Canberra Times, November 4 

The Alexandru Crisan saga has taken a remarkable new twist, one which threatens bankruptcy to some of Romania's major chess identities. 
Crisan, as readers of this column may recall, is the Romanian businessman with impeccable political contacts, who played a series of bogus tournaments and matches and thereby 'earned' a Grandmaster title and top 50 ranking. 
The top players in Romania reacted indignantly and protested to the local media and the world body, FIDE. 
In January Crisan launched a series of defamation actions against his critics in Romania, but his cases looked certain to be lost when FIDE stripped him of his title and ranking. However Crisan fought back. 
He had the Romanian government install him as President of the Romanian Chess Federation and had a Romanian government official persuade FIDE to overturn and defer until late 2002 their decision on Crisan's title and ranking. 
Crisan's defamation cases will begin going to court in November but CF President, Crisan has also begun exercising other powers. 
Some Romanian players at the World Youth Championship have been decked out in 'Grandmaster Crisan' t-shirts and Crisan has decided that no open Romanian team should play at the upcoming European Championships. 
In an unsolved incident, the Olympic captain, an opponent of Crisan, was beaten up by thugs wielding baseball bats. 
Why Crisan, a weak amateur player should so desperately wish to be considered a chess superstar remains a mystery. 
Yet his effect on Romanian chess has already been devastating. 

For the past few months, enthusiasts from Canberra have been competing in an unusual team tournament against players from the Dutch town of Soest. Six games with pre-selected openings are being played, with teams consulting via the internet before deciding on a move. Use of computers and books is permitted. The match result looks likely to be close but Canberra has lost the only completed game, doomed almost from the start.  

Soest - Canberra

Internet 2001

1. d4 e6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 exd5 4. cxd5 d6 5. Nc3 Ne7 6. e4 Ng6 7. Bd3 Be7 8. Nge2

This was one of the six starting positions chosen for the match. Unfortunately for Canberra, Black's position is worse than it looks with a sensible plan hard to find.

8... O-O 9. O-O Na6 10. Ng3 Rb8 11. f4 Nb4 12. Be2 Bf6 13. Kh1!

In past games White had played 13.Be3, allowing tactical trick based on ...Bd4!. Soest's move is a clear improvement, avoiding any exchange of the f6 bishop, which looks powerful but turns out to be awkwardly placed.

13... Bd7 14. Nh5 Re8 15. a3 Na6 16. e5!

Black's play has been designed to prevent this breakthrough; achieving it makes White's position overwhelming.

16... dxe5 17. Ne4 Bh4 18. f5 Nf4 19. f6 Nxh5 20. Bxh5 Bxf6 21. Rxf6!

Black's position is hopeless after 21...gxf6 22.Qg3+ Kh8 23.Nd6.


Errata: The conclusion of last week's game becomes a little less baffling when it is known that White did not resign but lost the game by exceeding the time limit. 

Milan Grcic faltered in the final round to give vitory in the Griffin tournament to Ian Rout. 
Leading final scores: 1.Rout 6.5/7; 2.Grcic 6; 3eq. Cutting, Lau, Robertson, Jochimsen 4. 

 Junta Ikeda scored a perfect 7/7 to win the ACTJCL Primary Allegro tournament. 
Leading final scores: 1.J.Ikeda 7; 2.M.Ikeda 6; 3.S.Guo-Yuthok 5.5; 4eq.C.Clarke, O.Hello, K.Smith 5. 

The ACT Girls' Allegro will be held from 10am next Sunday at St Monica's School in Evatt. Free pizza lunch provided. Details: Libby Smith 6291 7625.