Sun-Herald Chess Column for November 11

The Chelsea Football Club in London was the unusual venue for last week's press conference by the World Chess Federation, FIDE.
FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov used the gathering to promote the upcoming FIDE World Championship tournament in Moscow and to launch a grab-bag of future events, including a 2002 Grand Prix and a Man v Machine match after next year's Bled Olympiad. Iljumzhinov also announced that London would be the venue for the 2003 FIDE World Championships.
The press conference featured trimmings such as Viswanathan Anand and Michael Adams playing against various English juniors but was lacking in important details such as the names of any sponsors.
As threatened last year, the Grand Prix has been scheduled so as to disrupt top tournaments such as Linares which wished to stay independent of FIDE.
The list of 2002 Grand Prix events announced by FIDE looks impressive but with the abortive 2001 Grand Prix still fresh in their minds, top players are likely to remain sceptical until the first GP tournament takes place.
The Man v Machine match appears to be designed as a fund raiser for FIDE rather than a test of strength. Rather than play the strongest chess computer, the 2002 FIDE World Champion will instead take on the computer program whose owner donates the most money to the world body.

The following game was one of the best from the recent World Age Championships in Spain.

J.Werle - A.Naiditsch

World U/16 Ch./Oropesa 2001

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 c5 5. a3 Ba5 6. e3 O-O 7. Be2 d6 8. d4 Nbd7 9. O-O Bxc3!? 10. Qxc3 b6 11. b4 Bb7 12. Bb2 Qe7 13. Rfd1 Ne4 14. Qb3 Rab8 15. Nd2 Nef6

An exchange of knights would leave Black with few problems.

16. dxc5 dxc5?! 17. b5

Following a plan used by Werle's countryman Jan Timman to beat Anatoly Karpov in a famous game; the bishop on b2 causes Black all sorts of long term problems.

17... Rfd8 18. Bf3 Bxf3 19. Nxf3 e5 20. Qc3 Re8 21. h3 Rbd8 22. a4 e4 23. Nh4! Qf8?

Now White invades along the d file. After 23...Ne5 24.Nf5 Qc7 White has pressure but nothing clear.

24. Rd2! Rb8

Hoping to manoeuvre his knight to the d3 square, but he is in for a disappointment.

25. Rad1 Ne5

Diagram

26. Qxe5!! Rxe5 27. Bxe5 Rc8

27...Re8? 28.Bd6 would be a tragi-comic finish.

28. Nf5 Qe8

This loses quickly but there was no way to ease the pressure since 28...Ne8 29.Rd8 leaves Black fatally tied up.

29. Nh6+!

After both 29...Kh8 30.Rd8! and 29...gxh6 30.Bxf6 and 31.Rd8, Black loses his queen. A convincing victory by the new Dutch star.

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European Teams Championship
Leon, Spain
Open Division
Round 4
England def France 2.5 - 1.5;
Netherlands def Germany 2.5 - 1.5;
Spain def Greece 2.5 - 1.5;
Switzerland def Israel 3-1.

Leading scores:
1.France 11.5;
=2. England, Netherlands 11;
=4.Spain, Switzerland 10.5;
=6.Czech Republic, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Slovenia, Germany 10.

Women's Division
Round 4
Poland def Germany 1.5 - 0.5;
Netherlands drew with Moldova 1-1;
England def France 1.5 - 0.5;
Hungary drew with Bulgaria 1-1.
Leading scores:
1.Poland 6.5;
2.England 6;
3eq.Netherlands, Moldova 5.5.


Canberra Times Chess Column for November 11

The pairings for the FIDE Knock-out World Championships in Moscow have finally been announced, only three weeks before the start of the tournament.x For the first time, the top 16 players have not been seeded into the second round, but in compensation have been paired against the 16 weakest.
Thus Australia's two representatives will meet superstars in the first round: Mikhail Gluzman taking on world number 8 Evgeny Bareev and Ngan Koshnitsky only slightly more fortunate to be playing one of the top dozen women in the world, Almira Skripchenko, in the women's event.
The reason for the delay in announcing the pairings lay in FIDE's ill-fated decision to have 8 internet qualifiers for the main World Championship tournament.
Despite rules explicitly barring help from humans or computers, many of the weaker entrants to the qualifying tournament decided that the only way to qualify for Moscow - with its generous prizemoney even for first round losers - was to cheat.
In Europe, players were known to invite Grandmaster friends over to help with their games, while in the rest of the world assistance from computer programs was extremely common.
Despite suspicion falling on almost half the field in the final, only four players were disqualified, all for computer use, since human assistance is almost impossible to prove.
Three of the four disqualified players, including Australia's Jose Escribano, decided to appeal their disqualification but all three failed. Escribano, a Sydney amateur who had beggared credulity by his results in the final, received strong words from the appeals panel.
"The control checkup of this player's games during the WICC Final confirmed practically the exact match of moves played by Jose Escribano (Talisman) to the moves suggested by chess computer software," wrote the panel.
Yet Escribano has some right to feel hard done by when so many other offenders went unpunished, some of whom will take their place in the upcoming World Championship.

While the Australian juniors did not take the top places at the recent World Age Championships in Spain, the ACT's Dusan Stojic had the satisfaction of pulling off one of the tournament's most spectacular finishes.

D.Stojic - Y.Borsuk

World U/12 Championship/Oropesa 2001

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Be7 7. Re1 O-O 8. d4!?

An underestimated method of avoiding the Marshall Gambit - 8.c3 d5!?.

8... exd4 9. e5 Ne8 10. Nxd4 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 Bb7 12. Qg4 c5 13. c4!? Qc7?!

13...d5 14.cxd5 c4 was a better try.

14. Nc3 Bc6 15. Nd5 Bxd5 16. cxd5 d6 17. Bf4 c4 18. Bc2 Rd8 19. Re3!?

Gutsy play, but 19.Rad1 was the safe way to keep an edge.

19... dxe5 20. Bxe5 Qd7 21. Qh5 g6

Diagram

22. Bf5! Qxd5?

Missing the knock-out blow which Stojic had carefully prepared. Capturing either bishop or queen was fatal but after 22...Nf6 23.Bxd7 Nxh5 24.Bc6, White has an endgame edge but nothing more.

23. Qxh7+!!

For those of you wondering why White didn't play the queen sacrifice last move, the answer lies in the variation 22.Qxh7+ Kxh7 23.Rh3+ Qxh3!! when it is Black who wins.

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