Last week belonged to youth, with challenger Vladimir Kramnik, 25, moving
inexorably towards victory in his title match against Garry Kasparov, 37,
in London and 800 of the world's best young players strutting their stuff
at the World Age Championships in the Spanish seaside resort of Oropesa del
Kramnik completed the third week of his match against Kasaprov undefeated,
and a win in the 10th game has put the challenger two points clear of the
world number one.
In Oropesa, Australia sent their largest and, arguably, strongest team on
record, with our 13-strong delegation bouncing back after modest results in
1999. This year four Australian players managed top 20 finishes, and had
last round results gone our way, Australia could have had that many players
in the top 10.
Queensland's David Smerdon was the star for Australia, completing the World
Under 16 Championship tournament undefeated but just outside a medal
International Master Smerdon would normally now be heading to the Istanbul
Chess Olympiad but he was forced to withdraw from the Olympiad squad
earlier in the year due to school commitments. This was Smerdon's last
outing before examinations take over and he took the opportunity with both
hands; the following key game from the penultimate round being one of the
best of the entire festival.
Oropesa Del Mar 2000
Opening: Sicilian Defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 b6 7.Nc3 Nxc3 8.bxc3
Qc7 9.Bd2 Bb7 10.Bd3 d6 11.0-0 Nd7 12.Ng5!?
A trendy gambit, but Black prepared an unusual 15th move which has been
scoring well of late.
12...dxe5 13.Qh5 g6 14.Qh3 Be7 15.Rae1 Qd8!? 16.Qg4!
The previously played 16.Nxe6 is inferior.
16...f5 17.Qg3 f4 18.Nxh7!!
A terrible shock for Black - now 18...fxg3 19.Bxg6 is checkmate!
18...Rxh7 19.Qxg6+ Rf7 20.Bxf4!! Bf6
If 20...exf4 21.Qg8+ wins.
21.dxe5 Bg7 22.Bg5 Qc7 23.Qxe6+
23.Bc4! was more accurate.
23...Kf8 24.Bg6 Nc5 25.Qxf7+ Qxf7 26.Bxf7 Kxf7 27.Re3 Ne4 28.Rd1 Ke6 29.Bf4
Rc8 30.f3 Nxc3 31.Rd6+ Kf5 32.Bg3 Ba6 33.e6! Ne2+ 34.Kf2 Bd4
34...Rc2 fails to 35.Rd5+ Kg6 36.e7 Nf4+ 37.Rd2!!.
35.e7! Bxe3+ 36.Kxe3 Nxg3 37.Rd8 Nf1+ 38.Kf2 Rc2+ 39.Kg1 Bb5 40.Rd5+
The final point; White liquidates to a winning rook endgame.
40...Ke6 41.Rxb5 Kxe7 42.Kxf1 Rxa2 43.h4 Rc2 44.g4 Rc6 45.Ke2 a6 46.Rh5
Rc2+ 47.Kd3 Rb2 48.Rh7+ Kf6 49.g5+ Kg6 50.Rh6+ Kg7 51.h5 a5 52.Rc6 Rg2
53.f4 b5 54.Rc5 1-0
Oropesa Del Mar
World Age Championships
Leading final scores:
1.Vallejo(Spa) 8.5/11... =26.Tan(NSW) 6.
1.Mamedyarova(Aze) 8.5... 44eq.M.Jovanovic(ACT) 4.5.
1.Izoria(Geo) 9.5... 4eq. Smerdon(Qld) 7.5.
1eq.Khukhashvili(Geo), Zhao Xue(Chn) 8.5... 41eq.Zivanovic(Vic) 5.
1.Aryeshchenko(UKR) 9... 20eq.Zhao Zong Yuan(NSW) 6.5...
1eq.Koneru(Ind), Dzagnidze(Geo) 9... 24eq.Lip(NSW) 6... 68eq.S.Oliver(ACT)
1.Sengupta(Ind) 9... 74eq.G.Oliver(ACT) 4.
1.Pourkashiyan(Ira) 9.5... 31.eq Huddleston(NSW) 5.5.
1.Nguyen Ngoc Truong(Vie) 9.5... 16eq. Lugo(Vic) 6.5.
1eq.Zhong Yi Tan(Chn), Dronavalli(Ind) 9... 6eq.Lee(Vic) 7.