British Chess Magazine - News Archive for 2005
Review of the Year [31/12/05]
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]
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.
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
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.
Gibtelecom Masters Presentation, 24 Oct [24/10/05]
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...
FIDE World Championship, San Luis, Argentina [15/10/05]
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.
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 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 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.
Obituary: Two British Stalwarts [04/10/05]
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.
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 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.
Britain wins World Solving Team Championship [09/09/05]
'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]
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
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).
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