The chess world is not experiencing a major earthquake, but there are some tremors at the top again. Last week, at the opening ceremony of the VAM tournament in the Dutch town of Hoogoveen, Anatoly Karpov was introduced as the former world champion. Karpov clearly did not like the word former. He claims that the World Chess Federation (FIDE) did not consult him as agreed on the dates for the world championship played in Las Vegas in August, and that should cost them 2.1 million Swiss francs, roughly $1.4 million. For whatever reasons Karpov is suing FIDE it is doubtful that he will wrestle the world title back from Alexander Khalifman, who won it in Las Vegas.

It is not quiet on the other front either. Instead of playing for the Ultimate world championship with Vishy Anand, Garry Kasparov is challenging the world on the Internet's Microsoft Zone. The world selects the moves by voting. The game went into a queen endgame, slightly better for the champ, when some hackers forced the world to blunder by sneaking in multiple votes of a bad move. Kasparov is now winning, although he may claim that he was winning anyway.

Last month Kasparov was unsuccessfully moving containers in the Rotterdam harbor. Obviously the heavy stuff was not for him. The Dutch grandmaster Jan Timman was a better lifter and won the first game in the history of container chess. Last week Timman has also beaten Karpov in Hoogoveen in a nicely conducted positional play, utilizing a bishop pair. It was a sweet victory for Timman, who suffered nearly thirty defeats against Karpov throughout his career.


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 b6 5.Qb3 Qe7 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Qxc3 (Gaining the bishop pair gives white a long term advantage.) 7...Bb7 8.e3 0-0 9.Be2 d6 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.b4 c5 12.Bb2 a5 (Karpov wants to liquidate as many pawns as possible on the queenside. Timman stays calm and does not initiate any pawn clearings.) 13.Rfd1 axb4 14.axb4 Rfb8 15.Nd2 Qd8 16.f3 (Securing the square e4 and using it as a springboard for his light pieces.) 16...Rxa1 17.Bxa1 Ra8 18.Bd3 Qc7 19.Bc2 Rc8 20.dxc5 dxc5 (After 20...bxc5 21.b5 gives white a passed pawn.) 21.b5 Ne8 22.Ne4 f6 23.Qd3! Bxe4 (Surrendering the last bishop. Black could have tried 23...Ra8.)

24.Qxe4 Nf8 (Black cannot keep the game close.) 25.Qd3 Kf7 26.Bc3 Ke7 27.Ra1! (For the time being white needs to keep the rook on the board for a successful attack. Black threatened exchanging the heavy pieces.) 27...Rd8 28.Qe2 Nd6 29.f4 Kf7 30.e4 (Black can only watch how white gains space.) 30...Nc8 31.e5 f5 32.Qf3 (White dominates the board. The black knights are relegated to a few unimportant squares.) 32...Ne7 33.h3 (Timman can work out slowly the most effective way for his offensive.) 33...Kg8 34.Kh2 Nfg6 35.g3 Kf7 36.h4 Kg8 37.h5 Nh8 (After 37...Nf8 comes 38.g4! anyway.) 38.g4! Rf8 39.gxf5 Nxf5 40.Bxf5 Rxf5? (Loses a piece, but after 40...exf5 41.e6 Qe7 42.Qg2 h6 43.Rd1 Re8 44.Kh3 Qf8 45.Rd7 Re7 46.Qd5 black is completely tied up.) 41.Ra8+ Rf8 42.Rxf8+ Kxf8 43.Qa8+ Kf7 44.Qxh8 Qb7 45.h6 Black resigned. The final standing of the four-player double round tournament in Hoogeveen: Timman and Judit Polgar 3.5 points in 6 games, Karpov 3 points and Darman Sadvakasov, a former World Junior champion, 2 points. On Saturday Timman lost in the last round to Sadvakasov allowing Polgar to catch him.

October Champions

On Oct. 10, Robert Keough and the Air Force team won the 1999 U.S. Armed Forces championship at the U.S. Chess Center. The same day, IM Larry Kaufman won the Maryland Class Championship in Rockville. On Oct. 15, Kaufman led the Arlington Chess Club team to victory over Fort Meade Chess Club with the score 6.5 to 5.5, claiming the Chesapeake Cup.

Upcoming events in Maryland

Southern Maryland Open and Scholastic, Oct. 23; Catonsville "First Sunday of the Month", Nov. 7 (open tournament); Baltimore "Friends School" Scholastic, Nov. 13; Chess Stars Scholastic, Nov. 21; Herschel Mednick Maryland Junior Championship, Dec. 18; Maryland Senior Championship, Dec. 18. For more information contact Kurt Eschbach at (410) 360 6341 or by e-mail .

Upcoming events in Virginia

Grandmaster Aleksander Wojtkiewicz will appear at Arlington Chess Club on Nov. 12 for a lecture and a simultaneous exhibition. The Virginia Open, a six-round open, is scheduled for Nov. 13-14 at Best Western Mt. Vernon Hotel, 8751 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309. For more information call Catherine Clark at 703-360-3391 or see Michael Atkins' website or contact him by e-mail at