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AFTER MOST of the troops had retired hurt from the Fide world championships in Las Vegas, many moved on down the road (by US standards) to that other great gambling city, Reno, for the US Open.

Held from 10 to 20 August, the nine-round Swiss comprised 488 players and was won by the Russian-American Alex "Swiss King" Yermolinsky after a blitz play-off between six players tied on 7.5/9 - the rest comprised four other grandmasters - Alexander Goldin (Israel), Eduard Rozentalis (Lithuania), Alexander Shabalov (US) and Gabriel Schwartzman (US) - and the 20-year-old American Michael Mulyar, a Fide master.

As always, there was a huge pile-up just below the top, with no fewer than 16 players seventh equal on 7/9, 12 of whom are grandmasters. This grandmaster group comprised the Estonian Jaan Ehlvest; the Poles Alex Wojkiewicz and Bartlomie Macieja; the Americans Joel Benjamin, Grigory Serper, Anatoly Lein and Eduard Gufeld (who, just recently, must have changed his chess nationality from Russian); Pavel Blatny of the Czech Republic; Yuri Shulman of Belarus; Cuba's Walter Arencibia; Dibyendu Barua of India; and our own Tony Miles.

On Monday, I gave Tony's staunch defensive effort against Walter Browne. He also had to defend himself against Gufeld but still made a draw in the end with something to spare.

Miles has used this line of the Berlin Defence extensively recently. Black has to move his king and accept doubled pawns but in return he gets the two bishops and he's had excellent results.

This time, Tony gave up a bishop with 12 ...Bxc3 to stablise the position but after 17 Ne4! he had to jettison a pawn since if 17 ...b6 18 Bxf6! gxf6 19 Nxf6+ Kf8 (or 19 ...Ke7 20 Nd5+) 20 e7+ Nxe7 21 Rd8+ Kf7 22 Rxh8 Kxf6 23 Rxh7 is utterly disastrous.

Perhaps White should have supported the e6 pawn, though e.g. 22 Bxd4 Rxd4 23 f5 gxf5 24 gxf5 Rd5 25 Rf1 Ba6 is far from clear. Not 25 ...Rxd8 26 Rc1 Kxe6 27 Rxc2 gxf4 Nf3 when Black doesn't have enough for the piece. Miles battled through and, after 30 ...Bxe6, he had equalised.

White: Eduard Gufeld vs

Black: Tony Miles

US Open Reno 1999

Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence

1 e4 e5

2 Nf3 Nc6

3 Bb5 Nf6

4 0-0 Nxe4

5 d4 Nd6

6 Bxc6 dxc6

7 dxe5 Nf5

8 Qxd8+ Kxd8

9 Nc3 Ke8

10 h3 a5

11 Bd2 Bb4

12 Rad1 Bxc3

13 Bxc3 c5

14 Rfe1 Ne7

15 Ng5 Nc6

16 e6 f6

17 Ne4 Ke7

18 Nxc5 b6

19 Nd3 Rd8

20 f4 g6

21 g4 Nd4

22 Kf2 Ba6

23 g5 fxg5

24 Ne5 Nxc2

25 Rxd8 Kxd8

26 Nc6+ Ke8

27 Rc1 Nb4

28 Bxb4 axb4

29 Nxb4 Bc8

30 Rxc7 Bxe6

31 fxg5 Ra5

32 h4 Bxa2

33 Rxh7 Kf8

34 Ke3 Bf7

35 Rh8+ Bg8

36 Nd3 Kg7

37 Rh6 Bf7

38 Kd4 Rd5+

39 Ke4 Rb5

40 Ne5 Rb4+

41 Kd3 Rxb2

42 Nxf7 Kxf7

43 h5 gxh5

44 Rxh5 Kg6

45 Rh1 Kxg5

46 Rf1

Draw agreed