Sun Herald, January 28, 2001
The ninth round of the elite Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the
Netherlands, saw the most keenly anticipated game of the entire tournament.
Not only was world number one Garry Kasparov trailing tournament leader
Alexei Shirov by a full point but relations between the two were at an
Kasparov had threatened not to shake his opponent's hand in retaliation for
Shirov's veiled suggestions that the Kasparov-Kramnik world title match
last October might have been prearranged.
Shirov denied ever saying that the K-K match was fixed and held Kasparov
responsible for the collapse in 1998 of the proposed Kasparov-Shirov world
title match, a major financial loss for Shirov.
Both players came late to the big game. Shirov tried shielding his eyes
with his hand to avoid eye contact but Kasparov did not even try to offer
Kasparov later explained that this was the first time that he had refused
to shake hands with an opponent but insisted that his action was justified.
"I asked Shirov at the opening ceremony to retract his comments but he gave
only a vague reply," said Kasparov. "There was no other way I could behave
Kasparov also mentioned that the game was played on the 30th anniversary of
his father's death and that he had promised his mother that he would 'iron'
Shirov. The following game, which he later dedicated to his father saw
Kasparov fulfil his promise.
Wijk aan Zee 2001
Opening: Petroff's Defence
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.0-0 0-0 8.c4 c6
9.Qc2 Na6 10.a3 Bg4 11.Ne5 Bh5
An unusual choice but Kasparov is well prepared.
12.cxd5 cxd5 13.Nc3! Nxc3 14.bxc3 Kh8!? 15.f4 Bxe5?
15...f6 was necessary.
16.fxe5 Bg6 17.a4! Qd7 18.Ba3 Rfe8 19.Bxg6 fxg6
19...hxg6 20.Rf3 leaves the f pawn helpless.
20.Qb3! b6 21.Bd6 Nc7 22.Rf3 Rac8 23.Raf1 h6 24.Qc2 Qg4
24...Re6 fails brilliantly to 25.Rf7 Qc6 26.R1f6!!.
25.Rg3 Qh5 26.Rh3 Qg5 27.Rg3 Qh5 28.Bxc7 Rxc7 29.Rxg6 Qh4
The best practical try was 29...Rxc3 but after 30.Rxh6+ Qxh6 31.Qxc3
White's extra pawn must prevail in the long run.
Shirov may have intended to play 30...Rec8 but realised that this loses to
31.Rg4 Rxc3 32.Qxc3 Qxg4 33.Rf8+!.
31.cxd4 Rxc2 32.Rf7 Rg8 33.Rd6 Rc4 34.Rxd5 Rxa4 35.Rdd7 Ra1+ 36.Kf2 Ra2+
37.Kf3 Kh7 38.e6 Kg6 39.d5 Rc8 40.Rc7 Re8 41.g4 a5 42.Rxg7+ Kf6 43.Rgf7+
Ke5 44.Rf5+ Kd4 45.e7 1-0
This game had a major psycholical effect on both players, setting Kasparov
up for a big finish while destroying Shirov's self-confidence. The next day
the Spaniard failed to convert an easily winning position against Anand and
the following round Shirov fell into an opening trap against Vassily
Ivanchuk and lost the game - and his chances for first place in the
tournament - without a fight.
Corus Grandmaster Tournament
Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands
Scores after 11 of 13 rounds:
1. Kasparov(Rus) 8;
=2.Shirov(Spa), Morozevich(Rus) 7;
=4.Anand(India), Kramnik(Rus), Ivanchuk(Ukr) 6.5;
=9.Fedorov(Rus), Topalov(Bul), Van Wely(Ned) 4.5;
=13.Piket(Ned), Tiviakov(Ned) 3.5.
2001 Australian Junior Championships
Leading final scores:
1.Zhao Zong Yuan(N) 9/11;
=3.M.Lip(N), G.Xie(N), S.Rafizadeh(ACT), K-K Tian(N) 7.5.
Australian Girls' Championship
Leading final scores: