18 OCTOBER 1991, Page 52

CHESS

White elephant

Raymond Keene

he first world cup tournament finished earlier this week in Reykjavik, and the full crosstable is to be found below. The result was a vindication of both Karpov and Ivanchuk, neither of whom had shown to best advantage in the world championship quarter-finals at Brussels earlier in the year. On the other hand the outcome must have been disappointing for Jon Speelman who could only score 50 per cent and even more so for Murray Chand- ler who found the going rather too tough. Chandler can, however, console himself with a valiant last round save from a bad position against Karpov (draw in 119 moves) which deprived the former world champion of undivided first place. Even more alarming was the result of the Dutch grandmaster Jan Timman, This must rank as one of the worst results of his career and bodes ill for his prospects against Arthur Yusupov when he faces him next April in the world championship semi-finals.

Although the world cup series, which continues with tournaments in Wellington, Reykjavik World Cup

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 12 3 4 5 6

Karpov X1/201/211/2111/21/21111/21/21 101/2 Ivanchuk

1/2X 1/21/211/21/21/21/2111/21 11/21

101/2 Ljubojevic 11/2X1/2011/21/21/211/21/21/21/211/2 9 Nikolic

1/21/21/2X1/21/211/21/21/21/21/21/211/2 1

9 Khalifman 0011/2X111/211/21/21/21/21/211/2 9 Seirawan 1/21/201/20X1/21/211/211/21/21/211/2 8 Ehlvest 01/21/2001/2X0111/211/211/21/2 71/2 Speclman

01/21/21/21/21/21X 1/21/21/201/21/211/2

Beliavsky 1/21/21/21/20001/2X1/201/21/2111 7 Portisch 1/2001/21/21/201/21/2X1/21/21/211/21 7 Salov .001/21/21/201/21/211/2X11100 7 Hjartarson 01/21/21/21/21/2011/21/20X1/21/21/21/2 61/2 Anderson 001/21/21/21/21/21/21/21/201/2X01/21/2 51/2 Chandler 1/201/201/21/201/20001/21X1/21 51/2 Timman 1/21/201/2001/2001/211/21/21/2x1/2 51/2 Gulko 001/201/21/21/21/20011/21/201/2x 5

Barcelona and Brussels, is clearly a good concept, providing as it does a sort of world tournament championship to ba- lance the Fidd matchplay championship, I am somehow bothered by the format chosen. The world cup series does not, it seems to me, appear to have been geared to inflame the attention of the world's press. The tournaments are very expensive (costing upwards of 400,000 dollars per leg), extremely long, and are prone to an excess of cautious draws among players anxious to preserve their ratings. Further, the ranks are filled with players who cannot possibly have a claim to being amongst the world's very best, while the fact that the cycle goes on for two years means that young geniuses such as Alexei Shirov, whose rating is rocketing towards 2700, cannot even think about competing in the world cup until the next cycle starts up in three years' time.

I am not sure how to cure all these ills. Perhaps the world cup should become an annual event with four tournaments con- sisting of just the world's top ten players meeting each other in a double-round format. Players like Shirov and our own Michael Adams, who are rapidly on the up, would then not have long to wait before being able to break into the charmed circle. Nevertheless, even a for- mat like this would probably not evoke much enthusiasm from the members of the Grandmaster Association, the organising body. The GMA is looking increasingly to me like a trade union anxious to protect jobs for as many people as possible rather than a group determined to promote chess to the public through the most exciting and attractive formats. However, if the GMA does not do something about these elephantine tournaments I doubt whether

anyone will feel like forking out the funds for the immense expense of the third cycle in 1994.

Karpov — Hjartarson: Keykjavik World Cup 1991; Queen's Gambit Declined.

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Ne3 Bb4 5 cxd5 exd5 6 Bg5 Nbd7 7 e3 c5 8 Bd3 c4 9 Bf5 Qa5 10 Qc2 0-0 11 0-0 Re8 12 Bh4 g6 13 Bh3 Bxc3 14 bxc3 Ne4 15 Rfcl f6 16 Nd2 g5 17 Bg3 Nb6 18 Bxc8 Raxc8 19 Nfl Na4 20 0 Nxg3 21 hxg3 b5 22 g4 Rc6 23 Kf2 Rce6 24 a3 a6 25 Qd2 Kh8 26 Re2 Qc7 27

Position after 27 Rdl

Rel (Diagram) 27. . . h5 28 gxh5 f5 29 Reel Qf7 30 Ng3 14 31 exf4 gxf4 32 Ne2 Qf6 33 Nxf4 Qh4+ 34 g3 Qh2+ 35 Ng2 Rxel 36 Rxel Rxel 37 Qxel Nb2 38 Qe8+ Kh7 3914 Nd3+ 40 Kf3 Qh1 41 Qe7+ Kh8 42 h6 Qdl + 43 Qe2 Ohl 44 Kg4 Qdl 45 Qxdl Nf2+ 46 Kg5 Nxdl 47 f5 Nxc3 4816 Black resigns.