Chess: Adams impresses

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The Independent Culture
MICHAEL ADAMS, the favourite in the British Zonal tournament in Dublin, won a beautiful game against Jonathan Levitt in the third round. After early pawn exchanges took the life out of the centre, Adams kept the initiative with the cavalry charge 7. Nb5] and 8. Nc4] Since an exchange of queens would have left White threatening both Nc7+ and Nd6+, Levitt galloped round with his own knight to ease the defence.

Minor piece exchanges left White with a threatening lead in development emphasised by 13. Qg4, but Levitt's sensible play with Nc6 and Qd4 removed the danger. By move 17, Black had effectively equalised, but Adams's 18. Rd7 was a courageous move.

Levitt took the bait with 18 . . . Nb4, threatening both Qxd7 and Qxa2+. Now 19. Rxe7 Qxa2+ 20. Kc1 Qa1+ 21. Kd2 Rad8+ is disastrous for White, but Adams seemed to have it all under control. Threatening mate on his next two moves, he left Black no time to take material.

The crisis came two moves later when 23. Qxb4 seems to win after 23 . . . Qa1+ 24. Kd2 Qxh1 25. Qe7. But Black plays instead 23 . . . Rad8]] winning after 24. Rxd8 Qa1+ 25. Kd2 Rxd8+. Seeing this, Adams unearthed the move 23. c3.

After 25. Qxb4, White again threatened Qe7 or Qxb7, so Black's reply was forced, but 27. Qe7 led him helpless. 27 . . . Rf8 loses to 28. Ng4, threatening Nh6+, while 27 . . . Rb8 is killed by the same move, with the threat of Nxf6+.

Did Adams really see all this when he played 18. Rd7 or had he intended 23. Qxb4, only to notice in time the refutation with Rad8? Whether planned in advance or thought up at the time, the culmination of White's attack is highly impressive.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Adams Black: Levitt ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 e4 e6 15 Qe2 Qa4 2 d4 d5 16 Kb1 Be7 3 Nd2 c5 17 Bc3 0-0 4 Ngf3 cxd4 18 Rd7 Nb4 5 Nxd4 Nf6 19 Qg4 g6 6 exd5 Qxd5 20 Qd4 Qxa2+ 7 Nb5 Qd8 21 Kc1 f6 8 Nc4 Nd5 22 Bxb4 Bxb4 9 Ne3 Nc7 23 c3 Qa1+ 10 Bd2 Nxb5 24 Kc2 Qxh1 11 Bxb5+ Bd7 25 Qxb4 Rad8 12 Bxd7+ Qxd7 26 Rxd8 Rxd8 13 Qg4 Nc6 27 Qe7 1-0 14 0-0-0 Qd4 -----------------------------------------------------------------