In 1991 Garry Kasparov hoped to launch the best chess magazine ever. It was supposed to be published with the help of one million dollars from the British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell. But when Maxwell plunged from his yacht into the Atlantic Ocean near the Canary Islands, Kasparov's hopes drowned with him.
Kasparov did not give up completely. Today the name of the game is Internet and Club Kasparov (http://www.clubkasparov.ru} is among the most interesting web sites, covering major chess events and publishing Kasparov's analysis and speeches on various subjects. "You haven't seen anything yet," the world champ told me during his Washington visit in June. In a few months Kasparov plans to launch a much improved version of his web site. For his ambitious project he hired Michael Greengard, alias Mig, arguably the best known Internet chess humorist, who will look after the content. Greengard promises that Kasparov will not dictate what goes in. But it is hard to imaging Kasparov giving up a control of something which bears his name. Still, it can be fun.
Meantime, what web sites might be helpful to chessplayers?
Internet chess junkies should visit the New In Chess (http://nic4u.nl), the web site of an excellent Dutch chess magazine. It has over 1800 well sorted links and players with lot of time on their hand will enjoy it. It is comparable to "Chesslinks Worldwide", started by my fellow Virginian, Jerry Lawson, in 1995. But Lawson did not have time to sustain this very ambitious project and had to abandon it.
Fortunately, local players can get excellent information about local events from Michael Atkins, who is one of the leading organizers of the Arlington Chess Club, the oldest club in the Metro area. Atkins' links page (http://www.wizard.net/~matkins/links.htm) directs you to useful web sites.
For the last four or five years the main resource for chess news was The Week In Chess, known as TWIC (http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/twic.html), founded and edited by an Englishman, Mark Crowther. Recently, Crowther produced a CD with all his efforts up to 1998 and continues his excellent weekly magazine. There are daily updates of current events and you can found an information about the FIDE World Championship now underway in Las Vegas. Or you can go to U.S. Chess Federation website http://uschess.org or to FIDE site: http://www.worldfide.com.
Playing on the Internet
They are many ways to play on the Internet and various sites offer opponents, ranging from beginners to world champions. You can play for free at the Free Internet Chess Server -- FICS (http://www.freechess.org). Or you can still challenge Kasparov at the Microsoft Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.msn.com/msn_home.asp), by suggesting and voting on the moves for the World team. That adventure is also free.
One popular playing site is the Internet Chess Club -- ICC (http://www.chessclub.com). They will let you play one month for free before they charge an annual fee of $50. The ICC follows tournaments live with comments by several grandmasters. It organizes tournaments for prize money. Their first Grandmaster Fights, all-grandmaster event, was won in May by a three-time Russian champion, Peter Svidler. He played a nice attacking game in the Sicilian defense against Babakuli Annakov of Turkmenistan.
Svidler-Annakov1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Qb6 (Better is 3...g6.) 4.Nc3 e6 5.0-0 a6 6.Bxc6 Qxc6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 (By simple means white outleaps black in development.) 8...d6 9.Re1 (A knight jumping to the square d5 is in the stars.) 9...Bd7 10.Bg5 Rc8 11.Rad1 (White has finished his opening stage, while black's kingside pieces are in a deep sleep.) 11...Qc5 12.Qd2 Be7 (Hoping to ease the defense with a bishop exchange, but white refutes the idea with a firm hand. After 12...Nf6 13.e5! gives white a winning advantage.) 13.Bxe7 Kxe7 14.e5! (The point. The pawn paves aroad for his knight deep into black's position.) 14...d5 15.Ne4 Qb6 (After 15...dxe4 16.Qxd7+ Kf8 17.Rxe4 Qxc2 18.Rf4 Nh6 19.Ng5 wins.) 16.Nd6 Rc6 17.c4! (Breaking in. The game is over.) 17...dxc4 18.Nf5+ exf5 19.Qxd7+ Kf8 20.Ng5 Qc7 21.e6 fxe6 22.Nxe6+ (Winning thequeen.) Black resigned. An instructive miniature!
Internet opens up information for any chessplayers and even the best can profit from it. For the Ultimate World Championship Kasparov might be well advised to look what his opponent likes and log to favorite links of the Indian superstar, Vishy Anand (http://www-db.stanford.edu/~anand/links.htm). Anand may counter this move by logging to Club Kasparov.
Solution to today's problem by H.L. Schuld (White: Kc5,Qa4,Ba5,Bf3,Nf2,P:d2,d6,e2 Black:Ke1,Rf1,Bg1,P:a6,c6,d7): 1.Kb6! Bxf2+ 2.d4 mate; or 1...Kxf2 2.Qh4 mate; or 1...Rxf2 2.Qa1mate; or 1...c5 2.Nd3 mate.