"My opponent left a glass of whisky 'en prise' and I took it 'en passant". - Henry Blackburne | SINCE 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007


At the continuing chess world cup in Russia. The Egyptians produced the shocker in round 1. Egyptian GM Bassem demolished Ponomariov who fell apart in time trouble

Adopted from the daily dirt
It was mostly the usual slaughter on the top boards in the first round of the World Cup in Khanty-Mansyisk, Russia. The first cracks in the Elo pyramid started to appear on board seven, where Adams was nicked for a draw by Canada's Igor Zugic. Oh Canada. It got worse for the favorites on the next table over where Alekseev lost a sharp battle against the wonderfully named Anuar "Who You Callin' Borat Now?" Ismagambetov of Kazakhstan. Let's keep our fingers crossed for an Ismagambetov Gambit. Speaking of pyramids, an even bigger surprise was El Gindy's win over Ponomariov, who fell apart in time trouble and saw his king hunted to ground. That was the main highlight for Egypt on the day. I was startled to discover there are four Egyptians playing in the event. That's more than France or Germany. Hmm. They went 2.5-1.5 on day one.

Adly the world junior champion on his way to a draw

Over on board 11, Gata Kamsky couldn't take out newly minted world junior champ Ahmed Adly of Egypt with the white pieces. That was the leading indicator for a crash on the US market in general. The eight Americans went 3-5 on the day without a win. US champion Shabalov, Becerra, and Kudrin lost. Onischuk had the better of the draw with black against last year's junior champ Andriasian. Hungary's Hera obviously isn't a Dirt reader. He ignored the warning I posted in yesterday's item and was blindsided by Rublevsky's 17.d5! and the pretty shot 19.Qd7+! It takes a minute to figure out the point of 17.d5: 17..exd5 18.Na4! and the black queen is stuck and will be collected with Ra1 next. Great stuff. Inarkiev-Peralta is given as a draw after a few moves of N+B vs K, which surely didn't happen, unless Peralta flagged trying to remember the winning method. It got there from the rare 2B+N vs R.

The Egyptian Bassem with Ben Magana during the African championships in October

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