Chess

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The Independent Culture
PORTOROZ, IN Slovenia, near Italy at the top of the Istrian peninsula, is most famous in the chess world for the 1958 Interzonal. Won by Mikhail Tal with 13.5/20 it paved the way for his successful world championship challenge against Mikhail Botvinnik in 1960.

But of course there have been many other tournaments in Portoroz before and since, several divided between it and the capital, Ljubljana. The latest, which finished just last Wednesday, was the 13th Memorial Tournament for Dr Milan Vidmar (1885-1962), one of the world's top players in the first quarter of the century, Yugoslavia's first grandmaster and a distinguished electrical engineer who became Dean of Ljubljana University.

The 13th Vidmar Memorial featured six players averaging 2578 (category 14) in a double round all-play-all and resulted in a runaway victory for Alexander Beliavsky (Slovenia) on a massive 7.5/10 (five wins and five draws), streets ahead of Vadim Zvjagitsev (Russia) and Zdenko Kozul (Croatia) on 5.5, Levon Aronian (Armenia) and Igor Stohl (Slovakia) on 5, and Dusko Pavasovic (Slovenia) on just 1.5.

Beliavsky, 46 in December, is a man as charming away from the board as he is determined at it. He has adopted Slovenian chess nationality, though he continues to spend some time in his native Lvov, in Ukraine. His ruthlessly commonsense approach to chess can be lethal - witness his almost effortless victory in the last round.

Thanks to Garry Kasparov, the Scotch game (3 d4) for long rather neglected, has become topical. Kasparov though, alwyas enters the complications with 5 Nxc6 bxc6 6 e5, and 5 Nc3 as played here is supposed to be fairly harmless.

In heavily charted theoretical waters, 13 ...Nh7 is unusual - 13 ...Bd6 has been played several times - and may even be a novelty. Since White never uses the rook on d1, perhaps, 17 Rad1 was inaccurate. Beliavsky got a good game but it only amounted to something after the excellent 21 ...Bd6! exploiting the pin on the e file.

22 c3 looks safer though Rxe5 23 Rxe5 Qc7 23 ...Rf8 24 f4 Bxe5 25 fxe5 was also better for Black. The two bishops yielded the advantage, but White only lost it completely with 31 Na4? - 31 Re1 was unpleasant but necessary. After 31 ...Be6! the rook was trapped.

White: Dusko Pavasovic

Black: Alexander Beliavsky

Portoroz 1999 (Round 10)

Scotch Game

1 e4 e5

2 Nf3 Nc6

3 d4 exd4

4 Nxd4 Nf6

5 Nc3 Bb4

6 Nxc6 bxc6

7 Bd3 d5

8 exd5 cxd5

9 0-0 0-0

10 Bg5 c6

11 Qf3 Be7

12 h3 h6

13 Bf4 Nh7

14 Rfe1 Ng5

15 Qg3 Ne6

16 Be5 Re8

17 Rad1 Bd7

18 Bf5 Bf8

19 Na4 Ng5

20 Bd3 Qa5

21 b3 Bd6!

22 h4 Rxe5

23 Rxe5 Qc7

24 hxg5 Bxe5

25 Qh4 Bf4

26 gxh6 Bxh6

27 Re1 Qd6

28 Qe7 Bf4

29 Nc5 Qxe7

30 Rxe7 Bg4

31 Na4 Be6

32 Ba6 Bd6

33 Rb7 Bc8

34 Nb2 Bxb7

35 Bxb7 Rb8

White resigns

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