Canberra Times, January 21, 2001

Before the start of the elite Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, rival World Champions Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand gave separate press conferences.

One question dominated the two press conferences - would the Anand and Kramnik play a reunification world title match?

The players expressed their desire to meet to decide the true World Champion but both said that their hands were tied by contractual agreements with the organisers of the events which gave them their titles - Braingames Network for Kramnik and the world body FIDE for Anand.

Kramnik, however, may soon be free to reach a deal with FIDE if he wishes, as his contract with Braingames will expire next month unless the internet company is able to announce a follow-up qualifying series to find a challenger for Kramnik.

Little has been heard of Braingames since they organised the Kasparov-Kramnik match last October and it is considered unlikely that they will be willing or able to continue sponsoring world title matches.

Under the weight of their new titles, Kramnik and Anand have been playing steady, unspectacular chess in Wijk aan Zee.

Both titleholders are undefeated and have passed a major test by holding Garry Kasparov to a draw with the black pieces.

Early leader of the event, which features almost all the world's top ten and has been advertised as the strongest in history, is Alexey Shirov.

The amiable Spaniard is being closely followed by Kramnik, Kasparov and Anand, with the big games between Shirov and his rivals set for the final rounds of the tournament later this week.

Wijk aan Zee 2001
White: V.Kramnik
Black: L.Van Wely
Opening: Grunfeld Defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.Be3 Qa5 9.Qd2 Nc6 10.Rc1 cxd4 11.cxd4 Qxd2+ 12.Kxd2 0-0 13.d5 Rd8 14.Ke1
An old idea introduced by the young Kasparov but rarely played nowadays.
14...Na5 15.Bg5 Bd7! 16.Bd3 Rdc8 17.Ke2 e6 18.Be3 exd5 19.exd5 b6?!
Kramnik, who had prepared the entire line for his world title match against Kasparov, condemned this move as too weakening, but Van Wely's big mistake comes later.
20.Ba6 Rd8 21.Rhd1 Bc8! 22.Bxc8 Raxc8 23.Rxc8 Rxc8 24.Nd4!
Few players would hold out much hope of winning this endgame with White but Kramnik has a plan to weaken Black's queenside and Van Wely wakes up to it too late. 24...Bxd4 25.Bxd4 f5 followed by ...Kf7 would reduce White's winning chances to a minimum but instead...
24...Bf8? 25.Nb5! a6 26.d6! Rc2+
26...axb5 27.d7 Rd8 28.Bxb6 is the point behind Kramnik's play.
27.Kd3 Rxa2 28.d7 Nb7 29.Nc3 Rb2
Black's rook is stranded and unable to reurn to stop the d pawn.
30.Nd5 Rb5 31.Kc2! Bc5 32.Bh6! f6 33.Nc7 1-0