Chess: Russians abroad

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
OF THE ten countries who played in the finals of the World Team Championship, only Cuba, China and Iceland did not have a former Soviet grandmaster on the top board. For Russia, Armenia, Latvia, Uzbekistan and the Ukraine, it was only to be expected, but Switzerland (Viktor Korchnoi) and the United States (Gata Kamsky) provided further evidence that the chess grandmaster was the most successful export from the old USSR.

Indeed, the United States team, which yesterday won the event to become world champions for the first time, had ex- Soviets on boards two and three also. After Kamsky, Alexei Yermolinsky and Grigory Kaidanov, only Larry Christiansen of the Americans was not born in the former USSR. International team contests are now becoming increasingly a battle of 'our Russians are better than your Russians'. Even Belgium has its own Russian grandmaster.

Meanwhile, in Monaco, another ex-Soviet is doing very badly. Nana Joseliani of Georgia has begun her women's world title challange against Xie Jun even more badly than Nigel Short's recent disastrous start. After five games, she trails by 41 2 -1 2 . In the latest game she fell victim to a typical King's Indian attack against the king. After 23 . . .g3] and 24 . . . Nh5] there was nothing to plug the gaps in her defences.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Nana Joseliani ----------------------------------------------------------------- Black: Xie Jun ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 d4 Nf6 21 Nb5 Bxb5 2 c4 g6 22 cxb5 g4 3 Nc3 Bg7 23 a5 g3 4 e4 d6 24 hxg3 Nh5 5 Be2 0-0 25 axb6 Rxa2 6 Nf3 e5 26 Qxa2 fxg3 7 0-0 Nc6 27 b7 Ng6 8 d5 Ne7 28 Bc4 Qh4 9 Nd2 a5 29 Ra1 gxf2+ 10 a3 Bd7 30 Qxf2 Ng3 11 Rb1 a4 31 Qe1 Qh1+ 12 b4 axb3 32 Kf2 Qh4 13 Nxb3 b6 33 Kg1 Nf4 14 Ra1 Ne8 34 Bf1 Bh6 15 Be3 f5 35 Ra8 Qh1+ 16 f3 Kh8 36 Kf2 Nh3+ 17 a4 c5 37 Kxg3 Bf4+ 18 Ra2 Nf6 38 Kg4 h5+ 19 Qa1 f4 White resigns 20 Bf2 g5 -----------------------------------------------------------------