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The Independent Culture
FOR THOSE with an Internet connection, Gary Kasparov will be online today from 1.30pm at http:// giving a simultaneous display to launch the Internet-based Play Games Now! for BT's Wireplay. Peerless in simultaneous play, Kasparov ought to clean up against the three teams of journalists, players from the Mind Games network and juniors: Thomas Rendle, Gawain Jones, Murugan Thiruchelvan and David Howell; though there is the additional factor of the mouse.

At the weekend one of my Bundesliga colleagues, whose Internet Chess Club handle is "FlyingPiket", explained that he plays at the ICC (http://www.chessclub. com) on his laptop, which has a built-in mouse. I can hardly imagine how he can bear to do so when fine positional games are often spoilt by an horrendous finger- or rather, rodent-slip, leading to immediate defeat and a cheery Thx (as in "Thanks") from his rating-mad opponents.

I'm sure that Kasparov will have no problems in this department today. But his match with Vladimir Kramnik a fortnight ago was more stressful. In fact, quite rightly, they were paying on a sensory board: but another Bundesliga colleague expressed the somewhat mischeviously whimsical regret that they hadn't been using mice...

Although normal chess hardly requires strength, there is the slight physical component of moving the pieces, pressing the clock and writing down the moves. Normally quite unobtrusive, these can take centre-stage; at the Olympiad Boris Gulko, an orthodox Jew, moved his own pieces on a couple of religious holidays but required a surrogate to do the work of pressing the electric clock.

And under sufficient stress even the transfer of a chess piece can become problematical. I well remember an incident with Ljubomir Ljubojevic at London 1980 when, in time trouble, he picked up his queen and hurled it along the eighth rank - sadly not precisely where he intended it. After a magnificent row we agreed to a gentlemanly draw. The Romanian Florin Gheorghiu once lost on time in a won position against Bent Larsen when he simply couldn't command his hand to play the winning move.

Kasparov's opponent in today's game from a six-board clock simultaneous against the Argentine national team last year is a 2,565-rated grandmaster, but he was still slaughtered. Already worse, Spangenberg compounded matters with 15... Bd6? losing two tempi since if 16... Bxh2+ 17 Kh1 Bd7 18 g3 Bc6 19 d5 wins a piece. At the end, Black is losing a whole rook.

White: Gary Kasparov

Black: Hugo Spangenberg

Queen's Gambit Accepted

1 d4 d5

2 Nf3 Nf6

3 c4 dxc4

4 e3 e6

5 Bxc4 c5

6 0-0 a6

7 Bb3 Nc6

8 Nc3 Be7

9 Qe2 0-0

10 Rd1 cxd4

11 Nxd4 Nxd4

12 exd4 Nd5

13 Qf3 Nxc3

14 bxc3 Qc7

15 c4 Bd6?

16 c5! Be7

17 Bf4 Qd7

18 Rac1 Qc6

19 d5 exd5

20 Bxd5 Qg6

21 h3 Ra7

22 Qe3 Bf6

23 c6 bxc6

24 Be4 Bf5

25 Bxf5 Qxf5

26 g4 1-0