Chess

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The Independent Culture
ALTHOUGH GARRY Kasparov is currently engaged in over-the-board play at the Frankfurt Chess Classic - of which more tomorrow - he must also be devoting a small portion of his time to his game against "The Rest of the World".

As I explained last week, moves are being played every 24 hours, and anybody can vote for the world's moves by logging on to www.zone.msn.com; I also noticed some trenchant if somewhat one-sided commentary on Kasparov's own site: www.clubkasparov.ru.

After the promising if morally forced opening of 1 e4 last Monday, Kasparov deviated slightly from the script on Friday when, following 1 ...c5 2 Nf3 d6, he chose not to play an Open Sicilian which would presumably have led to a very public battle against his favourite Najdorf variation - 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6. Rather he checked 3 Bb5+, since which the game has continued 3 ...Bd7 4 Bxd7+ Qxd7.

Few people can have been as pleased by Kasparov's third move as the Danish International Master Steffen Pedersen, author of the Easy Guide to the Bb5 Sicilian, published by Everyman Chess at pounds 12.99.

Pedersen has divided the bulk of his material into two parts of three chapters each on the "Rossolimo Variation" (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5) and the "Moscow Variation" (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bb5+). Each chapter has an explanatory section preceding the main analysis, and the whole is sandwiched between a helpful introduction and an index of variations.

Here, one of four complete games in the introduction, is how Kasparov handled Black at the Erevan Olympiad.

With 8 ...Bxc3+!? Kasparov created a pawn structure more reminiscent of the Nimzo- Indian Defence. 12 Qe2? was wrong - 12 a4 or 12 f4 were better - because after 12 ...Qa4! Black both blockaded the queen side and created pressure against c4.

Kasparov prefers 15 ...Rhf8, and if 16 e6 f5 intending Nf6-g8-f6-e4 while 16 ...Ng7 would have been safer than 16 ...Nh4 21 f5 was also interesting. Not 24 Qxh4? Qe4 25 Ra1 Nxc4 with great advantage.

Shirov had originally intended 27 Rxd2? which is bad after Qb1+ 28 Qf1 Nf3+ 29 Kf2 Qxf1+ 30 Kxf1 Nxd2+ 31 Ke2 Ne4. At the end, Black can easily force perpetual check but 27 ...Nhf3+ 28 Kh1 Ne1+ 29 Kg1 Ndf3+!? 30 Kf1 Nc2 31 d6 Kd7 (not 31 ...Ne3+? 32 Qxe3 Qxe3 33 d7+ Kd8 34 Bc7+!) 32 Bf4 Qxf4 33 Qxc2 Nxg5+ 34 Qf2 Qxg4 35 Qe2! is rather unclear.

White: Alexei Shirov

Black: Garry Kasparov

Erevan Olympiad 1996

Jspeelman@compuserve.com

1 e4 c5

2 Nf3 d6

3 Bb5+Bd7

4 Bxd7+Qxd7

5 c4 Nc6

6 Nc3 g6

7 d4 Bg7

8 d5 Bxc3+

9 bxc3 Na5

10 0-0 f6

11 Nd2 b6

12 Qe2? Qa4!

13 f4 Nh6

14 e5 0-0-0

15 Rb1 Nf5?!

16 g4! Nh4?!z

17 exf6 exf6

18 Qf2 g5

19 Ne4 Qe8

20 Re1 Qg6

21 fxg5 Rhe8!

22 Nxd6 Rxd6

23 Rxe8 Qxe8

24 Bf4! Nxc4

25 Bxd6 Nd2

26 Rd1 Qe4

27 Bg3!

Draw agreed

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