The final edition to be organised under Interpolis' sponsorship was another large knockout tournament.
At the opening ceremony, a spokesman for Interpolis shocked the audience with an announcement that the company was reconsidering its chess and other public relations activities, following a total merger with Rabobank. FIDE President Florencio Campomanes attended the opening, primarily to lend support to the FIDE Women's Candidates tournament, which was being held at Tilburg alongside the Interpolis event.
The event commenced with a first round of 112 participants and the 56 winners were then joined by eight seeded players to make up a 64-player second round. The seeded players were Karpov (Elo rating 2780), Salov (2710), Ivanchuk (2695), Bareev (2695), Khalifman (2645), Epishin (2650), Timman (2635), and K. Georgiev (2615).
Due to a clash with another strong tournament in Horgen, the line-up was slightly depleted this time. Garry Kasparov, Alexei Shirov, Artur Yusupov, Viktor Korchnoi, Joël Lautier, Boris Gelfand, Peter Leko and Tony Miles were among those who favoured the rival event. Additionally, some Russian players were staying at home to prepare for their national championship, a pre-cursor to selection for the Olympiad team.
Everyone was surprised to see the return of the Brazilian GM Henrique Mecking, a former world-class player, who had suffered a life threatening condition some eighteen years previously and had been in a slow recovery ever since.
Held at the Interpolis headquarters, round one heralded the largest number of 'big reputation' casualties since the introduction of the knockout format. Alexander Beliavsky, Victor Bologan, Mikhail Gurevich, Curt Hansen, Lembit Oll, Alon Greenfeld, Ilya Smirin, Veselin Topalov and home favourite Jeroen Piket all had to pack their bags after just three days.
As before, each round comprised two (classic time limit) games on days one and two, followed by a rest day, which was also the day to conclude tie-breaks (starting with pairs of rapid time limit games and followed, if necessary, with blitz games).
|Round of 16||Quarterfinals||Semifinals||Final|
|Vladimir Tukmakov||2½||Evgeny Bareev||1½|
|Alexey Dreev||1½||Alexey Dreev||½|
|Zoltán Almási||½||Evgeny Bareev||1½|
|Kiril Georgiev||3½||Anatoly Karpov||½|
|Ivan Sokolov||2½||Kiril Georgiev||0|
|Anatoly Karpov||2||Anatoly Karpov||2|
|Alexander Shabalov||0||Evgeny Bareev||½|
|Zurab Azmaiparashvili||1½||Valery Salov||1½|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||2½||Vassily Ivanchuk||4|
|Alexander Khalifman||1½||Alexander Khalifman||2|
|Leonid Yudasin||½||Vassily Ivanchuk||1½|
|Vladimir Akopian||1½||Valery Salov||2½|
|Evgeny Pigusov||½||Vladimir Akopian||½|
|Valery Salov||1½||Valery Salov||1½|
Read more about this topic: Tilburg Chess Tournament