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ALREADY OUT in electronic form for some time (at www. sahovski.co.yu or www. sahovski. com), the 75th edition of Chess Informant arrived in "hard copy" last month.

As always, it contains many of the most important recent games - 534 in this case - combinational and endgame sections, cross-tables of events; and, what we on the two panels look at first, the "best game" and "best theoretical novelty" of the last volume.

Not being a theoretician, I'm not involved in that department, but I can report that it was won by Vladimir Kramnik for an idea in the Petroff Defence, which scored 75/90.

The best game was even clearer, with eight of the nine judges awarding it 10/10; and only Mikhail Gurevich, who used to work with/for Kasparov, overlooking it entirely! I gave it in January, of course; but it's still interesting to see Kasparov's own take on one of the great games of all time.

24 ...Kb6 was sensible when Kasparov assesses 25 Nb3 Bxd5! 26 Qxd6+ Rxd6 27 Rd2 Rhd8 28 Red1 as equal. Not 25 ...Qxe7? 26 Qxd4+ Kb8 27 Qb6+ Bb7 28 Nc6+ Ka8 29 Qa7 mate! He gives 28 Ra7! as even better. Not 28 ...Bxd5 29 Kb2 with the unanswerable threat of 30 Qb3+ Bxb3 31 cxb3 mate!

In the diagram, if 30 ...Rd6 31 Rb6!; or 30 ...Rhe8 31 Rb6 Ra8 32 Bf1!! were already known a few days after the game. Kasparov then gives Red8 as toughest but after 33 Rc6! Nh5 (33 ...Nd7 34 Rd6) 34 Rc5 Rac8 35 Kb2! decides.

But I was only vaguely aware of 30 ...Ne4! at the time. Kasparov then gives 31 fxe4 Qc4 32 Ra7 Rd1+ 33 Kb2 Qxc3+ 34 Kxc3 Rd6 35 e5 Rb6 36 Kb2 Re8 37 Bg2 Rd8 (37 ...Rxe5 38 Bb7) 38 Bb7 Rd7 39 Bc6 Rd8 40 Bd7! when Black will soon run out of moves.

If 31 ...Rd1+ 32 Kb2 Ra8 33 Qb6 Qd4+ 34 Qxd4 Rxd4 35 Rxf7! White should win. 33 c3+! forced victory. If 34 ...Kb4 35 Qb2+ Ka5 36 Ra7+.

White: Garry Kasparov

Black: Veselin Topalov

Wijk aan Zee 1999

Pirc Defence

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