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The Scotsman

Chess News August 2002

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30th August, 2002

A new innovation from FIDE, the world chess federation governing body, has been the introduction of a World Youth Olympiad for under-16 players, which has just finished in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - and the final result could just be a portent of things to come.

A total of 28 teams competed in the inaugural event that was dominated by China, who ran away with the gold with an impressive final score of 31/40 in the four-board competition. China, who were seeded second, finished four-points clear of the top seeded Ukrainian team - even although they had the world's youngest Grandmaster, Sergey Karjakin, playing on second board!

The result bodes well for the future of China, whose stated aim is to dominate the men's game by 2010 in much the same way as they dominate the women's game today. They took the title on the back of three very powerful performances by Wang Yue (85% on board 1), Zhao Jun (80% on board two), and Zhou Weiqi (80% on board 3).

Favourites Ukraine, who are another force for the future (and present!) with the likes of Ruslan Ponomariov and Karjakin being around for a good many years to come, turned in a very lacklustre performance. IM Alexander Areshchenko could only score 60% on top board, while latest chess wunderkind Karjakin, who had arrived in Kuala Lumpur hot-foot from his historic performance in Sudak (see today's game for a stunning miniature he produced there on the way to becoming the world's youngest GM), could only score 75% despite being on the on the lower board.

There was also disappointment for England, the only British team playing. Despite being seed fifth, they found the going tough among many potentially new superpowers in the game to only mange to 13th place.


Final standings: 1 China "A" 31/40; 2 Ukraine 27; 3 Indonesia 26.5; 4 India 26; 5 Uzbekistan 24; 6 Romania 23; 7 Iran 22.5; 8 Kazakhstan 22; 9 Singapore "A" 21.5; 10 Vietnam 21; 11 Malaysia "A" 21; 12 Australia "A" 21; 13 England 20.5; 14 Turkmenistan 20.5; 15 USA 20.


S Karjakin - V Malinin
Sudak (7), Scotch Game

1 e4 Nc6 2 d4 e5 3 Nf3 exd4 4 Nxd4 Qh4 5 Nc3 Bb4 6 Be2 Nf6 7 0-0 Bxc3 8 Nf5 Qxe4 9 Bd3 Qg4 10 f3 Qa4 11 bxc3 0-0 12 Nxg7 Kxg7 13 Bh6+ Kxh6 14 Qd2+ Kh5 15 g4+ Nxg4 16 fxg4+ Qxg4+ 17 Kh1 d6 18 Rf6 Qg5 19 Be2+ Bg4 20 Bxg4+ 1-0

29th August, 2002

IN an effort to further ingratiate itself within the Olympic movement, for the first time drug testing will be implemented during the forthcoming World Chess Olympiad in Bled - and believe me they will be checking for more than just traces of Horlicks!

Apparently more than 100 substances are on the banned list approved by FIDE, including excess levels of alcohol, cannabis and coffee. I understand that even although only a fraction of the players will actually be tested, all players on arrival (including the Scottish squad) will be requires to sign consent forms for random testing - with those refusing likely to be penalised by not being allowed to play.

However drug testing in chess is nothing new. Under pressure from the German Sports Federation, the German Chess Federation introduced doping rules as far back as 1992 in order to qualify for financial assistance for the game. The Spanish Chess Federation is also believed to receive around $320,000 a year from the Council of Sports for testing 20 players at random during team tournaments and their national championship. And, during the last FIDE world championship in Moscow, 20 players (10% of the field, which included eight control players selected at random and a further twelve, including the four women semi-finalists and eight men quarter finalists.) had tests carried out on them by the Russian Ministry of Sport - all the results proving negative.

The move is all part of FIDE'S grand plan to see chess classified as a sport to qualify for government funding in many nations, and to do so they have to comply with the IOC's strict drug-testing rules. All of which has given the media a field day as they conjured up images of the chess world's answer to Ben Johnson, with visions of Novocain injections to allow players to sit for hours at a time or even intravenous Starbucks mainlining.


J Rowson - R McKay
Marymass Open (3), Ruy Lopez

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 0-0 d6 5 d4 Bd7 6 d5 Ne7 7 Bxd7+ Qxd7 8 Qe2 Ng6 9 c4 Be7 10 Nc3 0-0 11 Ne1 c6 12 a4 a5 13 Nd3 Bd8 14 Rd1 Re8 15 Be3 h6 16 h3 Rc8 17 Rac1 cxd5 18 cxd5 Rf8 19 b3 Kh7 20 Nb2 Rxc3 21 Rxc3 Nxe4 22 Rc4 f5 23 Rxe4 fxe4 24 Nc4 b5 25 axb5 Qxb5 26 Qc2 Be7 27 Qxe4 Qxb3 28 Rb1 Qa4 29 Nxd6 Qxe4 30

28th August, 2002

NESTLED in the foothills of the Julian Alps just south of the Austrian border, the idyllic resort of Bled is set to become the centre of the chess world as the Slovenian Chess Federation prepares to host the 35th World Chess Olympiad, which runs there from October 25 to November 11.

The biennial event has become a veritable chess jamboree over the years, where apart from the socialising over 120 countries prepare to do battle for both the Mens and Womens team titles, held respectively by Russia and China who triumphed two years ago in Istanbul. The new-found friendship blossoming between Garry Kasparov and FIDE following the Prague Agreement has given the Olympiad an extra boost this year, as the world No.1 returns once again to lead favourites and defending champions Russia in their quest to retain the Hamilton-Russell Cup.

Whilst Scotland might not be ready just now to challenge mighty Russia's dominance of the event, the good news is that they have however managed to secure the services of a full-strength squad for the Olympiad. Mens Team: GM Jonathan Rowson, GM Paul Motwani, IM John Shaw, GM Colin McNab,IM Steve Mannion, IM Douglas Bryson; Womens Team: WFM Helen Milligan, Carey Wilman, Heather Lang, Louise Macnab. And, acting as non-playing captain, will be International Director Alan Minnican.

A number of Scotland's top players were getting in some practice at the weekend ahead of the Olympiad, as they took part in the Marymass Open. Scottish No.1 Jonathan Rowson continues his good form, as he only conceded a last round draw to fellow team mate IM Steve Mannion to win first prize with 4.5/5; Mannion sharing second equal on 4/5 with GM Colin McNab and Alan Grant.


C McNab - J Rowson
Marymass Open (4), English Opening

1 c4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 g3 g6 4 Nc3 Bg7 5 Bg2 d6 6 d3 Qd7 7 Qa4 Rb8 8 Rb1 a6 9 Bd2 Nf6 10 a3 0-0 11 b4 b5 12 cxb5 axb5 13 Qd1 Nd4 14 0-0 Bb7 15 e3 Nxf3+ 16 Bxf3 Bxf3 17 Qxf3 Rfc8 18 Rfc1 Ng4 19 Qe2 c4 20 dxc4 Rxc4 21 f3 Nxe3 22 Bxe3 Bxc3 23 Rc2 Rbc8 24 Rbc1 Qe6 25 Kg2 h5 26 Qd3 Bxb4 27 Re2 Bc3 28 Bg5 Be5 29 Rb1 Rc3 30 Qe4 R3c4 31 Qd3 Rc3 32 Qxb5 Qf5 33 f4 Rc234 fxe5 Qe4+ 35 Kf1 Rxe2 0-1

27th August, 2002

The first half of 2002 wasn't exactly a memorable one for "Lucky" Loek Van Wely, who started the year on a high as the Dutch No.1 with the publication of the January 1st Elo-list.

He had an unmitigated disaster during the first two tournaments of the year at Corus and the Aeroflot Open, as his once stratospheric 2697 Elo-rating went into virtual freefall as he soon found himself demoted to third place in the Netherlands rankings behind former Bosnian Ivan Sokolov and the semi-retired Jeroen Piket.

Things then went from bad to worse for the Dutchman as he returned from a Bundesliga game. Driving a brand new Jaguar X at over 100mph on the Autobahn between Koblenz and Frankfurt, he lost control of the car as it skidded and overturned - yet somehow he miraculously emerged from the wreckage with only mild concussion.

However Van Wely is a player who thrives on confidence and can be extremely dangerous once he gets "on a roll", and the second half of the year has so far proved more promising. After beating Sergey Tiviakov in a play-off to win the Dutch Championships, he moved on to the Lost Boys Open in Amsterdam where he set a blistering pace.

There, thanks to a remarkable run of seven successive wins, he had an amazing victory in the tournament to finish 1.5-points ahead of a strong field that included more than a dozen Grandmasters. His near-perfect score of 8.5/9 in the process producing the highest tournament performance rating for the year of 2949.

Van Wely's only concession during the tournament was a draw with the 20-year-old German IM Florian Handke, who not only shared second place with Friso Nijboer and Ivan Sokolov on 7/9, but also achieved his third and final GM norm.


Lost Boys Open: 1 GM L Van Wely (Netherlands) 8.5/9; 2-4 GM F Nijboer (Netherlands), IM F Handke (Germany), GM I Sokolov (Netherlands) 7; 5-6 GM A Schekachev (Russia), IM M Peek (Netherlands) 6.5; 7-14 GM E Sutovsky (Israel), GM D Sadvakasov (Kazakhstan), J Smeets (Netherlands), IM R Jansen (Netherlands), IM S Halikas (Greece), GM J vd. Wiel (Netherlands), IM J Berkvens (Netherlands), GM E Lobron (Germany) 6.


D Sadvakasov - L Van Wely
Lost Boys Open (5), Sicilian Rossolimo

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 e6 4 Bxc6 bxc6 5 0-0 Ne7 6 d3 Ng6 7 Ng5 h6 8 Nh3 d5 9 Nf4 Nxf4 10 Bxf4 Qf6 11 Qc1 g5 12 Bg3 Rg8 13 Nc3 h5 14 f4 gxf4 15 Qxf4 Qxf4 16 Bxf4 Ba6 17 Rae1 d4 18 Nb1 c4 19 Rf3 f6 20 e5 f5 21 Nd2 cxd3 22 cxd3 c5 23 Nc4 Bb7 24 Rg3 Rxg3 25 Bxg3 Kd7 26 Nd6 Ba6 27 Rc1 Bxd3 28 Rxc5 Rb8 29 b3 Rb6 30 Rc1 Bh6 31 Re1 Ra6 32 Bf2 Rxa2 33 Bxd4 Kc6 34 Nc4 Be4 35 Bf2 a5 36 h3 Bd5 37 Rb1 a4 38 g3 axb3 0-1

26th August, 2002

EVER since the demise in the early 1980s of the hugely-popular - and groundbreaking - BBC2 chess program The Master Game, hosted by Jeremy James and Leonard Barden (who was subsequently replaced by wit and raconteur Bill Hartston, a two-time winner of the competition), chess fans have been deprived of a regular TV slot on chess in the U.K.

Not so in Germany - there the game is given a much higher profile within the media. Since 1973, the German TV station "Westdeutscher Rundfunk" (WDR) has given the annual Dortmund tournament extensive coverage hosted by Dr Claus Spahn with the assistance of the GM duo of Vlastimil Hort and Dr Helmut Pfleger; the recent Candidates tournament having five one-hour programs broadcast during the event.

Not only that, but each late August WDR has hosted a special televised match that has featured top players such as Timman, Korchnoi, Anand, Leko, Adams, the Polgar sisters and Kramnik. The format consists of two players going head-to-head over two 60min games (and Blitz matches if necessary in the event of a tie), the eventual winner return the following year to defend the title against a new challenger.

The series started in 1983 with world champion Anatoly Karpov taking on Germany's top player Dr. Robert Hubner. This year, the TV station celebrated the 20th edition of the annual event, so they decided to invite the first two contestants back rather than four-time winner Vladimir Kramnik. And, after two hard-fought 60min games that ended in draws, Hubner, who won the first title in 1983, defeated Karpov after a sudden-death Blitz finish.


A Karpov - R Hubner
WDR 20th Anniversary Match (3), Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 e3 Bf5 5 Nc3 e6 6 Nh4 Be4 7 f3 Bg6 8 g3 Be7 9 Nxg6 hxg6 10 Bd3 Nbd7 11 Kf2 e5 12 cxd5 cxd5 13 dxe5 Nxe5 14 Bb5+ Nc6 15 Ba4 Qd7 16 Ne2 a6 17 Bd2 b5 18 Bb3 d4 19 Kg2 Ne5 20 Rc1 Qh3+ 21 Kf2 Nd3+ 22 Kg1 Nxc1 23 Qxc1 Rc8 24 Qe1 dxe3 25 Bxe3 0-0 26 Nf4 Qh7 27 Kg2 g5 28 Nh3 g4 29 Ng5 gxf3+ 30 Nxf3 Qe4 31 Bd4 Qb7 32 Qe5 Rfe8 33 Qf5 Qe4 34 Qxe4 Nxe4 35 Ne5 Nd6 36 Ng4 Nc4 37 Rf1 Bc5 38 Bc3 Re2+ 39 Kf3 Rce8 40 Bxc4 bxc4 41 Kf4 Rd8 42 Kf3 Re6 43 Ne5 Bd4 44 Rd1 Rxe5 45 Rxd4 Rxd4 46 Bxd4 Re6 0-1

23rd August, 2002

CHILD prodigies are a well-known phenomenon in chess – however these days they seem to be mass producing them in the Ukraine. This year Ruslan Ponamariov became, at 18, the youngest player to win the world title. Now, we have a 12-year-old from the Ukraine who has just become the world’s youngest grandmaster, breaking by over three-years an age record once held by the legendary Bobby Fischer.

Cherubic-featured Sergey Karjakin (pronounced 'car-yack-kin'), following his earlier GM results this year in Moscow and Alushta, made his final qualification norm at Sudak in the Crimea Peninsula last week; his unbeaten score of 10/13 in the category 7 tournament (average rating: 2405) there also giving him third place. Aged just 12-years seven months, he smashed the previous record held by China’s Bu Xiangzhi by more than a year – and unlike Fischer, Karjakin’s record may never be broken.

Fischer set his record at 15½ in 1958, and he was to hold it for over 30-years before Judit Polgar, the best ever female player, astonished the world in 1991 when she bettered his record by over a month. Since then, a steady stream of prodigies such as Peter Leko, the current title challenger, and Ponomariov, the FIDE world title holder, improved upon the age record before their 15th birthday.

After winning last year’s Under-12 world crown, Karjakin was specially drafted in earlier this year by Ponomariov as a special aide for his world title match against fellow Ukrainian (veteran?) Vassily Ivanchuk – an unprecedented appointment at such a young age for any sport.

Timeline of youngest GM’s down the years: Bobby Fischer (15 years, 6 months, 1 day), Judit Polgar (15y, 4m, 28d), Peter Leko (14y, 4m, 22d), Etienne Bacrot (14y, 2m, 0d), Ruslan Ponomariov (14y, 0m, 17d), Bu Xiangzhi (13y, 10m, 13d), Sergey Karjakin (12y, 7m, 2d).


V Anand – R Ponomariov
Duel of the World Ch. (4), Sicilian Scheveningen

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 f3 e6 7 Be3 b5 8 g4 Nfd7 9 Qd2 Bb7 10 0-0-0 Nb6 11 Nb3 N8d7 12 Na5 Qc7 13 Kb1 Be7 14 h4 0-0 15 Bg5 f6 16 Be3 Ne5 17 Qf2 Nbc4 18 Nxb7 Qxb7 19 Bd4 Rac8 20 Ne2 Nc6 21 Be3 Nxe3 22 Qxe3 Qa7 23 Qb3 d5 24 exd5 Na5 25 Qd3 Nc4 26 Nf4 Ne3 27 Nxe6 Nxd1 28 Qxd1 Rfe8 29 Bd3 Qf2 30 f4 Bd6 31 g5 Rxe6 32 dxe6 Qxf4 33 Rf1 Qe5 34 Re1 Qc5 35 gxf6 gxf6 36 Qg4+ Kh8 37 Rg1 Qc7 38 e7 1-0

22nd August, 2002

AS the floods caused havoc over Europe last week, they also took their toll on the chess world. In Prague, the overflowing Vltava River may have spared the Four Seasons hotel where the historic peace accord unifying the chess world was signed, but alas totally flooded the beautiful Zofin Palace, scene of Vishy Anand's victory there in May.

Meanwhile in flood-hit Dresden as the River Elbe caused widespread chaos as it burst its banks, the young German player Elizabeth Paehtz almost never made it to Mainz for her "Duel of the Graces" match with Chess pin-up girl Alexandra Kosteniuk. Stuck on the 14th floor of her high school dormitory in total darkness, Paehtz bravely decided to wade through chest-high waters for nearly three-hours with her suitcase on her head in a determined effort to reach the only operational railway station.

There, she discovered to her horror that only one train was leaving that day from Dresden.and heading for Poland! She got on the train and the next morning caught the first train to Berlin, and from there careful navigated a safe route to Mainz - only arriving with a few minutes to spare before for her 3.00pm press conference on the eve of the match!

Her dramatic journey proves that she's a pretty determined character, and, against all the odds against a superior opponent in Kosteniuk who only last year was a finalist in the women's world championship, Paehtz recovered from a bad start after losing her first two games to tie their match at 4-4. Alas for Paehtz, she was finally beaten 2-1 by Kosteniuk in the blitz tie-breaker.


A Kosteniuk - E Paehtz
Duel of the Graces (6), Sicilian Najdorf

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 f3 e5 7 Nb3 Be6 8 Be3 Nbd7 9 Qd2 Be7 10 g4 h6 11 0-0-0 b5 12 Kb1 Nb6 13 Qf2 Nfd7 14 h4 Qc7 15 Nd5 Bxd5 16 exd5 Nc4 17 Bc1 a5 18 Bd3 Rb8 19 g5 a4 20 Nd2 Ndb6 21 gxh6 gxh6 22 Ne4 a3 23 b3 Nd7 24 Qg2 Nb2 25 Bxb2 axb2 26 c3 Qa5 27 Qxb2 Nb6 28 Bf1 Kd7 29 Qe2 Nc8 30 Bh3+ Kc7 31 c4 bxc4 32 Qxc4+ Kb7 33 Rc1 Ka7 34 Qc7+ 1-0

21st August, 2002

INDIAN World No.3, Viswanathan Anand yet again lived up to his reputation as the world's best rapid player after beating Ruslan Ponomariov from the Ukraine in their eight-game "Duel of the World Champions" encounter at the Mainz Chess Classic in Germany.

As the intriguing contest went to the wire of the final eighth game with both players locked at 3.5-3.5, Anand produced what can only be described as a stunningly brilliant double knight sacrifice that not only ripped the defences from around the young Ukrainians king, but ultimately also forced his resignation after he was left defending a hopelessly lost endgame.

For Anand, who is now starting to show again the dazzling chess that took him to the very top and a title challenge with Garry Kasparov, the win is doubly sweet for the Indian ace as it gives him a hat-trick of wins in the annual Chess Classic organised by Hans-Walter Schmitt - and also follows hard on the heels of his recent win in the Eurotel Trophy in Prague.

Ponomariov, who commented after the match that "Vishy defends better than I do - I'm missing that from my game," the result must have come as a bitter blow as the young FIDE world champion could have won the first three games on the opening day of the sell-out competition; however the ever-resourceful Anand managed to salvage two draws to stay in the match.


V Anand - R Ponomariov
Duel of the World Ch. (8), Queen's Gambit Accepted

1 d4 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 e3 e6 5 Bxc4 c5 6 0-0 a6 7 a4 Nc6 8 Qe2 Be7 9 Rd1 0-0 10 dxc5 Qc7 11 b3 Bxc5 12 Bb2 b6 13 Nbd2 Bb7 14 Rac1 Nb4 15 Ng5 Qe7 16 Ndf3 h6 17 Nh3 Rfd8 18 Nf4 Rxd1+ 19 Rxd1 Rd8 20 Rxd8+ Qxd8 21 Ne5 Nbd5 22 Nh5 Be7 23 h3 Qc7 24 e4 Nb4 25 Nxf7 Kxf7 26 Nxg7 Bc8 27 Nf5 b5 28 axb5 axb5 29 Nxe7 Kxe7 30 Bxb5 Qc2 31 Ba3 Qc3 32 Qc4 Qa1+ 33 Kh2 Qxa3 34 Qxc8 Qa5 35 Qc5+ Kd8 36 Qd6+ Kc8 37 Qxe6+ Kb8 38 Bc4 Qc7+ 39 e5 Ne4 40 f4 Nd2 41 Qxh6 Nxc4 42 Qf8+ Ka7 43 Qxb4 Nb6 44 e6 Nc8 45 Qd4+ Kb8 46 Qe5 1-0

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20th August, 2002

THE main feature of this year's Chess Classic in Mainz, Germany, got underway with two of the world's top players, Viswanathan Anand of India, ranked third at 2755, and Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine, ranked sixth at 2743, going head-to-head in eight games of 25-minute chess.

The match is billed as the "Duel of the World Champions" because both players have been the last two holders of the FIDE world championship crown - former champion Anand, 32, who won the title in 2001 in Tehran after beating Alexei Shirov; and the present incumbent Ponomariov, 18, who in January defeated Vassily Ivanchuk in Moscow to become the youngest-ever holder of the title.

For Ponomariov, the match-up with the highly-experienced Anand is regarded as one of his sternest tests - and more importantly a chance to play a serious match-play opponent before his crucial meeting next year with Garry Kasparov, the winner of which will go forward to play in a world championship unification match with the winner of the Vladimir Kramnik-Peter Leko match.

Ponomariov got off to a great start in his match-up in Mainz with Anand, as he took the opening day honours. After having the better of two hard-fought draws he won game three to take the overnight lead. However, Anand soon fought his way back into the match with some inspired play at the start of day two to win game four - the match now going into the final day evenly poised at 3-3.


R Ponomariov - V Anand
Duel of the World Ch (3), 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 Bb3 Ng6 19 Nc2 Re8 20 f4 exf3 21 Rxe8+ Qxe8 22 Qxf3 f4 23 Re1 Qd7 24 Nb4 a5 25 Nc6 Re8 26 Rxe8+ Qxe8 27 Kf1 b4 28 cxb4 axb4 29 Qe2 Qd7 30 Bc2 Ne5 31 Qe4 f3 32 Qxh7+ Kf8 33 Qe4 fxg2+ 34 Kxg2 Ng4 35 h3 Ne5 36 Ba4 Kg8 37 Qxb4 Ng6 38 Bc2 Qe8 39 Qe4 Qa8 40 a4 Bxb2 41 Qg4 Kh8 42 Bxg6 fxg6 43 Qxg6 Qxa4 44 Ne7 1-0

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19th August, 2002

YET again another Hans-Walter Schmitt extravaganza got underway in the ancient German City of Mainz, with the latest edition of his annual Chess Classic being staged at the Rheingoldhalle.

Apart from the "Duel of the World Champions" encounter between Vishy Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov, there's also an accompanying match-up entitled the "Duel of the Graces" featuring Germany's Elisabeth Paehtz and Russia's Alexandra Kosteniuk. And, for added attraction among the thrilling Mainz potpourri of events, for the first time in history there's a major Fischer Random Open tournament featuring many of the world's top GMs such as Peter Svidler, Michal Krasenkov, Rafael Vaganion, Krishnan Sasikiran and Joe Gallagher etc.

As usual the City's chess-mad Mayor Jens Beutel, who himself is a serious player with a respectable 2075 rating, was on hand to not only officially open the event, but also take part in an unusual two-game handicap match curtain-raiser against the world No.3, Vishy Anand.

In the olden days a handicap match would normally involve the professional either ceding a move, a piece or pawn - or sometimes all of these - at the start of the game. Now, with computers playing a bigger and bigger role in chess, the modern day equivalent was found in the form of an Advanced Chess Match where the Burgermeister's hardware was vastly superior. During the game both players could consult the top software programme Fritz 7, however Anand's ran on a 733 MHz notebook with just 128 MB of memory, whilst Beutel's had a state-of-the-art desktop with 2220 MHz and 512 MB of memory. Regardless of the difference in hardware, Anand easily won the match 2-0 with a superb display of anti-computer chess strategy.


V Anand - J Beutel
Mainz Chess Classic (2), London System

1 Nf3 Nf6 2 d4 g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 4 e3 0-0 5 c3 d6 6 h3 Nbd7 7 Bh2 a6 8 Be2 c5 9 0-0 b6 10 Nbd2 Bb7 11 a4 Qc7 12 Bd3 Qc6 13 Qe2 Rfe8 14 e4 d5 15 e5 Ne4 16 Bf4 Nf8 17 Qe3 Nxd2 18 Qxd2 c4 19 Bc2 Ne6 20 Bh6 Bh8 21 Nh2 Bc8 22 f4 Ng7 23 Bxg7 Bxg7 24 f5 gxf5 25 Bxf5 Qh6 26 Qe2 Bxf5 27 Rxf5 Rf8 28 Raf1 b5 29 Ng4 Qe6 30 axb5 axb5 31 Qf3 Qg6 32 h4 Qe6 33 h5 h6 34 Nf6+ exf6 35 exf6 Bh8 36 Re5 Qxf6 37 Qxf6 Bxf6 38 Rxf6 Kg7 39 Rff5 Ra1+ 40 Kh2 Ra2 41 Rxd5 Rxb2 42 Rxb5 Rc2 43 Rf3 1-0

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16th August, 2002

CHESS alfresco with a promotional match-up billed as the "Battle of the Babes" took place in Exchange Square in London on Wednesday, as Chess pin-up girl Alexandra Kosteniuk, runner-up in the women's world championship last year at the age of 17, took on English chess prodigy David Howell, aged 11, in a four-game rapidplay match with a difference.

With the aid and backing of Einstein TV, whose stated aim is to do for chess what Channel 4 did for cricket, there was an added physical and visual dimension to this intriguing cerebral encounter, as both players had to make their moves on a giant outdoor chess-set whilst running back and forth to stop the clock on a nearby table.

The match was organised by the irrepressible Mike Basman as a way of further promoting his British Land UK Chess Challenge, the UK national schools' individual championship, played in school, regional and national stages and involving no less than 56,000 British schoolchildren.

After getting off to a good start with a draw, Howell soon found the going tough as Kosteniuk, dubbed the Anna Kournikova of chess, won three in-a-row to win the match 3.5.0-5. Apart from being one of the world's top female players, Kosteniuk is also forging a career as a fashion model, and also took part in a photo shoot in London for "Elle" magazine after the match. She now moves on to Mainz in Germany where she'll be playing in a match at the weekend, billed as the "Duel of the Graces", against 17-year-old Elizabeth Pahtz as part of the supporting act to the main feature of Vishy Anand vs. Ruslan Ponomariov.


A Kosteniuk - D Howell
Battle of the Babes (4), Ruy Lopez

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 0-0 8 a4 Bb7 9 d3 d6 10 Nbd2 h6 11 Nf1 Re8 12 c3 Bf8 13 Ne3 Na5 14 Ba2 c5 15 b4 cxb4 16 cxb4 Nc6 17 Qb3 Qd7 18 Bb2 bxa4 19 Qxa4 Nd4 20 Qxd7 Nxf3+ 21 gxf3 Nxd7 22 Nd5 Rec8 23 Bc4 Ra7 24 Ra5 Bxd5 25 Bxd5 Nb6 26 Bb3 d5 27 Rea1 Bxb4 28 Rxa6 Rxa6 29 Rxa6 Nd7 30 Bxd5 Rc2 31 Ra7 Rxb2 32 Rxd7 Bc5 33 Rxf7 Kh7 34 f4 Rxf2 35 Rc7 Rc2+ 36 Kf1 exf4 37 e5 Rc1+ 38 Ke2 Be3 39 Be4+ Kg8 40 Rd7 Rc2+ 41 Kf3 h5 42 Bg6 Kf8 43 e6 Rf2+ 44 Ke4 Bc5 45 Rf7+ Kg8 46 Kd5 Ba3 47 e7 Re2 48 Rf8# 1-0

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15th August, 2002

EXACTLY thirty years ago this month, the saga of the Bobby Fischer- Boris Spassky World Championship Match in Reykjavik captivated the world and thrust the game of chess into the media spotlight for the first time.

Played during the height of the Cold War in Iceland (ironically half-way between Russia and America), Fischer explained in a pre-match interview, that "This little thing with me and Spassky is sort of a microcosm of the whole world political situation." However the match very nearly never took place.

Weeks of front-page would-he-won't-he headlines preceded the onset of play as Fischer, who had to be dragged to Iceland kicking and screaming, expressed his concerns about the venue, its press capabilities, the purse and the physical conditions of play. It was only after the intervention of City financier Jim Slater, who doubled the purse, and the U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who personally telephoned and told him it was "his patriotic duty to play", that Fischer finally boarded the plane for Iceland.

The rest is, of course, history with Fischer winning the epic encounter 12.5-8.5 to finally end the Soviet hegemony of the world crown. On winning the title, Fischer commented that "All I want to do, ever, is play chess." Sadly for his legions of fans, apart from a guest appearance on the "Bob Hope Christmas Special of 1972", where he played the comedian in a special challenge match that ended abruptly with Hope capturing all of Fischer's pieces a la checkers-style, this was the last public game Fischer played for almost twenty years as he turned into a virtual recluse.

Nowadays, Fischer is located in Japan where's he's been developing a supposedly revolutionary new chess clock. He only returned to the public eye again ten years ago in 1992 to again play his old foe Spassky in a $5 million "return match", held in Sveti Stefan in war-torn Yugoslavia, which he won 17.5-12.5. Despite the long absence from the board, it was almost as if Fischer hadn't been away at all as the first game got underway - and yet again in the full glare of the media spotlight.


R Fischer - B Spassky
Sveti Stefan (1) 1992, Ruy Lopez

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3 0-0 9 h3 Nb8 10 d4 Nbd7 11 Nbd2 Bb7 12 Bc2 Re8 13 Nf1 Bf8 14 Ng3 g6 15 Bg5 h6 16 Bd2 Bg7 17 a4 c5 18 d5 c4 19 b4 Nh7 20 Be3 h5 21 Qd2 Rf8 22 Ra3 Ndf6 23 Rea1 Qd7 24 R1a2 Rfc8 25 Qc1 Bf8 26 Qa1 Qe8 27 Nf1 Be7 28 N1d2 Kg7 29 Nb1 Nxe4 30 Bxe4 f5 31 Bc2 Bxd5 32 axb5 axb5 33 Ra7 Kf6 34 Nbd2 Rxa7 35 Rxa7 Ra8 36 g4 hxg4 37 hxg4 Rxa7 38 Qxa7 f4 39 Bxf4 exf4 40 Nh4 Bf7 41 Qd4+ Ke6 42 Nf5 Bf8 43 Qxf4 Kd7 44 Nd4 Qe1+ 45 Kg2 Bd5+ 46 Be4 Bxe4+ 47 Nxe4 Be7 48 Nxb5 Nf8 49 Nbxd6 Ne6 50 Qe5 1-0

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14th August, 2002

DESPITE a valiant effort at the Smith & Williamson British Championships in Torquay from Jonathan Rowson, it looks as if the Scots are going to have to try, try and try again to finally end the 56-year hoodoo of winning the British crown.

Just like last year when IM John Shaw's superb run in Scarborough fell at the final hurdle, Rowson's chances of erasing RF Combe from the record books crumbled when he blew a promising position by exchanging queen's in the penultimate round to the eventual surprise winner of the title, India's IM RB Ramesh. For his efforts, Rowson finished with a score of 6.5/11. The other Scots faired no better: IM Andrew Muir and Jonathan Grant also finished on 6.5, with Neil Berry on 5.5.

Yet despite the obvious setback, next year all eyes will at least be on Scotland during "the British". For the first time in ten-years (and for only the seventh occasion since its inception in Hastings in 1904), the UK's showpiece event returns to Scotland next year and will be held at the George Heriot's School in Edinburgh, running from 20th July to 2nd August. Traditionally the British, which will have an entry of over 1,000 competitors staying in the city over the two week period, starts in early August. However, due to the logistical problems of clashing with the Edinburgh Festival, the BCF has wisely moved to the earlier date.

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


J Grant - G Wall
89th British Ch. (11), English Opening

1 c4 g6 2 Nc3 Bg7 3 g3 f5 4 Bg2 Nf6 5 d3 d6 6 e4 e5 7 Nge2 0-0 8 0-0 c6 9 exf5 gxf5 10 d4 Na6 11 b3 Qc7 12 Bg5 h6 13 Bh4 Nh7 14 f4 e4 15 g4 fxg4 16 Nxe4 Be6 17 N4g3 Qd7 18 d5 cxd5 19 cxd5 Bf7 20 Rc1 Kh8 21 Nd4 Rac8 22 Rxc8 Qxc8 23 Ndf5 Qc5+ 24 Kh1 Rg8 25 Be7 1-0

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13th August, 2002

THE England-India Test Match series on Channel 4 prepared the way for the TV station to create a whole “Indian Summer” season of programmes, including music from Nitin Sawhney, a nightly Bollywood film, and even Jon Snow presenting Channel 4 News from India for a week.

On the back of all this, the Indians fittingly decided to do a sweep of all the major titles during the Smith & Williamson British Championships in Torquay. The news might have gone down well in Delhi, but a lot closer to home there’s been “grumblings” from top players about the continued wisdom of allowing overseas player’s to take part in the tournament, as this sort of “invasion” was never envisaged when the championship was opened up to Commonwealth entrants.

It’s all a far cry from the days of the mighty British Empire of the early 1920’s, when this magnanimous gesture allowed players from the colonies to play amongst strong opposition on an annual basis as Britain was then a major player on the chess scene. Now it’s the Indians who are shaping up to be a major chess superpower as Britain’s power is on the wane.

In 1999 a smaller invasion triggered a GM protest petition as they saw it as a threat to their livelihood, which the BCF conveniently ignored because they believed the scenario outlined could never happen. Now there’s likely to be recriminations in the domestic game that could see resignations being asked for of officials or perhaps leading players simply ignoring the showpiece event - and no wonder when you discover that of the £25,000 prize fund on offer, £21,160 departed via Heathrow Airport in one way or another at the weekend thanks to a combination of Indians and Switzerland’s Joe Gallagher!

The BCF look as if they are in a Catch-22 situation now regarding the flagship British event, despite continuing to bluster that they’ll be changing the structure of the tournament following its centenary year celebrations in 2004. While many players may wish to see the championship restricted to British residency rules, the addition of the Commonwealth players does make for a rather unique event that would be a benefit not only for the present sponsors but perhaps even for future sponsorship.

However at least one prize went to an English junior - and for beating an Indian GM! Nick Pert won the Alexander Best Game Prize for this fourth round annihilation of Surya Ganguly.


N Pert – S Ganguly
89th British Ch. (4), Queen’s Gambit Accepted

1 d4 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 e3 Nf6 4 Bxc4 e6 5 Nf3 c5 6 0-0 a6 7 Bb3 cxd4 8 exd4 Nc6 9 Nc3 Be7 10 Bg5 0-0 11 Qd2 Na5 12 Bc2 b5 13 Qf4 Bb7 14 Qh4 g6 15 d5 Bxd5 16 Ne4 Bxe4 17 Bxe4 Ra7 18 Rad1 Nd5 19 Rfe1 f6 20 Bh6 Re8 21 Qg4 Bf8 22 Bxg6 hxg6 23 Qxg6+ Bg7 24 Rxd5 Qxd5 25 Qxe8+ Kh7 26 Bxg7 Rxg7 27 Re3 Nc4 28 Ng5+ Rxg5 29 Qf7+ Kh6 30 Qxf6+ Kh7 31 Qf7+ 1-0

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12th August, 2002

THE threat of an ‘Indian take-away’ being delivered at this year’s Smith & Williamson British Championships turned into reality come the final round at the Riviera Centre in Torquay, as for the first time in the tournament’s 98-year history all three top British titles went to overseas player's.

In an amazing Indian sweep, IM Ramachadran Ramesh was the surprise winner of the £10,000 first prize, as the tournament dark horse defeated overnight leader GM Luke McShane in the final round to win the title with a final score of 8.5/11 – a remarkable performance that also saw the Chennai master become the first Indian to triumph at the British since the legendary Mir Sultan Khan, who won three titles in a magical four-year spell between 1929 and 1933.

Despite his only loss of the tournament coming at the hands of fellow Indian Pentala Harikrishna at the end of the first week, Ramesh, who also achieved his second GM norm, had an outstanding second week as he scored 4.5/5 with wins over Barua, Kunte, Rowson and McShane to become the first overseas Commonwealth winner of the British crown since Canada’s Abe Yanofsky in 1953.

Top seed Krishnan Sasikiran also made a strong recovery in the home straight, as three successive wins gave the favourite a share of second equal on 8/11 alongside defending champion Joe Gallagher; Sasikiran thus also becoming the British U-21 Champion. The Indian ‘triple crown’ was completed with WGM Humpy Koneru, 15, winning her second British Women’s title in three years with a final score of 7/11.


Final scores: 1 IM RB Ramesh (India) 8.5/11; 2-3 GM K Sasikiran (India), GM J Gallagher (Switzerland) 8; 4-8 S Haslinger (England), GM L McShane (England), GM G Flear (England), GM A Kunte (India), GM D Barua (India) 7.5.


L McShane – RB Ramesh
89th British Ch. (11), Sicilian Rossolimo

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 e6 4 Bxc6 bxc6 5 d3 Ne7 6 Qe2 f6 7 Nh4 g6 8 f4 Bg7 9 0-0 0-0 10 c4 d6 11 Nc3 h6 12 Be3 g5 13 Nf3 gxf4 14 Bxf4 e5 15 Bd2 Rb8 16 Nh4 Rxb2 17 Nd1 Rb7 18 Ne3 d5 19 Rad1 Rb2 20 Qh5 Qe8 21 Qf3 d4 22 Nef5 Bxf5 23 exf5 Kh7 24 g4 Rxa2 25 Qh3 Rh8 26 Nf3 Qd7 27 Rf2 a5 28 Rdf1 a4 29 Nxe5 fxe5 30 f6 Rxd2 31 Rxd2 Ng6 32 fxg7 Kxg7 33 Qh5 Qe7 34 Rdf2 Nf4 35 Rxf4 exf4 36 Kh1 a3 37 Rg1 Qg5 38 Qh3 a2 39 Qg2 Ra8 40 Ra1 Qf6 41 Qf3 Ra6 42 Kg2 Qe5 43 Qf2 Qe3 44 Rxa2 f3+ 45 Kg3 Rxa2 46 Qxa2 f2+ 47 Kg2 f1Q+ 48 Kxf1 Qxd3+ 49 Kg2 Qe4+ 50 Kg3 d3 51 Qa7+ Kf6 52 Qd7 Qe3+ 53 Kh4 d2 54Qxc6+ Qe6 55 Qf3+ Kg7 56 Kh3 h5 57 Qb7+ Kh6 58 Kg3 Qxg4+ 59 Kf2 Qd4+ 0-1

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8th August, 2002

TOP junior Luke McShane seems to be the player possessing ‘that Riviera touch’ during this year’s Smith & Williamson British Championships in Torquay, as the teenager dramatically moved into the sole lead in the tournament.

With yet another silky-smooth performance in round eight, McShane, 18, outplayed IM Danny Gormally to establish a crucial half point lead over the field; and now, with just three rounds left to play, McShane could be set for the biggest win of his career as he’s within sight of the finishing line and the £10,000 first prize.


Luke McShane


McShane seized his chance to take the lead after defending champion Joe Gallagher and India’s Pentala Harikrishna agreed a short draw on the top board, opening the way for them to be overtaken. And, for once in the British, good fortune seems to be going Scotland’s way as Jonathan Rowson, looking to beat a 50 year hoodoo, also joins Gallagher and Harikrishna just behind the new leader.

Rowson found himself in an almost losing position as he was being outplayed by Matthew Turner, only to have the good fortune to see his opponent go wildly astray during a frantic time scramble to gift him the point.


Leader board: 1 GM L McShane (England) 6.5/8; 2-4 GM J Gallagher (Switzerland), GM P Harikrishna (India), GM J Rowson (Scotland) 6; 5- 14 GM J Emms (England), S Haslinger (England), WGM H Koneru (India), GM A Kunte (India), GM B Lalic (England), IM G Lane (Australia), IM N Pert (England), IM R Ramesh (India), GM J Speelman (England), GM P Wells (England) 5.5


D Gormally – L McShane
89th British Ch. (8), 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 exf5 Bxf5 12 c3 Bg7 13 Nc2 Be6 14 Nce3 Ne7 15 Nxe7 Qxe7 16 a4 b4 17 Bc4 bxc3 18 bxc3 0-0 19 0-0 Rac8 20 Bxa6 Rxc3 21 Nd5 Bxd5 22 Qxd5 Rc5 23 Qb7 Qxb7 24 Bxb7 Rb8 25 Rfb1 e4 26 Bxe4 Rbc8 27 g3 Bxa1 28 Rxa1 Rc1+ 29 Rxc1 Rxc1+ 30 Kg2 Rc4 31 Kf3 Rxa4 32 Ke3 Kg7 33 Bd5 f5 34 h3 f4+ 35 Kf3 fxg3 36 fxg3 Kf6 37 h4 Kf5 38 Bg8 Ra3+ 39 Kg2 h6 40 Kh3 Re3 41 Bh7+ Ke5 0-1

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7th August, 2002

THE younger generation are making their move at the Smith & Williamson British Championships being played at the Riviera Centre in Torquay, as two teenagers share the lead in the battle for the £10,000 first prize with just four rounds left to play.

Eighteen year old Luke McShane and 16 year old Pentala Harikrishna were two of the three leaders that won their seventh round game, and they now share the lead with defending champion Joe Gallagher on a score of 5.5/7.

Harikrishna had the easier task of the trio as his opponent, Peter Wells, gifted him the point after a serious blunder, induced alas by his habitual time trouble. McShane nurtured a small opening advantage through to a silky endgame win over Nick Pert, whilst defending champion Gallagher managed to grind out a win over India’s Dibyendu Barua.

Just a half a point behind the leaders there’s a formidable chasing pack of seven, of which includes Scotland’s Jonathan Rowson who was held to a draw by 15 year old Humpy Koneru, the young Indian thus keeping alive her ‘triple crown’ dream of winning all three titles.


Leader board: 1-3 GM P Harikrishna (India), GM J Gallagher (Switzerland), GM L McShane (England) 5.5/7; 4-10 IM D Gormally (England), GM A Kunte (India), GM J Speelman (England), GM-elect M Turner (England), GM J Rowson (Scotland), WGM H Koneru (India), GM B Lalic (England) 5. Scottish Scores: 14 N Berry 4.5; 36 J Grant 4; 54 IM A Muir 3.5.

L McShane – N Pert
89th British Ch. (7), French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 c5 4 Ngf3 Nf6 5 exd5 exd5 6 Bb5+ Bd7 7 Bxd7+ Nbxd7 8 0-0 Be7 9 dxc5 Nxc5 10 Nb3 Nce4 11 Nfd4 Qd7 12 f3 Nd6 13 Nc5 Qc8 14 Nd3 0-0 15 Be3 Re8 16 Bf2 Bd8 17 a4 Nf5 18 Qd2 Bb6 19 Nxf5 Bxf2+ 20 Qxf2 Qxf5 21 Rfe1 Qc8 22 Rxe8+ Qxe8 23 b3 Qc6 24 Re1 Re8 25 Rxe8+ Nxe8 26 Qe3 Kf8 27 Qxa7 Qxc2 28 Qc5+ Qxc5+ 29 Nxc5 b6 30 Nd7+ Ke7 31 Nxb6 Kd6 32 Kf2 Kc5 33 a5 Nc7 34 Ke3 Na6 35 Na4+ Kb4 36 Kd4 Nc7 37 Nb6 Ne6+ 38 Ke5 d4 39 a6 d3 40 a7 d2 41 a8Q d1Q 42 Nd5+ Kxb3 43 Qb7+ 1-0

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6th August, 2002

AS the Smith & Williamson British Championships taking place at the Riviera Centre in Torquay readies itself for the decisive final week, as the players prepare to do battle for the £10,000 first prize, most of Scotland will be wishing GM Jonathan Rowson, who shares the lead at the mid-point on 4.5/6, good luck as he aims to beat the hoodoo by becoming the first Scot in over 50 years to win the title.

Scottish victories at the British are far and few between, and we need to go back to 1946 in Nottingham for the last Scot to bring the British crown North of the Border - and even then the organisers tried to prevent him from playing in the tournament!

Curiously, in that first post war championship - which featured C.H.O'D Alexander, Reginald Broadbent, Harry Golombek, Robert Wade and William Winter, all past or future British Champions - the Scottish nominee, the relatively unknown Elgin lawyer Robert Forbes Combe, was initially refused his entry as the organisers believed "he wasn't strong enough."

They’re may have been a kernel of truth in that statement. After all, this was the very same R.F. Combe that held (and still does to this day!) the record for the shortest loss – four moves, and with white! – at an Olympiad: R Combe – V Hazenfuss, Folkstone Olympiad 1933, 1 d4 c5 2 c4 cxd4 3 Nf3 e5 4 Nxe5?? Qa5+ 0-1.

Folkstone Olympiad 1933

R Combe – V Hazenfuss, Folkstone Olympiad 1933


The matter was soon resolved by William Fairhurst, the then godfather of Scottish Chess and famed bridge designer, who successfully appealed to the organising committee, vouching for Combe's character and playing strength, before they reluctantly succumbed on the eve of the championship to allow Combe to play. As luck would have it, and against all the odds, he justified his inclusion by bringing the title to Scotland again only two championships after Fairhurst's pre-war win in 1937. Sadly for Combe, he died just a few years later.

Following hard on the heels of Rowson’s magnificent victories at the World Open and Pula Open, a win in Torquay for the top Scot certainly is within his capabilities and would prove an enormous boost to chess in Scotland. And, with Scotland hosting the annual championships next July in Edinburgh, what more could be fitting than having an incumbent Scottish winner!


C Ward – J Rowson
89th British Ch (6), English Opening

1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 g6 3 e4 e5 4 Nge2 Bg7 5 g3 0-0 6 Bg2 c6 7 0-0 d6 8 d3 a6 9 h3 b5 10 Be3 Nbd7 11 Qd2 Rb8 12 Rac1 Re8 13 b3 Bb7 14 f4 Ba8 15 f5 d5 16 cxd5 cxd5 17 exd5 b4 18 Ne4 Nxd5 19 Ba7 Rb7 20 Bf2 N7f6 21 Rc6 Nxe4 22 Bxe4 gxf5 23 Bg2 Rd7 24 Rxa6 e4 25 Nf4 Bb7 26 Nxd5 Bxa6 27 Nxb4 e3 28 Bxe3 Rxe3 29 Nxa6 Qb6 30 Kh1 Rexd3 31 Qe2 Qxa6 32 Qe8+ Bf8 33 Rxf5 Qg6 34 Rf4 Re7 35 Qc8 Re1+ 0-1

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5th August, 2002

THE Smith & Williamson British Championships taking place at the Riviera Centre in Torquay is proving to be one of the most open of recent years, as ten players share the lead and a further thirteen are just a half point adrift as the tournament goes into the final week.

Usually by the end of the first week at the British, there’s generally one or two who have broken away from the pack. However this year the race for the £10,000 first prize was blown open in round six, one of the most decisive rounds of the tournament so far, as fourteen of the top twenty boards in the championship ended in wins while the top two boards were drawn.

The sensation of the sixth round proved to be the first defeat for top seed Krishnan Sasikiran, as his chances of becoming the first overseas player to win the title since 1953 suffered a major set back as he lost to Matthew Turner; the defeat all but putting the Indian top seed out of contention as he falls 1.5-points off the lead.

However as one Indian falls, another one puts herself in contention for a unique 'triple crown' of British Champion, British Women's Champion and British U-21 Champion: Humpy Konery. The fifteen year world junior champion continues her successful campaign in the championships as she defeated Mark Hebden to join the leaders.

Also joining the leaders for the first time in the tournament is Scotland’s Jonathan Rowson, who after a slow start has jumped back in to contention with a brace of wins - including a sixth round mauling of the 1996 champion, Chris Ward.


Leader board: 1-10 GM J Speelman (England), GM P Harikrishna (India), GM J Rowson (Scotland), GM D Barua (India), GM J Gallagher (Switzerland), GM P Wells (England), GM L McShane (England), GM M Turner (England), IM N Pert (England), WGM H Koneru (India) 4.5/6.


M Turner - K Sasikiran
89th British Ch. (6), Queen's Indian Defence

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 b6 3.d4 e6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Qc2 Nxc3 8.Qxc3 h6 9.Bf4 Bd6 10.Ne5 Nd7 11.e3 0-0 12.Bb5 Nf6 13.Bc6 Nd5 14.Qc2 Bxc6 15.Nxc6 Qd7 16.Bg3 f5 17.0-0 f4 18.Bxf4 Nxf4 19.exf4 Rxf4 20.Rae1 Raf8 21.Re2 R8f6 22.g3 R4f5 23.Rc1 h5 24.Qe4 a6 25.Ne5 Qb5 26.Nc4 Bf8 27.Rec2 Qd5 28.Nd2 Rxf2 29.Qxd5 exd5 30.Ne4 Rxc2 31.Nxf6+ gxf6 32.Rxc2 c5 33.Rf2 Kf7 34.Rf5 Ke6 35.Rxh5 c4 36.Kf2 b5 37.Rh7 a5 38.Ra7 b4 39.Ra6+ Kf5 40.Kf3 c3 41.bxc3 bxc3 42.Rc6 Bxa3 43.Rxc3 Bb2 44.Rc5 Ke6 45.Rxa5 Bxd4 46.Ra6+ Kd7 47.Kf4 Be5+ 48.Kf5 d4 49.Ra3 1-0

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2nd August, 2002

AS the Smith & Williamson British Championships in Torquay heads towards the end of its first week, the top players opted to conserve their energies for the gruelling battle ahead next week as all five on full points halved out with draws.

The peace-pact allowed the chasing pack to play catch-up with the leaders, and there's now an eleven-way tie for first on 2.5/3 - and ominously a new chasing pack of 23 just a half point off the lead.

The only top board victor was two-time British Champion and second seed Jonathan Speelman, who outplayed Neil McDonald to join the leaders. In the fourth round, Speelman now faces the 1996 champion Chris Ward on the second board clash. However the logjam at the top also throws up an intriguing fourth round Indian battle of the sexes on the top board, as top seed Krishnan Sasikiran takes on 15-year old Humpy Koneru.

Sasikiran, a former Commonwealth champion and the reigning Indian champion, is the only player in the field who is in the world top 50 and is second only to Vishy Anand in the Indian rankings. Ms Koneru, who won the British Women's title at Millfield School two years ago, is not only the top Indian female player she's also the World GirlsChampion. Only recently at the Elekes memorial in Budapest, she bettered (by three months) Judit Polgar's decade-old landmark to become the youngest female player to achieve her third and final full GM norm - and now only needs to raise her rating by 27-points to 2500 to receive the title.

And, while Sasikiran and his compatriot Pentala Harikrishna are in contention for the two top titles of British champion and British under-21 champion, Ms Koneru could be in contention for all three top titles by regaining the British Women's crown!


Leader board: 1-11 GM J Gallagher (Switzerland), GM K Sasikiran (India), GM C Ward (England), GM D Barua (India), GM J Speelman (England), IM S Ganguly (India), GM P Wells (England), WGM H Koneru (India), IM N Pert (England), S Haslinger (England), GM A Kunte (India) 2.5/3. Scottish scores: 21 IM A Muir, 28 GM J Rowson 2/3; 39 J Grant, 44 N Berry 1.5/3.


J Speelman - N McDonald
89th British Ch. (3), Leningrad Dutch

1 d4 f5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 g6 4 c4 Bg7 5 Nc3 0-0 6 Nh3 d6 7 d5 Nbd7 8 Be3 Ne5 9 Qb3 c5 10 Ng5 Rb8 11 f4 Neg4 12 Bd2 b5 13 h3 b4 14 Nb5 Qb6 15 hxg4 fxg4 16 Qe3 a6 17 Nc3 bxc3 18 Bxc3 Rb7 19 Ne6 Bxe6 20 dxe6 Rbb8 21 f5 Nh5 22 fxg6 Bxc3+ 23 bxc3 Rf5 24 Be4 Qb2 25 Rd1 Re5 26 0-0 Rxe4 27 Qh6 hxg6 28 Rf7 1-0

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1st August, 2002

THE race is on for the £10,000 first prize in the Smith & Williamson British Championships taking place at the Riviera Centre in Torquay, as after only two rounds there are surprisingly only five players out of the field of 99 on a full score of 2/2.

Swiss-based defending champion Joe Gallagher keeps his top board status in the tournament after an impressive second round victory over English junior Desmond Tan. However, with so few players on full points, Gallagher now faces a top board showdown in round three with top seed Krishnan Sasikiran from India, who again impressed with a second round victory over his compatriot Chandra Sandipan.

Also on full scores are the Indian duo of Sura Ganguly and Abhijit Kunte, who now meet in the board two clash in round three, and the 1996 champion Chris Ward from England. Ominously there’s a chasing pack of 21 players just a half point off the lead, two of which are Scottish.

IM Andy Muir from Dumbarton had a creditable opening round draw with GM-elect Humpy Koneru from India, and followed this up with a win in round two over England’s Richard McMaster. Also on 1.5/2 and looking for his second IM norm is Edinburgh’s Neil Berry, who drew with England’s Robert Taylor in the opening round and then went on to beat Indian WGM Subbar Vijayalaskshmi.

However, it’s not been good news for top Scot Jonathan Rowson, a last-minute entrant to the Championships. After his recent impressive victories at the Pula Open and World Open, Rowson’s chances of becoming the first Scot to lift the British crown since 1946 suffered a major setback with two draws against much weaker opposition.


D Tan – J Gallagher
89th British Ch. (2), Grand Prix Attack

1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nd4 4 Bc4 e6 5 Nf3 Nf6 6 0–0 a6 7 e5 d5 8 exf6 dxc4 9 fxg7 Bxg7 10 d3 cxd3 11 Qxd3 Bd7 12 Nxd4 Bxd4 13 Be3 Bc6 14 f3 Rg8 15 Rf2 Qh4 16 Bxd4 0–0–0 17 Ne2 cxd4 18 a4 Rd5 19 b4 Rgd8 20 Qc4 Kb8 21 c3 e5 22 cxd4 exd4 23 g3 Qf6 24 Qd3 Re5 25 Nf4 Re3 26 Qd1 d3 27 Rb1 Qd4 28 Kg2 d2 29 Rf1 Bxf3+ 30 Rxf3 Qe4 0–1

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