This latest round of eliminators began with some ritual polemic against the former champion, Garry Kasparov. Last year Kasparov and Short formed their own organisation, the Professional Chess Association, to take control of the world championship. Kasparov was formally stripped of his title and his predecessor, Anatoly Karpov, won a match against Jan Timman to fill the vacant throne.
Yesterday, at the opening ceremony in Wijk aan Zee, the Russian grandmaster Valeri Salov criticised the PCA: 'There is only one world and there can be only one world champion. It is the Fide world championship,' he said.
With Adams drawing and the favourite, Viswanathan Anand, unable to make any impression on Artur Yusupov, the most impressive early play came from the Russian teenager Vladimir Kramnik, who sacrificed his queen to defeat Leonid Yudasin in 30 moves.
Full results: Timman (Netherlands) 1/2 ; Lautier (France) 1/2 ; Adams (England) 1/2 ; Gelfand (Belarus) 1/2 ; van der Sterren (Netherlands) 0; Kamsky (USA) 1; Anand (India) 1/2 ; Yusupov (Germany) 1/2 ; Yudasin (Israel) 0; Kramnik (Russia) 1. Salov-Khalifman (both Russia) was unfinished after five hours' play.
Miscellany, page 13