THE 27TH World Open took place in Philadelphia from 1 to 5 July - an extravaganza boasting no fewer than 1,470 players in divers sections of whom 92 "re-entered". For Open tournaments in America are quite different from those in Europe, with players having to provide their own sets and clocks and, in the Land of the Free, if they don't like the way the tournament started they can, for suitable remuneration, "re-enter", replaying the first few rounds at an accelerated time limit.

The Open section had 228 entrants. GM Alexander Ivanov would have taken first alone had he won his last-round game, but he overpressed and lost to Akopian. As a result, Akopian joined a 10-way tie for first on 7/9 with Ehlvest, Shabalov, Novikov, Timoshenko, Benjamin, Fishbein, Yermolinsky, Gulko and Serper.

As reported on the website (, "After much debate" - presumably a serious euphemism - "seven of the winners agreed to participate in a round-robin speed chess play-off that ended with GMs Gulko and Serper tied for first." A final one-game match (with draw odds for Black) was played. Serper (with Black) emerged with the draw and thus became the 1999 World Open Champion.

Nine British juniors, led by 10-year-old Murugan Thiruchelvam and with coaching by Matthew Turner and Dave Rumens, were sponsored by BT's online games network Wireplay to go to Philadelphia.

Murugan himself was a most creditable seventh equal in the under-2,200 section with 6.5/9, while 13-year-old Lawrence Trent, from Ilford in Essex, came even higher, third equal on 7.5/9 in the under-2,000. Four took part in the under-1,800: William Bennet (11) was seventh equal on 7/9, Christopher Dorrington (12) made 5.5, Daniel McGowan (13) 5 and Amir Habibi (11) 4/9. In the under-1,600 section David Howell (8) from Eastbourne was seventh equal on 7/9, Lee Gold (11) made 6 and Daniel Diamond (11) made 5.5.

I remember the strong impression, years ago, that this huge and imposing event made on me and hope that surviving it with considerable honour will inspire these players too.

Against the 15-year-old US Women's Champion, Gulko refrained from 2 ...b6 in favour of another "unusual white square system". 6 Qc2 looks too slow - I like 6 a3 when if Bxc3 7 Bxc3 dxc4 8 e4 b5!? 9.b3! regains the pawn at once.

Gulko got a big lead in development and after 15 ...e4! a powerful attack. If 21 Kf1 Bxe2+ 22 Rxe2 Ng3+; or if 21 Kd1 one winning line is Nf2+ 22 Bxf2 Qxf2 23 Re1 Rad8, etc.

White: Irina Krush

Black: Boris Gulko

Franco-Indian Defence

1 d4 e6

2 c4 Bb4+

3 Bd2 Qe7

4 Nc3 Nf6

5 f3!? d5

6 Qc2 c5!

7 dxc5 d4

8 Nb5 Bxc5

9 a3 a6

10 b4 axb5

11 cxb5 Nbd7

12 bxc5 Nxc5

13 e3 e5

14 Bd3 0-0

15 Ne2 e4!

16 fxe4 Nfxe4

17 exd4 Nxd3+

18 Qxd3 Bg4

19 Be3 Rfe8

20 Ra2 Qh4+

21 g3 Bxe2

22 Qxe2 Nxg3

0-1 Black resigns

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments