Canberra Times Chess Column for October 8

After a five year wait, Garry Kasparov will today sit down behind the white
pieces at the Riverside television studios in London and make the first
move of the defence of the world title he believes belongs to him.
Kasparov, 37, will take on Vladimir Kramnik in a 16 game match sponsored by
the new company Brain Games Network, with Kasparov hot favourite to take
the $US1.33m winner's prize.
Kramnik, 25, is currently ranked world number two but the Russian
25-year-old, although holding his own against Kasparov, has a dreadful
record inmatch-play.
Most notably, Kramnik lost unexpectedly to Alexey Shirov in an elimination
match in 1998 designed to find a challenger for Kasparov.
Fortunately for Kramnik, Kasparov had no intention of playing the 'wrong'
opponent in a title match and the world number one talked down Shirov's
chances so much that no sponsor could be found to fund a Shirov-Kasparov
match. (Shirov recently stated that Kasparov had lost any legal right to be
regarded as World Champion by his failure to meet the qualified challenger,
himself.)
The pre-match press conference on Thursday served mostly to demonstrate
just how friendly relations are between the two players but also featured a
remarkable tirade by match organiser Ray Keene against the BBC for not
televising the match.
Keene claimed that the BBC's decision not to broadcast nightly coverage was
a demonstration of the "dumbing down" of the national broadcaster, although
the chaotic state of the chess world, with even chessplayers baffled as to
who is the real World Champion, was probably a more relevant factor.
**
This week's game comes from the recently completed European Club Cup in
Bosnia, won by the home team 'Bosna Sarajevo'. Viktor Korchnoi's loss in
the game below proved very expensive for second place-getters Saint
Petersbug, although with the veteran playing for his old club for the first
time since his defection from the USSR in 1976, Korchnoi was likely
forgiven quickly.

Neum 2000
White: V.Korchnoi
Black: V.Baklan
Opening: Benko Gambit
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.g3 d6 8.Bg2 Bg7
9.Nh3

An old line which should not be too scary for Black.

9...0-0 10.Rb1 Nbd7 11.0-0 Qa5 12.Bd2 Rfb8 13.Qc2 Ne8 14.b3 Qa3 15.Nf4 Nc7
16.Bh3 Ne5 17.Ng2?

Intending to embarrass the e5 knight through the threat of 18.f4. However
the move gives Baklan an opportunity which he grabs with both hands.

(Diagram) 17...Bxe2!! 18.Nxe2 Qxa2

Now the threat of 19...Nf3+ forces White's hand.

19.Qxa2 Rxa2 20.f4 Rxd2 21.Kf2 Nd3+ 22.Ke3

Perhaps Korchnoi had seen this far when playing his 17th move but Baklan's
next move must have come as a shock.

22...Rb2! 23.Rxb2

23.Kxd3 loses to 23...R8xb3+ but now Black will be two safe pawns ahead.

23...Nxb2 24.Nc1 Nxd5+ 25.Kf3 c4 26.bxc4 Nxc4 27.Rd1 Nc3 28.Re1 e5 29.fxe5
dxe5 0-1

**
The Namadji Naturals tournament begins at 7.00pm tomorrow at the
Tuggeranong Chess Club. Details John Petersson 62912784