Sun-Herald Chess Column for December 10

As the FIDE World Championships in New Delhi enters its third week with
only a dozen survivors, the players' predictions at the start of the event
are looking remarkably prescient.
A survey of Grandmasters in Delhi picked Viswanathan Anand as the winner of
the open Championship, and the 'Tiger from Madras' has coasted into the
quarter-finals while many other seeds were falling by the wayside.
Arriving early for his games, Anand is oozing self-confidence and his
latest victim, Polish GM Bartlomiej Macieja, admitted that fear of the
prodigious Indian had afflicted him badly before their fourth round
encounter.
One of Anand's possible rivals, sixth seed Vassily Ivanchuk, disappeared in
style in the second round, throwing his chair at the playing table at the
conclusion of his loss to Jaan Ehlvest. This MacEnroesque tantrum forced
Ivanchuk to proffer a written apology to all and sundry the following day.
Xie Jun was tipped by her peers to retain her Women's World Champion title
and the modest Chinese GM has also barely been stretched on her way to the
semi-finals.
With fewer players, the organisational problems encountered early in the
Championships have eased. Playing conditions are now more than adequate and
the hundred or so spectators visiting the Hyatt ballroom each day to watch
the Championships can now watch the games live or on closed circuit
televisions.
Anand's success over many years has turned chess into big news in India and
with each Anand victory, attendances at the event have risen. Failure to
win in Delhi would be a major disappointment for many Indians who trust the
judgement of those who have made Anand favourite.
However, perhaps the Indian public should not have so much faith in the
wisdom of the assembled Grandmasters. Alexey Shirov, one of the world's
best, had heard that it was winter in India and arrived in Delhi ready for
the frost which, surprisingly, has yet to eventuate.

**
Christmas Chess Competition

From the diagrammed position, composed by Ernest Pogosayants, White is to
move and force a win. How?
(Hint: Watch out for the tricky defence 1.Bg2 Bf1!.)



The first five correct entries opened after December 21, the closing date,
will win a recent book by English chess publishers Everyman. Entries to:
Sun-Herald July Chess Competition, GPO Box 506, Sydney 2001 or faxed to
02-92822151.

**
FIDE World Championship
New Delhi, India
Round 4
Anand(India) def Macieja(Pol) 1.5-0.5
Topalov(Bul) def Dreev(Rus) 3-1
Adams(Eng) def Svidler(Rus) 2.5-1.5
Shirov(Spa) def Gelfand(Isr) 2.5-1.5
Tkachiev(Fra) def Morozevich(Rus) 1.5-0.5
Bareev(Rus) def Gulko 1.5-0.5
Khalifman(Rus) def Leitao(Brs) 1.5-0.5
Grischuk(Rus) def Ehlvest(Est) 2.5-1.5.

Quarter-finals
Anand v Khalifman
Adams v Topalov
Shirov v Bareev
Grischuk v Tkachiev

Women's World Championship
New Delhi

Quarter-finals
Qin(Chi) def Peptan(Rom) 3-1
Xie(Chi) def Zhukova(Rus) 1.5-0.5
Maric(Yug) def Skripchenko(Mol)3-1
Kovalevskaya(Rus) def Peng(Ned)1.5-0.5

Semi-finals
Xie v Kovalevskaya
Qin v Maric