CHESS

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The Independent Culture
I am not a deeply religious man myself, save perhaps for one inescapable item of chess creationism. Surely, if the black knight and bishop were not strongly placed on b8 and c8 respectively, the good lord would not have put them there in the first place. As today's game from last month's grandmaster tournament in the Netherlands shows, young Michael Adams clearly worships at the same altar.

White: Sutovsky

Black: Adams

Tilburg 1996

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.0-0 Be7 7.Qe2 c5 8.d3 Nd7!

After White's fifth move had cleverly prevented the black knight from retreating to b8, Adams brings reinforcements within reach of that fine square.

9.Nbd2 0-0 10.Nc4 Bd6 11.Nfd2 Nb8!

Bravo! The knight is now en route for c6 and d4.

12.f4 exf4 13.e5 Be7 14.Rxf4 Nc6 15.Nf3 Be6!

Advancing in order to be in a better position to retreat (see move 22).

16.b3 b5 17.Ne3 f5! 18.exf6

The threat of ...g5 left him with little alternative, but now the black bishops become very powerful.

18...Bxf6 19.Rb1 Qd6 20.Re4 Nd4 21.Nxd4 Bxd4 22.Kh1 Bc8!!

Bravissimo! Returning to its origins, the bishop prepares to occupy b7.

23.Bd2 Bb7 24.Rg4 Rae8 25.c3 Be5 26.Rh4 Bf4

Having broken the pin on his knight on the d4-g1 diagonal, White now finds that the e-file pin is even more trouble.

27.Rh3 Bc8!!

We have run out of superlatives. Back home again, the bishop forces the rook away from its defence of e3 since 28.Rf3 Bg4! forces decisive gains while 28.g4 could even be met by Bb7 and Qc6.

28.Rh5 g5 29.Rh5 Qg6 30.Rf1 Rf7! (see diagram)

Even stronger than 30...Bxe3 31.Rxf8+ Kxf8 32.Bxe3 Rxe3 33.Qxe3 Qxh5 which leaves White still thrashing after 34.Qxc5+. Now the threat is 31...Rfe7 and there is nothing White can do about it.

White resigned.

Note the splendid placing of Black's bishop on c8.

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