The 7th Torneo Internacional de Ajedrez "Ciudad de Linares" was organized under the direction of the millionaire Luis Rentero Suarez. The participants were: Anatoly Karpov (Elo rated #2 in the world), Nigel Short (#3), Alexander Beliavsky (#4), Vassily Ivanchuk (#6), Johann Hjartarson (#11), Artur Yusupov (#12), Jan Timman (#13), Boris Gulko (#14), Lajos Portisch (#16), Andrei Sokolov (#22) and Ljubomir Ljubojevic (#34). The player ratings amounted to Category 16, top of the scale of the World Chess Federation. To achieve this category, even without the world champion Garry Kasparov (#1), the organizers (somewhat unfairly) replaced Miguel Illescas Cordoba (#105), who played the previous year, with Gulko. Karpov, Hjartarson, Yusupov, Timman and Portisch had struggled in the Candidates quarterfinal matches that ended in early February. Viktor Korchnoi (#14) was meant to play, but protested when he found that the arbiter was Victor Davidovich Baturinsky, his archenemy. Rentero proposed the idea of having a separate arbiter for Korchnoi's games, but Korchnoi withdrew. Illescas was in Linares and could have replaced him, but then, the event category would have gone down to 15. The tournament went on with 11 players, and Ivanchuk had no opponent in Round 1. Playing time was 4-9 pm.
Ivanchuk won with 7.5/10, not losing a single game. The young Ukrainian was climbing on the ratings list. He was already a world traveler, having played in New York Open (1988) (which he won), the 55th USSR Championship (1988), World Junior Championship (1988) in Adelaide (Australia), the 26th Chess Olympiad (1988) in Thessaloniki (Greece), and in Reggio Emilia (1988/89) (Italy). According to British Chess Magazine, "The margin of his victory over all the players apart from Karpov, suggests that he is close to joining the two Ks (Karpov and Kasparov - ed.) at the top of the chess elite ... currently, he is doing his army service". Karpov played well per usual, and took 2nd place. Ljubojevic (the lowest rated and next oldest player) was 3rd, and Short and Timman shared 4th. Short scored his first ever victory against Karpov, but then lost to Ivanchuk and Yusupov.
Hotel Anibal, Linares, Spain, 19 February - 4 March 1989
Category: XVI (2629). Chief arbiter: Victor Davidovich Baturinsky.
Age Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
l Ivanchuk 19 2635 * ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 7½
2 Karpov 37 2750 ½ * 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 7
3 Ljubojevic 48 2580 ½ 0 * 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 6
4 Short 23 2650 0 1 1 * ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5½
5 Timman 37 2610 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5½
6 Yusupov 29 2610 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ * 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 5
7 Beliavsky 35 2640 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 * 1 ½ 1 0 4½
8 Portisch 51 2610 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ ½ 1 4
9 Sokolov 25 2605 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ 0 3½
10 Gulko 42 2610 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ 3½
11 Hjartarson 26 2615 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 1 ½ * 3
The chess magazines reported on two controversial issues: 1) The organizers upset the Spanish people by refusing to allow Illescas to play. They did not want to reduce the category of the tournament. The insistence on Category 16 came from the Junta of Andalucia, one of the main sponsors. Most parties were critical and felt that the point of such an event was to ensure that a promising Spaniard got his chance at first class competition. It might have been frustrating for Illescas when Korchnoi withdrew and he was still not a welcome substitute, as they apparently preferred to proceed with an odd number of players. Illescas received a consolation payment of $3500. 2) By making Baturinsky the chief arbiter, the organizers caused Korchnoi to withdraw without pushing a pawn. Leontxo García wrote in Jaque 258 that it was no secret that Rentero hired Korchnoi thinking of something more than the combativeness of the ex-Soviet. With Karpov, Baturinsky and Korchnoi together, it would be easy to rekindle the fire between them and have publicity. García continued (freely translated), "Rentero is very intelligent, at least as much as Florencio Campomanes, who is one of the smartest persons I know. You can agree with his methods, or disagree. His love for controversy can make him do condemnable things, like telling the radio station that Ricardo Calvo "is a fag." I have criticized him several times and will continue to do so, because that is my job, but with firmness I must say that Spanish chess is in debt to him".
Juan Segura Vila wrote in El Mundo Deportivo (transl. from Spanish), "The enmity between Korchnoi and Baturinsky was of long standing, specifically from the wake of the Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974), in which Korchnoi accused Baturinsky of bias in favor of the one who was later proclaimed as world champion. To have reliable information, 'El Mundo Deportivo' spoke with Luis Rentero, technical director of the tournament, who told us: "The main culprit has been the ineffable Ricardo Calvo, who has induced and pressured Korchnoi to leave the tournament. Calvo is a bad person for chess, and from this moment on he is declared person 'non grata' in the Linares tournament. To find a solution, I proposed that the Spanish assisting arbiter Francisco Mena be the arbiter of the Korchnoi games. But the grandmaster refused, demanding the withdrawal of Baturinsky. We do not accept impositions from anyone, and, therefore, we will play without Korchnoi. Most of the players have restrained themselves by understanding that this is a problem between Korchnoi and the organization."" Kasparov supported Korchnoi in an El País interview. He described the attitude of Rentero as inexcusable, hiring Baturinsky when the player list included Korchnoi who accused Baturinsky of having participated in the purges of Stalin. The world champion said Calvo was a perfectly pleasant person.
Korchnoi gave his version of what happened in "Chess Is My Life". He suggested that Karpov pushed hard for Baturinsky, knowing it would upset him, that Rentero was complicit, etc. He said Short and Timman supported him, and, to the surprise of Karpov, so did Beliavsky and Yusupov, whom Karpov may have regarded as 'comrades in arms'. Gulko apparently wanted to support him, but was fearful of losing the tournament if there were a mass withdrawal. Korchnoi appreciated this, and was not angry with Gulko, who had supported him in the past. He speculated that had Gulko openly supported him, then the consensus might have changed. Baturinsky would have been forced out, Karpov would have withdrawn, and the tournament would have collapsed.
After leaving Linares, Korchnoi went to the Lugano Open (1989) where he was joint first with 8/9.
CHESS Magazine, May 1989, p. 5.
British Chess Magazine, April 1989, pp. 141-143.
FIDE rating list January 1989 (http://www.olimpbase.org/Elo/Elo198...)
Jaque 257 (1 March 1989), p. 128 (http://www.bartelski.pl/olimpbase/l...)
Chess Is My Life, by Victor Korchnoi. Edition Olms, 2005. 226 pp. (pp. 193-194)
Jaque 258 (15 March 1989), pp. 130-148 (http://www.bartelski.pl/olimpbase/l...)
Leontxo García in El País, 17 February 1989 (https://elpais.com/diario/1989/02/1...)
Leontxo García in El País, 23 February 1989 (https://elpais.com/diario/1989/02/2...)
Kjell Krantz in Tidskrift för Schack, March 1989, pp. 104-107 (http://www.schack.se/tfsarkiv/histo...)
Joan Segura in El Mundo Deportivo, 16 February 1989, p. 51 (http://hemeroteca.mundodeportivo.co...)
Joan Segura in El Mundo Deportivo, 20 February 1989, p. 76 (http://hemeroteca.mundodeportivo.co...)
Javier Cordero Fernández in Ajedrez de Ataque, 18 January 2006 (http://www.ajedrezdeataque.com/05%2...)
Previous edition: Linares (1988). Next: Linares (1990)
Original collections: Game Collection: Linares 1989 by User: suenteus po 147 and Game Collection: Linares 1989 by User: Tabanus. Round dates (from El Mundo Deportivo): February 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, March 1, 2, 4. Thanks to User: Paint My Dragon for information from CHESS Magazine, British Chess Magazine and Korchnoi's book Chess Is My Life, and thanks to User: OhioChessFan, User: Annie K., User: perfidious and User: Larryfyffe for improving the English.