BULGARIAN Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is the chairman of an organising committee for the upcoming challenge match for the world chess crown between holder Vishy Anand of India and world-rated No. 1 Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.
He has guaranteed funding of million ($4.8m) if the match is held in Sofia, the country’s capital. This sum is to provide a prize pool of a 20 per cent FIDE (International Chess Federation) levy and organisational expenses.
Topalov’s manager Silvio Danailov is jubilant: ‘‘ The letter from Borisov tipped the scales in our favour,’’ he says. ‘‘ After it was read by FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov at the FIDE congress, everyone voted in favour of our offer.’’ Competing bids from Turkey and Singapore have been withdrawn,
Borisov has given an assurance that Sofia will be a neutral venue. The players are to contest 12 games of classical chess, with a play-off of four rapid games in the event of a tie. The match is scheduled for April next year, and FIDE is to announce the exact dates after consultations.
Anand won the reunified world title at an eight-player tournament at Mexico City in 2007. The following year he successfully defended his title in a match against Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik at Bonn.
Regional tensions are afflicting plans to hold an eight-player world championship candidates tournament in 2010-11. Azerbaijan wants this split into two sections, one to be staged there (quite likely including Azeri
Carlsen v Wang: After black’s Rb3 Teimour Radjabov), and another in a country other than Armenia (in which Armenia’s already qualified Levon Aronia is presumably expected to compete).
Magnus Carlsen, 18, of Norway has been on chess spotters’ radar for quite some time. His triumph at the recent Pearl Spring supertournament in Nanjing put him second in the world rankings. Many predict that he will become world champion. China’s Wang Yue missed a chance to pursue an attack (with 23 . . . Ne7) in his game with Carlsen.
In the position shown in the first diagram, he was struggling, hoping to reach an endgame king and two knights v a lone king, which is theoretically drawn.
Carlsen’s well placed pieces soon ensnared his opponent’s king in a mating net: 61.Nd5+ Ka7 62.Ra1+ Kb8 63.Kc3 Rh3 64.Rb1+Ka7 65.Rb7+ Ka6 66.Rb6+ Ka5 67.Rb5+ Ka4 68.Nb6+ Ka3.
With the loss of more material after 69.Rxe5 and no realistic chance of reaching the desired ending, Wang resigned.
Carlsen withdrew from Norway’s team before the European Team Championship started in Novi Sad, Serbia, to rest and prepare for next month’s Tal Memorial tournament in Moscow. The field in that tournament includes Anand, Kramnik, Aronian and Vassily Ivanchuk.
The solution to last week’s mate in two moves problem: Key 1.Nb3, threat 2.Rf5#. If 1 . . . Bd3 2.Qa1#, or 1 . . . Rxf7 2.Nxf7#, or 1 . . . Rg5 2.Qg5#. Phil Viner