Canberra Times Chess Column for March 19

Amateurs only for Kasparov Show

In the early 1950s, New Zealand's number one player Bob Wade travelled to Moscow and gave a simultaneous exhibition against 30 Russian children. In a result which showed the incredible depth of Soviet chess, Wade came away from the simultaneous without a single victory, the children conceding less than a dozen draws between them. Half a century on, one might have thought that last week's *United Nations of Chess* internet simultaneous exhibition by Garry Kasparov would give an opportunity for the best youngsters in the world to show how strong junior chess has become worldwide.

Not if Kasparov has anything to do with it! Four days before the exhibition was to be played, Australia's 14-year-old representative David Smerdon was ruled out on the grounds that he was too strong. In fact none of the children who played against Kasparov were allowed to be rated more than 2000 points - a level so low that it ruled out the best juniors from almost every country involved.

Australia was forced to by-pass alternative players such as Zhao Zong Yuan and substitute Sam Chow, a Melbourne 12-year-old who had been head-hunted last weekend while performing modestly at the Ballarat Begonia tournament. With a large media contingent following the mismatch in Melbourne on Wednesday morning, Chow recovered well from a poor opening but just at the moment when he could have forced a draw, he blundered and lost. (See below.)

Kasparov, playing in New York, won 27 of the other 28 games games, conceding one draw against a 12-year-old Israeli girl and his 'triumph' was broadcast around the world. The following day Kasparov went on to his next big challenge - an internet blitz game against Boris Becker. As Kasparov said a few days earlier, when explaining why he was the real World Champion, "You go to CNN or sponsors, advertisers, or public relations companies they know only one name. These are realities people have to respect."

Internet Simultaneous 2000
White: G.Kasparov
Black: S.Chow

#1.d4 e6 2.g3 f5 3.Bg2 c5?! 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.0-0 Nc6 6.c4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Nxd4? 8.Qxd4 Be7 9.Nc3 0-0 10.Rd1 Qa5 11.Bf4 Bc5 12.Qd2 Qb6 13.e3 Bb4 14.a3 Ne4?! 15.Bxe4 Bxc3 16.Qxc3 fxe4 17.Rd6?!#

Black has played the opening far too casually and his bishop on c8 is unlikely to take part in the game for a long time to come. The text move is not bad, but 17.Bd6! Rf7 18.Rd6 followed by 19.Qd4 would have been completely crushing.

#17...Qc5 18.Qd4 Qf5 19.Qe5?#

Now Black gets a modicum of counterplay. 19.h3! g5 20.g4 Qf7 21.Bg3 was the best way to keep control.

#(Diagram) 19...g5! 20.Qxf5 Rxf5 21.g4 Rc5 22.b4 Rxc4 23.Bxg5 a5! 24.b5?#

An oversight. After 24.Rb1 Black's queen's rook will be active but his bishop will remain a cripple.

#24...Rc5 25.Bd8?! Rxb5 26.h4 a4 27.Bf6 Kf7 28.Bc3 Ra6 29.Rd2 Rc6 30.Bb4 d5 31.f4 exf3 32.Rf1 e5 33.Rxf3+ Rf6 34.Rxf6+ Kxf6 35.Rf2+ Kg6 36.g5 Kh5 37.Rf8 Bg4 38.Be7!#

By now Kasparov was probably wishing that he had swapped rooks and offered a draw on move 29. However after the text move White still can hold a draw.

#38...d4 39.exd4 exd4 40.Kf2 Rb2+ 41.Kg3 d3??#

The tension gets too much for Chow - he should have taken the perpetual check.

#42.Rf6 Rg2+ 43.Kxg2 Kxh4 44.Rh6+ Bh5 45.g6+ Kg4 46.Rxh5 1-0#