Sunday Mail Chess Column - Feb 27, 2000

Ian Murray

Problem No. 1849

(Kovacevic - Martinovic, Belgrade 2000)

White to play and win

Problem No 1848: 1.Qc2 Black resigned

Prizewinner No 1846: Chris Tucker, Thornlands

While ethnic barriers continue to divide communities in the Balkans, chess remains one of the few cohesive factors in the region. This month's Novak Nikolic Memorial, a Category 11 (rating average 2501) tournament in Belgrade, brought together nine regional masters and grandmasters, plus two Ukrainians and a Russian to complete the field. The names are virtually unknown in the west, emphasising the depth of talent in the second tier of GMs - final scores (all Yugoslavia unless indicated) Zontakh UKR 6/11; Vuckovic 5; Damljanovic, Kovacevic 5; Sherbakov RUS, Solak, Pikula 4; Zhukova UKR 4; Popchev BUL, Martinovic 2; Velimirovic, Govedarica 2.

GM Andrey Zontakh - WGM Natalia Zhukova
Belgrade 2000
Slav Defence Czech System

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Qc7 8.g3 e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Bf4 Nfd7 11.Bg2 f6 12.0-0 Nc5 13.Ne3 Bg6 14.b4 Ne6 15.b5 Rd8 16.Qb3 Bf7 17.Bxe5 fxe5 18.bxc6 bxc6 19.Rab1 Nc5 20.Qb4 Nb3 21.Qe4 Nd4 22.Nf5 Bg6 23.g4 Rc8 24.Rfc1 Bc5 25.Rb7 Qxb7 26.Qxe5+ Ne6 27.Qxe6+ Kf8 28.Ne4 Re8 29.Nxc5 Rxe6 30.Nxb7 Rxe2 31.Bxc6 Bxf5 32.gxf5 Ke7 33.Bb5 Ra2 34.Rc6 Rb8 35.Nc5 Rd8 36.Ne4 Rd4 37.Re6+ Kd8 38.f6 gxf6 39.Nxf6 h6 40.Kg2 Black lost on time

Political turmoil will be conspicuously absent at the Hervey Bay Open on March 11-12 - it's a great place to relax for a few days after the chess. Details at or from Andrew Rogers on 07 4124 7107.