The regulations for the 2007-2009 World Chess Championship Cycle have been published in the Fide Handbook on Fide website. Here are some interesting points: “there are 128 qualifiers” for the 2007 World Cup, with “five Fide president nominees” and “four organiser nominees”. Nothing new under the sun, but I think this is just absurd: if you are friend with Ilyumzhinov or organisers you can compete in the World championship cycle, even if you are a very weak player (this already happened some years ago, if I don’t mind). I hope Italy will organise the Fide World Cup sooner or later... :-) There are good news for journalists as well: “The players are required to make themselves available for short interviews, of not more than 10 minutes duration, immediately after the game”. If they fail to do so, “then the following penalty may be imposed by the Press Officer: 5% of his prize money shall be forfeited to the Organisers and a further 5% to FIDE for each breach. In cases of serious misconduct the player may be disqualified from the tournament and the World Chess Championship cycle”. I just say: wow! This is a very smart move from Fide. Bobby Fischer would have never become one of the greatest World champion of all times with such rules... About stipends: “a) Chairman of the Appeals Committee USD 10,000; b) Three members of the Appeals Committee USD 21,000 (I think this means USD 7,000 each); c) Chief Arbiter USD 8,000; ... g) Press Officer USD 5,000; h) Representative of Fide Medical Commission USD 3,000”. Not bad indeed... You can read full regulations at http://www.fide.com/official/handbook.asp?level=DD106.
The strong 8th Montreal International has started today. Players: Vassily Ivanchuk, Gata Kamsky, Nigel Short, Pavel Eljanov, Sergei Tiviakov, Emil Sutovsky, Kamil Miton, Pentala Harikrishna, Mark Bluvshtein and Pascal Charbonneau. Chuky is the clear favorite: if he wins this tournament he should even arise to third or second place in the next Fide rating list. Official site: http://www.fqechecs.qc.ca.
The Chess Classic Mainz takes place August 13th-19th 2007 at the Rheingoldhalle. Vishy Anand, Levon Aronian, Etienne Bacrot and Rustam Kasimdzhanov will play a mixed rapid chess and Chess960 event. These will take place along with the usual mixture of other events. Official site: http://www.chesstigers.de.
And now here is a brilliant win by Alessio Valsecchi from Bergamo in Fiuggi, near Rome, where the U20 Italian championship takes place until July 26.
Valsecchi,Al. (2175) - Cantoro,Da. (1853) [B33], Fiuggi 18.7.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5
The Sveshnikov variation.
6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.Bxb5
An interesting sacrifice, played even by Sveshnikov himself. 11.Bd3 is a more positional approach to this variation.
11...axb5 12.Nxb5 Ra4
The most common alternative.
13.Nbc7+ is much more popular; after 13...Kd7 14.0–0 Rxe4 15.Qh5 Ne7 16.Qxf7 Kc6 17.c4 Qd7 18.Na8 White has a good compensation.
13...Qa5+ is the main alternative.
After 14...Rxe4 15.Nbc7+ Kd7 16.Qh5 White has a strong attack anyway.
This looks to be a new move. After 15.Ne3 Rd4 16.Qc2 Ne7 17.Nxd4 exd4 18.Nxf5 Nxf5 19.exf5 0–0 Black has better chances, but White could get a draw in the game I. Smirnov-Ustianovich, Alushta 2002.
15...Rxc1 16.Qxc1 Nd4?
A serious mistake. 16...Bb7 was almost forced; after 17.Ndc7+ Kf8 18.exf5 h5 19.Rd1 Rh6 20.Nd5 White has some compensation, but probably not enough.
Simple and effective. Now White can even fight for the full point!
17...Qxd6 18.Qxc8+ Qd8 19.Qc5!?
19.Nc7+ Ke7 20.Nd5+ Qxd5!? (20...Ke8 21.Nc7+=) 21.Qxh8 Ne2+ 22.Kh1 Bxh8 23.exd5 Nf4 looks ok for Black, who can stop White's passed pawns without many problems.
19...fxe4 20.b4 f5 21.b5 (intending b6 and Rb1) is a very sharp line.
A questionable move. After 20...Bf6 21.Re1 fxe4 22.Qa4+ Kf8 23.Qxe4 White has the initiative, but Black can hold on.
Now Black's position is not easy.
The decisive mistake. 21...Bf8 is the only way to survive, although after 22.Qa6 Nc5 23.Qc6+ Kf7 24.exf5 Kg7 25.Rc4 White is much better.
22.Qa7+ Kg6 23.Ne7+ Kg5
This move loses by force, but after 23...Kh5 24.Nxf5 Kg6 25.h4 Qd2 26.h5+! Kg5 27.Rc3 White has a decisive advantage anyway.
A poor move. 24.h4+ Kh5 25.Nxf5 Qg8 26.Qd7 Bf8 27.f3 is much stronger.
24...f4 25.h4+! Kh5?
Losing immediately. 25...Kh6 would prolong the battle, although after 26.Nf5+ Kg6 27.h5+ Kxh5 28.Qb3 Ng5 29.Nxg7+ Kg6 30.Ne6 Qb8 31.Qxb8 Rxb8 32.Nxg5 fxg5 33.b3 White wins anyway.
If 26...Kh6 then 27.Nf5+ Kg6 28.Rc6+-
27.Qh3+ Kg5 28.Qf5+ Kh6 29.Qxe6 1–0
Black can't avoid mate, so he resigned. E.g.:29.Qxe6 Re8 30.Qh3+ Kg5 31.Nf5 h5 32.g4 hxg4 33.Qh4+ Kg6 34.Qxg4+ etc.