Sun-Herald, September 30 2001

The recent challenge match between Asia and Europe in Batumi, Georgia, provided a perfect example of the monarchical structure in the chess world. 

The top European player, Garry Kasparov, received the royal treatment in Georgia; collecting a large appearance fee, staying in the centre of the city with his second, Yuri Dokhoian, and his mother, and eating with the President of Adjara. 

In contrast, all the other players were treated as the supporting cast; paid less than a tenth of Kasparov's fee, accommodated in a small village half an hour from the playing hall in Batumi and fed mostly on (admittedly high quality) bread and cheese. 

Nonetheless, for most of the tournament Asian number one, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, was able to challenge Kasparov as the best scorer in Batumi. 

The 21-year-old world number 11 from Uzbekhistan was beaten 2-0 by Kasparov in their final round match-up, a result which did not entirely displease the youngster as afterwards Kasparov deigned to talk to him for the first time. 

In any case, Kasimdzhanov is already considering leaving the tournament circuit due to lack of top level opportunities and is even contemplating starting a new life in ... Australia. 

Batumi 2001 Asia v Europe Rapid 
White: R.Kasimdzhanov 
Black: G.Kasparov 
Opening: Benoni 
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 b5!? 6.Bg2 d6 7.b4
Black's 5...b5 system lost favour because of this gambit. 7...cxb4 8.a3 bxa3 9.Nxa3 is messy but Kasparov has a better plan. 
7...Nbd7! 8.bxc5 dxc5! 9.Nh3
Any refutation to 7...Nbd7 will probably involve 9.d6 although after 9...Rb8 both 10.e4 and 10.Bf4 seem to be well met by 10...Qa5+. 9...Bd6 Played with a flourish but Kasparov, like his opponent, failed to realise that Black's move threatened something. 10.0-0?? 

...0-0?? A few seconds after moving, Kasparov noticed that he could have played 10...Be5, a fact acknowledged by Kasimdzhanov with a grin. "This [missed chance] could have destoyed him psychologically," said Kasimdzhanov later, "but actually it destroyed me." 11.Bf4 Nb6 12.Bxd6 Qxd6 13.Nf4 Re8 14.a3?! Bd7 15.h4 h6 16.Nd2?! 16.Re1 is a better way to give up the d pawn. 16...g5! 17.hxg5 hxg5 18.Nh3 Bxh3 19.Bxh3 Nbxd5 20.Rc1 Rad8 21.Bg2 c4 22.a4 a6 23.axb5 axb5 24.Nf3 Ne4 25.e3 Ndc3 26.Qe1 Qd3 27.Nd4 Rxd4! 28.exd4 Ne2+ 29.Kh2 Nd2 0-1 After 30.Rd1, Qh7+ 31.Bh3 Nf3+ wins White's queen.