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The review of chess sites for September, 2000

by Boris Schipkov

In September there were some interesting and thrilling competitions: 1st FIDE World Cup (September 1st-13th, Shengyang, China ), the XVI European Club Cup (September 24th-30th, Neum, Bosnia), World Championship Zonal 1.1 (September 3rd-17th, Mondariz, Spain), final of the Miguel Najdorf Chess Festival (September 18th-26th, Buenos Aires, Argentina).

There were 24 participants in both man's and women's World Cups. The prize fund in men's tournament is 238 000 dollars, and in women's - 168 000. The representatives of the most populous countries won the World Cups. Beautiful and masterful play was shown by Viswanatan Anand (India) who beat Evgeny Bareev (Russia) with the score 1,5 - 0,5 in the final. Xu Yuhua (China) won the women Cup and beat the champion of Europe Natalia Zhukova (Ukraine) with the score 1,5 - 0,5 in the final.
An interesting game Anand - Khalifman, Shengyang 2000 was played in a preliminary stage in group D: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 b5 8.g4 h6 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Bb7 11.h4 b4 12.Na4 Qa5 13.b3 Nc5 14.a3 Rc8 15.Qxb4 Qc7 16.Kb1 Ncd7 17.Qd2 d5 18.Bh3 dxe4 19.g5 hxg5 20.hxg5 Nd5 21.fxe4 Nxe3 22.Qxe3 Ne5 23.Rhf1 Bxa3
Here on the site S.Shipov wrote: "in the case of 23...Be7 24.c4 White kept both extra pawn and the initiative - threatening with a blow on e6". The move 24.c4 only weakens the white king's position, therefore after 24...Bxa3 Black had an advantage, for example, 25.g6 Nxg6 26.Bxe6 fxe6 27.Nxe6 Qe5. 24.g6 Nxg6 25.Bxe6 fxe6 26.Nxe6 Qe7?
Stronger is 26...Qe5! This move was noticed by S.Shipov. After 26...Qe5! 27.Qb6 Bxe4 28.Rd8+ Ke7 29.Nf8 Rxf8 30.Rfxf8 Nxf8 31.Rxc8 Bf5 as well as 29...Bxc2+ 30.Ka2 Nxf8 31.Rxc8 Nd7 32.Qxa6 Rxc8 33.Qxc8 Bxb3+ 34.Kxb3 Qb5+ 35.Kxa3 Qxf1 with an extra pawn. It is not clear why he wrote so many exclamation marks on moves of Anand, after 26...Qe5! White could make a draw (in the best case) or lose the game. 27.Qb6 Nf8 28.Rd8+ Rxd8 29.Nc7+ Qxc7 30.Qxc7 Rd7 Here experts KC in the online-comments (live) made such a remark - "Now Black (according to grandmaster Shipov) has a rook and two pieces for a queen, however the position of his king is too open". 31.Qb8+ Ke7 32.Qe5+ Ne6 33.Rg1 Kf7 34.Nb6 Rhd8 35.Ka2 Bf8 36.Nxd7 Rxd7 37.Qf5+ Ke7 38.Rf1 Bc8 39.Qf7+ Kd6 40.e5+ and Black resigned.
The first game of a semifinal Milos - Bareev, Shengyang 2000 was quickly finished in a draw. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.Bc4 a6 9.Qe2 b5 10.Bb3?!In this position Shipov offered "a tempting variation: 10.Bd5! Rb8 11.Nxf6+ Nxf6 (11...Qxf6 12.0-0) 12.Bc6+ Bd7 13.Ne5 Rb6 14.Bf3! with an obvious advantage for White". The game however went on 10...0-0 11.Rd1 Bb7 12.0-0 c5! 13.c3 with a draw.
Then in playoff Milos played 10.Bd5 Rb8 11.Nxf6+ Qxf6 12.0-0 0-0 13.Bc6 Rb6 14.Bxd7 Bxd7 15.Ne5 Rd8 16.b4 Bc6 with a small advantage. The game was equal, but on the move 30 Evgeny Bareev made a mistake and therefore Milos won a pawn. Then there was the endgame without pawns - a queen and a knight of Milos against a queen of Bareev. But there was a small tragedy - Milos blundered his queen on the 79th move, Bareev won and passed to the final.

Hans Ree in the article "Subtle Clues" (This column first appeared in the Dutch newspaper NRC-Handelsblad September 9, 2000) told about the joint Belgian-French-Swiss film The Chess Game (1994). The plot of the film is simple. Marquis De Theux invites a certain Master Max to play with a well-known English chess player "the world champion" Howard Staunton. The winner of a two-game match wins not only the rank of the world champion, but also receives a hand and heart of the marquise's beautiful daughter. A plot is rather plausible, taking into account, that Staunton already for a long time can not take the matter to court ("the real Staunton died in 1874"). In the film Staunton is a crook and Master Max is a madman. Hans Ree has reconstructed two games from this film by the parts of a board seen on the screen. The second game was Steinitz-Bardeleben,Hastings 1895. And the third game, with the score 1-1, is Steel - NN, Calcutta 1886. However, as Hans Ree has added: "Thanks to Tim Krabbe and Dutch IM Gerard Welling, we know that this was actually only analysis by Robert Steel, a British government official in India, not a game that was really played".

In the "Club Kasparov" Jeff Sonas has written about the match Kasparov - Kramnik in the article "Statistics, an opening strategy and the world championship". Sonas's conclusion is fantastic. The probability of victory for Kasparov according to the statistical model by Sonas in this match of 16 games is 88 %. Sonas has estimated Kramnik's chances on victory in this duel as 1 to 18, and on a draw 1 to 15. I think taking into account play in the opening and not considering play in the endgame is strange. For example, in 2000 Kasparov lost two games: to Piket and Leko in an endgame. Vladimir Kramnik is younger and his motivation is much stronger, and the contenders have equal score, but Kasparov has greater experience in matches, thus I suppose the chances are approximately equal and this match either will be finished in a draw, or Kasparov or Kramnik will win with the minimal advantage in 1 or 2 points.

The final of the Miguel Najdorf festival ended with an excellent win by magnificent Judit Polgar (Hungary) scored 6,5 points and edged out Victor Bologan (Moldova) on tie-break. Anatoly Karpov (Russia) could make the same score, but in the last round in the winning position in the game against Pablo Ricardi (Argentina), at first he did not find a strong move 23.Nf5! with a quick victory, and then lost on time on the 39th move in a good position with an extra pawn.

In John Henderson's Review the film "The Luzhin Defence", which I have read in The Week in Chess, has described a new film by Marleen Gorris, based on Vladimir Nabokov's novel "The Luzhin Defence".


© 2000-2003 Boris Schipkov