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British Chess Magazine - News Archive for 2005

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Year: 200320042005200620072008


Review of the Year [31/12/05]

Freddie Flintoff plays chess!I've been terribly quiet here just recently, enjoying my winter recession (actually, it has been more of a slump). But I've finally tired of munching mince pies and drinking wine and thought I would treat you to my irreverent review of chess in 2005, by way of saying Happy New Year to all BCM magazine and website readers. Click here to look back at the year in chess - and find out what Freddie Flintoff is doing playing chess. Finally, don't forget to renew your subs - the price goes up (slightly) at midnight. John Saunders, editor, British Chess Magazine.


4NCL, Rounds 3 and 4, 19-20 Nov 2005 [27/11/05]

Speelman, Gormally, Baburin and Arakhamia line up for Wood Green 1Wood Green are back at the top of the table, closely pursued by Guildford-ADC as usual. All the weekend's British Team League action can now be found at BCM's 4NCL news page, in zipped PGN format and games viewer windows.

Click here for 4NCL PGN downloads

(picture shows Jon Speelman, Danny Gormally, Alex Baburin and Ketevan Arakhamia)


Guernsey International Festival [27/11/05]

This year's Guernsey International Festival was beset by sadness at the deaths of its usual arbiter, Steve Boniface, a few days before the tournament started, and the congress founder, John Bisson, just after it closed. But the show went on as usual, as they both would have wanted. Oleg Korneev won the tournament ahead of Tiger Hillarp Persson and Robert Bellin. Kevin Thurlow and Fred Hamperl report on the tournament, with photos and games, and there are tributes to Steve Boniface and John Bisson. Click on the above link. Full game downloads now available.


Are you up for some Chess-Boxing? [09/11/05]

Chess-loving Guardian journalist Stephen Moss must be a prime candidate for the unofficial title of 'world's most courageous chess player'. Not content with interviewing Garry 'Ogre of Baku' Kasparov, getting Nigel Short to assess and stress-test his chess-playing abilities, and then asking Bobby Fischer to autograph his non-authorised version of Sixty Memorable Games (that took real chutzpah), he has now tried his hand at chess-boxing. This is not for the faint-hearted: read Stephen's account of his chess-boxing encounter in the ring with a super-fit German policeman at the Guardian website. Better still, go out and buy the paper: it has several photos of this rather scary sport.
   Whilst on the subject of boxing: the Guardian today also has the story of the chess-playing world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko's retirement from the sport. His retirement statement is curious: "I seek new social and political challenges in my home country, Ukraine." Perhaps he borrowed the idea from Garry Kasparov, who retired from chess earlier this year in order to go into politics.


Gibtelecom Masters Presentation, 24 Oct [24/10/05]

Gibtelecom Blitz gameA presentation was held at the RAC Club Club, Pall Mall, London today to publicise the forthcoming 4th Gibtelecom Masters tournament (to be held at the Caleta Hotel, Gibraltar, from 24 Jan to 2 Feb 2006. This tournament is the strongest annual event held under the auspices of the English Chess Federation (note new name as of 22 October). The fourth edition of this ambitious event will feature 30+ GMs, headed by players of the calibre of Alexei Shirov and Nigel Short, and the intention is to develop the tournament still further in future years. After the presentation, there was a unique four-hander blitz game featuring world no. 14 Alexei Shirov partnered by 7-year-old Peter Andreev, playing leading English GM Jonathan Speelman partnered by 8-year-old Edmund Harding. Both juniors are members of Richmond Junior Chess Club, and they both gave a very good account of themselves and were not overawed by the occasion. Click here for a photo-report about this challenge game - and find out who the youngest player ever to checkmate (half a) grandmaster is...
Official Gibtelecom Masters website: http://www.gibraltarchesscongress.com/


FIDE World Championship, San Luis, Argentina [15/10/05]

San Luis logoThe FIDE World Championship started on 28 September in San Luis, Argentina. It is being played as an eight-player double cycle all-play-all. Competitors are Vishy Anand (IND, 2788), Veselin Topalov (BUL, 2788), Peter Leko (HUN, 2763), Peter Svidler (RUS, 2738), Judit Polgar (HUN, 2735), Michael Adams (ENG, 2719), Alexander Morozevich (RUS, 2707), Rustam Kasimjanov (UZB, 2670). Play takes place 28 Sept to 14 October, with three rest days on 2, 7, 12 October.
: Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria is the new FIDE World Champion, with one round to spare. His Rd 13 game against previous title-holder Rustam Kasimjanov was the last to finish after Topalov played a typically enterprising exchange sacrifice to wrest the initiative from his opponent and secure the half point he needed (he may even have been winning at a couple of points). The other three Rd 13 games also ended in draws. Kasimjanov ½-½ Topalov, Polgar ½-½ Svidler, Anand ½-½ Morozevich, Adams ½-½ Leko. Bulgaria has now pulled off a remarkable double which has not been done since Soviet times - they have both the FIDE men's/open and women's world champions, as Bulgarian GM Antoaneta Stefanova is current holder of the women's title. But there is still another world champion - Vladimir Kramnik, holder of the unofficial but more traditional version of the title by virtue of defeating the world's top player, Garry Kasparov, in 2000 and defending it against Peter Leko last year. The pressure will now be on both Kramnik and Topalov to unite the title by playing a reunification match. Rd 14 - with nothing left to achieve, Topalov took a quick draw with Polgar. Leko was the only winner, beating Kasimjanov. Adams came close to beating Morozevich but finished the tournament winless. Topalov ½-½ Polgar, Svidler ½-½ Anand, Leko 1-0 Kasimjanov, Morozevich ½-½ Adams.
Download games
Games Viewer 

FIDE World Ch, San Luis (ARG), 28 Sept - 14 Oct 2005    cat. XX (2739)
Final Crosstable                     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8
1 Topalov, Veselin       g BUL 2788 ** == 1= 1= 1= 1= 1= 1=  10.0  2889
2 Anand, Viswanathan     g IND 2788 == ** == 0= =1 01 1= 11   8.5  2811
3 Svidler, Peter         g RUS 2738 0= == ** 11 1= == == 1=   8.5  2818
4 Morozevich, Alexander  g RUS 2707 0= 1= 00 ** =1 =1 == ==   7.0  2743
5 Leko, Peter            g HUN 2763 0= =0 0= =0 ** =1 1= 1=   6.5  2706
6 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam   g UZB 2670 0= 10 == =0 =0 ** == 01   5.5  2668
7 Adams, Michael         g ENG 2719 0= 0= == == 0= == ** ==   5.5  2661
8 Polgar, Judit          g HUN 2735 0= 00 0= == 0= 10 == **   4.5  2606

    Rd 12 - Topalov-Svidler was a sedate draw in 21 moves, so Topalov maintains his 1½ point lead. Anand caught up with Svidler by beating Leko in an (untypically) interesting Petroff Defence. Kasimjanov was a pawn up for much of his game against Adams but couldn't make it count. Morozevich-Polgar was a full-blooded game which only ended in a draw when the players ran out of weapons. 12 October is the last rest day, and it remains to be seen whether Kasimjanov and Polgar will stand in Topalov's way; two more draws will be good enough to give him the FIDE world championship title.
    Rd 11 -
Topalov's least good round of the tournament (but not actually bad)... he gave up the exchange for a pawn to keep Adams at bay and managed to do so. Meanwhile Topalov's closest rivals both won to get within shouting distance of him. Svidler must beat Topalov tomorrow to cut the deficit back to half a point - but he only has Black (If Topalov wins, he will be pretty well home and dry). Anand took his revenge on Kasimjanov. Polgar ½-½ Leko, Anand 1-0 Kasimjanov, Adams ½-½ Topalov, Svidler 1-0 Morozevich.
    Rd 10 -
Topalov is getting so close to the title that he can almost taste it. He played another good game today against Morozevich but perhaps nerves started to show as he failed to convert a two pawn advantage. Instead he sacrificed the exchange to reach a drawn position. FIDE's reigning champion was the only winner as Kasimjanov beat a tiring Polgar. Leko ½-½ Svidler, Kasimjanov 1-0 Polgar, Adams ½-½ Anand, Topalov ½-½ Morozevich.
    Rd 9 -
Morozevich won his third game in a row to tie for 3rd place with Anand. Topalov remains two points clear and edges closer to ultimate victory. Anand ½-½ Topalov, Polgar ½-½ Adams, Svidler ½-½ Kasimdzhanov, Morozevich 1-0 Leko.

   Rd 8 - Wins for Anand and Morozevich made no real difference to Topalov's huge lead. The leader's draw finally brought his run of wins (five) to an end. Topalov ½-½ Leko, Adams ½-½ Svidler, Kasimjanov 0-1 Morozevich, Anand 1-0 Polgar. October 7 is a rest day. The following day Anand has White against Topalov and the chance to reduce the gap between them to 1½ points - but that would still be a very big lead.
   Rd 7 - Topalov wins yet again in another all-decisive round. With Anand losing for the second time, it seems that only Svidler now has the remotest chance of catching the Bulgarian. White won all four games - Morozevich 1-0 Anand, Leko 1-0 Adams, Svidler 1-0 Polgar, Topalov 1-0 Kasimdzhanov.
   Rd 6 - This is starting to become Fischeresque - for the second round running, there is just one decisive result: a win (with Black) by the brilliant Bulgarian, Veselin Topalov. This time his victim was Judit Polgar. His lead is now a staggering 2 points after only six rounds played, and it is hard to imagine anyone catching him, short of a complete collapse in the second cycle. Just for the records, his current tournament performance rating is 3142! Rd 6: Anand ½-½ Svidler, Kasimjanov ½-½ Leko, Polgar 0-1 Topalov, Adams ½-½ Morozevich.

   Rd 5 - Veselin Topalov moved into a remarkable 1½ point lead by beating Svidler with Black. The other games were drawn. Svidler 0-1 Topalov, Polgar ½-½ Morozevich, Adams ½-½ Kasimjanov, Anand ½-½ Leko.
    Rd 4 - Once again there were four decisive games in this astonishingly bloodthirsty tournament. The surprise of the round was Anand's loss to Kasimjanov. Kasimjanov 1-0 Anand, Leko 1-0 Polgar, Topalov 1-0 Adams, Morozevich 0-1 Svidler.
    Rd 3 - Svidler 1-0 Leko, Anand 1-0 Adams, Polgar 1-0 Kasimjanov, Morozevich 0-1 Topalov.
    Rd 2 - All games drawn, but plenty of action. Topalov-Anand went right down to the wire, with Topalov seemingly on the brink of a win right up to the end after 97 moves.
    Rd 1 - A bad start for the two Hungarians, Polgar and Leko, who both lost with White. Rd 1 results - Svidler ½-½ Adams, Polgar 0-1 Anand, Leko 0-1 Topalov, Morozevich ½-½ Kasimjanov.
Official website
: http://www.wccsanluis.net/



Obituary: Two British Stalwarts [04/10/05]

Doug Bellis (1936-2005)We have sad news of two British chessplayers and organisers who have recently passed away. Doug Bellis (pictured left), who died aged 69 on 24 September, was originally from Essex and was a good enough player to have won the prestigious 'Battle of Britain' tournament in 1957 when its usual winners were people like Leonard Barden, Michael Franklin and John Fuller. He didn't play chess for many years but returned in the 1980s to become a highly successful match captain and club organiser, first of Mitcham Chess Club (whom he led to a number of Surrey league and cup wins), and then latterly of Wimbledon CC. A second marriage late in life brought him much happiness. Our condolences go to his widow Emer and his 10-year-old daughter Elizabeth. Keith Brown, who died on 1 October aged 58, was a well-known player, arbiter and organiser in the Merseyside area, who organised the British Blitz Championships on a number of occasions and arbited at the 4NCL in its early days. He was also an avid chess book collector. Condolences to his wife Janet and two children.


Jon Speelman Simul against the Civil Service, 22 Sept [27/09/05]

Jon SpeelmanLook out, there's a 'Speelwolf' about... Jonathan Speelman played a 25-board simultaneous display against the Civil Service Chess Association as part of the organisation's centenary celebrations. He is one of the most amiable and approachable of grandmasters. Until the game starts, that is. After the handshake he is ruthlessly efficient. Only one of his opponents managed to hold him to a draw. Click on the above link for Ian Pheby's report, photos and downloadable/viewable games.


'Dream Team' at The Guardian [13/09/05]

Short and Barden at the GuardianNigel Short has joined The Guardian newspaper as 'our new chess columnist'. Good news for those of us who have enjoyed his wide-ranging and punchy columns in his former newspaper. Click here for an interview (by Stephen Moss) and here for Stephen Moss's new 'rookie' column in which he tells us about his chess lessons with the former world championship challenger. Hopefully Short's columns will be available online from the same source.
  The Guardian
's announcement of 'our new chess columnist' had me a bit worried for the present incumbent, as you will see further down in my letter to the Guardian editor. I'm pretty sure Leonard Barden is still going to be doing his Saturday columns, though it pays to be safe rather than sorry. "Dear Editor, Congratulations on signing up Nigel Short as 'our new chess columnist' (G2 front cover, 13 September). He is the Ian Botham of chess - occasionally boorish but never boring. But please reassure readers that he is additional to, and not instead of, Leonard Barden - the Richie Benaud of chess columnists, who has provided superlative coverage of chess in your pages for more than 50 years. The prospect of Barden and Benaud leaving the commentary box on the same day would be too much to take. Regards, John Saunders, Editor, British Chess Magazine". If you fancy adding your two-pennyworth, the Guardian's email address is letters@guardian.co.uk (put your full postal address)


Britain wins World Solving Team Championship [09/09/05]

Holmes logoThe 'Holmes and Watson' of British chess problem-solving - Jonathan Mestel and John Nunn - won the team gold medals for Britain at the 29th World Chess Solving Championship, held in Eretria, Greece on 6-7 September. The team from Britain (Jonathan Mestel, John Nunn, Michael McDowell) finished first, ahead of Israel and Finland. In the individual championship, first was Piotr Murdzia (POL) with 84 points, 2nd Mestel (80), 3rd Nunn (78½). The latter two scores were added together to represent the British score in the team competition. John Nunn also won an open solving competition which took place on 5 September. Detailed results can be found here.


Britbase Downloads [06/09/05]

Britbase logoNow is a good time to replenish your chess database for the coming season. There are lots of new games files to download from Britbase (which, if you have never visited it before, is an archive of British and Irish chess games). Click here for downloads of games from the just-finished Coulsdon International tournament where John Cox achieved his final IM norm; British Championship, plus Major Open and junior games; Staunton Memorial tournament (see further down the page); Irish and Scottish Championships; South Wales International; and the Jack Speigel Memorial tournament from Southend, plus Southend Open tournaments from 2001 right through to 2005.


3rd Staunton Memorial Tournament, 19-30 Aug [30/08/05]

Chess returned to the famous 19th century London chess venue, Simpson-in-the-Strand, on Friday 19 August with the start of the 3rd Howard Staunton Memorial tournament. This year it was extended to six players playing a double-cycle all-play-all: Jonathan Speelman (ENG, 2549g), David Howell (ENG, 2471m), Colin McNab (SCO, 2451g), Jonathan Levitt (ENG, 2441g), Jovanka Houska (ENG, 2342m), Lawrence Day (CAN, 2270m). Final: Colin McNab was ousted from joint first place and replaced by Jonathan Levitt, who beat the Scottish GM in 58 moves to share first place with Jonathan Speelman. This was a remarkable turnaround for Levitt, who had been in last place at the end of the first cycle but then reeled off 4½/5 (including four straight wins in his final four games) to share first. The (literally) underrated Canadian IM Lawrence Day also had an excellent finish (2/2) and dispatched Jovanka Houska with some tactical wizardry in his last game. Jovanka's consolation is that she can look back on wins against both of the two players who shared first place. The organisers can be pleased with only 12 draws in 30 games. Final Positions: 1-2 J Levitt , J Speelman 6/10, 3 C McNab, 5½, 4-5 L Day, D Howell 4½, 6 J Houska 3½. Rd 10 Results: Levitt 1-0 McNab, Speelman ½-½ Howell, Day 1-0 Houska • Download gamesGames ViewerCrosstable and Results

McShane wins in Igualada, 17-23 Aug [24/08/05]

There was a British success in Catalonia when English no.3 Luke McShane won the 'City of Igualada' Master tournament. In a double-cycle all-play-all of four players, McShane drew his first four games but then snatched first prize by beating Beliavsky and Korchnoi in the last two rounds. The penultimate round saw two extraordinary blunders: Korchnoi, a pawn up and with a near-winning position, lost on time to Volokitin, while Beliavsky left a bishop en prise to McShane in a relatively simple position. Time control 40/2 hrs, 1 hr for remaining moves. Scores: 1 L McShane (ENG, 2625g) 4/6, 2 A Volokitin (UKR, 2671g) 3½, 3 A Beliavsky (SLO, 2599g) 2½, 4 V Korchnoi (SUI, 2615g) 2 •

Smith and Williamson British Championships, 1-12 Aug [13/08/05]

The British Championships have crossed the sea for the first time in their history. The 92nd BCF Congress took place in Douglas, Isle of Man, where the leading contenders were reigning champion Jonathan Rowson (2599g, SCO), John Emms (2509g, ENG), Stuart Conquest (2503g, ENG), Chris Ward (2485g, ENG), Simon Williams (2461m, ENG), Gawain Jones (2442m, ENG), Andrew Greet (2425m, ENG) and Richard Pert (2424m, ENG) in a field of 46. Final: Jonathan Rowson successfully defended the title he won last year in Scarborough. This makes him the 8th player to win the title two years in succession (after Atkins, Yates, Sultan Khan, Winter, Penrose, Speelman and Hodgson). Congratulations to him. Leading scores: 1 J Rowson (SCO) 8½/11; 2-3 S Conquest, S Haslinger 8; 4-5 J Emms, R Pert 7½, 6-7 S Gordon, A Greet 7, etc. Official Website and Live Coverage: http://www.bcfservices.org.uk/live2005/


European Team Championships, Gothenburg, 30 Jul - 7 Aug [07/08/05]

The 15th European Team Championships ran from 30 July to 7 August in Gothenburg, Sweden. There were separate men's/open and women's competitions, over nine rounds, with 41 and 27 teams respectively. Each team was composed of four boards (from five-player squads).
Official Website: http://www.goteborgchess2005.se
ome line-ups: Russia - Svidler (2738), Dreev (2698), Motylev (2675), Bareev (2688), Timofeev (2661); Ukraine - Ivanchuk (2752), Moiseenko (2664), Karyakin (2645), Elyanov (2639), Kuzubov (2535); Armenia: Akopian (2705), Aronian (2724), Vaganian (2614), Lputian (2629), Anastasian (2595); Israel - Gelfand (2724), Sutovsky (2674), Smirin (2652), Avrukh (2652), Erenburg (2595); France - Bacrot (2729), Lautier (2672), Fressinet (2627), Bauer (2641), Dorfman (2592); Netherlands - Van Wely (2655), I.Sokolov (2691), Tiviakov (2678), Timman (2625), Van Den Doel (2587); England - McShane (2625), Speelman (2549), Gormally (2557), Wells (2529, capt), N.Pert (2493); Scotland - McNab (2451), Shaw (2449), Muir (2322), Upton (2250), Grant (2273); Wales - R.Jones (2320), Trevelyan (2196), Kett (2192), Spice (2175), D.James (2213); Ireland - Baburin (2523), Kelly (2504), Collins (2403), Orr (2305). England women: J.Houska (2342, captain), S.Lalic (2362), H.Richards (2150), I.Lauterbach (2156), J.Gilbert (2151); (no other UK or Irish women's teams entered)
Final Results: 1 Netherlands 15mpts/22gpts; 2 Israel 14/23½; 3 France 13/21½; 4 Greece 13/21½; 5 Ukraine 12/23½... 13 England 10/21; 14 Russia 10/20½... 32 Ireland 7/15... 38 Scotland 5/13½; 39 Wales 4/11. Great result for the sixth seeds, Netherlands. England would have been pleased to finish ahead of top seeds Russia (as well as five places above their seeding). Ireland and Wales finished exactly in their seeded position. Wales won a good victory over Scotland, who finished below their seeded position but had the consolation of finishing above Wales. UK and Irish players scores: England (McShane 6/9, Speelman 4/7, Gormally 5½/8, Wells ½/4, Pert 5/8), Ireland (Baburin 3½/9, Kelly 4½/9, Collins 4½/9, Orr 2½/9), Scotland (McNab 4/8, Shaw 3½/8, Muir 3/7, Grant 1½/7, Upton 1½/6), Wales (Jones 1½/8, James 2½/7, Kett 2½/7, Trevelyan 1/6, Spice 3½/8). Women's Championship: 1 Poland 15/23; 2 Georgia 14/21½; 3 Russia 12/22... 13 England 9/20½. An excellent victory for 12th seeds Poland. England did better than their seeding. There were a number of weird parallels between the English men's and women's teams' performances; they were both seeded 18th, finished 13th, their top boards both scored 6/9, third boards scored 5½/8 and fourth boards scored below par. England women's team: J Houska 6/9, S Lalic 4½/8, H Richards 5½/8, I Lauterbach 1/5, J Gilbert 3½/6.


Current Tournaments [14/07/05]

There are quite a number of events on the go at the moment... Dortmund Sparkassen (8-17 July, website http://www.chessgate.de/do2005/) - Naiditsch won with 5½/9 • Maccabiah Games, Jerusalem (10-20 July, website http://www.maccabiah-chess.co.il) - Smirin and Najer lead on 2/3, Judit Polgar gives a simul on 17 July • 2nd South Wales International (9-14 July, website http://www.southwaleschess.co.uk/SWI/) - 1 V Dobrov (RUS) 7½/9 • British Blitz Championship - 17 July: 1-2 Keith Arkell, Craig Hanley 12/16... Jovanka Houska is British Blitz Ladies Champion