<So, a pumped up Kasparov set about working over poor Alexei - who at the end was simply left there re-adjusting his Y-fronts after an enormous Kasparov “wedgie.” However, if the Kasparov performance over the board didn’t make you feel moist down below, the press conference after the game certainly did – the Garry we all love and know was back in business! He was so high, we practically had to bring him down off the ceiling and seriously consider administering one of those Fide drug tests. Luckily for us, top Fide official Willy Iclicki was on hand today in the press room, and was ready and willing in his official capacity as Fide “Piss-taker General” to carry one out, if we could find enough volunteers to hold the beast down!
Without really waiting to be asked by the organisers whether he wanted to do the press conference of the day as he’d won the Spectators’ Prize for best game, he literally stormed into the packed press room with a determined look in his face, waving his clenched fist. There was more – much more – to this victory than met the eye, however.
Before going over the game he regretted that for the first time he had refused to shake the hand of an opponent (although in 1993 Valery Salov had refused to shake hands with Kasparov before or after their games in Linares and the French league), explaining that Shirov had repeatedly made various offences and, in particular, insulting both Kramnik and himself in public that their London match was fixed. “If it was fixed, how come I lost?” the Great One snorted disdainfully. In the presence of the organisers, an amicable solution to this problem had even been sought before the start of the tournament, explained Kasparov.
“When I met Shirov in Wijk aan Zee I talked to him and asked that he apologise. I said: ‘Alexei, one can get worked up and this is understandable but now it is time to admit your mistake.’ He didn’t give me any clear answer - and after this I couldn’t shake his hand before the game. I’m sorry to say that for the first time in my life I had to disregard this fine tradition.”
That set aside, there came another reason for the superstitious Kasparov to want to win this game, and win it well – it was the day of the 30th anniversary of the death of his beloved father. “This is a significant date for me and my mother - of course, I felt that I had to commemorate it in a particular way. I’m proud that I managed to win this crucial game – and to do it smoothly and earnestly.”
As ever, Kasparov kept the best till last at the press conference after going through this game. Sneering that for Shirov (remember, last five opponent’s Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, Ivanchuk and Morozevich!), his tournament was just about to begin after competing last week in the Dutch Open, stopping only to added for insult, “Welcome To Linares, Alexei!”. Wow! That’s got to hurt. It was just then that I had a strange feeling in my groin and ran back in the general direction of the hotel for a quick change of underwear and a cigarette!>