Qd2 g6 22 Nd4 Qa4 23 Kb1 Nc4 24 Qxf4 Nxb2 25 Kxb2 Ba3+ 26 Kc3 Nc5 27 Rb1 Qa5+ 28 Kc4 Qa4+ 29 Kc3 Rd8 30 Rhd1 Qa5+ 31 Kc4 Qa4+ 32 Kc3 a6 33 Nc6 Nxe4+ 34 Qxe4 Qxe4 35 Nxd8 b5 36 Rd3 Be7 37 Rbd1 Qb4# 0-1

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24th May, 2002

THE Japanese game of shogi (the 'Generals Game'), played on a board of 9 x 9 with 20 flat counters, is believed to be derived from two forms of chess received from China or Korea, one AD c.800 and the other between about 1000 and 1200.

The game is similar in style to the western form of chess, though is thought to be more tactical and best described as being one vast middle-game with a much abbreviated opening and no endgame.

One of the biggest stars in the game is 31 year old Yoshiharu Habu, who by all accounts is regarded as the most gifted player ever of the ancient Japanese game. Habu is the only player to have ever won the seven most prestigious titles successively, and he has an outstanding record of 74% of victories over the entire span of his career.

He also happens to be a keen chess player, and a very good one at that. He was taught the game only seven years ago, and although he can devote very little time to it due to his busy schedule, last year he managed to achieve an IM norm - and only in his second (!) official tournament.

Habu was the main attraction of the 2nd NAO Masters in Paris; a ten-player category five tournament (2352) that includes former Russian Candidate Mark Taimanov. The Garry Kasparov of shogi finished well, ending the tournament on 50% with 4.5/9 - the same score as Taimanov.


Y Habu - C Marcelin
2nd NAO Masters (3), Berlin Defence

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 0-0 Nxe4 5 d4 Nd6 6 Bxc6 dxc6 7 dxe5 Nf5 8 Qxd8+ Kxd8 9 Nc3 Ke8 10 b3 a5 11 Bb2 Bb4 12 Ne4 a4 13 a3 Be7 14 b4 h5 15 Rad1 Be6 16 Rfe1 b6 17 Nfg5 Rd8 18 Rxd8+ Kxd8 19 Nxe6+ fxe6 20 c4 Kc8 21 Rd1 b5 22 c5 Rf8 23 Bc1 Nh4 24 f4 Nf5 25 g3 Rd8 26 Rxd8+ Kxd8 27 Kf2 Ke8 28 Bb2 Kf7 29 Kf3 Kg6 30 h3 Nh6 31 g4 hxg4+ 32 hxg4 Bd8 33 Bd4 Nf7 34 Ng3 Nh6 35 Ne2 Bh4 36 Bc3 Nf7 37 Nd4 Nd8 38 Bd2 Kf7 39 f5 exf5 40 Nxf5 g5 41 Nd4 Kg6 42 Ke4 Bf2 43 e6 Kf6 44 Bxg5+ 1-0

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23rd May, 2002

WITH Scottish victories on foreign soil few and far between in the chess world, it was nice to hear this week that Jonathan Rowson, the Scottish No.1, picked up “the glittering prizes” on offer after he turned in a memorable performance in the prestigious Pula Open 2002, which took place on May 12-19 in the Croatian coastal resort.

Rowson, who outplayed the tough Israeli GM Jacob Murey in the decisive final round, ended unbeaten in the strong 128-player tournament, scoring 7.5/9 to take outright victory ahead of 10 other Grandmasters – a remarkable result that gave the young Scot the winner’s trophy and first prize of €1,200.

The win bodes well for Rowson’s aim to be the first Scot to breach the magical 2600 Elo barrier. Rowson himself now estimates his Elo rating to be near to 2550 after his win in Pula – just 50 points short of his target. In an effort to further improve his game, and with it his rating, next week he heads over to Germany for an intense one week training course with former Candidate Artur Jussupow, Peter Leko’s trainer. Rowson is hoping that he’ll be able to further improve his technique with the one to one coaching on offer from the top trainer.

Unfortunately the reigning Scottish champion will not be able to defend his crown this summer in Stirling, as the 109th Scottish Championships clashes with the $200,000 World Open, in Philadelphia – a major American event that Rowson will also be playing in, and hopefully playing again to win!

And it looks as if we will have a long wait before the prodigal son returns again to play in Scotland. Rowson, who almost two years ago left the dreamy spires of Oxford with a first in philosophy, politics and economics, will be going back to University in Cambridge (Massachusetts!) this September, spending a year at Harvard studying psychology.


Pula Open: 1 GM J Rowson (Scotland) 7.5/9; 2 GM K Hulak (Croatia) 7; 3-8 GM J Murey (Israel), GM O Cvitan, GM N Sulava, GM M Cebalo (all Croatia), GM J Stocek (Czech Rep), IM N Ferec (Croatia) 6.5.


J Rowson – J Murey
Pula Open (9), Sicilian Nimzowitsch

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nc3 Nc6 4 d4 d5 5 exd5 Nxd5 6 dxc5 Nxc3 7 Qxd8+ Kxd8 8 bxc3 f6 9 Be3 e5 10 Bc4 Kc7 11 Nd2 Bf5 12 0–0–0 Be7 13 f3 Rad8 14 h4 Bc8 15 Ne4 h6 16 g4 h5 17 Rxd8 Nxd8 18 g5 Ne6 19 gxf6 gxf6 20 Rg1 Rh7 21 Rg8 Bd7 22 Bd5 Ng7 23 c4 Nf5 24 Bf2 Rg7 25 Rh8 Rg2 26 Rxh5 Ng7 27 Rh8 Ne6 28 Rh7 Ng7 29 Ng3 Bf8 30 Be1 Rg1 31 Kd2 f5 32 h5 Ne8 33 Be6 Nf6 34 Rf7 Rg2+ 35 Kd1 Bxc5 36 Rxf6 Ba4 37 Bxf5 Rg1 38 Ne4 Bb4 39 Nd2 Bc5 40 Ke2 Rg2+ 41 Kd3 Rg1 42 Ne4 1–0

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22nd May, 2002

IT'S that time of the year when the chess fraternity in Scotland starts the frantic countdown to the premier event of the domestic calendar, with the 109th Scottish Championships looming large on the horizon.

This year the peripatetic championship will be held in the new Scottish city of Stirling, running from 6-14th July at Wallace High School. All enquiries regarding entries can be obtained by contacting George Anderson, 39 Morningside Park, Edinburgh EH10 5EZ, or alternatively by email at G1ANDERSON@aol.com.

We need to go back as far as 1954 for the last time the championship was held in Braveheart country and the local Stirling Club, under the enthusiastic guidance of Tournament Director George Clark, have laid on a host of activities - both on and off the board - that looks set to make the eight-day event a hit.

As ever, a precursor to the Scottish is the qualifying events of the East and West of Scotland Championships held over consecutive weekends. Traditionally, first up is the East, which was played last weekend at Grangemouth Sports Complex.

With an unbeaten score of 4.5/5, Dundee's Ed Spencer led the tournament from start to finish, winning his first East of Scotland title; and in the process booking his place for this year's Scottish Championship.


Championship: 1 E Spencer (Dundee) 4.5/5, 2 I Robertson (Dunfermline) 4, G Wallace (Grangemouth) 3.5; Challengers: 1-2 M Roth (Perth), B Harrold (Oban) 4/5, 3-4 A Rose (Peterhead), W Clinton (Deans White) 3.5.


G Mackay - E Spencer
East of Scotland Ch. (5), Grand Prix Attack

1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 g6 3 f4 Bg7 4 Nf3 e6 5 Bc4 Nc6 6 a3 Nge7 7 d3 0-0 8 0-0 d5 9 Ba2 b6 10 Qe1 dxe4 11 dxe4 Ba6 12 Rf2 Nd4 13 Be3 Nec6 14 Rd1 Qe7 15 e5 Rad8 16 Bxd4 cxd4 17 Ne4 Kh8 18 Nd6 Rxd6 19 exd6 Qxd6 20 Qe4 Bb7 21 Nd2 Qc7 22 Qd3 Ne7 23 Ne4 Nf5 24 c3 Ne3 25 Rdd2 Ng4 26 Rf1 Bxe4 27 Qxe4 dxc3 28 bxc3 Qxc3 29 Qd3 Qc5+ 30 Kh1 Rc8 31 h3 Ne3 32 Re1 Nf5 33 Bb3 Qxa3 34 Qd7 Rf8 35 Rd3 Qb4 36 Rc1 Qxf4 37 Rc8 Qf1+ 38 Kh2 Be5+ 39 g3 Qf2+ 40 Kh1 Rxc8 0-1

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21st May, 2002

THE historic reunification pact signed earlier this month in Prague, led many insiders in the game to jokingly suggesting that peacemaker extraordinaire Yasser Seirawan could be a leading nominee for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, after successfully bringing the warring parties back together again.

At the very least his shuttle diplomacy efforts to end the bitter nine-year schism in the chess world has led to Yasser receiving plaudits from his own country. The Executive Board of the United States Chess Federations (USCF) has just announced that they have unanimously designated Seirawan, as winner of the "Organizer of the Year" award for 2002.

Yasser was named along with his America Foundation For Chess (formerly known as the Seattle Chess Foundation) in recognition of his individual peace-keeping skills as well as his work through the AFFC - in particular the salvaging of the doomed US Championships and the promoting of the game through the USA vs. China Summit Match held last year in Seattle. The USCF also named Seattle "Chess City of the Year" - along with Miami and New York City - in recognition of community support for chess activities in the city.

Unfortunately, though, when you move from being active player to organizer, the first thing to suffer is inevitably your chess-playing ability. Seirawan, who in the 1980s was one of the world's top players and one of the very few men to register victories over both Karpov and Kasparov in that decade, now finds the going tough these days when he competes in top tournaments - his diplomatic skills not leaving much room these days for serious preparation needed to compete at the top.

I suppose it was a blessing in disguise that he was knocked out in the first round of the Eurotel World Trophy in Prague - the early exit paving the way for the legendary Seirawan charm offensive that ultimately led to the Prague peace process. Seirawan took part in the knockout finals of the Dutch team championships, which this year was held in Enschede from 9-10 May. Of the four teams that qualified through to the final weekend of the competition, two were by far the strongest - Ordina and HSG - and duly proceeded to the final. Ordina - featuring Loek Van Wely, Ivan Sokolov, Jan Timman, Mikhail Gurevich and six others - defeated HSG - starring Jeroen Piket, Yasser Seirawan, Predrag Nikolic, Paul Van der Sterren etc - to take the title with ease after a resounding 6.5-3.5 victory.


I Sokolov - Y Seirawan
Dutch Team Playoffs (2), Queen's Gambit Exchange

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 Nbd7 5 cxd5 exd5 6 Bg5 h6 7 Bh4 Be7 8 e3 c6 9 Qc2 0-0 10 Bd3 Re8 11 Bg3 Nf8 12 h3 Be6 13 0-0 N6d7 14 Na4 a5 15 a3 b5 16 Nc5 Nxc5 17 dxc5 Nd7 18 Nd4 Bxc5 19 Nb3 Qb6 20 Rac1 Be7 21 Qxc6 b4 22 a4 Bf6 23 Qc2 Ne5 24 Bb5 Rec8 25 Qe2 Nc4 26 Nd4 Bxd4 27 exd4 Nd6 28 Bd3 Ne4 29 Bxe4 dxe4 30 Qxe4 Bb3 31 Rc7 Bxa4 32 Rfc1 Rd8 33 d5 Qf6 34 Be5 Re8 35 f4 Qd8 36 Qf3 Bd7 37 Qg3 f6 38 Rxd7 Qxd7 39 Rc7 Rad8 40 Rxd7 Rxd7 41 Bxf6 1-0

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20th May, 2002

IN what was seen as a major revamp to the 157-year history of the US Championships, the new organising body at the Seattle Chess Foundation opened the tournament up with a raft of innovative new ideas.

Apart from allowing a wider representation of the country to join the usual suspects by means of utilising some of the popular annual Open tournaments as qualifying events, it also became one of the few national championships in the world to allow women to compete alongside men in the same event. All of which helped to reinvigorate a major tournament.

The latest qualifying tournament for next year's championship, the Foxwoods Open in Connecticut, a 550-player event organised by Bill & Brenda Goichberg for the Continental Chess Association, ended in a six-way GM tie for first between Ilya Smirin, Alexander Goldin, Ildar Ibragimov, Gregory Kaidanov, Joel Benjamin and Giorgi Kacheishvili, who all scored 5.5/7, each sharing around $2,000 for their efforts.

American chess players can qualify for the U. S. Championship by being one of the top six eligible finishers in this or one of the following tournaments: the U.S. Open, the World Open, the National Open, the U.S. Masters, and the Chicago Open.

In addition to the 36 qualifiers, 20 other chess players are seeded into the U.S. Championship by virtue of their ratings or other notable accomplishments. The six qualifiers from the Foxwoods Open are GMs Maurice Ashley and Alex Stripunsky of New York, FIDE Masters Alan Bennett and Igor Foygel of Massachusetts, and International Masters Larry Kaufman of Maryland and Michael Mulyar of Colorado.

The event also produced another first for US Chess, with Brooklyn-based Maurice Ashley now becoming the first black player to qualify for the US Championships. Ashley, 36, who was born in Jamaica, has helped shatter stereotypes when in 1999 he achieved a lifetime's ambition by becoming the world's first African-American chess grandmaster, as well as by coaching championship school teams made up mostly of minority children from Harlem, in New York.

In one of the key games he needed to win to vie for one of the qualifying spots, Ashley turned in a solid performance to beat the reigning US Champion Larry Christiansen in the penultimate round.


M Ashley - L Christiansen
Foxwoods Open (6), Gurgenidze Variation

1 e4 g6 2 d4 Bg7 3 Nc3 c6 4 Nf3 d5 5 h3 Nf6 6 Bd3 dxe4 7 Nxe4 Nxe4 8 Bxe4 Bf5 9 Bxf5 Qa5+ 10 c3 Qxf5 11 0-0 Nd7 12 Re1 e6 13 Nd2 0-0 14 Nc4 Qd5 15 Ne3 Qd6 16 Qf3 Rae8 17 b3 c5 18 Qxb7 cxd4 19 cxd4 Bxd4 20 Rd1 Rd8 21 Qxa7 Bxa7 22 Rxd6 Nf6 23 Rxd8 Rxd8 24 Bb2 Ne4 25 Rd1 Ra8 26 Bd4 Bxd4 27 Rxd4 Nc3 28 Rc4 Nxa2 29 Ra4 Rxa4 30 bxa4 Nb4 31 Kf1 Kf8 32 Ke2 Ke7 33 Nc4 f6 34 Kd2 Kd7 35 Kc3 Nd5+ 36 Kd4 Kc6 37 Ne3 e5+ 38 Kc4 Nf4 39 h4 h5 40 a5 g5 41 g3 Nh3 42 g4 gxh4 43 gxh5 Nxf2 44 h6 Ne4 45 Nf5 Ng5 46 Nxh4 Nh7 47 Nf5 Ng5 48 Ne7+ Kb7 49 Kb5 e4 50 a6+ 1-0

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17th May, 2002

JUST to show that chess isn't just for child prodigies a la twelve-year old Sergei Karjakin yesterday, today we focus on Asia's first grandmaster Eugene Torre, who at 51 has become the oldest player to win the Philippine National Championship.

Regarded as a living-legend in his chess-mad homeland, Torre won the first of his many national titles in 1970 at the age of 19. He has dominated the Philippines chess scene for over three decades now, failing only twice (1990 and 2000) not to win championships he played in.

Torre shot to prominence in 1976 as a possible future title challenger after winning a strong 4-man tournament in Manila ahead of world champion Anatoly Karpov - thus becoming the first player to finish ahead of Karpov in a tournament since the later became world champion. The high-point of his career came in the early 1980s when he was ranked world No.17; successfully going on to qualify to be a candidate for the world championship after tying for first with Lajos Portisch during the 1982 Toluca Interzonal.

After losing his quarter-final candidates match to Zoltan Ribli in 1983, Torre became disillusioned with chess and more or less went into semi-retirement. He went on to become a minor celebrity due to his daily one hour TV programme "Chess Today", and was once voted one of the ten sexiest sportsmen in the Philippines - all of which ultimately led to a cameo spot in a movie.

He became one of the few trusted confidantes of Bobby Fischer, who in turn made Torre his official second for his 1992 return match with Boris Spassky that took place in war torn Yugoslavia. Fischer also relied on Torre in 1996 when the wayward American genius launched "Fischer Random Chess" in Argentina. One anecdote during this period has it that when Torre and Fischer boarded a taxi in Buenos Aires, the driver immediately recognised Torre as a chess player. As both were about to leave the taxi, the driver, not knowing who the other distinguished passenger was, asked Torre: "Whatever happened to that crazy guy Fischer?"

Now on the comeback trail, Torre got off to a bad start to this year's championships in Makhati with a score of 2/5. However Torre soon found his form of old with a string of impressive wins to once again take the crown with a final tally of 10.5/14.

The winning of the title now guarantees Torre top board in the forthcoming 2002 Bled Olympiad, as the Philippines always select the top six players from the National Championship to represent their country in the biennial team tournament.


E Torre - M Paragua
Philippines Ch. (8), Trompowsky Attack

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 f3 Qa5+ 5 c3 Nf6 6 Nd2 cxd4 7 Nb3 Qf5 8 Bxb8 Rxb8 9 Qxd4 b6 10 e4 Qf4 11 Nh3 Qc7 12 e5 Ng8 13 Ng5 e6 14 Ne4 Qc6 15 0-0-0 Be7 16 Qf2 a6 17 Nd6+ Bxd6 18 Rxd6 Qc7 19 Qg3 g6 20 Nd2 Bb7 21 Bd3 Ne7 22 Be4 Nc6 23 h4 b5 24 h5 Rg8 25 hxg6 hxg6 26 Rh7 b4 27 c4 Qa5 28 Bxc6 Bxc6 29 Rxc6 dxc6 30 Ne4 b3 31 Nd6+ Kd8 32 Qg5+ Kc7 33 Rxf7+ Kb6 34 Qe3+ c5 35 Qxb3+ Qb4 36 Qd1 Ka5 37 b3 Qc3+ 38 Kb1 Qxe5 39 Rd7 g5 40 Ne4 Rb4 41 a3 1-0

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16th May, 2002

THE latest Ukrainian wunderkind, Sergei Karjakin, looks set to smash a world-record that has a heritage line dating back to the great Bobby Fischer.

Karjakin, aged 12, looks odds on to become the youngest grandmaster ever after gaining his second GM norm. Playing amongst a category 8 (2427) field consisting of Ukrainians, Russians and Armenians at the Alushta 100 tournament in the Ukraine, Karjakin scored 9.5/13 to share first equal in the tournament with GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko.

In the 1950s, Fischer, six months shy of his sixteenth birthday, went into the history books by becoming the world's youngest chess grandmaster. It was a record that was to stand for over 30 years until it was broken by Judit Polgar, the world's strongest female player, at the age of 15 years and 4 months.

A few other prodigies have since bettered Polgar's amazing feat, notably another young Ukrainian Ruslan Ponomariov, who gained the coveted title at 14 and went on earlier this year to be crowned FIDE world champion (with the aide of Karjakin who was one of his official trainers during the Ponomariov-Ivanchuk FIDE clash in January) at the age of 18.

China's Bu Xiangzhi presently holds the record at the age of 13 years, 10 months and 13 days, which was set in 1999. However, at the relentless pace now being set by Karjakin after he gained his first norm at the ultra-strong Moscow Aeroflot Open in January, the youngster could have his third and final norm well before his thirteenth birthday next January.

There surely can't be many schoolboys out there who can claim to have been a grandmaster AND an official trainer to a world champion during a title match - and before reaching his teens!


V Shtyrenkov - S Karjakin
Alushta-100, English Opening

1 c4 e5 2 g3 Nc6 3 Bg2 g6 4 Nc3 Bg7 5 Rb1 a5 6 a3 d6 7 b4 axb4 8 axb4 f5 9 b5 Nce7 10 d3 Nf6 11 e3 0-0 12 Nge2 c6 13 Qb3 Be6 14 Ba3 g5 15 0-0 Kh8 16 Ra1 Ng4 17 h3 f4 18 Ne4 f3 19 Bxf3 Rxf3 20 Nxg5 Rf6 21 Nxe6 Rxe6 22 hxg4 Qe8 23 Kg2 Qg6 24 f3 Rf8 25 e4 Ref6 26 Bc1 Bh6 27 Qb2 Bxc1 28 Qxc1 cxb5 29 cxb5 d5 30 Ra7 Qf7 31 Rxb7 Rxf3 32 Rxe7 Rf2+ 33 Rxf2 Qxf2+ 34 Kh3 Qxe2 35 Qh6 Qf1+ 36 Kh4 Qh1+ 0-1

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15th May, 2002

AS another successful season comes to an end for the 4NCL, so too does a significant landmark in the League's history with the final weekend producing the one hundredth round since its inaugural meeting at the Barbican in London on October 2nd, 1993.

What started off as an experiment by 4NCL founder Chris Dunworth with just six teams to see if a professional league - modelled on the highly-successful German Bundesliga - could work in the UK has now become, with steady expansion to three divisions and 36 teams, an institution by being one of the most prestigious team tournaments in the country.

Sadly the final weekend also saw the end of a fine 4NCL tradition with the hosting of the event at the central venue of the Birmingham Grand Moat House hotel. It's reported in the local "Birmingham Post" that the Moat House Group intends closing the Colmore Row hotel this coming August; the League Management Board now in an advance stage of locating a new home for the popular event for the start of the new season.

Despite the change in venue, the rich tradition of the 4NCL will undoubtedly continue under the reliable Chairmanship of former British Champion Paul Littlewood, one of a dedicated team behind the League's growing success. Not just an administrator, Paul, who plays for Wood Green in Division One, also holds the league record with 94 appearances out of a possible 101; giving the popular Chairman of the Board a performance score of won 33, drawn 37 and lost 24 and a grand total of 51.5 points.


P Littlewood - J Parker
4NCL (11), Queen's Gambit Accepted

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 e3 Bb7 5 Bd3 d5 6 0-0 dxc4 7 Bxc4 a6 8 Qe2 c5 9 Nc3 b5 10 Bb3 Nbd7 11 Rd1 Qb8 12 d5 exd5 13 Nxd5 Nxd5 14 Bxd5 Bxd5 15 Rxd5 Be7 16 e4 Qb7 17 Bg5 Nb6 18 Rf5 f6 19 Bh4 Qd7 20 Qc2 0-0 21 e5 Rad8 22 exf6 gxf6 23 Re1 Nc8 24 Rf4 Qd5 25 b3 Rf7 26 h3 Rdf8 27 Rfe4 Kh8 28 Qc1 Qh5 29 Qc3 Qf5 30 Qe3 Bd8 31 Bg3 Rg8 32 Re6 c4 33 bxc4 bxc4 34 Rc6 Ba5 35 Rc5 Nd6 36 Rxf5 Nxf5 37 Qe6 Rfg7 38 Qxf5 1-0

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14th May, 2002

SINCE the inception of the UK's only professional chess league in 1993, teams from England, Wales and Ireland have competed in the 4 Nations Chess League (4NCL) - yet the name is a bit of a misnomer as no Scottish team has ever played in the competition.

Despite the lack of a Scottish team, there's certainly been no shortage of Scots playing in the competition with many of the 4NCL teams enlisting the services of some our best players to their ranks.

The top Scot in the competition this year was Scottish champion Jonathan Rowson, 25, who regularly plays on one of the top three boards for Guildford-ADC. Last season he scored a creditable 6.5/9, his only defeat coming at the hands of the then world number four Alexander Morozevich. This season, Rowson went one better with a solid draw with the highly-rated young Russian to turn in an unbeaten score of 8/11 - a performance that will once again help to boost his ELO rating.

Since graduating from Oxford over eighteen months ago, Rowson has found time to concentrate on and improve his game, the result of which has seen him extend his lead as the top Scot in the latest FIDE world rating list, published just last month. Rowson, now rated 2527, is eager to become the first Scot to break the 2600 barrier which would put him in the world top 100.


A Morozevich - J Rowson
4NCL (10), Sicilian Sozin

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 Nf6 4 Nc3 cxd4 5 Nxd4 a6 6 Bc4 e6 7 Bb3 b5 8 0-0 Be7 9 Qf3 Qc7 10 Qg3 Nc6 11 Nxc6 Qxc6 12 Re1 Bb7 13 a3 Rd8 14 a4 0-0 15 axb5 axb5 16 Bh6 Ne8 17 Ra7 Kh8 18 Be3 Nf6 19 f3 Ra8 20 Rxa8 Rxa8 21 Ne2 b4 22 Nd4 Qc8 23 Qf2 Bf8 24 Bg5 Ra5 25 Bd2 d5 26 e5 Nd7 27 c3 bxc3 28 Bxc3 Ra6 29 Bc2 Qa8 30 Qh4 h6 31 Kf2 Kg8 32 Qf4 Qa7 33 Qe3 Qb6 34 h4 Qd8 35 g3 h5 36 Kg2 g6 37 Nb5 Qb6 38 Qxb6 Rxb6 39 Nd4 Bb4 40 Kf2 Bxc3 41 bxc3 Ba6 42 g4 hxg4 43 fxg4 Rb2 44 Kg3 Nc5 45 Re3 Bc4 46 h5 g5 47 Kh3 draw

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13th May, 2002

ON the last ceremonial weekend of a tumultuous 4NCL season at the Grand Hotel Birmingham, perennial bridesmaids Wood Green pulled out all the stops in the unlikely hope of a Beeson Gregory slip-up that would give the North London club their first-ever Division one title.

Yet, despite strengthening their squad with seven very strong grandmasters - including the jetting in of Russia's Alexander Morozevich and former title challenger Nigel Short - for three emphatic 7-1 victories, Wood Green could only watch on as defending champions Beeson Gregory matched their rivals result for result in the last three rounds to regain their Championship title by a slender one-point margin.

Both teams were neck and neck in the title race until the two met in their round six showdown, when Wood Green, who have been runners-up in the title race three of the last four seasons, narrowly lost to Beeson Gregory in a tight match that ultimately proved decisive in the title chase - despite a valiant effort from Wood Green's second team to open up the race in round seven by holding Beeson Gregory to a 4-4 draw.

Division 1: 1 Beeson Gregory I 21/22; 2 Wood Green I 20; 3 Guildford I 14; 4 Barbican I 14; 5 Bristol I 13; 6 Wood Green II 12; 7 Midland Monarchs 11; 8 Slough I 9; 9 Barbican II 7. Relegated: 10 Thistle White Rose 5; 11 Beeson Gregory II 4; 12 Wessex 2.

On top board for Beeson Gregory, Dr John Nunn proved a formidable force with an unbeaten score of 5/7.


P Wells - J Nunn
4NCL (11), Trompowsky Attack

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 f3 Qa5+ 5 c3 Nf6 6 d5 Qb6 7 Bc1 e6 8 c4 exd5 9 cxd5 d6 10 e4 g6 11 Na3 Nbd7 12 Nc4 Qc7 13 a4 Nb6 14 Na3 Bd7 15 a5 Nc8 16 Nb5 Qb8 17 Bg5 Bg7 18 e5 dxe5 19 d6 0-0 20 Nc7 Ne8 21 Nxa8 Nexd6 22 Ne2 Be6 23 Nc3 Qxa8 24 Be3 c4 25 Bc5 Qb8 26 Ne4 Nxe4 27 fxe4 Re8 28 Qa4 Rd8 29 Bxc4 Qc7 30 Bxe6 Qxc5 31 Bd5 Qe3+ 32 Kf1 Ne7 33 Qa3 Nxd5 34 exd5 Qf4+ 35 Ke2 Qe4+ 36 Kf2 Rc8 37 Qf3 Qd4+ 38 Kg3 e4 39 Qe2 Rc2 0-1

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9th May, 2002

ALTHOUGH the schism in world chess looks to have been resolved after the historic breakthrough in Prague on Monday, there are some major technical issues still to be resolved.

The agreement recognises FIDE as the "custodian and owner of the World Chess Championship title", while allowing "a license to manage professional chess as a profitable business" on FIDE's behalf.

Step forward Prague-based Dutch businessman Bessel Kok, CEO of Cesky Telecom, also a leading chess impresario of long-standing, who now has 90 days to draw up a business plan for a new body to administer the reunification world championship and beyond, which is to be named the Professional Chess Management Organisation.

Joining Kok in this enterprise will be a long-standing friend - Prague-based Canadian Serge Grimaux of TICKETPRO, who has over 30 years of experience in producing and promoting concerts for the likes of The Rolling Stones, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, The Pink Floyd, Madonna and U2.

Ever since they joined forces in 1998 with the first Eurotel Trophy tournament, Kok and Grimaux have added an extra dynamism to the normally staid image of chess - their mission being to create exciting events - usually built around Garry Kasparov - to allow the game to reach a wider audience.

And, if the pure professionalism associated with this year's Eurotel World Trophy run by the two Czechmates is anything to go by, the future of chess could be very, very exciting indeed!


J Polgar - G Kasparov
Eurotel World Trophy (2.1), Sicilian Sveshnikov

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e5 6 Ndb5 d6 7 Bg5 a6 8 Na3 b5 9 Bxf6 gxf6 10 Nd5 Bg7 11 c3 f5 12 Bd3 Ne7 13 Nxe7 Qxe7 14 0-0 0-0 15 Nc2 f4 16 a4 bxa4 17 Rxa4 Qg5 18 f3 Bf6 19 Bc4 Kh8 20 Rf2 Be7 21 Nb4 d5 22 Bxd5 Bc5 23 Bxa8 Rg8 24 Kf1 Bxf2 25 Ke2 Qxg2 26 Kd3 Be3 27 Bd5 Qxh2 28 Kc4 Rg1 29 Qd3 Bh3 30 Kb3 Bf1 31 Qc2 Qxc2+ 32 Kxc2 Kg7 33 c4 Be2 34 Rxa6 Bd1+ 35 Kd3 Bxf3 36 Nc6 Rd1+ 37 Kc3 Bg4 38 Nxe5 Bd4+ 39 Kc2 Bxe5 40 Ra7 Re1 41 Rxf7+ Kg6 42 c5 Re2+ 43 Kc1 f3 44 Bc4 Rxe4 45 Bd5 Rf4 0-1

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8th May, 2002

MONTHS of delicate negotiations and a shuttle diplomacy from former US champion Yasser Seirawan looks to have paid off in spectacular style, with a historic agreement being concluded at the end of the Eurotel World Trophy in Prague to finally reunify the Chess World.

With the Chess World bitterly split since Garry Kasparov sensationally split from FIDE in 1993 to form his own "privatised" world championship, the game has found it virtually impossible to co-exist with the obvious confusion created by two world champions and an undisputed world number one.

In-between the chess last week in Prague, meetings to finalise the deal was thrashed out, and only concluded on Monday after a six-hour meeting between the relevant warring factions. A Unity Plan was signed between FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, world number one Garry Kasparov and world champion Vladimir Kramnik that will finally lead to the game getting back to reality with just one undisputed World Champion - someone who crucially will be recognised by FIDE.

With compromises being made on all sides and with no overall winner in the done-deal, the intended path to peace involves Einstein TV going ahead this summer with their Dortmund cycle consisting of seven top grandmasters and the German champion Christopher Lutz - the winner then going forward to challenge Kramnik in a match for the Classical Chess World Championship.

Meanwhile, Kasparov will play a similar-styled match against the exciting young Ukrainian Ruslan Ponomariov, who earlier this year was crowned FIDE World Champion. The two match winners will then meet in reunification Classical Chess World Championship match, scheduled to be held for the October/November period of 2003.


A Khalifman - V Anand
Eurotel World Trophy (2.2), Queen's Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 Qb3 Nc6 6 Nbd2 d5 7 Qa4 Bb7 8 Bg2 Qd7 9 cxd5 exd5 10 0-0 Bd6 11 Nb1 Ne4 12 Ng5 Nxg5 13 Bxg5 Nd8 14 Qb3 c6 15 e4 Ne6 16 Be3 dxe4 17 Nc3 f5 18 Nxe4 fxe4 19 Bh3 Ke7 20 f3 Raf8 21 fxe4 Nxd4 22 Bg5+ Rf6 23 e5 Bxe5 24 Qe3 Qd5 25 Bg2 Qc5 26 Rae1 Kf7 27 Bxf6 Bxf6 28 g4 Ne6 29 Qxc5 bxc5 30 h4 h6 31 g5 hxg5 32 Bh3 Nf4 0-1

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7th May, 2002

A much-welcomed return to form for Vishy Anand has seen the Indian ace effortlessly glide through the opposition to win the Eurotel World Trophy in Prague after beating Anatoly Karpov 1.5-0.5, in the best of two-game final at the weekend.


Vishy Anand

Vishy Anand


In a repeat of their controversial FIDE knockout world championship in Lausanne 1998 (which Karpov won after being somewhat unfairly seeded to the final), Anand got off to the perfect start in the €500,000 event after winning game one with a nice combination.

In the second game, despite a spirited effort from former world champion Karpov to try to even the score and take the match into a playoff, Anand easily held out for a draw to take the title and trophy, which was presented to him at the closing ceremony at the Zofin Palace by Vaclav Klaus, Chairman of the Czech Parliament, and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the world chess federation, FIDE.

The result can be seen as a personal triumph and hopefully signs of a full recovery for the likeable Anand, who over the last eighteen months has seen his form dip with a dramatic slump that has threatened his world number three ranking.


V Anand – A Karpov
Eurotel World Trophy (5.1), 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 Re1 Re8 14 Bf4 dxc4 15 Bxc4 Bd6 16 Rxe8+ Qxe8 17 Ng5 Bg6 18 Bxd6 cxd6 19 h4 Qe7 20 Qg4 h6 21 Nh3 Qf6 22 Re1 Bf5 23 Qf3 Kf8 24 Nf4 Bd7 25 g3 Re8 26 Rxe8+ Bxe8 27 Qe4 g5 28 hxg5 Qxg5 29 Bd5 Bd7 30 Qh7 Qf6 31 Bxf7 Ne7 32 Bb3 Bf5 33 Nh5 Bxh7 34 Nxf6 Bg6 35 Ng4 Kg7 36 Ne3 Be4 37 g4 Kf6 38 Kh2 b6 39 Kg3 Kg5 40 Bf7 Kf6 41 Bc4 Kg5 42 Bb3 Kf6 43 f3 Bg6 44 f4 Be4 45 Bc4 Bc6 46 Bd3 Bb7 47 Kh4 Bf3 48 Nc4 Nd5 49 Kg3 Bd1 50 Nxd6 Nxc3 51 Nf5 Kg6 52 d5 Ba4 53 d6 Bd7 54 Kh4 a5 55 Ne3+ Kf7 56 Kh5 b5 57 Kxh6 Ke6 58 g5 Kxd6 59 g6 1–0

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6th May, 2002

THERE’S a Prague spring to the step of former world champion Anatoly Karpov, as the tournament veteran of the Eurotel World Trophy defies the age barrier and his seeding to win his way through to the final of the €500,000 event in the Czech Republic.


Anatoly Karpov

Anatoly Karpov


Karpov, 50, who replaced Bobby Fischer as world champion in 1975 before losing his crown ten years later in a bitter contest to Garry Kasparov, has turned in a vintage performance of old to defeat in successive rounds Nigel Short, world champion Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Morozevich, and now Alexei Shirov in the semi-final.

After sensationally beating second seed Kramnik, hopes were raised of the possibility of another Karpov-Kasparov match-up, but alas the alternative “K-K” final wasn’t to be as Karpov’s arch-rival Kasparov was also knocked out of the tournament; the number one seed sensationally losing in a sudden-death playoff in round three to Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk.

Meanwhile, with the favourites and top seeds being toppled, third seed Vishy Anand has been making steady progressing with some reassuring victories. The Indian ace opened his account with two 2-0 win over Jan Timman and Alexander Khalifman. In the quarter-finals, he beat Ivan Sokolov 1.5-0.5 for a semi-final meeting with Ivanchuk, whom he defeated 2.5-1.5 to also reach the final.

In contrast to all the other rounds which were rapidplay (25 minutes each), the best-of-two game final between Anand and Karpov will now change to classical chess, with both players having the luxury of two-hours each for 40 moves.


A Shirov – A Karpov
Eurotel World Trophy (4.3), Petroff Defence

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 d4 d5 6 Bd3 Be7 7 0–0 Nc6 8 c4 Nb4 9 Be2 0–0 10 Nc3 Bf5 11 a3 Nxc3 12 bxc3 Nc6 13 Re1 dxc4 14 Bxc4 Bd6 15 Ra2 Qd7 16 Ng5 Na5 17 Bd3 b5 18 Qf3 Bg6 19 Rae2 Nc4 20 a4 a6 21 h4 h6 22 Ne4 Rae8 23 h5 Bh7 24 axb5 axb5 25 Nf6+ (25 Bxh6!) gxf6 26 Bxh6 Rxe2 27 Rxe2 Bxd3 28 Qxd3 Re8 29 g3 Rxe2 30 Qxe2 Qe6 31 Qf3 Kh7 32 Bf4 f5 33 Bxd6 Nxd6 34 Qd1 Qe4 35 Qd2 f4 36 gxf4 Nf5 37 Qa2 Kg7 38 Qa6 Nh4 39 Kf1 Qd3+ 40 Kg1 Qf3 0–1

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3rd May, 2002

FORMER world champion Anatoly Karpov showed there was plenty of life left in the wily old fox yet, as he caused a major sensation in the second round of the Eurotel World Trophy in Prague to eliminate from the competition world champion and second seed, Vladimir Kramnik.

Karpov, who later this month turns 51, showed he’s still a force to reckon with as he turned in a vintage performance of old in beating Kramnik – a player who was only a couple of months old when Karpov himself was crowned world champion in 1975 – to progress to the quarterfinals of the €500,000 event.

And, with Garry Kasparov easily defeating the world’s top female player Judit Polgar in a veritable slugfest, the result now sets-up the intriguing possibility of the two old foes of Kasparov and Karpov, who between them dominated the game in the 1980s, meeting again in the best of two-game classical final at the weekend.

The only other seed to be eliminated in round two was the last British hope Michael Adams, seeded five, who lost to the twenty-first seeded Ivan Sokolov.


Round 2: Polgar 0-2 KASPAROV; IVANCHUK 1.5-0.5 Gelfand; ANAND 2-0 Khalifman; SOKOLOV 1.5-0.5 Adams; Kramnik 0.5-1.5 KARPOV; Grischuk 0-2 MOROZEVICH; Svidler 0.5-1.5 TOPALOV; Jussupow 0-2 SHIROV


Quarterfinal pairings: Kasparov v Ivanchuk, Sokolov v Anand, Morozevich v Karpov, Topalov v Shirov


A Karpov – V Kramnik
Eurotel World Trophy (2.2), Queen’s Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 Bb4+ 6 Bd2 Be7 7 Bg2 c6 8 Bc3 d5 9 Nbd2 Nbd7 10 0–0 0–0 11 Re1 c5 12 e4 dxe4 13 Nxe4 Bb7 14 Nfg5 cxd4 15 Bxd4 Nxe4 16 Nxe4 Qc7 17 Nc3 Rad8 18 Nd5 Bxd5 19 cxd5 e5 20 Rc1 Qb8 21 Bb2 Bc5 22 a3 a5 23 Rc4 f5 24 b4 axb4 25 axb4 Bd6 26 Qd2 e4 27 Rc6 Rde8 28 Bd4 Ne5 29 Rxb6 Qd8 30 Rxd6 Qxd6 31 Bc5 Qd7 32 Bxf8 Rxf8 33 Qd4 Qd6 34 b5 Rb8 35 Rb1 Rb6 36 h3 h6 37 g4 fxg4 38 Qxe4 gxh3 39 Bxh3 Rb8 40 Be6+ Kh8 41 b6 Nd7 42 Bxd7 Qxd7 43 Qe6 Qb7 44 Rc1 Qa6 45 Rc6 Rf8 46 Qe7 Rg8 47 b7 Qb5 48 Rc8 Qb1+ 49 Kh2 Qb2 50 Kg2 1–0

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2nd May, 2002

EINSTEIN GROUP world champion Vladimir Kramnik entered the fray in the group stages of the €500,000 Eurotel World Chess Trophy in Prague, and effortlessly progressed to the second round after a convincing 2-0 win over Zbynek Hracek of the Czech Republic.

The highlight of the round was the clash between former world champion Anatoly Karpov and the man who beat him in 1992 to stop the seemingly endless Karpov-Kasparov title matches, Nigel Short, who himself went on to lose to Kasparov in 1993. Karpov soon got his revenge over Short after the Englishman made a very costly finger-slip in a sharp opening, the mistake proving decisive as he lost in just twenty-moves. Karpov, 50, now has an intriguing second round clash with reigning world champion Kramnik.

As in the first day of the sell-out tournament, the seeds didn’t have it all their own way. The big upset of the day was the defeat of Russia’s Evgeny Bareev, who was knocked out by Germany’s Artur Jussupow. Bareev, the winner of the Corus Tournament in January, was seeded sixth in the tournament and Jussupow 27th.


Group B: Z Hracek (Czech Rep) 0-2 V KRAMNIK (Russia); A KARPOV (Russia) 1.5-0.5 N Short (England); V Tkachiev (France) 2-3 A GRISCHUK (Russia); A MOROZEVICH (Russia) 1.5-0.5 S Movsessian (Czech Rep).


Group C: V TOPALOV (Bulgaria) 2.5-1.5 V Milov (Switzerland); J Piket (Netherlands) 0-2 P SVIDLER (Russia); A SHIROV (Spain) 3-1 M Gurevich (Belgium); A JUSSUPOW (Germany) 1.5-0.5 E Bareev (Russia).


V Kramnik – Z Hracek
Eurotel World Trophy (1.2), Queen’s Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 Bb7 6 Bg2 Bb4+ 7 Bd2 c5 8 0–0 0–0 9 Bxb4 cxb4 10 Qd3 d5 11 Nbd2 Qe7 12 Rfc1 Nbd7 13 Ne5 Nxe5 14 dxe5 Nd7 15 cxd5 exd5 16 f4 Nc5 17 Qd4 Ne6 18 Qf2 Rfc8 19 f5 Nf8 20 Qd4 Rc5 21 Nf3 Rac8 22 Re1 Rc3 23 Kh1 Re8 24 f6 gxf6 25 exf6 Qe4 26 Rad1 Re6 27 Rf1 Ba6 28 Qxe4 Rxe4 29 Nd4 Re5 30 Nf5 Ng6 31 Rxd5 Rxd5 32 Bxd5 Ne5 33 Nh6+ Kf8 34 Rf5 Re3 35 Rg5 Ng6 36 Bxf7 Rxe2 37 Bxg6 Bb7+ 38 Kg1 Rg2+ 39 Kf1 Rxh2 40 Bh5 1–0

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1st May, 2002

THE top seeds didn't have it all their own way in the Eurotel World Trophy being played at the Zofin Palace in Prague, as two went out of the tournament as early as the opening round.

World number one Garry Kasparov rather luckily cruised through to the next round of the tournament, with two wins over the Brazilian GM Gilberto Milos, who was somewhat unlucky not to have gotten something out of the match.

Kasparov now goes forward to play the chess equivalent of the "Battle of the Sexes" in the second round with a match up with the world's top female player of all-time, Hungary's Judit Polgar, who defeated the seeded Chinese player Ye Jiangchuan after a dramatic playoff.

However, the big surprise of the opening round was the defeat of another Hungarian, Peter Leko, the recent big winner of the FIDE Grand Prix in Dubai. Facing Ivan Sokolov, from Bosnia Herzegovina, Leko found himself up against a very resourceful player. After two draws in the normal games, Sokolov struck first in the 5-minute playoffs and easily held his opponent in the second game to progress to the next round.


Group A: G Kasparov (Russia) 2-0 G Milos (Brazil); J Polgar (Hungary) 2.5-1.5 Ye Jiangchuan (China); B Gelfand (Israel) 1.5-0.5 Y Seirawan (USA); L Van Wely (Netherlands) 0.5-1.5 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine).


Group D: J Timman (Netherlands) 0-2 V Anand (India); A Khalifman (Russia) 1.5-0.5 V Bologan (Moldavia); I Sokolov (Bosnia/Herz) 2.5-1.5 P Leko (Hungary); M Adams (England) 2.5-1.5 T Radjabov (Azerbaijan).


Y Seirawan - B Gelfand
Eurotel World Trophy (1), Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 0-0 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3 b6 7 Bg5 Bb7 8 Nf3 d6 9 e3 Nbd7 10 Nd2 c5 11 b4 h6 12 Bh4 d5 13 dxc5 bxc5 14 f3 Rc8 15 b5 Qb6 16 Bf2 e5 17 Be2 d4 18 Qb2 Nh5 19 0-0 Qg6 20 Rfe1 f5 21 Bf1 Rce8 22 Kh1 f4 23 exd4 exd4 24 Qb1 Qg5 25 Ne4 Bxe4 26 Rxe4 Ndf6 27 Rxe8 Rxe8 28 Kg1 Ng3 29 Bd3 Nd7 30 Bh7+ Kh8 31 Qg6 Ne2+ 32 Kf1 Qe7 33 Qe4 Qd8 34 Qc2 Nc3 35 Bg6 Re2 36 Qf5 Ne5 37 Re1 d3 38 Ra1 d2 39 Qc2 Rxf2+ 40 Kxf2 Qd4+ 41 Kf1 d1Q+ 42 Rxd1 Nxd1 0-1

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