Chess

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The Independent Culture
BATTLE COMMENCED in Sarajevo on Monday with a scintillating round in which four of the five games were decisive; only the pre-tournament favourite Garry Kasparov drew as Black against Yevgeny Bareev, after Kasparov offered a repetition just out of the opening, and Bareev also showed little enthusiasm for continuing the fight.

In the other games White and Black each won two apiece. The Black victories first: Alexei Shirov won against Peter Leko in a messy Sicilian Najdorf in which Leko sacrificed a piece but never seemed quite to have enough, while Veselin Topalov defeated Jan Timman in a near carbon copy of their first-round game earlier this year in Wijk aan Zee - not in content (Topalov was White then) but rather in format - for as at Wijk, Timman got a fine position and then blundered horribly.

Meanwhile Alexander Morozevich won as White against Ivan Sokolov in an unusual variation of the Two Knights': 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 Ng5 d5 5 exd5 Na5 6 Bb5+ Bd7!? - Black usually sacrifices a pawn with 6 ...c6.

But the clash of the round, from an English perspective at least, was between Michael Adams and Nigel Short.

3 ...Be7 is unusual. Black normally chooses between 3 ...c5 - which is what I (and Michael) would have expected Nigel to play against such a strong opponent - and 3 ...Nf6.

Presumably, Short was aiming for some sort of gain through his move order, but Adams pre-empted him with 4 e5 - a sort of "Delayed Advance Variation" - the Advance proper starting with 3 e5.

5 Qg4 exploited the bishop's having moved, though in the few games that have been played in this position Black has more often played 5 ...Kf8!? After the double-edged 6 ...f5, which potentially gains some space but leaves the e5 pawn unchallenged, Adams resolved the opening in his favour with the excellent 8 Bb5! surrendering the bishop to cement his black square bind.

White already had a big advantage after 16 f4 and looks almost strategically winning by the time he's played 27 Rd3. But 27 ...a5, which I assume was a blunder rather than a desperate attempt to create some chaos before White clamps down with something like Ke2, followed by Rh3 and Nf6+, accelerated the loss after the deadly 29 Rxd5!.

White: Michael Adams

Black: Nigel Short

French Tarrasch

1 e4 e6

2 d4 d5

3 Nd2 Be7!?

4 e5 c5

5 Qg4 g6

6 dxc5 f5!?

7 Qg3 Nd7

8 Bb5! Qa5

9 Bxd7+ Bxd7

10 c3 Qxc5

11 Ne2 Bd8

12 Nb3 Qe7

13 h4 Bc7

14 h5 gxh5

15 Bg5 Qg7

16 f4 h6

17 Bh4 Rh7

18 Nc5 b6

19 Nxd7 Qxg3+

20 Nxg3 Kxd7

21 Nxh5 b5

22 Rh3 Rf7

23 Rg3 Ne7

24 Bxe7 Rxe7

25 Rg6 Rh8

26 Rd1 Bb6

27 Rd3 a5?

28 Nf6+ Kc7

29 Rxd5! Be3

30 Rxb5 Bxf4

31 Rxa5 Kb7

32 Rb5+ Ka7

33 Nh5 Bg5

34 Rg7 Rhe8

35 Rxe7+ Rxe7

36 Rb4 Rc7

37 Nf4 Rc5

38 Nd3 Rd5

39 Ke2

1-0

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