A legend has it that the Bavarians are Czechs who were not lazy to migrate farther. Their lack of energy was rewarded with excellent views of many beautiful lakes and the Alps. Whether this is true or false, Bavaria is the most picturesque part of Germany. The third Bavarian Masters Open took place last month on the shores of one of the lakes, Wiessee, and attracted 379 players, including more than 30 grandmasters. Alexander Shabalov, an American GM, won the event on a tie-break over Ildar Ibragimov of Russia after both scored 8 points in 9 games.
It is the second major victory in Europe this year for Shabalov, who won in Poland in August. Since last year's winner at Bad Wiessee was the current FIDE champion Alexander Khalifman, Shabalov may view it as a good sign for next year. The American grandmaster started magnificently, winning the first seven games and coasting to the victory with two draws. His seventh win came against Russia's Alexander Rustemov, a specialist in a French Winaver variation. Shabalov did not waste time and created a mighty attack along the h-file.
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 0-0 8.Bd3 Qa5 (A new attempt to weather the storm. The usual remedies 8...f5 and 8...Nbc6 are running out of favor.) 9.Ne2!? (More to the point than 9.Bd2. White may need the bishop on the kingside.) 9...cxd4 (After 9...c4? 10.Bxh7+ Kxh7 11.Qh4+ Kg8 12.Qxe7 wins a pawn. In the game Nijboer-Vysochin, Cappelle la Grande 1997, black tried 9...Nbc6, but fell to a powerful attack after 10.Bg5 cxd4 11.f4 b6 12.Bf6 Ng6 13.h4 Ba6 14.Bxa6 Qxa6 15.h5 gxf6 16.hxg6 fxg6 17.Qxe6+ Kg7 18.Qd7+ Rf7 19.Rxh7+ Kxh7 20.Qxf7+ Kh6 21.Kf2 and black resigned.) 10.Bg5 Ng6 11.f4 Nd7 (A more flexible square than c6, also bringing the knight closer to the kingside for defense.)
12.Bxg6! (A well timed move brings the wrong reaction.) 12...hxg6?! (Black seems to have enough pawns in front of his king, but white can break the barrier. It would be more dynamic was to shed a pawn for a counterplay with 12...fxg6 13.Qxe6+ Rf7 14.0-0 dxc3.) 13.h4! (White a simple plan: open up the h-file for the heavy pieces.) 13...f5 (Black is running out of time. For example, after 13...Nc5 14.h5 d3 15.cxd3 Nxd3+ 16.Kd2! Nf2 17.Qh4 Nxh1 18.h6!! gxh6 19.Qxh6 Ng3 20.Rh1 Nxh1 21.Bf6 white mates.) 14.Qh3 Nc5 (After 14...dxc3 15.h5 gxh5 16.Qxh5 Qc7 17.Qg6 Nb6 18.Bf6 Qd7 19.Rh7 Rf7 20.Qh5 wins.) 15.h5 gxh5 16.Qxh5 Ne4 17.Be7 Bd7 (Not 17...Nxc3 18.Qh8+ Kf7 19.Qxf8+ mate.) 18.Qg6 (White needs to rearrange the queen and the rook.) 18...Qb5 19.Rh7 Rf7 20.Bf6! (The precise way to end it. Black is overmatched on the square g7. He hoped for 20.Qh5? Qxe2+!! 21.Qxe2 [Or 21.Kxe2? Ng3+ wins for black.] 21...Kxh7 with resistance.) Black resigned.
Bacrot Beats Polgar
In an 4-game exhibition match between two former prodigies at Bastia, Corsica, the French grandmaster Etienne Bacrot, age 16, defeated Judit Polgar with the score 3-1.
World Youth Championships
Boys and girls from all over the world competed in different age groups (from 10 to 18) in Oropesa del Mar, Spain, this month. Most of the top places were taken by juniors from former Soviet Union, China and India. The American hopefuls, Irina Krush, Vinay Bhat and Hikaru Nakamura, did not win any medals. The most impressive player was a 12-year old, Teimour Radjabov from Azerbaijan, who led in the 18 under division almost till the end before yielding the top honors to Dimitry Kokorev of Russia, France's Laurent Fressinet and Evgeny Postny of Israel, all scoring 8.5 points in 11 games. Radjabov scored 8 points. Andrie Zaremba of the U.S. had 7 points and Krush, who also competed with the boys under 18, scored a respectable 6.5 points.
Add Radjabov's name to those of Garry Kasparov and Vladimr Akopian on the list of juniors with bright future coming from Azerbaijan. He plays the French defense and does not panic under strong attacks.
Kapnisis - Radjabov
1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 Bb4 6.0-0-0 Bxc3 7.dxc3 Qe7 8.g4 0-0 9.h4 e5 10.Bh3 Ne8 11.c4 Qxh4 12.Qxe4 Qh6+ 13.Kb1 Qf4 14.Qe2 Nc6 15.g5 Nd6 16.c5 Ne4 17.Nf3 Be6 18.g6 Bxh3 19.gxh7+ Kh8 20.Rxh3 Rad8 21.Rh4 Rxd1+ 22.Qxd1 Qxf3 White resigned.
From the No Fear tournament played at the U.S. Chess Center on October 30: High School Champion: Ksenia Didenko of Arlington, an eighth-grader at the Russian Embassy School; Jr. High Champion: David Raber of McLean, eighth-grader at Longfellow Middle School; Elementary Champion: Vadim Korotkin of Vienna, fifth-grader at Sherwood Elementary; Primary Co-Champions: Matthew Farrell of Arlington (Arlington Math Focus School) and Christopher Curtin of Fairfax (St. Leo School).