Chess

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The Independent Culture
VLADIMIR Kramnik's win against Yuri Neverov in the final Soviet Championship showed the 17-year-old keeping his head under attack. Playing 4 . . . dxc4, Black knows that he cannot hold the extra pawn, but is aiming for the position after move 12 in which he puts his faith in his pair of Q-side passed pawns.

By all positional rules, White must have the advantage. Until the endgame, the centre is more important than the wings, and White has a potent pawn majority there as well as a healthy bishop pair.

The excitement starts with 22. e6, leading to the sacrificial attack with 25. Bxg7+. Kramnik's 27 . . . Nf8] and 28 . . . Nh7] hold things together, with 30 . . . Ne7 and 31 . . . Qg7] (threatening mate on g2) starting the fight-back. White's combination with 33. Qxe7 wins back his piece, but ultimately the Black Q-side pawns win through. Unmoved since the opening, they wake up to race home at the end.

White: Neverov

Black: Kramnik

1 d4 d5 22 e6 Rxe6 2 c4 c6 23 Rxe6 fxe6 3 Nf3 e6 24 Bh7+ Kh8 4 Nc3 dxc4 25 Bxg7+ Kxg7 5 a4 Bb4 26 Qg6+ Kh8 6 e3 b5 27 Qxh6 Nf8 7 Bd2 a5 28 Bf5+ Nh7 8 axb5 Bxc3 29 Bxh7 Qxh7 9 Bxc3 cxb5 30 Qxe6 Ne7 10 b3 Bb7 31 Ne5 Qg7 11 bxc4 b4 32 g4 Bd5 12 Bb2 Nf6 33 Qxe7 Qxe7 13 Bd3 Nbd7 34 Ng6+ Kh7 14 Qc2 0-0 35 Nxe7 Be4 15 0-0 Qc7 36 Re1 a4 16 e4 e5 37 c6 a3 17 Rfe1 Rfe8 38 c7 b3 18 c5 exd4 39 c8=Q Rxc8 19 Bxd4 h6 40 Nxc8 b2 20 h3 Bc6 White resigns 21 e5 Nd5

Jon Speelman will be giving a simultaneous display this Saturday 18 July, starting 1.30pm at the RNIB, Armitage Hall, 224 Great Portland St, in aid of the Braille Chess Association. Details from Stan Lovell, 0532 600013.

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