Sun-Herald Chess Column for January 14

The long-running lawsuit between Anatoly Karpov and the World Chess Federation, FIDE, was settled this week, with the world body winning on points.

Karpov had sued FIDE at the Court for Arbitration in Sport in Lausanne over FIDE's failure to consult him over the dates of the 1999 World Championship tournament in Las Vegas.

Karpov's suit optimistically asked for the world title plus $US2m but he settled for $US50,000 plus an end to FIDE's anti-Karpov propaganda campaign.

In return, Karpov agreed to recognise Anand as the legitimate FIDE World Champion and accept that he lost the world title in 1999 to Alexander Khalifman.

Since Karpov has to meet his court costs and would have received a $US100,000 fee for competing in Las Vegas, the Russian veteran is probably regretting ever attempting to win back the world title via court action.

FIDE will also be relieved to have escaped from the foolish contract signed between Karpov and FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov in 1998, about which Karpov publicly gloated in the months which followed.

Stefan Djuric coasted to victory in the Australian Open, an event which also featured successes for Australia's top juniors. In the game below, Queensland's David Smerdon, 16, defeats a doughty Irish International Master.

2000/1 Australian Open
White: D.Smerdon
Black: M.Heidenfeld
Opening: Max Lange
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.0-0 Bc5 6.e5

The ancient Max Lange Attack proves an inspired choice against the super-solid Heidenfeld.
6...d5 7.exf6 dxc4 8.Re1+ Be6 9.Ng5 Qd5
After the game Heidenfeld admitted that he was on his own here, whereas Smerdon's knowledge of the line extended to move 19 and the Queenslander was soon well ahead on the clock.
10.Nc3 Qf5 11.Nce4 0-0-0 12.g4 Qe5 13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.fxg7 Rhg8 15.Bh6 d3 16.c3 d2 17.Re2 Rd3 18.Qf1! Qd5 19.Rd1 Be7!?
A new idea. 19...Ne5 is probably stronger, as 20.Nf6 can be met by 20...Qf3!.
20.Qg2 Ne5 21.Rexd2 Nf7 22.g5 Nxh6 23.Rxd3 cxd3 24.gxh6 Qh5! 25.Rxd3 Qxh6 26.Rg3 Bh4! 27.Rg4 Qc1+ 28.Qf1 Qh6 29.Qc4 Rxg7 30.Nc5 Qf6?
Ruining Black's tenacious defence. Black should have played 30...b5!! 31.Qe4 Rxg4+ 32.Qxg4 Bxf2+! 33.Kxf2 Qf8+ 34.Ke2 Qxc5 when the ensuing queen endgame should result in a draw.
31.f3 e5 32.Rxg7 Qxg7+ 33.Kf1 Qe7 34.Qg4+ Kb8 35.Nd7+ Ka8 36.Nf6!! 1-0

Icon Australian Open Leading final scores:
1.Djuric (Yug) 9/11;
2.Rogers (NSW) 8.5;
=3. Volzhin (Rus), Kunte(Ind), Lane (Eng), Smerdon (QLD), Zhao (NSW), Pisk (Cze) 8.