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By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Ruslan Ponomariov
He may be the most talented — and star-crossed — player of his generation. His admiring peers routinely say that mercurial Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk possesses as much natural skill and chess intelligence as anyone who ever played the game. The sole resident of "Planet Chukky" (players joke he lives in his own world) presents a combination of imagination, technique and out-of-the-box ideas that few can match.
With so many hired guns in the competition, it's little wonder the annual European Club Cup team championship features some of the strongest firepower of any club tournament in the world.
In what likely will prove a crowd-pleasing triumph, Russian GM Peter Svidler edged compatriot GM Alexander Grischuk 2 1/2-1 1/2 to win the FIDE World Cup knockout tournament Monday in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
The concept of the "deflection sacrifice" is relatively easy to grasp: If a piece or a pawn is carrying out a key defensive chore, whether it's preventing mate or blocking a key pawn advance, it often is worthwhile sacrificing material to draw (or deflect) the defender from his post.
The plague of draws continues as FIDE candidates-match finalists Alexander Grischuk of Russia and Boris Gelfand of Israel battle for the right to take on reigning champion Viswanathan Anand of India next year for the world title.