- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 11, 2002

Chess's warring factions, meeting earlier this week at a closed-door summit in Prague, have reached an agreement to end the scandalous divisions regarding the world championship.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the international chess federation FIDE, Russian Vladimir Kramnik, holder of a rival title belt, and former world champ Garry Kasparov have signed a "Unity Plan" that calls for a reunification title match, played at classical time controls, to be staged in late 2003.
Also signing the accord was American GM Yasser Seirawan, whose blueprint to end a decade of discord over the world title helped produce this week's apparent meeting of the minds.
Under the plan, Kramnik will proceed with a title cycle being organized by his commercial sponsor, British-based Einstein TV, playing the winner of an eight-player candidates' tournament to be held in Dortmund, Germany. Separately, Kasparov, the world's highest rated player, will face off in a match against Ukraine's Ruslan Ponomariov, who is recognized by FIDE as its official champion.
The winners of those two matches will meet for a world title match, again to be played entirely at classical time controls, in 2003.
While welcome, the news has to be greeted with a bit of caution. Seirawan has proposed far-reaching organizational reforms for FIDE that still must be worked out, and no agreement has yet been reached on how the world championships will be staged after the 2003 reunification match is held.
Even the reunification process poses a few problems. Former FIDE champ Viswanathan Anand of India and Ukraine's Vassily Ivanchuk, by any standard two of the world's best players, declined to play in Kramnik's Dortmund qualifier and thus are frozen out of the current title hunt. Ponomariov, who was not involved in the Prague talks, has yet to give his opinion.
Anand made it abundantly clear he merits a slot in any legitimate title competition by winning the elite 32-player Eurotel knockout tourney in Prague, which wrapped up a day before the momentous summit began. In the two-game classical chess final, Anand smoothly handled another former world titleholder, Anatoly Karpov of Russia, ending Karpov's strong run of upsets.
In the first game of the final, Anand got a small but clear positional plus coming out of a Petroff's Defense. By 17. Ng5 (threatening to win the queen with 18. Bxf7+) Bg6 18. Bxd6 cxd6, the weakness of the Black d-pawn may not be fatal, but Karpov has precious little in the way of compensation or counterplay.
On 25. g3 Re8 26. Rxe8+ Bxe8 27. Qe4!, all of White pieces are better placed and the queen threatens to invade via h7. Black's rather panicky response 27g5?! 28. hxg5 Qxg5 29. Bd5 Bd7 doesn't prevent White from breaking through after all: 30. Qh7 Qf6 (see diagram; if 30Qg7 31. Qb1! is very strong: 31b6 [Bc8 32. Bxc6 bxc6 33. Qb8 Qg4 34. Qxd6+] 32. Qb5 Nb8 [Ne5 33. Qb4 leaves both the knight and the d-pawn hanging] 33. Qc4 Kg8 34. Qc7 Qf8 35. Ng6 Qe8 36. Qxd6) 31. Bxf7!.
White picks up a pawn (31Qxf7?? 32. Ng6+ Ke8 33. Qh8+ Qf8 34. Qxf8 mate), but Anand after the game said he seriously considered 31. Qb1! here as well. He settled on the text move, he told an interviewer for Chess Base, "because I didn't want all those people to afterwards switch on their [computer programs] and say, 'Oh, Vishy missed 31. Bxf7!' Really I did not want to put up with that, so I decided I'll simply take the stupid pawn."
With 31Ne7 32. Bb3 Bf5 33. Nh5!, rescuing the trapped White queen, Anand emerges a clear pawn to the good. Skillfully locking Black's knight out of play, White eventually emerges with an unstoppable passed kingside pawn. Since 59b4 60. g7 Be6 61. Bc4 wins easily, Karpov resigned.

San Diego's Cyrus Lakdawala, one of the strongest U.S. players without an international title, finally broke through by tying with Russian master Vladimir Mezentsev for first in the Category 4 Charles Linklater Memorial earlier this month in San Francisco. The 7-3 result was Lakdawala's third and final norm needed for the international master title, which he should receive at the FIDE Congress later this year in Slovenia.
Against master Frank Thornally in San Francisco, Lakdawala on the Black side of a Pirc Defense slowly grabbed the positional edge, with heavy middlegame pressure along the e-file. Probing the weak central squares as well as the shaky White kingside, Lakdawala engineers a nice final assault.
Thus: 34. Kg2 Bc5 35. Nd4 Qe1 36. c3 (Rd3 also doesn't work: 36Bxd4 37. Qxd4 [Rxd4 Re2+ 38. Kh3 Qh1+ 39. Kg4 Qh5 mate] Re2+ 38. Kh3 Qh1+ 39. Kg4 h6! 40. Qc5 [Qd8+ Kh7 41. Rd7 h5+ 42. Kf4 Qc1+ wins] Qh5+ 41. Kf4 Re8 42. Rd6 [g4 Qh2 mate] b6!, driving the White queen away from the defense of g5) Bd6!.
Facing 37. Qxd6 Qxd2+ 38. Kh3 Qxg5 and a hopeles ending, White resigned.

Eurotel World Chess Trophy finals, Game/25, May 2002
1. e4e531. Bxf7Ne7
2. Nf3Nf632. Bb3Bf5
3. Nxe5d633. Nh5Bxh7
4. Nf3Nxe434. Nxf6Bg6
5. d4d535. Ng4Kg7
6. Bd3Nc636. Ne3Be4
7. 0-0Be737. g4Kf6
8. c4Nb438. Kh2b6
9. Be20-039. Kg3Kg5
10. Nc3Bf540. Bf7Kf6
11. a3Nxc341. Bc4Kg5
12. bxc3Nc642. Bb3Kf6
13. Re1Re843. f3Bg6
14. Bf4dxc444. f4Be4
15. Bxc4Bd645. Bc4Bc6
16. Rxe8+Qxe846. Bd3Bb7
17. Ng5Bg647. Kh4Bf3
18. Bxd6cxd648. Nc4Nd5
19. h4Qe749. Kg3Bd1
20. Qg4h650. Nxd6Nxc3
21. Nh3Qf651. Nf5Kg6
22. Re1Bf552. d5Ba4
23. Qf3Kf853. d6Bd7
24. Nf4Bd754. Kh4a5
25. g3Re855. Ne3+Kf7
26. Rxe8+Bxe856. Kh5b5
27. Qe4g557. Kxh6Ke6
28. hxg5Qxg558. g5Kxd6
29. Bd5Bd759. g6Black
30. Qh7Qf6resigns

6th Charles Linklater Memorial, San Francisco, May 2002
1. Nf3g619. Rcd1Be6
2. e4Bg720. Bg4Bxg4
3. d4d621. hxg4Re8
4. Nc3c622. f3Rac8
5. a4Nf623. b3Rcd8
6. Be20-024. g3Bf6
7. 0-0a525. g5Bg7
8. h3Na626. Qf2d5
9. Be3Nb427. exd5Nxd5
10. Qd2e528. Nxd5Rxd5
11. Rfd1exd429. Ne2Rxd2
12. Nxd4Re830. Rxd2Ne6
13. Bf3Nd731. Qe3Bf8
14. Rac1Qe732. Kf2Nxf4
15. Bh6Bf633. Qxf4Qe6
16. Bf4Rd834. Kg2Bc5
17. Qe3Nc535. Nd4Qe1
18. Rd2Be536. c3Bd6
White resigns
David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at [email protected]

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