Saturday, February 28, 2009

Topalov to challenge Anand for the chess crown


Bulgarian grandmaster Vesselin Topalov won the right to challenge world champion Viswanathan Anand after winning the chess crown pretenders match against American Gata Kamsky on February 26 2009.
Playing with the white pieces, Topalov won the seventh game in his eight-of-best match against Kamsky in Sofia to take the overall score to 4.5-2.5 points. Topalov's superb performance forced Kamsky to concede on the 45th move, which meant that there was no need for the two to meet for an eight time.
If the final score was 4-4, a tie-break of up to seven fast chess games had to be played on February 28 2009.
"It was a game of blink, to see who will make the first mistake," Topalov was quoted by Bulgarian news agency Focus after the game."
At one point, I felt in control of the game but then I made a mistake. Kamsky played very fast and he himself made a fatal mistake. He could have played better. After my loss [in game four] we with the team felt very bad because we could not get our game where we wanted.
"Kamsky always outsmarted us. He is a very tough player. I have never won in such a long match and it was a big experience for me," Topalov said."
It was a very complicated game," Focus quoted Kamsky as saying. "I made some serious mistakes while Vesselin played very smart and made fewer mistakes. At the end, I was the one who lost," he said.
Topalov, the 2005 world champion, will have a chance thus to reclaim the crown when he meets reigning champion Viswanathan Anand later this year. - The Sofia Echo

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gelaran Grandmaster dalam catur

Apa itu "Grandmaster"?
..
Gelaran "Grandmaster" atau GM merupakan anugerah tertinggi kepada pemain-pemain catur yang dikurniakan oleh Pertubuhan Catur Dunia atau lebih dikenali sebagai FIDE. Tidak kira lelaki atau wanita gelaran ini boleh diperolehi setelah syarat dan kriteria yang diperlukan telah diperolehi. Di antara syarat-syaratnya ialah mempunyai ELO rating 2500 ke atas.

Gelaran "Grandmaster" ini mula dianugerahkan kepada 5 orang pemain terbaik di Pertandingan St Petersburg 1914 oleh Tzar Rusia. Mereka adalah Emanuel Lasker, Jose Raul Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine, Siegbert Tarrasch, dan Frank Marshall. Lasker, Capablanca dan Alekhine merupakan juara-juara dunia.


GM Carlsen (2776)


Setakat ini hampir 600 orang yang telah mendapat gelaran "Grandmaster".

INFO: Tahap-tahap Grandmaster Catur mengikut level FIDE Rating (Elo Rating):
Super Elite Grandmaster (GM) : Elo Rating 2800++
Elite Grandmaster (GM) : Elo 2700-2799
Super Grandmaster (GM) : Elo 2600-2699
Grandmaster (GM) : Elo 2500-2599
International Master (IM) : Elo 2300-2499
Fide Master (FM) : Elo 2200-2299
..
Level-level tu hanyalah anggaran sahaja, sebab kadang kala ada GM yg dah turun sehingga Elo 2400++. Istilah ini cuma panggilan saja sebab dlm catur hanya ada Grandmaster (GM), IM, FM saja.
..
*Elo Rating=Istilah ini adalah datangnya daripada Dr.Arpad Emrick Elo yg merupakan seorang professor Fizik yg telah mencipta tahap level2 master catur di dunia dan telah digunakan oleh FIDE (Badan Catur Dunia) untuk menentukan tahap2 kekuatan minda pemain catur.

Georgiev catat rekod lawan catur 360 orang

SOFIA 24 Feb. - Pemenang Grandmaster, Kiril Georgiev berjaya memecah rekod dunia untuk jumlah tertinggi dalam permainan catur secara serentak.

Georgiev bertarung dalam 360 permainan secara serentak dan menamatkan permainan dalam masa 14 jam 8 minit.

Dia merekodkan hanya enam kali kalah dan 70 keputusan seri, manakala yang lain semua dimenanginya daripada pesaing pelbagai peringkat usia yang terdiri daripada kanak-kanak hingga pesara.

Mengikut peraturan untuk melayakkan Georgiev mencatat rekod, dia perlu menang 80 peratus permainan dan dia telah pun mencatat rekod kemenangan sehingga 88 peratus, kata penganjur.
Rekod Grandmaster Bulgaria itu kini secara rasmi telah dikemukakan untuk dicatatkan dalam Buku Rekod Dunia Guinness.

Rekod permainan catur secara serentak dipegang oleh juara catur Amerika Syarikat yang berasal dari Hungary, Susan Polgar pada tahun 2005.

Polgar bermain 326 perlawanan catur, menang 309, seri 14 dan tewas hanya tiga. - AFP
Dipetik dari Utusan Online

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pengenalan Asas Permainan Catur

Permainan catur, antara permainan yang popular di seluruh dunia kerana menggabungkan seni dan sains. Kemahiran berfikir secara kritikal, menyebabkan catur dilihat sebagai perang abstrak dalam permainan.

Menguji minda dan meningkatkan keupayaan antara aspek penting yang ditekankan dalam aspek pembelajaran dan catur. Terdapat pelbagai variasi permainan catur dimainkan di seluruh dunia antaranya shogi di Jepun, janggi di Korea, xiangqi di China dan banyak lagi. Walaupun permaianan catur dianggap sukar bagi sesetengah orang, jika bersungguh-sungguh tiada masalah untuk mempelajari tekniknya.

Secara jelasnya, catur permainan berpapan berstrategi abstrak untuk dua pemain. Ia dimainkan pada papan bersaiz 8x8 petak, memberikannya 64 petak yang silih berganti warna, terang dan gelap, dengan setiap pemain mempunyai petak terang pada dekat-lapan sudut apabila berdepan dengan papan.

Setiap pemain mulakan permainan dengan 16 catur di mana boleh gerak dalam hala kemas (dalam setengah misalan, jarak terhad) dan boleh mengeluarkan lain-lain kepingan dari papan. Setiap kepingan pemain terdiri daripada lapan bidak, dua satria, dua gajah, dua tir, satu menteri dan satu raja. Semua kepingan boleh mengeluarkan kepingan pihak lawan dengan mendarat pada ruang yang mereka duduki.

Permainan catur membuatkan seseorang itu focus dalam apa yang dilakukan. Peningkatan tahap pembelajaran positif, kerana permainan catur membuatkan seseorang itu menggunakan otak kiri dan kanan dengan konsisten.
..

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Seorang pemain mengawal kepingan putih dan pemain lain mengawal kepingan hitam, pemain yang mengawal putih selalunya pemain pertama untuk gerak. Dalam catur, apabila pemain raja adalah secara terus diancam dengan tangkapan oleh satu atau lebih dari kepingan pihak lawan, pemain ini dikatakan ke dalam ‘check’.

Bila dalam check, hanya gerakan yang boleh mengelakkan check, sekat check, atau mengambil kepingan pihak lawan adalah dibenarkan. Objektif permaianan ini adalah untuk checkmate pihak lawan; ini berlaku apabila pihak lawan raja adalah check, dan tiada gerakan boleh dibuat yang bakal mengelakkannya.


Prinsip Asas Catur

1. Permulaan permainan (pembukaan) patut dilihat sebagai "perlumbaan" dengan dua matlamat:

  • Untuk mengawal petak sebanyak yang mungkin
  • Untuk membangunkan paling banyak bidak menyerang

2. Elakkan dari menggerakkan bidak yang sama dua kali sepanjang pembukaan. Ingat "perlumbaan" tersebut – cuba untuk jimatkan pergerakan.

3. Melainkan anda benar-benar tahu apa yang anda lakukan dan sebab kenapa, anda patutnya memulakan permainan, dengan salah satu pawn di tengah (sama ada di d4 atau e4). Jika anda bermain buah Hitam dan pihak Putih baru sahaja mula dengan salah satu gerakan tersebut, anda patut balas dengan gerakan yang sama (d5 atau e5).

4. Kuda sepatutnya berada di tengah petak. Letakkan ia di situ secepat mungkin.

5. Cuba untuk menyerang menggunakan queen di awal permainan bukanlah satu idea yang baik. Lawan anda akan berupaya menyerangnya dengan buah yang lebih rendah nilainya, bidak yang terlindung, di mana ia memaksa anda untuk menggerakkan queen anda lagi dan lagi berulang-kali, mengelakkan anda daripada membangunkan keseluruhan bidak anda, manakala lawan pula mampu membangunkan bidaknya.

6. Selepas anda telah membangunkan knight dan bishop anda, anda mungkin perlu castle. Castling membantu melindungi raja anda dan membangunkan rook. Bagi sebab yang sama, elakkan menggerakkan raja sebelum castling, kerana anda tidak boleh castling jika ia telah digerakkan terlebih dahulu.

7. Elakkan mempunyai dua atau lebih pawn di dalam satu kolum (di mana kerap kali jika anda telah tangkap satu bidak dengan pawn). Jika menangkap dengan pawn sahaja cara yang ada, sebolehnya lakukanlah, tetapi jika anda mempunyai beberapa pilihan utuk melakukannya, pilihlah satu cara yang tidak meninggalkan satu pawn di depan satu sama lain.

8. Jika satu kolum tidak mempunyai sebarang buah (sama ada anda ataupun lawan), cuba letakkan rook anda di situ.

9. Petak f2 (ataupun f7 untuk Hitam) adalah, pada permulaan permainan, tempat yang lemah. Tumpukan perhatian padanya.

10. Kerap kali, rangkaian pawn dibentuk, di mana pawn melindungi satu sama lain, membentuk barisan condong. Ini menjadikan satu kesukaran kepada anda untuk "masuk" ke dalam kawasan lawan. Teknik yng biasa digunakan ialah untuk mencari pawn yang tidak dilindungi, di belakang jaringan tersebut – tangkap ia (mungkin dengan menggunakan knight) adalah satu idea yang bagus.

11. Jangan pilih gerakan-gerakan dengan menjangkakan lawan anda akan bermain dengan buruk, seperti "cuba lihat jika dia perasan tak". Selalu anggapkan lawan akan melakukan gerakan terbaik. Jika tidak, lebih elok...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Malaysian Chess Blog list

Chess development in Malaysia may be slow compared to other countries but the interest in the game is growing by leaps and bounds. The number of blogs alone is the highest for any country in Asia.

Just to illustrate, here are the list of some Malaysian chess blogs that I know of (not in any particular order):-

1. Marcus Yeoh
2. Hairulov Chess Maniacs
3. Stonemaster.info
4. chess.euhong.net
5. Gilocatur
6. Setia Chess
7. Catur Terengganu
8. Syed Chess
9. Masros Chess
10. The Fide Trainer (Peter Long)
11;
Sifu My Catur (Encik Latiff)
12.
Nabil Fikri
13. Capman Chess
14. Bad Bishops
15. Masterchess 91
16 Geng Mamak
17, Planet Catur
18. Malaysian Chess (inactive)
19.
Balendran (inactive)
20.
Jax Tham (inactive)
21.
Selangor Chess (inactive)
22.
Malaysian GM (inactive)

I am very sure I missed out many other Malaysian chess blogs. Please let me know in the comment section or go to the
Malaysian Chess Blog directory page to update.
Not all are blogs though. Below is the list of sites that are not blogs:-


13TH BANDRAYA CHESSMASTER JOHORE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

..
Organiser : Johore Chess Academy , MBJB and JB Chess Association
Venue : JB Indoor Stadium, Johor Bahru ( Stadium Tertutup Bandraya JB )
Date & Time : Sunday, 19th April 2009
..
Time Control : Swis system of 7 rounds with 25 minutes per player to complete the game
..
Entry Fee : RM 60.00 for Open
.....................RM 12.00 for Under 16
.....................RM 10.00 for Under 12
..
Prizes : Open Category ( 1st to 10th placing )
( RM 3000.00 , RM 1000.00, RM700, RM600, RM400, RM300, RM300, RM 200, RM200, RM200 )
..
Under 16 (1st to 10th placing )
( RM500, RM200, RM100, RM80, RM70, RM50, RM50, RM50, RM 50, RM50 )
..
Under 12 ( 1st to 10th placing )
( RM300, RM150, RM80, RM70, RM60, RM50, RM50, RM50, RM50,RM50 )
..
Closing Date : Shall not be later than 17th April 2009
  • Late entries and entries without payment will not be accepted.
  • Entry fees are not refundable.
  • In the event of any disputes ( outside the Laws of Chess ), the organizer'sdecision shall be final and no further correspondences shall be entertained .
...
For further information, kindly contact :
...
Narayanan Krishnan
Tournament Director
Johore Chess Academy
H/P N0 : 0137717525

PERTANDINGAN CATUR TERBUKA PIALA TUN SYED ZAHIRUDDIN 2008/2009


TARIKH : 29 MAC 2009 (AHAD)

TEMPAT : DEWAN SRI TANJUNG, KOLEJ KEDIAMAN TUN SYED ZAHIRUDDIN, UNIVERSITI MALAYA.


MASA : 8 PAGI - 6 PETANG


HADIAH-HADIAH UTAMA:


TEMPAT PERTAMA : RM1500 + PIALA

TEMPAT KEDUA : RM1000 + PIALA

TEMPAT KETIGA : RM700 + PIALA SAGUHATI

UNIVERSITI TERBAIK : RM200 + PIALA

SEKOLAH TERBAIK : RM200 + PIALA

KELUARGA TERBAIK : RM200 + PIALA


PENYERTAAN : 1 KUMPULAN = 4 ORANG


- DIBUKA KEPADA 50 KUMPULAN

YURAN : RM80 BAGI SETIAP KUMPULAN



UNTUK MAKLUMAT LANJUT, SILA HUBUNGI:

RHEITTA 013-2006847

GENGATHARAN 012-9045391

RINA 012-5087379



TARIKH TUTUP PENYERTAAN : 22 MAC 2009


*** MAKAN TENGAHARI DISEDIAKAN UNTUK PESERTA***
* Semua peserta akan diberikan sijil penyertaan untuk menghargai penyertaan anda.


Untuk maklumat lanjut, klik di sini

Monday, February 23, 2009

Anand beats Wang Yue in Linares chess


Linares (Spain), Feb 23 - World Champion Viswanathan Anand outwitted Chinese Wang Yue in his fourth round encounter in the ongoing Magistral Ciudad de Linares chess tournament here today.
After getting the second victory in four games, the Indian ace inched himself up to 2.5 points in all and now stands sole third. Overnight leaders Levon Aronian of Armenia and Alexander Grischuk of Russia also recorded victories to reach 3 points and continued to share the top spot jointly. Grischuk got he better of off-form Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan while Aronian grounded Lenier Dominguez of Cuba.
Anand, playing with his white pieces, he again opted for the queen pawn that he had successfully used in the world championship match against Kramnik last October. Going for a recently popular variation Anand went for the early trade of queens that gave him a minuscule advantage and once Wang Yue failed to find the right plan, white had a vice-like grip on the position resulting in extreme pressure on both flanks.
Wang Yue was simply overpowered as Anand slowly improved his position before delivering the knockout punch. The Indian guided both his rooks in devastating position on the seventh rank and the Chinese lost a piece before calling it a day.
GM Anand (2791) - GM Wang Yue (2739)
Linares 2009 (4), 22.02.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 e6 6.g3 dxc4 7.Bg2 c5 8.dxc5 Qxd1+ 9.Nxd1 Bxc5 10.Ne5 Nd5 11.Ne3 Nxe3 12.Bxe3 Bxe3 13.fxe3 c3 14.b4 Nd7 15.Nd3 Rb8 16.0–0 b5 17.axb5 Rxb5 18.Rfc1 Ne5 19.Nxe5 Rxe5 20.Rxc3 0–0 21.Bc6 Rd8 22.e4 Kf8 23.Kf2 Ke7 24.b5 axb5 25.Ra7+ Kf6 26.Rf3+ Kg6 27.Rfxf7 Rg8 28.Rfc7 Rh5 29.h4 Kf6 30.Ra8 Rc5 31.Rcxc8 Rxc8 32.Rxc8 b4 33.Bd7 White wins 1–0

Kamsky Wins Game 4, Evens Match Against Topalov



Gata Kamsky of the United States beat Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria Saturday in Game 4 of their world chess championship challengers match. The best-of-eight match, which is being played in Sofia, Bulgaria, is now even with one win a piece and two draws. The winner is supposed to play a title match against Viswanathan Anand of India. More information about the match and the players is on the official Web site.

In Game 4, Kamsky had White and was able to steer the game into the kind of closed position in which he excels. Actually, Topalov almost seemed to acquiesce to taking the game down a quiet path. It was a curious decision as he is much better in open positions where his tactical prowess is superior to Kamsky’s, as he showed in Game 2. In that game, he surprised Kamsky with an unusual variation of the Berlin Defense and Kamsky took a lot of time on his clock to navigate the variations. Eventually, he ran low of time, erred and lost.

Game 4 began as Game 2 had, but Topalov did not employ the Berlin Defense. Perhaps he figured that the shock value he got from the opening in Game 2 would no longer work as Kamsky would now be well-prepared. Whatever Topalov was thinking, he followed the well-known paths of the Ruy Lopez, an opening that suits Kamsky’s style.

Topalov actually got a reasonable, albeit somewhat passive game. Then Kamsky sacrificed a pawn to restrict Black’s pieces and Topalov clearly got frustrated. He pushed his b pawn too far, allowing White’s pieces inroads into Black’s position. Kamsky recovered his pawn and had an ideal position where Black had multiple weaknesses.
Kamsky soon won a pawn and simplified to a position where his pieces were better placed than Topalov’s and he had a dangerous passed d pawn. From there, Kamsky used excellent technique to convert his advantage into a victory.

It was Kamsky’s first win against Topalov.
Source: Gambit Blog

Saturday, February 21, 2009

[Event "Sofia match"]
[Date "2009.02.20"]
[Round "3"]
[White "GM Topalov"]
[Black "GM Kamsky"]
[White Elo "2796"]
[Black Elo "2725"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Qb3 Topalov is mixing things up immediately. In game 1, Topalov played 4.cxd5 and the game continued with Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 O-O 10.O-O...

dxc4 5. Qxc4 Bg7 6. e4 O-O 7. Be2 a6 8. Bf4 b5 9. Qxc7
This could be an interesting line 9... Qxd4 10. Rd1 Qb4 11. Rd2 Nbd7 12. Be3 Rb8 +=

9. Qxc7 10. Bxc7 b4
This is another option 10... Bb7 11. f3 Rc8 12. Bf4 Nc6 13. e5 Nd7 14. Rd1 =

11. Na4 Nc6 12. d5
Nd4 Gata is doing much better in time today. In fact, he is slightly ahead in time. This is a major improvement over the first two games.

13.Bd3 Bd7 The most logical continuation for White here would be 14.Nb6. However, Black has a possible dynamic response 14...Bb5 15. Be5 Bxd3 16. Bxd4 Rab8 17. e5 Rxb6 18. Rd1 Nd7 19. Bxb6 Bb5 20. Bd4 +=. The more natural 14...Ra7 15.Be5 is not as good for Black.

14.Nb6 Time for Black to calculate all the critical line. This is the key make or break moment of the game.

14...Bb5 Once again, Gata found the strongest and most aggressive line. The good thing is he is not afraid to get into a complicated position. He is comfortable with it. The not so good thing is this is the kind of brawl that Topalov likes.

15.Be5 Both 15...Bxd3 or 15...Rab8 are fine. I personally prefer Bxd3. Gata understand that the game is at a critical phase. This is why he is starting to take his time to calculate through so many complicated lines.

15...Nxe4 This is a possibility 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Bxe4 Rab8 18. O-O-O =

16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Bxe4 The best move. Now 17...Rab8 is the only move to maintain equality.

17...Rab8 Now 18.0-0-0 is the best move. With 18...Nf5, Gata can equalize.

18.0-0-0 Nf5 19.Bxf5 gxf5 20. d6 Rxb6 21. dxe7 Re8 22. Nf3 =

19.Bxf5 gxf5 Gata is playing this game well. He badly needs to hold and it seems that he is doing just that to regain the self confidence to get back into this match.

20.d6 Rxb6 21.dxe7 Re8 22.Nf3 Just as expected. White has a very very small edge but Black should have no problem drawing this game. 22...Rxe7 23.Nd4 is the logical continuation.

22...Rxe7 23.Nd4 Black can ignore the Knight and play 23...Kf6 or he can retreat with 23...Bd7. Probably the second choice is more preferable.

23...Bd7 24.Rhe1 Rxe1 25.Rxe1 = Now a move like 25...Rh6 is important. Why? Basically it puts pressure for White to play h3. White wants to put his pawns on h4 and g3 dark squares. Then the Knight can park on f4 and White is in good shape. 25...Rh6 stops it.

25...Rh6 26.Rh7 Getting out of playing h3.

26...Rd6 27.Ne2 White is aiming to get his Knight to f4. The position is still equal. However, Topalov is making Kamsky earn it. I think it is more psychologically than the merit of the position.

27...Kf6 28.Re3 Another move to force Black to put his pawns on the light square. This is something to remember when playing endgame with a Bishop.

28...Ba4 29.b3 Bc6 = Still looks equal

30.Nf4
a5 31.g3 30...Be4 will take away the White's Rook mobility. In fact, it is a must move or else White will play Rd3 to exchange the Rooks. If the Rooks are gone, White will be better.

31...Be4 32.f3 Bc6 33.h4 Rd4 The position is still equal.

34.Kc3 White can try to give up the f3 pawn by playing Rd3. Once the Rooks are off the board, White can march his King to c4 then b5.

34...Bb5 Stopping Rd3. I expect draw shortly as neither side can really make progress.

35.Nh5+ Kg6 36.Nf4+ Kf6 37.Nh5+ 1/2 This is a good draw for Gata. He needs to have a relatively easy game to get back on track for game 4.

Source: Susan Polgar

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kamsky 0-1 Topalov game 2


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0 Bc5 This is a very surprising choice for Topalov. This line is generally considered risky for Black. However, I am sure that the Topalov team has something prepared. If the clock is correct, Kamsky is spending a lot of time on his 5th move. One thing you have to give Topalov a lot of credit for, he does take chances and go for the win with both Black and White pieces.

5.Nxe5 Nxe4 6.Qe2 Nxe5 Both 7.d4 or 7.Qxe4 are fine
7.d4 Qe7 Both 8.Qxe4 and 8dxc5 are playable. 8.dxc5 maybe a slightly better option. It seems the the Topalov team has out prepared the Kamsky team in the first two games. However, we have yet to see the fruitful result for Topalov. That's due to Kamsky's resourcefulness.
8.dxc5 Nxc5 9.Nc3 Ng6 Topalov is moving with lightning speed. He is ahead by around 50 minutes on the clock. However, I do not see much for Black. White is still slightly better. He has excellent compensation for the pawn with far superior development. I like 10.Be3 here for White. White surely does not want to trade Queen with a pawn down.
10.Qh5 Kamsky now has approximately 42 minutes vs 118 minutes for Topalov. I do not think that this is not the strongest move for White. Black can simply 0-0 and then try to convert the pawn up endgame. White does have compensation for the pawn. However, being low on time, Kamsky does not have an easy task. But never count him out though. He is a fighter.
10...c6 I think 11.Bg5 is the only move to maintain compensation for the pawn. It gains a tempo for the Rooks to be connected.
11.Bg5 Excellent find by Gata. Black must defend with 11...f6.
11...f6 If 12.Rae1 then 12...Ne6 =12.
Rae1 Ne6 This position is quite complicated and dangerous for White. One false move and he will be looking at an inferior endgame. The best move for White here is 13.
Bd3.13.Bd3 Once again, Gata found the best move under pressure.
13...0-0 Yesterday, Topalov sacrificed early for an attacking initiative. He failed to make serious progress and the game ended in a draw. Today, it is Kamsky's turn.
14.Bd2 Gata continues to make good moves. If 14...Qf7 then 15.f4. If 14...d5 then 15.Bg6 hxg6 16.Qxg6.
14...d5 Topalov decided to give back the pawn to trade down pieces. White can either take the Knight of g6 or play 15.f4.
15.f4 Gata decides not to trade pieces. He wants to keep the pressure on. The threat is obviously f5. Black has 15...Qd6 If 16.f5 then Nef4 =+. 15...Qc5 is also fine for Black.
15...Qc5+ This is an interesting continuation: 16. Be3 Qb4 17. a3 Qxb2 18. Nd1 Qxa3 =16.
Kh1 Time pressure is starting to get to Gata. This is not the most accurate move. 16.Be3 would have been a better move.
16...d4! 17.Bf5? Now 17...Nexf4 and Black stands better.
17...Rf7? I have no comprehension of this move. This allows Gata back in the game.
18.Ne4 Qd5 19.Bxg6 = The ONLY move for Black here is 19...hxg6. Everything else wins for White.
19...hxg6 20.Qxd5 cxd5 21.Nd6 At first glance, White seems to be better because of the threat of Nxc8 then Rxe6. However, Black has 21...Rc7 22.Nxc8 Raxc8 23.Rxe6 Rxc2 24.Re2 Rxb2 =+
21...Rc7 22.c4?! Now Black has 22...dxc3 23. Bxc3 d4 24. Nxc8 Raxc8 25. Rxe6 dxc3 26. bxc3 Rxc3 -/+ Gata is also in severe time trouble. He has around 5 minutes or less to make move 40!
22...dxc3 23.Bxc3 d4 24.Bb4 Now White is in serious trouble.
24... Bd7 25. Rf2 a5! An excellent move to expand his advantage.
26. Ba3 b5 27. b3 -+ b4 28.Bb2 Ra6 29.Ne4 Rac6 -+ Both players played very fast in the past few moves.
30.Kg1 Rc2 31.g3 Unless Topalov blunders here, Black will score a full point in this game.
31...d3 32.Rd1 Now 32...f5 and game over. If White moves the Knight, Black will take the Rook on f2, followed by Rc2+ winning the Bishop on b2. 0-1

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

GM Judit Polgar

JUDIT POLGAR(born Jul-23-1976) Hungary

Judit Polgar was born in Hungary in 1976. Her childhood included an extensive chess education from her father, László, and her sisters.
Beginning international competition as early as 1984, she won the U12 Boys World Championship in 1988 and the U14 Boys World Championship in 1990. In 1991 she became an International Grandmaster by winning the "men's" Hungarian championship.
At fifteen years and five months of age, she was the youngest grandmaster in history, breaking a record that Robert James Fischer had held for over 30 years. She has been the highest-rated woman ever since FIDE's January 1990 list, and in 2003 she entered the overall top ten.
In 2005, she became the first woman to take part in the final of FIDE's FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005). However, she finished last out of the eight players and fell to 14th in the world rankings after the event.
Polgar's career-best tournament performances include four victories at Essent (twice shared), clear first at Madrid 1994, and clear second at Corus 2003. She currently lives in Budapest with her husband and their two children.

Pemain cilik bertaraf dunia

Oleh IZYAN LIYANA MOHD. DARIF
izyanliyana.mdarif@kosmo.com.my

Ketangkasan kanak-kanak berusia 12 tahun ini bermain catur membolehkannya tersenarai antara 20 pemain catur dunia berusia bawah 10 tahun dalam Kejohanan Catur Dunia.
KETIKA usianya enam tahun, tumpuan anak kedua daripada empat orang adik-beradik itu bukan pada anak patung atau barang mainan. Sebaliknya, dia lebih fokus pada latihan mengatur strategi 'peperangan' catur.

"Saya minat bermain catur kerana selalu melihat ayah dan abang berlatih main catur.

"Minat tersebut semakin bercambah apabila saya menemani ayah bertanding catur di Batu Gajah, Perak," kata Nur Nabila Azman Hisham, 12, ketika ditemui di kediaman keluarganya di Sungai Buloh, Selangor baru-baru ini.

Murid Tahun Enam, Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Rahman, Sungai Buloh itu berkata, semasa dia menemani bapanya bermain catur, keinginan untuk mencuba permainan itu mula berputik. Walaupun tiada kemahiran, Nur Nabila yang lebih mesra disapa Nabila menjelaskan, dia cuba mempraktikkan permainan tersebut berdasarkan pemerhatiannya.

Ketika itulah, bapanya Azman Hisham Che Doi, 43, mendapati Nabila bijak menyusun strategi dan berbakat dalam permainan catur. Sejak itu, Nabila terus mendapat latihan daripada bapanya selama setahun.

"Selepas setahun menjalani latihan dan mempraktikkan ilmu catur, saya mula berani menyertai pertandingan catur.

"Pada peringkat awal, saya hanya bermain di sekolah untuk mewakili kelab catur sekolah. Kemudian, saya diberi peluang untuk mewakili negara dalam pertandingan ASEAN Age Group Chess Championship (2004) di Vietnam bagi kategori bawah lapan tahun," katanya yang berjaya menggondol pingat emas dalam pertandingan tersebut.


Biarpun baru pertama kali bersaing di luar negara dan berhadapan dengan pemain dari Vietnam, Indonesia dan Filipina, dia sedikit pun tidak berasa gentar. Sepanjang pertandingan berlangsung, otaknya aktif berfikir manakala matanya memandang tepat pada buah catur pihak lawan.

"Peserta dari Vietnam dan Filipina adalah antara peserta Asia Tenggara yang hebat. Setiap langkah buah catur yang dibuka mempunyai misi tersirat dan muslihat," ujar Nabila mengimbas pengalamannya. Pengalaman tersebut memberikan Nabila peluang untuk mempelajari strategi bermain catur daripada pemain-pemain yang hebat.

Catur merupakan permainan papan yang dimainkan oleh dua orang pada papan catur yang bersaiz lapan kali lapan petak. Permainan tersebut dipercayai berasal dari India pada zaman pemerintahan Gupta sejak kurun keenam.

Dalam perlawanan catur, pemain perlu sentiasa peka dan memastikan askarnya bergerak di posisi yang tepat serta selamat.

Terdapat 16 buah catur yang terdiri daripada lapan bidak (pawn), dua kuda (knight), dua gajah (bishop), dua tir (rook), satu ratu (queen) dan satu raja (king). Buah-buah catur itu diatur dalam dua barisan.


Pemegang buah catur putih akan memulakan langkah dan diikuti dengan pemegang buah catur hitam secara bergilir-gilir sehingga menemui pemenangnya.

"Jika salah percaturan, maka raja akan ditawan musuh. Oleh itu, saya tidak boleh mengambil langkah terburu-buru kerana teruk padahnya," jelas Nabila.

Anak kelahiran Kuantan, Pahang itu menambah, bermain catur memerlukan ketangkasan otak. Sejak mencipta kejayaan di Vietnam, Nabila terus mencipta nama dalam pertandingan catur yang dianjurkan di Malaysia mahupun di luar negara.

Boleh dikatakan, hampir kesemua pertandingan yang disertai gadis genit itu sentiasa membuahkan hasil. Malah, lebih membanggakan, Nabila kini berada di kedudukan ke-1,837 dalam Organisasi Catur Dunia (FIDE).

"Terbaru, saya menjadi juara dalam pertandingan catur anjuran Kolej Kejururawatan dan Kesihatan Masterskill di Kuala Lumpur," jelasnya yang memenangi wang tunai sebanyak RM1,000 dan trofi. Hadiah-hadiah tersebut disampaikan oleh Raja Datuk Seri Azureen Sultan Azlan Shah.

Selain itu, Nabila yang juga menggemari sukan bola jaring pernah menjuarai Kejohanan Chessmaster Bandaraya Johor Bahru 2008, memungut pingat emas di KL Open Chess 2008, pingat perak (bawah 12 tahun) Sukan Wanita Kebangsaan dan bergelar juara dalam Kejohanan Junior Kebangsaan.

Tidak ketinggalan, dia pernah diiktiraf sebagai 20 pemain (bawah 10 tahun) dalam Kejohanan Catur Dunia.

Pada pertemuan dengan Kosmo!, Nabila sempat menunjukkan fotonya ketika mewakili negara dalam pertandingan Catur Remaja Dunia di Turki.

KOLEKSI piala yang dimiliki oleh Nabila dan adik-beradiknya yang lain.

Walaupun sekadar menduduki tempat ke-27 daripada 80 peserta, pengalaman tersebut sentiasa terpahat di dalam memorinya. Apatah lagi ketika itu, dia perlu bersaing dengan peserta dari Turki, Rusia, Kanada dan sebagainya.

"Pertandingan di Turki antara pertandingan yang mencabar minda dan kekuatan fizikal. Saya bukan sahaja perlu menahan sejuk, malah terpaksa berhempas-pulas menentang peserta yang handal terutamanya pemain Turki.

"Gerak-geri mereka sukar ditafsirkan. Mereka bijak mengatur strategi," ujar Nabila yang bercita-cita menjadi jurulatih dan membuka kelas catur apabila dewasa kelak.
Bercerita mengenai cabarannya sebagai pencatur, Nabila menyifatkan proses pembelajaran merupakan cabaran yang paling berat.

Dia bukan sahaja perlu mengenali nama buah catur malah perlu menghafal pergerakan buah catur. Ini kerana setiap buah catur mempunyai langkah tersendiri.

"Seperti kuda (knight) perlu bergerak dalam bentuk L manakala tir (rook) bergerak secara melintang atau membujur sejauh mana yang dikehendaki, tetapi bukan secara pepenjuru," ujar Nabila yang berpegang pada prinsip tidak memikirkan soal takut dan kalah.

Catur erat hubungan keluarga
KECEMERLANGAN Nur Nabila Azman Hisham dalam permainan catur turut disertai oleh adik-beradiknya yang lain, Mohd. Nabil, 15, Nur Najiha 10, dan Mohd. Najwan, 8.

SELAIN latihan secara praktikal, himpunan buku catur turut membantu corak permainan Nabila. AZMAN berlatih bermain catur bersama anak-anaknya selama dua jam setiap hari mulai pukul 9 malam. Jika keluarga lain gemar menghabiskan masa menonton wayang atau bersantai pada hujung minggu, keluarga Nabila pula sebaliknya. Hujung minggu adalah hari mereka sekeluarga menyertai pertandingan catur.

"Anak-anak tidak pernah merungut, sebaliknya menjadi resah jika tiada aktiviti berkaitan catur pada hujung minggu," jelas Azman Hisham Che Doi, 43, mengenai anak-anaknya yang begitu obses pada permainan catur.

Ini turut diakui oleh Mohd Nabil yang bakal menduduki peperiksaan Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), pada tahun ini.

"Tidak lengkap kehidupan saya tanpa catur. Seronok bermain catur kerana ia mendidik kita supaya sentiasa peka dan memahami corak permainan pihak lawan.

"Pada masa yang sama, ia menguji kemahiran minda berfikir dalam menyelesaikan masalah. Kaedah (berfikir) itu sebenarnya banyak membantu saya dalam subjek Matematik yang memerlukan kita mencari jalan kerja bagi mendapatkan jawapan yang tepat," kata Nabil tentang keistimewaan catur.

Berdasarkan kajian yang dijalankan oleh Dr. Yee Wang dari Universiti Chinese Hong Kong pada tahun 1977 hingga 1979, beliau mendapati pemain catur menunjukkan peningkatan sebanyak 15 peratus dalam ujian subjek Matematik dan Sains.

Ini kerana antara permainan catur dan silibus Matematik, persamaannya terletak pada proses menyelesaikan masalah, merancang, menjadi sistematik dan menentukan langkah yang perlu dilakukan.

"Sebab itulah, untuk menguasai langkah dan kefahaman catur, ia tidak hanya bergantung pada latihan secara praktikal. Asas teori juga perlu dititikberatkan seperti membaca buku panduan atau bahan bacaan mengenai resipi kejayaan pemain catur profesional.

"Dengan membaca, mereka akan lebih memahami corak permainan, mengurangkan rasa gerun ketika bertanding dan mengenal pasti langkah-langkah yang boleh mengundang kekalahan," tambah Azman.

Setiap hari, Azman akan melatih anak-anaknya bermain catur selama dua jam bermula dari pukul 9 malam.

Veselin Topalov - Gata kamsky

Round 1
Chess Challengers 2009
Sofia

The game starts at 14:00 CET, feel free to leave your thoughts about Topalov - Kamsky in the forum. Topalov will have the white pieces, Kamsky will start with black. Minute by minute updates from the opening ceremony and press conference here One of this year's biggest chess events is about to begin.
Two top GMs will face the challenge to win the right to play for the World Chess Championship against Anand. Veselin Topalov, N.1 in FIDE ranking seems to be the obvious favorite with the event hosted by his home country. Things are not that simple though.
Topalov, who is extraordinary tournament fighter, doesn't fare so well in matches - he has little experience in such - and playing on home turf may cause additional psychological pressure. Kamsky, on the contrary, has vast knowledge what are the right things to do during a match. He has no outstanding tournament results but has won most of his matches including against Anand and Kramnik.
Someone may argue that those things happened long ago but at the World Cup - event consisting of mini matches only - he was unstoppable. Based on this, though my personal sympathies go for Topalov, I predict a very tough match with hard fight in every single game. Let's hope that the audience will enjoy a spectacular show.

1.
d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 Gruenfeld Defense should not surprise anyone, as Sutovsky, Kamsky's second, is one of the greatest expert in this opening and recently Gata sometimes uses it instead of his favorite Slav.
4.
cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 O-O 10.O-O The very main line, which brought Topalov several impressive victories.
10...
Na5 ( Nobody dares challenge Veselin anymore in the complicated lines after 10... Bg4)
11.
Bd3 b6 12.Qd2 e5 13.Bh6 ( At the Russian Team Championship in 2008, van Wely played 13.d5 against Kamsky and lost. The game move is not a novelty but judging by the speed of Veselin's play has to be studied thoroughly during the home preparation.)
13...
cxd4 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.cxd4 exd4 16.f4 f6 17.e5 This has to be the prepared novelty novelty. Clock readings: 1.57 1.34 Until this game White followed a plan involving Ng3, Rac1 and a march of the 'h' pawn. Kamsky is still thinking and has 53 minutes on the clock. He has to chose between letting White shatter the pawns covering his King, or simplifying the position a bit but leaving Topalov with a strong passed pawn on the 'e' file.
17...
Bd7 Developing move that connects Black Rooks on the 8th rank. Now fxe5 is a threat and White should determine the situation in the center.
18.
exf6+ Qxf6 19.Ng3 Kh8 The defensive setup of Kamsky seems to be sound. He neutralized the f4-f5 threat and Veselin has to find a way to keep the initiative.
20.
f5 gxf5 With Kg7 this would not be possible in view of Nh5+
21.
Bxf5 (21.Nxf5 Rae8 22.Rac1 Nc6 and Black manages to coordinate his pieces.)
21...
Bxf5 22.Rxf5 Qd6 23.Raf1 Nc6 One may note that there are almost no lines in my comments. The reason is simple: after 16 moves theory, White makes a novelty, Black finds a good defensive plan and his opponent has to go for forced lines to keep his pressure, while being a pawn down. I would not say that only moves are made all the time but deviating might lead either player in inferior situation.
24.
Ne4 Qe7 25.Qh6 Rxf5 26.Rxf5 Once again Topalov forces the Black moves. Now 26...Ne5 is the only defense.
26...
Ne5 27.h3 (27.Ng5 is countered by 27... Ng4) ( or 27.Nf6 Ng6) ( Objectively, the best option seems to be 27.Qd2 d3 28.Qc3 Re8 29.Qd4 Qg7 30.Qd6 keeping the position about equal. Topalov is not the kind of player to retreat and he is still looking for forced lines.)
27...
Ng6 Kamsky defends in cold blood. He retained his extra pawn and Veselin should be careful. The time spent is about equal: 0.39 0.30
28.
Rh5 (28.Rh5 Kg8 29.Nf6+ Qxf6 30.Qxh7+ Kf8 31.Rh6 Rc8 32.Rxg6 Rc1+ 33.Kh2 Qf4+ 34.Rg3 Rc3 35.Qg7+ Ke8 36.Qg5 is a possible line leading to about equal Rook ending.)
28...
Rg8 This should lead to a forced draw, while Kg8 was offering some chances to fight for more.
29.
Nf6 Rg7 30.Nxh7 Rxh7 31.Qxg6 Qe3+ 32.Kf1 Qc1+ 33.Kf2 (33.Ke2 d3+ 34.Qxd3 Rxh5 35.Qd8+ leads to perpetual.)
33...
Qd2+ 34.Kg3 Qe3+ 35.Kh2 Qf4+ 36.Kg1 Qc1+ Draw agreed. Topalov played a novelty on move 17 and launched an attack against opponent's King without ever looking back. Kamsky found good defensive resources and never seemed in real trouble. The draw seems like the just outcome and we are still to watch more fierce battles. 1/2

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ismail juara catur polis dunia

Oleh MOHD. SAIFUL MOHD. SAHAK(saiful.sahak@utusan.com.my)

Tugas sebagai pegawai dan anggota polis memang sering dihambat masa menyebabkan mereka mengurangkan atau melupakan terus aktiviti masa lapang yang seiring dilakukan sebelum menyertai pasukan itu.

Jika sebelum menjadi polis bermain bola sepak, mendaki gunung, bermain badminton, catur, dam dan sebagainya merupakan rutin harian atau pada hujung minggu.

Tetapi setelah melangkahkan kaki ke dalam pasukan pasukan beruniform biru, semua terpaksa dilupakan buat sementara. Namun begitu, menyertai Pasukan Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) bukanlah satu pengakhiran kepada semua aktiviti tersebut.

Walaupun masa sering mencemburui mereka, namun bagi sesetengah individu yang sudah lama melakukan aktiviti-aktiviti riadah seperti itu, masa yang terhad digunakan sebaik mungkin. Bagi mereka, ia seperti nadi dan tidak lengkap hidup jika mereka tidak melakukannya.

Bagi segelintir individu yang tidak mahu menyertai PDRM kerana menganggap ia penghalang kepada minat mereka, buang jauh-jauh pemikiran itu. Walaupun hakikatnya, pasukan polis tidak pernah menghalang malah memberi sokongan penuh kepada kakitangannya yang melibatkan diri dalam aktiviti sukan dan riadah.

Ini dapat dibuktikan dengan penglibatan pasukan PDRM dalam pelbagai kejohanan sukan di dalam dan luar negara. Peluang itu digunakan sebaik mungkin. Kesibukan tugas seharian tidak pernah menghalang mereka melakar kejayaan cemerlang dalam aktiviti yang diceburi.

Bagi, Sarjan Ismail Ahmad, 44, sepanjang menceburi bidang kepolisan ini, PDRM tidak pernah menghalang minatnya untuk melibatkan diri dalam arena sukan dan rekreasi. Malah beliau sendiri juga tidak sedar, terdapat banyak kemudahan dan usaha menonjolkan bakat dalam kerjaya kepolisan, salah satunya permainan catur.

Hasil sokongan PDRM itulah, kini hampir 23 tahun beliau menyertai permainan catur dan telah memenangi pelbagai kejohanan di dalam dan luar negara. Menyingkap penglibatan awal dirinya dalam permainan itu, beliau mempunyai cerita tersendiri. Menurut Ismail, beliau mula berkecimpung dengan permainan catur apabila didorong dengan perasan bosan ketika bersendirian. Katanya, bagi menghilang perasaan itu, beliau sering bermain dengan rakan-rakan pada waktu lapang.

“Dan setiap kali saya bermain kemenangan selalu memihak kepada saya dari situ timbul minat untuk melibatkan secara aktif dalam permainan ini,” jelasnya.
Menurut Ismail lagi, beliau gembira sekali kerana selain layak menjadi polis, cita-cita untuk mengasah bakat dalam permainan catur diimpikan selama ini tercapai. Bermula dari situ, beliau yang bertugas di Bahagian Latihan, Batalion 4, Markas Briged Tengah Pasukan Gerakan Am (PGA), sentiasa menghabiskan masa dalam membaca buku-buku dan melayari Internet yang ditulis oleh para Grand Master catur dunia.

Pengorbanan masa, tenaga dan wang ringgit akhirnya dibayar nilai setimpal apabila Ismail banyak memenangi banyak pertandingan dan kejohanan yang disertainya. Antaranya ialah Terbuka Indonesia 1997, Chess Olimpiad Elista 1998, Individu Jonal Tehran 1998, Juara Master Melayu 1999, Chess Olimpiad Turki 2000, Naib Johan Kebangsaan 2001 dan Terbuka Asian-Brunei.

Beliau juga meraih kemenangan di Chess Olimpiad Slovenia 2002, Sukan SEA 2003, Juara Selangor, Juara Team Merdeka, Juara Dunia Polis di Sepanyol 2003, juara dua kejohanan di Amerika Syarikat pada 2004.

Berdasarkan kejayaan dan pengalaman luar itu, pemilihannya sebagai jurulatih pasukan catur Malaysia pada Sukan SEA 2005 di Filipina adalah pilihan yang tepat. Kemuncaknya Ismail menjuarai Pertandingan Terbuka Catur Sedunia Angkatan Tentera Amerika Syarikat pada tahun 2004 yang melibatkan pasukan beruniform dari seluruh dunia.

Pengiktirafan itu turut menaikkan nama PDRM bahawa para anggotanya bukan sahaja siap sedia mengawal keselamatan malah masih mampu mengharumkan nama negara. Katanya, kemenangan itu mengejutkan negara-negara lain apabila pasukan catur elit PDRM Malaysia menang dalam pertandingan tersebut dan di luar jangkaannya sama sekali.

“Saya berjaya mengharumkan nama PDRM dan negara ini di peringkat antarabangsa, memang sukar diluahkan dengan kata-kata.

“Kejayaan dan pengalaman itu merupakan kenangan manis bagi saya,” ujarnya.

Lebih membanggakan Ismail apabila sepanjang penglibatan dalam permainan catur ini beliau berjaya menewaskan pemain-pemain catur terkemuka dunia. Di atas kejayaan itu, Ismail dianugerahkan Pingat Darjah Bentara Pasukan (BPP) Polis daripada Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail pada 2004.

Menurut Ismail selaku pemain catur PDRM, walaupun kesuntukan masa berlatih, namun masa terluang beliau gunakan sebaik mungkin bagi meningkatkan mutu permainan.

“Saya bersyukur pengorbanan itu membuahkan hasil di luar jangkaan saya sendiri,” kata Ismail yang pernah menjuarai Kejohanan Catur Polis Dunia 2003 di Sepanyol. Ismail yang sebelum ini pernah kini mengikuti Latihan Asas Kepolisan di Pusat Latihan Polis (Pulapol) Jalan Semarak Kuala Lumpur berkata, untuk menjadi pemain catur yang hebat soal disiplin perlu ditekankan.
“Disiplin yang baik akan menentukan hebatnya seseorang pemain dalam sukan ini.

“Malah minat yang mendalam terhadap sukan ini merupakan pendorong dan aset pada setiap kejayaan yang diperoleh,” terangnya.

Kata Ismail, beliau amat bertuah kerana pihak pengurusan PDRM amat memahami dan sentiasa memberi kelonggaran kepada dirinya jika ada sebarang pertandingan yang disertai.
Ismail berkahwin dengan Halimah Ahmad, 44, dan dikurniakan empat orang cahaya mata.

GM Gata Kamsky

A rare smile: Gata Kamsky in a light-hearted mood before a game
Gata, who was a World Championship candidate in the nineties, abandoned competitive chess in order to study medicine (for one year) and then law. He graduated from Touro Law Center in New York, but then returned to chess in June 2004 and soon became the number one chess player in the US – instead of, oh, the number 25,000 lawyer in the New York area. Wise career move! Before his break from chess many considered Kamsky to be sullen and hostile.
Since his comeback he is, as we can testify, utterly charming – outgoing, humourous, even affectionate. When you read this he will be on the verge of or already have started playing a candidates match against Veselin Topalov in Sofia, Bulgaria. It is probably not appropriate for us to say this, but: good luck, Gata!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

GM Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov, the undisputed king of the chess world for the past two decades, has announced his retirement from the professional game to focus on writing and a possible move into politics.

Kasparov, 41, became the youngest world champion ever at 22 and was known for an aggressive style that shunned settling for a draw. He was retiring in part because he saw no real goals left in chess, he said.

The announcement by the Russian grandmaster - the world's No 1 ranked chess player since 1984 - came shortly after he won the 14-match Linares tournament in Spain yesterday.

"Before this tournament I made a conscious decision that Linares 2005 will be my last professional [tournament], and today I played my last professional game," Kasparov said at a news conference last night.

He said his last games were "very difficult for me to play under such pressure, because I knew it was the end of the career which I could be proud of".

Kasparov has expressed increasing exasperation over the professional chess world, which has been bitterly divided since 1993 into two rival federations, with rival champions. He reiterated yesterday that he was disappointed that a campaign to reunify the title had failed.

He said he would continue to play chess, write books about it and take part in tournaments, such as so-called knockout events, in which he plays many opponents at once, or in speed-chess games. But he is saying goodbye to lucrative, top-level professional play.

Kasparov could be planning to concentrate on his participation in Russian politics. He has emerged as an outspoken critic of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and is playing a leading role in a group formed by prominent liberal opposition leaders called Committee 2008: Free Choice.

Born in Baku in the then-Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, Kasparov will be remembered in part for one of his few losses, a 1997 match against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue that was seen by some as a watershed moment in technological advancement.

In 2003, Kasparov averted a similar defeat when he agreed to a draw in the last game of his series against Deep Junior, which could process 3m chess moves a second. The six-game series, dubbed Man v Machine, tied 3-3.

Shay Bushinsky, one of two Israeli programmers of Deep Junior, said Kasparov's resignation had been "on the cards".

Mr Bushinsky said the chess champion told him, in a meeting last month, that he had been frustrated for a number of years because there was no real world championship in which he could compete. Mr Bushinsky told the Associated Press that, as a chess player, Kasparov was "the closest thing to a computer that I know as a man. Sometimes I think he has silicon running in his veins."

"Kasparov has the most incredible look-ahead and memory capabilities I have ever seen," he said.

Kasparov's chess talent was apparent at an early age. He started attending the Botvinnik chess school in 1973, when he was 10. Two years later, he became the youngest ever player to win the USSR junior championship. At 16 he won the world junior championship and achieved the title of grandmaster on his 17th birthday.

His first title match, from September 1984 to February 1985, against Anatoly Karpov, was the longest in chess history. After 48 games, the psychological and physical strain on Karpov, who was leading but appeared likely to lose, caused chess authorities to end the match inconclusively. Kasparov won a rematch six months later, becoming the youngest world champion ever. He defended his title against Karpov in 1986, 1987 and 1990.


GM Garry Kasparov


In the hands of this young man lies the future of chess. – Mikhail Botvinnik (on Kasparov in the late Seventies)

It was the beauty and brilliance of tactical blows that captivated me in early childhood. – Garry Kasparov

My chess philosophy has largely been developed under the influence of Ex-World Champion Mikhail Moiseevich Botvinnik. I am sure that the five years I spent at Botvinnik's school (1973-1978) played a decisive role in my formation as a chess player and determined the path of my subsequent improvement. – Garry Kasparov

I singled out for me a group of chess players from whom I wanted to borrow the best qualities: the psychological stability from Karpov, the meticulous positional technique from Petrosian, the logic from Botvinnik, the intuition from Alekhine, the ability of taking a risk from Tal. – Garry Kasparov

Alexander Alekhine is the first luminary among the others who are still having the greatest influence on me. I like his universality, his approach to the game, his chess ideas. I am sure that the future belongs to "Alekhine" chess. – Garry Kasparov

I try to play, always, beautiful games…always I wanted to create masterpieces. – Garry Kasparov

I want to win, I want to beat everyone, but I want to do it in style! – Garry Kasparov

Chess for me is art. – Garry Kasparov

Chess is mental torture. - Garry Kasparov

My play is based on the most general laws of chess and the particular features of the position. – Garry Kasparov

The point about concentration is that it is the only way to find something new and unusual at the chessboard; the only way to create surprise with fresh ideas. – Garry Kasparov

We like to think. – Gary Kasparov (on why he and Karpov get into time trouble so often)

In conclusion, if you want to unravel the multitude of secrets of chess then don't begrudge the time. - Garry Kasparov

My nature is that I have to excite myself with a big challenge. - Garry Kasparov

Kasparov feels Indian positions with his fingertips, but did not risk playing the KID against Karpov until their 4th match. And when Garry did not lose, he confirmed his absolute dominance over Karpov. It became clear that Karpov's attempts to regain the title would never succeed. - Alexsander Shashin

To make a rather primitive classification, the average grandmaster knows about 1,500 - 2,000 typical positions, including the opening, possible middlegame plans, and some outlines of endgame. Super GMs, like Kramnik or Anand, have a wider and deeper knowledge. As for Kasparov, his knowledge is truly head-spinning, I guess, his number of positions might exceed 10,000. Garry's memory is phenomenal! I think it even impedes him during the game. - Valeri Tsaturian

Potentially, Garry is an outstanding tactician who thinks originally and has a fine, sharp sense for dynamic positions. The trainers who worked with him concentrated on another of his assets, the most obvious one being his unique memory. This natural gift and his strong character, multiplied by his tremendous working ability, along with his ability to accumulate and retain information, produced the world champion; perhaps the greatest chess player of all time. Nevertheless, I believe that Garry did not realize his true chess potential to the maximum. Great knowledge is a great burden. Young Kasparov was incredibly inventive, even in difficult positions. He knew how to transform them, to explode the situation on the board in his favor, and he collected points from the strongest opponents, who could not cope with such complications. Garry's chess talent had a lot in common with Tal's. Later these traits were greatly developed. Garry has been the world's strongest player for 20 years and still he is not fully satisfied. Due to the constant pressure on him, Garry can't play a single game for his own pleasure. Those who've seen friendly games by Kasparov, when he plays in a relaxed manner without worrying about the outcome, will never forget it: what spectacular chess! - Valeri Tsaturian

An aggressively inscrutable player, Kasparov strives to gain deep positional sacrifices: Even when he can't calculate the end result conclusively, he can make sophisticated generalizations. He does anything to get the initiative and to force the play. Inevitably, he emerges from a forest of complications - in which his intentions aren't all that clear - with the advantage. He's not as artful or as clear as Fischer, but his play coincides with the realities of the day, which are all about defense. Clarity of style no longer makes sense. Great players hide their intentions. – Bruce Pandolfini

Kasparov always seems to find some sparks to create a fire on the board. – Lubomir Kavalek

Typical Kasparov. Instead of simplifying to stagnant equality, he seeks counter chances on the kingside. Forever confident. That's why he's the best in the world! – Yasser Seirawan (commenting on a Kasparov game)

When your house is on fire, you can't be bothered with the neighbors. Or, as we say in Chess, if your King is under attack you don't worry about losing a Pawn on the Queen's side. - Gary Kasparov

Sometimes Kasparov does things that no other chessplayer is able to do, things that are so stunning that colleagues and spectators ask themselves in astounded admiration how for heaven's sake it is possible that a human being can invent them. – Hans Ree

Look at Garry Kasparov. After he loses, invariably he wins the next game. He just kills the next guy. That's something that we have to learn to be able to do. - Maurice Ashley

If there is one single facet of chess in which Garry has well and truly dominated his opposition it is in the opening phase of the game. The breadth of his opening preparation is as vast as it is deep, ensnaring practically every chess grandmaster he has ever faced. I've witnessed some of the world's very best grandmasters shaking their heads, staring at a lost position shortly after breaking beyond the opening stages. – Yasser Seirawan

Considering the youth of many of today's chess fans it might be better to reminisce about how terrifying Kasparov was in the 80s, but no time for ancient history today. Nobody gets a name like "Beast" after they're 35. – Mig Greengard

He has been known by many names: the Prince of Darkness, the Boss, the Great One, Gazza, the Beast, and the Dark One. I think he enjoys all of this very much. – Kelly Atkins

Garry Kasparov, the man who throws rocks as if they are tennis balls, uproots heavy trees with bare hands and eats strong international masters for breakfast. – Hans Ree

Kasparov definitely has a great talent. There is nothing in chess he has been unable to deal with. The other world champions had something 'missing'. I can't say the same about Kasparov: he can do everything. If he wishes to play some type of positions brilliantly, he will do it. Nothing is impossible for him in chess. - Vladimir Kramnik

Kasparov is the greatest player in the history of chess. I am a big fan of Capablanca, but Kasparov is the greatest. - Alexsander Shashin