Canberra Times Chess Column for April 16

Juniors triumph in Iceland

When Bu Xiangzhi became the youngest Grandmaster of all time late last year, the circumstances behind his final GM result were decidedly murky. However the world chess body FIDE, never one to upset an influential member federation, had no hesitation in awarding the title to the talented Chinese 13-year-old. Since then Bu has had a lot to prove to a sceptical world, but this week in Iceland he convincingly answered his critics by tying for second place in the powerful Reykjavik Open, thereby scoring yet another GM result.

By the time the tournament had finished on Thursday, Bu had drawn with English stars Short and Miles and beaten three other GMs. Bu finished behind only the runaway winner, local hero Hannes Stefansson, and lost only one game to 16-year-old Luke McShane. McShane also had the best result of his career, knocking over a string of top players on the way to becoming another of the world's growing legion of teenage Grandmasters.

McShane was tipped as a rising star many years ago by the English press but his relatively slow progress in recent years compared to players such as Bu had led some to write him off as a has-been at 16. However the way McShane handled extraordinary pressure in Reykjavik indicates that he might have the temperament to go further than some of his supposedly more talented peers. After a mid-tournament slump, McShane desperately needed to win the following penultimate round game against Iceland's top player to keep his GM chances alive. The result was one of the games of the year so far, with Olafsson blown away by a series of sacrifices.

Reykjavik Open 2000
White: L.McShane
Black: H.Olafsson
Opening: Sicilian Defence

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 b5 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 Nb6 10.Bd3

Anand tried 10.a4 twice against Kasparov in Reykjavik the previous week, without any success.

10...Bb7 11.0-0-0 Rc8 12.Kb1 b4?!

This walks into a remarkable attack. A Kasparovian idea such as 12...Nfd7 was more solid.

13.Nce2 d5 14.g5 Nfd7 15.exd5 Nxd5 (Diagram) 16.g6! hxg6 17.Nxe6! fxe6 18.Bxg6+ Ke7 19.Nd4 N7f6 20.Rhe1

White has terrific pressure for his sacrificed piece but only Black's next move allows a killer blow.

20...Qd6? 21.Bf4!! Qb6

On 21...Qxf4 22.Qxf4 Nxf4 23.Nf5 is checkmate.

22.Rxe6+ Qxe6 23.Nxe6 Kxe6 24.Qe2+ Kd7 25.Bf5+ Kd8 26.Bxc8 Kxc8 27.Qe6+ Kd8 28.Be5

Winning more material and the game.

28...Rh6 29.Bxf6+ Rxf6 30.Rxd5+ Bxd5 31.Qxd5+ Kc7 32.c3 bxc3 33.Qe5+ Bd6 34.Qxc3+ Kb7 35.Qb3+ Ka7 36.Qe3+ Kb7 37.Qg5 Bf8 38.h4 Rc6 39.Qd8 Rc7 1-0


Kazimir Kolossovski scored an upset win in the Canberra Chess Club Championship when he outdistanced a fellow Russian student, top seed Vladimir Smirnov, by half a point.

Canberra CC Ch.  Leading final scores:
1. K.Kolossovski 8/9;
2. V.Smirnov 7.5;
3. I.Rout 6;
4eq. S.Rafizedah, Noskowski, M.Grcic, H.Petersons, P.Jovanovic 5.5.


Top seed Milan Grcic completed a 100% white-wash at the 2000 ANU Chess Club
Leading final scores:
1. M.Grcic 7/7;
2. P.Cormick 6
3eq. A.Greenwood, J.Powles 4.