(changes are between +++)

by Christophe Bouton, Novgorod, July 19th, 1996
e-mail in Novgorod:

The strongest tournament is under way in the most ancient town of Russia, Novgorod, 200 km South of St Petersburg. The category XIX tournament will consist this year in a 6 players double round tournament. ++++Kramnik (2765), Topalov (2750), Ivanchuk (2730), Short (2695), Gelfand (2665)++++ and J. Polgar (2665) are the players. First round is scheduled on Saturday, July 20th, 1996. Rest days will be on 24th and 28th.

Each of these players is accompagnied with a second or a relative. Kramnik is coming with IM Danielian, Topalov with IM Danailov, Ivanchuk with IM Sulipa, Short with GM Kotronias, +++Gelfand with his wife and GM Huzman and J. Polgar with her mother.++++

+++ The chief arbiter is Boris Postovsky and his second is Gennadi Ostashevsky. Drawing of lots will be done tonight at 19:00 (17:00 CET), they will be posted tomorrow morning (July 20th)+++++

Main sponsors of the tournament are the chewing gum company Stimorol, +++the Region and town of Novgorod++++ (NOT ST PETERSBURG AS WAS WRITTEN IN MY YESTERDAY'S MESSAGE), Beresta 4 stars Hotel and various local sponsors.

Neither of the players receive an appearance fee (which is a kind of record in such a strong tournament). The prize fund is 70,000 US dollars. Here are the prizes:
1st: 25,000 dollars
2nd: 14,000
3rd: 10,500
4th: 8,500
5th: 7,000
6th: 5,000

Judit Polgar is the yougest player of this strong field and she will celebrate her 20th birthday during the tournament, during the first rest day on July 24th (she is born on July 23th).

Copyright © 1996 Novgorod State University