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Chess for Friday 06 May 2000 by Kaarlo Schepel


The chess column that appeared in the South China Morning Post

(SCMP) for some 20 years was suddenly axed by the new Features

Editor. Even the daily chess problem that gave two generations

of dedicated chess fans a chance to test their chess skills on

their way to work was eliminated without any consultation with

readers. Reasons are unknown, but it is not exactly applauded

by the large number of organised and non-competitive chess

players in Hong Kong. Rumour has it that chess was considered

to be a 'colonial' leftover by the new editors. Everyone knows

that chess was invented in India. The sister game of Chinese

Chess has probably as many as 100 million fans. At least that

many people in the P.R.C. are able to play the moves, and a

fair number of those follow international chess as well. My

sources in China tell me that there are 60 million organised

players of Chinese Chess and the Chinese version of 'go'.

To provide continuity, this chess column will appear now every

Friday on the internet, and every Tuesday a column will be

published specifically for the over 2,000 primary and

secondary students who take private, extra-curricular tuition

in Hong Kong. The number of chess fans is rapidly growing in

South China. The figures provided by the Chinese Chess

Association indicates that there are 4.5 million organised

players in international chess in the P.R.C. The Ladies' World

Champion is GM Xie Jun, who first held the crown from 1993-

1996. After losing to Zsusza Polgar, she moved to Amsterdam,

the Netherlands for two years for the specific reason to play

stronger (mainly male) opponents.

The Hong Kong National Championship has now almost ended.

National Master Lau Yung indeed added the 2000 title to his

Open title of last year, and his National title of 1998. The

runner-up of last year C.Y. Chong played me in the last round

and we had a hard-fought, very interesting draw. I shall

publish it next week together with Lau Yung's most exciting

game with his own comments. Anwar Hossain and myself were

still locked in battle for third place. Full results next

week. Updates can be found on the official website address of

the Hong Kong Chess Federation (HKCF)


The biggest Hong Kong chess event in 11 years took place with

only a few days notice at the FCC on 20 April. I managed to

invite former World Champion Anatoly Karpov to Hong Kong.

 He was on his way from his brief match in Shenyang with GM Ye

(strongest PRC Grandmaster) which Karpov won 3-1, and a

tournament in Bali. Karpov did not disappoint. He beat 37 of

the 39 students, and all but one of the adult sponsors in less

than 30-35 moves. Tjitte Veldhuis drew with Karpov in 25

moves. And two of our strongest juniors did the same. Two of

those games were published in the SCMP last Saturday on 29

April. This was my final column for the SCMP (for the moment)

after 14 years of dedicated service, in which I never missed a

single deadline. May I thank all the readers who followed my

column for part or all of those years.


Herewith the picture that I was able to buy from the Hong Kong

Standard. Please note: * Copyright 2000 the Hong Kong Standard

republished here with permission of the Hong Kong Standard. No

further republication or redistribution without prior written

approval of the Hong Kong Standard.


Karpov at the Foreign Correspondents' Club


A person who is not so happy with the forthcoming match in

October between Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik is Latvian

emigre GM Alexei Shirov. After all, he won the final

qualification match against Kramnik in June 1998. Kasparov

then claimed that no sponsors were interested in a match

between him and Shirov. Kasparov later invited Viswanathan

Anand of India (who had given him a good run for his money in

New York in 1995), but now claims that Anand's lawyer had too

many conditions. Anand did not take part in Las Vegas in

August 1999, as he was preparing himself for Kasparov.

Alxander Khalifman won in Las Vegas. We further have Bobby

Fischer now residing in Hungary, who claims he is still World

Champion because he never lost. He won the 'rematch' with

Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia. Chess has become like boxing; the

politics are probably a bit more interesting too. Karpov has

legal reasons to still call himself FIDE-champion. And IBM Big

Blue beat Kasparov in an official match. That makes five World

Champions. When shall we have the unifying tournament?

It was therefore gratifying to see Shirov win the Melody Amber

tournament in Monaco in March. He scored 8.5 points in the

Rapid section ahead of Ivanchuk (8), Topalov and van Wely

(6.5), Gelfand and Kramnik (6), then Anand (5.5), Karpov (5),

Piket (4.5), Nikolic (3.5), and finally Lautier and Ljubojevic

(3). In the blindfold section, Kramnik came first with 7.5,

Anand and Topalov followed with 7, Shirov (6.5), Gelfand and

Piket (6), then Ivanchuk (5.5), Karpov (5), Lautier (4.5),

Ljubojevic and van Wely (4) and Nikolic 3. Overall winner was

thus Shirov (15); 2-4. Ivanchuk, Kramnik and Topalov (13.5);

5. Anand (12.5); 6. Gelfand (12); 7-8. Piket and van Wely

(10.5); 9. Karpov (10); 10. Lautier (7.5); 11. Ljubojevic (7),

and 12. Nikolic (6.5).



The advantage of publishing on the internet is of course more

space. Every inch of a newspaper is allocated strictly based

on cost. Today two of Shirov's games. (Rapid) Shirov -

Ljubojevic 1.e4,c5 2.Nf3,e6 3.d4,cxd4 4.Nxd4,Nc6 5.Nc3,a6

6.Be2,Nf6 7.Nxc6,bxc6 8.e5,Nd5 9.Ne4,Qc7 10.Nd6+,Bxd6

11.exd6,Qb6 12.c4,Nf6 13.0-0,0-0 14.Be3,Qxb2 (Diagram 1.)

15.Bd4,Qa3 16.Bxf6,gxf6 17.Qd4,Rb8 18.Rac1,e5 19.Qg4+,Kh8

20.Qf5,Kg7 21.Rcd1,e4 22.Qg4+,Kh8 23.Qxe4 (1-0)



Diagram 1                                            Diagram 2


(Blindfold - round 1) Shirov - Lautier 1.e4,c5 2.Nf3,Nc6

3.d4,cxd4 4.Nxd4,Nf6 5.Nc3,e5 6.Ndb5,d6 7.Bg5,a6 8.Na3,b5

9.Bxf6,gxf6 10.Nd5,f5 11.Bxb5?! (Shirov showed in this game

and a few others he played later on that he was not afraid of

playing variations that had been shown to be theoretically not

exactly sound, and thus not popular.) 11...,axb5 12.Nxb5,Ra4

(Shirov knows the draw-backs. He played as Black 12...,Ra7 in

Mitkov-Shirov, France 1994; 12...,Qg5 is also better for

Black.) 13.b4,Rxb4 17.Nbc7+,Kd7 15.0-0,Rb7 16.Qh5,Ne7

17.Qxf7 (Diagram 2. The critical position. Now 17...,Rxc7!

18.Nf6+?!,Kc6 19.Rab1,d5 20.c4,d4 21.Ne8,Ra7 becomes

problematic for White. Better is 18.Nb6+,Kc6 19.Rab1,Ba6

20.Qb3 with good chances. But Black blundered:) 17...,Kc6?

18.Rab1,fxe4 19.Rxb7,Kxb7 (Black loses also after 19...,Bxb7

20.Rb1,Qxc7 21.Nf6,d5 22.Qe6+. The game ended:) 20.Rb1+,Kc6

21.Rb6+,Kc5 22.Rb3,Kc6 23.Rc3+,Kb7 24.Nxe7,Bxe7

25.Qd5+,Ka7 26.Qa8+ (1-0).



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