CHESS

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The Independent Culture
IF ONLY young Viswanathan Anand had heeded my advice before he took on the mighty Kasparov. "Lose your inhibitions," I said, "and let your talent blossom. Standard openings will not defeat well-trained products of Soviet Russia. Confuse and destroy must be your motto." Today's game, played a week ago, shows that he has learnt the lesson.

White: Viswanathan Anand

Black: Boris Gelfand

Wijk aan Zee 1996

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3! d6 3.f4! g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4

Objectively, this system poses few problems to Black, but it can be lethal against a grandmaster brought up on an exclusive diet of 2.Nf3 and 3.d4. A the Russian proverb has it: a hungry carnivore may choke on vegetables.

5...Nc6 6.d3 e6 7.0-0 Nge7 8.Qe1 h6 9.Bb3 a6 10.e5!

After losing to Nigel Short in the same variation, Gelfand has worked out a deep strategy based on delayed castling. White, however, is thinking about tactics.

10...Nf5 11.Kh1 Nfd4 12.Ne4 Nxf3 13.Rxf3 dxe5 14.fxe5 Nxe5 15.Rf1 g5

Black feared 15...0-0 16.Bxh6 Bxh6 17.Nf6+ and 18.Qxe5, but this move opens him to further trouble.

16.Qg3

You may keep your c-pawn, Mr Gelfand, for I am after bigger fish!

16...0-0 17.Bxg5! hxg5 18.Nxg5 Ng6

With Qh4 prevented, and Qh3 impossible without losing White's knight, Black thinks he is safe, but the attack has only just begun. White's next move opens possibilities of sacrifices on e6 or f7.

19.Rae1! Qe7 20.Rf5! Bf6 (see diagram)

Something had to be done about the threat of 21.Qh3

21.Nxe6!

The sort of move that makes you feel good about having played 5.Bc4..

21...fxe6 22.Rxe6!! Kg7

Tantamout to resignation, but 22...Bxe6 23.Qxg6+ is disastrous

23.Rxe7+ Bxe7 24.Rxf8 Bxf7 25.h4! resigns.

The pawn will arrive at h5 with fatal results.

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