Mar 6, 2001

A little sensation!

Kasparov did not lose heart and plays as if he feels himself the champion. He tore to pieces the recent challenger and leader A. Shirov. Now both of them lead the tournament with 6.5 points of 9, but Shirovís finish looks more difficult. Kramnik and Morozevich have one point less each after a similar surprise. Morozevich caught up with the World Champion, having won the fourth game at the tournament. From the opening Kramnik got a fine position and had a stable advantage. But the endgame was cheerless. Kramnik allowed Blackís king to come to his camp and lost several pawns, but after he got only a piece for his mighty passed c-pawn, his king and bishop proved to be insufficient forces to stop the army of Blackís pawns. Other participants are hardly out of ordinary, except Tiviakov who lost already 5 games which really distinguishes him among them. The rest games of the ninth round were drawn. Morozevich plays astonishingly. He lost twice with White, but instead he won all his Black games. The statistics which states the priority of White in chess is nothing for him, and though his victories are less convincing than Kasparovís, itís just impossible to forecast his results. Four more rounds should be played, and the standings will certainly change, but surely the favourites will stay the leaders, whereas the rest will stay where they are.

"And his six pawns were scattered like the ships of the Armada that should have conquered England; the Lord blew, and they were all isolated."

-Hans Kmoch, Groningen 1946 tournament book

"Nowadays, when you're not a grandmaster at 14, you can forget about it."

Anand Vishwanathan

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