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The Year 2004 in Review
International Events

The year had the familiar lineup of international events featuring the world's top grandmasters.

In January, Anand won the Corus tournament (cat. XIX, 14 player round robin) in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands, with a score of +5-1=7. It was his second consecutive win. Leko and Adams tied for 2nd and 3rd.

In February/March, Kramnik won the 21st edition of the world's strongest annual tournament (cat. XX, 7 player double round robin) at Linares, Spain. Leko and Kasparov tied for 3rd/4th.

Later in March, the Amber Tournament, a 12 player combined rapidplay and blindfold round robin, was held in Monaco. Anand won the rapidplay tournament, Morozevich won the blindfold tournament, and Morozevich tied with Kramnik for 1st/2nd in the combined event.

The summer months always feature a suite of top-level events in Central Europe. The 37th Biel (Switzerland) International Chess Festival in July, with nine different tournaments, included a GM tournament (cat. XVIII, 6 player double round robin). Alexander Morozevich scored +5-0=5 to win 1.5 points ahead of Krishnan Sasikiran of India. Morozevich, who had won by the same margin the previous year, said, 'I play each game to win it. This is how I consider chess competition. If it entertains the public, that's fine. But I like taking risks, I appreciate being creative and winning games on the chessboard, not only through home preparation.'

Anand won the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting in August. The eight players first competed in two separate round robin events. The top two players in each section then met in knockout matches to determine 1st through 4th places. Anand finished 1st in the round robin, then beat Leko in the semifinal and Kramnik in the final to notch the tournament win.

In August, the main event of the Chess Classic Mainz (Germany) was an 8 game rapidplay match between Anand and Alexei Shirov. Anand won +2-0=6.

The most important team event of the year was the 36th Chess Olympiad, held in Calvia, Majorca, Spain. The Ukraine won the men's gold medal (39.5 points) by finishing ahead of the perennial favorite Russia (silver, 36.5 points with 460.0 tiebreak) Armenia took the bronze (36.5 459.0).

The women's medal winners were China (gold, 31.0), United States (silver, 28.0), and Russia (bronze, 27.5). The U.S. women’s team was later welcomed by New York State Governor George Pataki, who presented each member of the team with an honorary plaque to commemorate their accomplishment.

The Olympiad closing ceremony was marred when FIDE Vice President GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili was arrested. While trying to reach the stage, Azmaiparashvili was wrestled to the ground by security personnel and hauled off to a local jail.

Next : National Championships 2004

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• International Events 2003