Chess

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The Independent Culture
Here's a fine fight from the rapid-play section of the Melody Amber tournament in Monte Carlo. (In case you are wondering, incidentally, Melody Amber is the name of the sponsor's daughter, born just before the first tournament of the series began.)

Black emerged with a decent-looking position from the opening, with knight, bishop and rook all putting pressure on the pawn on e4. Anand's 17.f5 was an important turning point - White sacrifices the e5-square for K- side attacking chances - and by the time the white queen reached h4, Polgar had difficult problems to solve.

Her 22...d5 and 23...c4 began an imaginative counter-attack, but 25.Nf5! was a brilliant way through the defences. After the piece sacrifice, White needed only to get a rook to the g-file, which Anand accomplished with 27.Re2 and 28.Rg2 (leaving the other rook to defend f3). After 29.Rxg7+! Black was lost: 29...Kxg7 30.Qh6+ Kg8 31.Rg1+ leads to a quick mate. Black may have been relying on 30...Bxf3+ 31.Rxf3 Re1+ to save her, missing the idea of 32.Rg1 with check.

After 30...Re2, White had no immediate way to finish things off, but 31.bxc4, with its simple threat of Bxd3, brought about immediate collapse.

White: Viswanathan Anand

Black: Judit Polgar

1 e4 g6 17 f5 Rfe8

2 d4 Bg7 18 Qf4 Ne5

3 Nc3 d6 19 Qh4 Qd8

4 Be3 c6 20 Be3 Nxf3

5 Qd2 b5 21 gxf3 Qb6

6 f4 Nf6 22 Bf4 d5

7 Bd3 e5 23 e5 c4

8 Nf3 exd4 24 fxg6 hxg6

9 Bxd4 0-0 25 Nf5 gxf5

10 0-0 b4 26 Bxf5 d4

11 Ne2 Nbd7 27 Re2 d3

12 Kh1 c5 28 Rg2 Rxe5

13 Bg1 Bb7 29 Rxg7+ Kf8

14 Ng3 Qc7 30 Qh6 Re2

15 b3 Rae8 31 bxc4 d2

16 Rae1 Re7 32 Rg2+ 1-0

Vladimir Kramnik continues to lead the event, with Anand and Ivanchuk fighting for second place.

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