few words about the regulations (27.11.2000)
Round 1. Game 1 "Coming on..." (28.11.2000)
According to prognoses, stronger ones were stronger. They won 15 victories. Chernin, Vaganian, Onischuk, Serper, Lesiege, Vladimirov, Malakhov, Lputian, Speelman, Galkin, Sakaev, Sutovsky, Benjamin, Adianto, Yermolinsky made a step forward. Only Fedorov and Lautier were defeated, correspondingly, by Ivanov and Leitao. Well, Leitao performed well in Las Vegas too.
The Russia Champion Volkov was beaten in the French Defence by the previous Russia Champion Sakaev, who confirmed his reputation of a White-player. Vladimirov defeated Barua, though at the World Championship 1999 Barua managed to win a game against the fourteenth World Champion. However nothing is lost, so far. Sufferers have time to mobilise their wills and try to return what they've lost in the first game. Tomorrow we'll know names of those who will succeed at this.
38 participants agreed to draws, so we can look forward to 8-10 rapid chess duels at the least. By the way, there will be some more unexpected results in 14 games. Many players with smaller ratings still can demonstrate convincing play.
Concerning prospects. Chess sites give variable prognoses, well, it's really hard to forecast now. Anand is a natural favourite, but there are 27 more strong grandmasters there. The World Champion is a champion still, then Shirov, Topalov, Leko and other players rated over 2700 are serious challengers too. So no forecast for today.
A few words about the carnage which took place in the women's championship. Only 6 games were drawn. 22 players raise serious claims for the right to play in the second round. We supported a player from Russia, Stjazhkina, but she was defeated by the Chinese Wang. In return, our Matveeva , Kovalevskaya and Demina were winners. Gaprindashvili lost her first game. No doubt, a knock-out event is a lottery to a degree. Skripchenko-Lautier, wife of the loser of the men's tournament, was victorious. Irina Krush who came to St.Petersburg in the summer is already a strong player. She made a draw in the first game and we root for her. The Women's Championship can give many interesting results as women are usually very aggressive in chess.
Everybody still has chances to qualify for the second round.
It's too late to meditate over the position already. The pawn e5 is evidently dangerous and viable. Black has no choice, so he will move out the bishop, castle and then wait for White's strikes. No doubt that there will be hard strikes there: Sakaev will double his rooks on the c-file and crush his opponent before the first time control. It's hard to estimate how much of home preparations was used here - it's common knowledge that super grandmasters work with the French Defence at great length. Irrespective of the opening, Sakaev is a dangerous opponent with White, but in this case Black simply had no counterplay.
20... Bd7 21. Kb1 O-O-O 22. Qe3 Bc6 23. Rc1 Qc7 24. Qa7 e3 25. Be2 Rg7 26. Rc3 Rd5 27. Rhc1 Kd8 28. Rxe3 Rgd7 29. Qa8+ Qc8 30. Qxc8+ Kxc8 31. Bc4
That's all. Nothing interesting for an amateur. Well, rapid games allow to invent a weapon against opening monsters, but Sakaev is known as a master of blitz. By the way, he was a St.Petersburg Champion not long ago. By the way, St.Petersburg is the home city to four World Championships, three participants of the third KO Championship and such outstanding players as Korchnoi, Kamsky, Salov: 14 grandmasters live in the Northern Capital of Russia today.
Hakki, Imad - Adianto, Utut [B17] Round 1 (game 1)
Caro-Kann Defence. It seems that this opening allows Black to lose quickly - we've seen this in the well known game played by a computer against Kasparov himself. However, Adianto played the variation easily and lost only his right to castle, but not his ambition.
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Ng5 Ngf6 6. Bd3 e6 7. N1f3 Bd6 8. Qe2 h6 9. Ne4 Nxe4 10. Qxe4 Qc7 11. Qg4 Kf8 12. O-O c5
This way. Having not arranged a shelter for his king, Black begins an attack in the centre in a manner which is considered dangerous by theoreticians. Well, White's opponent is just a master, so the grandmaster goes for this risk. There are no evident threats which White can create, but this is no reason to lose the game.
13. c3 b6 14. Qh4 Bb7 15. Be4 Be7 16. Bg5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5 Kg8 18. Bxb7 hxg5
The master's estimation was wrong. Queen plus knight constitute a powerful battery in this situation. Both White's rooks will be just spectators till the very end of the game. The knight is invulnerable on a dark square as White's bishop is light-squared, and White cannot take it with a rook as well.
19. Qxh8+ Kxh8 20. Bxa8
So White's two rooks and bishop will struggle against Black's queen and knight. Besides, Black's team is well co-ordinated and aimed at the white king, whereas no aggressive plans can be traced in White's position.
20... cxd4 21. cxd4 Nf6 22. d5 Qc8 23. Bc6 exd5 24. Rac1 Qa6 25. a3 Qe2 26. Rb1 Qe5 27. g3 Qe6 28. Rbc1 Ng4
Disaster is at the doorway already. Qh6 is a terrible threat, and no remedy can be seen. Hakki makes one more concession.
Now the tragedy of Black's king becomes evident. The rooks are helpless, and the bishop is of no use too. An extra bishop is a good bishop, but this one is just a witness of Black's agony.
29... Qe3+ 30. Kh1 Nf2+ 31. Kg2 Nd3 32. Rc2 d4 33. Be4 Nc5 34. Rff2 d3 35. Rcd2 g6 36. Bd5 f5 37. b4 Nd7 38. Rd1 Ne5 39. Rfd2 Kg7 40. Rf2 Qd4 41. Ba2 g4 42. f4 Qe4+ 43. Kg1 Nf3+ 44. Kf1 Nd4
The master resigned on a legal ground in this position.
"He who fears an isolated queen's pawn should give up chess". Siegbert Tarrasch
"The most powerful weapon in chess is to have the next move"! David Bronstein.