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The Year 2004 in Review

The 13-round World Junior Championships were held November/December in Cochin, India. Pentala Harikrishna (India) won the event a half point ahead of Tigran Petrosian (Armenia) and Zhao Jun (China). The girls event was won by Ekaterina Korbut (Russia) a full point ahead of Elisabeth Paehtz (Germany) and Karavade Eesha (India).

The 11-round World Youth Championships, with boys and girls events for age categories Under-18, U-16, U-14, U-12, & U-10, took place in November in Heraklio, Crete. Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland) won the boys under-18 event, ahead of Evgeny Tomashevsky (Russia) and Ahmed Adly (Egypt). The girls under-18 event saw six players tie for first. Jolanta Zawadzka (Poland) won the gold medal on tiebreak ahead of Marie Sebag (France) and Nataliya Hryhorenko (Ukraine).

The 14th World Senior Championships took place October/November in Halle, Germany. In a group of five players who finished 8.5/11, Yuri Shabanov (Russia) won on tiebreak. Elena Fatalibekova (Russia) won the women's title.

In February, Andrew Martin (England) set a new world record for simultaneous games when he played 321 chess players. Required to win against at least 80% of his opponents, Martin scored +294-1=26. The previous world record had been 310 games.

In July, ex-World Champion Robert J. (Bobby) Fischer was detained at Tokyo's Narita airport after being stopped with a passport that U.S. officials said was invalid. Fischer was wanted in the U.S. for violating economic sanctions by playing a 1992 match in Yugoslavia against old rival Boris Spassky. At year-end he was still in detention, awaiting a Japanese ruling on his fate. Shortly before Christmas, Fischer was offered a new home in Iceland, the site of his historic match with Spassky in 1972.

Russian GM Kostantin Aseev (1960-2004) died in August after a long illness. Along with a career high rating of close to 2600, he was coach to former Women's World Champion Maia Chiburdanidze.

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• Passages 2003