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Col Polhill takes up arms to defend the world title contenders against snipers.

The recent outrageous happenings in New York were only to be expected. It was unsurprising that an audience drawn from a nation unaccustomed to top-class chess should greet a drawn game with booing and cat-calls. Yet it is a matter of deep shame that some members of the British press have joined our transatlantic distant cousins in their criticism of the two champions. Let me explain:

White: Garry Kasparov

Black: Viswanathan Anand

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 d4 11.Ng5

As played by Karpov against Korchnoi in the great parapsychology and coded yogurt match of 1978. Now 11...Qxg5 12.Qf3! brings Black only problems.

11...dxc3 12.Nxe6 fxe6 13.bxc3 Qd3 14.Nf3 0-0-0

A prepared improvement on Korchnoi's 14...Qxd1 which left Black struggling for a draw.

15.Qe1 Nxb3 16.axb3 Kb7 17.Be3 Be7 18.Bg5 h6 19.Bxe7 Nxe7 20.Nd4

With the isolated e-pawn under attack, and White's knight even threatening to manoeuvre itself to c5, Black appears in difficulty, but Anand is ready for it.

20...Rxd4! 21.cxd4 Qxb3 22.Qe3

22.Qc1 is more exciting, when 22...Qd5 loses to 23.Qa3! and either 22...Nc6 or 22...Nd5 may be met by 23.Rxa6! In the latter case 23...Kxa6 24.Qc6+ and 25.Ra1+ wins for White.

22...Qxe3 23.fxe3 Nd5 24.Kf2 Kb6 25.Ke2 a5 26.Rf7 a4 27.Kd2 c5 28.e4

A thrilling position has arisen. Will Black's passed pawns, aided by king and knight, rampage to victory? Or will White's rooks wreak destruction on the open lines? The game can turn on the slightest innacuracy.

Draw agreed! (See diagram)

Kasparov began the game with 1.e4 and, with his artist's eye for symmetry, chose to end it with 28.e4. In the face of such elegance, who dare criticise?