05.11.2007 V.Bykov. Ayse Kesim: a new world-class chess star?

World chess underwent radical changes recently. Universal use of computers erases, to a certain degree, the difference in preparation between amateurs and professionals. Still, the disparity in class remains, and a chessplayer of higher level can overcome an amateur's resistance almost always. But if the amateur is equipped with a computer then the result of the game is quite predictable: modern chess programs, like Rybka, play stronger than many professionals. So computer prompting is one of the sharpest problems in modern chess, as it is almost impossible to prove it.

Did you often use to watch a second-category chessplayer winning confidently and finely against an IM? Do you know many victories over an opponent who is more that 700 Elo points above the winner? The answer is obvious: If master does not blunder, he will always beat his weak opponent. However, I had occasion recently to see the exception to the rule. At the present computer plays stronger than human, and if it interferes the game then the weaker side will have excellent chances to win.

Now to the point of my article. The 'FINEC' women team, of which I am the captain since its foundation in 2002, participated in the European Chess Club Cup in Kemer, Turkey, 2007 October 2-10. Our team stood 8th of 18 teams in the starting rank list, and I believed quite reasonably that we would start with a lopsided score against the Turkish team 'Tarsus Zeka Satranc SK', its strongest player having Elo rating 1945. However, in this very match the main sensation occurred, not only of the first round but also of the whole women tournament.

Let me introduce main characters of the drama. October 3, round 1, match No.8, board 4. White: Turkish chessplayer Ayse Hazan Kesim, born in 1994, Elo 1650. Black: IM Irina Turova (better known under her maiden name Slavina), woman champion of Russia in 2003, Elo 2383. The 733-point difference in rating seems to leave no chances even to draw for the weaker side, even if the Turk's rating were somewhat underestimated, as it is often the case with young players. Nevertheless, the game went very interestingly.

Kesim, Ayse Hazan (1650) – Turova, Irina (2383) [C84]

1.e4 e5 2.¤f3 ¤c6 3.Ґb5 a6 4.Ґa4 ¤f6 5.0-0 Ґe7 6.d3 b5 7.Ґb3 d6 8.h3? ¤a5. Nothing interesting so far. By the 9th move White stands worse already, not taking care of her light-squared bishop (8.c3). Moreover, she spent more than half an hour of her time...

9.c3?! A strange move, too: White cannot carry out d3-d4, so the pawn has nothing to do on c3. 9.¤с3 or 9.Ґd2 is stronger.

9...¤xb3 10.axb3 c5 11.¦e1 0-0 12.¤bd2 Ґb7. To my mind, a plan of developing initiative on the queenside (with the bishop on e6) is more attractive, but Black's intention to carry out f7-f5 and to mate is quite natural.

 13.c4 ¤e8

Let us sum up the results. In the 13-move interval White made two gross positional mistakes and was quite modest, moving her pieces almost exclusively on near by squares, maybe in order not to miss any of them, except for the long-distance 'sharp attacking move' 3.Ґf1-b5!

To comment the next interval (moves 14-31) is as difficult as games of Morphy or Alekhine – it is too splendid! Just enjoy the Turkish girl's skill.

14.¤f1 f5 15.¤g3! f4 16.¤f5! Ґf6 17.cxb5! axb5 18.¦xa8 Ґxa8 19.b4! ¤c7 20.bxc5 dxc5 21.Јb3+ ўh8 22.Ґd2 Јd7 23.Јc2! ¤e6 24.Ґc3! ¤d4 25.Ґxd4 cxd4 26.¦c1 g6 27.¤h6 Ґg7 28.¤g4 Јe6 29.Јc7! Јb3 30.¤gxe5 Јxb2 31.¤g5! ўg8

I have no words for it. It is a masterpiece! Moreover, White spent... some 10 minutes for all this fairy tale of positional art.

I could probably write much more words of astonishment and admiration, but, to be short, all these moves have been made after Rybka 2.3, calculation depth 11-13 plies, 1st line.

32.¦c2 Јb1+ 33.¦c1 Јb2. A disconnection??!!

34.ўh2! No, everything is all right, 1st line again! By the way, White could win more prosaically: 34.ўe6 Ґe5 35.Је5 Јс1+ 36.ўh2; 34.¤g4 with the idea ¤h6+; 34.¤еf7 with the same idea; 34.¤d7, and on retreating with the rook – 35.ўf6+.

34...Јxf2 35.¤e6 Јg3+ 36.ўh1 Ґh6 37.¤xf8 1-0

The game was a very curious sight to watch from the outside. Irina is undoubtedly a high-class chessplayer who is quite difficult to defeat. She plays very successively in team competitions, for example she scored 6 of 9 at the Russian club championship 2006, opponents' rating average 2330; 7.5 of 10 at the Russian club championship 2007, unbeaten, opponents' rating average 2321.

And here Irina is being outplayed move by move by the second-category player. Of course, the game exerted a negative psychological influence upon our whole team.

I must say I have no direct evidence of using a computer help by the Turkish chessplayer, but there are circumstances, which can serve as indirect confirmations of the fact.

First, it is a level of Kesim's play in the rest games of the tournament. Judging by the above round 1 game, one may think there appeared a new rising world-class star in Turkey, which will soon outshine by her successes not only the leader of Turkish youth Kubra Ozturk, but also such a representative of the new generation as Hou Yifan. However, other Kesim's games played in Kemer, to put it mildly, could be better. It does not even matter that she lost all the six games: in practically all of them there was no struggle at all. A good example is the game from round 2.

Kesim, Ayse Hazan (1650) - Stevandic, Drinka (2052)

1.e4 d6 2.d4 ¤f6 3.¤c3 c6 4.Ґc4? Just a loss of a tempo.

4...b5 5.Ґd3 a6?! 6.a3? An absolutely useless move and the second tempo...

6...e5 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Ґe3? Ґe7? Black is also far from equality to the occasion: 8...ўg4 9.Ґd2 Ґc5, and White stands undoubtedly worse.

9.¤f3 Јc7 10.h3 0-0 11.g4?? Just madness!

11...¦d8 12.Јc1? ¤bd7 13.Ґg5? ¤c5 14.Јe3 ¤e6 15.Ґxf6? The impression is that White started all this nightmare... to get rid of her dark-squared bishop?!

15...Ґxf6 16.g5 Ґe7 17.b4??

An adequate final accord: White commits suicide.

17...¤f4 18.0-0-0 a5 19.Ґf1 ¦xd1+ 20.¤xd1 axb4 21.axb4 Ґxb4 22.Јb3 Јa5?! 22...Јd6 would finish the game right away; why should Black deprive her rook of the a-file?..

23.c3 Јa1+ 24.Јb1 Ґxc3 25.Јxa1 Ґxa1 26.¤e3 Ґe6 27.h4 ¦a2 28.¤c2 Ґc3 29.¤fe1 b4 30.ўb1 b3 0-1

I believe further examples of Kesim's playing unnecessary.

Another indirect evidence of the dishonest play by the Turkish girl in her game against I.Turova is the round 1 bulletin issued next day. All successes of Turkish players in a hard struggle against foreigners were mentioned, like a draw between M.Erdogdu and E.Tomashevsky, as well as all unexpected results, like draws M.Socko – C.Eckhardt and M.Chiburdanidze – M.Bensdorp. Only Kesim's victory over a strong woman grandmaster was omitted shyly...

Now I shall say a few words about consequences of the game Kesim – Turova. The most obvious one: Irina Turova, in fact, was robbed of 10 Elo points, which, as all chessplayers know, is not so easy to regain in future tournaments. Second, 'FINEC' finally shared 3-5 places and was ranked 5th on tiebreak (sum of board points), having got no team prize. A gap from the bronze medalist, 'MIKA' Yerevan, was just one board point – that very point. In cash, the game mentioned cost our team 1500 Euros, the sum of the third prize.

To my mind, some conclusions are to be made by FIDE, ECU and organizers of important chess events.

1) Undoubtedly, a strict control of participants is necessary, aiming at preventing possible interference with normal course of sport struggle.

2) Even if a suspicion exist that a player used computer help, a suffered side has no chances to bring an official protest. In a team competition, a representative must leave a match protocol unsigned and then to bring a protest during 15 minutes after a round is over. I think, even if the result of any game is very surprising, it cannot be the reason to refuse to sign the protocol. And it is quite unreal to check the game by computer within 15 minutes.

I hope FIDE will pay its most intent attention to the problem of possible using computer help by chessplayers, which is the main threat to the existence of the beautiful game.

   Main  About  Articles In Sections  Best Games Of The Month  Reviews  Portrait of Chessplayer  Interviews  Closed World  News Archive  Guestbook