Sun-Herald, April 1 2001

The months of March and April are rather relaxing for the world's top players.

With the elite Wijk aan Zee and Linares tournaments out of the way, Garry Kasparov and his peers can give exhibitions, study, and compete in various less demanding tournaments.

This week saw the conclusion of the World Cup of Rapid Chess (25 minutes per game) in Cannes as well as the 10th Melody Amber tournament in Monaco. After Judit Polgar had knocked out his main rival, Michael Adams, Kasparov coasted to victory in Cannes, defeating Polgar's conqueror Evgeny Bareev in the final.

In Monaco, a combined blindfold and rapid tournament, Vladimir Kramnik outpaced his fellow World Champion Viswanathan Anand but was forced to share top honours with Bulgarian GM Veselin Topalov.

Some serious chess was being played on the other side of the world, with Australia's Darryl Johansen competing in the Wotulo Memorial GM tournament in Jakarta. After a promising start, the punishing schedule - up to 11 hours play per day - took its toll on the Australian but the following game began a Johansen fight-back which has seen him rise above mid-field.

Jakarta 2001
White: Y.Majella
Black: D.Johansen
Opening: Sicilian Defence

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 Nge7 7.Nb3 Qc7 8.0-0 b5? 9.Bxb5! Ng6

Since 9...axb5 10.Nxb5 Qb6 11.Nd6+ Kd8 12.Nxf7+ is unplayable for Black, Johansen must grit his teeth, accept that his 8th move lost a pawn for nothing, and make the best of his disastrous start to the game.

10.Be2 Bd6 11.g3 0-0 12.Be3 Bb4 13.Na4 Be7 14.c4

14.Nb6 Rb8 15.Nxc8 was safer.

14...Rb8 15.Rc1 f5! 16.exf5 Rxf5 17.Bd3 Rf7 18.f4 Nb4 19.Bb1 Qc6 20.Nac5?

Returning the pawn; 20.Nd4 was fine.

20...d6 21.Ne4 Nxa2! 22.Nd4 Qa8 23.Rc2 Nb4 24.Rcf2 Bb7 25.Ng5 Bxg5 26.fxg5 Rxf2 27.Rxf2 Re8 28.Qg4

On 28.Qd2!, Be4 keeps Black in the game.

28...Qc8 29.Qh5?!

29.b3 leaves chances balanced.

29...Qxc4 30.Bxg6 hxg6 31.Qxg6 Re7 32.Qh5 Qd5 33.Rf3? (Diagram)

33.Qf3 was better but 33...Qxf3 34.Nxf3 Nd3 leaves Black well on top.

33...Nc2! 34.Nf5!?

34.Nxc2 Qd1+ is equally hopeless.

34...exf5 0-1

Wotulo Memorial

Jakarta, Indonesia

Leading scores:

1.Hulak(Cro) 6.5/8;
2.Juswanto(Ina) 6.5/9;
3.Zaw Win Lay(Bur) 5.5/9;
4.Johansen(AUS) 5/9;
5eq.Sasikiran(Ind), Djuric(Yug) 4.5/8;
7eq.Liu Dede(Ina), Kosasih(Ina), Miezes(Lat) 4/8.

FIDE Rapid World Cup
Cannes, France

Kasparov(Rus) def Grischuk(Rus) 3-1 Bareev(Rus) def Polgar(Hun) 1.5-0.5 Final Kasparov def Bareev 1.5-0.5

Melody Amber Exhibition Tournament
(Blindfold and rapid games)
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Final scores:

1eq.Kramnik(Rus), Topalov(Bul) 15/22 3.Anand(Ind) 13.5; 4.Shirov(Spa) 11.5; 5eq.Leko(Hun), Gelfand(Isl) 11; 7.Piket(Ned) 10.5; 8eq. Ljubojevic(Yug), Almasi(Hun) 9.5; 10eq. Ivanchuk(Ukr), Karpov(Rus) 9; 12.Van Wely(Ned) 7.5.