|The Week in Chess Magazine
Sponsored by the London Chess Center
|TWIC Home | The London Chess Center | Shop | LCC Mini-Site for the Braingames World Chess Championships|
The London Chess Center's coverage of the Braingames World Chess Championship brings you move by move coverage, commentary, on the spot reports from John Henderson, moves and news for WAP phone owners, late night shop opening on match days with commentary and 1000s of $ worth of prizes to be won on Fantasy Chess ! Match takes place 8th October to 4th November, 2000.
Draw at Home House Garry Kasparov will play white in game one of the Braingames World Chess Championship which begins tomorrow afternoon at the Riverside Studios in West London. The players made the drawing of lots at the opening ceremony held on Thursday night at Home House in central London. The players were presented with two bottles of champagne and as is the tradition, the champion chose first to determine who would draw first for colour. Kasparov chose the bottle which gave Kramnik the right to take the lid off the Staunton trophy and take out an envelope. Kramnik chose the envelope which gave him black. This is certainly a disadvantage but, if the match is close and many believe it will be, playing white in the sixteenth and final game will help the challenger enormously. Many celebrities turned up for the opening ceremony including tennis star Greg Rusedski who confessed to being a chess player. Chris Evans, the star of radio and television was also present. The junior stars Katie Hale, 9, and Stephanie Hale, 5, had an opportunity to meet the world's top two players but did not challenge them to a game. There was also news of the players' teams. Kasparov has added to his long term team of Andrei Shakarov and Yury Dokhoian with young players Mihail Kobalija and Andrei Kharlov. Kramnik has the well known names of Evgeny Bareev, Joel Lautier and Miguel Illescas assisting him.
Brief report on the press conference by
Kasparov and Kramnik have declared who the ' back room boys' are for the $ 2 million Braingames World Chess Championship which begins this Sunday at the Riverside Studios in West London.
In a match where opening preparation have never been so vital, Kramnik revealed that he has Spanish number one Miguel Illescas, French number one Joel Lautier and the Russian Grandmaster Evgeny Bareev, ranked world number twelve, on his team.
Kasparov has arrived with what could be described as the 'old firm' of Alexander Shakarov and Yuri Dokhoian plus two relatively young Russian GMs, Mikhail Kobaliya and Andrey Kharlov. Of course what he also brings is in depth opening research from his matches going back nearly twenty years.
Skins rejected after late negotiations
Sir Jeremy Hanley, the chairman of event organisers, Braingames Network PLC declared that the distribution of the 2 million dollar prize fund would not be announced until the day of the first game. He was speaking at a press conference given at Home House in London in the presence of the two players.
Originally the prize fund was to be shared two thirds to the winner and one third to the loser but the organisers wanted to avoid a situation similar to the one that arose in 1993 when Kasparov trounced Nigel Short. Once Kasparov had won the match there was nothing to play for and some of the games were turned into exhibitions. The players will contest all sixteen of the scheduled games this time and so the idea of 'Skins', popular in golf, was mooted.
A Skins game would involve a fixed sum for the winner of an individual game with drawn games leading to more money being added to a pot, the lion's share of which would go to the overall winner. Kasparov was in favour of such an arrangement even though it could well be to his financial detriment if he wins. It was thought that Kramnik had also agreed but he declared " I am concentrating on chess, it is too late to be talking to lawyers". He added " I don't care about the money, it's the title I want".
[The idea of a skins element to the distrubution of the prizefund was rejected after the failure of negotiations on the eve of the match.]
The players were both the model of politeness, afar cry from cold war days. Kramnik was typically guarded: " both players have chances". In a reference to Kramnik's innate modesty Kasparov replied: " Nigel Short challenged me only in words and after four games the match was over, Vladimir represents a real challenger ".
Kasparov is the favourite, he has never lost to a human player in a long match and has dominated the chess scene since wresting the title in 1985. Kramnik has also disappointed in head to head battles over many games even though he is the only player with an even score against the champion in tournament play.
For the first time a world championship will be broadcast live on the internet to a huge audience and coincidentally this is the first world chess championship the BBC is not screening on British television. There is still considerable resentment on the part of the match organisers and the chess playing public in general at the failure of the BBC to show even a nightly round up.
Match Director, Grandmaster Raymond Keene OBE launched a blistering attack on the BBC, declaring that Greg Dyke was: " the grand leader and chief imperial panjandrum" of 'dumbing down' "
This match is not sanctioned by FIDE, the World Chess Federation from whom Kasparov famously broke in 1993 when he met England's Nigel Short at the Savoy Theatre. Kasparov returned to this familiar theme of refusing to countenance a return to the FIDE fold. "They receive their funds from a dubious source" he said, referring to the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the ruler of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia.