More Chess!

The Scotsman

the near-daily John B. Henderson chess column with chess games

More Chess!

Chess Column by John B. Henderson

We at Rochade Kuppenheim were happy to present JOHN B. HENDERSON and his near-daily column from "The Scotsman" with online games, game download and archives. Besides that John writes regularly, for example for The Week in Chess (TWIC). He is present at all big chess events and reports extensively with often humorous articles.

(c) text and pictures by John B. Henderson

Other English texts on this homepage: the English texts by FM Hartmut Metz, Coffee Break Chess by GM Alexander Baburin.

John B. Henderson: The Scotsman Chess Column



June  July  August  September  October  November  December


January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2002: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2003: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August

1st October, 2003

"SO it's to be Short and it will be short," is a famous jibe from Garry Kasparov, as he discovered the name of his challenger for the 1993 world title match. Now it can equally be used for Nigel Short's brief appearance in the Monarch Assurance Open!

An opening round dispute led to the former world title challenger promptly packing his bags and heading home from the Isle of Man after playing just one move. Originally paired against Ukrainian IM Alexander Nosenko, his opponent proved to be a no-show thus necessitating a new pairing against another player whose opponent had also not appeared - Iceland's Oskar Bjarnarson.

However, Short, wrongly claiming that the FIDE regulations do not expressly allow such a move, unsuccessfully argued that instead he should have had the full point. Rather than play the game - and to the obvious disappointment of the organizers who had gone to great lengths to secure his appearance - Short instead took the controversial decision to withdraw.

Following the self-imposed early departure of the top seed, the tournament was further blown wide-open with the opening round defeat of both the second and third seeds.


F Handke - V Epishin
12th Monarch Assurance (1), Sicilian Kan

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 a6 5 Bd3 Bc5 6 Nb3 Be7 7 Qg4 g6 8 Qe2 d6 9 0-0 Nd7 10 Nc3 Qc7 11 Bd2 b6 12 f4 Ngf6 13 Rae1 Bb7 14 e5 Nh5 15 exd6 Bxd6 16 Ne4 Bxe4 17 Bxe4 Ra7 18 g3 0-0 19 Bc3 Ng7 20 Rd1 Rc8 21 Rd2 Nc5 22 Nxc5 Bxc5+ 23 Kh1 Qe7 24 Rfd1 h5 25 a3 a5 26 Bf3 Qf8 27 Qe5 Be7 28 Rd7 f6 29 Qe4 Rxd7 30 Rxd7 Rd8 31 Rxd8 Qxd8 32 Qxg6 b5 33 Qe4 Kf7 34 Qh7 Bf8 35 Bxh5+ Ke7 36 Bf3 Qb6 37 Qe4 Nf5 38 Qb7+ Qxb7 39 Bxb7 Ne3 40 Be4 f5 41 Bd3 b4 42 Bd4 Nd5 43 a4 Kf7 44 Bc4 Ne7 45 Bb6 1-0

29th September, 2003

THIS year's European Clubs Cup competition, which takes place in Crete from September 27 till October 5, looks set to be the strongest in the events history, with many of the world's elite players participating.

Garry Kasparov's late addition for Russian champions Ladya Kazan 1000 gives an added edge to the competition, and his team also includes Viktor Bologan, winner this year of Dortmund and Moscow's Aeroflot Open, and Israeli No.1 Illia Smirin.

Yet, despite having their chances bolstered with the inclusion of Kasparov, the Russian team champions - on paper - are by no means favourites for the title as they could lack the quality in depth of other teams. Ladya Kazan 1000 will face stiff opposition from the likes of defending champions Bosna Sarajevo (Shirov, Bareev and Sokolov), the NAO Chess Club (Grischuk, Svidler, Adams), Polonia Plus Warsaw (Ivanchuk, Gelfand), Norilsky Nikel (Dreev, Malakhov) and Tomsk (Morozevich, Khalifman).

On the eve of the competition, Kasparov completed a resounding 5.5-0.5 victory over the European Champion Zurab Azmaiparashvili in their Rapid Chess and Blitz Chess match held at the picturesque village of Panormos in Crete. Following a 2-0 win at Rapid Chess, Kasparov was magnanimous enough to concede a draw to his opponent in the Blitz contest.


Z Azmaiparashvili - G Kasparov
Crete Blitz Match (4), Irregular Opening

1 Nf3 c5 2 g3 g6 3 Bg2 Bg7 4 0-0 Nc6 5 c3 e5 6 e4 Nge7 7 b4 cxb4 8 d4 d5 9 Nxe5 Nxe5 10 dxe5 0-0 11 Bf4 Nc6 12 exd5 Nxe5 13 cxb4 Bg4 14 Qb3 Be2 15 Nd2 Nd3 16 Be3 Rc8 17 Rfe1 Bxa1 18 Rxa1 Re8 19 Bd4 Qg5 20 Bc3 Nxf2 21 Nf1 Bxf1 22 Rxf1 Qe3 23 Be1 Nd3+ 24 Bf2 Nxf2 25 Qxe3 Rxe3 26 Kxf2 Rd3 27 Be4 Rd2+ 28 Ke3 Rxa2 29 d6 Rd8 30 Bd5 Ra3+ 31 Ke4 Rxd6 32 Bxf7+ Kg7 33 Ke5 Rd2 34 Ke4 Rb2 35 Bd5 Rxb4+ 36 Ke5 Ra5 37 Rf7+ Kh6 38 h4 0-1

26th September, 2003

DESPITE being inactive on the playing front since the Linares tournament in February, Garry Kasparov increased his lead at the top of the world rankings on the recently released October FIDE Elo list.

Kasparov managed to strengthen his iron-like grip on the coveted No.1 spot as nearest rivals Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand, both dropped 8 points apiece. The big winner in the top ten is Russia's Evgeny Bareev, who climbs from 9 to 4 with a big increase of 18 points. The last time the Russian reached the dizzy heights of world number four was as far back as July 1991.

On a sad note, the biggest casualty was 72-year-old Viktor Korchnoi of Switzerland, who crashed out of the top 100 list. Age looks to have finally caught up with the legendary two-time world title challenger, who saw a dramatic slump in his play over the last quarter, as his rating fell from 2633 to 2580.


FIDE top ten: 1 G Kasparov 2830 (=); 2 V Kramnik 2777 (-8); 3 V Anand 2766 (-8); 4 E Bareev 2739 (+18); 5 A Shirov 2737 (+5); 6 V Topalov 2735 (=); 7 A Grischuk 2732 (=); 8 M Adams 2725 (+6); 9 P Svidler 2723 (=); 10-11 P Leko 2722 (-17), J Polgar 2722 (+4).


Xu Yuhua - E Bareev
3 Arrows Cup (2), French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 dxe4 5 Nxe4 Nbd7 6 Nf3 h6 7 Bxf6 Nxf6 8 Bd3 Nxe4 9 Bxe4 c5 10 0-0 cxd4 11 Nxd4 Bc5 12 Nb3 Bd6 13 Qf3 Qc7 14 h3 0-0 15 Rfd1 f5 16 Bd3 Bd7 17 Qe2 e5 18 Bc4+ Kh8 19 Bd5 Rf6 20 Rd2 Re8 21 Rad1 b6 22 Rd3 e4 23 Rc3 Qd8 24 Nd4 Bc5 25 Nc6 Qc7 26 Nd4 Qe5 27 Nb3 Bd6 28 g3 f4 29 Rd4 e3 30 gxf4 Rxf4 31 Rxe3 Qg5+ 32 Kf1 Bxh3+ 33 Ke1 Qg1+ 34 Kd2 Rxe3 35 Qxe3 Rxf2+ 36 Kd3 Bf1+ 0-1

25th September, 2003

THE Crete city of Rethymnon gets set for an influx of chess megastars over the weekend for the game's equivalent of football's Champions League, as they play host to the 2003 European Clubs Cup competition.

A record number of 52 men's and 18 women's teams will take part in this year's competition, with one notable late addition heading the bill: World No1 Garry Kasparov, who finds himself somewhat at a loose end following his aborted FIDE title match with Ruslan Ponomariov.

Kasparov heads the line-up for the Russian club champions Ladia-Kazan-1000, alongside Sergei Rublevsky (2672), Ilia Smirin (2656), Viktor Bologan (2650) and Alisa Galliamova (2502). Despite the addition of Kasparov to bolster the Russian team, the French NAO Chess Club of Paris, sponsored by Syrian billionaires Madame Ojjeh, look to be favourites for the competition with an exceptionally strong squad comprising of Alexander Grischuk (2732), Peter Svidler (2723), Michael Adams (2719), Joel Lautier (2677), Francisco Vallejo Pons (2662), Etienne Bacrot (2645), Laurent Fressinet (2640) and Igor-Alexandre Nataf (2549).

Other favourites for the top club competition include defending champions Bosna Sarajevo, Polonia Plus of Warsaw and the 2001 European champions, Norilsky Nikel.

An added attraction before the main event this year was the staging of a six-game exhibition match (two rapid and four blitz) between Garry Kasparov and Zurab Azmaiparashvili, the 2003 European Individual Champion. With the frutration of having his FIDE title match being cancelled, Kasparov took out his frustrations on Azmaparashvili, as he easily bulldozed his way to a resounding 5.5-0.5 victory.


Z Azmaiparashvili - G Kasparov
Crete Rapid Match (2), Slav Defence

1 c4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 e3 a6 5 Qc2 Bg4 6 Ne5 Bh5 7 Qb3 Qc7 8 cxd5 cxd5 9 Nc3 e6 10 Bd2 Bd6 11 Rc1 Nc6 12 Na4 0-0 13 Nxc6 bxc6 14 Qb6 Qe7 15 Bd3 Bg6 16 Bxg6 fxg6 17 f3 Ne4 18 fxe4 Qh4+ 19 g3 (19 Kd1 Qg4+ 20 Kc2 Qxe4+ 21 Kd1 Rab8 22 Qa5 Qxg2 wins) 19 ..Qxe4 20 Ke2 Qg2+ 21 Kd3 Rf2 22 Qa5 Rb8 23 a3 Bc7 24 Qxc7 Rxd2+ 25 Kc3 Rdxb2 0-1

24th September, 2003

TOP British junior Luke McShane took the coveted title of winner of the Lausanne Young Masters in Switzerland, after he comprehensively defeated French Champion and fellow child prodigy Etienne Bacrot 1.5-0.5 in the final.

The latest success for McShane comes at the end of what has truly been a remarkable university gap year - and one that proved he had the "right stuff" to be considered world championship material as a child prodigy.

At 19, McShane is the UK's youngest grandmaster. In 1992, when he won the World under-10 title at the age of eight, he was seen as the natural successor to elite grandmasters Michael Adams and Nigel Short - many commentators even daring to suggest the possibility of him being a future world championship challenger.

Yet, being pushed down the road of becoming a professional chess master from an early age was never the chosen career path for the level-headed and likable McShane, who instead concentrated on his academic work in preference to chess.

Next month McShane enters Oxford University: but he does so in the knowledge that, thanks to his success on the international circuit in the past year, he has stormed up the world rankings to number 46 after a gain of 30 points in three months to become the new English No.3 with a rating of 2649 - and closing in fast on Adams and Short.


L McShane - E Bacrot
Lausanne Young Masters (3.2), Philidor Defence

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Be7 6 g3 d5 7 exd5 Nxd5 8 Bd2 Nb4 9 Be3 Nd5 10 Qd3 0-0 11 0-0-0 Nxe3 12 Qxe3 Bc5 13 Qf4 Bd6 14 Qd2 Bb4 15 Bc4 Nd7 16 a3 Ba5 17 Rhe1 Nb6 18 Ba2 c5 19 Ndb5 Qf6 20 Nc7 Bg4 21 Nxa8 Na4 22 Nc7 Nxc3 23 bxc3 Bxc7 24 f3 Bc8 25 Qe3 Ba5 26 Qxc5 Bb6 27 Qe7 Qxf3 28 Bd5 Qh5 29 Re5 Qh6+ 30 Kb1 g6 31 Rf1 Bf5 32 g4 Bd8 33 Qd6 Qh3 34 Rf3 Qxg4 35 Rexf5 1-0

23rd September, 2003

AS the Beatles would have it: They're going to put me in the movies. They're going to make a big star out of me. With the imminent release of "Game Over: Kasparov And The Machine", Garry Kasparov isn't just the only top chess player to have performed on the silver screen.

After the Moscow 1925 tournament, World Champion Jose Raul Capablanca - who was blessed with looks akin to heartthrob Rudolph Valentino - played a cameo role in the hit Russian film "Chess Fever", a silent movie devoted to the international tournament held there at the time.

Following her modeling success for fashion magazines such as Vogue and Elle, Russian chess babe Alexandra Kosteniuk can now add the title of movie star to her expanding CV. Ms Kosteniuk, who is competing just now in the 4th Lausanne Young Masters, played a major role in the recently released Russian film "Blagoslovite Zhenshinu" (Bless the Woman).

The film is an emotional love story of a Russian woman set during the period 1935 to 1957, and was directed by the famous Stanislav Govorukhin. Last month the film premiered in the Pushkinsky, one of Moscow's most famous movie theatres.


A Kosteniuk - E Paehtz
Lausanne Young Masters (2.1), King's Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 d6 3 Nc3 Nbd7 4 Nf3 g6 5 e4 Bg7 6 Be2 0-0 7 0-0 e5 8 Qc2 c6 9 Rd1 Qe7 10 d5 c5 11 Be3 Ne8 12 Bd3 Nb8 13 a3 f5 14 b4 f4 15 Bd2 Na6 16 bxc5 Nxc5 17 Be1 Bd7 18 Be2 g5 19 Nd2 g4 20 f3 h5 21 Nb3 Nxb3 22 Qxb3 b6 23 a4 gxf3 24 Bxf3 Bg4 25 a5 Rc8 26 axb6 axb6 27 Nb5 Qg5 28 Rdc1 Rf7 29 Bf2 Rb8 30 Kf1 Bf8 31 h3 Nf6 32 hxg4 hxg4 33 Ke2 Rh7 34 Rh1 gxf3+ 35 gxf3 Nh5 36 Rh4 Ng3+ 37 Bxg3 Rxh4 38 Bxh4 Qxh4 39 Qd1 Rb7 40 Qh1 Qxh1 41 Rxh1 Be7 42 Ra1 Rd7 43 Ra8+ Kf7 44 Rc8 Bd8 45 Rc6 Ke7 46 Kd3 1-0

22nd September, 2003

TIME was, when the World Junior Championship was regarded as the ultimate event for top juniors, as it provided a vital stepping-stone onto the world stage.

Though Spassky, Karpov, Kasparov and Anand all won the title, it has, over the years, become somewhat devalued as the best teenage talents - in the quest to become younger and younger grandmasters - tend to go straight into the grown-up world of GM tournaments.

One new tournament that's seen more and more as an indication of greater things to come for the "bright young things" these days is the Lausanne Young Masters in Switzerland, regarded by many as "Junior Linares". The fourth edition of this tournament has just got underway in the Swiss city, and runs 17-22 September.

The players battling it out this year are (in rating order): French Champion Etienne Bacrot, top British junior Luke McShane, Junior World Champion Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), top German junior Arkadij Naiditsch, the world's youngest grandmaster Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine), top female junior and chess babe Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia), Elisabeth Paehtz (Germany) and Severin Papa (Switzerland).


S Mamedyarov - A Kosteniuk
Lausanne Young Masters (1), Semi-Slav Defence

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nf3 e6 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bh4 dxc4 7 e4 g5 8 Bg3 b5 9 Be2 Bb7 10 h4 g4 11 Ne5 Rg8 12 0-0 Nbd7 13 Nxg4 Nxg4 14 Bxg4 Qb6 15 a4 a5 16 d5 cxd5 17 Nxb5 Rc8 18 exd5 Nf6 19 d6 Bc6 20 Bf3 Rxg3 21 Qd4 Qxd4 22 Bxc6+ Kd8 23 Nxd4 Rd3 24 Rad1 e5 25 d7 Rc7 26 Nf3 Bd6 27 Bb5 Nxd7 28 Bxc4 Rxd1 29 Rxd1 Rxc4 30 Rxd6 f6 31 b3 Rc3 32 Nd2 Ke7 33 Ra6 Nc5 34 Rxa5 Nxb3 35 Ra7+ Ke6 36 Ne4 Rc1+ 37 Kh2 f5 38 Ra6+ Kd5 39 Nf6+ Kd4 40 Rd6+ Kc4 41 Nd7 Re1 42 h5 Nd4 43 a5 e4 44 Nb6+ Kd3 45 Nd5 Nb5 46 Nf4+ Kc4 47 Rxh6 Ra1 48 Rc6+ Kd4 49 h6 1-0

19th September, 2003

CHESS gets set for the red carpet treatment, as the 10th Sheffield International Documentary Festival opens on 13th October with the UK premiere of "Game Over: Kasparov And The Machine".

The film is the first release from the newly-formed World Documentary Fund, dedicated to the production of feature-length documentaries to follow on from the success of Michael Moore's "Bowling For Columbine". The fund is a co-production between the BBC, the UK Film Council and the National Film Board of Canada.

Acclaimed director Vi kram Jayanti, the man also behind the award-winning "When We Were Kings" and "The Man Who Bought Mustique", will accompany his new film to this year's festival, and will be the subject of a masterclass where he will talk candidly about his experience of making the documentary.

Last week the film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada to enthusiastic reviews. Far from making chess "boring", Jayanti's film - seen as an everyday story of psychological warfare, personal pride, paranoia, deflated egos and corporate ambition - is being talked-up by the critics as a slick and surprisingly suspenseful investigation into Garry Kasparov's infamous 1997 loss to IBM's Deep Blue.

To this day, Kasparov is still smarting over his defeat to the silicon monster, and he raises the specter of "cheating" with a claim of human intervention during critical moves. Kasparov passionately believes in the conspiracy theory that he was "used" by IBM in order to gain computer supremacy over the competition.


V Yemelin - S Dolmatov
56th Russian Ch. (9), Advanced French

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 Nc6 5 Nf3 Qb6 6 a3 Nh6 7 b4 cxd4 8 cxd4 Nf5 9 Bb2 Be7 10 h4 a5 11 b5 a4 12 g4 Nh6 13 Rg1 Na5 14 Nc3 Nb3 15 Ra2 Qa5 16 Bd3 Bd7 17 Nd2 Nxd4 18 Nxd5 Bxb5 19 Bc3 Qd8 20 Nxe7 Bxd3 21 Bb4 Ng8 22 Nxg8 Qd5 23 Rg3 Qh1+ 0-1

18th September, 2003

THE Kings and Queens tournament in Beijing was won by the partnership of Nigel Short and Zhao Xue, who went through the novel event undefeated to take the title a full point ahead of their nearest rivals, Yasser Seirawan and Zhu Chen.

The players now revert to more normal chess by moving on to Ji Nan in China, for an individual Battle of the Sexes encounter in the Three Arrows Cup. The present mini tour of China also sadly marks the retirement from tournament play of one of the game's greatest ambassadors, former U.S. Champion Yasser Seirawan.

In 1979, "Yaz" won the World Junior title and for many years thereafter was the top-rated American on the world chess scene, and the first since Bobby Fischer to reach the Candidates cycle. He won three U.S. Championship titles, was a powerhouse for the U.S. team in 10 Olympiads and was one of the few players to defeat both Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov while they were in their prime as world champions.

Yet, despite his distinguished career as a player, he'll perhaps be best remembered as being the architect of the Prague Agreement - a deal which so nearly brought unity and sanity to the oft-fragmented chess world. The sadness of his retirement at the early age of 43 is only tempered by the fact that he is likely to devote more time and resources to his unique skills off the board as a diplomat and chess promoter.


Final Standings: 1 Nigel Short (England) / Zhao Xue (China) 4; 2 Yasser Seirawan (USA) / Zhu Chen (China) 3; 3-4 Ye Jiangchuan (China) / Xu Yuhua (China), Evgeny Bareev (Russia) / Xie Jun (China) 2.5.


Zhu Chen/Y Seirawan - Xie Jun/E Bareev
Kings and Queens (2), King's Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 Bd3 0-0 6 Nge2 Nc6 7 0-0 e5 8 d5 Nd4 9 Be3 Ng4 10 Bxd4 exd4 11 Nb5 c5 12 h3 Ne5 13 f4 Nxd3 14 Qxd3 f5 15 Ng3 fxe4 16 Nxe4 Bf5 17 Rae1 a6 18 Na3 Qh4 19 Nb1 g5 20 Nbd2 gxf4 21 Qb3 Rae8 22 Qxb7 d3 23 Nf3 Qxe1 24 Rxe1 Bxe4 25 Ng5 f3 26 gxf3 Bd4+ 27 Kh2 Be5+ 28 Kg2 Bf5 29 Ne6 Bxe6 30 dxe6 d2 31 Rd1 Bf4 32 Qd7 Kh8 33 Kf2 Rg8 34 h4 a5 35 Ke2 Rd8 36 Qe7 Rdf8 37 Qd7 Rd8 38 Qe7 Rdf8 39 Rg1 Rf5 40 Rxg8+ Kxg8 41 Kd1 Bh6 42 Qd8+ Kg7 43 Qd7+ 1-0

17th September, 2003

FOR the second year running, an innovative new double round-robin rapidplay tournament is underway in China, featuring eight of the world's top players of both sexes.

The Kings and Queens Beijing Chess Challenge staged at the Resources Hotel can be best described as the chess equivalent of mixed-doubles in tennis, with top male and female players joining forces to play alternate moves during a game.

The 4 "Kings" in question are GM Evgeny Bareev (Russia), GM Nigel Short (England), GM Ye Jiangchuan (China) and GM Yasser Seirawan (USA); the 4 "Queens" being the Chinese quartet of GM Xie Jun, GM Zhu Chen, WGM Xu Yuha and WGM Zhao Xue.

Before the tournament got underway, the players had to draw lots to determine their partners for this unique event, the line-up being: Team 1: Zhao Xue/Nigel Short; Team 2: Xu Yuhua/Ye Jiangchuan; Team 3: Xie Jun/Evgeny Bareev; Team 4: Zhu Chen/ Yasser Seirawan.

Despite on paper the Xie Jun/Bareev combination looking the strongest with the two highest-rated players teaming up, this isn't the case as one of the perils of this tournament is finding yourself being "handicapped" with a partner of opposing chess styles, not to mention incompatible opening repertoire.


Zhao Xue/N Short - Zhu Chen/Y Seirawan
Kings and Queens (1), Modern Benoni

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 c5 4 d5 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 Nc3 g6 7 Bg2 Bg7 8 Nf3 0-0 9 0-0 Na6 10 Re1 Nc7 11 a4 Re8 12 Nd2 b6 13 h3 Ba6 14 Qc2 Bb7 15 Qd3 Na6 16 Nc4 Nb4 17 Qd1 Ba6 18 Na3 Qd7 19 Bf4 Nh5 20 Bg5 Qf5 21 Bd2 Bd4 22 e3 Nd3 23 Rf1 Nxb2 24 Qb3 Bxf1 25 Rxf1 Qd3 26 Qxb2 Nxg3 27 exd4 Nxf1 28 Bxf1 Qf5 29 Nab5 Rad8 30 dxc5 dxc5 31 Qc1 Rd7 32 Bf4 Red8 33 Bg2 a6 34 Nc7 a5 35 Qe3 f6 36 Qe6+ Qxe6 37 dxe6 Rg7 38 N3d5 Kf8 39 Bh6 1-0

16th September, 2003

IT took only 10 moves in the final round of the 56th Russian Chess Championships in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia for Peter Svidler to capture the Russian chess crown - and for a record fourth time.

Playing top seed Alexander Grischuk in the final round, Svidler readily agreed to the early draw after his nearest rival and joint leader, Alexander Morozevich, took just 9 moves to draw with Vladimir Malakhov.

Both Svidler, 27, and Morozevich, 26, finished with 7 points from nine games to tie for first place; but Svidler, having won their individual duel in round six, took the title on tiebreak.

The popular St. Petersburg grandmaster first became national champion at the age of 18 in 1994. This was his fourth reign (1994, 95, 97 and now 2003) as national champion, an unprecedented record in post-Soviet Union chess history.

There was an eight-way tie for third on 6 points each, and the tiebreak system also applied - not just for the proper distribution of the prizes, but, as the Championship acts as a zonal tournament, to also determine the top five qualifiers who will go forward to the next FIDE World Knockout Championship in December.


Final standings: 1-2 P Svidler, A Morozevich 7/9; 3-10 V Malakhov, S Dvoirys, V Zvjaginsev, A Motylev, A Grischuk, A Khalifman, S Volkov, E Najer 6.


P Svidler - A Timofeev
56th Russian Ch. (3), Sicilian Scheveningen

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6 6 g4 h6 7 h3 a6 8 f4 Nc6 9 Be3 Bd7 10 Qd2 b5 11 Bd3 Nxd4 12 Bxd4 Bc6 13 0-0-0 b4 14 Ne2 Qa5 15 Bxf6 gxf6 16 Nd4 Bd7 17 Bc4 h5 18 Rhf1 hxg4 19 hxg4 Qc5 20 Qe2 a5 21 Kb1 Rc8 22 b3 Ke7 23 e5 fxe5 24 fxe5 Qxe5 25 Qf3 Rh7 26 Qb7 Ke8 27 Bb5 Rd8 28 Nc6 Qc5 29 Nxd8 Qxb5 30 Qa8 Ke7 31 Nb7 Qb6 32 Nxd6 Qc6 33 Qxa5 1-0

15th September 2003

IN the old Soviet days, there was an intense chess rivalry between the two cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg (then Leningrad), with even 'friendly' matches between the two metropolises proving to be bitter, hard-fought affairs.

That enmity looks likely to continue through the final rounds of the 56th Russian Championships taking place in Krasnoyarsk as part of the 375th anniversary celebrations of the Siberian city, as St. Petersburg's Peter Svidler and Muscovite Alexander Morozevich increase their lead in the tournament.

At the end of round seven, Svidler, Morozevich and Evgeny Najer were the overnight leaders from a strong field of 80 doing battle this year for the title. In round eight, Morozevich easily defeated Najer to take the early lead in the clubhouse. Three-time champion Svidler, who beat Sergey Volkov, later joined him at the top.

Going into the final round of the tournament, Morozevich and Svidler have now broken away from the chasing pack to establish a health one-point lead over their nearest rivals, as both players chase the first prize of $20,000 from a total prize fund of $100,000.


Standings: 1 P Svidler, A Morozevich 6.5/8; 3-8 A Grischuk, V Malakov, A Khalifman, V Zvjaginsev, E Najer, S Dvoirys 5.5.


A Morozevich - E Najer
56th Russian Ch. (8), Sicilian, Moscow Variation

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bb5+ Bd7 4 Bxd7+ Qxd7 5 0-0 Nc6 6 Re1 Nf6 7 c3 e6 8 d3 Be7 9 Nbd2 0-0 10 Nf1 Rfd8 11 Ng3 Ne5 12 Ng5 c4 13 d4 Nd3 14 Re2 b5 15 Nf3 b4 16 Ne1 bxc3 17 bxc3 Nxc1 18 Rxc1 Rab8 19 Nf3 d5 20 Ne5 Qb7 21 Qa4 Rdc8 22 f3 Bf8 23 Rf1 Rc7 24 Qc2 g6 25 Qc1 Qc8 26 Nh1 Qa6 27 Nf2 Qa3 28 Qf4 Nh5 29 Qe3 Rcb7 30 exd5 exd5 31 f4 Rb1 32 Nd1 Qa4 33 Ree1 f5 34 g4 Ng7 35 Qf3 Rd8 36 Ne3 Rxe1 37 Rxe1 Qa5 38 Rd1 fxg4 39 N3xg4 Nf5 40 Nc6 1-0

11th September, 2003

"WHAT do we want? Better tournament conditions. When do we want them? Now!" It could just be the battle cry from grandmasters on the picket lines, as professional players unite to form a new association to better look after their interests.

Under the slogan of "Injustice done to one is a threat to all," the newly formed Association of Chess Professionals last week launched their website ( to begin recruiting members. The main goals of the association are: to protect chess players rights, to improve conditions in chess tournaments, to create a good tournament calendar and tournament formats.

Last year Muscovite Alexander Morozevich, regarded as one of the world's top players, shocked everyone when he announced he had become so disillusioned by the present set-up, that he had instead opted to become a semi-professional and now spends less time studying and playing.

At the end of the fifth round of the 56th Russian Championships taking place in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Morozevich held the overnight lead but lost in a tactical skirmish to Peter Svidler, who now has the sole lead on 5/6.


P Svidler - A Morozevich
56th Russian Ch. (6), Petroff's 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 f5 11 Nc3 Nc7 12 b4 a5 13 b5 Bd7 14 Rb1 Kh8 15 c5 Be7 16 bxc6 bxc6 17 Bf4 Ne6 18 Be5 Be8 19 Rb6 Qc8 20 Nd2 Bg5 21 Nb3 Bh5 22 a4 Qe8 23 f3 N6xc5 24 Nxe4 Nxe4 25 Rb7 Bf6 26 fxe4 Bxe5 27 dxe5 fxe4 28 Rxf8+ Qxf8 29 Be2 Bxe2 30 Qxe2 Qf5 31 Qf2 Qxe5 32 Qg3 Qxg3 33 hxg3 h6 34 Kf2 Rf8+ 35 Ke2 Rf6 36 Nxa5 Rg6 37 Kf2 Rf6+ 38 Ke1 e3 39 Re7 d4 40 Nb3 c5 41 a5 Ra6 42 Ke2 Rg6 43 Nxc5 Rxg3 44 a6 Rxg2+ 45 Kd3 Rd2+ 46 Kc4 Kh7 47 a7 Ra2 48 Kb5 d3 49 Na6 1-0

10th September, 2003

THERE'S been so much paranoia and mistrust at the top in the so-called road to unification, at times it makes the war room in Dr. Strangelove look more like an amicable family reunion.

Last week world No3 Vishy Anand to ok a sideswipe at both FIDE and Garry Kasparov following the decision to cancel the Kasparov-Ponomariov match, and instead replace it with Kasparov meeting the winner of a 128-player knockout event.

In a jibe aimed directly at Kasparov, Anand reminded the world number one that, when he [Anand] had to face Anatoly Karpov in similar circumstances in a FIDE match, Kasparov himself criticized the decision of FIDE to seed a player directly into the final.

Next up was Vladimir Kramnik. On Monday, the world champion issued a statement also regretting the cancellation of the Kasparov-Ponomariov match, and distancing himself from the prospect of FIDE and his former sponsors, the Einstein Group, who joined together in what can best be described as a "marriage of convenience" to organize his title match against Peter Leko in Argentina.

Last month a memorandum of understanding had been drawn up between FIDE and the Bristol-based Einstein Group, which would have seen the two parties collaborating to organise the match - a vital step on the road to unification. In the memorandum, both players had to confirm in writing by September 15th their acceptance of FIDE's participation as an organiser of the match, and in doing so also had to sign a players' undertaking with FIDE.

After the beleaguered media firm failed to come through with the full funding for the match in the required time frame, Kramnik announced that would now be exercising his right to terminate his contract with Einstein. "At the moment I do not have any contractual relations either with the Einstein Group or with FIDE," said Kramnik. "I also did not authorize these organizations to hold negotiations on my behalf. All the announcements concerning my match with Peter Leko in Buenos Aires are far from reality." In response, the Einstein Group have described Kramnik's reaction to the new partnership with FIDE as "not a very constructive approach."

And, to further muddy the waters, Kramnik also revealed that he has now reached an advance stage of negotiations with a potential (and yet unnamed, but widely believed to be Russian) new sponsor for his match.


V Potkin - A Grischuk
56th Russian Ch. (5), 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 Nbd7 13 Nxf6+ Nxf6 14 Bf3 b4 15 Ne2 c5 16 d5 Qd7 17 0-0 0-0-0 18 Qc1 exd5 19 Qf4 Qc6 20 exd5 Nxd5 21 Qb8+ Kd7 22 Bxd5 Rxb8 23 Bxc6+ Bxc6 24 Rfd1+ Kc8 25 Bxb8 Kxb8 26 Ng3 Kc7 27 a3 b3 28 Rac1 Rg4 29 Nf5 Rxg2+ 30 Kf1 Rg4 31 Ke2 Rf4 32 Ne3 Bf3+ 33 Ke1 Rxh4 34 Rd2 Rh1+ 35 Nf1 Bd6 0-1

9th September, 2003

AT Wimbledon, they once had an impromptu concert by Cliff Richards. During the recent rain-drenched US Open at Flushing Meadows in New York, a similar honour fell to a chess player.

Always on the lookout for new ways to help players while away the many rain delays, tournament organizers invited 18-year-old U.S. junior chess champion Dmitry Schneider into the players' lounge, where he took on as many as eight opponents simultaneously.

Speaking on TV and to the press, Max Mirnyi, the Belarussian world tennis no 18, was pleased with the novel idea: "I think that it was a good thing for the US Tennis Association to organise it. I have not seen this at any other events, so it was nice to have somebody of his calibre come in and play with us."

The chess and tennis connection is nothing new. On CNN a few years ago, Garry Kasparov played a live chess game on TV with former tennis champion Boris Becker, who after being crushed immediately demanded a rematch with Kasparov...on the tennis courts!

And, coincidentally, Kasparov's Florida-based South African manager, Owen Williams, was a former tennis pro who is largely credited with formulating the Grand Prix tennis circuit. A former Davis Cup star of yesteryear, Owen often reminds me that he was the Scottish Open Champion of 1953. With the current malaise in the chess world, I often remind him that it's a pity that his area of expertise in sports management hasn't been better used to arrange a similar-styled Grand Prix system for chess.

Chess legend Boris Spassky is also no stranger to a volley or two. After he lost his crown to Bobby Fischer, Spassky would often prefer tennis to chess - even going to great lengths of turning up before games dressed in his tennis whites and carrying his racket, with the not-too-subtle hint to his opponents of an early draw offer, as he had booked the court for that afternoon!


E Inarkiev - A Morozevich
56th Russian Ch. (3), French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 e5 Nfd7 6 Bxe7 Qxe7 7 f4 a6 8 Nf3 Nb6 9 Qd2 Bd7 10 0-0-0 Bb5 11 Nxb5 axb5 12 Bxb5+ c6 13 Bd3 Rxa2 14 Kb1 Ra4 15 g4 Nc4 16 Bxc4 dxc4 17 Ng5 b5 18 Qe3 Na6 19 c3 Nc7 20 Ne4 Nd5 21 Qf3 0-0 22 f5 b4 23 Rhf1 bxc3 24 Nxc3 Nxc3+ 25 Qxc3 Rb8 26 Rf3 Rb3 27 Qc2 Qa7 28 Qf2 c3 0-1

8th September, 2003

ONCE we were Kings. Alekhine, Botvinnik, Keres, Bronstein, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Karpov and Kasparov - true titans of the game with one thing in common: past winners of the once prestigious Soviet Championships.

The legendary gladiatorial contest of these championships, spanning from Alekhine's win in civil war-torn 1920 (where a players' protest succeeded in raising their food rations), through to the last in 1991 due to the break-up of the Soviet Union, were regarded as the ultimate in tournament praxis.

Sadly, the almost iconic status of the all-Soviet Championship is no more. And with it, went that fine Soviet tradition of a mind-numbing twenty-two round all-play-all (lasting almost a full month!) involving many of the world's elite players. Nowadays, the major tournaments in Russia are the Aeroflot Open in Moscow and the Russian Championship, two big money commercial events with prize funds exceeding $100,000.

The 56th Russian Championship is now underway in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, and includes many of the country's finest with the notable exception of the 'three Ks': Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Anatoly Karpov.

As ever, the tournament is particularly strong with 57 of the eighty player field being top grandmasters - all in the hunt for the $20,000 first prize. Not surprisingly for such a tough field, wins are hard to come by and after two rounds there are just four early leaders on a maximum score of 2/2: Peter Svidler, Alexei Dreev, Alexander Motylev and Artim Timofeev.


A Morozevich - S Dvoirys
56th Russian Ch. (2), Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5 2 Ne2 d6 3 g3 d5 4 Bg2 dxe4 5 Nbc3 Nf6 6 Nxe4 Nxe4 7 Bxe4 Nc6 8 d3 Bd7 9 0-0 e6 10 c3 Be7 11 a3 Qc7 12 d4 cxd4 13 cxd4 0-0 14 Nf4 Rad8 15 d5 Ne5 16 Bd2 Bb5 17 Re1 Bc5 18 Rc1 Nc4 19 Bc3 Qb6 20 Qc2 e5 21 Bxh7+ Kh8 22 Bxe5 Nxe5 23 Rxe5 Rc8 24 Kg2 g6 25 Bxg6 Bd4 26 Rh5+ Kg8 27 Bxf7+ 1-0

5th September, 2003

ONE strong tournament invariably follows another on the professional circuit these days; however none come stronger than the one which has just got underway in the central Russian city of Krasnoyarsk: the 56th Russian Championship.

The event runs 2-13 September as part of the gala celebrations to commemorate the 375th anniversary of Krasnoyarsk. In 1628 Andrey Dubensky with 300 Cossacks discovered its strategic importance and built a fortress there to guard the southern-eastern borders of the ever-expanding Russian Empire. Nowadays, the city is one of the biggest cultural, industrial and scientific centres of Eastern Siberia.

Although former world champion Anatoly Karpov will be there in spirit in a non-playing capacity as the "guest of honour", other notable absentees are Garry Kasparpov and Vladimir Kramnik, who rarely, if ever, opt to play in the championship. Despite the omissions on the playing-front of the legendary troika, the list of participants is formidable nonetheless - well, it is Russia after all!

Of the 80-player field fighting it out over 9 rounds for the $100,000 prize fund ($20,000 first prize), 57 are GMs - 22 of whom are in the top Elo rating band of 2606-2732. The top ten, in rating order, consists of Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, Alexei Dreev, Vladimir Malakhov, Alexander Morozevich, Alexander Khalifman, Sergei Rublevsky, Konstantin Sakaev, Vadim Zviagintsev and Vladimir Epshin.

Looking to add to his modern-day record of three championship wins, St Petersburg GM Peter Svidler got off to a sprightly start with a sparkling miniature.


P Svidler - R Sherbakov
56th Russian Ch. (1), Sicilian Richter Rauzer

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 Bg5 Bd7 7 Qd2 Rc8 8 f4 Nxd4 9 Qxd4 Qa5 10 e5 dxe5 11 fxe5 e6 12 0-0-0 Bc6 13 Nb5 Bxb5 14 exf6 Bc6 15 h4 g6 16 Bc4 Qc5 17 Qd3 Qf5 18 Qb3 Rd8 19 Rdf1 Qg4 20 Bxe6 fxe6 21 Rf4 Qe2 22 f7+ Kd7 23 Rd4+ Bd6 24 Rhd1 Bd5 25 Rxd5 exd5 26 Qxb7+ 1-0

4th September, 2003

THE Dog Days of Summer on the chess scene concluded with the Pan-American Continental Championships that ended last weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina - one of the biggest (and strongest) tournaments of the year.

Most of the top players from Canada all the way down to Chile made up the 155-player GM infested field taking part in the 11 round Swiss - each fighting it out not just for the prize fund of $72,000, but also the added attraction of seven vacant slots on offer for the next FIDE world championship.

GM Alexander Goldin of the United States and GM Giovanni Vescovi of Brazil won the event. Both top-scored with 8.5/11 and shared $18,000, but Goldin won the trophy on a tiebreaker. In the chasing pack half a point behind with 8 points were three Americans, Alexander Onischuk, Hikaru Nakamura and Yuri Shulman; Canada's Pascal Charbonneau; Chile's Ivan Morovic Fernandez; and Cuba's Lazaro Bruzon.

As Charbonneau had already pre-qualified from the Canadian zonal, along with Gulko, Kaidanov and Shabalov from the U.S. Championship that also doubles as a zonal, the 7 FIDE world championship qualifiers were: Bruzon (Cuba), Goldin (USA), Fernandez (Chile), Nakamura (USA), Onischuk (USA), Shulman (USA) and Vescovi (Brazil).


H Nakamura - A Goldin
Pan-American Continental (4), Scotch Game

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Bb4+ 5 c3 Bc5 6 Be3 Bb6 7 Qg4 Qf6 8 Qg3 Qg6 9 Nf5 d6 10 Bxb6 axb6 11 Ne3 Nf6 12 f3 Qh6 13 Qf2 d5 14 Na3 dxe4 15 Nb5 0-0 16 Nxc7 Ra5 17 b4 Rh5 18 f4 Ng4 19 Qg3 Nxh2 20 0-0-0 Nxf1 21 Rhxf1 Nxb4 22 cxb4 Qc6+ 23 Kb2 Qxc7 24 Rd4 Be6 25 Rc1 Qe7 26 Rxe4 Qf6+ 27 Re5 Rxe5 28 fxe5 Qh6 29 Rd1 Qh5 30 Rd2 h6 31 Qf4 Rc8 32 Qg3 Ra8 33 a3 Rc8 34 Qf4 b5 35 Qg3 g5 36 Nc2 Qh1 37 Qf3 Qh2 38 Re2 Rd8 39 Qxb7 Rd3 40 Qe4 Rb3+ 41 Kc1 Rc3 42 Kb2 Rb3+ 43 Kc1 Qg3 44 Qd4 Rd3 45 Qe4 Bg4 46 Re1 Rc3 47 Rf1 Be6 48 Rd1 Bb3 49 e6 Rxc2+ 50 Kb1 Rc8 51 e7 Bxd1 0-1

3rd September, 2003

THE Staunton Memorial, taking place as part of the celebrations commemorating the 175th anniversary of the London restaurant Simpson's in the Strand, was won by top seed GM Jon Speelman, who dominated the event from start to finish.

With an unbeaten score of 4.5/6, the former world championship Candidate easily took the first prize of £1,500, finishing a full point clear of nearest rival Danny King on 3.5.

The event was organized to highlight the many achievements of the great English player of the 19th century, Howard Staunton (1810-1874), regarded by many as the de facto world champion of his day.

In 1951 - to coincide with the centenary of the very first international tournament held in London, of which he was the mastermind of - Staunton had the distinction of becoming the first British player to receive a memorial event.

The latest memorial also pays a fitting tribute to Staunton's favourite haunt of Simpson's in the Strand, considered by many as the spiritual home of chess.


Final standings: 1 GM J Speelman 4.5/6; 2 GM D King 3.5; 3 GM J Emms 3; 4 FM D Howell 1.


D Howell - J Speelman
Staunton Memorial (2), Pirc Defence

1 e4 g6 2 d4 Bg7 3 Nc3 d6 4 f4 Nf6 5 a3 0-0 6 Nf3 Na6 7 Be3 c5 8 Bxa6 cxd4 9 Bxd4 bxa6 10 0-0 Bb7 11 Qe2 Nh5 12 Qd2 Bh6 13 Be3 Nf6 14 f5 Qb6 15 Bxb6 Bxd2 16 Nxd2 axb6 17 Rae1 Rfc8 18 e5 dxe5 19 Rxe5 Rc7 20 Rfe1 Kf8 21 h3 Rd8 22 Nf1 Nh5 23 fxg6 hxg6 24 g3 Ng7 25 R5e2 Nf5 26 Rf2 Rd6 27 g4 Nd4 28 Re3 Rf6 29 Rxf6 exf6 30 Rd3 Nxc2 31 Kf2 b5 32 Ne3 Nxe3 33 Kxe3 Ke7 34 Rd4 Ke6 35 Rd8 f5 36 g5 Rc4 37 Rd4 Rxd4 38 Kxd4 f4 39 Ne4 Ba8 40 h4 Kf5 41 Nf2 f3 42 Ke3 a5 43 Nd3 Kg4 44 Nf2+ Kxh4 45 Kf4 Bb7 46 Nd3 Kh3 47 Ke3 Kg3 48 Nf2 Bd5 49 b4 axb4 50 axb4 Ba8 51 Nd3 Bb7 52 Kd2 f2 53 Ke2 Bf3+ 0-1

2nd September, 2003

THE long and weary road to unification took another dramatic twist over the weekend. The world chess federation, FIDE, upset by the contractual antics of Ruslan Ponomariov, opted to act swiftly to cancel his title match with Garry Kasparov rather than be dictated to by a teenager.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made the announcement with "deep regret" following a Moscow press conference on Friday, after Ponomariov refused to sign a contract without "reservation" to play the $1m match. Ponomariov and FIDE have been feuding for weeks over the players' contracts for a September match in the Black sea resort of Yalta on U kraine's Crimean Peninsula.

"I am shocked," said a clearly frustrated Garry Kasparov on the announcement. "I expected my opponent to try my nerves, expecting various provocations. However, I could not imagine that my opponent would simply escape!" The disappointment for Kasparov is also compounded by the fact that world No.1 indicated that his financial losses resulting from the delay and subsequent cancellation of the match is comparable to the $1m prize fund.

The match was set to begin during a high-profile summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid Kuchma, making the ceremonial first moves for both players.

Now, instead of the FIDE World Cup earlier scheduled for December, FIDE intend organizing in its place a 128-player World Chess Championship (Knockout) Tournament - the winner of which will not only be crowned 'World Champion', but will also replace Ponomariov as Kasparov's opponent in a match next year.

The winner (alongside the similarly jinxed Kramnik-Leko match) going forward, as part of the Prague Agreement, to be one half of a unification match ... if there ever is one.


J Speelman - D Howell
Staunton Memorial (5), Torre Attack

1 Nf3 Nf6 2 d4 g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 0-0 5 c3 d6 6 e3 Qe8 7 Be2 e5 8 0-0 Nbd7 9 a4 h6 10 Bh4 Nh7 11 e4 Bf6 12 Bg3 Qe7 13 Re1 h5 14 h4 Re8 15 a5 a6 16 Nc4 Nhf8 17 Qd2 Ne6 18 Rad1 Bg7 19 Bf1 f6 20 b4 Kh7 21 Ne3 Bh6 22 Qc2 Ndf8 23 Nd5 Qg7 24 dxe5 dxe5 25 c4 Nd8 26 Nd2 Nfe6 27 Nb3 Nc6 28 Qc3 Rd8 29 b5 Ncd4 30 Nxd4 Nxd4 31 Rxd4 exd4 32 Qxd4 Kh8 33 Qb2 axb5 34 cxb5 Qf7 35 Ra1 Rxd5 36 exd5 Qxd5 37 Qxf6+ Bg7 38 Qxg6 Bxa1 39 Bd3 Qd7 40 Qh6+ Kg8 41 Bc4+ 1-0

1st September, 2003

THE world chess federation, FIDE, and world no.1 Garry Kasparov are being held to hostage by the petulant demands of a teenager, as Ruslan Ponamriov seems intent on sabotaging the $1m title match that was due to start 18th September in Yalta.

Ignoring two ultimatums last week to sign his contract, the young FIDE world champion steadfastly refused, and instead faxed FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov a letter "inviting him, representatives of the Ukrainian organising committee and Kasparov's representatives to meet in Kiev to discuss the obstacles to the match."

Last week Ponomariov let pass a previous deadline in which FIDE said it would consider replacing him with another player - Vasily Ivanchuk, who lost the 2001 FIDE final to Ponomariov. At a press conference in Moscow last week, Kasparov warned that Ponomariov's insistence on posing new conditions before signing the contract was "no longer a joke" and called on FIDE to take "decisive action."

It's not clear by his actions whether Ponomariov is overestimating his influence as world champion, or indeed using the situation to gain some sort of psychological advantage over Kasparov going into the match. Whichever it is, it is clearly a dangerous ploy from Ponomariov as he risks the possibility in playing in the biggest match (and biggest  payday) of his life as FIDE are not the sort of people you can bully around - especially from a teenager!


J Speelman - D King
Staunton Memorial (1), Queen's Indian Defence

1 Nf3 e6 2 g3 b6 3 Bg2 Bb7 4 0-0 Nf6 5 c4 Be7 6 Nc3 0-0 7 Re1 d5 8 cxd5 exd5 9 d4 Na6 10 Bf4 c5 11 Rc1 Ne4 12 a3 Bf6 13 Be5 Re8 14 e3 cxd4 15 Bxf6 Qxf6 16 exd4 Rac8 17 Nxe4 dxe4 18 Rxc8 Rxc8 19 Ne5 Qf5 20 Qb1 g6 21 Bxe4 Bxe4 22 Rxe4 Nc7 23 Nc6 Nd5 24 Nxa7 Ra8 25 Nc6 Rc8 26 Nb4 Nf6 27 Re1 Qh3 28 f3 Nh5 29 Qe4 Nxg3 30 Qg4 Ne2+ 31 Rxe2 Rc1+ 32 Kf2 Qf1+ 33 Ke3 h5 34 Qg3 Qd1 35 Nd3 Rc8 36 Qe5 Qg1+ 37 Kd2 Rd8 38 Qe3 Qb1 39 Re1 Qa2 40 Qe7 Rxd4 41 Qe8+ Kh7 42 Re7 Kg7 43 Ke3 Rh4 44 Re4 Rh3 45 Qd7 1-0



June  July  August  September  October  November  December


January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2002: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2003: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August

games made with ChessBase

to Rochade Kuppenheim's extra chess columns