Chess

ONE OF the most intriguing first-round ties at the Fide world championship last weekend was the battle between Alexander Khalifman from St Petersburg, and the Indian Dibyendu Barua.

Though dismissed by most observers in advance as no contest, it turned out to be nothing of the kind after Barua won a nice positional game as White. But Khalifman clawed his way back into the match in the second game and won as White in the first tie-break game (25 minutes each, plus 10 seconds a move) before weakening in the second with qualification in sight.

So they had to go down to a pair of games at 15 minutes plus 10 seconds per move.

The first of these, with Barua as White, was drawn, leaving Khalifman the task of converting the the white pieces: a particularly noticeable advantage against Barua. For Barua, a fine player but with a weak opening repertoire, is that rare bird amongst chess professionals: a heroic defender, with the temperament and ability to defend painfully passive positions for long periods without blanching.

Khalifman duly got his advantage and it eventually transformed into this classic good knight vs bad bishop endgame.

By now, all the other tie-break games were over, so watched by a good selection of the world's top players, whose reactions ranged from "very unpleasant for Black/ lost", through "nasty but should be drawn", to, in the case of one top-20 player (who shall be nameless) "why is he [Khalifman] bothering to play it on?", Khalifman set to grinding away.

These were the final 36 moves of the game:

White should definitely have forced through f5 as soon as possible so 54 Kd2! Ke7 55 f5! must have been better when 55 ...gxf5 would transpose to the game while Bxf5 56 Nxa6 Kf6 57 Nc5 Bc8 58 Ke3 g5 59 a6 Bxa6 60 Nxa6 must surely be winning for White.

Later I suspect that 66 ...Bf5 67 Ne3 Ke6 68 Kg3 Kd6 would hold but after 69 f5! the position looks lost and Barua, in bad time trouble, soon fell into zugzwang.

,d, , ,

, , , ,

h, z ,h,

NhVh, ,h

N N N N

, Z , ,

, , , ,

, , , ,

54 Kd3? Ke7

55 Ke3 Kf6

56 Kf3 Bg4+

57 Kf2 Bc8

58 Ke3 Kf5

59 Kf3 Kf6

60 Nd3 Bg4+

61 Kg3 Bf5

62 Nc5 Bc8

63 Nb3 Bg4

64 Kf2 Bf5

65 Nd2 Bc8

66 Nf1 Be6?

67 Ne3 Kf7

68 Kg3 Kg7

69 f5! gxf5

70 Kf4 Kf6

71 Nc2 Bd7

72 Ne1 Bc8

73 Nd3 Be6

74 Kf3 Ke7

75 Kg3 Kf6

76 Nc5 Bc8

77 Kf4 Kg6

78 Ke5 f4

79 Kxf4 Kf6

80 Kg3 Kg7

81 Kf3 Kg6

82 Nd3! Bg4+

83 Ke3 Be6

84 Nf4+ Kf5

85 Nxh5 Kg4

86 Nf4 Bf7

87 Nd3 Be6

88 Nc5 Bc8

89 h5 1-0

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

books
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power