Chess: Adams impresses with powerful performance

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The Independent Culture
THE BOY, it cannot be denied, done good. Michael Adams' performance in the PCA qualifier in Groningen comprised five wins, one loss and five draws to share first place with the pre-tournament favourite, Viswanathan Anand. But it was the way Adams handled the critical games that was most impressive. After a loss to Sergei Tiviakov in the middle of the event, he re-established his place among the leaders with powerful and risk-free chess.

Then, in the penultimate round, when two draws would have given a high chance of qualifying, Adams put the matter beyond doubt by beating Boris Gulko. His play with White - safe but preserving some attacking options - was perfectly suited to the occasion, and the vigour with which he exploited the black-square weaknesses around Gulko's king was most impressive. Between moves 24 and 30, White systematically attacks h7, and does not stop attacking until he wins a second pawn with 36. Rxe6]

After that, the game was in effect over, with White only having to exercise care that the black rooks did not become too powerful.

White: Adams

Black: Gulko

1 e4 e6

2 d4 d5

3 Nd2 c5

4 Ngf3 cxd4

5 exd5 Qxd5

6 Bc4 Qd6

7 0-0 Nf6

8 Nb3 Nc6

9 Nbxd4 Nxd4

10 Nxd4 a6

11 c3 Qc7

12 Bb3 Bd6

13 h3 0-0

14 Re1 b5

15 Bg5 Bb7

16 Bc2 Nd5

17 Qh5 g6

18 Qh4 Bh2+

19 Kh1 Bf4

20 Be4 Rab8

21 Rad1 Bxg5

22 Qxg5 Nb6

23 Bxb7 Qxb7

24 Nf3 Nd5

25 Qh6 Rfd8

26 Rd4 Qe7

27 Rh4 Nf6

28 Ne5 Rd6

29 Ng4 Rbd8

30 Nxf6+ Qxf6

31 Qxh7+ Kf8

32 Qh6+ Kg8

33 Rf4 Qg7

34 Qg5 Rd2

35 Qe7 Qf8

36 Rxe6 fxe6

37 Qxe6+ Kg7

38 Qe5+ Kg8

39 Rxf8+ Rxf8

40 Qg5 Rfxf2

41 Qxg6+ Kh8

42 Qh6+ Kg8

43 Qxa6 Rxb2

44 a3 Kh7

45 Qc6 Rfc2

46 h4 Rc1+

47 Kh2 Rbc2

48 Qxb5 Rxc3

49 a4 Rc4

50 Qh5+ Kg7

51 Qg5+ Kh7

52 a5 Rc7

53 a6 R1c6

54 Qe3 Rc4

55 Qd3+ Kg7

56 Qg3+ 1-0

The final leading scores in Groningen were: Adams and Anand 7 1/2; Kamsky, Tiviakov, Gulko, Kramnik and Romanishin 7; Shirov, Dolmatov, Lobron, Sokolov, Hubner, Piket, Granda, Vaganyan, Nikolic, J Polgar, Oll and Ehlvest 6 1/2 Julian Hodgson, after losing his last two games, finished on 5 1/2.

Meanwhile, there has been much fine chess at the 69th annual congress at Hastings too, with the following second-round win by the British champion, Michael Hennigan, the most striking game so far. White's opening strategy, was to double the black c-pawns and attack the weak one on c5, but once that fell on move 13, he seemed to run out of things to do. After sacrificing, or losing, that pawn, Black appeared to be relying on his attacking chances against the king. At the end, though, it was White's queen that was checkmated. After 24. Qh4 Rh6 25. Qg5 Rh5 she has nowhere to run.

White: Ian Rogers

Black: Michael Hennigan

1 e4 c5

2 Nf3 Nc6

3 Bb5 e6

4 Bxc6 bxc6

5 0-0 d5

6 d3 Ne7

7 c4 Ng6

8 Nc3 Be7

9 b3 0-0

10 Ba3 Bd6

11 Re1 d4

12 Na4 e5

13 Bxc5 Nf4

14 g3 Nh3+

15 Kg2 Bg4

16 Qd2 f5

17 Ng1 Nxg1

18 Kxg1 Bf3

19 Bxd6 Qxd6

20 Qg5 f4

21 Rec1 Rf6

22 Kf1 Rg6

23 c5 Qc7

White resigns

With the PCA qualifier taking away many of the world's top players from the Hastings tournament (including Yevgeny Bareyev and Judit Polgar who won last year), the event is unusually open. With both first-round winners losing in round two, the next week promises a good fight for the top places. Whatever happens, though, 1993, which began as the year of Nigel Short, has ended as that of Michael Adams.

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