The pecking order at the top of world chess is now clearer than it has been for some time, though these beasts of prey are feeding at two separate tables. Kasparov is still at the top, with Kramnik and Shirov, who are now competing for the right to challenge him, in third and fourth place. Meanwhile, at the Fide table, Anand (ranked two in the world) and Karpov (still Fide world champion though ranked only fifth) complete the ranks of mega-grandmasters.

Then there is Vassily Ivanchuk - perhaps the most talented of all, but also the most accident-prone. His best games are masterpieces, but when he is let down by bad nerves his worst games are horror stories.

In the recent President's Cup in Elista, Ivanchuk took the $100,000 first prize, beating Alexander Khalifman 21/2-11/2 in the final. Here is one of his games from the event.

The tone was set by Vaganyan's 16...g5 and 17...f5, gaining him space on the K-side, but leaving his king wide open. The real fun began with 21...Nd3, which Ivanchuk met with an entertaining piece sacrifice. After 27.Rc7, Black had to return the piece since 27...Be8 28.Qb4+ Kg8 29.Nd5 Ne2+ 30.Kf1 Qe6 31.Ne7+ Kh8 32.Kxe2 leaves White winning.

The next trick was 33.Nxe4! when 33...fxe4 34.Qc7+ leaves White two pawns ahead. At the end, 40...Kb7 41.Ke2 Nc1+ 42.Kd2 Nb3+ 43.Kc3 is an easy win for White.

White: Vladimir Ivanchuk

Black: Rafael Vaganyan

1 d4 d5 21 Bxd6 Nd3

2 c4 e6 22 Bxf8 Nxc1

3 Nc3 Be7 23 Qc4+ Kxf8

4 Bf4 Nf6 24 Rd7 Bc6

5 e3 Nbd7 25 Qb4+ Kg8

6 Nf3 c6 26 Qc4+ Kf8

7 h3 0-0 27 Rc7 Rd8

8 Rc1 a6 28 Rxc6 Qf7

9 a4 b6 29 Qb4+ Kg7

10 Bd3 Bb7 30 Qxb6 Rd7

11 0-0 c5 31 Rd6 Rxd6

12 Qe2 Ne4 32 Qxd6 Qf6

13 cxd5 exd5 33 Nxe4 Qxd6

14 Rfd1 Qe8 34 Nxd6 Kf6

15 Bxe4 dxe4 35 b4 Ke6

16 Nd2 g5 36 Nb7 Kd5

17 Bh2 f5 37 Nc5 a5

18 Nc4 Qg6 38 Na6 Kc6

19 dxc5 Nxc5 39 bxa5 Nd3

20 Nd6 Bxd6 40 Kf1 resigns