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The Scotsman

Chess News July 2002

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31st July, 2002

THE Smith & Williamson British Championships got underway at the Riviera Centre in Torquay on Monday, with more than 1,000 players expected to attend the annual two-week extravagancy, which includes 24 tournaments ranging from the British Veterans to the under-eights titles up for grabs.

However, the chances are that many of the important titles could be heading overseas this year. One of the quirks of the British Championships is that due to the imperialist past of Britain, tradition in the tournament has allowed any player from a Commonwealth country to compete in the tournament – despite the fact there is an annual Commonwealth championship.

Curiously the British Chess Federation (BCF), which in effect governs English chess, is the only national chess governing body in the world that does not hold a championship for its own players; as does the other Home Countries such as Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Three years ago the BCF turned down a petition asking for the championship to be restricted to English players, though it’s thought a change could be made after the BCF and the championship celebrate their centenary year in 2004 – however by then the damage could be done.

Whilst we need to go back as far as the 1953 tournament in Hastings for a true non-British winner in Canadian GM David Yanofsky, this year there could be something of an ‘Indian Uprising’ on the cards with a formidable contingent of Indians among the 99 player field. With eight of the top 20 rated players in the line up coming from India, it’s conceivable there could be an outcry over the old Commonwealth entry rule if, as could happen, they take home all the prize money on offer along with the top titles.

Not only in top seed GM Krishnan Saikiran do they have a very experienced competitor, but the third seed is his compatriot Pentyla Harekrishna – both highly capable of winning the £10,000 first prize and British crown; and both also eligible for the under 21 title should one of the two fail to gain the top prize. And, also looking a shoo-in for the British women’s title this year is one of the world’s top female players, India’s Humpy Koneru.


A Wohl – K Sasikiran
89th British Ch. (1), Caro-Kann Defence

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 cxd5 4 Bf4 Nc6 5 c3 Bf5 6 Qb3 Qd7 7 Nf3 e6 8 Ne5 Nxe5 9 Bxe5 Ne7 10 Nd2 Nc6 11 Nf3 f6 12 Bg3 g5 13 Be2 h5 14 h4 g4 15 Nh2 Rg8 16 0–0 Bh6 17 Rad1 Be4 18 Rfe1 f5 19 Be5 Nxe5 20 dxe5 0–0–0 21 Bd3 Qg7 22 Bxe4 fxe4 23 c4 Qxe5 24 Nf1 Kb8 25 g3 Rgf8 26 cxd5 exd5 27 Ne3 d4 28 Nc4 Qf5 29 Rf1 Qd5 30 Qb4 Rf3 31 Qe7 e3 32 Nxe3 Bxe3 33 fxe3 Rxg3+ 34 Kf2 Rg2+ 35 Ke1 d3 0–1

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30th July, 2002

LEGEND has it that a few hundred years ago the Chinese Emperor Wen-ti once executed two foreign chessplayers after discovering to his horror that one of the pieces was called 'Emperor' (King). He was so upset that his title could be associated with a mere game he also decided to ban chess in China just to be on the safe side.

A fanciful story perhaps, but it's only in the last few decades that chess has made inroads behind the Bamboo Curtain, where the game is seen as the poorer cousin of the more popular Chinese Chess. Chess was not listed as a competitive sport in China until 1956, but it didn't have to wait long for Chairman Mao to ban it again during the first eight years of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). By 1974 there was an easing of the ban that saw the Chinese start to take part in international competitions as well as organising their first national championship that same year.

In 1975, the Malaysian business tycoon Dato Tan Chin Nam decided that chess in China had enormous potential, so along with some leading Chinese officials set-up the "Big Dragon Project"; the aim being to see China dominate the chess world by 2010. Thanks to Dato Tan's generosity and foresight, China is well on the road to achieving this goal. They now hold every title in the women's game, and are now starting to make serious progress in the much tougher men's game.

The main feature of the Qingdao Chess Festival this year was the staging of the 8th Tan Chin Nam Cup, one the major tournaments in China which is sponsored by Dato Tan. The entry this year was boosted by many of the top American's who'd arrived to take part in the recent China-USA Summit match, and the event ended in a five-way cosmopolitan GM tie for first on 6.5/9 between Kirshnan Sasikiran (India), Alexander Shabalov (USA), Yasser Seirawan (USA), Alexander Goldin (USA) and Ni Hua (China).


Y Seirawan - Xu Jun
Tan Chin Nam Cup (8), Queen's Gambit Exchange

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 d5 3 c4 e6 4 cxd5 exd5 5 Nc3 c6 6 Qc2 g6 7 Bg5 Be7 8 e3 Bf5 9 Bd3 Bxd3 10 Qxd3 0-0 11 Bxf6 Bxf6 12 h4 h5 13 0-0-0 Nd7 14 Rdg1 Bg7 15 g4 Nf6 16 Ne5 Qe7 17 gxh5 Nxh5 18 f4 Rfe8 19 Ne2 c5 20 Ng3 Nxg3 21 Rxg3 cxd4 22 exd4 Qf6 23 f5 Rac8+ 24 Kb1 Qa6 25 Qxa6 bxa6 26 fxg6 Bxe5 27 dxe5 Rxe5 28 h5 Re6 29 gxf7+ Kxf7 30 h6 Rh8 31 Rg7+ Kf6 32 Rf1+ Ke5 33 Re1+ 1-0

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29th July, 2002

THE highlight of the British chess calendar gets underway at the Riviera Centre in Torquay with today seeing the start of the Smith & Williamson British Chess Championships, which with a £10,000 first prize makes it the richest tournament on the UK circuit.

And, as a traditional curtain-raiser to the main event, the same City accountancy firm also sponsors the Smith & Williamson Young Masters tournament, which this year run from 10-17 July at Millfield School in Somerset, one of the country’s top centers for chess, which boasts its own chess teacher in Matthew Turner.

The aim of the annual tournament - now in its 12th edition - is to provide title opportunities for leading British juniors by pitting them against foreign opposition in this notoriously tough 20-player event. Despite the tough opposition, this year’s tournament proved to be a resounding success for the top British juniors as Scotland’s Eddie Dearing and IM Karl Mah of England shared first place with a winning score of 6/9, finishing a half a point ahead of the chasing pack of IM Gergely Antal (Hungary), IM Gabor Pinter (Hungary) and Stewart Haslinger (England).

For Dearing, who comes from Perth though studies at Cambridge University, the tournament ended in double joy as his winning score gained him his third and final International Masters’ norm; and he now only needs to raise his FIDE rating from 2343 to 2400 (his TPR of 2476 during the tournament also helping his cause) to become Scotland’s latest titled player.

Highlight of Dearing’s successful campaign at the Smith & Williamson Yong Masters was unquestionably his relatively easy defeat of the Hungarian IM Gergely Antal, who not only was last year’s runaway winner but, at 2492, was also the highest-rated player in the tournament.


Final scores: 1-2 E Dearing (Scotland), IM K Mah (England) 6/9; 3-5 IM G Antal (Hungary), IM G Pinter (Hungary), S Haslinger (England) 5.5; 6-9 IM R Palliser (England), T Middleburg (Holland), R Skytte (Denmark), P Sinkevich (Russia) 5; 10-13 G Jones (England), IM O Gladyszev (Russia), M Broomfield (England), B Addison (England) 4.5; 14-15 F Erwich (England), L Trent (England) 4; 16-17 R Martyn (England), T Woodward (England) 3.5; 18-19 R Koster (England), J Skjoldberg (Denmark) 3; 20 IM S Williams (England) 2.5.


E Dearing – G Antal
12th Smith & Williamson YM (7), English Opening

1 c4 e5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5 5 Nf3 Nc6 6 0–0 Be7 7 d4 exd4 8 Nxd4 Nxd4 9 Qxd4 Nf6 10 Qa4+ c6 11 Nc3 0–0 12 e4 Be6 13 h3 Nd7 14 Qc2 Qa5 15 Bd2 Qh5 16 g4 Qh4 17 Bf4 h5 18 Bg3 Qf6 19 gxh5 Qg5 20 Ne2 Qxh5 21 Nf4 Qh6 22 Nxe6 Qxe6 23 f4 f5 24 exf5 Rxf5 25 Rae1 Bc5+ 26 Kh2 Qf7 27 Be4 Rf6 28 Bd3 Nb6 29 Qxc5 1–0

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26th July, 2002

A seminal moment for the long era of Soviet chess supremacy was a crushing 15.5-4.5 victory in a 1945 radio match against the United States, then four-time Olympiad champions. Later the USSR narrowly defeated the Rest of the World in 1970 and 1984.

After a long lapse, summit chess re-emerged last year as China beat the US in Seattle by the narrow margin of 21-19 in the first of a four-match series - thanks in large to China's juniors. Intent on revenge, recently the US made the long journey to Shanghai for the second match of the series, sponsored by the World Chess Network (www.worldchessnetwork.com). Once again each of the four rounds featured a 10-board match, pitting the top six players from each country plus two females and two juniors on the lower four.

This time round China's legendary female superiority proved the difference between the two political superpowers, after the US suffered a demoralising loss after leading for most of the match. America led by a slender margin going into the fourth and final round when China struck with devastating effect - thanks to wins from Xie Jun over Alexander Shabalov and Zhu Chen over Irina Krush - to dramatically turn the tables to win 20.5-19.5.

Again the US outscored their opponents on the top six boards to win 13.5-10.5 but, unlike last year in Seattle when they were on the receiving end of a 2-6 rout, their juniors excelled beyond all expectations to increase the lead to four points with an impressive 4.5-3.5 win. Alas it was not to be for the US - China's women, led by Wang Pin who top scored overall in the competition with 3.5/4, amassed a massive five point advantage with a 6.5-1.5 victory over their opponents to save the day.


E Donaldson - Wang Pin
China-USA Summit (4), King's Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 Nf3 0-0 5 e4 d6 6 Be2 e5 7 0-0 Nc6 8 d5 Ne7 9 b4 Nh5 10 Re1 f5 11 Ng5 Nf6 12 Bf3 c6 13 Be3 f4 14 Bc1 h6 15 Ne6 Bxe6 16 dxe6 Nc8 17 b5 Qe7 18 bxc6 bxc6 19 c5 dxc5 20 Ba3 Nb6 21 Na4 Nxa4 22 Qxa4 Qxe6 23 Bxc5 Rfd8 24 Bd1 Kh7 25 Bb3 Qc8 26 f3 g5 27 h3 h5 28 Rac1 g4 29 hxg4 hxg4 30 fxg4 Qxg4 31 Bd1 Qg5 32 Rc3 Rd2 33 Rh3+ Bh6 34 Re2 Rd7 35 Rf2 Rg8 36 Bf3 Ng4 37 Qxc6 Nf6 38 Qe6 Re8 39 Qc6 Red8 40 Rb2 Rg7 41 Bf2 Rd1+ 42 Kh2 Qxg2+ 0-1

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25th July, 2002

NOT content with taking the top honours at the Einstein tv Candidates' Tournament in Dortmund, Hungary's Peter Leko also won the Best Game prize (a silver plate) for the tournament; an award that was specially donated by the embattled German Chancellor Dr Gerhard Schroder, who also served as patron for the tournament.

Leko's third game win over Alexei Shirov with black from the semi-final (a game that was shown here last week) was the unanimous choice of judges GM Uwe Bonsch and TV commentator Dr Helmut Pfleger, who both praised the "crystal clear strategy" in the game.

Not to be confused with a "Brilliancy Prize", which is awarded for a game that contains a stunning combination, the "Best Game" prize is for one that is well played throughout. The first such prize was awarded to Isidor Gunsburg at the New York tournament of 1889, for his game against James Mason. In the past, these prizes were often given by a private chess enthusiast like Baron Rothschild, Prince Dadien of Mingrelia or Isaac Turover.

As nice as Leko's game was, many spectators felt that, on entertaining value alone, this award should have gone to defeated finalist and self-confessed street fighter Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria. His fighting spirit often brought him to the verge of disaster and he threw away draws in a search for victory. But after losing senselessly, he won the games he had to win.

In the last semifinal game Topalov, in a "must win" scenario, defeated Evgeny Bareev of Russia in devastating style to force a rapid chess play-off. With less time on the clock, the Bulgarian performed brilliantly against the French Defense, won with a pleasing knight sacrifice and made it to the final match against Leko.


V Topalov - E Bareev
Candidates Playoff (2), French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 dxe4 5 Nxe4 Nbd7 6 Nf3 Be7 7 Nxf6+ Bxf6 8 h4 c5 9 Qd2 cxd4 10 Nxd4 h6 11 Bxf6 Nxf6 12 Qb4 Nd5 13 Qa3 Qe7 14 Bb5+ Bd7 15 Bxd7+ Kxd7 16 Qa4+ Kc7 17 Rh3 a6 18 Rb3 Qc5 19 0-0-0 b5 20 Qa5+ Qb6 21 Qe1 Kb7 22 Qe2 Ka7 23 Nxb5+ axb5 24 Rxb5 Qc6 25 Rdxd5 exd5 26 Qe7+ Ka6 27 Rb3 1-0

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24rd July, 2002

A date with destiny beckons for young Hungarian ace Peter Leko, as he secures a dramatic match-winning draw over Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov in the final round of the Einstein tv Candidates' Tournament in Dortmund.

Leko, 22, kept his nerve during the tense struggle with Topalov as the draw clinched him victory by a margin of 2.5-1.5 at the event held as part of the 30th anniversary of the Sparkasson Chess Meeting. The result is easily the best-ever performance of his career, and he now goes forward to challenge world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in a 16-game title match, scheduled for April-May of next year at a yet to be announced venue.

Intriguingly, Leko is one of the few players who holds a plus record over Kramnik (+2) in classical chess, and many already predict that the potentially lucrative $1 million match will be a very close call.

The result is the fulfilment of Leko's early promise as a child prodigy, when he shot to instant fame in the game after he became, at 14, the youngest grandmaster in history when he smashed by over a year the previous records set by Bobby Fischer and Judit Polgar.


V Topalov - P Leko
Sparkassen Candidates' (4), Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 f3 0-0 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 Ne8 7 e4 b6 8 Bd3 Ba6 9 Nh3 Nc6 10 e5 Na5 11 Qe2 f6 12 0-0 c5 13 Be3 Rc8 14 Rac1 d5 15 Nf4 Nc7 16 exf6 Qxf6 17 cxd5 Bxd3 18 Qxd3 cxd4 19 cxd4 Nxd5 20 Nxd5 exd5 21 Bf2 Nc4 22 Rfe1 Rfe8 23 Bg3 Qg6 24 Qb3 h6 25 Qb5 Qf7 26 a4 Kh7 27 h3 Ra8 28 Be5 a6 29 Qb3 Qg6 30 f4 Rf8 31 Rc3 Ra7 32 Rg3 Qf5 33 Kh2 Raf7 34 Rg4 Rd7 35 Rc1 Rff7 36 Rc3 Rb7 37 Qd1 Qe4 38 Rgg3 Qf5 39 Rb3 b5 40 axb5 Rxb5 41 Rxb5 axb5 42 Rb3 Rb7 43 Qe1 Qe4 44 Qxe4+ dxe4 45 d5 g5 46 g4 e3 47 Kg3 e2 48 Kf2 Re7 49 Ke1 Nxe5 50 d6 Re6 51 fxe5 Rxe5 52 Rb2 Re8 53 Rxb5 Kg7 54 Rb6 Re3 55 d7 Rd3 56 Rb7 Kf8 57 Kxe2 Rd6 58 Ke3 Ke7 59 Ke4 Re6+ 60 Kf3 Rd6 61 Ke4 Re6+ draw.

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23rd July, 2002

AGAINST all the odds as he faced a "must win" scenario for the second successive match in the Einstein tv Candidates Tournament in Dortmund, Bulgarian Veselin Topalov has yet again staged a remarkable recovery as he beat Hungary's Peter Leko in game three of their four game final to stay in the match.

Needing only a draw to become the official challenger to world champion Vladimir Kramnik, Leko all but had the title shot within his grasp until he badly blundered with 48 Rc5 - instead 48 Kg2 was the correct route to the draw needed for victory in the match.

Now, with the score standing at 2-1 in favour of Leko, both players must now face a dramatic final day showdown at the Westfalenhallen as they will play to a finish. Should Topalov win the final game, the match will be decided by a playoff later in the day.

However, the stress and strain of playing in such a demanding tournament could be the deciding factor between the two finalists. Whilst Leko has been the more clinical in disposing of his opponents to accrue three valuable rest days, Topalov has now played a staggering 17 high-intensive games (including playoffs) in 15 days!


P Leko - V Topalov
Sparkassen Candidates' (3), Sicilian Paulsen

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 a6 5 Bd3 Bc5 6 Nb3 Be7 7 0-0 d6 8 c4 b6 9 Nc3 Bf6 10 Qc2 Ne7 11 Be3 Qc7 12 Rfd1 Nd7 13 Qd2 Bb7 14 Be2 Be5 15 Bd4 Rd8 16 Rac1 Bxd4 17 Qxd4 Nf6 18 Na4 Nc8 19 e5 dxe5 20 Qxd8+ Qxd8 21 Rxd8+ Kxd8 22 c5 b5 23 c6 Ba8 24 Nac5 Kc7 25 Nxa6+ Kb6 26 Bxb5 Nd6 27 Be2 Bxc6 28 Nb4 Bd5 29 Nd2 Nf5 30 Nc4+ Bxc4 31 Rxc4 Nd4 32 Bf1 Rd8 33 Nd3 Nc6 34 a4 e4 35 Nc5 Na5 36 Rb4+ Kxc5 37 Rb5+ Kc6 38 Rxa5 Nd5 39 Rb5 Nf4 40 Rb4 f5 41 Rc4+ Kb7 42 g3 Nd3 43 a5 g5 44 Be2 Rd5 45 b4 Ne5 46 a6+ Kb8 47 Rc2 g4 48 Rc5 Nf3+ 49 Kf1 Nxh2+ 50 Ke1 Nf3+ 51 Bxf3 exf3 52 Rc6 Re5+ 53 Kd1 h5 54 b5 Rxb5 55 Rxe6 Rb2 56 Ke1 Rb1+ 57 Kd2 Rf1 58 Re5 f4 59 gxf4 Rxf2+ 0-1

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22nd July, 2002

HUNGARIAN ace Peter Leko has all but clinched victory in the final of the Einstein tv. Candidates Tournament, being played as part of the Sparkasson Chess Meeting in Dortmund, as he secured a soul-destroying second successive win over Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov in their best of four-game match.

After being comprehensively outplayed in a seven hour marathon by Leko in the opening game, Topalov then went on to have the misfortune of finding himself defending an almost hopeless position in the second game for just over six hours. And, just when it looked as if he had somehow salvaged a draw by repetition (56 Qh8+), he inexplicably believed he was 'winning', only to realise too late that it was a mirage; Leko easily converting his extra material to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

The lead now built up by Leko, 22, practically guarantees the Hungarian the match as he only needs to draw one of the remaining two games to win; thus going on to meet Vladimir Kramnik in a title match scheduled for next spring.


V Topalov - P Leko
Sparkassen Candidates' (2), 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 f5 11 Bd3 Be6 12 0-0 Bxd5 13 exd5 Ne7 14 c3 Bg7 15 Qh5 e4 16 Bc2 0-0 17 Rae1 Qc8 18 Kh1 Rb8 19 g4 b4 20 cxb4 Nxd5 21 gxf5 Kh8 22 Rg1 Bxb2 23 Qh6 Qc3 24 Rxe4 Qf6 25 Qh3 Rg8 26 Rf1 Bxa3 27 Qxa3 Rbc8 28 Bd1 Nc3 29 Re3 d5 30 Rg3 d4 31 Bf3 d3 32 Qb2 Qd4 33 Rd1 Rxg3 34 hxg3 Rc4 35 Rf1 d2 36 f6 Qxf6 37 Kg2 Qd4 38 Qc2 Rc7 39 Qf5 f6 40 Rh1 d1Q 41 Bxd1 Nxd1 42 Rh4 Qd8 43 Rh6 Rf7 44 Qe6 Rf8 45 Qe4 Qd7 46 Qf3 Kg7 47 Rh5 Nb2 48 Rd5 Qe6 49 Rd4 Rc8 50 Re4 Qc6 51 Kh2 Kf8 52 Qf4 Kf7 53 Qf5 Rg8 54 Qxh7+ Rg7 55 Qh5+ Kf8 56 Qf5 Nc4 57 Re2 Rg5 58 Qh7 Ne5 59 Qh6+ Kg8 60 Qxg5+ fxg5 61 Rxe5 Qf6 62 Re2 Qf3 63 Rd2 Kf7 64 a4 Qb3 65 Rd6 Qxa4 66 Rb6 Qa2 0-1

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19th July, 2002

IN one of the most epic chess duels of recent years, Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov came back from the brink to win his way through to the final of the €300,000 Einstein tv Candidates’ Tournament, but only after a dramatic playoff match victory over Russia’s Evgeny Bareev.

Both players treated the chess fans to a veritable slugfest in their four-game Candidates semi-final match, being played as part of the 30th anniversary of the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, as the match went to the wire of four decisive games and a two-game playoff.

Topalov, the pre-tournament favourite, found himself going into the final game of the match in a “must win” situation being 2-1 down to Bareev, who by now was playing the tournament of his life. In the fourth and final game, Topalov had no option other than to go for the jugular by launching an all-out attack against Bareev’s Caro-Kann; a plan that worked as the Russian soon found himself in serious trouble from the opening, as Topalov won to tie the match at 2-2. The Bulgarian then going on to win the match 1.5-0.5 in the playoff.

In the Candidates Final to be played over the weekend, Topalov will now meet the young Hungarian Peter Leko, who booked his place earlier in the week by beating Alexei Shirov 2.5-0.5, in a four-game match - the winner going on to a World Championship showdown with Vladimir Kramnik, in a $1 million title match scheduled for the early spring of 2003.


V Topalov – E Bareev
Sparkassen Candidates’ (4), Caro-Kann Defence

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 Bf5 4 Nc3 e6 5 g4 Bg6 6 Nge2 Ne7 7 f4 c5 8 h4 h5 9 f5 exf5 10 g5 Nec6 11 Bg2 cxd4 12 Nxd5 Nd7 13 Nxd4 Ndxe5 14 Nb5 Rc8 15 Qe2 Bd6 16 Nxd6+ Qxd6 17 Bf4 0–0 18 0–0–0 Qc5 19 Rh3 Rfe8 20 Rc3 Qa5 21 Ra3 Qc5 22 Re3 Nd4 23 Rxd4 Qxd4 24 Rxe5 Kh7 25 Qd1 Qf2 26 Bf3 Rxe5 27 Bxe5 f4 28 Bc3 Rd8 29 b3 Kh8 30 Be1 Qc5 31 Kb2 Bf5 32 c4 b5 33 Bb4 Qf2+ 34 Qe2 Qxe2+ 35 Bxe2 bxc4 36 bxc4 Bg4 37 Bd3 f3 38 Kc3 Be6 39 Ne3 Bh3 40 Nd1 1–0

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18th July, 2002

A superb virtuoso performance from Peter Leko sees the young Hungarian become the first finalist for the Einstein tv. Candidates' Tournament - taking place as part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the Sparkasson Chess Meeting in Dortmund - as he easily saw off the challenge of Spain's Alexei Shirov.

Leko, 21, who was the youngest competitor in the original starting field of eight to determine a title challenger for classical world champion Vladimir Kramnik, was in devastating form as he administered two crushing wins with Black (and an effortless draw with White) over Shirov, as he easily won the match with a game to spare 2.5-0.5.

After Leko won the first game in spectacular style with his favourite Sicilian Sveshnikov, Shirov decided to avoid a repeat performance in game three by adopting the more positional Sicilian Rossolimo. Unfortunately Leko had prepared a line specially for this, and Shirov yet again found himself being on the receiving end of another stunning attack that started with the pawn-push of 15 ..b4; a move that Leko commented in his press conference after the game as being "strategically bad but it's not a positional game any more. You just close your eyes and attack."

A former child prodigy who was once the world's youngest grandmaster as he beat the records held by Bobby Fischer and Judit Polgar, Leko now looks set to finally make what could be his big breakthrough in the game should he now go on to win the best of four-game Candidates Final which starts today; the winner of which going through to meet Kramnik in a potentially lucrative $1 million match early next spring.


A Shirov - P Leko
Sparkassen Candidates (3), Sicilian Rossolimo

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 g6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 5 d3 Bg7 6 h3 Nf6 7 Nc3 0-0 8 Be3 b6 9 Qd2 e5 10 Bh6 Qd6 11 0-0-0 a5 12 Bxg7 Kxg7 13 g4 a4 14 Ne2 b5 15 Ng3 b4 16 Qg5 Re8 17 Nd2 a3 18 bxa3 h6 19 Qe3 Be6 20 Nb3 Rxa3 21 Qxc5 Qb8 22 Kb2 Nd7 23 Qe3 Nb6 24 Ra1 c5 25 Kc1 c4 26 dxc4 Nxc4 27 Qe1 Qa7 28 Qxb4 Qxf2 29 Nf5+ gxf5 30 gxf5 Rc8 31 fxe6 Ne3 0-1

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17th July, 2002

SCOTTISH number two and top seed GM Paul Motwani cruised to his sixth national title on Sunday, after easily winning the 109th Scottish Championships held at Wallace High School in Stirling.

Formerly from Dundee, Motwani, who now lives in Belgium with his family, was at his devastating best during the premier event of the Scottish calendar as he conceded just three draws during the nine-round event - to IM's Douglas Bryson and Roddy McKay, and also to top junior Joe Redpath - for an unbeaten winning score of 7.5/9, to finish a full point clear of his nearest rivals, IM Douglas Bryson and GM Colin McNab.

Motwani, who became Scotland's first grandmaster in 1992, has got time on his hands to enter the record books as he now closes in fast on McKay's modern-day record of seven Championship titles recorded between 1971 and 1988. However, he would still be some way off the all-time record of 11 titles won in the golden thirty-year period from 1932 to 1962 by the eminent bridge designer Dr WA Fairhurst; and the 10 won during that same period by his arch-rival, Dr James Aitken.

In the Open, Edinburgh West's Paul Roberts took first place ahead of Martin Cutmore (Wood Green), Michael Kobylka (St Albans) and Donald Heron (Wandering Dragons); while in the Seniors Bruce Harrold from Oban took the title ahead of Paul Rodger from Crowwood.


Final standings 1 GM P Motwani 7.5/9; 2-3 IM D Bryson, GM C McNab 6.5; 4 IM R McKay 5.5; 5-6 I Gourlay, N Berry 5; 7-10 A Grant, J Redpath, J Grant, E Spencer 4.5; 11-12 M Fraser, G Nolan 4; 13-15 K Beaton, D McGowan, G Kafka 3.5; 16-17 J Stevenson, I Robertson 3; 18 E Rutherford 2.5.


P Motwani - A Grant
109th Scottish Ch. (8), Closed Sicilian

1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 d6 3 Nge2 Nf6 4 d3 Nc6 5 h3 g6 6 g4 Bg7 7 Bg2 0-0 8 Be3 Rb8 9 f4 Bd7 10 0-0 b5 11 a3 a5 12 d4 b4 13 axb4 axb4 14 Nd5 Nxd5 15 exd5 Nxd4 16 Nxd4 cxd4 17 Bxd4 Bxd4+ 18 Qxd4 Qb6 19 Qxb6 Rxb6 20 Ra7 Rd8 21 Rfa1 Kf8 22 Rc7 Ke8 23 Raa7 Rb5 24 Be4 Rc5 25 Rcb7 Rc4 26 Bd3 Rc5 27 Be4 Rc4 28 Bd3 Rc5 29 Rxb4 Rxd5 30 Rbb7 Rc5 31 b4 Rcc8 32 Rxd7 Rxd7 33 Bb5 Rcd8 34 Bc6 e6 35 b5 Ke7 36 Bxd7 (if 36 ..Rxd7 37 b6 Kd8 38 b7 Kc7 39 b8Q+) 1-0

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16th July, 2002

IT was all-out action from the off in the semifinal of the Einstein tv. Candidates' tournament at the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund, held as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Sparkassan Congress, as the knockout stage of the event got off to a sensational start with two opening game wins.

Peter Leko of Hungary and Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov both won the  first game of their four-game matches, as they beat Alexei Shirov of Spain and Russian Evgeny Bareev with the Black pieces.

Playing against a very aggressive line of his favourite Modern Benoni, Topalov, took full advantage of an opening error from Bareev (14 Ng5?!) as he unleashed a blistering attack against his opponent. Similarly in the second match, Leko, playing his favourite Sveshnikov Sicilian, outplayed Shirov after uncorking an opening novelty that soon bewildered his opponent.

The relentless pace continued in the second game of the series, as Topalov's lead didn't last long as Bareev hit back immediately in the match with a nice trademark endgame win in his favourite Caro-Kann Defence to level the score at 1-1. Only Leko holds the lead in the knockout series as he easily held Shirov to a draw in the second game to hold a 1.5-0.5 lead.

The overall winner of the Dortmund tournament will go on to face classical world champion Vladimir Kramnik in a potentially lucrative $1 million match for his title next spring.


E Bareev - V Topalov
Sparkassen Candidates (1), Modern Benoni

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c5 4 d5 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 f4 Bg7 8 Bb5+ Nfd7 9 a4 0-0 10 Nf3 Na6 11 0-0 Nb4 12 h3 a6 13 Bc4 f5 14 Ng5 Nb6 15 Bb3 a5 16 Be3 fxe4 17 Kh1 Nd3 18 Qd2 Re8 19 Rab1 Bf5 20 g4 h6 21 gxf5 hxg5 22 fxg5 gxf5 23 Rxf5 Qd7 24 Rbf1 Re5 25 Rf7 Qxh3+ 26 Qh2 Qxh2+ 27 Kxh2 Rf8 28 Rxf8+ Bxf8 29 Rf6 c4 30 Bd1 Nd7 31 Rg6+ Kh7 32 Re6 N7c5 33 Rf6 Kg8 34 Bh5 Be7 35 Rh6 Kf8 36 Rh8+ Kg7 37 Re8 Bxg5 38 Rxe5 Bxe3 39 Re7+ Kf6 40 Rf7+ Kg5 41 Bd1 Bd4 42 Kg2 Nxb2 43 Nb5 Be5 44 Bc2 Nbd3 45 Kf1 Nb4 46 Bb1 Nxd5 0-1

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15th July, 2002

THE group stages of the €300,000 Einstein.tv World Championship Candidates' tournament in Dortmund, which is taking place as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Sparkassen Congress, has reached its conclusion with all the pre-tournament favourites – save one – making it through to the knockout matches that will determine a challenger for classical world champion Vladimir Kramnik.

As expected in Group 1, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Spain's Alexei Shirov easily took the two qualifying spots when they both topped the group on 4/6. However the two had to play in a playoff mini-match which was won by Shirov to determine the winner of the group, as he would be paired against the runner-up of Group 2.

The biggest casualty of the group stages came in Group 2, when England's Michael Adams, the world number four, was sensationally knocked out after being outplayed by Hungary’s Peter Leko in the final game of the group stages for the runner-up spot. Also out of luck was Russia’s Alexander Morozevich, who came last in the group after losing two totally won games – and the misfortune to fall into a threefold in a won position against Adams - to fellow countryman and group winner Evgeny Bareev.

The semifinal pairing are therefore Shirov vs. Leko and Bareev vs. Topalov.


Group 1: 1-2 A Shirov (Spain), V Topalov (Bulgaria) 4/6; 3 B Gelfand (Israel) 2.5; 4 C Lutz (Germany) 1.5.
Group 2: 1 E Bareev (Russia) 4/6; 2 P Leko (Hungary) 3.5; 3 M Adams (England) 2.5; 4 A Morozevich (Russia) 2.


P Leko – M Adams
Sparkassen Candidates (6), 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 Nf6 9 h3 0–0 10 Nc3 Nb4 11 Be2 dxc4 12 Bxc4 c6 13 Bg5 Nbd5 14 Re1 Be6 15 Qb3 Qb6 16 Nxd5 cxd5 17 Qxb6 axb6 18 Bb3 h6 19 Bf4 Rfc8 20 Ne5 g5 21 Bh2 Bb4 22 Re2 Ne4 23 Nd3 Bf8 24 Rae1 Bg7 25 Be5 Bxe5 26 Nxe5 Kg7 27 Nd3 Rc7 28 Nb4 Rd8 29 g4 Nf6 30 Kg2 Rd6 31 f3 Bd7 32 Kg3 Kf8 33 h4 Bb5 34 Re5 gxh4+ 35 Kxh4 Bc4 36 Bc2 Bb5 37 a3 Rd8 38 Kg3 Kg7 39 Bf5 Kf8 40 Rh1 Kg7 41 Nc2 Re8 42 Ne3 Rce7 43 Kf4 Bc6 44 Bc2 Bd7 45 g5 1–0

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12th July, 2002

AS the 109th Scottish Championships heads towards its conclusion at Wallace High School in Stirling over the weekend, top seed and pre-tournament favourite Paul Motwani is on course for his sixth title after a fourth round victory over old foe Colin McNab put him into the sole lead.

Motwani and McNab, both from Dundee and regarded as the chess equivalent of the Old Firm, met for the 53rd occasion in serious play during their clash in Stirling. And, with Motwani winning to establish a half point lead over IM Douglas Bryson in the championship, he now takes his personal score against McNab to plus three at 28-25.

Their first encounter was back in 1973 at the Telecoms Chess Club in Dundee, when they were both pupils of St Saviour's and Menzieshill High School. And, from that auspicious start, they have gone on to proudly represent their country at the highest level of the game. In 1978, Motwani gave Scotland her first world title when he became the World U-17 champion, while in 1992 - the year they simultaneously became Scotland's first chess grandmasters - McNab became the Commonwealth champion.


Standings: 1 GM P Motwani 4.5/5; 2 IM D Bryson 4; 3-6 IM R McKay, GM C McNab, M Fraser, FM N Berry 3; 7-12 I Gourlay, A Grant, J Grant, I Robertson, J Stevenson, J Redpath 2.5; 13-14 K Beaton, E Spencer 2; 15-17 G Nolan, WIM E Rutherford, D McGowan 1.5; 18 G Kafka 1.


P Motwani - C McNab
109th Scottish Ch. (4), Pirc Defence

1 e4 g6 2 d4 d6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 Be3 Nf6 5 Qd2 c6 6 Nf3 Qa5 7 h3 Nbd7 8 a4 0-0 9 Bd3 e5 10 0-0 Re8 11 Rfd1 exd4 12 Nxd4 Nc5 13 Bf1 Qc7 14 f3 Qe7 15 Bf2 Nfd7 16 a5 Ne5 17 f4 Bh6 18 Bg3 f6 19 b4 Ncd7 20 b5 c5 21 Nb3 Nf7 22 Bc4 Nde5 23 Bd5 Rb8 24 Qf2 Nd7 25 Nd2 Nf8 26 Nc4 Rd8 27 Rd3 Ne6 28 b6 a6 29 f5 Nd4 30 Bxf7+ Kxf7 31 Nd5 Qxe4 32 fxg6+ Kxg6 33 Qxf6+ Kh5 34 Qxd8 Ne2+ 35 Kh2 Qxc4 36 Qe8+ Kg5 37 Qxe2 Bf5 38 Qe7+ Kh5 39 Nf6+ Kg6 40 Qxh7+ Kxf6 41 Qxh6+ Kf7 42 Rf1 1-0

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11th July, 2002

SCOTTISH Champion Jonathon Rowson's gamble of playing for the big bucks by competing in the 30th World Open in Philadelphia, rather than defending his title this week in Stirling, has paid off in a big way for the top Scot as he turned in a superb performance to take equal first in the notoriously tough tournament.

The World Open, organised by the legendary Tournament Director Bill Goichberg, is regarded as the largest and richest chess festival of its kind with a cosmopolitan field of over 1,000 that lures many of the world's top grandmasters; all battling it out for the $175,000 prize fund split over seven sections in the week-long event. With the attraction of the lucrative prize fund the end result inevitably leads to gridlock at the top after all the tournaments merge - in that unique American fashion - for the final round.

Rowson finished on an unbeaten score of 7/9 - an outstanding result that included a 'miniature' over former US Champion Alex Yermolinsky and an overall TPR of 2646 - to share first place with eight other titled players, including a number of the world's top grandmasters like Illya Smirin, Alexander Onischuk, Artur Yusupov, Jaan Ehlvest and Aleksander Wojkiewicz. Each of the nine sharing first place receiving $3,500.

Following hard on the heels of his recent victory at the Croatian Open in Pula, the win bodes well for Rowson's aim to be the first Scot to breach the 2600 Elo barrier - his estimated results after the two superb victories takes his rating to near 2570, just 30 points short of the magical figure.


World Open: 1-9 GM I Smirin (Israel), GM A Onischuk (USA), GM A Yusupov (Germany), GM J Ehlvest (Estonia), GM A Wojtkiewicz (Poland), IM B Finegold (USA), GM J Rowson (Scotland), IM V Akobian (USA), IM K Miton (Poland) 7/9.


J Rowson - A Yermolinsky
World Open (4), Sicilian Rossolimo

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 d6 4 0-0 Bd7 5 Re1 Nf6 6 h3 Rc8 7 c3 Ne5 8 Bxd7+ Qxd7 9 d4 cxd4 10 cxd4 Rxc1 11 Qxc1 Nd3 12 Qe3 Nxe1 13 Qxe1 e6 14 Nc3 Be7 15 Rd1 0-0 16 e5 Nd5 17 Nxd5 exd5 18 Qa5 Qc6 19 Qxa7 Qc2 20 Rd2 Qc1+ 21 Kh2 Bg5 22 Re2 Bf4+ 23 g3 Qd1 24 Ng1 1-0

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10th July, 2002

AS the Einstein.tv World Championship Candidates' tournament, which takes place as part of the Dortmund Sparkassen congress at the Westfalenhalle, reaches the halfway stage, it's clear that from the eight contestants two are now virtually guaranteed a semi-final spot, one has got no hope of qualifying, and the rest have a major battle on their hands as they scramble for the remaining two qualification places.

The winning streak of respective Group leaders Veselin Topalov and Evgeny Bareev came to a halt in the third round of the tournament as both were held to draws by Alexei Shirov and Michael Adams. Despite the draws, both enjoy a one point lead over the field and look a shoo-in for the knockout stages.

However, the weakest link in the star-studded line up, German wildcard Christopher Lutz - drafted in as a replacement for Garry Kasparov after the former world champion declined to play in the tournament to earn his rematch with Kramnik - looks set for the walk of shame after his second loss in the tournament, when he was beaten in round three by Boris Gelfand.

The win leaves Gelfand in a head-to-head battle with Shirov for the second qualifying spot from Group 1; the player going through could well be the one who fails to beat backmarker Lutz in the second half. Whilst in Group 2, England's Michael Adams has a splendour half-point lead over Alexander Morozevich and Peter Leko.


Group 1: 1 V Topalov (Bulgaria) 2.5/3; 2-3 A Shirov (Spain), B Gelfand (Israel) 1.5; 4 C Lutz (Germany) 0.5.
Group 2: 1 E Bareev (Russia) 2.5/3; 2 M Adams (England) 1.5; 3-4 P Leko (Hungary), A Morozevich (Russia) 1.


V Topalov - B Gelfand
Sparkassen Candidates (2), Caro-Kann Defence

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 Bf5 4 Nc3 e6 5 g4 Bg6 6 Nge2 c5 7 h4 h5 8 Nf4 Bh7 9 Nxh5 Nc6 10 dxc5 Bxc5 11 Bb5 Qc7 12 Bxc6+ Qxc6 13 Qf3 0-0-0 14 Nxg7 d4 15 Qxc6+ bxc6 16 Na4 Bf8 17 Nh5 Bxc2 18 b3 Rd5 19 Bf4 Bb4+ 20 Ke2 d3+ 21 Kf3 d2 22 Rad1 Ne7 23 Nf6 Rd3+ 24 Ke2 Nd5 25 Bg5 Bxd1+ 26 Rxd1 Rh3 27 h5 Be7 28 Rxd2 Bxf6 29 Bxf6 Nf4+ 30 Kd1 Rg8 31 Nc5 Rxg4 32 Rd8+ Kc7 33 Rd7+ Kb6 34 Be7 Nd5 35 Rb7+ Ka5 36 Rxa7+ Kb5 37 Rb7+ Nb6 38 a4+ Ka5 39 Kc2 1-0

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9th July, 2002

THE Einstein.tv World Championship Candidates' tournament, which takes place as part of the Dortmund Sparkassen congress, got underway on Saturday at the Westfalenhalle with the ceremonial first move being made on the Topalov-Lutz board by Otto Schily, Germany’s Interior Minister.

Seven of the world’s top players plus the wildcard of the German champion are playing off in the ˆ300,000 event for the right to meet Classical World Champion Vladimir Kramnik in what could be a lucrative $1 million match scheduled for the early spring of 2003. The first half of the tournament sees the players competing in two Group sections, the top two going through to a series of semi-final and final knockout matches.

Already as early as the first two rounds, both Group sections look to have winners in place, with a big battle now looming for the second qualifying place. Pre-tournament favourite to win through for the title shot is Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov, and he didn’t disappoint by opening his account with a spectacular opening round victory over Lutz. Topalov continued his winning run in Group one in the second round when, from a hugely complicated position, his opponent Boris Gelfand blundered in a promising position.

Similarly in Group two, Evgeny Bareev was fortunate to win in the opening round from a difficult position against fellow Russian Alexander Morozevich, though outplayed Hungary’s Peter Leko in the second round.

Group 1: 1 V Topalov (Bulgaria) 2/2; 2 A Shirov (Spain) 1; 3-4 B Gelfand (Israel), C Lutz (Germany) 0.5.
Group 2: 1 E Bareev (Russia) 2/2; 2 M Adams (England) 1; 3-4 P Leko (Hungary), A Morozevich (Russia) 0.5.


V Topalov – C Lutz
Sparkassen Candidates (1), Sicilian Paulsen

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Nc3 Qc7 6 Be3 a6 7 Qd2 Nf6 8 0–0–0 Bb4 9 f3 Ne5 10 Nb3 b5 11 Kb1 Nc4 12 Bxc4 bxc4 13 Nc1 Qb7 14 N1e2 Rb8 15 b3 0–0 16 Bf4 Ra8 17 Bd6 Bxd6 18 Qxd6 cxb3 19 axb3 a5 20 Rd4 Ra6 21 Qa3 d5 22 exd5 exd5 23 Nf4 Be6 24 Rhd1 h6 25 Ncxd5 Nxd5 26 Nxd5 Rb8 27 Nf6+ gxf6 28 Rd8+ Rxd8 29 Rxd8+ Kh7 30 Qf8 Kg6 31 Qg8+ Kh5 32 Qg7 f5 33 Rd4 Bc8 34 g3 1–0

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8th July, 2002

THE number-crunchers at FIDE have produced the latest July rating, which yet again shows Garry Kasparov leading the field at his accustomed number one spot, a position he's now held continuously since 1985.

With his nemesis Vladimir Kramnik dropping two points, Kasparov now enjoys a healthy 29 point lead over the man who took his world crown, and 83 points ahead of India's Vishy Anand. Despite gaining three points, Anand's world number three spot could well be at risk when the October list is published - and indeed he may even be pushed into fifth place on that list.

A strong showing from Michael Adams (who gained eight points to become world no.4) and Veselin Topalov at the Dortmund Candidates Tournament could give both enough points to overtake Anand. Both players are strong favourites to win their respective Group sections in Dortmund - both also strongly fancied to win through to the final, the winner of which will get a title shot with Kramnik.

Top ten: 1 G Kasparov (Russia) 2838 (=); 2 V Kramnik (Russia) 2807 (-2); 3 V Anand (India) 2755 (+3); 4 M Adams (England) 2752 (+8); 5 V Topalov (Bulgaria) 2745 (=); 6 R Ponomariov (Ukraine) 2743 (=); 7 E Bareev (Russia) 2726 (+2); 8 P Leko (Hungary) 2717 (+10); 9 A Morozevich (Russia) 2716 (-2); 10 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2711 (=).


V Kramnik - L Fressinet
Grand Prix du Senat (2.2), King's Indian Defence

1 d4 g6 2 e4 d6 3 c4 Bg7 4 Nc3 Nf6 5 Be2 0-0 6 Nf3 a5 7 0-0 Na6 8 e5 Ng4 9 exd6 cxd6 10 h3 Nf6 11 Be3 d5 12 c5 Bd7 13 Qb3 Bc6 14 Ne5 Nd7 15 Nxc6 bxc6 16 Qa4 Qc7 17 Qd1 e5 18 Na4 exd4 19 Bxd4 Bxd4 20 Qxd4 Rfe8 21 Bxa6 Re4 22 Qd1 Rxa6 23 Re1 Qe5 24 Qd2 Nf6 25 Nc3 Rd4 26 Rxe5 Rxd2 27 Re2 Rd4 28 b3 Ra7 29 Rd1 Rxd1+ 30 Nxd1 Ne4 31 Nb2 Nc3 32 Re8+ Kg7 33 Rc8 Ra6 34 a4 Kf6 35 Nd3 Ke6 36 Rc7 Ne2+ 37 Kf1 Nd4 38 Rb7 Ra8 39 Rb6 Re8 40 b4 axb4 41 Nxb4 Rc8 42 a5 Kd7 43 a6 Rc7 44 g4 g5 45 Kg2 Ne6 46 Nd3 f6 47 Kg3 Ra7 48 Nb4 Nxc5 49 Rxc6 Nd3 50 Rxf6 1-0

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5th July, 2002

AN old-fashioned Candidates-styled tournament to determine a challenger for Classical Chess World Champion Vladimr Kramnik is the main feature of the 30th anniversary of the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting, which starts in Germany on Saturday.

Seven of the world's top players and the German wildcard of Christopher Lutz will battle it out in a gruelling 15-day tournament for the rights to a lucrative title shot with Kramnik - who sensationally ended Garry Kasparov's 15-year reign as champion almost two year's ago in London - at a later date.

The eight will be split into two sections of four, and, after a double-round all-play-all, the top two from each group will proceed to a knockout semifinal and final - the winner of which will play Kramnik. Group one: Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Alexei Shirov (Spain) and Christopher Lutz (Germany); Group two: Alexander Morozevich (Russia), Michael Adams (England), Peter Leko (Hungary) and Evgeny Bareev (Russia).

Kramnik is promoted by Einstein Group plc, the London-based satellite TV company who took over the rights to run the world championship from Braingames Network earlier this year. Einstein and Syrian-born chess sponsor Madame Nahed Ojjeh have offered a prize fund of 300,000 Euro for the event.

Last weekend Kramnik won the 3rd Grand Prix de Senat Rapid tournament held at the Salle de Clemenceau in Paris, yet another event sponsored by the ever-generous Madame Ojjeh. The event was organised by Ojjeh's NAO Chess Club and pitted the world champion against three of France's finest: Joel Lautier, Laurent Fressinet and Etienne Bacrot.

After a comfortable 1.5-0.5 first round victory over Bacrot, Kramnik took the title after easily defeating Fressinet 2-0 in the final.


E Bacrot - V Kramnik
Grand Prix du Senat (1.2), Queen's Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 Bb4+ 6 Bd2 Be7 7 Bg2 Bb7 8 Nc3 d5 9 0-0 0-0 10 cxd5 exd5 11 Bf4 Na6 12 Qc2 Re8 13 Rfd1 c6 14 a3 Nc7 15 Bxc7 Qxc7 16 b4 Bd6 17 e3 Qe7 18 Qb3 Rad8 19 Ne1 h5 20 b5 h4 21 bxc6 hxg3 22 hxg3 Bxc6 23 Nc2 Ng4 24 Nxd5 Qg5 25 Nf4 Bxf4 26 Bxc6 Qh6 27 Bg2 Bxg3 28 fxg3 Qh2+ 29 Kf1 Qxg3 30 Rd2 Rd6 0-1

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4th July, 2002

THE 109th Scottish Championships start on Saturday at Wallace High School in Stirling, and, despite us being on the eve of the annual peripatetic congress, it's still not too late to entry one of the many subsidiary tournament by contacting Tournament Director George Clark on 01786-479358.

Top seed for this year's Championship is five-time winner and Scottish number two Paul Motwani, who now lives in Belgium. Despite being less active over the board than a decade ago, when he and fellow Dundonian rival Colin McNab strove to become Scotland's first grandmasters, he's the hot-favourite to win the title again this year in the absence of defending champion Jonathan Rowson, who this week competes for the big bucks in the $200,000 World Open in Philadelphia.

Motwani heads the field that also includes former title holders Colin McNab (4), Douglas Bryson (2) and veteran Roddy McKay (7). Completing the line up is Neil Berry, Ian Robertson, Jonathan Grant, Alan Grant, Iain Gourlay, Mark Fraser, Graeme Nolan, Jim Stevenson, Ken Beaton, Elaine Rutherford, and debutants Joe Redpath, Graeme Kafka, Ed Spencer and Daniel McGowan.

Traditionally the Scottish heralds the start of the new chess season in Scotland, and last Sunday the final event of the 2001-02 season, the Chess Scotland Summer Allegro, took place at the Glasgow University College Club - despite the competition from the World Cup Finals. Scotland's top rapidplay player Colin McNab dominated this event, taking first place with an unbeaten score of 5.5/6, his only concession being a draw to IM Stephen Mannion. In joint second on 5/6 were Willie Rutherford and Tom Quilter.


W Rutherford - C McNab
Summer Allegro (2), King's Indian Defence

1 d4 d6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 4 Nc3 Nc6 5 e3 Nf6 6 Be2 0-0 7 h4 h5 8 Qd2 Bf5 9 0-0-0 Nb4 10 Bd3 Nxd3+ 11 cxd3 c6 12 e4 Bg4 13 Bh6 Qb6 14 Bxg7 Kxg7 15 Ne2 c5 16 d5 c4 17 Nh2 cxd3 18 Nc3 Bxd1 19 Rxd1 Rac8 20 Kb1 Qd4 21 f3 a6 22 g4 hxg4 23 h5 Rh8 24 hxg6 g3 25 Ng4 Nxg4 26 fxg4 Rh2 27 Qf4 Rxb2+ 28 Ka1 Rxa2+ 29 Kxa2 Qc4+ 30 Kb1 Qb3+ 31 Ka1 Qxc3+ 32 Ka2 Qc2+ 33 Ka3 Rc3+ 0-1

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3rd July, 2002

HARD on the heels of the recent women's European Individual Championship there naturally follows the men's European Individual Championship, which this year ran from 11-27 June in Batumi, on the coast of the Black Sea in Georgia.

The gruelling thirteen round Swiss is probably one of the toughest events around these days, with the strong field of 101 battling it out for the $240,000 prize fund. Despite there being no players from the top ten in the line up, the event was strong enough as it was top loaded with many Eastern European GMs; though uncharacteristically no UK players wishing to make the long trek to Batumi.

The early rounds were dominated by the promising young Russian GM Dmitri Jakovenko, 18, who took the sole lead in the tournament with an impressive opening run of 5.5/6. However, his luck ended in the seventh round when he lost to Poland's Bartlomei Maceija, who had stormed back into contention after the set back of a first round loss.

With four successive wins in rounds two through to five to catch up with the leaders, the win over Jakovenko was the springboard Maceija needed to go on to win. From there, he didn't look back with a reassured performance in the second half to take the title and gold with an impressive winning score of 9.5/13, a half a point ahead of the chasing pack of four finishing on 9.

In the subsequent play-off for second and silver, Garry Kasparov's former trainer Mikhail Gurevich, now playing for Belgium, emerged victorious. And, unlike the women's event earlier last month that ended in a multiple play-off for qualifying places for the next FIDE world championships, there was no need for any other play-offs in the men's tournament as the five qualifying places being filled.


Final scores: 1 GM B Maceija (Poland) 9.5/13; 2-5 GM M Gurevich (Belgium), GM S Volkov (Russia), IM M Gagunashvili (Georgia), IM G Sargissian (Armenia) 9


D Jakovenko - B Macieja
3rd IECC (7), Sicilian Taimanov

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Nc3 Qc7 6 Be2 a6 7 0-0 Nf6 8 Be3 Bb4 9 Na4 Bd6 10 g3 b5 11 Nb6 Rb8 12 Nxc8 Rxc8 13 a4 Nxd4 14 Bxd4 e5 15 Be3 Bc5 16 Bxc5 Qxc5 17 Bd3 Rb8 18 axb5 axb5 19 Ra5 Qb4 20 Qa1 0-0 21 Rd1 Qe7 22 Qa3 b4 23 Qb3 h5 24 h4 Qd6 25 Kg2 Rfc8 26 f3 Kf8 27 Qa4 Qd4 28 Qb3 Qd6 29 Kf1 Kg8 30 Ke2 Qc7 31 Qa4 d5 32 Ra7 Qd6 33 Ba6 Rc7 34 Rxc7 Qxc7 35 exd5 e4 36 d6 exf3+ 37 Kxf3 Qc5 38 d7 Rd8 39 Bc8 Ng4 40 Rd3 Ne5+ 41 Kg2 Nxd3 42 cxd3 Kf8 43 Qd1 Ke7 44 Qe2+ Kd6 45 Qd2 f6 46 d4 Qd5+ 47 Kh2 b3 48 Qb4+ Ke6 49 Qb6+ Ke7 50 Qb4+ Qd6 51 Qxb3 Qxd4 52 Qa3+ Qd6 53 b4 Kf8 54 Qb2 Qe5 55 Qb3 g5 56 hxg5 fxg5 57 b5 h4 58 Qd3 Kg7 59 Kg2 hxg3 60 Qxg3 Qxb5 61 Qc3+ Kg6 62 Qd4 Qc6+ 63 Kg3 Qf6 64 Qe4+ Kg7 65 Qf3 Qe5+ 66 Kg2 Rh8 67 Qg3 Qe2+ 0-1

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2nd July, 2002

CHESS alfresco with a tournament organised on the piazza outside the Albert Halls starts a nine-day chess bonanza in Stirling this Friday afternoon, as the annual Scottish Championships returns to Braveheart country for the first time since 1954.

On the Saturday, following a civic reception in the presence of Stirling's Provost, Cllr. Tommy Brookes, the player's vying for this year's title will be marched "into battle" at the playing venue of Wallace High School to the skirl of the pipes.

Scotland's first grandmaster Paul Motwani, with five titles to his name, heads the field for this year's championship which also includes former title holders Colin McNab, Douglas Bryson and Roddy McKay. Completing the line up is Neil Berry, Ian Robertson, Jonathan Grant, Alan Grant, Iain Gourlay, Mark Fraser, Graeme Nolan, Joe Redpath, Jim Stevenson, Ken Beaton, Graeme Kafka, Elaine Rutherford and Ed Spencer.

One glaring omission from the line up is defending champion and Scottish number one Jonathan Rowson, who is off on an American odyssey. Unfortunately the Scottish clashes with the $200,000 World Open taking  place this week in Philadelphia. Last week Rowson got some last minute practise in before the World Open when he took part in the New York Tuesday Night Masters in Manhattan, organised by the legendary Marshall Chess Club.

The innovative weekly tournament is a four round rapidplay (25 minutes) that gives NY masters a chance to pit their wits against Grandmasters and other masters on a regular basis (for further information go to www.newyorkmasters.com). With 7 GMs, 7 IMs, 9 FMs and one WIM from a field of 33 battling it out for the $1,000 prize fund, the event ended in a tie for first on 3.5/4 between the GM trio of Igor Novikov, Leonid Yudasin and Roland Schmaltz - the trio also being the leading scorers so far in the series, Schmaltz leading with 14.5/16 (91%); Novikov second with 48/60 (80%) - though leading in the all-important prize money stakes; and Yudasin third with 35/44 (80%).

Suffice to say the weekly event is a tad on the strong side, and Rowson found himself having a particularly tough time of it with his score of 2/4 - especially after Yudasin's delayed castling clearly flummoxed the top Scot in their highly-entertaining duel in the Najdorf.


J Rowson - L Yudasin
New York Masters, Sicilian Najdorf

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Bg5 e6 7 f4 Qc7 8 Bxf6 gxf6 9 Qd3 Nc6 10 g3 Bd7 11 0-0-0 Be7 12 Bh3 Nxd4 13 Qxd4 Rc8 14 Kb1 b5 15 Qd2 b4 16 Ne2 a5 17 Nd4 h5 18 Bf1 Qb6 19 Be2 a4 20 e5 fxe5 21 fxe5 a3 22 Rhf1 dxe5 23 Nf3 Qc7 24 Nxe5 Ba4 25 Nxf7 Qxc2+ 26 Qxc2 Bxc2+ 27 Ka1 0-0 28 Nh6+ Kg7 29 Rd7 Rxf1+ 30 Bxf1 Kxh6 31 Rxe7 Bf5 0-1

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1st July, 2002

NEXT weekend sees the start of the new Scottish chess season with the staging of the 109th Scottish Championships at Wallace High School in Stirling, and it's still not too late to entry the tournament if you contact Tournament Director George Clark on 01786-479358.

With the new season upon us, this means that all the results from the 2001-2002 season are being number crunched as we write to produce the latest grading list. The last rateable tournament of the 2001-02 season took place last weekend in the Borders with the 9th Hawick Congress taking place at the local Town Hall.

A relative newcomer to the congress scene, Hawick first started in 1992 with generous - and continued - support from the Hawick Common Good Fund, with the tournament proving to be a convenient venue for chess players from both North and South of the Border. Entry numbers for the top event were up on last year and top player IM Stephen Mannion once again made a welcome return to the event which he has supported for many years.

Regarded as the "Mr Consistent" of Scottish Chess due to his prolific number of wins on the congress circuit, Mannion yet again was on top form all weekend as he coasted to victory with a 100% score of 5/5 to take the title. On the way to the title, he beat Richard Wiltshire, Ed Spencer, Andrew Davies, Alan Grant and Martin Mitchell.


Hawick results

Open: 1 IM S Mannion (Cathcart) 5/5; 2-3 A Grant (Cathcart), R Wiltshire (Phones) 3.5.
Challengers: 1 J Konarski (Galashiels) 4/5; 2-4 D Campbell (Oban), L Barnes (Newcastle), B Harrold (Oban) 3.5.
Major: 1 P Smith (England) 4.5/5; 2-4 F McDonald, D Laws (England), A Davey (England) 3.5.
Minor: 1-3 F Lauder (Galashiels), A Morgan (England), A Inglis (England) 4/5.


A Grant - S Mannion
Hawick Open (4), Reti Opening

1 Nf3 Nf6 2 g3 d5 3 Bg2 Bf5 4 0-0 e6 5 d3 h6 6 Nbd2 Be7 7 Qe1 0-0 8 e4 Bh7 9 Ne5 Nbd7 10 Nxd7 Qxd7 11 e5 Ne8 12 f4 c5 13 g4 Nc7 14 Qg3 c4 15 dxc4 Bxc2 16 cxd5 Nxd5 17 f5 Bc5+ 18 Kh1 Ne3 19 f6 Nxf1 20 Nxf1 Qd1 21 Be3 Qxa1 22 Bxc5 Rfd8 23 Bd6 Be4 24 Kg1 Bxg2 25 Kxg2 Qxb2+ 26 Kh3 Rac8 27 Qf4 g5 28 Qa4 Qf2 29 Qd1 0-1

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