CHESS

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The Independent Culture
IN THESE days of rampant materialism, when a man's only battle plan may be to nag persistently against a small weakness in the hope of exhausting the opponent into capitulation in a long endgame, it is good to see that romanticism is not totally dead. The following game, from the President's Cup in Elista, is a fine throwback to the days when men were men and pawns were mere ballast.

White: Alexander Khalifman

Black: Alexei Dreyev

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6

An irritating move to meet when you have spent long hours delving into the complications of 5...dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5. Now White must play 6.Bxf6, entering a dreary line of the Queen's Gambit, or take a gamble.

6.Bh4! dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7

Now 10.e5 and 10.0-0 have been tried. Khalifman comes up with a better try.

10.h4! g4 11.Ne5 b4 12.Na4 Nxe4 13.Bxc4 Nxg3 14.fxg3 Nd7 (See diagram.)

White can now take back his pawn, but neither 15.Nxg4 Bg7 nor 15.Qxg4 Nxe5 16.Qc7, nor 15.Nxd7 Qxd7 16.Qxg4 h5 offers any chance of advantage. But White did not sacrifice a pawn just to regain it!

15.Nxf7! Kxf7 16.Qxg4

Bravo! The best form of attack is attack!

16...Qe7 17.0-0+ Ke8

After 17...Nf6 either 18.Rae1 or 18.Nc5 causes Black severe problems.

18.Bxe6 Bc8 19.Rae1 Kd8 20.d5!

Opening a new front. Now 20...cxd5 21.Bxd5 leaves both Black's rook and queen under attack.

20...Qg7 21.dxc6 Qxg4 22.Bxg4

With three pawns, White now has a material equivalent for his piece. Yet we can be sure he was not counting pawns, but looking for a way to checkmate.

22...Nb6 23.Rf7!

Excellent! The threat is 24.c7 mate and 23...Bxg4 is met by 24.c7+ Kc8 25.Nxb6+ axb6 26.Re8+ Kb7 27.c8=Q+.

23...Bd6 24.Nxb6 axb6 25.c7+!

The final flourish: White plays the move 23...Bd6 was designed to prevent.

25...Bxc7 26.Rd1+ Ke8 27.Bh5!

Trapping Black's king in a vice.

27...Bg4 28.Rh7+ Bxh5 29.Rxh8+ Ke7 30.Re1+ Black resigned

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