Sunday 25 September 2016

Private sponsorship of chess events goes back centuries, when European nobility backed top players and staged chess matches. Nowadays it is wealthy individuals who support chess events

Published 30/08/2015 | 02:30

Private sponsorship of chess events goes back centuries, when European nobility backed top players and staged chess matches. Nowadays it is wealthy individuals who support chess events

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In 2012, Russian billionaire Andrey Filatov sponsored the World Championship match between Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand, while in the same year American billionaire Rex Sinquefield started hosting top tournaments in Saint Louis. The third edition of the Sinquefield Cup is now in progress in that city and after four rounds Veselin Topalov and Levon Aronian were leading on 3 points, followed by Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri on 2.5 points.

German Grandmaster Richard Teichmann once famously claimed chess is 99pc tactics and just 1pc strategy. While that's clearly an exaggeration, good tactical vision is of great value. The following miniature, played last summer in the Politiken Cup in Denmark, is a case in point:

Louis - Nielsen

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6

3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Be2 d5

5.exd5 Nxd5 6.0-0 Be7

7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd5 Qxd5

9.Nxd4 a6 10.Bf3 Qd6

11.Be3 0-0 12.Qe2 Nd7?!

13.Rad1 Ne5 14.Nf5! Nxf3+??

Black had to settle for a slightly inferior position arising after 14...Qc7 15.Nxe7+ Qxe7 16.Be4.

15.Qxf3 Qc7 (D)

Black's position looks solid, but White spotted a weakness in it and cleverly exploited it:

16.Qg3! 1-0

Black resigned as after 16...Qxg3 White would play 17.Nxe7+ Kh8 18.hxg3, emerging a piece up.

Sunday Independent

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