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British Chess Magazine - News Archive for 2004

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Kasparov wins the 57th Russian Championship Superfinal [27/11/04]

The 57th Russian Championship Superfinal began in Moscow on 15 November and runs until 27 November. The tournament was originally to have 14 players but world champion Vladimir Kramnik withdrew citing ill health (read his statement here) some days before the tournament was due to begin. At this point Alexander Khalifman was left out of the tournament in order to make an even number of competitors. Then, at the last minute and despite attending the pre-tournament press conference, ex-world champion Anatoly Karpov withdrew citing business reasons. An attempt to restore Khalifman was turned down by the former FIDE champion as he had in the meantime undertaken to play in a rapidplay tournament in Estonia. So the tournament came down to 11 players: Garry Kasparov, Alexander Morozevich, Peter Svidler, Evgeny Bareev, Alexander Grischuk and six other very strong grandmasters. Kasparov is hot favourite, especially since he plays White against three of the other four 2700+ players. Official coverage on www.russiachess.ru. Time control: 40/100m, 20/50m, all/10m, with 30 second increments throughout.
    Final: Round 11 - Garry Kasparov was already the 57th Russian champion with a round to spare so there was not too much to play for. Grischuk looked to have good winning chances against him in the last round but Kasparov's defences held. Elsewhere three of the tournament's main underachievers, Svidler, Morozevich and Bareev, secured consolatory wins, but all three stand to lose rating points. Kasparov's triumph has been richly deserved, particularly since his mid-tournament switch to the risk-taking, swashbuckling style of his youth. His opponents have had their chances but not taken them. In the end the expected challenge to Kasparov simply did not materialise: Svidler and Morozevich in particular showed very poor form. Scores: 1 Kasparov 7½/10; 2 Grischuk 6; 3 Dreev 5½; 4-7 Bareev, Morozevich, Motylev Svidler 5; 8-10 Epishin, Korotylev, Timofeev 4½; 11 Tseshkovsky 2½. Download gamesGames Viewer

Azmaiparashvili Under Arrest [01/11/04]

The closing ceremony of the 36th Olympiad was marred by a disgraceful incident, the facts of which are hotly disputed by FIDE, on one side, and the Olympiad organisers and Spanish Chess Federation (FEDA), on the other. What we do know for definite is that, as of today, GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili, Georgian federation president and FIDE vice-president, is locked up in a Spanish prison cell awaiting trial for assaulting a Spanish security policeman. For FIDE's version of the story, click here, and for the Spanish organisers' version, click here. At the closing ceremony Azmaiparashvili was sitting near the front of the auditorium. At one point he tried to get an important message through to the officials on stage. His way through was barred by security officials. At this point there is a vast disparity between the two versions of the story. The Spanish organisers/federation allege that Azmai head-butted a security policeman's mouth without provocation. FIDE alleges that Azmai was set upon without provocation and that he was 'heavily beaten up'. The Spanish press release, issued after the FIDE press release, alleges 'lies and distortions' in FIDE's account of what happened.
   The 44-year-old Georgian is no stranger to controversy in the chess world. In Strumica (Macedonia) in 1995 there were allegations that he gained a lot of rating points from a fake tournament. Earlier this year his part in the organisation of the Women's World Championship led to vigorous protests from two Georgian women grandmasters alleging intimidation and verbal bullying (click here on the ChessBase website). And at last year's European Championship, one of his opponents mysteriously allowed him to move a different piece after he had first touched another (any move of which would have lost immediately) (story here). Azmaiparashvili went on to win that championship.
   Latest on 'Azmai-Gate' (21:00, 01/11/04): Azmaiparashvili has been released on bail. See the latest FIDE press release in which they are still placing all the blame on the organisers.

Chess Olympiad, Calvia, Mallorca 14-31 Oct [01/11/04]

The 36th Chess Olympiad took place in Calvia, Mallorca, Spain. Official website: http://www.36chessolympiad-daily.com. And a detailed statistical breakdown is available here. Latest: Last round - Ukraine took the gold medals with a 3-1 last round win - their first ever Olympiad gold medal. Russia were caught by Armenia on game points but Russia still took the silver medals on tie-break. Armenia were third. China had already secured the gold medals in the women's competition but there was a good scrap for the silver - it looks like USA will just pip Russia to second place. England had a modest win against Macedonia so finished in their lowest place ever (30th - despite Adams' excellent 10/13 - giving him the bronze medal for board one), Scotland were heavily beaten by Serbia and Ireland beat Belgium so, not only did Scotland not overhaul England, they finished below Ireland. Wales fielded a team designed to give Richard Jones a norm chance against the strongest possible opposition - a perfectly reasonable plan but it didn't work and they lost heavily.
    The England women beat India 2-1 with Harriet Hunt beating Humpy Koneru to finish on an excellent 9½/13 (4th best score on board one, TPR of 2558). Jovanka Houska also had a welcome return to form with 8/13 and made her second full IM norm (over 10 rounds). Thus England's women finished 8th despite their seeding at no.27. The Welsh and Irish teams will be pleased with the showing of players such as Abigail Cast (7½/13), Olivia Smith (8/12) and Hannah Lowry-O'Reilly (7/10, 7th best on board four).
   One factor to remember about this Olympiad - the time limit, which is 90 minutes/all moves with 30 seconds added per move. This is little more than rapidplay and should be borne in mind when assessing how teams fared. It favours younger players as exemplified by the winners who, apart from 35-year-old Ivanchuk, had an average age of about 20. Just as cricket selectors pick different squads for one-day and test match cricket, team selectors should perhaps select their teams with the time limit in mind. Better still, FIDE should revert to a sensible time control. This 90m/30s stuff is hated by most professional players and produces second-rate chess for the spectators. None of the arguments for speeded-up time limits make any sense. It is just intransigence and ignorance on the part of FIDE, and conforms to Lubosh Kavalek's theory that "tournaments are organised for the convenience of the organisers". To end on a positive note - well done to the Calvia website people who did a superb job from the beginning to the end of the tournament. Bien hecho, amigos! JS

   Rd 1 - England 2½-1½ Turkey, Bulgaria 3½-½ Wales, Scotland 4-0 Hong Kong, Ireland 3½-½ Panama - Women: Puerto Rico 0-3 England, Wales ½-2½ Czech Rep, Ireland 0-3 Moldova.
   Rd 2
- Portugal 1-3 Scotland, Croatia 1-3 England, Denmark 2½-1½ Ireland, Wales 3½-½ Liechtenstein - Women: Ukraine 1½-1½ England, Bosnia 2-1 Wales, Kenya 0-3 Ireland.
   Rd 3
- England 3-1 Denmark, Scotland 2½-1½ Norway, Ireland 2½-1½ Portugal, Bangladesh 3-1 Wales - Women: England 2½-½ Moldova, Ireland 0-3 Uzbekistan, Wales 2-1 Tajikistan.
   Rd 4
- England 2½-1½ Canada, Scotland 1½-2½ Azerbaijan, Ireland 1-3 Phillipines, Wales 1½-2½ Andorra - Women: England 2½-½ Slovakia, Wales 1½-1½ Portugal, Ireland 0-3 Finland.
   Rd 5
- England 1-3 Poland, Scotland ½-3½ Bulgaria, Ireland 3-1 Guatemala, Wales 2-2 Palestine - Women: England 0-3 China, Wales 1½-1½ Italy, Ireland 1-2 Albania.
   Rd 6 - England 3-1 Mexico, Scotland 3-1 Kyrgyzstan, Ireland ½-3½ Greece, Wales 3½-½ Uganda - Women: England 1½-1½ Belarus, Wales 2-1 Mexico, Ireland 2½-½ Japan.
   Rd 7 - England 1½-2½ Netherlands, Scotland 1½-2½ Slovenia, Ireland 3½-½ Wales - Women: England 3-0 Spain B, Wales 1-2 Turkey, Ireland 1½-1½ Puerto Rico.
   Rd 8 - England 1½-2½ Hungary, Scotland 2-2 Iceland, Ireland 1½-2½ Latvia, Wales 1½-2½ Pakistan - Women: England 1-2 Lithuania, Wales ½-2½ Spain A, Ireland 1½-1½ Sri Lanka
   Rd 9 - England 2-2 Iceland, Scotland ½-3½ Bosnia, Ireland 1-3 Norway, Wales 4-0 Malta - Women: England 1-2 Armenia, Wales 1½-1½ Bolivia, Ireland 1½-1½ Bangla Desh
   Rd 10 - England 1½-2½ Vietnam, Scotland 2-2 Morocco, Ireland 2½-1½ Pakistan, Wales 1-3 Albania - Women: England 2-1 Serbia & H, Wales 2-1 Albania, Ireland 2-1 IPCA.
   Rd 11 - England 3-1 Indonesia, Scotland 3-1 Spain C, Ireland 1-3 Andorra, Wales 3½-½ Thailand - Women: England 3-0 Mongolia, Wales 1½-1½ Estonia, Ireland 1-2 Tajikistan
   Rd 12 - England 2-2 Belarus, Scotland 2-2 Austria, Ireland 3½-½ Peru, Wales ½-3½ Belgium - Women: England 1-2 France, Wales 1½-1½ Bangladesh, Ireland 1-2 Canada.
   Rd 13 - England 2-2 Australia, Scotland 3-1 Turkey, Ireland 2½-1½ Brazil, Wales 2½-1½ Costa Rica - Women: England 1-2 Hungary, Wales 3-0 New Zealand, Ireland 2-1 Honduras.
   Rd 14 - England 2½-1½ Macedonia, Scotland ½-3½ Serbia, Ireland 2½-1½ Belgium, Wales ½-3½ Dominican Republic - Women: England 2-1 India, Wales 1-2 Colombia, Ireland ½-2½ Iraq.
   Final Standings - 1 Ukraine 39½; 2 Russia 36½; 3 Armenia 36½, 4 USA 35, 5 Israel 34½... 30th England 31... 43rd Ireland 30... 52nd Scotland 29... 88th Wales 26 - Women: 1 China 31; 2 USA 28; 3 Russia 27½; 4 Georgia 27½, 5 France 25½ ... 8th England 25 ... 52nd Wales 20½ ... 80th Ireland 17½.
   Title Norms: British and Irish title norms were achieved by John Shaw (GM norm, 12 rounds); Jovanka Houska (IM, 11 rounds); Richard Jones (IM, 11 rounds); and Sam Collins (IM, 14 rounds). A full list of title norms achieved may be found at http://www.chess21.com
   Team order is determined in the first instance by game points, then by total game points of teams played, only then by match points.


Kramnik still the Champ [18/10/04]

Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) successfully defended his world championship title in Brissago, Switzerland, by winning his final game against Peter Leko of Hungary. They played 14 games, with Kramnik retaining his title as the match ended a 7-7 draw. The final game (Monday) saw Leko exchange queens at an early stage to try to grovel his way to a draw. Online pundits were very sceptical of his chances after this and they were proved right when Kramnik broke through with a few powerful positional thrusts. Thus Leko's chance of the championship was cruelly snatched away at the last. Kramnik left it very, very late but we finally saw the sort of chess of which he is capable. Tim Krabbe makes a mordant pictorial comment on the play in this match in his chess diary web page - that said, the last couple of games brought the match to life.. Kramnik won games 1 and 14 and Leko won games 5 and 8. Score: Leko 7, Kramnik 6. Download gamesGames ViewerOfficial Website

World Senior Team Championship, 5-12 Oct [13/10/04]

The inaugural World Senior Team Championship is taking place at the Ocean Castle Hotel, Port Erin, Isle of Man (5-12 October). 12 teams are competing and Viktor Korchnoi is on board one for Switzerland. Final: Round 8 results and games (PGN/viewer). Israel and Germany shared the gold medals while Switzerland took bronze.


FIDE World Championship - Kasimdzhanov vs Kasparov [13/10/04]

FIDE (World Chess Federation) President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has announced that the match between FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov and his challenger, former champion and world no.1 rated player Garry Kasparov, will take place in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) in January 2005. The prize fund is US$1.2m. The match will be played over 12 games. The time control to be used is to be 40/2hrs, 20/1hr, 15m/all with 30 seconds increment in the last period. In the event of a 6-6 tie, rapidplay/blitz play-offs will be employed as per the FIDE knock-out world championship. In accordance with an agreement drawn up in Prague in 2002, the winner of the Dubai match can look forward to challenging the winner of the current Kramnik-Leko match in a world championship reunification match.

European Club Cup, 2-9 Oct [11/10/04]

The European Club Cup took place in Cesme, Turkey from 2-9 October. Top seeds NAO (Adams, Grischuk, Bacrot, Vallejo Pons, Lautier, Radjabov) retained their title of last year with 12 mps/14 (7 rounds, 6 board matches). Kasparov played on top board for Ekaterinburg but had an indifferent result: 3/6 with a win against Shirov and a loss against Rublevsky. Nigel Short achieved a 2761 TPR with 5½/7 for second-placed Bosna Sarajevo. Two teams from Wales (Cardiff and Nidum Liberals) and one from Ireland (Dublin) took part. Official website: http://www.tsf.org.tr/ecup2004/ecupmain.htm

Gausdal Classics, 23 Sept - 1 Oct [26/09/04]

The Gausdal Classics tournament is current in progress. There are several events including a GM tournament, two IM events and a FIDE-rated tournament. There are four GMs in the top section, including Magnus Carlsen. Harriet Hunt, Sam Collins and Ian Thompson are playing in the IM-A tournament while Neil Berry is in the IM-B competition. Official Website.

36th Olympiad, Calvià, Mallorca (ESP), 14-31 Oct [21/09/04]

Click here to visit the official Olympiad website. We've previously listed the British team line-ups in the British Chess News Round-Up: Aug/Sept 2004 - a reminder that the English team is 1 Adams, 2 Short, 3 McShane, 4 Speelman, 5 Hebden, 6 Wells, with sponsorship from Deloitte. This has since been confirmed via a BCF press release. However, though the press release makes no mention of the fact, it transpires that Nigel Short won't be available until the latter stages of the competition. He is in the line-up for the Essent Hoogeveen tournament in the Netherlands which runs from 17-23 October, which presumably means that he will not be able to join the England team until 24 October - the day of the 9th (of 14) rounds in Mallorca.

Fischer vs Deportation: Into the Endgame? [26/08/04]

On 24 August Japanese Justice Minister Daizo Nozawa served a deportation order on former world champion Bobby Fischer, but Fischer's lawyers have sought to counter this by claiming that a deportation would be a flagrant violation of Bobby Fischer's right to full legal recourse and protection under Japanese law. Latest on the Fischer deportation saga (and links to previous episodes). Earlier... Bobby Fischer to marry Miyoko Watai, acting head of the Japan Chess Association, according to a Reuters report... Boris Spassky has written to President Bush, asking if he can share a cell with Bobby Fischer... click here... Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer was detained by the Japanese Immigration Bureau at Tokyo's Narita Airport on 13 July for failing to possess valid travel documents. There is a long-standing US federal warrant out against him for taking part in the 1992 Spassky match in Yugoslavia in violation of a US ban. Search for latest news on Bobby Fischer on BT Yahoowww.freebobby.org

What's In a Name? [10/08/04]

Steve Giddins picked up on our suggested soubriquet for 'people's champion' Vishy Anand, and has come up with a few more ideas of his own... "I notice on your website that you have christened Anand 'Carlsberg', on the grounds that he is 'probably the best chessplayer in the world'. I have been thinking of the implications of this for other players. We could have Vladimir 'Night Nurse' Kramnik, a selection of whose games will undoubtedly aid a restful night's sleep. Then there's Alexander 'Heineken' Morozevich, who refreshes the tournaments other GMs don't reach. Amongst our organisers we have Kirsan 'Remington' Ilyumzhinov - 'I liked chess so much, I bought the federation'. Gazza's mastery of using chess computers to maximum effect suggests 'Zanussi' Kasparov - 'the appliance of science', although his willingness to switch allegiance from FIDE and back again with such regularity also makes him a candidate for 'Access, your flexible friend'. As for Shirov, I should imagine that when he played Bh3 against Topalov in that opposite-coloured bishop ending, someone in the audience must have turned to a friend and said 'I bet he drinks Carling Black Label!' The possibilities are endless..."

"Falsify Like A Grandmaster" [09/08/04]

Some Irish cognitive scientists (and chess players) have been taking a look at what chess players do when they think about what moves to make. They have come to the following interesting conclusion: "Grandmasters think about what their opponents will do much more [than weaker players]. They tend to falsify their own hypotheses." Not quite as devious as it sounds to us non-scientific types. Read the whole article at the news@nature.com website.

Chess Classic Mainz, 4-8 Aug [07/08/04]

The annual German event features various brands of 'sideshow chess'. Vishy 'Carlsberg' Anand*, plays an eight-game rapidplay match with Alexei Shirov; Peter Svidler is playing Levon Aronian for the Gerling Chess960 [shuffle/Fischerrandom chess] world championship; while a 10-round 'shuffle chess' open (FiNet-Chess960, 5-6 Aug) features many world stars; the 11th Ordix Open (7-8 Aug) is a strong open tournament. There are other computer/simul events. Official website: http://www.chesstigers.de/cc/2004/e/default.htm [* the BCM editor has decided to bestow this soubriquet on the great Indian player because he is ''probably the best chess player in the world" - just my opinion, you understand]

Current Major Tournaments [02/08/04]

    Dortmund Sparkassen (22 Jul - 1 Aug). Vishy Anand won the tournament. He beat Kramnik in the second rapidplay play-off game after both regulation games and the 1st rapidplay game had been drawn. Both semi-finals came down to pairs of games at a blitz time limit of 5mins+3secs. Anand beat Leko 2-0, while Kramnik lost his first game to Svidler before winning the next three to qualify. Other finals: 3/4th place: Leko v Svidler - 5/6th place: Naiditsch v Rublevsky - 7/8th place: Bologan v Karyakin. Preliminary Groups - Grp A: 1 Anand 4/6, 2 Svidler 3½ qualify for the next phase. Grp B: every game was drawn - Kramnik and Leko qualified after a rapidplay play-off. Website: http://www.chessgate.de/
   Politiken Cup (Denmark) (24 Jul - 1 Aug). Belyavsky, PH Nielsen, C Hansen, Sadvakasov, etc, played. Final Scores: 1-3 Darmen Sadvakasov (KAZ, 1st on tie-break), Leif Johannesen (NOR), Nick DeFirmian (USA) 8/10. Magnus Carlsen, PH Nielsen and Eduardas Rozentalis were among the 10 players on 7½. Website: http://www.politikencup.dk/
   North Urals Women's Tournament (Krasnoturinsk, 24 Jul - 1 Aug): Final Scores: 1 Almira Skripchenko (FRA) 6/9, 2-3 Maia Chiburdanidze (GEO), Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (RUS) 5½, 4-5 Natalia Zhukova (UKR), Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) 5, 6-7 Irina Krush (USA), Alisa Galliamova (RUS) 4½, etc. Website: http://www.northuralscup.ru/tournament_eng.shtml
   37th Biel Festival (19-29 Jul). Final Scores: 1 Morozevich 7½/10, 2 Sasikiran 6, 3-5 Pelletier, Bacrot, Ponomariov 4½, 6 McShane 3. Website: http://www.bielchessfestival.ch/
    The Taiyuan tournament was held in the Shanxi province of China (17-26 Jul) proved to be an excellent win for England's Nigel Short. Final scores: Short 6½/9, Ni Hua 5½, Lautier, Dreev 5, Bu Xiangzhi 4½, Xie Jun, Lputian, Ye Jiangchuan 4, Zhang Zhong 3½, Xu Jun 3. Website: http://sports.sina.com.cn/z/chess_2004/index.shtml

Bobby Fischer Detained in Japan [16/07/04]

Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer was detained by the Japanese Immigration Bureau at Tokyo's Narita Airport on 13 July for failing to possess valid travel documents. There is a long-standing US federal warrant out against him for taking part in the 1992 Spassky match in Yugoslavia in violation of a US ban. The US authorities have recently stepped up their action against him and cancelled his US passport. It appears likely that further steps are under way to secure his deportation to the USA where he could face federal charges. Via a website which is friendly to him [beware: some content may be offensive], the 61-year-old former champion is appealing for political asylum elsewhere. There is a good summary of the story and links to various news reports here on the ChessBase website. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the case, we can all agree that this is a desperately sad state of affairs. The utter brilliance of Fischer's chess was one of the principal reasons I took up chess and thousands of chess players of my age group will tell the same story. As a chess player he was an inspiration to a generation. For that reason alone, and on behalf of his countless well-wishers in the chess world, I urge the Japanese and US authorities to treat him with the utmost sympathy and fairness. He needs help, not punishment. JS

FIDE World Championship, Tripoli, 19 June - 13 July [13/07/04]

The FIDE knock-out world championship is now under way in Tripoli, Libya. Many of the world's top players are missing for various reasons. Top seeds are Topalov, Adams, Grischuk, Ivanchuk and Short. Official website: http://wcclibya2004.comLive Games Round 1 ResultsRound 2 ResultsRound 3 resultsRound 4 resultsRound 5 resultsSemi-Final results.
: Rapidplay, Play-Off 2 - Congratulations to Rustam Kasimdzhanov, the 2004 FIDE World Championview game • In the end he proved to have the stronger nerve and despatched England's Mickey Adams in the tense rapidplay play-off much as he did Ivanchuk, Grischuk and Topalov in earlier rounds. In the second game Kasimdzhanov imposed himself on the game and put up a solid position which Adams could not breach. It is a wonderful achievement for the Uzbek who has come back to show that the 2700+ rating he achieved three years ago as a 21-year-old was no fluke and that he is a much better player than his current rating would suggest. He also came through a very tough draw and was required to beat all four top seeds to get there.
    For Mickey Adams' part, the defeat will come as a big disappointment as it was the best chance he is ever likely to get of winning a world title. He now has to live with the memory that he was a couple of good moves away from winning the title in game six, and was also in a very strong position in the 1st rapidplay game before losing the thread. Until the final, he had had a superb tournament but he seemed to run out of energy in the final two days. Leonard Barden on the end of the match.
   Rapidplay Play-Off 1: view game • more agony for Adams, who was winning out of the opening but then gradually crumbled before some canny, practical play by the Uzbek player. Even in a fairly simple, level position Adams subsided into passive defence and fell apart. As somebody once said, it is not enough to have a won position, you must also play good moves... now Adams has to win with black to take the match to blitz games.
    Final, Game 6: view game • An agonising game for both players, who both now appear shell-shocked and just longing for the match to be over. Once again Kasimdzhanov took the initiative with White and had Adams on the ropes. However he missed 21 Nd4 which would have given him a useful edge. As played, Adams looked relatively safe but played the dubious 25...Be4?! and was soon in deep trouble losing a pawn. Kasimdzhanov then missed 29 b4 which would surely have given him good chances of winning and taking the world title. Then Kasimdzhanov might have been winning had he played 36 Qa8+! Anyway, he kept an edge with 36 e6 and Adams seemed destined to a long and grim defence, though with reasonable chances of a draw. Then, a few moves down the line, Kasimdhanov played 41 Qg8 - within a few seconds, online spectators and their computers were waking up to the fact this was a huge blunder as Adams could play 41...Qc6+ 42 Kg3 Qe4!! and win the game and title. For a few minutes English spectators were celebrating the country's first world title - but this proved to be premature as Adams, probably relieved that he wasn't going to lose, failed to find the coup de grace (admittedly not easy, unless you have silicon for a brain - there are some precise and hard-to-find follow-up moves). Instead he played 42...Bxf2+ and baled out for a draw. So, the players must turn up again tomorrow for a rapidplay finale. Before that happens, we should congratulate both players on a hugely entertaining set of games. Score: Kasimdzhanov 3-3 Adams. Leonard Barden on game 6
   Final, Game 5
: view game • Once again Mickey Adams cashed in the advantage of the white pieces to level the score in the match. Kasim tried a line of the Ruy Lopez which Ivanchuk used to get a draw against Kasparov in 2002, but in which Shirov was hammered in Linares 2004 trying to do the same thing against Topalov. Adams applied some classic Spanish torture on the kingside and Black was left without anything much to do and little space in which to do it. Kasim never looked like getting out of gaol and played on rather too long. The big problem for Adams now is what to do tomorrow with the black pieces, after a sequence of four straight wins for white. And if he comes through that with a draw, the championship will be decided at faster time limits on Tuesday. Leonard Barden on game 5
   Final, Game 4: view game • another disaster for Adams, who once again struggled to hold his game together with the black pieces. In fact he came out of the early opening not too badly, but from 14...0-0?! onwards he adopted a dubious plan and things went rapidly downhill. Kasimdzhanov gained a strong positional plus on the queenside. That said, the exchange sacrifice with 30...Rxa5 seemed too desperate, too soon. After that a powerful tactic by Kasimdzhanov (f4!, Rg6, Rxe6!) finished things off. Adams has two more games in which to recover. Leonard Barden on game 3.
    Final, Game 3: view game • Adams hit back with a win in 47 moves. A Sicilian opening in which Adams played a line favoured by Ponomariov, but in which he added a new idea of his own (10 Qd2!?). He soon established a queenside pawn majority and Kasimdzhanov's attempts to counter this only resulted in the loss of a pawn. It might only have been a backward pawn but for further nervous errors by Kasimdzhanov which cost him a second pawn. Rest day tomorrow (Friday): Kasimdzhanov has two whites in the remaining three games, so the match is finely balanced.
    Final, Game 2
: view game • a bad setback for Adams, who lost for the first time in the whole championship. His position out of the opening (a Petroff) was unconvincing and Kasimdzhanov gradually built up a big positional advantage. There were a few nervous errors by the Uzbek GM around the time control which gave hope to the English fans, culminating in a poor move 40 which should have allowed Adams a golden opportunity to get a decent position with 40...Nxb5 - but he missed his chance. After that he subsided and Kasimdzhanov found all the right moves. Leonard Barden on game 2.
    Final, Game 1: view game • Adams ½-½ Kasimdzhanov, on Adams' proposal, on the 18th move. A very uneventful game, and one of Adams' three white games used up to little purpose.
   Media Interest:
The British media have woken up to the fact that a British world champion might be crowned in a few days time (which would come as a welcome relief after the football, cricket and tennis failures of recent weeks). Here's Stephen Moss writing in The Guardian on 7 July... "Your Move, Mickey" - and here's veteran chess columnist Leonard Barden in the same newspaper on Game 1.
. Play-offs: Just as the championship seemed to be running in line with the rating list, comes a surprise. Rustam Kasimdzhanov beat Topalov 2-0 in the rapidplay play-offs to qualify for the final match against Adams. Topalov's lack of practice at rapidplay, compared with the Uzbeki, was evident as he rather chanced his arm in the first game and left his king too exposed to be defensible in the time available. He made furious attempts to draw level in the second game but Kasimdzhanov outplayed him tactically. As for the final, Adams may be the rating favourite but he will have to beware of a player who has eliminated three of the favourites (Ivanchuk, Grischuk and now Topalov). Game 4 (of 4): Michael Adams secured the draw he needed to proceed to the final (by 2½-1½). Radjabov tried an unconventional opening but despite trying for 44 moves, never really looked like getting anything more than a draw. More good news for Adams (who now gets a day off): Topalov and Kasimdzhanov will have to play again tomorrow after their game also ended in a draw. Topalov had a material advantage against Kasimdzhanov but allowed a perpetual check. Game 3: Radjabov ½-½ Adams. The young Azeri had the English GM on the ropes for most of the game. Radjabov missed a probable win (26 Rf7!) in time trouble. Radjabov will have to win with Black on Sunday to stay in the match. Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Topalov, with Kasim having Topa on the ropes for a while but Topalov finding an active, sacrificial way to secure the half point. Game 2: Topalov ½-½ Kasimdzhanov, Adams ½-½ Radjabov. Game 1: ½-½ Topalov, Radjabov 0-1 Adams. The 1st Kasim-Topa draw was very dull (unusually for Topalov) but Adams expertly exploited an extra pawn sacrificed by Radjabov in the opening. The finish to this game was very nice.
    The time control used in the FIDE World Championship is the decidedly brisk one of 90 minutes for 40 moves, with 30 seconds added for each move, and another 15 mins added at move 40. Rapidplay games are played at 25m/10s, blitz games at 5m/10s, and the 7th game at 6m (White) v 5m (Black) and White is eliminated if the game ends in a draw. A Greek chess enthusiast, George Moraitis, has proposed an interesting "Unified Time Control Theory for 21st Century Chess" which can be read online at http://moraitis.freewebpage.org/Time-Control.htm

Fischer vs Spassky 1972: The Play [11/07/04]

BBC Radio 4 broadcast a play about the great Fischer-Spassky match of 1972 on Friday 9 July. It can be listened to online for the next few days at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/friday_play.shtml?focuswin

FIDE Rating List, July 2004 [02/07/04]

FIDE (World Chess Federation) issued its July rating list promptly on 30 June, though the original downloadable list lacked the names of players from 19 countries - including Russia - presumably because they owe money to FIDE. But a new download on 2 July shows that the Russians have been restored to the full list. All the big name Russians appeared on the separate lists of top players as normal. The top three are still Kasparov, Anand and Kramnik, but Morozevich has taken over at no. 4. Michael Adams has moved up to 6th and is now just ahead of Topalov, his main rival in Tripoli. Nigel Short has lost 26 rating points after his poor tournament in Sarajevo while 21-year-old Frenchman Etienne Bacrot has gained 37 points and moved to no.14 in the list. Top 100Top Women Top Under 20sTop Women Under 20sTop English Top ScottishTop IrishTop Welsh.

Petrosian Team vs Rest of the World, 10-15 Jun [15/06/04]

The 75th anniversary of the birth of world champion Tigran Petrosian (1929-1984) is being celebrated in Moscow with a match between 'the Petrosian Team' (loosely representing Armenia) and the World. The Petrosian team has non-Armenians Garry Kasparov (ethnic Armenian), Peter Leko (married to an Armenian) and Boris Gelfand (Petrosian's star pupil). Also in the Petrosian team: Vladimir Akopian, Rafael Vaganian and Smbat Lputian, . Representing the World are Vishy Anand, Peter Svidler, Mickey Adams, Etienne Bacrot, Paco Vallejo Pons and Loek Van Wely. The match is a 'Scheveningen' tournament where players meet each of the opposing team in turn. Latest: Rd 6 was won by the Petrosian Team by 3½-2½ but that was still not enough to stop the World team winning the match by 18½-17½. One decisive result in round 6: Vaganian 1-0 Adams. Gelfand tried to win with R+B v R to square the overall match but Bacrot kept him at bay. Official website: http://www.cigarclan.com/chess_eng.phpCrosstableGame ViewerDownload games.

Women's World Championship, Elista, 22 May - 7 Jun [06/06/04]

Congratulations to 25-year-old Bulgarian grandmaster Antoaneta Stefanova who yesterday won the FIDE women's world championship in Elista, Kalmykia, beating Ekaterina Kovalevskaya 2½-½ in the four-game final. Official website: http://wwcc2004.fide.com.  

Happy Birthday, BCF... [07/05/04]

You know how sometimes things seem to lurk in your in-tray for ages and you never get round to dealing with them? Well, I found this the other day: "To The Editor of the B.C.M., March 18th 1904. Dear Sir, May we invite your valuable assistance in giving publicity to the Amended Draft of Rules of Constitution of British Chess Federation. Yours faithfully, A. G. Gordon Ross, Chairman. (St. Mark's Vicarage, Swindon, Wilts.)" Things have moved on a bit since then, but we are happy to oblige. Today, 7 May, is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the British Chess Federation, at a meeting at the Holborn Restaurant on 7 May 1904. As one (even more venerable) centenarian to another, BCM wishes BCF a happy birthday. Click here to check out how they are celebrating.

Vishy Anand - 2003 Chess Oscar [01/05/04]

Russian chess magazine '64' has announced the results of the 2003 'Chess Oscars', voted for by 358 chess journalists from 65 countries, who were asked to put their ten nominees in descending order. The winner (for the third time) is Vishy Anand with 4150 points. Anand was the runaway winner: 232 voters put him in first place, with the next most first-places going to Kasparov with only 38. In second place on the overall vote was Peter Svidler (2575), 3 Vladimir Kramnik (2518), 4 Garry Kasparov (2262), 5 Peter Leko (1867), 6 Judit Polgar (1528), 7 Alexander Morozevich (1381), 8 Viorel Bologan (1359), 9 Nigel Short (539), 10 Evgeny Bareev (535). The yardstick for selection is performance and achievement in the given year rather than the voter's view of who is currently best in the world. Hence Kasparov, with only a handful of long-play chess games played, figures relatively low, while Peter Svidler, a popular and easy-going figure with an excellent Russian championship win to his credit, gets in amongst the 'big three' of Kasparov, Anand and Kasparov. Other places: 11 Shirov 485, 12 Topalov 392, 13 Grischuk 311, 14 Radjabov 278, 15 Malakhov 238, 16 Ivanchuk 189, 17 Adams 122, 18 Ponomariov 110, 19 Gelfand 98, 20 McShane 89.

FIDE World Championship, Tripoli 2004 [30/04/04]

FIDE have announced the list of players who have signed and returned their contracts to take part in the 2004 world championship in Tripoli (18 June - 13 July). 115 of the original 128 invitees have agreed to take part. In terms of quantity, this looks like a success for the World Chess Federation, but on closer inspection most of the biggest names will be missing from the line-up. It was hardly any surprise that Kramnik and Leko should refuse to play as they will be playing their own (unofficial but sensible) version of the world championship later in the year in Switzerland. But the credibility of the (official but silly) FIDE competition is badly dented by the absence of Vishy Anand. Other big names missing are Ruslan Ponomariov, Peter Svidler, Evgeny Bareev, Alexei Shirov, Boris Gelfand, Alexander Khalifman, Judit Polgar and Anatoly Karpov. That means that not one of the last four FIDE title-holders is in the field - so a brand-new champion will be crowned in Tripoli.
    Amongst those playing in Tripoli are Veselin Topalov, Alexander Morozevich, Michael Adams, Alexander Grischuk, Vasyl Ivanchuk, Nigel Short, Vladimir Akopian, Zurab Azmaiparashvili and Luke McShane. I suppose that, if we Brits momentarily allow patriotic sentiment to blind us to good sense, there is a chance of a British world chess champion being crowned. But it is hardly a representative field, with only nos. 5, 7 and 8 of the world's top ten playing. To be fair, these knock-out competitions provide huge entertainment for online spectators - it is just such a pity that we have to pretend they are world championships.
    Ruslan Ponomariov has written another open letter suggesting a title reunification match/tournament involving himself, Kasparov, Kramnik, Leko, Anand and the winner from Libya. Nice idea, but I don't suppose it will meet with favour from FIDE who seem determined to plough their own furrow, and ignore suggestions for repairing the rift in world chess.
   A few years ago there used to be multiple claimants to the world championship title, but there now seems to be a stampede in the opposite direction. Even FIDE's own title-holders recognize the scant prestige and limited value of the title they have won. After banking the cheque and updating their CV with the words "world championship winner", they don't seem in any hurry to repeat the exercise. This also extends to the women's title, with Zhu Chen announcing that she is not to defend her title. You can hardly blame her. She is pregnant and not overly keen to risk her (and her unborn child's) health by playing in strife-torn Georgia (another highly controversial choice of venues by FIDE).


4NCL Controversy [30/04/04]

The doyen of UK chess columnists, Leonard Barden, has spoken out in his Guardian column against the 4NCL rule which allows two teams from the same club to play in the same division. He writes: "... the match Wood Green B v Betsson, which the London club's second team won 6-2, diminishes the league's sporting credibility. Wood Green B, which had not previously fielded a 2430+ player all season, strengthened its squad for the occasion with three 2500+ GMs on the top boards. Such tactical ploys have occurred before in the 4NCL, and Wood Green could do it under the rules because its first team (apart from the mandatory women's board) consisted exclusively of 2500s. What makes for manifest unfairness is that neither Guildford nor Betsson have a second team in the top division, so the ploy is available to only one of the three title contenders. Imagine the outcry if [Chelsea] Reserves competed in the [English Football] Premiership and defeated Arsenal! That's what has happened in the 4NCL, and the rules need revision." Personally I have considerable sympathy for Leonard's argument. Should the rules be changed? Bear in mind that a blanket ban on second teams in the top division would adversely affect the Barbican club, who field two middling-ranking sides in the top division. Maybe they would have to split themselves into separate teams (called 'Barb' and 'Ican'?!). Do you agree with Leonard Barden? Any other thoughts? Email me - . Further feedback posted here on 30 April.

Chess Stories in the Press [06/04/04]

The Guardian of 6 April has two different chess stories on successive pages in its G2 section. The first was a humorous(?) piece about the ending of compulsory chess classes at the Dr. Emanuel Lasker High School in Ströbeck, Germany, where they have a chess tradition going back many moons - click here - and the second was a piece about 'chess boxing', wedged between stories about David Beckham and Bill Clinton (but nevertheless suitable for family reading) - click here for story no.2.

FIDE Ratings, April 2004 [01/04/04]

The FIDE (World Chess Federation) quarterly ratings were published on 1 April. Garry Kasparov is still in first place, but Vishy Anand has regained 2nd place from Vladimir Kramnik. Peter Leko has moved back up to 4th spot. As regards British players, Michael has gained 19 points and 3 places, while Nigel Short has gained 18 points and 2 places. Luke McShane has moved up one place to no. 42 in the world. However, the top of world chess seems fairly static. If you look back at the top players six years ago, on the July 1998 list, not too much has changed. At that time the positions were 1 Kasparov, 2 Anand, 3 Kramnik... 8 Adams... 15 Short - in fact, exactly the same positions that they occupy in April 2004. Of the players of 1998, Kamsky, Salov and (to a lesser extent) Sadler have become inactive, while Karpov has lost some ground, but most of the other big names of 1998 are still there or thereabouts in 2004. Grischuk and Ponomariov are the only 'new boys' in that time. Has world chess become ossified? List of Top Ratings, World/UK CountriesFIDE Web Site


Chess on the TV [22/04/04]

This Friday (23 April at 22:10 on Channel Four, UK TV) there is a TV programme called Derren Brown:Trick of the Mind featuring the well-known illusionist, magician and hypnotist, in which he plays chess simultaneously with nine of Britain's leading chess masters. A trailer for the programme shows GM Julian Hodgson and FM Graham Lee amongst them. The second link below has a photo in which can be identified some other well-known players such as GM John Emms and IM Paul Littlewood. Apparently Brown achieves his objective of beating/drawing with the majority of them, and then reveals how he did it. This is not the first time that an illusionist/hypnotist has challenged the chess world: in 1972 Romark challenged Fischer and Spassky to a simultaneous match. Most chess players will be aware of one way this sort of stunt can be made to work, whereby the person giving the so-called simul plays one game with white and one with black. He then simply waits for the player playing white to move, and plays the same move against Black. But how can this be done with an odd number of opponents? Secretly match the weakest of the nine against a secret super-grandmaster playing offstage, and use the GM's moves? Maybe it's more ingenious than that. We'll see tomorrow... Links: C4 ListingsBlueYonder TV Listing

Melody Amber, Monte Carlo, 20 Mar - 1 Apr [01/04/04]

The 13th Melody Amber tournament is in progress in Monte Carlo. 12 top players play one rapid and one blindfold rapid game against each other. Final: Kramnik and Morozevich finished first on 14½/22, ahead of Anand 13½, Ivanchuk 13, Bareev, Leko 12½, Svidler 11½, Shirov 10½, Topalov 10, Gelfand 8½, Van Wely 7½ and Vallejo Pons 3½. In the rapid Anand was first with 7½/11 ahead of Bareev 7, Kramnik 6½, while in the blindfold Morozevcih scored 8½/11 ahead of Kramnik 8, Ivanchuk 7. Official website: http://www.alldata.nl/amber

European Women's Championship, Dresden, 21 Mar - 3 Apr [03/04/04]

The continental women's championship is currently in progress. There are 12 rounds. Latest: Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) won a tie-break rapidplay match with Peng Zhaoqin (NED) to take the title after both scored 9½/12. 3rd was Stefanova (BUL) after a tie-break, and 4-6th Slavina (RUS), Zhukova (UKR), Dzagnidze (GEO) on 8½. Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (GEO) and Jovanka Houska (ENG) were amongst those who tied for 7-14th place with 8, an excellent result for both of them - they both qualify for the next women's world championship competition (Jovanka after a rapidplay tie-break with Olga Zimina of Russia). Heather Richards (ENG) also did extremely well to score 7½ for 22nd place on tie-break. Ingrid Lauterbach (ENG) scored 4½, and Siegrun MacGilchrist (SCO) 2. Official Website

Reykjavik Rapidplay, 17-21 Mar [21/03/04]

Today (21 March) all eyes were on Reykjavik where Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short contested the final of the knock-out rapidplay event that took place there over five days. It was a reprise of the controversial 1993 world championship match which had ended in a comfortable victory for Kasparov. Final: Kasparov beat Short by 1½-½ to win the competition. The first game was well contested and entertaining: Short gave up the exchange for a pawn and an attack, and perhaps might have done better before subsiding. The second encounter did not reflect well on either player. Short blundered into a lost position in the opening but Kasparov failed to win despite a three pawn advantage for much of the game. This was a good example of rapidplay chess being a vastly inferior product to the real thing. Official Website: http://www.chess.is/reykjavikrapid/english.htmlFollow the action at the Internet Chess Club . Paths to the final: Kasparov: ½-½, 1-0 v Magnus Carlsen (a close run thing against the youngster); ½-½, 1-0 vs Timman; ½-½, ½-½ (tie-break 1-0) vs PH Nielsen. Short: ½-½, 1-0 vs Kristjansson, ½-½, 1-0 vs Aronian, ½-½, 1-0 vs Dreev. Games ViewerDownload PGN

2004 U.S. Chess Championships, 25 Nov - 5 Dec [21/03/04]

Click on the above link for the official press release announcing the 2004 US Championships, which are to be held in La Jolla, California, later this year. The 64-player event will be hosted for the fourth time by America's Foundation for Chess (AF4C), this time with the NTC Foundation as co-sponsors, plus corporate sponsors Chessmaster®. The 12-day competition is likely to have a $250,000 prize fund.

Linares Super-Tournament, 19 Feb - 5 Mar [05/03/04]

The 21st 'City of Linares' tournament has just finished. Vladimir Kramnik will have been pleased to have won the tournament and reassert his place at the top of the game, but overall it was a disappointing tournament, particularly for the spectators, with only 9 decisive games out of 42. It was Garry Kasparov's first real tournament since last year's Linares and the rust is starting to show. He still plays well but he now gets into serious time trouble and has problems delivering the coup de grace when his opponents are at his mercy. Perhaps his mind is more on his memoirs and politicking; and there is a suspicion that he plays merely to maintain his rating. Peter Leko has established himself as one of the big players now, and was more than a little unlucky to have lost a game to Kramnik. With a bit of luck he might have won that game and we would now be saluting his second Linares title in a row. Of the other players, Radjabov's 6/12 was a remarkable achievement for one so young (he's a few days away from his 17th birthday). Final: All the last round games were drawn. Kramnik took a quick draw to be sure of at least a share of first place. Leko had the toughest pairing and never looked like getting an advantage. That left Kasparov to try and beat Vallejo Pons. He made an effort but the young Spaniard kept him at bay. Scores: Kramnik 7/12, Kasparov, Leko 6½, Radjabov, Topalov 6, Shirov, Vallejo Pons 5. Final CrosstableResultsDownload PGNGame Viewer • Official Site: http://www.marca.com/linares/

Cappelle-la-Grande, 28 Feb - 6 Mar [01/03/04]

The annual Cappelle tournament has 572 competitors, led by eight 2600+ players. There do not appear to be any English GMs in the field - or at least I didn't think so until Mick Norris pointed out that Mark Hebden is in the field - thanks for pointing that out to me, Mick. Scots titled players Colin McNab and John Shaw are competing, as are a number of English amateurs and younger players. McNab has started with 3/3. Ten games are being broadcast live every day. Official Site: http://www.cappelle-chess.com/

7th Malaga Open, 21-28 Feb [29/02/04]

As an antidote to the coma-inducing chess in progress elsewhere in Andalucia, readers might like to check out the 7th Malaga International - click here for website - to remind themselves what decisive games look like. Pia Cramling, having won the 2003 European Women's Championship at the notorious FIDE time control (90 mins + 30 second add-ons), fell victim to its vicissitudes when she lost two games on time on the same day to players rated in the low 2200s. One of them, Wessex stalwart Mike Yeo, seemed slightly ashamed to have won his game against Cramling (because his board position was lost) - but they all count. Final: The winner was 21-year-old IM Ibrahim Khamrakulov (UZB) on 7/9, ahead of Cifuentes Prada (ESP), Korneev (RUS), Rodriguez Guerrero (ESP) and Del Rio Angelis (ESP) on 6½.

European Senior Team Championship, Dresden, 20-28 Feb [29/02/04]

The European Senior (Over 60) Team Championship is currently in progress in Dresden. Some teams represent nations and others clubs and regions in this four-board, seven-round competition. German teams dominate, though there is a very strong squad from the Russian Chess Academy (led by Vasyukov), and Viktor Korchnoi is playing on board one for Switzerland. There are three Great Britain teams in the field. Official site/results (in German) - click here. Final positions: 1 Germany (Uhlmann, Hecht, Klundt, Malich) 12MP(19GP); 2 Switzerland (Korchnoi, Karl, Vucenovic, Bhend, Hohler) 12(18); 3 Russian Chess Academy (Vasyukov, Shabanov, Chernikov, Kremenietsky, Bebchuk) 11(19). GB-A finished in 10th place on 8(16) (John Wheeler scored a very creditable 6/7), GB-B were 26th on 6(12½), while GB-C were 34th on 3(11½).

Bobby Fischer Goes to War... [25/02/04]

This new book, about the 1972 Fischer-Spassky match and its aftermath, by BBC journalists David Edmonds and John Eidinow, has been out for a while now and has won some good reviews from the British national press as well as from BCM. Click here to find out about the book and/or buy a copy. Now there is a chance to spend an evening with the authors, who will be giving a talk about it at Daunt Books, 83 Marylebone High Street, London W1, on Tuesday 16 March at 7.00pm. Tickets cost £3 and include the price of a glass of wine. Tickets are available from BCM - click here if you are interested.

FIDE World Championships? [12/02/04]

Daily chess newspaper Chess Today carries the story that FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has met with Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafy near Tripoli to discuss the possibility of the FIDE world knock-out championship being held in Libya in May-June. The story emanates from the Russian news agency Interfax. But the FIDE website has nothing on the story.

Gibtelecom Masters, 27 Jan - 5 Feb [05/02/04]

The Gibtelecom Masters was a 10-round swiss tournament, run under the auspices of the BCF by Stewart Reuben and played at La Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. 37 GMs were in the field, headed by Short, Dreev, Epishin, Speelman, etc. Latest: Round 10 - Short beat Inarkiev to take sole first place. Other top board games ended in draws. 1 Short 8/10, 2 Ganguly 7½, 3-5 Dreev, Harikrishna, Wells 7, etc. Norms: GM for Bakre (IND), IM for Howell (ENG), Seel (GER) and Wippermann (GER), WGM for Ghate Swathi. Download games (Rds 1-9)Tournament table (final) • Official website: http://www.gibraltarchesscongress.com/

What They Say About Us... [01/02/04]

It's often amusing, and occasionally infuriating, to read what non-players have to say about chess. Did anyone else see a recent BBC programme about estate agents called Property People? One young estate agent described the house-buying process thus: "It's like a game of chess. [Pause] I don't play chess, but I think it's got a lot of similarities." A refreshing variation on the football commentator's cliche - whoever said estate agents were dishonest? By contrast, last Sunday's (25 Jan) Mail on Sunday had this review(?) of the Kasparov movie now showing in London: "As two of my least favourite words are 'chess' and 'computer', I hardly relished the prospect of Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine - a documentary about Garry Kasparov's defeat by an IBM machine called Deep Blue. Despite Kasparov's affable if brattish presence and plenty of brisk editing, Vikram Jayanti's film failed to cure me of my pet hates. It really is about as exciting as, well, chess." The reviewer, Jason Solomons, gave the film a miserly two stars, but we are inclined to award his review a zero-star rating for mindless prejudice. If you'd like to give the Mail on Sunday some feedback on this, email them on letters@mailonsunday.co.uk

Kramnik v Leko: Game On? [29/01/04]

The world has been waiting for this match since the summer of 2002, when Peter Leko won a qualifying competition to challenge Vladimir Kramnik's world championship title. But now we have news that a Swiss tobacco company is putting up the money for a 14-game match, to be played from 25 September to 18 October at a location yet to be decided.

Corus Wijk aan Zee, 10-25 Jan [25/01/04]

The Corus Wijk aan Zee ended, not with a bang but a whimper, as Vishy Anand drew a quick game in the last round and his two pursuers were unable to score the wins they needed to finish level with him. England's Michael Adams came closest, with the faintest of edges for a while, playing Black against Peter Svidler. Peter Leko had to fight to get a draw against Vladimir Kramnik. For Anand this was his fourth Wijk success. Final positions: Anand 8½/12, Adams, Leko 8, Bologan, Topalov 7½, Bareev, Kramnik, Van Wely 6½, etc. PGN FileGames Viewer Live Games • Tournament CrosstableOfficial website: http://www.coruschess.com/

Commonwealth Championship, Mumbai, 9-19 Jan [19/01/04]

English grandmaster Nigel Short is the new Commonwealth Champion, having scored 7½/9 in the tournament held in Mumbai, India. Pavel Smirnov (RUS) finished on the same score, and had the better tie-break score; he was adjudged to have won the international tournament but was not eligible for the Commonwealth title. Humpy Koneru won the Commonwealth Women's Championship on tie-break from Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi after both scored 6/9. Other scores were Dzhumaev, Niaz Murshed 7, P.Thipsay, Sasikiran 6½, while Stuart Conquest was among those on 5½. Official website: http://www.venuschessacademy.org/

Australian Championship, 29 Dec - 10 Jan [13/01/04]

Q. What's the best way for an English chess player to win a national championship?
A. Emigrate. Well, that would seem to be the right answer at the moment, with IM Gary Lane winning the Australian Championship half a point ahead of GM Ian Rogers. Gary, as English as Torquay United, is now registered as an Australian player. He follows in the footsteps of ex-pat GM Joe Gallagher who switched allegiance to Switzerland some years ago, and then returned in 2001 to win the British Championship. Official website: http://www.unichess.org

Freddie Flintoff - Chess Player? [28/11/04]

One thing in particular that caught the BCM editor's eye in the recent Guardian 'rook'n'roll' article on chess was the fact that top English test cricketer Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff was a chess player. Apparently this is true - he played a bit of junior chess in Lancashire when 'nobbut a lad'. Given his iconic status in English cricket, he would seem to be a trump card in chess's never-ending (and slightly desperate) attempts to demonstrate how 'cool' we are to children and the media. After a bit of 'googling', I found this reference to him in Manchester Online as a 'chess champion' (media-speak for anyone who has ever pushed a pawn). Also this one, where Flintoff's chess abilities are cited as one of the reasons why he would make a good England captain: "A top chess player at school, he enjoys tactics and has a sharp cricketing brain." Today's Observer Sports Monthly has a big article on Freddie Flintoff - coincidentally by the same journalist who wrote the 'rook'n'roll' story, Stephen Moss - in which it mentions that Freddie's 'more academic' brother Chris has 'played chess for England' - anyone know anything about that? If you do,

Chess: The New Rook'n'Roll? [28/11/04]

Click on the above link to read an interesting article by Stephen Moss on chess and its UK image which appears in today's Guardian. This was inspired by a recent report from major UK supermarket Tescos that there had been an unexpected surge in the sale of chess sets and that they expected to sell 35,000 of them in the run-up to Xmas. Tescos attributed it to the influence of Madonna and Lennox Lewis. This could of course be a clever sales pitch rather than a hard news story. Any views? Read the Tescos story hereLatest: Brian Gosling and Charlie Linford add comments in response to points made by well-known chess teacher and author Richard James. Click here.

Alexey's Angels [26/11/04]

One of the more remarkable British chess publicity stunts was pulled off at the weekend's 4NCL (British Team League) in West Bromwich. Wood Green team manager Brian Smith rested his usual grandmaster-filled squad and instead fielded seven of the world's top female players for league leaders Wood Green 1 in their matches against North West Eagles and Betsson. The magnificent seven were Pia Cramling (SWE), Viktorija Cmilyte (LTU), Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (RUS), Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (GEO), Elena Sedina (ITA), Harriet Hunt (ENG) and Yelena Dembo (GRE). As well as breaking the record for the most women in a 4NCL team, there were eight different nationalities represented. It scarcely needs saying that this was the strongest female chess line-up ever seen on British soil and, if divided in half, would produce two teams capable of challenging for Olympiad medals. Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention... 4NCL rules demand that at least one male player play in a top division 4NCL match. So one of the women players' husbands helped out and played a couple of games. You may have heard his name before: Alexey Shirov (ESP), husband of Viktorija Cmilyte and rated 2726.
   Of course, this stunt could have gone badly awry had the team lost. But they didn't. They beat NW Eagles 5-3 and Betsson 5½-2½ to maintain Wood Green's championship challenge. Wood Green 1 still leads Guildford-ADC 1 by a slender half game point after Round four. Alexey Shirov played Craig Hanley (who came close to surprising him) and Simon Williams and won both games. Ben Hague of NW Eagles beat Elena Sedina while John Littlewood drew with women's world championship finalist Ekaterina Kovalevskaya. In the Sunday match Adam Hunt beat Pia Cramling. Otherwise the team dubbed Alexey's Angels came through with flying colours. Latest (26 Nov): all 4NCL games for the two November weekends can be downloaded or viewed here • Match results are posted at www.4ncl.co.uk

British Rapidplay Championship, 13-14 Nov [13/11/04]

The Britih Rapidplay Championship is running over the weekend of 13-14 November in Halifax. There is a website showing the top six games from the tournament live - www.bcfservices.org.uk/rapid2004/

Where are They Now? [07/11/04]

The last time I checked, there were something like 33 English chess grandmasters and 45 IMs. Given that opportunities to play professional chess in the UK are now about as plentiful as jobs for snow plough mechanics in the Sahara Desert, fewer and fewer titled players make their money from playing chess, or even around the fringes of the game. So what do they do? One escape route that is becoming increasingly popular is professional poker. The grandmaster skill set fits well with this activity: the ability to calculate, remember, visualise, stay cool and retain focus over long periods of time... all these qualities are common to both games. Poker is enjoying a major vogue as more and more people play on the internet from the comfort of their own home, and some talented chess players are trading their chess sets for card packs. One such is Yorkshire IM Angus Dunnington. Angus hasn't entirely turned his back on chess, but he is beginning to make a name for himself at the virtual poker table. He is already an author of a book on internet gambling and is now writing a poker diary at the 32Red Poker Room. Worth a read...

Thomas Rendle: 1st in Rosny-sous-Bois [01/11/04]

British players don't win too many international tournaments these days, so it is nice to be able to report something positive for a change. Thomas Rendle (rated 2303), who plays for the Hastings & St Leonards club and who turned 18 during the Monarch Assurance, has won the 3rd Rosny-sous-Bois tournament, held last week. It was a category 5 all-play-all (with two GMs in the field) and Thomas scored 7/9 for his first IM norm and a 2571 TPR. Hint to the England selectors: of the English players who played in the Olympiad, only Adams made a TPR higher than this. Official website: http://www.ecole-rosny-echecs.org/

Guernsey International, 3-9 Oct [13/10/04]

The annual Guernsey tournament has just finished. There are results of both sections at http://www.logiclines.nl/chess - thanks to Marc Jongerius. Final: IM Robert Bellin (ENG) won the Open with 6½/7 ahead of GM Tiger Hillarp Persson (SWE) on 6. P Carlucci won the Holiday tournament with 6/7. My thanks to Arthur Brameld for sending all the games. Download zipped PGN fileGames ViewerTournament Crosstable.

Hastings 2004/5 - A New Format and Time Control [07/10/04]

The Hastings Congress has always been one of the most traditional in the chess calendar. However, because it is as ever strapped for cash, the 80th in the series is going to feature one of the most boldly avant garde formats yet tried anywhere. It is to be a knock-out (with losers going into a swiss event), and Black will be allocated more thinking time than White. Not surprisingly, this radical change has caused controversy. Any views? Email if you have any views.
Click here for readers' comments and questions. Updated 7 October... Stewart Reuben responds to BCM website readers' comments. He reveals that the time limit has been significantly amended in the last week or so (though Black still has more time). There are also two further comments from readers, including one from Gausdal organiser Hans Olav Lahlum...
Official tournament website at http://www.hastingschess.org.uk  

13th Monarch Assurance Isle of Man International 2004 [04/10/04]

The 2004 Monarch Assurance Isle of Man Masters is being held from 25 September to 3 October. This year's tournament is dedicated to the memory of Richard Furness who was the tournament's chief controller for 11 years. The total prize fund is an impressive £16,500. Top seeds: Milov, Smirin, Iordachescu, Volkov, also in the field: Korchnoi, Speelman, Rowson, etc. It is one of the strongest tournaments ever held in the British Isles (possibly the strongest). Latest: Final scores - 1-2 Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Iran, winner on tie-break), Petr Kiriakov (Russia) 7/9; 3-6 Murray Chandler (England), Vasilios Kotronias (Greece), Jonathan Rowson (Scotland), Zhang Zhong (China) 6½, etc.


Gawain Jones, IM and British Under 21 Champion [15/09/04]

So the Scots scooped all the prizes at the Smith and Williamson British Championship, then? Wrong. In fact the English teenager Gawain Jones won the British Under 21 Championship with an excellent score of 6½/11 - and at the tender age of 16, too. In the process he chalked up his third and final IM norm, becoming one of the youngest Britons to qualify for the IM title. Back in July Gawain finished 1st= in the Irish Open Championship, although he was not eligible to take the title. He is a remarkable young talent. Read more on Gawain's own website.

2nd Staunton Memorial, Simpsons, 23-29 Aug [29/08/04]

As last year, a four-player double-cycle tournament was held at the famous 19th century chess venue, Simpsons in the Strand in London, to commemorate Britain's greatest player of that era, Howard Staunton. The four participants were Jonathan Speelman (2555g), Daniel King (2512g), Jonathan Levitt (2432g) and Jovanka Houska (2375wg). Final: 1-2nd Daniel King, Jon Speelman 4/6, 3rd Jon Levitt 3½, 4th Jovanka Houska ½. CrosstableGame ViewerDownload Games Official website1st Staunton Memorial (2003)

Welsh Championship, 9-12 Apr [25/08/04]

This year's Welsh Championship, held at the Cardiff Moat House Hotel over Easter, was won by 42-year-old Suan-Shiau Evans-Quek, originally from Singapore but now qualified for Wales and married to Welsh women's international Debbie Evans-Quek. Scores: 1st Suan Evans-Quek 6/7, 2nd Howard Williams 5½, 3-6th Leighton Williams (Nidum), Iolo Jones (Cardigan), Ioan Rees (Caerphilly) & Tim Kett (Cardiff) 5, etc, in a field of 30 players. CrosstableGame Viewer (all games now available) • Download PGN. Thanks to Jon Gilbert for the games.

Triple Scotch at the Smith & Williamson British Championship, 1-14 Aug [20/08/04]

Triple scotches all round in Scarborough - firstly, congratulations to Jonathan Rowson, who has become the first Scottish player to win the British Championship since 1946. He looked to be winning most of the way against Andrew Greet, but eventually agreed a draw when it was enough for victory, Wells having drawn with Motwani and Williams unlikely to do better than draw with Hebden. Rowson's post-victory quote: "it's nice to dispel the myth that Scots are not quite champions". Secondly, Joe Redpath, 18, of the Hamilton club has won the FIDE World Major with 9/11. Joe will be 19 next Monday. The new British champion has already predicted that Redpath will be Scotland's next GM. Thirdly, Edinburgh resident and Scotland's player of the year Kete Arakhamia retained her British Women's title. Final Scores: 1 J Rowson 8½/11, 2-3 P Wells, S Williams 8, 4-7 J Emms, A Greet, R Gwaze, P Motwani 7½, 8-9 M Hebden, S Knott 7, etc. Games downloads/viewers: names and header information standardised, and ratings added. Corrections made to Rowson-Arakhamia (Rd 3, date), Briscoe-P.Hutchinson (Rd 2, colours). Latest: All games now available (20/08/04)
Final Crosstable

Results: Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3Rd 4Rd 5Rd 6Rd 7Rd 8Rd 9Rd 10Rd 11
Game Viewer: Rd 1Rd 2 Rd 3Rd 4Rd 5Rd 6Rd 7 Rd 8Rd 9Rd 10Rd 11
Download Games: Rd 1 Rd 2Rd 3Rd 4Rd 5Rd 6Rd 7 Rd 8Rd 9Rd 10Rd 11
Download all Championship games in a zipped PGN file
Official Website: http://www.bcf.org.uk/events/bcf2004/index.html

Civil Service Championship, Leeds, 28-30 Jul [01/08/04]

Kevin Thurlow reports: Peter Jowett won the Civil Service Championship, a five-round swiss held at Devonshire Hall, Leeds University earlier in the week. 1 P Jowett 4/5, 2 AW Brusey 3½, 3-6 DI Calvert, JG Cooper (ENG, not WLS), A Maxwell, A Pickersgill 3, etc. Game ViewerDownload games.

Glorney & Faber Cups, Aberdeen, 26-29 July [31/07/04]

The two annual boys and girls international competitions were played at Elphinstone Hall in Aberdeen, with teams from home nations plus Belgium and the Czech Republic. Final Results: England won both cups for the first time since 1997. Glorney: 1 England 17½/25, 2 Czech Republic 15, 3 Belgium 13, 4 Scotland 11, 5 Ireland 10, 6 Wales 8½. Faber: England 12½/15, 2 Wales 9½, 3 Czech Republic 7½, 4 Belgium 7½, 5 Scotland 6, 6 Ireland 2. Official website: http://www.glorneyfaber.co.uk/Results & Games

Irish Open Championship, 10-18 Jul [29/07/04]

This year's Irish Championship was held as an open tournament, with entrants from England, Scotland, France and the Czech Republic competing in the nine-round event, held in Limerick, although only Irish-registered players were eligible for the national title. Top seed was 16-year-old Gawain Jones, who is now resident in Ireland. Results: 1-2 Gawain Jones, Joe Ryan 6½/9, with each of them winning €1,250 and Joe Ryan becoming Irish champion. Website: http://members.fortunecity.com/irishchess/irish2004/irish_championship_2004.htm

SpecSavers Young Masters, Millfield School, 19-25 Jul [28/07/04]

The annual Young Masters tournament, this year sponsored by SpecSavers Opticians, has been won by FM Craig Hanley of England. 1 FM Craig Hanley (2356, ENG) 7½/10, 2-3 IM Gergely Antal (2478, HUN) & FM Stanislav Jasny (CZE, 2311) 7, 4-7 CM Gawain Jones (2453, ENG), WGM Jana Jackova (2403, CZE), IM Gabor Pinter (2356, HUN) & Rafe Martyn (2322, ENG) 6½. Best Untitled: Jones, Jackova & Martyn 6½; Best 2151-2300: Thomas Rendle (2258, ENG) & Michael White (2154, ENG) 6; Best 2000-2150: Peter Roberson (2111, ENG) & William Bennet (2084, ENG) 5½; Best Unrated: Balvinder Grewal (ENG) 6. Latest (28 July): all the games now available (full names, round numbers corrected): Game ViewerDownload gamesLink to Official Site

111th Scottish Championship, Hamilton, 10-18 Jul [26/07/04]

Scottish no.1 Jonathan Rowson recovered from being a point behind to win the Scottish Championship, held at New Douglas Park, the home of Hamilton Academicals football club. He scored 7½/9. Danish IM Jacob Aagaard, resident in Scotland but ineligible for the national title, finished second with 7, a point clear of the field which included GMs Motwani and McNab. Aagaard thus secured his second GM norm. Final CrosstableGame ViewerDownload gamesLink to Official Site

BCF National Club Championship Finals, 4 July [08/07/04]

John Philpott reports: Wood Green won this year's BCF National Club Championship, beating Bedford 4½-1½ in the final. For full report and results, games viewer and downloadable PGN, click on the above link.

1st Coventry International, 16-18 Apr [27/04/04]

Jonathan Wilson reports: The 1st Coventry International attracted 100 entries from 11 countries, including 3 GMs and 6 IMs. 70-year-old US IM James Sherwin led with 4/4 but was overhauled in the last round. Final scores: 1-3rd IM Roland Berzinsh (LAT), IM Colin Crouch (ENG), GM Mark Hebden (ENG) 4½/5. Click on the above link for full results. All games now downloadable.

Monarch Assurance Isle of Man 2004 - Entry Details [02/02/04]

Click on the above link for full details of how to enter the 2004 Monarch Assurance Isle of Man event, which will be held from 25 September to 3 October. The total prize fund is an impressive £16,500. There are a number of changes this year, and the tournament is immediately followed by the inaugural World Senior Team Championship at the same venue (5-12 October). Further into the future, the Smith & Williamson British Championship will be travelling to Douglas, Isle of Man, in 2005.

West of England Congress, 9-12 Apr [22/04/04]

GM Matthew Turner retained his West of England Championship, though without a 7/7 score this year. The tournament was played at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth. Final Scores: 1 Matthew Turner 6/7, 2-3 Jack Rudd, James Sherwin 5, 4 Ian Ponter 4½. 21 players took part. Complete crosstables of Open, Major and MinorGame Viewer of all Open Games • Download all Open games. Thanks to Bill Frost for sending the games.

Obituary: Richard A Furness (1937-2004) [20/04/04]

His many chess friends will be saddened to learn that Richard Furness, one of Britain's leading chess organizers, arbiters and administrators, died on 15 April 2004 after a long illness. Richard Furness will be sorely missed on the British chess scene, for which he did so much over so many years. I know I am just one of his many chess friends who have been privileged to know him and will miss him personally. On behalf of British Chess Magazine and its readers, I send our deepest condolences to his wife Judy and his children Robert and Clare. Click on the link above for a full obituary. JS

Welsh Championship, 9-12 Apr [13/04/04]

This year's Welsh Championship, held at the Cardiff Moat House Hotel over Easter, was an unusually strong competition, with many previous champions turning up to try to regain the title. Perhaps the most notable of these was 17 times champion Howard Williams who occupies an almost legendary place in Welsh chess but who has been semi-retired from major tournament chess for a long time. It was a great come-back for 'AH Wales' (as he was known in his university days) - he scored 5½/7 - but he had to cede first place to 42-year-old Suan-Shiau Evans-Quek, originally from Singapore but now qualified for Wales and married to Welsh women's international Debbie Evans-Quek. The key to Suan's success was his defeat of reigning champion Richard Jones in round four which took him to 4/4. Scores: 1st Suan Evans-Quek 6/7, 2nd Howard Williams 5½, 3-6th Leighton Williams (Nidum), Iolo Jones (Cardigan), Ioan Rees (Caerphilly) & Tim Kett (Cardiff) 5, etc, in a field of 30 players. Game Viewer (four games - more to follow) • Download PGN • Full results, plus some photos, are available at Jon Gilbert's website.

British Blitz Championship, 4 Apr [07/04/04]

Irish-registered IM Gavin Wall is the new British Blitz Champion, having scored 16/20 in the ten double-round swiss event held at Brunel University, Uxbridge, on 4 April. He took the first prize of £400. 2nd IM Robert Gwaze (ZIM) 14½, 3-4th Thomas Rendle (U18 title), GM Keith Arkell (both ENG) 14, 5th IM Richard Bates (ENG) 13½. Meri Grigoryan won the British Women's Blitz title with 12/20. 68 players took part. Official website: http://www.britishblitz.co.uk/


Jersey Festival of Chess, 22-28 Feb [01/04/04]

Three GMs entered the annual Jersey International this year, and, predictably, finished in the top three places. Perhaps even more predictable was the winner - Tiger Hillarp Persson of Sweden. This is the third time he has won the tournament (his other wins were in 1999 and 2000). Alon Greenfeld (ISR) was second and Chris Ward (ENG) third. Results and Prizewinners: OpenMajorMinor. The best game prize went to Nick McBride for his win against Nigel Dennis in the Major. Download All Games of Jersey Open, Major, Minor.


Oxford University vs Wales, 15 Feb [29/03/04]

Played some time ago, as a warm-up match for the Varsity match, this match was won 6-2 by Oxford University. It was hosted by Keble College, Oxford. It is the second match to take place between the two teams, and Oxford also won the first match in 2002. My thanks to Daniel Gunlycke for sending the games. Individual ResultsGame ViewerDownload PGNReport on OUCC websiteReport on WCU website.

Varsity Match, Oxford v Cambridge, 13 Mar [13/03/04]

The 122nd Varsity match between Oxford and Cambridge Universities - the world's longest standing regular chess fixture - took place at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London, on 13 March and was sponsored by Henry Mutkin and Barry Martin. With world-class grandmaster Luke McShane on top board and two IMs, Oxford were always firm favourites to win this year, and so it proved. Oxford won by a comfortable 6-2, their 50th win and first success since 1998. The overall match score since its inception in 1873 now stands at +54, = 18, - 50 in Cambridge's favour. Individual ResultsGame ViewerDownload PGN.

Portsmouth Congress, 20-22 Feb [29/02/04]

GM Mark Hebden was the runaway winner of the 2004 Portsmouth Premier, ahead of a strong but rather small field including GM Peter Wells, IMs Harriet Hunt, Adam Hunt, Colin Crouch, Simon Williams, Lawrence Cooper, etc. ReportCrosstableDownload PGNGames Viewer. Thanks to Pat McEvoy and Arthur Brameld.

Bunratty Masters, 20-22 Feb [24/02/04]

The annual Bunratty Masters tournament took place last weekend. Tournament favourites were the three GMs, Nunn, Baburin and Greenfeld (ISR), besides whom there were 7 IMs in contention. But none of the above won the tournament. Instead, undisputed first place and the 1,000 euros prize went to the 19-year-old English FM Lorin D'Costa, who must be congratulated on a famous victory. He scored 5/6, with draws against Gawain Jones and Mark Quinn and wins against (among others) Greenfeld and Brian Kelly. An even bigger surprise was John Nunn's loss to 2271-rated John Joyce of Wicklow in round one. The English GM recovered to finish second equal with Alex Baburin (RUS), Mark Quinn (IRL) and Steve Mannion (SCO) on 4½. Official site results - click here.

IM Andrew Martin - Simultaneous World Record, 21-22 Feb [24/02/04]

Congratulations to English IM Andrew Martin who has broken the record for number of opponents played in a concurrent simultaneous display. He took on 321 opponents on 21-22 February at Wellington College, scoring +294, =26, -1. The display lasted 16 hours 51 minutes, having started at 9.27am and running through into the wee small hours of Sunday morning. Congratulations also to his longer-lasting opponents for whom the display was equally long!

Gibtelecom Masters, 27 Jan - 5 Feb [06/02/04]

The Gibtelecom Masters was a 10-round swiss tournament, run under the auspices of the BCF by Stewart Reuben and played at La Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. 37 GMs were in the field, headed by Short, Dreev, Epishin, Speelman, etc. Final: Short beat Inarkiev to take sole first place. Other top board games ended in draws. 1 Short 8/10, 2 Ganguly 7½, 3-5 Dreev, Harikrishna, Wells 7, etc. Norms: GM for Bakre (IND), IM for Howell (ENG), Seel (GER) and Wippermann (GER), WGM for Ghate Swathi. Download games (complete)Tournament table (final) • Official website: http://www.gibraltarchesscongress.com/


Hastings Challengers, 28 Dec - 5 Jan [26/01/04]

It's one of the top tournaments played in Britain every year, but the Hastings Challengers tends to get overshadowed by its big brother, the Premier. To date, only about half a dozen of the games played in the 2003/4 Challengers competition have seen the light of day. This is no criticism of the organisers, who do a superb job keeping this famous congress running and currently have the more pressing task of ensuring its survival for another year. Anyway, Bernard Cafferty managed to commandeer the scoresheets and the BCM editor motored down to Hastings yesterday to help him key in a selection of the best games of this event. We managed to amass 102 of them for your delectation, including all the games of the top four players. A reminder that the tournament was won by Zahar Efimenko (UKR) 7½, followed by B.Lalic (ENG), McNab (SCO), B.Socko (POL) 7, Crouch (ENG), Williams (ENG), Gwaze (ZIM), Dworakowska (POL) 6½, in a field of 111 players. Latest - file amended 26/01/04, with 2 corrections and 9 additional games. Games corrected: Rudd-Dworakowska (rd 1) - result corrected to 0-1; Kuzmin-Lyell (rd 9) - additional moves now appended; and 9 games played by Roger de Coverly appended (thanks, Roger!). Download PGN FileGames Viewer Tournament Crosstable. Incidentally, if anyone would like to send in their own games to be added to this database, please feel free to send them (in PGN or ChessBase format) to me -

2004 Welsh International Congress, 7-15 Jan [16/01/04]

The 2004 Welsh International Congress was held at the Hilton Hotel, Newport, Gwent. It was won by English GM Mark Hebden with 7½/9, 2nd GM Normunds Miezis (LAT) on 7, 3-4th GM V.Georgiev (MKD), IM Gormally 6½, and then a big gap to a group of 7 players on 5. Unfortunately Daniel Gormally failed to achieve a GM norm, and Charles Cobb just missed out on an IM norm. Wales' two young players Richard Jones and Ioan Rees both scored 2300 performances. Download complete PGN FileGames Viewer Tournament Table • Official website: www.mark-adams-home.com/welsh/index.html

Fulprint 17th York Congress, 9-11 Jan [15/01/04]

Jon Griffiths reports: 235 players competed at this established and popular New Year congress. Joint winners of the Open were Bret Addison (Hartlepool) and Alan Walton (Oldham), who both scored 4½/5 after drawing with each other in round three. For the first four rounds the leader was IM Andrew Ledger from Sheffield, who was beaten by Addison in the final round. The British Championship qualifying place was awarded to Alan Walton on tie-break. Download PGN FileGames ViewerFull Results

† Frank Parr (1918-2003) [13/01/04]

Frank Parr, veteran English chess player and former winner of the Hastings Premier, died on 28 December at the age of 85. Click above for the full obituary. Later Note: the funeral is to be held on Friday 23 January at 3.30pm at Randalls Crematorium in Leatherhead, Surrey.

79th Hastings International Congress, 28 Dec - 5 Jan [06/01/04]

Stewart Reuben reports: The 79th Hastings International Congress takes place at the Horntye Sports Centre, Hastings, from 28 December to 5 January. The line-up for the Hastings Premier, the world's longest-running international event is as follows: Alexander Cherniaev (RUS), Vladimir Epishin (RUS); Stuart Conquest, Danny Gormally, Mark Hebden (ENG); Vasilios Kotronias (CYP); Abhijit Kunte (IND); Kateryna Lahno (UKR) (who celebrated her 14th birthday at the drawing of lots ceremony on 27 December 2003); Peter Heine Nielsen (DEN) and Jonathan Rowson (SCO). Final: Scottish GM Jonathan Rowson beat top seed Vladimir Epishin in the last round to tie for first place. He becomes the first Scottish player to win the Hastings Premier, in conjunction with Vasilios Kotronias of Cyprus who drew a short game with Kunte to finish 1st=. Scores: Rowson, Kotronias 6/9, Epishin 5½, Kunte 5. Download PGN File Play through games in Java