© 1999,2000 by GM Alexander Baburin
The last month was incredibly busy for me and hence some delay with this issue. But on the bright side, there are lots of news to share with you, so I will try to catch up with them now and in CBC-22.
The chess auction, which took place on the 16th of January in Dublin, was a huge success - most (54 out of 62) lots were sold and in many cases prices went much above the estimates. There was a lot of interest among chess collectors and many took part in bidding. Our business idea is very simple: sellers send us their stuff (books, sets, memorabilia, etc.), we describe their items properly and make sure that many potential buyers see them. Sellers receive the hammer price less 12.5% commission. Buyers pay the hammer price plus 12.5% commission (as well as postage). Our next auction will be in April 2000, so if you have anything to offer or just want an evaluation, please don't hesitate to contact me. For more information please visit the Web site of International Chess Auctions: http://chessauction.tripod.com/
One of the most important developments in chess on the Web is the launch of Kasparov Chess (http://www.clubkasparov.com/). This is a very ambitious project (as everything Kasparov does!) and it has great potential, taking into consideration the number of strong players, who are involved in it. However, at the moment there are various technical problems with the site, some of which I experienced too.
Personally, I feel that the likes of TWIC (http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/twic.html) and the Chess Cafe (http://www.chesscafe.com/), as well as many others, will remain popular, as they offer valuable content to players. But as we will all benefit from the emergence yet another great site, I wish Kasparov Chess every success and hope that they will overcome their technical problems soon.
One curious finding - recently I saw an ad on newsgroups, offering a chess Web site for sale. I don't know whether it did sell, but if it's still available, it may be your lucky chance to grab some space on the Web - for mere $21,000! :-) As for me, I can't afford it and thus have to develop my own site - http://ababurin.tripod.com/. Among recent additions there you can find a very curious Bishop vs. Knight endgame, article about chess in Japan by Akira Watanabe and some photos.
There is good news for those CBC readers whose first language is Italian - CBC is now available in that language at http://www.messaggerie.it/.
In January I played 3 games in BL (2 draws and 1 win) and in 4NCL (1 win and 1 loss). In UK my team Wood Green is in the second position (http://freespace.virgin.net/nigel.chess96/4ncl/4n-m-idx.htm), while in Germany my team Delmenhorster SK is in third place, after the mighty teams of Porz and Solingen. Recently Porz beat Solingen (4.5-3.5) and now it looks likely to win the event. More information on BL can be found at http://www.schachbund.de/schachbl/.
Reading Chess Life recently, I was surprised to see some unusual names for tournaments: 'GM Gufeld Open', 'David Bronstein Tuesday Open' and 'John Watson Open'. The latter is a fundraiser to cover medical expenses of IM Watson, which is a good idea. But it's interesting to know why other 'personalised' opens emerge. If this trend continues, be prepared to play in the 'Baburin Open' in Dublin! :-)
On the serious side, I am considering to host a chess workshop in Dublin. The idea is to combine the popularity of Dublin as a fashionable tourist destination with some chess. You can study chess in the morning and afternoon and then enjoy social life of Dublin (its famous pubs, for example) in the evening. I can help by providing list of hotels and B&Bs in Dublin. Dublin is only 1 hour & £50 away from UK and probably 5-10 hours and $300 away from US. So, if you are interested in combining a trip to the Emerald Island with some chess study, please e-mail me. Such workshop might take place around Easter holiday or in May, depending on the response I'll get. Once I hear from interested people, I will work out the details. I am sure that some Irish players will be interested in the workshop too.
Meanwhile, I plan to play in the USA in March. I realise that a lot of CBC readers live in the US, so if you would interested in hosting a lecture/simultaneous exhibition in your chess club, please contact me. My US chess tour might commence in early March and last till early April. I might be also available for individual and group lessons while in the USA.
Today I am flying to Italy, where I will play in the St. Vincent Open. You can follow the tournament at www.netvallee.it/scacchi/.
Two Grandmasters died recently. I briefly met Mr. Koltanowski in San Francisco in 1997. He was in a very good form for his age and was still involved in chess. Koltanowski became famous for his blindfold simultaneous exhibitions. He also travelled a lot with lectures and simuls and wrote a number of books. Native of Belgium, he contributed a lot to chess in the USA.
I did not know Alexey Vizhmanavin well enough, but played him 3 times (lost two games and won one). At his prime he was a very strong GM with an active style of play. His best years were in the late 80s and early 90s - he won Moscow championships in 1984 and 1986 and USSR championship in 1987. He represented Russia at chess Olympiad in Manila in 1992. I believe that he had serious problems with drinking, which got worse when his marriage broke down. In last years he did not play much. Here I would like to show two of our games:
Vyzhmanavin (2555) - Baburin (2415)
Championship of Russia, Gorky 1989
1 d4 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 e4 Nc6 4 Be3 Nf6 5 Nc3 Ng4?! 6 Bxc4 e5?! 7 Qb3 Qd7 8 0-0-0!
At that time this was a rather popular variation. But Vyzhmanavin's novelty on move 8 forced the whole line with 5...Ng4 and 6...e5 out of practice. I came back to that game a few times, but could not find an improvement for Black. White's superior development gives him better chances in all lines. 8...exd4 9 Nf3 Bc5 After 9...Na5 10 Qb5 Nxe3? White has a thematic blow - 11 Bxf7+!, winning. Perhaps Black's best chance was in 9...Nxe3!? 10 fxe3 Na5.
10 Qb5 Bd6 11 Bxd4 0-0 12 h3! Nxd4 13 Qxd7 Bxd7 14 Rxd4 Nxf2 15 Rf1 Be6 16 Bxe6 fxe6 17 Rxf2 Bc5 18 Rfd2 Bxd4 19 Nxd4 (D)
19...Rad8? White has a serious advantage here, but Black should have put up a better resistance with 19...Rfe8. Allowing White to create a passed pawn was a fatal mistake.
20 Nxe6 Rxd2 21 Kxd2 Rf2+ 22 Ke3 Rxb2 23 Nxc7 Rxg2 24 e5 Rg3+ 25 Kd4 Rxh3 26 e6 Rh4+ 27 Ke5 Rh5+ 28 Kf4 Rh4+ 29 Kg5 Rh1 30 e7 Re1 31 e8Q+ Rxe8 32 Nxe8 a6 1-0
Baburin (2520) - Vyzhmanavin (2580)Helsinki Open 1992
Without the a-pawn this position would be drawn, but the a5-pawn is an extra weakness, which makes his position lost. 61 f3! Rc1 62 e4 fxe4 63 fxe4 Ra1 64 Ke5 Kg7 65 Kd6 Kf7 66 e5 Rb1 67 e6+ Ke8 68 Rd5 Rb6+ 69 Ke5 Rb3 70 Rxa5 Rxg3 71 Ra8+ Ke7 72 Ra7+ 1-0
A good weekend to all my readers - I'll be back soon!
Copyright © 1999,2000 by GM Alexander Baburin. All rights reserved.
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