Chess News October 2002
to "The Scotsman" chess column
31st October, 2002
THE Russian chess machines' dominance of the Chess Olympiad looks poised for yet another title, as the return of world No.1 Garry Kasparov to the fray has set them on-course for their sixth successive Olympiad gold since the break-up of the Soviet Union.
The former USSR'S hegemony of the event was evident during their 18 titles from 1952 through to 1990 - a remarkable run broken only by wins in 1976 and 1978 by USA and Hungary. Now, as early as the third round of the biennial team tournament in Bled, the signs are beginning to look ominous for the team that took over their mantle since 1992 as Kasparov's second successive win guided the Russians to a comfortable 3-1 victory over outsiders India - a result that eased the defending champions into joint first.
Russia - with a powerhouse of Kasparov, Morozevich, Grischuk, Svidler, Khalifman and Rublevsky - shares the lead with Cuba, Georgia and Poland on 10/12; while just a half point behind on 9.5 is Armenia, Bosnia, Kazakhastan and Yugoslavia. Scotland, after their bright start, suffered a setback in the third round as they were outplayed by Germany, losing 3-1.
On top board Paul Motwani drew with Alexander Graf; John Shaw lost out in an epic struggle with Rustem Dautov; Joerg Hickl beat Colin McNab; and Douglas Bryson drew with Thomas Luther. The result puts Scotland on 6.5 points - just ahead of their seeded position. In the women's competition, Scotland finally came down to earth after their superb start following a heavy 2.5-0.5 defeat at the hands of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Carey Wilman losing on top board to WIM Elena Titova-Boric; Heather Lang drawing with WFM Dijana Dengler; and Louise Macnab losing to Aleksandra Dimovski.
K Sasikiran - G Kasparov
Bled Olympiad (3), Slav Defence
1 Nf3 d5 2 d4 Nf6 3 c4 c6 4 Nc3 a6 5 c5 Nbd7 6 Bf4 Nh5 7 Bg5 h6 8 Bd2 Qc7 9 e4 dxe4 10 Nxe4 Ndf6 11 Nc3 Be6 12 Ne5 g6 13 Qf3 Rd8 14 Be3 Ng7 15 Bc4 Bxc4 16 Nxc4 Ne6 17 0-0 Bg7 18 Rfd1 0-0 19 Rac1 Nd5 20 Nxd5 Rxd5 21 Nb6 Nxd4 22 Qg4 h5 23 Nxd5 cxd5 24 Qg5 Ne2+ 25 Kf1 Nxc1 26 Rxc1 e5 27 b3 Re8 28 Bd2 Qc6 29 Qe3 d4 30 Qe2 e4 31 Bf4 Qf6 32 Bd6 Bh6 33 Rd1 Re6 34 Kg1 d3 35 Qf1 e3 36 fxe3 Bxe3+ 37 Kh1 Qxf1+ 38 Rxf1 d2 0-1
30th October, 2002
THANKFULLY the technical glitches that threatened to turn the Bled Olympiad into a second "Lost Olympiad" on par with Stockholm 1937 has finally been resolved, as games now become available from the biennial team tournament.
And, as if on cue, Garry Kasparov, who sat out the opening round, made his first appearance in the Olympiad since leading Russia to gold at the Yerevan Olympiad in 1996 - his reappearance helping to guide favourites Russia to an emphatic 3.5-1.5 win over Belarus.
Despite wins in the second round from most of the top seeds, Bulgaria and Cuba emerged as the only two leaders on 7.5/8, as just one point separates them from a determined chasing pack that includes the likes of Russia, the Ukraine, Hungary and the United States.
Scotland's good form continued as they faced 11th seeds France. Despite losing out 1.5-2.5 in a very close game, they can be pleased by the fact that on 5.5/8 they find themselves on the same score as the 'auld enemy', England. Paul Motwani lost in an interesting tussle on top board to newly-crowned French champion Etienne Bacrot; John Shaw drew with Josif Dorfman; Colin McNab beat Jean-Marc Degraeve; and Steve mannion lost to Anatoli Vaisser.
In the women's section, Scotland remain unbeaten after two rounds on 3/6 as they followed up their opening round drew against Moldova with a second draw with Iran. On top board Helen Milligan drew with Atousa Pourkashiyan; Carey Wilman scoring her second successive victory with a win over WIM Shadi Paridar; while Olympiad debutante Louise Macnab lost to WIM Shayesteh Ghaderpour.
E Bacrot - P Motwani
Bled Olympiad (2), Berlin Defence
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 0-0 Nxe4 5 d4 Nd6 6 Bxc6 dxc6 7 dxe5 Nf5 8 Qxd8+ Kxd8 9 Nc3 Ke8 10 h3 a5 11 Ne4 h5 12 h4 Be6 13 Re1 Bb4 14 Bd2 Bxd2 15 Nexd2 Rd8 16 Rad1 Ke7 17 Nb3 Rxd1 18 Rxd1 b6 19 Nbd4 Nxd4 20 Nxd4 Bd7 21 f3 c5 22 Ne2 Bf5 23 Nf4 Bxc2 24 Nd5+ Ke6 25 Nxc7+ Kxe5 26 Rd5+ Kf6 27 Rd6+ Ke5 28 Rxb6 Rd8 29 Rc6 Bb1 30 Rxc5+ Kd6 31 Na6 a4 32 Rxh5 Bxa2 33 Ra5 Bb3 34 Nc5 Rb8 35 Nxa4 Bc2 36 Nc3 Rxb2 37 Rd5+ Ke6 38 Rd2 g6 39 Kf2 1-0
29th October, 2002
AS per usual, "technical difficulties" at the beginning of an event of the magnitude of the Olympiad prevents the publishing of games from the opening rounds, as the Slovenian officials in Bled struggle in vain with some 900 electronic boards.
Despite the lack of games so far from the 35th Olympiad, there was at least good news for Scotland from the opening round as both the men's and women's team got off to a superb start in the biennial team tournament.
The men's squad were one of 40 teams that secured 4-0 victories in the first round to lead the main event, as wins from Paul Motwani, John Shaw, Steve Mannion and Douglas Bryson gave them an easy win over Liechtenstein. One notable exception not among the early leading pack is defending champions Russia, who could only beat Costa Rica 3.5-0.5 after top-ten player Alexander Morozevich was sensationally held to a draw by a lowly-rated 14-year-old. Scotland will now face a weakened French team without top star Joel Lautier, as he opted instead to play at the Cap d'Agde tournament in France after a squabble with his federation regarding the selection of Etienne Bacrot's coach, Iossif Dorfman.
In the women's section, Scotland, ranked 62nd, achieved one of the best results of the opening round by holding 17th seeds Moldova to a highly-creditable 1.5-1.5 draw - Helen Milligan losing on top board to WGM Svetlana Petrenko; Carey Wilman beating WGM Marina Shermetieva; and Heather Lang drawing with WIM Elena Partac. In round two they now play Iran.
J Lautier - A Karpov
Cap d'Agde (7), Queen's Gambit Declined
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 Be7 5 Bf4 0-0 6 e3 c5 7 dxc5 Bxc5 8 a3 Be7 9 Qc2 Nc6 10 Be2 dxc4 11 Bxc4 Nh5 12 Rd1 Qa5 13 Bd6 Bxd6 14 Rxd6 Rd8 15 Rxd8+ Qxd8 16 0-0 Bd7 17 Rd1 Nf6 18 Ne4 Nxe4 19 Qxe4 Qe7 20 Ng5 Qxg5 21 Rxd7 Rd8 22 h4 Qf6 23 Rxb7 Na5 24 Rxa7 Nxc4 25 Qxc4 Qxb2 26 Qf4 Qf6 27 Qxf6 gxf6 28 g4 Kg7 29 Kg2 Rd5 30 a4 h5 31 gxh5 Rxh5 32 Kg3 Rc5 33 a5 Kg6 34 Ra8 Kg7 35 a6 Ra5 36 Kf3 Ra4 37 h5 f5 38 a7 e5 39 h6+ Kh7 40 Ke2 Ra3 41 f4 exf4 42 exf4 f6 43 Kd2 1-0
28th October, 2002
AS ever, controversy surrounds a major FIDE event as once again most of the world nations gather in Bled for the biennial Chess Olympiad - the biggest sporting event ever to be held in the Republic of Slovenia.
More than a thousand players representing 130 countries will contest the 35th Olympiad, and defending champions and top seeds Russia are big favourites yet again to retain their title in the open section; their team of Garry Kasparov, Alexander Morozevich, Alexander Grischuk, Alexander Khalifman, Peter Svidler and Sergey Rublevsky (replacing at the last minute Evgeny Bareev, who instead has opted to play at the Cap d'Agde rapidplay event in France) looking a formidable force to contend with.
Other top contenders for gold in the 14-round event include Ukraine (likely to be Russia's strongest challengers), Armenia, Hungary, USA and England, led my Michael Adams and Nigel Short. Scotland, with their strongest line-up ever of Jonathan Rowson, Paul Motwani, John Shaw, Colin McNab, Steve Mannion and Douglas Bryson, make it into the top half of the tournament and face Liechtenstein in the first round - however without top board Rowson who, due to recently taking up a psychology course at Harvard University in the US, can only play rounds 7-14.
In the women's section, defending champions China are odds-on to yet again take gold in an event they've come to dominate completely. Scotland, who faces stiff opposition in the opening round against Moldova, is represented by Helen Milligan, Heather Lang, Carey Wilman and debutante Louise MacNab.
On the eve of the event, the thorny question of drug testing for the first time at the Olympiad is already causing controversy as participating federations have been asked to sign up to the dope-testing regime. However, it's likely there could be many players refusing to comply, and already a strong movement to reconsider the issue is gathering momentum.
A Grant - G Kafka
Edinburgh FIDE "B" (2), English Opening
1 c4 e5 2 g3 Nc6 3 Bg2 f5 4 d3 Nf6 5 Nf3 g6 6 0-0 Bg7 7 Nc3 0-0 8 Rb1 d6 9 b4 Ne7 10 b5 c6 11 bxc6 bxc6 12 Ba3 Qc7 13 Nd2 Be6 14 Qa4 Rab8 15 Bb4 Nd7 16 Qa3 c5 17 Ba5 Nb6 18 Rb3 Bd7 19 Rfb1 Bc6 20 Nd5 Nexd5 21 cxd5 Bd7 22 Nc4 Nxc4 23 Bxc7 Nxa3 24 Rxb8 Nxb1 25 Rxb1 Rc8 26 Bxd6 c4 27 dxc4 Rxc4 28 Rb7 Bc8 29 Rxa7 f4 30 Rc7 1-0
25th October, 2002
WHEN the first FIDE rating list was issued, back in January 1971, there were only 589 players on it, mostly household names who played almost exclusively in small round-robins.
From October 1st FIDE reduced the level at which players can be listed on to a minimum of 1800, where previously it was set at 2000. While on the latest list there are currently 43,000 players, this number will drastically increase to half a million names once publication extends to the 1000 level - a radical move by FIDE to generate greater income from the rating system.
Taking advantage of the latest change, Edinburgh Chess Club in Alva Street recently hosted two all-play-all events, held over two weekends designed to produce FIDE ratings - a much-welcomed opportunity for unrated players to get on the first rung of the ladder.
While players such as Tom Quilter (England) and Alan Grant (Cathcart) won sections A and B both with 7.5/9, the highlight of the 10 new ratings produced came from players from the ranks of the average club player: Sam Collins (Glasgow Montrose) at 2046 and Brian Henderson (Phones) at 2028.
Section A: 1 T Quilter 7.5/9; 2 N Berry 7; 3 E Spencer 6.5; 4 O Ali
5; 5-7 S Brown, B Henderson, S Tweedie 4.5; 8 N Farrell 4; 9 D Gillespie
1.5; 10 R Kynoch 0.
Section B: 1 A Grant 7.5; 2 J Redpath 6.5; 3-4 G Kafka, G Neave 5.5; 5 S Collins 4.5; 6 A Campbell 4; 7 C Tweedie 3.5; 8-9 J Galbraith, D Grassie 3; 10 C Sykes 2.
T Quilter - N Berry
Edinburgh FIDE "A" (2), French Winawer
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 Ne7 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 c5 7 Qg4 0-0 8 Nf3 Nbc6 9 Bd3 f5 10 exf6 Rxf6 11 Bg5 e5 12 Qh4 e4 13 Bxf6 gxf6 14 Qxf6 Qf8 15 Qxf8+ Kxf8 16 dxc5 exf3 17 gxf3 Ng6 18 c4 Be6 19 cxd5 Bxd5 20 Be4 Re8 21 0-0-0 Bxe4 22 fxe4 Rxe4 23 Rd7 Re7 24 Rxe7 Kxe7 25 Kd2 Nf4 26 Rb1 Nd8 27 Rb4 Nfe6 28 c6 bxc6 29 Ra4 Kf6 30 Rxa7 h5 31 a4 Nd4 32 a5 N8e6 33 Rd7 Nf3+ 34 Kc3 Ne5 35 Rh7 Kg6 36 Rh8 Nc7 37 Rc8 Nb5+ 38 Kb4 Nd6 39 Rc7 Kf6 40 f4 1-0
24th October, 2002
ONE notable absentee from FIDE'S recent World Cup in India was none other than President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who, much like former British Premier Harold McMillian, was excused due to a "little local difficulties."
While Ilyumzhinov was set to face FIDE elections for the top job of president at the forthcoming Bled Olympiad, back home in the impoverished Russian republic of Kalmykia, where he also doubles as its president, he's facing the first challenge to his authority since being elected in 1993.
He first stood for election with a campaign promise of "providing ever shepherd in the region his own mobile phone." The newspaper "Nezavisimaya gazeta" now reports that Ilyumzhinov worst fears have come to light after he failed to achieve an absolute majority of more than 50% of the vote in the election in the region and now must face a run-off election on October 27 -- and without the crucial support of the Kremlin who now seem to be opposed to his candidacy. In the past, Ilumzhinov was a supporter of Boris Yeltsin. Now he must face a run-off with his remaining opponent, High Technology Bank Chairman Baatyr Shondzhiev, who is being backed by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The election race in Kalmykia became embroiled in scandal as the region's Police Chief and Interior Minister -- both believed to be allies of Ilyumzhinov -- being suspended amid allegations that they have interfered in the campaign and covered up crimes such as drug trafficking, poaching and contraband oil production.
Although Kirsan received 47.5% and Shondzhiyev received only 13%, the fear is that all 11 opponents who stood against Ilyumzhinov could now unite in a vote against him in the second round - with defeat almost certain to also see his days in charge of FIDE numbered, along with it his "ever-generous" financial support which props up the ailing chess body.
L Van Wely - P Acs
Essent Crown (6), Nimzo Indian Defence
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 6 cxd5 exd5 7 Nge2 Re8 8 0-0 Bd6 9 a3 Ng4 10 h3 Nh2 11 Re1 Nf3+ 12 gxf3 Qg5+ 13 Kh1 Qh4 14 Nf4 Bxh3 15 Ncxd5 Re6 16 Nxe6 Bf5+ 17 Kg1 Qh2+ 18 Kf1 Bg3 0-1
23rd October, 2002
IN the Netherlands they seem to have a knack for knowing how to organise top-ranking events, and the annual Essent tournament in Hoogeveen is no different.
Hoogeveen is famed for its Glass Museum, and the players in the top Crown tournament use glass pieces created by artist Cees Van Olst, and styled in the familiar Staunton pattern. Every October the Dutch town in the province of Drenthe is the centre of a lively glass festival, called GLAS-IN, and Van Olst is also responsible each year for designing and creating a new trophy: a special commissioned glass chess set that is presented to the winner.
The players that make up the field for this intimate four-player double-round robin are always selected for "interesting contrast". Defending champion Judit Polgar from Hungary is the strongest female player in the world against a field of men: Dutch No.1 Loek Van Wely is the local hero battling against the foreigners; Russia's Alexander Khalifman the former FIDE world champion; and the newly-crowned World Junior champion Peter Acs, 21, from Hungary.
Despite being by far the lowest rated player in the field, and the handicap of getting off to a poor start of 1/3, the surprise winner of the tournament was Acs. The young Hungarian stormed back in the second half of the tournament as he "chopped" his way through the opposition to win all three games to take first place with a final score of 4/6, a clear point ahead of Polgar and Khalifman on 3, with Van Wely in fourth with 2.
The strong nine-round open running alongside the Crown event also produced a young winner in the shape of 16-year-old Evgeny Alekseev of Russia with 7/9 ahead of three "old hands" Semen Dvoirys, Vlastimil Hort, Ian Rogers, and Dennis De Vreugt on 6.5. Despite his youth and only being an IM in a field with so many veteran GMs, Alekseev was in fact the top-rated player in the field; losing only one game to Friso Nijboer but, like Acs, finished with a burst of three successive wins to take first.
A Khalifman - P Acs
Essent Crown (4), Semi-Slav Defence
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 c6 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bh4 dxc4 7 e4 g5 8 Bg3 b5 9 Be2 Bb7 10 h4 g4 11 Ne5 Rg8 12 Nxg4 Nxg4 13 Bxg4 Nd7 14 0-0 Nf6 15 Be2 Qb6 16 a4 Bb4 17 Be5 Nd7 18 Bf4 Rd8 19 Be3 c5 20 axb5 Nf6 21 dxc5 Bxc5 22 Bxc5 Qxc5 23 Qc2 Rd4 24 Bf3 Rd3 25 Qe2 Rg3 26 Na4 Qd4 27 Rfd1 Bxe4 28 Bxe4 Nxe4 29 Nc3 Nd2 30 b6 Rxg2+ 31 Kxg2 Qg7+ 32 Kh2 Nf3+ 33 Qxf3 Rxf3 34 Rg1 Rxf2+ 35 Kh1 Qd4 0-1
22nd October, 2002
IT was a case of déjà vu at the 2nd FIDE World Cup held at the Ramoji Film City in India, as defending champions Viswanathan Anand of India and Xu Yuhua of China retained their respective mens and womens crowns after resounding victories over Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan and Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria.
After his shaky start following a shock second round loss to fellow countryman Krishnan Sasikirian, world number three and top seed Anand reasserted his authority in the tournament to reach the final after beating the Russian duo of Vladimir Malakhov (1.5-0.5) and Alexey Dreev (3.5-2.5 after a playoff) in the knockout stages. In the final, Anand made short work of Kasimdzhanov to take the $46,000 first prize after an easy 1.5-0.5 victory.
The victory was Anand's third major title of the year after winning the Eurotel Trophy in Prague and the Mainz Chess Classic in Mainz, Germany. He also led the World team to victory against Russia in the Match of the New Century at Moscow results that have gone a long way to re-establish the Indian No.1 as a powerful force to reckon with after his dip in form last year.
Yet, despite India having a strong (and youthful) squad for the forthcoming Chess Olympiad in Bled, Anand, whose inclusion would make India outside favourites for the Hamilton-Russell Cup, is still not interested in participating in the top team tournament as he does not agree with the format to the tournament.
If Anand had played along with the other players like Sasikiran and Harikrishna, India could have been a tough team to beat. Anand however, believes the format does not give a fair chance to all teams. At the last Olympiad in 2000, India, without Anand, had finished eighth - their best performance so far in this international team tournament.
Chinas dominance of the womens game continues as defending champion Xu Yuhua won the $16,000 first prize after beating Antoaneta Stefanova, the European Womens champion, 1.5-0.5 in a similarly one-sided final.
V Anand R Kasimdzhanov
FIDE World Cup Final (2), Petroffs Defence
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 d4 d5 6 Bd3 Bd6 7 0-0 0-0 8 c4 c6 9 Qc2 Na6 10 a3 Re8 11 Nc3 Bf5 12 Re1 h6 13 c5 Bc7 14 Bd2 Ba5 15 Bf4 Bxc3 16 bxc3 Nc7 17 h3 Ne6 18 Bh2 N6g5 19 Ne5 f6 20 Ng4 Qa5 21 Ne3 Be6 22 Rac1 Nxh3+ 23 gxh3 Bxh3 24 Nc4 Qxc3 25 Qxc3 Nxc3 26 Nd6 Rxe1+ 27 Rxe1 b5 28 Re3 Bg4 29 Bf5 1-0
21st October, 2002
THE Brains in Bahrain showdown between Vladimir Kramnik and Deep Fritz fizzled out with two peaceful (and relatively short) draws as the match finished in a 4-4 tie, with two wins apiece. Speaking on the eve of the final game, Kramnik said: "A few years ago, if I had been playing a chess programme, I would have had a really big advantage, but not today, not now."
The deciding game turned into something of an anti-climax by being the shortest of the match, a 21-move draw. Kramnik was unable to make any progress against Fritz's ultra-solid defence. In the end, the result was a tremendous achievement for the German software specialists ChessBase and Team Fritz, particularly after starting out with only half a point from the first three games.
In the latest battle between man and machine, Kramnik may have fared better than his predecessor as world champion Garry Kasparov - who was defeated by the supercomputer Deep Blue in 1997 - but must realise that he blew a golden opportunity after squandering a 3-1 lead. Looking as if he was cruising to the $1 million prize halfway through the match, the turning point for the world champion came in games 5 and 6, both of which he lost to let the computer back in the match.
New analysis has now come to light on what may have been a premature resignation from Kramnik in game 6. From the diagram position above, where Kramnik resigned, the jury is still out on whether he could have held on with: 35 Rxa6 b2 36 Ra7+ Kg6 37 Rd7 Nc3 [or 37...Rc1 38 Rd6+! Nf6 39 Rdd1 b1Q 40 Rxc1] 38 Rd2 b1Q 39 Rxb1 Nxb1 40 Rb2 all of which is hard to win - though no doubt the computer would have had a go.
Deep Fritz - V Kramnik
Brains in Bahrain (7), Queen's Indian Defence
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Bb7 5 Bg2 Be7 6 0-0 0-0 7 Nc3 Ne4 8 Qc2 Nxc3 9 Qxc3 c5 10 Rd1 d6 11 b3 Bf6 12 Bb2 Qe7 13 Qc2 Nc6 14 e4 e5 15 d5 Nd4 16 Bxd4 cxd4 17 Bh3 g6 18 a4 a5 19 Rab1 Ba6 20 Re1 Kh8 21 Kg2 Bg7 22 Qd3 Rae8 23 Nd2 Bh6 24 f4 Qc7 25 Rf1 Kg8 26 Rbe1 Qd8 27 Kg1 Bb7 28 Re2 Ba6 draw
18th October, 2002
JUST like football's World Cup, the 2nd FIDE World Cup tournament taking place in India at the Ramaji Film City - a movie-making centre in southern Andhra Pradesh state - is split into four seeded qualifying groups of six players with the top two going forward to a straight knockout competition.
After a shock early setback when he was beaten by the young Indian rising star Krishnan Sasikiran, defending champion Vishy Anand took revenge on his fellow countryman as he captured the second qualifying spot in Group C ahead of Sasikiran following a dramatic final round.
While top seed Anand fought his way back into the tournament, other top stars weren't so lucky and in the $280,000 tournament. First to be shown the door was the Russian second seed Alexander Morozevich, who slumped to final place in Group D with a final score of 1/5. More shocks were soon to follow as third seed Vassily Ivanchuk, needing to win in the final round to qualify, was outplayed by Group A winner Vladimir Malakhov.
Group A: Vladimir Malakhov (Russia) 3.5; Ye Jiangchuan (China) 3.
Group B: Alexey Dreev (Russia) 3.5; Sergei Rublevski (Russia) 3.
Group C: Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan) 3.5; Viswanathan Anand (India) 3.
Group D: Alexander Belyavski (Slovenia) 3.5; Nigel Short (England) 3.5.
Group A: Svetlana Matveeva (Russia) 3.5; Li Ruofan (China) 3.
Group B: Antoneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) 4.5; Xu Yuhua (China) 3.5.
Group C: Koneru Humpy (India) 4.5; Irina Krush (USA) 3.5.
Group D: Subbaraman Meenakshi (India) 3.5; Wang Pin (China) 3.5.
V Malakhov - V Ivanchuk
FIDE World Cup (5), Exchange Slav
1 c4 c6 2 Nf3 d5 3 cxd5 cxd5 4 d4 Nc6 5 Nc3 Nf6 6 Bf4 Bf5 7 e3 e6 8 Qb3 Bb4 9 Bb5 0-0 10 0-0 Bxc3 11 Bxc6 Bxb2 12 Bxb7 Bxa1 13 Rxa1 Rc8 14 Bxc8 Qxc8 15 Qa3 Qb7 16 Rc1 Rc8 17 Rxc8+ Qxc8 18 Ne5 Nd7 19 Nxd7 Qxd7 20 Qa6 Bc2 21 Bb8 h5 22 Bxa7 Qa4 23 Qxa4 Bxa4 24 f3 f6 25 Kf2 Bc6 26 Ke1 Kf7 27 Kd2 Ke8 28 Kc3 Bb5 29 Kb4 Bf1 30 g3 Be2 31 f4 Kd7 32 Kc5 Bd1 33 f5 Bc2 34 fxe6+ Kxe6 35 Bb8 g5 36 Bc7 h4 37 gxh4 gxh4 38 h3 Bf5 39 a4 Bxh3 40 a5 Bf1 41 Kb6 1-0
16th October, 2002
THERE'S no shortage of top-flight chess action around the world, as the second FIDE World Cup tournament, with a total prize fund of $280,000, gets underway in India at the Ramaji Film City, a movie-making centre in the southern Andhra Pradesh state.
Despite the absence of otherwise engaged world stars such as Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Michael Adams, Peter Leko and Ruslan Ponomariov, the 48-player field (24 in the men's section with a top prize of $46,000, and 24 in the women's section with a top prize of $16,000) includes many top names such as defending champion and top seed Viswanathan Anand of India, Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, Alexander Morozevich of Russia and Nigel Short of England will take part in the event that was launched in China two years ago.
Praising the strong Indian contingent on the eve of the tournament, defending champion Anand said they "are doing well" and this would be a good opportunity for them to prove themselves. Local hero Anand has ruled the roost in his homeland since the early 1990s when he became one of the world's elite players, who went on in 1995 to unsuccessfully challenge Kasparov for his world title.
As early as round two, Anand's earlier comments proved prophetic as he suffered a shock defeat at the hands of the young Indian No.2, Krishnan Sasikiran.
K Sasikiran - V Anand
FIDE World Cup (2), Reti's Opening
1 Nf3 Nf6 2 g3 d5 3 Bg2 c6 4 0-0 Bg4 5 d3 Nbd7 6 Nbd2 e6 7 b3 Bc5 8 Bb2 0-0 9 a3 a5 10 e4 b5 11 Qe1 Ne8 12 h3 Bh5 13 Kh1 Nc7 14 c4 dxc4 15 d4 Be7 16 bxc4 b4 17 Qe3 Na6 18 Rfc1 e5 19 g4 Bg6 20 dxe5 Re8 21 Nb3 Nac5 22 axb4 Nxb3 23 Qxb3 Bxb4 24 Qe3 h5 25 g5 Bc5 26 Bd4 Qe7 27 Rd1 a4 28 e6 Bxd4 29 Nxd4 Nf8 30 f4 Nxe6 31 f5 Nxd4 32 Qxd4 Bh7 33 h4 Red8 34 Rxa4 Rab8 35 Qa1 Rxd1+ 36 Qxd1 Qe5 37 Rb4 Ra8 38 Ra4 Rb8 39 Ra3 Qf4 40 Qe1 g6 41 f6 Kh8 42 Qg3 Qc1+ 43 Kh2 Rb1 44 Qd6 Bg8 45 Kh3 Rb8 46 Rg3 Qb2 47 c5 Rb3 48 Rxb3 Qxb3+ 49 Kh2 Qe3 50 Qf8 Qf4+ 51 Kg1 Qe3+ 52 Kf1 Qd3+ 53 Kf2 1-0
15th October, 2002
THAT great human trait of being capable of making the most obvious of mistakes led to the downfall of world champion Vladimir Kramnik in game five of his Brains in Bahrain match with Deep Fritz, as he lost his first-ever competitive game to a computer.
No such man vs. machine challenge has taken place since 1997, when Garry Kasparov made a similar mistake in the deciding game of his six-game match in New York with IBM's Deep Blue to become the first world champion to lose a match to a computer.
For Deep Fritz, the German-developed software program from the ChessBase stable, the win went some way to healing its wounded pride as it beat Kramnik in just 35 moves to keep the $1 million eight-game series alive at 3-2 in favour of mankind.
In its best game of the match so far, Deep Fritz had Kramnik under constant pressure as he tried to equalise with the super-solid Lasker Defence. With just 15 minutes on his clock to make six more moves, Kramnik tried to avoid going into the defence of a difficult (though by no means lost) endgame - only to make the worst blunder of his career as he lost a piece and resigned almost immediately.
During the press conference after the game, Kramnik explained that he had seen the deadly check (35 Ne7+) when he had first analysed the line he went down, then went on to analyse other possibilities only to forget about the fatal check when he came back to the line, wryly observing "That's the difference between humans and computers: humans have blackouts."
Deep Fritz - V Kramnik
Brains in Bahrain (5), Lasker Defence
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 Be7 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bh4 0-0 7 e3 Ne4 8 Bxe7 Qxe7 9 cxd5 Nxc3 10 bxc3 exd5 11 Qb3 Rd8 12 c4 dxc4 13 Bxc4 Nc6 14 Be2 b6 15 0-0 Bb7 16 Rfc1 Rac8 17 Qa4 Na5 18 Rc3 c5 19 Rac1 cxd4 20 Nxd4 Rxc3 21 Rxc3 Rc8 22 Rxc8+ Bxc8 23 h3 g6 24 Bf3 Bd7 25 Qc2 Qc5 26 Qe4 Qc1+ 27 Kh2 Qc7+ 28 g3 Nc4 29 Be2 Ne5 30 Bb5 Bxb5 31 Nxb5 Qc5 32 Nxa7 Qa5 33 Kg2 Qxa2 34 Nc8 Qc4 35 Ne7+ 1-0
14th October, 2002
IDEALLY timed as Vladimir Kramnik takes on Deep Fritz in Bahrain, top IBM programmer and founding father of Deep Blue, Fen-hsiung Hsu, finally lifts the lid on the historic defeat of Garry Kasparov with a revealing new book.
Beyond Deep Blue (Princeton University Press, priced £19.95) charts the rise and rise of the legendary software program, culmination in the controversial 1997 showdown with Kasparov in New York and the former world champions angry tirade against IBM in the aftermath of the match.
Like a latter-day Paul Morphy mystery, Deep Blue became the first computer to beat a reigning world champion in a match and then disappeared, dismantled after negotiations for a rematch with Kasparov fell apart amid the acrimony. At the end of the day, commented an IBM public relations manager at the time, IBMs business is not in the chess computing software business.
IBM may have invested an estimated $2-3 million on developing the project, but their shrewd move on retiring at the top meant that, as a company, they would always be associated with a world-beating chess supercomputer - not to mention the media hype surrounding IBM and the little matter of an overnight rise in their stocks of nearly $250 million after beating Kasparov!
Despite a glitch of a 15 minute computer crash for Deep Fritz in its Brains in Bahrain showdown with Kramnik, ironically the computer played its best chess of the match so far to easily draw game four; Kramnik now leads 3-1 in the eight-game match, the winner of which will win $1 million.
V Kramnik Deep Fritz
Brains in Bahrain (4), Tarrasch Defence
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 cxd5 exd5 5 g3 Nc6 6 Bg2 Nf6 7 0-0 Be7 8 Nc3 0-0 9 Bg5 cxd4 10 Nxd4 h6 11 Bf4 Bg4 12 h3 Be6 13 Rc1 Re8 14 Nxe6 fxe6 15 e4 d4 16 e5 dxc3 17 exf6 Bxf6 18 bxc3 Qxd1 19 Rfxd1 Rad8 20 Be3 Rxd1+ 21 Rxd1 Bxc3 22 Rd7 Rb8 23 Bxc6 bxc6 24 Rxa7 Rb2 25 Ra6 Bd2 26 Rxc6 Bxe3 27 fxe3 Kf7 28 a4 Ra2 29 Rc4 Kf6 30 Kf1 g5 31 h4 h5 32 hxg5+ Kxg5 33 Ke1 e5 34 Kf1 Kf5 35 Rh4 Kg6 36 Re4 Kf5 37 Rh4 Kg5 38 Kg1 Kg6 39 g4 hxg4 40 Rxg4+ Kf5 41 Rc4 draw
11th October, 2002
NOW in its eleventh edition, one of the highlights of the British circuit is unquestionably the pilgrimage over to the Isle Of Man for the annual Monarch Assurance International Open, held at the Cherry Orchard Hotel in Port Erin.
In little over a decade, due to the demise of the likes of the Lloyds Bank Masters, enthusiastic local organiser Dennis Hemsley has turned what was originally a little club tournament into the strongest (and richest) Open tournament within the UK.
This year event proved to be his best yet, with the biggest turnout of GMs and IMs (and many making their first visit) so far the 64-player field in the Open including 19 grandmasters; so many, in fact, that the accelerated pairings for the opening round included more than one all-grandmaster clash.
Out of the GM logjam that was inevitable at the top with such a strong line-up, there emerged a new Monarch King with Russian GM Vladimir Epishin, making his first appearance, winning the first prize of £2,000 with an unbeaten score of 7/9.
Final Standings: 1 GM V Epishin (Russia) 7/9; 2-4 GM R Dautov (Germany), GM D Fridman (Latvia), GM S Sulkis (Lithuania) 6.5; 5-9 GM A Goloshchapov (Ukraine), GM A Kogan (Israel), GM V Neverov (Ukraine), GM M Hebden (England), GM Y Shulman (Belarus) 6. Scottish scores: IM Mark Orr (Wandering Dragons) 5; Alan Grant (Cathcart) 4.5; Michael Shepherd (Bon Accord) 3.
V Epishin B Lalic
11th Monarch Assurance Open (6), Queens Gambit Accepted
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Be7 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 Qc2 dxc4 6 e4 Nc6 7 Be3 Ng4 8 Bxc4 Nb4 9 Qe2 c5 10 a3 Nxe3 11 fxe3 Nc6 12 d5 Na5 13 Bb5+ Kf8 14 0-0 a6 15 Ba4 b5 16 Bc2 g6 17 Rad1 Qc7 18 e5 exd5 19 Nxd5 Qa7 20 Be4 Rb8 21 Qe1 Nc4 22 b3 Nb6 23 Qg3 Be6 24 Ng5 Bxg5 25 Qxg5 Nxd5 26 Bxd5 Qe7 27 Rf6 h6 28 Qxg6 Rd8 29 Rdf1 Bxd5 30 e6 Bxe6 31 Rxe6 Rd1 32 Rxe7 Rxf1+ 33 Kxf1 fxg6 34 Rc7 h5 35 Ke2 h4 36 Rxc5 Kg7 37 Rc7+ Kf6 38 Ra7 h3 39 gxh3 Kg5 40 Rxa6 Rxh3 41 Ra5 Rxh2+ 42 Kf3 Kh4 43 Rxb5 g5 44 Rb4+ Kh3 45 Rg4 1-0
10th October, 2002
IT looks as if the plug has been pulled on the successor to Deep Blue, as world champion Vladimir Kramnik wins his second successive game against Deep Fritz to take a 2.5-0.5 lead in their eight-game, $1 million Brains in Bahrain showdown.
Kramnik, who beat Garry Kasparov two years ago in London to become world champion, looks to have learned from Kasparov's bitter experience of facing Deep Blue by having a number of crucial conditions in his favour before playing the computer.
When Kasparov faced Deep Blue in 1997, he not only had never seen the programme play, but during the match IBM was allowed to constantly change its playing style. One of Kramnik's main pre-match conditions was that he was allowed to experiment with the actual playing programme in the run up to the match, a decision that looks as if it has stacked the cards heavily in the favour of the world champion by the ease in which he has found its weaknesses.
This has allowed Kramnik to prepare extensively for his match-up with Deep Fritz. "Probably one day computers will be stronger than the best human player," said Kramnik on the eve of the match. "But I believe we have time, 10 to 15 years, in which to compete."
Deep Fritz - V Kramnik
Brains in Bahrain (3), Scotch Game
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Bc5 5 Nxc6 Qf6 6 Qd2 dxc6 7 Nc3 Ne7 8 Qf4 Be6 9 Qxf6 gxf6 10 Na4 Bb4+ 11 c3 Bd6 12 Be3 b6 13 f4 0-0-0 14 Kf2 c5 15 c4 Nc6 16 Nc3 f5 17 e5 Bf8 18 b3 Nb4 19 a3 Nc2 20 Rc1 Nxe3 21 Kxe3 Bg7 22 Nd5 c6 23 Nf6 Bxf6 24 exf6 Rhe8 25 Kf3 Rd2 26 h3 Bd7 27 g3 Re6 28 Rb1 Rxf6 29 Be2 Re6 30 Rhe1 Kc7 31 Bf1 b5 32 Rec1 Kb6 33 b4 cxb4 34 axb4 Re4 35 Rd1 Rxd1 36 Rxd1 Be6 37 Bd3 Rd4 38 Be2 Rxd1 39 c5+ Kb7 40 Bxd1 a5 41 bxa5 Ka6 42 Ke3 Kxa5 43 Kd4 b4 44 g4 fxg4 45 hxg4 b3 46 Kc3 Ka4 47 Kb2 f6 48 Bf3 Kb5 49 g5 f5 50 Kc3 Kxc5 51 Be2 0-1
9th October, 2002
ON the domestic scene the new chess season is now upon us, with many clubs around Scotland preparing for the 2002-2003 campaign as their players return looking to get into winning ways whether it is in individual or league games.
In Scotland the two most popular (and strongest) leagues are naturally enough those based in the central belt of Edinburgh and Glasgow, however there are other leagues for active club players based elsewhere in the country, ranging from the Borders to North East Scotland. For anyone looking for information on a club in their own particular area, you should contact Sam Collins at the Chess Scotland office on 0141-221-6464 (or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Although the league season doesn't start until October, most clubs kicked off the season in early September with pre-season Open tournaments to allow their players to attain match-sharpness before the ensuing league campaign - all of which seemed to bode well in the west for Cathcart Chess Club. In the Cathcart Open, the surprise package of local player Mike Harkins took first prize ahead of a strong field with a final score of 4.5/5. The Cathcart dominance continued through to two other Open club events, with IM Roddy McKay winning the Polytechnic Quickplay with a perfect 5/5, and Alistair Maxwell winning the 5th Crowwood Open with a final score of 4.5/5.
Sadly there will be no Perth Congress organised as usual this year, however Scotland's longest-running weekend event, the 41st Glasgow Congress, runs from November 1-3 at the Glasgow Caledonian University. For entry forms or for further information please contact Ken Stewart on 01236 431394 (or by email at email@example.com).
A Maxwell - E Davis
Crowwood Open (4), Sicilian Najdorf
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Bg5 e6 7 f4 Be7 8 Qf3 Qb6 9 0-0-0 Nc6 10 Nb3 Bd7 11 g4 Rc8 12 Bxf6 gxf6 13 h4 Nb4 14 Kb1 a5 15 Nd4 a4 16 a3 Na6 17 Bb5 Bxb5 18 Ndxb5 Nc5 19 f5 Ra8 20 fxe6 fxe6 21 g5 fxg5 22 Qh5+ Kd7 23 hxg5 Nxe4 24 Nxe4 Qxb5 25 Qf7 d5 26 Nf6+ Kd6 27 Rhe1 Bxf6 28 Rxe6+ Kc5 29 Qxf6 Rhf8 30 Qd4# 1-0
8th October, 2002
WORLD chess champion Vladimir Kramnik took full advantage of a typical computer-like mistake in the opening from Deep Fritz to win game two of their eight-game, $1 million "Brains in Bahrain" man vs. machine showdown in Bahrain.
In the game, Deep Fritz came up with the bizarre-looking 12.Bf8??, returning the bishop to its original square - a puzzling move that even the lowliest human player would never consider. However it all made perfect sense for the computer, as it thought that Kramnik's best was to retreat his knight, then it would repeat its move too, settling for a draw. Of course Kramnik had no intention of repeating and Fritz's move was expertly exposed for the terrible blunder it was.
Fritz soon fought back into the game and shocked Kramnik with some typical computer tactics that very nearly saved the day. In the press conference afterwards he admitted that he never imagined 27.Bc4+! and the ensuing tactics that followed. "Only a computer would find and play something like that," Kramnik said, "I was completely shocked."
After a long think, Kramnik found his way through the myriad complications to go one up in the eight-game match after finding an ingenious way of transposing down into a won rook and pawn ending.
V Kramnik - Deep Fritz
Brains in Bahrain (2), Queen's Gambit Accepted
1 d4 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 e3 e6 5 Bxc4 c5 6 0-0 a6 7 dxc5 Qxd1 8 Rxd1 Bxc5 9 Kf1 b5 10 Be2 Bb7 11 Nbd2 Nbd7 12 Nb3 Bf8 13 a4 b4 14 Nfd2 Bd5 15 f3 Bd6 16 g3 e5 17 e4 Be6 18 Nc4 Bc7 19 Be3 a5 20 Nc5 Nxc5 21 Bxc5 Nd7 22 Nd6+ Kf8 23 Bf2 Bxd6 24 Rxd6 Ke7 25 Rad1 Rhc8 26 Bb5 Nc5 27 Bc6 Bc4+ 28 Ke1 Nd3+ 29 R1xd3 Bxd3 30 Bc5 Bc4 31 Rd4+ Kf6 32 Rxc4 Rxc6 33 Be7+ Kxe7 34 Rxc6 Kd7 35 Rc5 f6 36 Kd2 Kd6 37 Rd5+ Kc6 38 Kd3 g6 39 Kc4 g5 40 h3 h6 41 h4 gxh4 42 gxh4 Ra7 43 h5 Ra8 44 Rc5+ Kb6 45 Rb5+ Kc6 46 Rd5 Kc7 47 Kb5 b3 48 Rd3 Ra7 49 Rxb3 Rb7+ 50 Kc4 Ra7 51 Rb5 Ra8 52 Kd5 Ra6 53 Rc5+ Kd7 54 b3 Rd6+ 55 Kc4 Rd4+ 56 Kc3 Rd1 57 Rd5+ 1-0
7th October, 2002
IN 1997 when IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer reduced Garry Kasparov to a gibbering wreck by becoming the first computer to beat a world champion in a match, many felt that the game was up for the carbon-based grandmasters.
Despite the fact that there have been great developments in computer technology and the chess-playing software since "that" historic defeat five years ago in New York, the silicon take-over of chess never really materialised.
Now a new world champion, Vladimir Kramnik, has a chance to defend mankind's honour as he goes face-to-interface with Deep Fritz, a much more powerful chess-playing software programme than Deep Blue. The eight-game, $1 million "Brains in Bahrain" man vs. machine challenge started Friday at the Bahrain Mindsports Centre in Manama, the capital of Bahrain.
"Kramnik is one of the most unpleasant possible opponents for us because he is so solid," commented Team Fritz head Frederic Friedel on the eve of the match. "He takes the game into positions where strategy is more important than tactics."
Many regard Kasparov as a human computer by the way he calculates all the tactics at the board - a style of play that isn't really effective against a computer. When he faced his human nemesis in their title match in London two years ago, Kramnik's clever ploy of continually frustrating Kasparov by adopting the Berlin Defence was hailed as a masterful stroke as the world No.1 fell apart psychologically, much in the same manner as he did against Deep Blue.
Now, if the first game against Deep Fritz is anything to go by, it looks as if Kramnik is adopting the same plan as he easily contained the computer in the opening game of the match by once again showing that it is difficult to breach his "Berlin Wall".
Deep Fritz - V Kramnik
Brains in Bahrain (1), Berlin Defence
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 0-0 Nxe4 5 d4 Nd6 6 Bxc6 dxc6 7 dxe5 Nf5 8 Qxd8+ Kxd8 9 Nc3 h6 10 b3 Ke8 11 Bb2 Be7 12 Rad1 a5 13 a4 h5 14 Ne2 Be6 15 c4 Rd8 16 h3 b6 17 Nfd4 Nxd4 18 Nxd4 c5 19 Nxe6 fxe6 20 Rxd8+ Kxd8 21 Bc1 Kc8 22 Rd1 Rd8 23 Rxd8+ Kxd8 24 g4 g6 25 h4 hxg4 26 Bg5 Bxg5 27 hxg5 Ke8 28 Kg2 draw.
4th October, 2002
IN July 1971, when the first compilation of FIDE'S International Rating List was produced using Prof. Arpad Elo's statistical evaluation, the list contained the names of only 600 players.
By 1977 the list had expanded to 1600 as the rating threshold was reduced to 2200, and further still in the early 1990s as it was reduced to 2000. Now, in a radical step to dramatically increase their only viable source of income, the governing body are gradually decreasing the rating floor to 1000 as they foresee a Rating List in the near future containing the names of 500,000 players.
The publication of the October 1st list, which contained 42,620 names, took the first step in that process as it included for the first time players rated 1800 and above. Regardless of how many names are actually on the list, the important part will always be who is up or down in the top ten.
With the 'big three' of Kasparov, Kramnik and Anand non-movers at the head of the list, the only seismic increase came from Peter Leko, whose big win at the Dortmund Candidates tournament to become the official challenger for Kramik's world title moved the young Hungarian up from 2717 to 2743 to become the World No.6. Despite Evgeny Bareev's rating jumping by 11-points due to his performance also at Dortmund, the Russian unfortunately finds himself moving down a place due to Leko's rise.
The increase in the middle order of the top ten also puts pressure on Michael Adams's precarious World No.4 spot, as the trio of Topalov, Leko and Ponomariov, all on 2743, are within easy striking distance being just two-points behind the British No.1.
World Top Ten: 1 G Kasparov (Russia) 2838 (=); 2 V Kramnik (Russia) 2807 (=); 3 V Anand (India) 2755 (=); 4 M Adams (England) 2745 (-7); 5 V Topalov (Bulgaria) 2743 (-2); 6 P Leko (Hungary) 2743 (+26); 7 R Ponomariov (Ukraine) 2743 (=); 8 E Bareev (Russia) 2737 (+11); 9 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2709 (-2); 10 A Morozevich (Russia) 2707 (-9).
M Adams - E Bareev
European Club Ch. (3), French Defence
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 c5 4 exd5 Qxd5 5 dxc5 Bxc5 6 Ngf3 Nf6 7 Bc4 Qc6 8 Qe2 Nbd7 9 Nb3 a6 10 a4 Bd6 11 0-0 Qc7 12 a5 0-0 13 Re1 e5 14 Nbd2 h6 15 b3 Re8 16 Ne4 Nxe4 17 Qxe4 Nc5 18 Qh4 Be6 19 Nd2 Rad8 20 h3 Bf5 21 Ra2 Bg6 22 Nf1 Qc6 23 Ne3 Be7 24 Qg3 Ne4 25 Qf3 Bc5 26 Ra4 Bd4 27 Nd1 Rd6 28 Be3 Bxe3 29 Qxe3 Nd2 30 Qc3 Be4 31 Ne3 Red8 (31 ..Bxg2!) 32 Ng4 Bxg2 33 Nxe5 Nf3+ 34 Qxf3 Bxf3 35 Bxf7+ Kh7 36 Nxc6 Rxc6 37 Rf4 Bd1 38 Re7 b6 39 axb6 Rxb6 40 Rc7 Rd2 41 c3 a5 42 h4 h5 43 Rc5 Rd3 44 Bd5 Kh6 45 Rf8 Rg6+ 46 Kf1 Rg4 47 Rh8+ Kg6 48 Rc6+ Kf5 49 Rxh5+1-0
2nd October, 2002
RAPID Chess, with all its thrills 'n spills as each player has just 25 minutes on the clock, is often regarded as the Royal Games answer to one-day cricket. However for the purists, the Test Match variety of classical chess, with a full five hour session, is the only game in town.
In a controversial suggestion, Alexei Shirov, the new Rapid Chess No.1, believes that the time has come for the radical step of rapid chess being integrated into the main rating list alongside classical chess. He strongly believes that for the future of the game, it would be better to unify the rating systems; allowing two rapid games (using the increment of 10 seconds per move to avoid losing on time) to count as the same value as one classical game with a full five hour session.
One Scottish player who wouldn't object to Shirov's radical idea of merging the rating lists is Dundonian grandmaster Colin McNab, the reigning Scottish Allegro champion. McNab's prowess at rapid chess has led him to win virtually ever tournament he's played in over the last couple of years in Scotland - which, if merged with the main rating list, would make him the new Scottish No.1.
At the weekend McNab's dominance of speed chess continued when he easily won the Lothians Allegro with a perfect score of 5/5; his 'victims' (in order) being Tom Quilter, Phil Giulian, Neil Berry, IM Steve Mannion and IM Douglas Bryson.
Lothians Allegro Results
Open: 1 GM C McNab (Dundee) 5/5; 2-3 IM S Mannion (Cathcart), H Kues
Challengers: 1 R Austen (Edin. Civil Service) 4.5/5.
Major: 1-2 M Ridge (Edin. Univ), W Falconer (Wandering Dragons) 4.5.
Minor: 1 S Crosbie (Edin. West) 5/5
T Quilter - C McNab
Lothians Allegro (1), Pirc Defence
1 e4 g6 2 d4 d6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 Be3 Nf6 5 Qd2 Ng4 6 Bg5 h6 7 Bh4 c6 8 0-0-0 Qa5 9 f4 b5 10 e5 g5 11 h3 gxh4 12 hxg4 Bxg4 13 Nf3 Nd7 14 Rxh4 h5 15 Be2 b4 16 Nb1 c5 17 Ng5 Qxa2 18 Bxg4 hxg4 19 Rxh8+ Bxh8 20 Rh1 0-0-0 21 e6 fxe6 22 Nf7 Bxd4 23 c3 bxc3 24 bxc3 Qxd2+ 25 Kxd2 Rf8 26 Ng5 Rxf4 27 Nxe6 Rf2+ 28 Ke1 Rb2 0-1
1st October, 2002
ONE of the top performers for newly-crowned European Club Champions Bosna Sarajevo was second board Alexei Shirov, whose unbeaten score of 5/7 (71.4%) in Kallinthea, Greece, was one of the highlights of a superb team performance.
The week also ended on a double high for Shirov, with the publication of the latest FIDE Rapid Rating List that showed the former Latvian leapfrogging bitter enemy Garry Kasparov to head the new list. Although Shirov, Kasparov and Michael Adams are all tied at the top on a rating of 279, Shirov nominally takes the No.1 spot due to having played more Rapid games.
Since the start of the year, Shirov has scored 33/49 in rapid games in strong events, such as Monaco, Dubai, Prague, Dortmund (tie-breaks), Villarrobledo and Russia vs. ROW in Moscow; against an average opposition of 2654 for a 2782 performance. And, were it not for the fact that the organisers in Villarrbledo - ironically his best result of all in his new homeland - had omitted to send in the results of the popular Spanish tournament, Shirov would have had outright first on his own.
In stark contrast, Kasparov lost 9 points on the new list mainly due to his uncharacteristically poor performance at the recent Russia vs. Rest of the World match, which turned out to be one of his worst results ever in the game.
Top ten Rapid list: 1 A Shirov (Spain) 279; 2 G Kasparov (Russia) 279; 3 M Adams (England) 279; 4 V Anand (India) 278; 5 V Topalov (Bulgaria) 277; 6 B Gelfand (Israel) 277; 7 P Leko (Hungary) 275; 8 A Morozevich (Russia) 274; 9 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 274; 10 V Tkachiev (France) 273.
A Shirov - A Volokitin
European Club Ch. (2), Pirc Defence
1 e4 g6 2 d4 Bg7 3 Nc3 d6 4 f4 Nf6 5 Nf3 0-0 6 Bd3 Nc6 7 e5 dxe5 8 fxe5 Nh5 9 Be3 Bg4 10 Be2 f6 11 exf6 exf6 12 0-0 Qd7 13 d5 Ne7 14 Ne5 fxe5 15 Rxf8+ Rxf8 16 Bxg4 Qe8 17 Bxa7 Nc8 18 Bc5 Nd6 19 Bxh5 gxh5 20 Bxd6 cxd6 21 Ne4 Rf4 22 Qd3 Qg6 23 Re1 h4 24 h3 Bh6 25 c4 b6 26 b4 Rf7 27 a4 Bf4 28 a5 bxa5 29 bxa5 Ra7 30 Qb3 Ra8 31 a6 Rf8 32 a7 Qf7 33 Qb8 Bg3 34 Ra1 1-0
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