Chess

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The Independent Culture
THE RECENT Rapid Tournament in Brussels was not generally a good advertisement for fast rates of play. Too many games were decided by blunders. However, Viswanathan Anand's win over Ivan Sokolov was a fine example of the quality of play possible at a rate of 30 minutes for the whole game.

In the opening, White's bishop seemed tricked by his opponent's move order into making a cumbersome detour to reach g2, but Black's knight on c5 looked pretty but was relatively ineffective. On c6 or d7, the knight would exert more control over the centre.

Playing Rb8 and Re8, Sokolov put his rooks where they usually go in this system, one preparing for b5, the other lurking in readiness for any opening of the centre, but Anand's 14. e5] was a brilliant piece of tactical opportunism. With 15 . . . Qxe5 losing one rook to 16. Bf4, the game continuation exposed the problems of the unprotected nature of its colleague on e8. Anand's 16. Rxf7] and Qh5+ is an obvious enough start to his combination, but the real sting comes in 20. Ndb5]

Playing 21 . . . Qd7, Sokolov must have expected 22. Bxc5+ Kg8, but 22. Qxh7]] sealed his fate. Quite apart from the continuing threat of Bxc5+, White now threatens also 23. Rxf6+ gxf6 24. Bh6+. At the end, 26 . . . Kg6 27. Be4+ Kg5 28. Qh4 is mate. A delightful little game, showing that speed and brilliance are by no means incompatible.

White: Anand

Black: Sokolov

1 e4 c5

2 Nf3 e6

3 d4 cxd4

4 Nxd4 a6

5 Nc3 d6

6 a4 Nf6

7 Be2 Nbd7

8 0-0 Nc5

9 Bf3 Be7

10 g3 0-0

11 Bg2 Qc7

12 Be3 Rb8

13 f4 Re8

14 e5 dxe5

15 fxe5 Nfd7

16 Rxf7 Kxf7

17 Qh5+ Kf8

18 Rf1+ Nf6

19 exf6 Bxf6

20 Ndb5 axb5

21 Nxb5 Qd7

22 Qxh7 Qe7

23 Rxf6+ Qxf6

24 Bxc5+ Re7

25 Qh8+ Kf7

26 Nd6+ 1-0

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