After three tournaments without a first prize, Gary Kasparov of Russia has reminded everyone why he is the world champion. He ran away with the 10th Linares International Tournament in Spain.
In this elite event, he scored an impressive 10-3 with, what Robert Byrne, a former U.S. champion and chess editor of the New York Times, calls "high quality attacking and positional play that the opposition could not catch."Nevertheless, one player - Jan Timman of the Netherlands - made a ferocious effort to catch him.
In rounds 6 through 12, Timman pressed hard and, helped by some opponent's errors, tallied 6-1.
But when Kasparov put away Ljubomir Lju-bovjevic of Yusgoslavia in the last round, it was all over.
When Timman lost to Valery Salov of Spain, he fell into a tie for second place with Vasily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.
The final standings:
1. Kasparov, won 7 lost 0, drew 6, 10 points
2-3. Timman, 7, 4, 2, 8 points
Ivanchuk, 4, 1, 8, 8 points
4. Karpov, 5, 3, 5, 71/2 points
5-6-7. Salov, 4, 3, 6, 7 points
Anand, 3, 2, 8, 7 points
Gelfand, 4, 3,6, 7 points
8. Barevey, 3, 3, 7, 61/2 points
9-10. Yusupov, 4, 5, 4, 6 points
Belyavsky, 3, 4, 6, 6 points
11. Illescas, 4, 6, 3, 51/2 points
12. Ljubojevic, 2, 7, 4, 4 points
13-14. Short, 2, 7, 4, 4 points
Speelman, 0, 5, 8, 4 points
The winner, Kasparov, received $8,000 and a new Suzuki car, made in Linares, worth $27,000.
All players were awarded a secret sum, before the tournament, between $4,000 and $30,000 for participating!
- INTERROGATION - "If you could spend a few hours at a master's elbow, what would you ask?" writes Larry Evans, grandmaster and a former U.S. national champion.
"And if you could put the same set of questions," he continues, "to other masters, what would they say?"
This theme is explored in "How to Get Better at Chess: Chess Masters on Their Art" by Larry Evans, Jeremy Silman and Betty Roberts from Summit Publishing.
"If an author may discuss his work, I stated in my preface: `It's some 15 years since Betty Roberts asked me a bunch of questions for a book she planned to write on the human side of chess.
" `Somehow I doubted that she would ever finish such an ambitious project. Yet over the years her manuscript grew thicker as a various grandmasters passed through her portals, including the mercurial Bobby Fischer who vanished at the height of this fame.' "
In addition to thumbnail sketches of over more than 50 masters with more than 100 annotated games, the core of the book offers masterly tips in chapters such as: How does one get better? What's more important - study or practice? What books or players have influenced you most? Is there any age when improvement stops? How does winning and losing affect you?
Each master is represented by two games - a win and a loss - to illustrate stylistic strengths and weaknesses, and their anecdotes contain some candid quips:
Benko: First I played because other people did it. Then I played because I like to play. And, finally, I played just for the money.
Levy: I'm in the minority. I'd prefer to lose a really good game than win a bad one.
Pilnik: A painter who doesn't produce really great works of art only paints with technique. That's the way I play chess now.
Biyiasis: One evening Fischer and I looked over all my games from an international tournament I had played in. I asked him what areas I needed to work on and he said that my openings could use some honing. Then he thought about it some more and told me that my middle game could use some work. I said, "What about my endings? I'm good at that phase." He thought for awhile, smiled, and said, "Sorry, you missed some things there, too!"
- CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SOLVERS! - Ardean Watts, Eugene Wagstaff, Jeff Thelin, Edwin O. Smith, Vern Smith, Jim Reed, Hans Rubner, Knute Petersen, Ted Pathakis, Elsa Oldroyd, Roger Neumann, Gary Neumann, James Michelson, Lincoln McClellan, Jim Low, Raeburn Kennard, Nathan Kennard, Steven Jensen, Stanley Hunt, Brian Harrow, Alison Hermance, Hal Harmon, David Higley, Gordon Greene, Ken Frost, William DeVroom, Farrell Clark, George L. Cavanaugh, Jack Crandall, Kim Barney, Ramon E. Bassett, Alan E. Brown, Loile Bailey, Craig Bryson, Steven Anderson and Russell Anderson.