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A game from the Chess Olympics in Moscow claims the "Most Sparkling Finish of '94" award.

Looking back on a busy year, with two world title qualifying competitions and an Olympiad adding to the usual competitions, it is impossible even to pick a short list for the Best Game of 1994. If a brilliant and ingenious finish were the main criterion,however, this game from Moscow would be a strong candidate.

White: Spangenberg (Argentina)

Black: Ftacnik 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4

This system, planning to meet ...e6 with 0-0, f5 and a quick charge down all lines leading to f7, became so popular on the English tournament circuit a few years ago that it acquired the name "Grand Prix Attack". Black should emerge with a good position,but cannot afford the smallest tactical error.

5...e6 6.0-0 Ne7 7.d3 Nbc6 8.f5 d5

Opening the diagonal for the bishop with exf5 would be playing into White's hands.

9.Bb3 dxe4 10.fxg6!? exf3 11.gxf7+ Kf8 12.Qxf3

White has only two pawns for his piece, but the black king is clearly in great danger.

12...Qd4+ 13.Kh1 Ne5 14.Qe2 Qg4 15.Qf2 b6

Black's first glimmer of counterplay: with the bishop on b7, an attack against g2 is a faint prospect.

16.h3 Qg6 17.Bf4 Bb7 18.Rae1


Blotting the bishop's view of e6 before taking the pawn on f7.

19.dxc4 Nxf7 20.Nb5

With the very dangerous threat of Nc7 attacking a8 and e6. Black comes up with an inspirational counter-attack.

20...Nf5! 21.Nc7 Re8!! Defending e6, but apparently moving the rook from one fatal square to another.


Accepting the bait.

22...Bd4 23.Qd2

With Rg8 and Nh4 available to add to the attack on g2, White leaves room on e2 for the rook to defend.

23...Rg8 24.Re2 (see diagram)

Everything is defended, but ...

24...Qg3!! The threat is 25...Qxh3+ 26.Bh2 Ng3 mate, and 25.Bxg3 Nxg3+ 26.Kh2 Nxf1+ 27.Kh1 Nxd2 leaves White too far behind on material.

Finally, the desperate 25.Qxd4 loses to Qxh3+ followed by demolition on g2.

White resigns.