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The Independent Culture
THE 3RD Gibtelecom Masters comes to an end today at the Hotel Caleta in Gibraltar. It has been bristling with muscle and extremely hard fought. Indeed, in the lead on 4/5 after five of the 10 rounds, there was a solid phalanx of 10 of the 11 players rated 2,600 or more (two of them were Alexeis Shirov and Dreev, who are rated at 2,700-plus).

The following two rounds, however, saw the group fracture. With three to go, Gabriel Sargissian and Lev Aronian (both Armenia), Emil Sutovsky (Israel) and Zahar Efimenko (Ukraine) led on 5.5/7.

Live commentary at the Gibtelecom Masters is provided by the grandmaster Stuart Conquest every year. Conquest is a very talented linguist who lives in Spain, and, while the discussion has mainly been in English and Spanish, he's also run to French and German on occasion. Readers with a good internet connection can follow his commentary live - both audio and visual - at www.gibraltarchesscongress. com/gibchess/frames2005. html from 2pm London time. Apologies for not advising of this sooner - Wijk aan Zee has been claiming my attention.

With such a quantity of firepower on show there have been a number of spectacular games, notably by Sutovsky. In this ferocious offering against the Edinburgh-based Georgian Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, Sutovsky caused her to plunge into thought with the relatively new 9.Bf4. In the 20 or so games in which this has been played, Black has mostly chosen either 9...Qb6 or 9... Ne5, and Arakhamia-Grant's 9....Qb7 was an unwitting novelty and a very bad one.

Sutovsky powered through in the centre and then wrought destruction on the black squares. Arakhamia-Grant's knight posed no threat to his king; at the end she was about to be summarily checkmated.

Emil Sutovsky vs

Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant

Gibraltar 2005 (round 4)

Sicilian Taimanov