Letter From Grandmaster Igor Kurnosov

response to the letter published by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (sent to e3e5.com)

Grandmaster Igor Kurnosov sent a letter to the popular chess portal e3e5.com as a response to the letter published by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov:

“Dear colleagues and chess fans! In response to the letter circulated in the press by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, I have to clarify the situation. I suggest you take a look at the game Mamedyarov-Kurnosov from round six of the Aeroflot Open, together with my brief comments. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 f5 10. h4 fxe4 11.h5 gxh5 – A well-known theoretical position, which I believe, favors black. Here my opponent made a move that was new to me – 12.d5 Ne5 13.Bh6 Nec4. I have also considered Rf7, but I did not like that, after taking Rh5, the Knight loses tempo [13 ... Rf7?! 14.Bxg7 Rxg7 15.Rxh5] 14.Qg5 Rf7. The only move 15.Bxc4. This seemed questionable to me, even though objectively it is not bad. 15 … Nxc4. After the 40-minute thought on the previous move, my opponent offered a draw. But I felt that I had serious advantage and didn’t see the grounds to accept the draw.

16.Rd4? – I thought that Qd6 would give me strong initiative. It turned out that Nb2 led to decisive advantage, but this move I had not considered. Imagine what would be the story had I previously analysed this variation at home!? 16 … Qd6?! 17.Bxg7 Rxg7 – The only move! 18.Qxh5 Qf4 + – Also unique, the checkmate was threatening and the Knight was in danger. Now I invite all qualified chess players to set this position and withing three minutes find the next three simple moves for Black! I believe most if will be forced! 19.Kb1 Bf5 20.fxe4 Bg4 21.Nge2? loses immediately! [21.Qh6 Qf2] 21 … Qd2! 0-1.

Black is in winning position. Here the opponent stopped the clock and, without shaking my hand or signing the formular, reached out to the arbiter’s table. The rest of the story you already know… I believe that all players, regardless of title or rating, should respect themselves and their colleagues, instead of blaming them on computer assistance without reason. At the same time playing relatively weak!

Mamedyarov’s claim that I took the coat and went to the toilet after each move, does not correspond to reality. On the first 12 moves, which we played relatively fast, I did get up from the table. When my opponent thought for 40 minutes on the move 15, I went twice to the smoking area which is only 2 meters from the hall entrance, and always full of players, arbiters, there was also a guard. And on few occasions I went to wash my face with cold water, but I never talked to anybody while doing so. The arbiters had no pretensions towards me, either before or after the protest.

Thereat, I simply did what I always do. While opponent thinks, it is much easier for me to contemplate about the position while walking and not looking at the board. As far as I know, most players do the same. Unfortunately, all this negativity affected my play later in the tournament … I would also like to thank all those who supported me on the Internet or in private conversation!

I would suggest:

1. Organizers of major tournaments to equip the entrance of the playing area with metal detectors and other means which would exclude the possibility of assistance, and would eliminate all baseless accusations and insults, which affect the image of the player.

2. International chess organizations to develop a set of rules that would execute serious sanctions for those who use assistance, as well as for those who unjustly accuse the others of receiving the aid!

GM Igor Kurnosov, 28.02.2009 “

Ed. note: Having published the statements of both players, we will stop discussing this matter until (if) the chess governing bodies take a stand on the issue. e3e5.com also brings links to the articles published in Azerbaijan media and we will direct your attention once again to the warning given by IM Alisa Maric.