Independent Pursuits; Chess
Wednesday 10 June 1998
Well, if Kasparov beats Shirov, then it leaves it exactly where we found it: with Kasparov, the world number one, as champion of his own organisation, with no formal rules to determine his challengers, and the International Chess Federation, Fide, running a lame "official" championship for the title currently held by Anatoly Karpov.
In the less likely event of Shirov beating Kasparov, however, it is doubtful that he would generally be accepted as world champion. He would still be rated behind Viswanathan Anand, and, having failed to win the Fide world championship in January, would also need to establish his supremacy over Anatoly Karpov.
The mess that was created in 1993 when Short and Kasparov left Fide to run their own match is still a long way from being sorted out. The status of world champion can only be restored in a unifying match, and the sooner the better.
Here's a composition by a true world champion: White to play and draw by Vassily Smyslov. With Black threatening gxf3, and 1.fxg4 losing quickly to 1...Kxg4 followed by f4 and f3, White's task looks hopeless. Even 1.f4, hoping to get at the black king along the black diagonal, offers no chance after 1...Ra6+.
The solution is extraordinary: 1.Bf6+!! exf6 2.f4! Rh8+ (2...Rg8 3.Kh7 is no better) 3.Kg7 Rxh5 4.a4! Rg5+ 5.Kh8! (5.Kh7? loses after 5...Kh5) 5...Rg6 6.Kh7 Kh5 7.Kh8 Rh6+ 8.Kg7 Rg6+ 9.Kh8 and Black can make no progress since 9...Kh6 is stalemate.
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
From Assassin's Creed to World of Warcraft: Videogames are making a new assault on Hollywood
Justin Kelly interview: On James Franco playing a gay man who renounces his homosexuality
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East