Canberra Times Chess Column for June 18

In recent years few Grandmasters have been willing to speak out against the maladministartion of the world body FIDE.

For some GMs, any criticism might risk a large payday at the new knock-out World Championship. For others it was fear for their personal safety; FIDE President Kirsan Illjumzhinov has allegedly been implicated in the murder of a political opponent. (In addition, a delegate at a 1996 FIDE Congress claimed that he had received serious threats for opposing Illjumzhinov. The next day he spoke out, denying anything had been amiss, but left the Congerss as soon as practicable.)

Finally, however, a top GM has broken the silence. Former US Champion Yasser Seirawan has issued a scathing open letter to the FIDE President, calling on him and all the FIDE board to resign immediately. "FIDE is cheapening and destroying everything it touches," claims Seirawan. "It's credibility is ...perilously close to zero."

Citing the recent announcement to host the final of the 2000 World Championships in Iran and the aborted attempt to hold the 1996 world title match in Iraq, Seirawan claims that FIDE is isolated from reality and there is an "urgent need for a fresh start".

"The interests of chessplayers can be furthered only if the full FIDE leadership - and you [K.I.] first and foremost as President - resign your posts," thundered Seirawan.

Illjumzhinov will most likely shrug off Seirawan's attack, although perhaps taking careful note to investigate Seirawan's allegation that alternatives to FIDE are already in the planning stage.

Retaining power in FIDE has probably increased in importance now that his unchallenged reign as President of Kalmykia could soon be under threat from the new Russian President, Vladimir Putin. While retaining an image as a chess philanthropist, Illjumzhinov has already borrowed more than $1m from FIDE's coffers and the opinion of one Grandmaster is not going to convince the FIDE President to give up access to such a lucrative position.

Parkroyal International 2000
White: A.Hunt
Black: M.Rujevic
Opening: Pirc Defence

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Be2 0-0 6.0-0 c6 7.a4 Qc7 8.Be3 Nbd7 9.Qd2 e5 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.h3 Re8 12.Rfd1 Bf8 13.Bc4 Nc5 14.Ng5 Be6

14...Ne6 is more reliable.

15.Qe2 b6 16.Rd2 Bxc4 17.Qxc4 h6 18.Nf3 Rac8 19.Rad1 Nb7 20.Nh4!? Kg7?

Walking into a brilliant combination. After 20...Nd6 Black's position remains passive but White has no knock-out blow.

21.Bxh6+!! Kxh6

The humble 21...Kg8 was necessary but is too depressing to recommend.

22.Rd7! Nd6

This leaves White with a winning attack but is a better chance than 22...Nxd7 after which 23.Qxf7 is decisive.

23.R1xd6 Nxd7 24.Nf5+! Kh7 25.Qxf7+ Kh8 26.Rxg6 Nf6 27.Qxf6+ Kh7 28.Qg5 1-0

The great Canberra tradition Street Chess continues every Saturday morning
at 10.30am at Garema Place, Civic. Entry fee is $5.