Sun-Herald, May 20

Since Garry Kasparov broke away from the World Chess Federation (FIDE) in 1993, all attempts to reunite the rival World Championships have proved fruitless. 

However when Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik last year took over the FIDE and BGN world titles respectively, hopes were high that the two could reach agreement on reunification. 

However a recent series of unsuccessful proposals have shown that the divide remains as wide as ever. 

Last month FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov proposed a four player tournament with Kramnik, Anand, Kasparov and Alexey Shirov for honour but no world title. 

It is unclear whether Iljumzhinov contacted any of the top players before floating his proposal but all four candidates have reason to object and it seems likely that this plan will quietly be dropped. 

Soon after Iljumzhinov's proposal, BGN supremo Raymond Keene mooted a similar contest with the BGN world title at stake, but without the weakest link, Shirov. 

Anand, who has a contract with FIDE agreeing not to compete for any other world title, Keene's plan is also a doubtful starter. 

Keene is, however, also considering a system which is likely to enjoy considerable public support - a genuine qualifying tournament to find a challenger for Kramnik. 

Anand's contractual obligations to FIDE could again be the stumbling block. 

Another ambitious plan, hatched by Belgian millionaire Bessel Kok, offers real chances for success but is still shrouded in secrecy. 

Kok wishes to bring together the top 32 players in the world and 32 internet qualifiers in a giant $A2m tournament in November. 

Since this event does not involve any mention of the World Championship title and the source of the funding is transparent, there should be no major impediment to Anand, Kramnik or Kasparov competing. 

However, since the tournament will only proceed if almost all the top players agree to play, Kok's event is far from certain. 

The film The Luzhin Defence has attracted very mixed reviews but few have disputed that the final combination, composed by English GM Jon Speelman, was brilliantly conceived. 

From the diagrammed position, Luzhin playing for the world title, tried 1...Nxf4! 2.exf4?. 

The game was then adjourned and during the adjournment Luzhin found the winning line 2...Re3+ 3.Kg4 f5+ 4.Kg5 Kg7! 5.Nd5 Rh3!! 6.gxh3 Bf2 mate. 

To understand why Luzhin did not actually play this way, the reader will have to see the movie. 

Merida International, Mexico 

Scores after 3 of 6 rounds: 

1. Anand(Ind) 2.5; 2eq. Short(Eng), Khalifman(Rus) 1.5; 4. Hernandez(Mex) 0.5. Gudmundar Arasonar Internet Challenge 1. Soest (Ned) 12/18; 2. Gardabaer(Isd) 10.5; 3. Lask(Swe) 8; 4. Canberra(Aus) 5.5. 

May Laurieton Open, NSW

1. Wallace 6.5/7; 2. Rej 6; 3. Stead 5.