Banikas Hristos, 23, is the reigning Greek champion, and has in the past won
the championship in the under 12, under 16 and under 20 sections. On June
13-14 he played four games (24 min + 10 sec) against Deep Junior in its
latest 7.0 incarnation. It was an exciting event that could have gone either
way. But in the end the computer prevailed and won the match 2.5-1.5
Ponomariov draws 7th game to clinch match and become 16th World Champion!
In the 7th game of the World Chess Championship 2001-2002 the opponents agreed
to draw. This means Ruslan Ponomatiov of Ukrain becomes the new World Chess
Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine became, at 18, the youngest world champion ever
as he drew game 7 to win his match 4.5:2.5 against compatriot Vassily Ivanchuk.
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov congratulated the 16th World Champion at the
post-game press conference. “The next World Championship shall be in London
under the same system,” he pronounced.
“I played for a draw,” Ponomariov admitted. “On the 29th, I shall call on
Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma,” he announced. “Then my next tournament shall
be in Linares,” Ponomariov said.
Asked how he would feel playing against the strongest players like Kasparov,
Kramnik and Anand, Ponomariov said “I feel a responsibility as world champion.
In my childhood, Kasparov and Karpov were my favorites, but now I have no
favorites. I prefer a universal style.”
Ivanchuk joined the press conference and emphatically said “I studied the
games of different players like Botvinnik. I never had any favorite players, I
do not have now and I never will have.”
Joining the youngest world champion at the press conference was the oldest
living champion, Vassily Smyslov, who said “I am glad that the two finalists
are products of the Soviet chess school.”
Ponomariov came early but Ivanchuk refused to emerge from backstage for three
minutes after Deputy Arbiter Jorge Vega of Mexico started the chess clock.
After shaking hands with Ponomariov, Ivanchuk refused to make a move until
time had elapsed and Chief Arbiter Yuri Averbach ordered photographers to
Surprisingly, according to commentator GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili, Ivanchuk used
the Alekhine defense. “It is a strange opening by Ivanchuk. The Alekhine is
not the type of opening to use when Black must win and if White does not want
to complicate, he has many variations to choose,” Azmaiparashvili said.
“Ruslan Ponomariov chose 4.Nf3 and Ivanchuk replied with Nc6 which is worse
than any other line,” Azmaiparashvili added.
“Yes, 4.Nf3 is the weakest continuation. It would have been better to develop
the Bishop,” World Championship Cycle Committee Chairman Willy Iclicki agreed.
Azmaiparashvili continued “White definitely stood better when Ivanchuk offered
the draw. I predicted the game would end in less than two hours. I was wrong.
It ended in one and a half hours.”
At the press conference, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov replied to
questions from journalists. He said “On the matter of having six or 12 games,
I prefer more games, but the FIDE General Assembly decided on 8 and the
players agreed to these rules before the start. We consulted many players on
the matter of time control. These questions shall be discussed at the FIDE
Congress during this year’s Olympiad in Slovenia.”
And on the matter of sponsorship, the FIDE President said “When I assumed the
presidency, FIDE was near bankruptcy. Now we have the situation in hand and we
have many foreign and Russian companies who help finance FIDE. For example,
this year we are starting the FIDE Grand Prix with sponsors from Abu Dhabi in
the United Arab Emirates.”
Awards ceremonies are scheduled 7pm on Friday, 25 January here at the historic
Metropol Hotel, host of the first Moscow International Chess Tournament in
1925 among Capablanca, Lasker and other notables.
Game 1, 16/1/2002 Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) - Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) - 1-0
Game 2, 17/1/2002 Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) - Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) - 1/2
Game 3, 18/1/2002 Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) - Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) - 1/2 Game 4, 19/1/2002 Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) - Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) - 1/2 Game 5, 21/1/2002 Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) - Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) - 1-0 Game 6, 22/1/2002 Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) - Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) - 1/2 Game 7, 23/1/2002 Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) - Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) - 1/2
16 January -Wednesday - Play Day, 17 January - Thursday - Play day, 18 January
- Friday - Play day, 19 January - Saturday - Play day, 20 January - Sunday -
Rest day, 21 January - Monday - Play day, 22 January - Tuesday - Play day, 23
January - Wednesday - Play Day, 24 January - Thursday - Play Day, 25January -
Friday - Tiebreak, Closing Ceremony,
Time: Games start at 12.00 GMT (16.00 - Moscow time )