Chess

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The Independent Culture
WITH Fischermania rampant, it is easy to forget reality and pretend that we are back in the Seventies. But if Bobby wants to prove that he is still the greatest, he will one day have to play Garry Kasparov, and the current champion is no pushover.

Today's game won the prize for Best Game at the Chess Olympics this year. Even if Kasparov had not been one of the judges, it would have deserved to win. For White's moves display the energy of a man who is prepared to calculate every move, however unlikely it may look, and search deep for ideas that defy normal principles.

12. fxe3] is the first such occasion (though 6. Bd2 and 7. Ng3 was a new idea in place of the usual 6. Nd2). White accepts an isolated pawn for attacking chances as yet invisible.

Only with 17. Nxg7]] is some point to White's play revealed, though the piece sacrifice is hard to believe. After 18. Qf5 (threatening Rxd7) Nf8 19. h4, it is possible to believe that White will regain his piece by means of Qg5+ and h5, but hard to understand that he can retain any advantage at the end of it all. He still has his isolated e-pawn and Black has no obvious weakness.

Kasparov, however, understood that White's initiative would persist into the endgame thanks to 23. e4 and 26. e5.

White: Kasparov

Black: Nikolic

1 d4 d5 20 g4 Qc8

2 c4 c6 21 Qxc8 Raxc8

3 Nc3 e5 22 g5 N8h7

4 dxe5 d4 23 e4 Rcd8

5 Ne4 Qa5+ 24 Rdf1 Kf8

6 Bd2 Qxe5 25 gxf6 Bxf6

7 Ng3 Qd6 26 e5 Bg7

8 Nf3 Nf6 27 Rhg1 c5

9 Qc2 Be7 28 Kc2 Re6

10 0-0-0 0-0 29 Rg4 Bh8

11 e3 dxe3 30 b4 b6

12 fxe3 Qc7 31 bxc5 bxc5

13 Bc3 Bg4 32 Rb1 Ra6

14 Bd3 Nbd7 33 Rb2 Bg7

15 Bf5 Bxf5 34 Rb7 Rxa2+

16 Nxf5 Rfe8 35 Kb3 Ra6

17 Nxg7 Kxg7 36 e6 Rxe6

18 Qf5 Nf8 37 Rxg7 1-0

19 h4 h6

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