Chess

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
In A move of quite blatant sexual discrimination, the organisers of the World Team Championship this year invited a Georgian Women's team to compete against the men. The experiment was not a success, except perhaps for proponents of misogyny. The women finished a poor last. While I am all in favour of encouraging women to play chess, I fear they are not cut out for front-line battle - as Michael Adams showed in this tussle.

White: Maya Chiburdanidze

Black: Michael Adams

World Team Championship, Lucerne 1997

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Nge2 Ne4 6.Bd2 Nxd2 7.Qxd2 0-0 8.a3 Be7 9.Nf4 d6 10.Bd3 Nd7 11.Qc2 h6 12.Be4

Black's curious omission of Bb7 has been inviting something like this.

12...Rb8 13.Nb5!

This comes as a great embarrassment. The threat of Na7 followed by Nc6 is not easy to meet.

13...Nf6 14.Nxa7 Nxe4 15.Nc6 Qe8 16.Nxb8 Bb7 17.d5!

Both cutting off the bishop's defence of e4 and providing the white knight with a way out on c6.

17...exd5 18.cxd5 Bg5 19.0-0

With her king out of the centre, White now has little to fear. 19...Bxf4 20.exf4 Bxd5 is well met by 21.Na6 with Nc7 to follow.

19...Nf6 20.Nc6 Bxf4 21.exf4 Nxd5 22.Rac1 Nxf4 23.Rfe1 Qa8 24.Re4 Ng6 25.Ra4 Qc8

A crucial moment. White has a small material advantage, but he must decide what to do about the potential attacks on g2 - from the bishop on g7, knight moving to f4 or h4, and queen coming to g4. 26.f3 would be an eminently sensible continuation. Instead, he misjudges the position

26.f4? Re8 27.Re4?

Losing the courage of her convictions. 27.f5 was the only consistent move.

27...Qd7 28.Qe2? Bxc6 29.Rxc6 Rxe4 30.Qxe4 Nxf4! 31.b4 d5!

White has gone to pieces and now Black is well on top.

32.Qc2 d4! 33.Rxc7 d3! 34.Qc4 Qg4 35.Rc8+

35.Qxf7+ Kh7 loses at once.

35...Kh7 36.Qe4+ g6 37.Qf3 Qxc8 38.Qxf4 Qd7 39.Qd2 Qd4+ 40.Qf2 Qd5 41.Qd2 Qb3 42.Qf2 Kg8 White resigned.

The black queen comes to c2 and shepherds the pawn home.

Comments