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PETERBURG KINGS completed victory in their monumental battle with Beersheva on Tuesday with a 3-2 victory which brought the overall score to 27-23. The two teams had been locked in combat since 5 June, in a double-round Scheveningen event in which the five members of each team played each opponent twice.

St Petersburg started well with a 3-2 victory in the first round, even though they all had Black that day as in all the odd-numbered rounds; and they raced to a 12-8 lead after four rounds with two further match victories and a single 2.5-all draw. But Beersheva fought back over the following three rounds to the tune of 10-5, thus taking an 18-17 lead with three to go.

The contest was effectively decided, though, in round eight in which St Petersburg used their White advantage to massive effect with a 4.5- .5 victory. And a 2.5-all draw, followed by their narrow last-round win, wrapped things up.

The individual scores were: (for St Petersburg) Khalifman and Yemelin 6.5/10, Sergei Ivanov 6, Lugovoi 4.5 and Aseev 3.5; while for Beersheva Avrukh made 6.5/10, Huzman and Greenfeld 5, Mark Tseitlin and Mikhalevski 3.

Today's game shows one of the interesting additional possibilities inherent in match play. In a murderously theoretical variation of the Grunfeld which I shan't even attempt to explain, Mikhalevski followed his team mate Mark Tseitlin's game from two days earlier for no fewer than 22 moves.

Tseitlin had played 23 ...c4 and after 24 Bb5 Qd8 25 Bxc4 b5 26 Bb3 he had a foul position though in fact Khalifman still hadn't worked out how to win when Tseitlin's flag fell on move 40 (the last move of the time control).

Mikhalevski varied with 23 ...a6 and then the splendid 24 ...Qd4+, the main point of which is that if 25 cxd4 Bxd2 26 d7 Bxd7 27 Bxd7 c4! regains the piece with a draw. But 31 ...Be4? lost invaluable time. 31 ...Be6 was correct intending ...f5 and ...Bf7 exchanging off the powerful bishop, though I wonder about 32 f5!? Bxf5 33 Kf2 Be6 34 Ke3 f5 35 Kd4 Bf7 36 Bxf7 Kxf7 37 Kd5. At the end 45 ...Ba5 46 Bc5 Bd8 47 Bb4 is decisive zugzwang.

White: Alexander Khalifman

Black: Viktor Mikhalevski

Grunfeld Defence

1 Nf3 Nf6

2 c4 g6

3 Nc3 d5

4 cxd5 Nxd5

5 e4 Nxc3

6 bxc3 c5

7 d4 Bg7

8 Rb1 0-0

9 Be2 Nc6

10 d5 Ne5

11 Nxe5 Bxe5

12 Qd2 e6

13 f4 Bc7

14 0-0 exd5

15 exd5 Ba5

16 d6 b6

17 Bf3 Bf5

18 Bxa8 Bxb1

19 Bc6 Bf5

20 Re1 Qf6

21 Bb2 Rd8

22 Re8+ Rxe8

23 Bxe8 a6

24 a4 Qd4+

25 Qxd4 cxd4

26 d7 b5

27 cxd4 b4

28 d5 Kf8

29 Bf6 b3

30 d6 Bd8

31 Bb2 Be4?

32 Kf2 f5

33 Ke3 Bc6

34 Kd3 Bxa4

35 Kc4 Bc6

36 g3 Bf3

37 Kxb3 Bd5+

38 Kb4 Bf7

39 Bxf7 Kxf7

40 Kc5 Ke6

41 Kc6 a5

42 Ba3 a4

43 Bb4 h6

44 h4 h5

45 Ba3