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The Independent Culture
WHILE Short and Timman have been looking for their lost form in Spain, another major event has been going on in Holland. The annual tournament at Wijk-aan-Zee changed its format from a standard all-play-all event to a knockout contest of two-game matches. It increases the tension, and guarantees an exciting final, but the format rewards risk-takers and the quality of play suffers.

Two Englishmen have reached the quarter-finals. John Nunn will play Anatoly Karpov (who recovered from his 12- move loss against Larry Christiansen to level the match then win the play-off); Julian Hodgson meets Manuel Illescas.

The most impressive game of the event so far was Hodgson's first-round win against Michael Adams. Bishops are usually better than knights in open games, but Hodgson showed deep understanding of the position in opting for the knight pair. Adams's bishops never found any activity and were finally stifled to death. Excellent horsemanship by Hodgson.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Hodgson Black: Adams ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 h4 c5 4 d5 Nxg5 5 hxg5 g6 6 Nc3 d6 7 a4 Bg7 8 Qd2 Qb6 9 Ra2 Na6 10 e4 0-0 11 Bxa6 bxa6 12 Nge2 Rb8 13 Qf4 Qa5 14 Qh4 h5 15 gxh6 Bf6 32 g5 Rb8 16 Qg3 Rb4 33 Kg3 f6 17 0-0 Kh7 34 gxf6 exf6 18 Nc1 c4 35 Nh4 Re8 19 Qe3 Qb6 36 Kf3 Kf7 20 Qxb6 Rxb6 37 f5 g5 21 Nd1 Bd7 38 Ng6 Rb8 22 c3 Rfb8 39 Ra1 Rb7 23 f4 Kxh6 40 Rh2 Be8 24 Rf2 Bh4 41 Ng4 Kg8 25 Rd2 Bf6 42 Rah1 Rcc7 26 Ne3 Rc8 43 Rh8+ Bxh8 27 Ne2 a5 44 Rxh8+ Kg7 28 Nd4 Kh7 45 Rxe8 Rxb2 29 Kf2 Kg8 46 Nf8 Kf7 30 Nf3 Bg7 47 Ra8 Rcb7 31 g4 Rc5 48 Ne6 1-0 -----------------------------------------------------------------

Yesterday's answer: White draws with 7. Rg6] Kh7 8. Rh6+] Kxh6 stalemate.