Canberra Times 23/09/2001

Georgia is a country situated along the Europe-Asia fault-line so the Georgian Black Sea port of Batumi was considered a perfect choice for the venue of the first intercontinental contest between Europe and Asia.

Each side was restricted to one player per country, except in the women's section which became a defacto match between the Olympic medallists China and Georgia.

With Anand and Adams unwilling to travel to a part of the former USSR, neither team was at full strength and the Kasparov-led Europe was expected to dominate.

However with the young Chinese women, aided by Vietnam's Hoang Thanh Trang, well on top and Uzbek 21-year-old Rustam Kasimdzhanov recording win after win for Asia, the underdogs led for the first two days.

However on the last day Europe showed their teeth, the Georgian women finally breaking through for two match wins and the European men scoring heavily. Europe finally won the contest 58-46, thanks in large part to Kasparov's remarkable 11 points from his 12 games.

After being called up as a late substitute and failing to complete the Sydney-Batumi trip in less than 70 hours, my first round opponent turned out to be none other than the top seed. The following battle ensued.

Batumi 2001
White: I.Rogers
Black: G.Kasparov
Opening: Trompovsky Attack

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 d5 3.Bxf6 exf6 4.e3 Bd6 5.c4 dxc4 6.Bxc4 0-0 7.Nc3 f5 White was hoping for 7...c5? 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Bxf7+! 8.Nf3 Nd7 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Nb5 Be7 11.Ne5 c6 12.Nc3 Nd7 13.f4 Nxe5 14.fxe5 g6 15.Ne2!? b5 16.Bb3 c5 17.Nf4 Bb7 Hoping for 18.d5?! c4 19.Bc2 Bc5. White could now sit tight but thinks he can do better. 18.dxc5!? Bxc5 19.Qe2 Qb6 20.e6! Bxe3+ 21.Kh1 Bxf4 22.exf7+ Kg7 23.Rxf4 Rad8 24.Re1 Be4 25.Rxe4?! With Black well behind on the clock there was no logic in simplifying matters. 25.Rff1 followed by 26.Rd1 was sensible. 25...fxe4 26.Qxe4 Qd4 27.Qe2 Qc5 28.h3 a5 29.a3 Rd6 30.Rf1 Rf6 31.Rxf6 Kxf6 32.Qd2 a4 33.Bd5 Kg7 34.b4!? Qd6! 34...axb3 35.Qb2+ would be far more messy. 35.Qd4+ Qf6 36.Qxf6+ Kxf6 37.Bc6 Rxf7 38.Bxb5 Ra7 39.Bc6 Ke5 40.Kh2 White needs only exchange all the queenside pawns to reach a draw but too late realised that his intended 40.b5 Kd6 41.b6 Ra5 42.b7 Kc7 43.Kh2 Ra6 44.Bb5 fails to 44...Kxb7! 45.Bxa6+ Kxa6. 40...Kd4 41.b5 Kc5 42.Kg3 Rf7 43.Kg4 Rf2 44.Kg5 Ra2 45.Be8 Rxa3 46.b6 Kxb6 47.Kh6 Ka5 48.Kxh7 Rg3 0-1

After this game, matters went from bad to worse and I registered a career-worst 2/10 result before being substituted in the last round. A draw with Israel's Emil Sutovsky was typical of the self-inflicted misfortune which marked my performance. Playing with two rooks against Sutovsky's lone king and checkmate only a few moves away, I knocked one of my rooks off the table and could not find it before my time expired.

A new event, the ACT Under 8 Championship, will be held today at the Southside Chess Centre, Kambah from 12.30 - 4.00pm. Anyone born after 1/1/1993 may take part. Details: Libby Smith 62917625.ix seconds to Kasparov's 25, time would have beaten me in any case.