Chess: A return to form

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The Independent Culture
GARRY KASPAROV is back on form, writes William Hartston. After a couple of below-par results - joint second place at Linares and elimination in the quarter-finals of the Moscow Speed event - he has taken the lead in Amsterdam with brilliant wins against Nigel Short and Jan Timman.

The Kasparov-Short game displayed a level of controlled violence that the champion rarely attained in their match last year. His 14. Na4 and 16. Qxb4 began a far-sighted plan to keep Black's Q-side bottled up. With 18. f5]] everything fitted together beautifully. 18 . . . exf5 loses a rook to 19. Qxd5+, while 18 . . . Qxf5 19. Rf3 Qg6 20. Rxf8+ Nxf8 21. Nb6 shows how strong the knight on a4 can be.

Kasparov's play moved into a higher gear with 20. Rf3] eliminating Black's best defender, and 23. c4] sacrificing a second pawn to increase the strain on Black's game. The final moves combined power and elegance, with threats to the Q-side pieces used to gain time for the K-side attack.

White: Kasparov

Black: Short

1 e4 e6

2 d4 d5

3 Nc3 Nf6

4 e5 Nfd7

5 f4 c5

6 Nf3 Nc6

7 Be3 cxd4

8 Nxd4 Bc5

9 Qd2 0-0

10 0-0-0 a6

11 h4 Nxd4

12 Bxd4 b5

13 Rh3 b4

14 Na4 Bxd4

15 Qxd4 f6

16 Qxb4 fxe5

17 Qd6 Qf6

18 f5 Qh6+

19 Kb1 Rxf5

20 Rf3 Rxf3

21 gxf3 Qf6

22 Bh3 Kf7

23 c4 dxc4

24 Nc3 Qe7

25 Qc6 Rb8

26 Ne4 Nb6

27 Ng5+ Kg8

28 Qe4 g6

29 Qxe5 Rb7

30 Rd6 c3

31 Bxe6+ Bxe6

32 Rxe6 1-0