CHESS

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The Independent Culture
When Garry Kasparov, the president and champion of the Professional Chess Association, sits down to defend the latter title against the challenge of the young Indian Viswanathan Anand later this week, his fate will lie in the arms of the Sicilian Defence. He has - unwisely in my opinion - trusted the Sicilian throughout his career. Without the experience of any more reliable defence, he could find himself in trouble with the black pieces, as the following game, played in a quickplay event in France in 1992, demonstrates.

White: Viswanathan Anand

Black: Garry Kasparov

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f4 e6 7.Qf3 Qb6 8.a3 Nbd7

Not 8...Qxd4 when Her Majesty is trapped by Be3.

9.Nb3 Qc7 10.g4 h6 11.h4 h5 12.g5 Ng4

Black's last three moves form a bold ploy to surrender a pawn in order to slow White's advance.

13.Bd2 b5 14.Bh3 Nb6 15.0-0-0 Nc4 16.Bxg4 hxg4 17.Qxg4

White will not be bluffed. Kasparov must prove the correctness of his offer.

17...Rb8 18.g6! a5 19.Nd4! b4 20.Ncb5 Qc5 21.a4 e5 22.Nf5 f6 23.Qe2

With the cheeky threat of Qxc4 followed by Nxd6+.

23...Bxf5 24.exf5 Rxb5!?

The only way to get his pawns moving.

25.axb5 a4 26.Kb1 Qxb5 27.Qd3 b3 28.Ka1 Be7 29.Bc1! (see diagram)

Excellent patient defence. With bxc2 met by Qxc2 and a3 answered by Qxb3, White has everything covered.

29...Kd7 30.Rh2 Rc8 31.h5 e4 32.Qd5!

He will not be tempted by 32.Qxe4 when a3 stirs it up dangerously.

32...Rc5 33.Qe6+ Kd8 34.c3 a3 35.bxa3 Qa4 36.Rd4!

Exposing Black's play as pure bluster.

36...Qa6 37.Rxe4 Rc7 38.Qg8+ Kd7 39.Rhe2! resigns.

Only a quickplay game, but if rapid chess is, like one-day cricket and blindfold bar billiards, a measure of pure ability, then Anand has little to fear in the weeks ahead.

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