Speelman, Jon, The Independent (London, England)
THE ANNUAL Essent tournament is under way in Hoogeveen in Holland, with its centrepiece a powerful four player double round all-play-all, comprising Loek Van Wely, Judit Polgar, Victor Korchnoi and the world junior champion Lazaro Bruzon from Cuba.
That was in rating order. But in the first three rounds it was the indomitable and indefatigable Victor Korchnoi who blasted his way into the lead, with victories against Bruzon and Polgar and a draw against Van Wely to amass 2.5/3 at the half way point ahead of Van Wely 1.5 and Polgar and Bruzon 1: indeed those two wins were the only decisive games of the first half!
There is an excellent website (www.hoogeveen.nl) where I was intrigued to discover that the players are using glass pieces made in the Hoogeveen Glass Museum. I presume and trust that they are made of the toughest possible glass given the way that chess players - and not least Korchnoi himself - use their implements during time pressure.
Surely Korchnoi ought to be playing quiet positional chess at the age of 70? On the contrary, he is still more than prepared to mix it when necessary as in this splendid battle against Judit Polgar. After 4...dxc4, Victor was presumably unwillingly to enter the horribly theoretical Vienna Variation - 5.e4 Bb4 etc; and they soon transposed into a line more usually reached through the Slav: 4...c6 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 b5 etc.
White's knight was out on a limb on a4 and since exchanging 13.Nxb6 axb6 would be positional surrender, Korchnoi started action at once with 13.Ng5 to which Judit bravely replied 13...Nxa4 rather than the safer 13...h6. 14..Qc7 was …
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Publication information: Article title: Chess. Contributors: Speelman, Jon - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: October 19, 2001. Page number: 2. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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