The fluctuations of the Yugoslav Grandmaster, Ljubojevic, outdo even those of the US dollar. At the great SWIFT tournament last year he shared first place with Kasparov, unbeaten, and carried off the brilliancy prizes. Then at Tilburg, in The Netherlands, Ljubojevic came in last. He immediately sprang back into form with another first at Belgrade, ahead of Timman, Korchnoi, Short . . . but slumped once more (last again) at Wijk aan Zee in January.
In the period when he was chalking up these tournament triumphs and disasters Ljubojevic found time to contest two matches against the players rated respec- tively second and third in the world. Jan Timman slaughtered him but `Ljubo' (as he is affectionately known on the interna- tional circuit) put up much more of a fight in his battles with Karpov. This latter match was conducted on exactly the same lines as the Kasparov v. Short speed event last year, no game lasting more than one hour.
Hilversum December 1987
1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts
Timman 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 1 41/2 Ljubojevic 0 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 0 11/2
Belgrade February 1988
Karpov 1/2 0 1 1 1/2 1/2 31/2 Ljubojevic 1/2 1 0 0 1/2 1/2 21/2 Ljubojevic — Kaipov: Caro-Kann De- fence, Round 2.
1 e4 c6 2 d3 d5 3 Nd2 g6 4 Ngf3 Bg7 5 g3 Bg4 6 h3
Tale of two matches
Bxf3 7 Qxf3 e6 8 h4 Nd7 9 Qe2 Qb6 10 Bg2 Ne7 11 0-0 Qa6 12 a4 0-0 13 h5 dxe4 14 Nxe4 Nf5 15 hxg6 hxg6 16 Rai Nf6 17 Nd2 Nd5 18 c3 Rad8 19 Rel Rfe8 20 a5 Nde7 21 Ne4 Qb5 22 Qc2 Nd6 23 Rb3 QxaS 24 Nxd6 Rxd6 25 Rxb7 Qa6 26 Qb3 Qxd3? 27 Bf4? Missing a clear win with 27 Be4! Qa6 28 Rxe7 Rxe7 29 Qb8+ Bf8 30 Oxd6. 27. . . Rd7 28 Be4 Rxb7 29 Qxb7 Qd8 30 Qxa7 Nd5 31 Bel Qb8 32 Qxb8 Rxb8 33 Kfl Kf8 34 Keg Ke7 35 Kd3 Kd6 36 Kc2 e5 37 Rdl f5 38 Bd3 e4 39 Bc4 Be5 40 b4 Ke6 41 Be3 Kd6 42 Bc5+ Ke6 After five more unrecorded moves Karpov lost on time. Nothing in fact happened to change the nature of the position, but with your flag hanging in an hour game there is no time frontier to reach (such as 40 moves in 2 hours) and time pressure is normally fatal.
Karpov — Ljubojevic: Nimzo-lndian De- fence, Round 3.
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 0-0 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3 b6 7 b4 Bb7 8 e3 d6 9 Bb2 Nbd7 10 Nt3 Qe7 11 Bet Ne4 12 Qc2 f5 13 0-0 a5 14 Nel axb4 15 axb4 Rxa 1 16 Bxal Ra8 17 Bb2 Qg5 18 Nf3 Qd8 19 b5 Ra2 20 Bdl Ndf6 21 Nel Ng4 22 h3 Nh6 23 Nd3 g5 24 d5 e5 25 f4 exf4 26 exf4 g4 27 hxg4 Qh4 28 Rel Nxg4 29 Bxg4 Qxg4 30 Re3 31 Nf2 Nxf2 32 Qxf2 Bc8 33 Rh3 h5 34 Qd4 Rxb2 35 Qxb2 Qxf4 36 RxhS Kg6 37 Rh8 Bd7 38 Rg8+ Kh5 Black resigns.
Mikhail Tal was a popular winner of the world Blitz championship (five minutes per player per game) held in St John, New Brunswick, over the early weekend of 19/20 February. The format was based on knock-out matches consisting of four games, rising to six for the final. Tal overwhelmed Vaganian 4-0 in the last round, but this cannot have been the finale the organisers had hoped for. The Blitz had been billed as the unofficial tie- breaker from Seville, but Karpov and Kasparov were eliminated respectively in the second round (Karpov losing to Cher- nin) and the quarter-final (where Kasparov lost to Georgiev). It was obvious that neither of the two Ks (who had arrived in St John just a few days before the cham- pionship started) was properly adjusted after the long transatlantic flight.
This was the first time in his career that Kasparov had truly failed in a chess objec- tive and it was hardly an auspicious debut for his inaugural visit to the American continent. Tal's first prize of Canadian $50,000 ironically dwarfs the couple of thousand roubles he picked up when he won the real world championship against Botvinnik in 1960.
I must apologise for an error in last week's article. It was printed that Kaspar- ov defeated 80 opponents in his interna- tional simul. This should have read 8. Kasparov's score (as later noted in the article) was 8 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw.