While most of the eyes of the chess community were viewing the titanic struggle for the world championship between successful challenger Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, 16 of the world's elite grandmasters were competing at Montpellier, France, for the opportunity to vie for the title next year. With the first four finishers advancing to the next phase of play, Soviet countrymen Artur Yusupov, Rafael Vaganian, and Andrei Sokolov shared top honors at 9 points each, while Jan Timman of the Netherlands and former world champion Mikhail Tal of the Soviet Union were next, with 81/2 apiece. A six-game match for fourth place between these two ended 3-3, with Timman advancing to the next round on the basis of the better tie-breaks at Montpellier.
The lone American, Yasser Seirawan, finished just under .500, with 7 points.
The four qualifiers will now play knockout matches early next year, with Vaganian meeting Sokolov and Yusupov locking horns with Timman.
Yusupov, an improving and brilliant 25-year-old who was ranked first in the tie-break, has the misfortune to be overshadowed by Kasparov. That he is a great player in his own right is evidenced by today's game, taken from Montpellier. The loser in this game is Jes'us Nogueiras, a Cuban. Queen's Gambit Declined Yusupov Nogueiras Yusupov Nogueiras Yusupov Nogueiras Yusupov Nogueiras
1. P-Q4 P-Q4
2. P-QB4 P-K3
3. N-QB3 P-QB3
4. N-B3 N-B3
5. B-N5 QN-Q2
6. PxP KPxP
7. P-K3 B-Q3 (a)
8. B-Q3 N-B1
9. N-K5! (b) Q-N3 (c) 10. O-O BxN 11. PxB N-N5 (d) 12. Q-R4! (e) QxNP 13. QR-B1! (f) B-Q2 (g) 14. Q-Q4! (h) P-B3 15. PxP PxP 16. BxP R-KN1 (i) 17. N-N5! (j) QxN 18. BxQ N-K3 19. Q-N2 PxB 20. B-R4 Resigns (k)