CHESS

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The Independent Culture
The game of chess is a little like the National Lottery: the newspapers only publish the details of the winning combinations. Yet most chess combinations, like most lottery numbers, fail to deliver the goods. If newspapers published all the losing lottery numbers, people would not waste so much of their money on the wretched thing. And if their chess columns were filled with honest but unsound combinations, we would see far more dreary and effective chess being played in our clubs.

Here is a game in which a top grandmaster is lured into a faulty combination.

White: Alexander Belyavsky

Black: Garry Kasparov

Belfort 1988

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0-0 7.e4 Na6

Black plans to disrupt the centre with c5. The knight will then head for b4 or c7.

8.Be2 c5 9.d5 e6 10.Bg5 exd5 11.Nxd5

This and the following move form an experiment in aggression. An unjustified experiment, one must say. 11.exd5 is simple and good.

11...Be6 12.0-0-0 Bxd5 13.Rxd5 Qb6 14.Bxf6 Qxf6 15.e5 Qf5 16.Bd3 Qc8

White has gleefully been dictating the play, but is now running out of steam.

17.Rd1 b5! 18.Qh4 Nb4! (see diagram)

With his king inherently the better protected, Black senses the moment to seize the initiative. White, however, still thinks it is he who has the attack.

19.Bxg6 fxg6 20.Rd7

White appears to be playing a blinder: the threat is Qe7 and 20...Rf7 loses to 21.Rd8+. Black's reply is forced ...

20...Qe8 21.Re7

21...Bh6+! 22.Kb1 Rd8!!

At move 22, the bishop was immune because White's queen had to protect e7. Now the queen is immune because of the threat of Rxd1 mate.

23.Rd6 Qc6!!

Now 24.Rxc6 loses to Rd1+ while 24.Qxh6 is mated by 24...Qe4+.

24.a3 Rxd6 25.exd6 Qxd6 26.axb4 cxb4 27.Qe4 b3 White resigned.

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