Looking back at Crete

10/15/2003 – The 2003 European Clubs Cup in Crete is over, the players have returned to their many native countries. Our correspondent Anna Dergatschova was there as a reporter and, once back in Germany, sent us a new set of pictures from this exciting tournament. We share them with you.

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European Clubs Cup 2003 in Rethymnon, Crete


An invitation to chess – two lovely Greek hostesses greet visitors


A key game Grischuk vs Kasparov. This drew the greatest number of photographers, just in case the younger player would manage to pull off a win. But Kasparov was in no-nonsense mode and decided the game for himself.


The man who actually pulled it off: Alexander Huzman, who won the game after Kasparov blundered in the penultimate round. This is the critical position in Huzman-Kasparov:

Black (to play) has an overprotected pawn, attacked once and defended three times. Kasparov played 20...Bc8 to attack the white knight on f5, forcing it back to d4 or g3 with a good game for Black. Unfortunately the move overlooks a simple tactical combination: 21.Rxd5! Black cannot recapture with the knight because of 22.Qxg7 mate, nor can he take with the queen because of the fork 22.Ne7+. White wins two pawns for nothing, and after 21...Qe8 22.Bxc4 Kasparov resigned.

In our report we speculated on the mechanisms of this kind of error, committed by a player who carries a 2830 rating and had scored four out of four (against very strong opposition) in this tournament. Viktor Bologan offered one more snippet: "When you play a move that threatens something, like attacking the unpleasant knight on f5, that is the time when you are most likely to commit a blunder. You simply assume your opponent has to react to this threat. People overlook short mates in such situations."


What on earth happened there? Kasparov pondering, Israel GM Emil Sutovsky


Now this is definitely more pleasant: Kasparov posing with the ladies


The youngest GM-strength player in Crete: 13-year-old Kateryna Lahno


Great pals: Almira Skripchenko with Antoaneta Stefanova


The venue of the men's tournament: the Creta Star Hotel


A final farewell to a beautiful island

Previous stories

  • A great triumph and a shocking loss
    05.10.2003 The European Clubs Cup 2003, which ended on Saturday, was won by the NAO Chess Club of Paris. The event was marked by some remarkable performances and a shocking fifth-round loss in 22 moves by Garry Kasparov – who still chalked up the second-highest performance of the tournament (2841). You will find the whole story, including an illustrated report by Anna Dergachova.

  • European Club Championship: Kasparov in Crete
    16.09.2003 What does a player to do when his shot at the FIDE world title gets cancelled? Some would be glad for the unexpected break. Not Garry Kasparov, who has agreed to take part in the European Club Championship in Crete. He will also play a match against the European champion Azmaiparashvili. Details.

  • The way Kasparov likes...
    24.09.2003 Throughout the millennia the Greek island of Crete has fallen to Romans, Arabs and Ottomans. Today its town of Geropotamos (tourism slogan: "The way you like...") was conquered by Garry Kasparov. The world number one demolished European champion Zurab Azmaiparashvili in a brief exhibition match of rapid and blitz games. Report and games

  • Kasparov on the rampage
    03.10.2003 The European Clubs Cup in Crete is turning into a crunch fest. After five rounds there are ten players with performance ratings of over 2800. Peter Svidler has 2831, Joel Lautier 2859, Alexander Morozevich 2932. You do not want to know to what heights Garry Kasparov is soaring. We bring you games, pictures, results and links.

  • The Women of Crete
    07.10.2003 Our reports on the 2003 European Clubs Cup in Crete concentrated on male chess players and their spectacular performances. But, we were reminded by one visitor, there was an exciting women's tournament going on at the same time. Our correspondent Pufichek (a.k.a. Diego Garces), sent us a report and some lovely pictures.

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