Isle of Man International

November, 1999

Scotsman report by John Henderson

"I was given a free chess lesson!"

GM Psakhis v GM Rowson

Scottish champion, GM Jonathan Rowson, was in his own words, "given a free chess lesson" by the Scottish Centenary champion Lev Psakhis. (Photo Rowson v Psakhis by JBH)

When the Scottish Chess Association celebrated its centenary year in 1984, Lev Psakhis headed the field in a special grandmaster tournament held in Troon to commemorate the occasion; the Scottish champion of that year being decided by the highest placed Scot in the Open, which was Craig Thomson.

Psakhis won the grandmaster tournament with 6.5/9, one point clear of the field, to thus become the Scottish Centenary champion - a title he says he'd like to defend again in 2084!

An extremely strong ex-Soviet player, Psakhis is one of the unique players who have won back to back USSR championships. In 1980 at Vilnius, with a score of 10.5/17, he shared equal first with GM Alexander Beliavsky for his first title. The next year at Frunze, he tied for first with 12.5/17 with none other Garry Kasparov - whom he beat in their individual game. Psakhis now represents Israel

J Rowson - L Psakhis Monarch Assurance Open, (2) French Def: Winawer 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 c5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 Ne7 7 h4 Qc7 8 h5 h6 9 Nf3 b6 10 Bb5+ Bd7 11 Be2 Ba4 12 dxc5 bxc5 13 Rh4 c4 14 Rg4 Rg8 15 Rb1 Nd7 16 Rb4 a5 17 Rxa4 Nb6 18 Rb4 axb4 19 cxb4 g5 20 hxg6 Rxg6 21 Rxg6 Nxg6 22 Qd4 Nd7 23 Bb2 Kd8 24 Kd2 Qa7 25 Qxa7 Rxa7 26 g3 Ra8 27 Bf1 Kc7 28 Be2 Ra4 29 Bd1 Kb7 30 Be2 Ra8 31 Bd1 Ne7 32 Nd4 Nxe5 33 f4 N5c6 34 Nb5 Nf5 35 g4 Kb6 36 Nc3 Nd6 37 Bf3 Nb5 38 Nb1 d4 39 c3 d3 40 Bd1 f5 41 a4 Nd6 42 b5 Na5 0-1