Sun, 23 Apr 2000

Karpov, Khalifman win their matches in JAPFA opener

By Ivy Susanti

SANUR, Bali (JP): Former world champion Grand Master (GM) Anatoly Karpov and successor GM Alexander Khalifman, both of Russia, won their matches in the opening of the US$56,500 JAPFA Classic International Tournament 2000 here on Saturday.

Karpov, the FIDE world champion from 1975 to 1985 and from 1993 to 1999 before Khalifman took over, outclassed host player GM Ruben Gunawan in the 47th step in four hours 23 minutes in the English opening.

On the contrary, Khalifman speeded up to beat International Master (IM) Zaw Win Lay of Myanmar in the 21st step using the French opening in only one hour and 33 minutes.

Indonesia's top player GM Utut Adianto, who used the Queen Indian opening, was able to slightly outshine GM Gilberto Milos Jr. of Brazil in the 23th step. But Milos did not give up easily and managed to force Utut to draw in the 37th step.

At another table, GM Judit Polgar of Hungary, who is the only women's player in the 16th category tournament, struck in the 24th step to tie with GM Jaan Ehlvest of Estonia by using the Modern opening.

Dutch GM Jan Timman, who used Caro Kann opening, also had to tie with GM Yasser Seirawan of the United States in the 43th step.

With the lowest elo rating of 2510, Ruben refused to bow out to Karpov until the 30th step. His downfall started when he moved his black pawn to g4, and in the 43th step, suddenly Karpov sent his white bishop to seize Ruben's pawn.

Ruben tried to resist but he surrendered at last in the 47th step. The 32-year-old player needed two hours and six minutes to consider his movement while Karpov, 48, needed two hours and 17 minutes.

Khalifman had threatened Zaw's white king in g6 in the 17th step, and in the next move, Zaw tried to make a little innovation by moving his rook from a to d1 instead of his pawn to c3.

In the final 21st step, Zaw's king seized Khalifman's pawn in h6 but Zaw had no where to go. Khalifman amazingly took only 23 minutes to think his scheme while Zaw needed one hour and 10 minutes.

The second round on Sunday will feature Ehlvest against Khalifman, Ruben against Zaw, Seirawan against Karpov, Milos against Timman and Polgar against Utut.

In the opening ceremony earlier, Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri said she was pleased to be able to meet Karpov in the tournament.

"I'm proud that I can meet with the Grand Master. So far, I have only heard and read about Karpov, but now I can meet him in person here. I also appreciate the presence of other players," she said.

Megawati also hoped that chess could be played at the grass roots level as well as at the elite level.

"To achieve this, I have suggested the Indonesian Chess Federation (Percasi) to set up a special chess school or include the sport in school's curriculum," she said.