At last there is an intermission at the KO Championship. There are no tie
breaks, and the finalists Anand and Shirov will play the last match of the event
in Tehran, so they got a week to come there and acclimatise themselves.
The great chess forum produces a strong impression. Those who found two games
not enough played more. So Macieja managed to break his opponent in the tenth
game only. The round in which he defeated his fellow countryman demonstrated
that there were no casual participants at the World Championship. Also Leitao,
the veteran Gulko and Skripchenko-Lautier demonstrated a fine performance.
Favourites suffered many hard blows, and not infrequently these blows were
delivered by players with rather modest ELO ratings. Grischuk advanced as far as
to the semi-final and even managed to win one game in his semi-final match
against Shirov. All in all, the results are quite natural. Those whose nerves
were better and hands quicker were victorious. The Chinese wonder is beyond
praise. European chess seem to get weaker, though the number of players grows.
Both finalists are well known masters of chess strategy and tactics. Who will
become the champion? We donít know. We will wait together with you to see on
whom the fortune will smile. Both are acknowledged challengers, and one of them
will become at last the World Championship 2000.