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The Scotsman

Chess News February 2003

to "The Scotsman" chess column

28th February, 2003

MENTION "Reykjavik" in chess circles and immediately you'll conjure up starry-eyed memories of the 1972 world championship match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, the saga of which captivated the world as it thrust the game for the first time into the media spotlight.

The enormous worldwide interest created by that epic cold war battle of the mind indirectly led to a global growth in chess - particularly in Iceland itself. Whilst there are several stronger chess nations overall, the champion per capita is tiny Iceland, which from a population of just over 278,000 can boast no fewer than nine grandmasters.

By far the strongest club in the country is the Hrokurinn Chess Club based in downtown Reykjavik, which surprisingly was only formed four years ago. The club has now won every domestic title in this short space of time, and through a high-profile chess festival staged in the grandiose setting of the Reykjavik Art Museum, they aim to put Iceland well and truly back on the chess map.

The FIDE category 15 tournament is one of the strongest to have been held in Iceland for over ten years, and the field is boosted by the appearance of international stars such as Michael Adams, Alexei Shirov, Ivan Sokolov and the evergreen figure of Viktor Korchnoi, who at seventy-one still shows no sign of reaching as yet for the pipe and slippers.

Going into the final round, Shirov, undefeated on 6/8, holds a half point lead over the field after this spectacular seventh round victory over top seed Adams.


M Adams - A Shirov
Hrokurinn Chess Festival (7), Sicilian Rossolimo

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 e6 4 Bxc6 bxc6 5 b3 Ne7 6 Bb2 Ng6 7 h4 h5 8 e5 d6 9 exd6 Qxd6 10 Qe2 f6 11 Qe4 Kf7 12 Nc3 e5 13 0-0-0 Be7 14 d3 Be6 15 g3 Rad8 16 Rhf1 Bh3 17 Rg1 Bg4 18 Rde1 Qe6 19 Nd2 Rd4 20 Qg2 Rhd8 21 f3 Bh3 22 Qf2 Bf5 23 Nce4 Qd7 24 g4 Be6 25 Nc4 hxg4 26 fxg4 Bxc4 27 dxc4 Nf4 28 Qf3 a5 29 a4 Qb7 30 g5 Rb8 31 gxf6 gxf6 32 Rg4 Nd3+ 33 cxd3 Qxb3 34 Qg2 Bf8 35 Rg6 Qxd3 36 Rxf6+ Ke7 37 Bxd4 Rb1 mate 0-1

27th February, 2003

THE pressures continue to build up for Garry Kasparov at Linares following his sensational loss to 15-year-old Teimour Radjabov, as the world No.1 finds himself slipping further adrift from the leaders after failing to make the most of an epic encounter with Peter Leko.

Looking for his first win in an effort to stay within striking distance of the leaders, Kasparov showed much of his form of old in round three with a typical Sicilian slugfest that went a marathon seven hours, a frantic time scramble, 87 moves and four Queens on the board, only to let Leko off with a draw following an inaccuracy in a difficult ending. The draw leaves the defending champion with a lot of work to do to catch up with his nemesis and world No.2 Vladimir Kramnik, who takes the sole lead following his highly impressive victory in round two over FIDE champion Ruslan Ponomariov.

With Kasparov sitting out round four, the front runners kept their distance from the world No.1 with three draws. This time it was Leko's turn to be the tormentor as he was involved in yet another epic with a Linares record-breaker against Ponomariov, which lasted 110-moves! However, resourceful play from Ponomariov, coupled with a few inaccuracies from Leko - who was trying hard to convert his endgame advantage - saw the game ending in a hard-fought draw. In the other two matches, Kramnik and Anand agreed a very quick draw to conserve their energies as Vallejo and Radjabov battled it out in a very lively tussle.

The player's now enter into their first of two official rest days in Linares. Like last year, when Alexander Morozevich withdrew late from the tournament, thus making it an odd number, for some reason the organizers have again kept the tradition with a seven-player field in the double round-robin tournament. This means that each round has a player sitting out while the other six play, and thus their individual scores are based on the number of games actually played.

Standings after four rounds: 1 V Kramnik (Russia) 2.5/4; 2-3 V Anand (India) 2/3, P Leko (Hungary) 2/3; 4 T Radjabov (Azerbaijan) 2/4; 5 F Vallejo Pons (Spain) 1.5/3; 6 G Kasparov (Russia) 1/3; 7 R Ponomariov (Ukraine) 1/4.


R Ponomariov - V Kramnik
Linares (2), Sicilian Rossolimo

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 g6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 5 h3 Bg7 6 d3 Nf6 7 Nc3 Nd7 8 Be3 e5 9 Qd2 h6 10 0-0 Qe7 11 a3 Nf8 12 b4 Ne6 13 Na4 b6 14 Nh2 f5 15 f3 f4 16 Bf2 h5 17 bxc5 b5 18 Nb2 g5 19 d4 exd4 20 Nd3 Nxc5 21 Nxc5 Qxc5 22 Rfd1 Be6 23 Qb4 Qb6 24 a4 c5 25 Qxb5+ Qxb5 26 axb5 Kf7 27 Ra5 Rhb8 28 Nf1 Be5 29 Rda1 d3 30 Rxa7+ Kf6 31 Rxa8 Rxa8 32 Rxa8 dxc2 33 Rf8+ Kg6 34 Re8 Kf7 35 Rf8+ Kg6 36 Re8 Bc4 37 Rxe5 c1Q 38 Rxc5 Qxf1+ 39 Kh2 Qxf2 40 Rxc4 g4 0-1

26th February, 2003

IN one of the biggest upsets in the history of the game, 15-year-old Teimour Radjabov has sensationally defeated Garry Kasparov in round two at Linares, to become the youngest person to beat a world No.1 in tournament praxis.

Kasparov is regarded as "Mr. Linares" due to his dominance at the top Spanish tournament. Since his debut in 1990, Kasparov has won eight titles in twelve appearances. A defeat at Linares is rare for Kasparov, and indeed his last loss was back in 1997 to Vassily Ivanchuk - a record of 62 Linares games in a row without defeat until today's game.

And, to add insult to injury, Radjabov, who will turn 16 next month, also comes from Kasparov's home town of Baku in Azerbijan - Kasparov even attending school with his father, Boris. Radjabov's talent for the game shone through from a very early age. By 10 he beat Viktor Korchnoi in a simultaneous display and by the time he was 11 Kasparov himself predicted he had the "right stuff" to one day become world champion. One apocyrphal tale has it that after presenting prizes at a junior competition a few years ago, Kasparov spent time on stage talking to the young wunderkind, who afterwards told friends "I saw the fear in his eyes".

He'd stopped attending school by 12 to devote his life to chess, and now spends upwards of seven hours a day studying the game, and by 14, he attained the coveted title of grandmaster. Although Radjabov never had the accolade of being the world's youngest grandmaster, he does have the distinction of being the youngest player to get into the world's top 100. The nearest comparison to Radjabov's achievement is that of Sammy Reshevsky, Bobby Fischer, and Arturo Pomar. At 15 Fischer drew with Tal in the 1958 Portoroz Interzonal and then went on to beat Larsen in the same event. He was 16 before he added victories against Smyslov and Keres; and 18 before the American genius finally got wins against the world's top two players Tal and Petrosian.

Spain's "Arturito" Pomar played several games against the ailing Alekhine in the champion's final years - one of these was a tough 77 move draw when Pomar was just 13 (Gijon, 1944), and, according to Alekhine's own notes to that game, Pomar was just a move away from winning. The famous win by disputed 11-year-old Sammy Reshevsky over Janowsky at New York 1922 is also a worthy contender for most impressive win by a youth - even if he was 13 and not 11. However the fact remains that Janowsky, a former world championship challenger, wasn't the world No.1.

Such is the impudence of youth these days: on his debut at Linares, Radjabov has been bold enough to sacrifice his knight in his two opening games against two of the world's top players; both being declined. Kasparov admitted after the game that he should have accepted the knight offer. However, his big mistake was 24 Qg4, allowing Black to grab the initiative with g5! After the further blunder of Rdf1, there was no way back for Kasparov.


G Kasparov - T Radjabov
Linares (2), French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 e5 Nfd7 5 f4 c5 6 Nf3 Nc6 7 Be3 a6 8 Qd2 b5 9 a3 Qb6 10 Ne2 c4 11 g4 h5 12 gxh5 Rxh5 13 Ng3 Rh8 14 f5 exf5 15 Nxf5 Nf6 16 Ng3 Ng4 17 Bf4 Be6 18 c3 Be7 19 Ng5 0-0-0 20 Nxe6 fxe6 21 Be2 Ngxe5 22 Qe3 Nd7 23 Qxe6 Bh4 24 Qg4 g5 25 Bd2 Rde8 26 0-0-0 Na5 27 Rdf1 Nb3+ 28 Kd1 Bxg3 29 Rf7 Rd8 30 Bxg5 Qg6 31 Qf5 Qxf5 32 Rxf5 Rdf8 33 Rxf8+ Nxf8 34 Bf3 Bh4 35 Be3 Nd7 36 Bxd5 Re8 37 Bh6 Ndc5 38 Bf7 Re7 39 Bh5 Nd3 0-1

25th February, 2003

DESPITE being regarded as nothing more than an Adalucian backwater by many tour guides, the little sleepy Spanish town of Linares (some four hours south of Madrid) plays host each year to one of the most prestigious events on the chess calendar.

Due to the importance of Linares, it is affectionately known to many chess fans worldwide as the "Wimbledon of Chess", thanks in large to the strength of the select elite players who usually compete. The twentieth Ciudad de Linares Supertorneo, which has just got underway at its traditional venue of the Hotel Anibal is no different - and in many ways more intriguing this year, with the added attraction of a sneak preview of the two forthcoming rival world title matches; the winner's of which ultimately facing each other for a unified world title.

World no.1 Garry Kasparov heads the field in the double-round robin that includes FIDE champion Ruslan Ponomariov, who are both set to play in Buenos Aires in June; as is world no.2 Vladimir Kramnik, who will play world no.5 Peter Leko for the Classical title at a yet-to-be-announced date and venue. And, for added spice, also among the field of seven is the on-form Indian world no.3 Vishy Anand, no doubt hoping to prove a point or two to the other four. The inclusion of Anand also makes the event the first Classical tournament since Wijk 2001 that the top three have competed together; though they did all play at the rapidplay Eurotel Trophy in Prague last year.

The other two contestants, who could become something of a sideshow to the main attraction above, is the Spanish no.2 Francisco Vallejo Pons and Teimour Radjabov, 15, the prodigy from Kasparov's home town of Baku in Azerbaijan.

In the opening round, Kasparov drew with Kramnik, Anand masterfully squeezed Ponomariov off the board, and Leko can count himself lucky to have beaten young Radjabov - especially after the teenager uncorked a spectacular knight sacrifice with 27 Nxf7.


T Radjabov - P Leko
Linares (1), Queen's Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 Nc3 Bb7 5 a3 d5 6 cxd5 Nxd5 7 Qc2 Nxc3 8 bxc3 Be7 9 e4 0-0 10 Bd3 c5 11 0-0 Qc8 12 Qa2 Rd8 13 Rd1 Ba6 14 Bxa6 Nxa6 15 Qe2 Qb7 16 h4 Nc7 17 h5 h6 18 Ne5 Ne8 19 Bb2 Nf6 20 Re1 b5 21 Rad1 cxd4 22 cxd4 b4 23 a4 Rac8 24 Rd3 Rc7 25 d5 exd5 26 exd5 Rxd5 27 Nxf7 Rxd3 28 Nxh6+ Kf8 29 Qxd3 Qd5 30 Qg3 Bd6 31 Qh3 Qxh5 32 Qxh5 Nxh5 33 Nf5 Bf4 34 Re4 Bd2 35 Nd4 Kf7 36 Re2 Bc1 37 Nb5 Nf4 38 Re4 Rc2 39 Nd6+ Kg6 40 Bxc1 Rxc1+ 41 Kh2 Nd5 42 Nb5 b3 43 Re6+ Kh7 44 Re2 Rc2 45 Re1 b2 46 Rb1 a6 0-1

24th February, 2003

THE Moldavian GM Viktor Bologan scored one of his biggest wins of recent years, as a last round victory gave him first on tiebreak ahead of a stellar field at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow, one of strongest Open events of all-time.

Bologan, GMs Alexei Aleksandrov and Alexei Fedorov of Belarus and Russia's Peter Svidler all scored 7/9 in the top-rated Group 'A', finishing ahead of a cosmopolitan field of 201 that included 143 grandmasters to tie for first. However, Bologan took the jackpot first prize of $25,000 and trophy on tiebreak (average ELO of his opponents).

On top of the prize money, Bologan also gets an automatic berth into the July elite tournament in Dortmund, Germany. Although the likable Moldavian has been playing in open events of late (as well as acting as a very capable second to FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov), he won't be out of place at Dortmund - he's had several victories at top-notch round-robins in the past, such as Pamplona (2001), Poikovsky (2001), Tan Chin Nam Cup (2000), Belfort (1999) and the Keres Memorial (1998).

Just a half point behind on 6.5/9 was six Russian GMs, Evgeniy Najer, Alexander Galkin, Sergey Rublevsky, Konstantin Sakaev, Alexey Dreev and Pavel Smirnov. Among the 18 in a multi-tie on 6/9 included leading grandmasters such as Alexander Morozevich, Mikhail Ulibin and Sergey Dolmatov of Russia, Bu Xianghazi of China, Emil Sutovsky of Israel, defending champion Gregory Kaidanov of the US and Julio Granda Zuniga of Peru.

Nearly 500 players from 38 countries, ranging from unrated to grandmasters, took part in the festival, which is split into three groups with a record prize fund for an Open of $150,000. Alexander Shorokhov, a 15-year-old IM from Russia, dominated the 170-player Group 'B', taking the first prize of $6,000 with a score of 7.5/9; Sergei Bairachny of Ukraine likewise dominating Group 'C', with his almost perfect score of 6.5/7 winning the $3,000 first prize.


V Bologan - J Granda Zuniga
Aeroflot Open 'A' (9), Sicilian Paulsen

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 e6 5 Nc3 Qc7 6 Be2 a6 7 0-0 Nf6 8 Be3 Bb4 9 Na4 Bd6 10 g3 Nxe4 11 Bf3 Nf6 12 Nb6 Rb8 13 Nxc6 bxc6 14 Nc4 Be7 15 Bf4 Qa7 16 Nd6+ Kf8 17 c4 Ne8 18 Nxe8 Kxe8 19 Bxb8 Qxb8 20 Rb1 c5 21 a3 a5 22 Qa4 Qc7 23 Rfd1 f5 24 Rd3 Kf7 25 Qb5 Bf6 26 Rbd1 Rd8 27 Rd6 Bd4 28 R1xd4 cxd4 29 c5 e5 30 Qc4+ Ke7 31 Qd5 Re8 32 Qxe5+ 1-0

21st February, 2003

THE game of chess has had a long and chequered history in Iran. Along with India and China, it can lay claims to the games origins nearly 2,000 years ago.

Even the first mention of chess in literature appeared in a Persian poem some fourteen hundred years ago, and the object of the game, "checkmate", derives from the Persian "shah", for king, and "mat", meaning helpless or defeated.

Yet, despite this long connection with the royal game, Iran holds the distinction of being one of the few countries in the world to have banned chess, as Ayatollah Khomeini, during the Islamic Revolution of 1979, outlawed the game. However, much like alcohol, gambling, sex and opium, chess didn't really disappear; it simply went underground to avoid detection.

It's only recently under a more moderate administration that the game has been allowed to flourish again - Tehran being the surprise venue in 2001 for the final of the FIDE World Championship match between Vishy Anand and Alexei Shirov. However, there still remain pockets of opposition. Hardline ayatollahs in the city of Kashan very publicly imposed a "fatwa" a couple of years ago reaffirming the ban on the game, as they burned chess boards in protest.

A six-game match between Iran's sole grandmaster Ehsan Ghaem-Maqami and Britain's Nigel Short recently ended in Tehran. The match was staged as part of the 10-Day Dawn celebrations to mark the victory of the Islamic Revolution, with former world championship challenger Short comfortably winning the match 4-2 (two wins and four draws) to take the $5,000 winners purse.


E Ghaem Maghami - N Short
Tehran match (4), Reti's Opening

1 Nf3 d5 2 c4 d4 3 b4 Bg4 4 Qb3 Bxf3 5 Qxf3 c6 6 e3 e5 7 Qg3 Nd7 8 Bb2 Nh6 9 Bd3 Qf6 10 c5 a5 11 a3 Be7 12 0-0 0-0 13 f4 Rfd8 14 exd4 exd4 15 Nc3 Nxc5 16 bxc5 dxc3 17 Bxc3 Bxc5+ 18 Kh1 Bd4 19 Rab1 b5 20 Be4 Nf5 21 Qh3 g6 22 Bxf5 Qxf5 23 Qxf5 gxf5 24 Rfc1 Ra6 25 Rb2 Bxc3 26 Rxc3 b4 27 axb4 axb4 28 Rc1 c5 29 h3 Ra5 30 Rc4 Rb5 31 Kg1 f6 32 Kf2 Kf7 33 Rbc2 b3 34 Rb2 Rd4 35 Rc3 Rxf4+ 36 Ke3 Re4+ 37 Kf3 Reb4 38 Re3 c4 39 Rc3 Rd5 40 Ke2 h5 41 d3 Rxd3 42 Rxc4 Rxc4 43 Kxd3 Rb4 44 Kc3 Rb8 45 Kd4 h4 46 Kd3 Kg6 47 Ke3 Kg5 48 Kf3 f4 49 Ke4 Rb7 0-1

19th February, 2003

AS the Aeroflot Open heads for the crucial final rounds in Moscow, the Belarusian GM Alexander Alexandrov is flying solo in the tournament after he was the only one of the fourteen overnight leaders to win in round six.

After a nicely crafted victory over the Russian GM Lugovoi, Alexandrov now takes the sole lead in the tournament with what could be a decisive half point lead over a rather ominous chasing pack of 19, all of whom still in the hunt for the biggest prize of the year for an Open event. One man who could have joined him in first place was defending champion Gregory Kaidanov from the USA.

The former Muscovite put a lot of effort into his game with the young Russian Alexander Galkin. He had a positional advantage in the middlegame, and just before the first time control, he uncorked a brilliant attack. His finely calculated combination netted Queen for Rook and Bishop, plus White had a passed a-pawn. However, the ever-resourceful Galkin kept cool despite the pressure, and was able to stop Kaidanov's pawn, while simultaneously creating a fortress on the  Kingside.

The tournament is ultra strong and most western Grandmasters have stayed away because despite the lucrative prize fund on offer there seems little chance of holding off the massed ranks of Russian and ex Soviet GMs.

Nearly five hundred players including around one hundred and fifty grandmasters have been attracted to the event which is being held for the second year running at the Hotel Rossija by the Kremlin on Red Square; which with 2,876 rooms makes it Europe's largest hotel. There is an additional incentive this year, the winner of the Open 'A' will not only take home $25,000 he will also gain entry into the elite Dortmund tournament at the end of July.


Standings: 1 A Alexandrov (Belarus) 5/6; 2-20 V Zvjaginsev (Russia), E Sutovsky (Israel), L Fressinet (France), A Jussupow (Germany), K Sakaev (Russia), S Rublevsky (Russia), M Ulibin (Russia), Z Efimenko (Ukraine), A Lastin (Russia), V Bologan (Moldova), V Milov (Switzerland), E Najer (Russia), G Kaidanov (USA), M Kazhgaleyev (Kazakhstan), A Fedorov (Belarus), A Galkin (Russia), A Moiseenko (Ukraine), M Sorokin (Argentina), S Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) 4.5.


A Aleksandrov - A Lugovoi
Aeroflot Open 'A' (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 c6 8 0-0 Re8 9 f3 c5 10 a3 Bxc3 11 bxc3 Nc6 12 Ra2 Qc7 13 Ng3 Be6 14 Bb1 Rac8 15 Raf2 Qd7 16 Qd3 h6 17 Rd1 Rc7 18 Bb2 Na5 19 e4 dxe4 20 fxe4 Bc4 21 Qf3 Ng4 22 Rfd2 Bb3 23 Nf5 Bxd1 24 Rxd1 h5 25 h3 Nf6 26 e5 Nh7 27 Nd6 Rf8 28 d5 b5 29 c4 Nxc4 30 Nxc4 bxc4 31 e6 fxe6 32 Bxh7+ Kxh7 33 Qxf8 exd5 34 Be5 Rc8 35 Rxd5 1-0

18th February, 2003

IT looks as if chess is finally coming home to Moscow, as the grandmasters turned up in force for one of the strongest Open tournaments of all-time in the Russian capital, with the staging there of the second Aeroflot Open at the Hotel Rossija, which has a $150,000 prize fund - not bad considering the average monthly wage in Russia these days is just $200.

Ironically, one of the main reasons for the Soviet GM exodus from Mother Russia was financial reasons following the collapse of communism, as many players lost their state aid. Now, due to this new tournament with a massive prize fund and subsidized air travel, the former Soviets are going back home in an effort to win one of the biggest prizes of the year in chess, save for the US Championships.

One such ex-Soviet returning home is last year's winner Gregory Kaidanov, who is now one of the top players in the US. A convincing fifth round win from Kaidanov put him into joint first in the tournament and a possible second successive victory. However, he's part of a GM logjam of fourteen in first place on 4/5, and ominously on their tail just a half point behind is a further group of 26 grandmasters.


Standings: 1-14 GM A Aleksandrov (Belarus), GM V Bologan (Moldova), GM L Fressinet (France), GM A Galkin (Russia), GM G Kaidanov (USA), GM A Lastin (Russia), GM A Lugovoi (Russia), GM S Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), GM A Moiseenko (Ukraine), GM E Najer (Russia), GM S Rublevsky (Russia), GM K Sakaev (Russia), GM M Ulibin (Russia), GM V Zvjaginsev (Russia) 4/5.


Z Efimenko - G Kaidanov
Aeroflot Open 'A' (5), Open Lopez

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Nxe4 6 d4 b5 7 Bb3 d5 8 dxe5 Be6 9 Be3 Be7 10 c3 0-0 11 Re1 Na5 12 Bc2 Nc4 13 Bc1 Bc5 14 Nd4 Nxf2 15 Kxf2 Qh4+ 16 Kg1 Bg4 17 Re2 Bxe2 18 Qxe2 Bxd4+ 19 cxd4 Qxd4+ 20 Qf2 Qxf2+ 21 Kxf2 Nxe5 22 Bf4 Rfe8 23 Nc3 Rad8 24 h3 d4 25 Ne4 Ng6 26 Bg5 Rd5 27 h4 d3 28 Bb3 Rf5+ 29 Ke3 Rfe5 30 Kxd3 Rxe4 31 Rf1 Nh8 32 Bd5 Re1 33 Rxe1 Rxe1 34 b4 Ng6 35 Kd4 h6 36 Bd2 Rd1 37 Kc3 Nxh4 38 Bb7 Nf5 39 Bxa6 Nd6 40 Kd4 0-1

17th February, 2003

FOLLOWING a lengthy meeting with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov at his Moscow office late last week, it now looks as if the young Ukrainian World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov was made an offer he couldn't refuse in the long drawn out saga over whether he would defend his title against Garry Kasparov as part of the Prague unification process.

The heavy-handed FIDE tactics used against Ponomariov by "threatening" to first of all strip him of his title whilst he was competing at Wijk aan Zee was roundly criticized in all circles. A meeting between FIDE and Ponomariov at a later date to finally sort out the match was therefore arranged, which has now taken place. However the omens don't look too promising.

According to reports, the meeting started at six in the evening, and didn't finish till six the next morning(!), after the 19-year-old champion, hardly able to speak any more, apparently conceding to all demands and agreed to play the announced match against Kasparov. In a brief press release, FIDE confirmed that, "World Chess Champion Ruslan Ponomariov reaffirmed his willingness to defend his title against World no 1 rated player Garry Kasparov under the Match Regulations as approved by the FIDE President and the Presidential Board of FIDE."

Ponomariov is believed to have withdrawn his earlier demands (draw odds and FIDE time control) and in exchange was somehow assured that the Ponomariov-Kasparov and Kramnik-Leko matches would be played using the same criteria. However there could well be a contradiction here for Ponomariov by signing away his rights, as it's widely believed that the regulation would not apply to the Kramnik-Leko match.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Moscow, Ponomariov's Moldavian second, Viktor Bologan, joins the leaders after four rounds of the Aeroflot Open. Bologan is one of the nine players in equal first in the tournament with an unbeaten score of 3.5/4.


V Bologan - P Smirnov
Aeroflot Open 'A' (3), 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 h3 Bb7 9 d3 d6 10 a3 Nb8 11 Nbd2 Nbd7 12 Nf1 Nc5 13 Ba2 Ne6 14 Ng3 Re8 15 Ng5 Bc8 16 Nf5 Bf8 17 f4 g6 18 Qf3 Rb8 19 fxe5 dxe5 20 Nh6+ Bxh6 21 Nxe6 Bxe6 22 Bxh6 Bxa2 23 Rxa2 Nd7 24 Rf1 Qe7 25 b4 Rb6 26 Bg5 Qe6 27 Raa1 c5 28 c3 Rc6 29 Bd2 Rd6 30 Bh6 Rc8 31 a4 bxa4 32 Rxa4 cxb4 33 cxb4 Rc3 34 Qf2 Rb6 35 b5 Nc5 36 Ra3 Nxd3 37 Qh4 1-0

14th February, 2003

IT'S time to fasten your seatbelts once again, as the Aeroflot Open takes to the air in Moscow with one of the biggest and strongest fields for an Open event, which started Tuesday at the 2876 roomed Hotel Rossija by the Kremlin.

A total of 481 players from 38 nations, pooled into three sections based on their ratings, ranging from unrated to grandmaster have descended on the Russian capital for the second year running to compete in the Aeroflot Chess Festival, which this year has a prize fund of over $100,000. Keeping in the aviation theme, everything in the tournament is being conducted in the style of a commercial airline flight, with the organizing staff in charge suitably kitted out in uniforms of "pilots", "navigators" and "flight personnel" running the show.

The top-rated 'A' group has a field of 201 players battling it out for the total prize fund of $61,000, including 143 grandmasters with ratings of 2400 or higher, with the top seeds being Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, Alexander Dreev and Alexander Morozevitch. The winner of this group will not only get the $25,000 first prize, but also a berth into the July elite tournament in Dortmund, Germany.

Another 170 players, with ratings down to 2150 make up the field for the 'B' group, which has a total prize fund of $36,000. The final 'C' group is open to anyone with a FIDE rating lower than 2201, and also has a generous prize fund of $17,000.

The only big shock of the early opening rounds proved to be the crash-landing of the Muscovite former world number four Alexander Morozevich, whose rating (and subsequent world ranking) over the last year has plummeted due to his dramatic loss in form.


M Gagunashvili - A Morozevich
Aeroflot Open 'A' (2), Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 a6 5 a4 e6 6 Bg5 a5 7 e3 Be7 8 Bd3 Nbd7 9 0-0 0-0 10 Qe2 dxc4 11 Bxc4 Nd5 12 Bf4 Nxf4 13 exf4 Nb6 14 Bb3 Nd5 15 g3 f5 16 Rfe1 Bf6 17 Rad1 Bd7 18 Ne5 Re8 19 Na2 Re7 20 Nc1 Be8 21 Ncd3 h6 22 h4 Kh7 23 Nc5 b6 24 Ncd3 Rc8 25 h5 Rcc7 26 Bc2 c5 27 dxc5 bxc5 28 g4 c4 29 Nc1 Kg8 30 gxf5 Qc8 31 fxe6 Nxf4 32 Qg4 Nxe6 33 Bf5 Rc5 34 Rd6 Qc7 35 Bxe6+ Kf8 36 Qd4 Rxe5 37 Rxe5 Bxh5 38 Rf5 Rf7 39 Qd5 Bg6 40 Qa8+ 1-0

13th February, 2003

THE American humorist Mark Twain once rightly observed, that "Sometimes a dose of Bermuda is just what the doctor ordered." This could go a long way in explaining the popularity of the annual Bermuda Chess Festival.

As tournaments go, they don't come anymore idyllic than an invitation to play on the tropical paradise island, which not surprisingly was a recent recipient of the FIDE award for the best invitational tournament.

The 20th edition of the Festival was organized as efficiently as ever by the Bermuda Chess Association, in the guise of two ex-pat tax exiles from the City, Nick Faulks and Nigel Freeman, and featured two Grandmaster groups, a blitz tournament and, bolstered by an influx of players jetting in from the US, culminating with a Weekend Open.

The Bermuda Invitationals recently ended with the fifth strongest tournament ever in the Americas. Surprisingly, the ultra-strong GM 'A' (category 9, with an average rating of 2601) was won by Giovanni Vescovi of Brazil, who played the tournament of life to take outright first with a final score of 8/11, taking the $4,000 first prize by a half a point ahead of top-seed Peter Svidler from Russia.

In the Grandmaster 'B' event (category 10, with an average rating of 2478), Daniel Fridman of Latvia took the first prize of $1,500 on 8/11, a half a point ahead of 15-year-old Hikaru Nakamura, who nevertheless got the conciliation prize of his third and final GM norm to become the youngest ever US Grandmaster, thus beating Bobby Fischer's 44-year-old age record.


GM 'A': 1 GM G Vescovi (Brazil) 8/11; 2 GM P Svidler (Russia) 7.5; 3 GM T Markowski (Poland) 7; 4 GM A Motylev (Russia) 6; 5 GM K Miton (Poland) 5.5; 6-8 GM B Macieja (Poland), GM S Movsesian (Slovenia), GM A Volokitin, (Ukraine) 5; 9-10 GM A Gershon (Israel), GM A Shabalov (USA) 4.5; 11-12 GM L Christiansen (USA), 12 GM M Al-Modiahki (Qatar) 4.


GM 'B': 1 GM D Fridman (Latvia) 8/11; 2 IM H Nakamura (USA) 7.5; 3 IM E Perelshteyn (USA) 7; 4 GM R Schmaltz (Germany) 6.5; 5-6 IM C Moreno (Spain), IM E Berg (Sweden) 5.5; 7-9 IM G Seul (Germany), GM H Kallio (Finland), IM W Paschall (USA) 5; 10 IM V Dinstuhl (Germany) 4.5; 11 GM P Blatny (Czech Republic) 3.5; 12 IM M Mulyar (USA) 3.


A Volokitin - G Vescovi
Bermuda GM 'A" (5), 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 Bb7 10 d4 Re8 11 Nbd2 Bf8 12 a4 h6 13 Bc2 exd4 14 cxd4 Nb4 15 Bb1 c5 16 d5 Nd7 17 Ra3 f5 18 Nh2 c4 19 Rg3 Nc5 20 exf5 Rxe1+ 21 Qxe1 Nbd3 22 Bxd3 Nxd3 23 Qe6+ Kh8 24 Ng4 Qe8 25 Re3 Qxe6 26 dxe6 Be7 27 Nb3 bxa4 28 Na5 Nxc1 29 Nxb7 Rb8 30 Na5 c3 31 bxc3 a3 32 c4 a2 33 Ra3 d5 34 Ra4 Rb4 35 Rxa2 Nxa2 36 cxd5 Nc3 37 Ne3 Rb1+ 38 Kh2 Rb5 39 Nc6 Bd6+ 40 f4 Nxd5 41 Nxd5 Rxd5 42 e7 Bxe7 43 Nxe7 Rc5 44 Kg3 a5 45 Kg4 a4 46 Kh5 a3 47 Kg6 a2 48 Kf7 Rc7 0-1

12th February, 2003

SINCE Bobby Fischer's more or less self-imposed retirement from the game after winning the world title in 1972, Americans have been continually searching for his successor.

The most celebrated is unquestionably Josh Waitzkin, whose eminent rise through the notoriously tough junior competitions to become a leading contender was memorably chronicled by his journalist father, Fred, in his compelling memoir "Searching For Bobby Fischer"; a book that went on to become a major Hollywood film starring Joe Mantegna, Max Pomeranc, Joan Allen, Ben Kingsley and Laurence Fishburne.

The latest wunderkind to follow in Fischer's footsteps is Hikaru Nakamura, 15, from the City of White Plains, New York. Nakamura started playing tournament chess in 1995 at the age of 7. Whilst reading the Guinness Book of World Records at 9, he made a chance discovery that that he had only three-months to beat a record by becoming America's youngest National Master - so he decided to do something about it.

After breaking this record, he then progressed to become (at 11) the youngest player in the world to beat a grandmaster in serious tournament praxis.

Now, playing only last week at his favourite hunting ground of the Bermuda International (scene of his first GM norm last year), Nakamura earned his third and final GM norm by scoring 7.5-3.5 (six wins, three draws and two loses) to finish in clear second place in the Invitational GM 'B' tournament - in the process, breaking a long-standing Fischer record of some 44-years to now become the youngest American player to attain the hallowed title of Grandmaster.


M Mulyar - H Nakamura
Bermuda GM 'B' (11), Sicilian Najdorf

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e6 7 Qf3 Nbd7 8 Be2 Qc7 9 0-0-0 b5 10 a3 Bb7 11 Bg5 Rc8 12 Bd3 Be7 13 Qg3 Qd8 14 Bd2 Ne5 15 Kb1 0-0 16 h4 Nfd7 17 Bg5 Rxc3 18 bxc3 Nb6 19 Bc1 Na4 20 Ne2 Qc7 21 f4 Nd7 22 Qe3 Bf6 23 Bd2 Rc8 24 g4 d5 25 e5 Be7 26 Bc1 d4 27 cxd4 Bxh1 28 Rxh1 b4 29 Qe4 g6 30 Ka2 bxa3 31 f5 Rb8 32 c4 Ndc5 33 dxc5 Nxc5 34 Qf3 Qxe5 35 Bxa3 Nxd3 36 Qxd3 Bxa3 37 Nc3 Qa5 38 Qc2 Rb2+ 39 Qxb2 Bxb2+ 40 Kxb2 Qb4+ 0-1

11th February, 2003

THE inaugural GibTelecom Masters in Gibraltar was won jointly by Cypriot GM Vasilios Kotronias and his Athens neighbour GM Nigel Short, who both won £3,250 after finishing joint first on 7.5/10.

Good fortune (at long last!) finally shone on IM John Shaw from Kilmarnock, who not only took home £1,250 for his share of equal third with Croatian Mladen Palac on a score of 7, but also achieved his first GM norm in the strangest of circumstances. Needing a win in the final round with black against Jim Plaskett, Shaw was comprehensively lost come the time control.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), after move 40, Plaskett decided to compose himself after a frantic time scramble with a break, came back to the board to decide on his next move, only to be interrupted by the arbiter to inform him that he’d lost on time! Even after playing ten rounds, Plaskett had managed to forget that the time control for the tournament was all the moves in 2 hours, with a 30 seconds increment for each move from the first.

Regardless of the circumstances, no other players richly deserve some good fortune than Shaw, who has had his fair share of bad luck in the past to narrowly miss out on his ‘elusive’ first norm. He is now set to become Scotland’s fourth Grandmaster behind Motwani, McNab and Rowson, and only requires a further two norms to attain the hallowed title. His next big chance comes later this month in France, as he makes the annual pilgrimage to the Cappelle le Grande tournament.


J Plaskett – J Shaw
GibTelecom Masters (10), Reti’s Opening

1 Nf3 d5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 c6 4 0-0 Bf5 5 d3 e6 6 Nbd2 h6 7 b3 Be7 8 Bb2 0-0 9 c4 a5 10 a3 Bh7 11 Bc3 Na6 12 Qc2 c5 13 e4 Nc7 14 Rae1 Nd7 15 Bb2 Bd6 16 cxd5 exd5 17 exd5 Nxd5 18 Ne5 N7b6 19 Ndc4 f6 20 Nxd6 Qxd6 21 Nc4 Qc7 22 Be4 f5 23 Be5 Qd7 24 Bh1 f4 25 Nxb6 Nxb6 26 Qxc5 Ra6 27 Bxf4 Rxf4 28 gxf4 Bxd3 29 f5 Bxf1 30 Kxf1 Qd3+ 31 Kg1 Nd7 32 Qd5+ Qxd5 33 Bxd5+ Kf8 34 Bxb7 Rd6 35 Re3 Rd1+ 36 Kg2 Ra1 37 Bc6 Nf6 38 b4 axb4 39 axb4 Rb1 40 b5 Rb2 41 Kf3 Kf7 0-1

10th February, 2003

MANKIND lives to fight another day in the battle of wits with the machines, as world number one Garry Kasparov and three-time world computer chess champion Deep Junior ended their $1m six-game Man v Machine FIDE World Championship match held at the New York Athletic Club with a draw, to tie the series at 3-3.

For the first time in the match Kasparov bravely decided to opt for his trademark Sicilian Najdorf, and equalized with ease as Deep Junior somewhat surprisingly eschewed all the wild complications of the main line that would normally favour the unlimited analytical capabilities of a computer. After nearly four hours of intense play, Kasparov made a breakthrough with a thematic exchange sacrifice, only to surprisingly follow this up with a draw offer. Deep Junior turned it down but five moves later returned the offer, and Kasparov readily accepted -- to boos from the capacity crowd who thought he had the better of the position.

Still smarting from his defeat six years ago to IBM's Deep Blue, also in New York, Kasparov opted for safety rather than valour. "I had one item on my agenda today: not to lose," Kasparov said after Friday's finale. "And a draw was a good result." He said the strain of the series' five other games and "dangerous reminiscences" of his fatal encounter with Deep Blue, seen by some as a watershed moment in technological advancement, weighed heavily on his mind.

This was the second Man v Machine contest in the last four months, Kasparov's nemesis Vladimir Kramnik battled the program Deep Fritz to a 4-4 draw in Bahrain last October and also found the pressures of playing a silicon opponent that plays some elements of the game perfectly and some abjectly, a considerable strain.

Both the programmers Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky took home half the price fund of $250,000, with Kasparov received the same amount plus his 'sweetener' of $500,000 for his appearance fee. The Israeli's claimed their program, which runs on a simple PC are better than Deep Blue which was backed up by hundreds of parallel processors and needed its own room. We will never know because after Deep Blue's historic victory, its creators mothballed it and it will likely never play again. Recently IBM donated one of the 1.4 ton towers that were specially designed to take on Kasparov to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.

The match also created enormous media interest in New York and was held under the patronage of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, hosted by X3D a new technology company who create three dimensional media and games products, and produced on behalf of FIDE by the redoubtable Serge Grimaux. The match also made a major breakthrough for the game in the USA, as the worldwide interest generated by Kasparov's high-profile tussle with Deep Junior led to one of the main US television sports networks, ESPN2, to carry the sixth and final game live -- no doubt adding further pressure to Kasparov, as they hoped for a repeat of the Deep Blue debacle.

The last time such in-depth live coverage of chess was seen in the US was the infamous Fischer-Spassky cold war of the mind encounter of 1972 that gripped the nation. Lasting three and half-hours, the program was broadcast direct from the match venue - hosted by a leading ESPN anchor, and ably assisted by the upbeat commentary team of Yasser Seirawan and Maurice Ashley - and was aired between the more mainstream sports of PGA golf and NBA basketball.


DEEP JUNIOR - G Kasparov
FIDE Man-Machine (6), Sicilian Najdorf

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be2 e5 7 Nb3 Be7 8 0-0 0-0 9 Kh1 Bd7 10 Be3 Bc6 11 Bf3 Nbd7 12 a4 b6 13 Qd3 Bb7 14 h3 Rc8 15 Rad1 h6 16 Rfe1 Qc7 17 g3 Rfd8 18 Kh2 Re8 19 Re2 Qc4 20 Qxc4 Rxc4 21 Nd2 Rc7 22 Bg2 Rec8 23 Nb3 Rxc3 24 bxc3 Bxe4 25 Bc1 Bxg2 26 Kxg2 Rxc3 27 Ba3 Ne8 28 f4 draw

7th February, 2003

THERE’S a dangerous sense of Deep Blue déjà vu in the New York air for Garry Kasparov, as the world number one was held to a draw by Deep Junior in the penultimate game of their $1m FIDE Man vs. Machine match, which is now tied 2.5-2.5.

While Kasparov was determined to win his last white game against the computer to avenge his defeat six years earlier to IBM’s Deep Blue, the latest incarnation of the silicon beast had other ideas as it clearly “stunned” the world’s strongest-ever player with a speculative “Greek gift” sacrifice as early as move ten – and with half its pieces still on the original starting position!

Such was the shock of the audacious sacrifice so early in the game that for many of the spectators and pundits at the match venue of the New York Athletic Club, it almost seemed as if Kasparov had badly blundered as he had in 1997 when he lost the final game to Deep Blue. It is still unclear if the combination was sound, but Kasparov admitted after the game that “I didn’t feel comfortable at all.” Instead preferring to opt for a draw by repetition to keep the scores level.

The critical line to avoid the repetition of moves was 16 g3 Nh2+ 17 Kf2 Ng4+ 18 Ke1 Qh3 19 Rg1 Nd7 20 Kd1 Ndf6, and white holds onto the extra piece – but at what price? There’s no clear route to victory and he does have great difficulties in unravelling his position.

Now, with one game of the six-game match left to be played, Kasparov finds himself in a similar position to 1997: the match tied and the unenviable task of playing black against a computer in the final game. “The last game is very difficult for a human. It is a great burden on my shoulders," said an emotional Kasparov after the game. "I only hope I can do better than in '97.”

The match will now be decided by the final game to be played on Friday, starting at 3.30pm Eastern Standard Time (12.30pm PST, 8.30pm GMT). Such is the interest now in Kasparov’s latest duel with the computer, top US Cable Sports Channel ESPN2 have announced they will be transmitting four hours of live coverage on the final day.


G Kasparov – Deep Junior
FIDE Man-Machine (5), 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 c6 10 Qc2 Bxh2+ 11 Kxh2 Ng4+ 12 Kg3 Qg5 13 f4 Qh5 14 Bd2 Qh2+ 15 Kf3 Qh4 16 Bxh7+ Kh8 17 Ng3 Nh2+ 18 Kf2 Ng4+ 19 Kf3 Nh2+ draw

5th February, 2003

IN the past, the only connection Gibraltar had with chess was that of being betrayed by the British Government, like a pawn in some crazy chess game of international politics and double dealing with Spain over a 300 year old sovereignty conflict.

While the latest counter-gambit of a referendum by the 30,000 or so Gibraltarians saw an overwhelming and almost unanimous vote against such claims, it didn’t however stop chess being an issue on the Rock - they are now more than halfway through staging their first-ever international tournament on the Mediterranean resort.

The new addition to the international arena is the GibTelecom Chess Festival, containing both a Masters and Amateurs event with a total prize fund of £15,000, running 28 January to 6 February at the Caleta Hotel. The top-rated Masters section, headed by former world championship challenger Nigel Short contains no fewer than 31 grandmasters among the cosmopolitan field of 58.

As expected, Short made the early running in the tournament and took the overall lead in round three with 3/3 after beating Scotland’s John Shaw. However Short’s chances of winning the tournament suffered a major setback in round five, when the top seed lost to Cypriote GM Vasili Kotronias, who now has a commanding one point lead over the chasing pack.


Standings: 1 Kotronias (Cyprus) 5.5/6; 2-3 Sulskis (Lithuania), McShane (England) 4.5; 4-15 Epishin (Russia), Palac (Croatia), Korneev (Russia), Short (England), Hamdouchi (Morroco), B Lalic (England), Johansen (Australia), Tiviakov (Holland), Speelman (England), Cherniaev (Russia), Reinderman (Holland), Pavlovic (Yugoslavia) 4. Scottish scores: 26 Colin McNab 3; 30 John Shaw 3.


A wonderful victory from Shaw over the top-rated Norwegian GM Simen Agdestein. The bullets soon start to fly as Shaw fires at random at the number six seed with his trademark Sicilian Kalashnikov.


S Agdestein – J Shaw
Gibraltar Masters (2), Sicilian Kalashnikov

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 e5 5 Nb5 d6 6 c4 Be7 7 N1c3 a6 8 Na3 f5 9 Bd3 f4 10 g3 Nf6 11 gxf4 exf4 12 Bxf4 0-0 13 Rg1 Ne5 14 Be2 Nfg4 15 Bg3 Bh4 16 Rg2 Bxg3 17 hxg3 Qf6 18 Nd5 Qh6 19 Bf1 Nf3+ 20 Ke2 Nge5 21 Ne7+ Kh8 22 Nxc8 Raxc8 23 Qc1 Nd4+ 24 Kd1 Qh1 25 Kd2 Rf3 26 Nb1 Nxc4+ 27 Ke1 d5 28 Nc3 Re8 29 Qd1 Ne3 0-1

4th February, 2003

WORLD No.1 Garry Kasparov brought back an old favourite of the Sicilian Hedgehog from his world championship battles of yore with arch-rival Anatoly Karpov, as he attempted to lure Deep Junior down a complex manoeuvring path in the hope of outwitting the computer.

However, in a six-hour epic played out to a full-house at the exclusive New York Athletic Club in Manhattan, the silicon beast proved to be more than a match for Kasparov as the longest game of the contest so far ended in a hard-fought 61-move draw.

Both Kasparov, 39, considered to be the greatest player in the history of the game, and Deep Junior, the three-time world computer chess champion now have two points each with just two games left to play in the $1m six-game FIDE Man vs. Machine Ultimate World Championship match.

Kasparov, who is eager to win the match in order to erase the bitter memory of his 1997 shock loss to IBM's Deep Blue, told reporters after the game that, "he firmly believes that Deep Junior has problems playing black," - and heavily hinted he was ready to "put everything on the line" on Wednesday, when he has white for the final time in this intriguing showdown between man and machine.


DEEP JUNIOR - G Kasparov
FIDE Man-Machine (4), Sicilian Hedgehog

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 e6 5 Nb5 d6 6 c4 Nf6 7 N1c3 a6 8 Na3 Nd7 9 Nc2 Be7 10 Be2 b6 11 0-0 Bb7 12 h3 0-0 13 Be3 Rc8 14 Qd2 Nce5 15 b3 Nf6 16 f3 Qc7 17 Rac1 Rfe8 18 a3 Ned7 19 Rfd1 Qb8 20 Bf2 Rcd8 21 b4 Ba8 22 a4 Rc8 23 Rb1 Qc7 24 a5 bxa5 25 b5 Bb7 26 b6 Qb8 27 Ne3 Nc5 28 Qa2 Nfd7 29 Na4 Ne5 30 Nc2 Ncd7 31 Nd4 Red8 32 Kh1 Nc6 33 Nxc6 Rxc6 34 Kg1 h6 35 Qa3 Rdc8 36 Bg3 Bf8 37 Qc3 Ne5 38 c5 Nd7 39 Qxa5 Nxc5 40 Nxc5 Rxc5 41 Qa4 R5c6 42 Bf2 d5 43 Bxa6 Bc5 44 Bxc5 Rxc5 45 Bxb7 Qxb7 46 exd5 exd5 47 Qa7 R5c7 48 Qxb7 Rxb7 49 Rxd5 Rc6 50 Rdb5 h5 51 Kf2 Re6 52 f4 g6 53 Kg3 Kg7 54 Kh4 Kh6 55 R1b4 Rd6 56 g3 f6 57 g4 hxg4 58 hxg4 Kg7 59 Rb3 Rc6 60 g5 f5 61 Rb1 draw

3rd February, 2003

HUMAN frailty cost Garry Kasparov dearly in game three of the $1 million FIDE Man vs. Machine challenge, as Deep Junior pounced on a typical human error to draw level with the world No.1 at the half-way stage of their six-game match being hosted at the New York Athletic Club.

Kasparov's furious reaction at the board when he realized his mistake left no doubt how costly the blunder had been, after yet again having the better of the game against the computer. Kasparov carelessly walked into a mate in five after 32 Rh5, which he thought was simply drawing. However 32 ..Nxd4! turns out to be a winner for the silicon beast, as 33 Ng6+ Kg8 34 Ne7+ Kf8!, and now if 35 Rxh7 Nb3+!! 36 Kc2 (36 axb3 Qd1 mate) 36 ..Na1+ 37 Kc3 Qd2+ 38 Kc4 b5+ 39 Kc5 Qd6 mate.

Kasparov, whose battles with the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in 1996 and 1997 drew worldwide attention, has vowed to avenge his defeat to the machine six years ago, but now faces a sense of Deep Blue deja vu with a tough psychological struggle as the tension rises going into the decisive second half of the match - He's worried; the computer isn't.

Whoever wins this match, the days when humans can compete on a level playing field with computers could be numbered. Humans cling to the hope that their intuition and pattern-recognition abilities will offset the computer's raw calculating prowess. But software programs are getting better and better, and (just like Kasparov in his 1997 match with Deep Blue, and now his latest game with Deep Junior) they crucially do not succumb to fatigue, loss of focus, impatience or emotional ups and downs.


G Kasparov - DEEP JUNIOR
FIDE Man-Machine (3), Semi-Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 e3 e6 5 Nf3 Nbd7 6 Qc2 b6 7 cxd5 exd5 8 Bd3 Be7 9 Bd2 0-0 10 g4 Nxg4 11 Rg1 Ndf6 12 h3 Nh6 13 e4 dxe4 14 Bxh6 exd3 15 Rxg7+ Kh8 16 Qxd3 Rg8 17 Rxg8+ Nxg8 18 Bf4 f6 19 0-0-0 Bd6 20 Qe3 Bxf4 21 Qxf4 Bxh3 22 Rg1 Qb8 23 Qe3 Qd6 24 Nh4 Be6 25 Rh1 Rd8 26 Ng6+ Kg7 27 Nf4 Bf5 28 Nce2 Ne7 29 Ng3 Kh8 30 Nxf5 Nxf5 31 Qe4 Qd7 32 Rh5 Nxd4 33 Ng6+ Kg8 34 Ne7+ Kf8 35 Nd5 Qg7 36 Qxd4 Rxd5 0

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