British grandmaster Nigel Short and the Soviet Union's Valery Salov shared first prize in the Verenigde Spaarbank Tournament. They were ahead of the world champion, Gary Kasparov, and the world-rated No. 2 player, Anatoly Karpov.
Short, 25, played a spirited Queen's Indian defense with the black pieces against Karpov in the final round of the all-play-all tournament.He countered Karpov's queenside push for space with a complex central exchange, securing the advantage of a pair of bishops against a bishop and a knight, as reported by Nick Louth of Reuters.
Five moves later he broke through white's center with mating threats. "If it doesn't work, I'm lost," Short chuckled afterward as he replayed the moves with watching experts.
It did work! Karpov, playing accurately under intense pressure, was forced to exchange queens, but after more exchanges managed to stabilize the position. A draw was agreed on Move 30, which was a little disappointing for Short.
"Normally I would be happy to draw with him," Short said of Karpov. "But he wanted the (full) point, too."
Short was the winner of this tournament in 1988 and was runner-up in 1989.
Salov was expected to do well with the white pieces against Iceland's Johan Hjartarsson - ranked ninth in the 10-player tournament - but became locked into a dour positional struggle from the King's Indian defense, drawing on Move 40.
Kasparov defeated Yugoslav grandmaster Ljubomir Ljubojevic with black in 40 moves, blunting Ljubojevic's aggressive opening with a Sicilian defense and then driving through on the queen's side.
The world champion, a point adrift from the leaders after the eighth round, caught up half a point with the win to tie with Karpov for third place.
"Here I was not ready for the fight," Kasparov told Reuters.
Dutchman Jan Timman defeated John Van der Wiel, and Mikhail Gurevich drew with veteran emigre Victor Korchnoi.
Scores after the ninth and final round:
1-2. Short, Salov, 6 points
3-4, Karpov, Kasparov, 5 1/2
5. Korchnoi, 4 1/2
6-7. Hjartarsson, Timman, 4
8. Gurevich, 3 1/2
9-10. Ljubovich, Van der Wiel, 3.
- RESIGNING - Boris Spassky telephoned the referee to yield the adjourned last game of the 1972 World Championship. To make sure that it was not a communist plot, Bobby Fischer rushed to the game anyway.
One master became so disgusted with himself that he grabbed the king and tossed it across the room, shouting, "Why must I lose to this idiot!"
At Hastings, England, in 1895 Kurt von Bardeneben made his unique method of resigning: He just walked away from the board without a word and let the clock run out while the opponent awaited his return.
In ordinary usage, stalemate refers to a deadlock where neither side can make progress. But stalemate has a precise meaning in chess. A game is drawn when one side has no legal move and his king is NOT in check. This resource is often the last chance to save a lost game.
Both players must keep a sharp eye out for a stalemate, especially when the forces are sharply reduced. If you relax or let your guard down, the result can be disastrous.
In Edward Lasker vs. Moritz Lewitt at Hamburg, Germany, in 1910, black was a rook ahead and gliding to victory without suspecting that a snare lurked in the position.
- COMPUTERS AND PAWNS - What looks like bravado in the play of a top chess computer is really something else, says Robert Byrne.
When you see the computer seize a pawn and undergo an arduous defense - doing what from a human point of view would be taking an extreme risk - it sees its action merely as an effective way to gain the advantage.
The computer cannot judge that it is subjecting itself to a long-term risk, and, even nowadays, the best speed of calculation achieved is not sufficient to produce that conclusion.
- CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SOLVERS! - Hal Knight, Karen B. Lee, Kim Barney, Craig D. Bryson, Ramon Bassette, Alison Hermance, David Wilhite, Steven L. Stake, Gordon Greene, Camrin Copier, Ted Pathakis, Jim Reed, Edwin O. Smith, Stanley Hunt, Gene Wagstaff, Stephen R. Clark, Richard Schow, Russell Anderson, Nathan Kennard, Aaron T. Kennard, Raeburn Kennard, Kay Lundstrom, Joe Sias, David D. Kirk, Robert W. Lee, O. Kent Berg, Ardean Watts, Larry Butler, Hal Harmon, Roger Neuman, B.J. Peterson, William DeVroom and David Moody.