Chess: Adams may rue missed chances

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KAMSKY, Kramnik, Anand and Salov are through to the next round of the Fide Candidates' matches; the Timman-Lautier and Adams-Gelfand matches have their final games today. Lautier and Adams trail by a point, so need to win to force their matches into overtime. If a match ends 4-4, they contest further games with a quick time-limit to resolve the tie. If that fails, they will draw lots.

Michael Adams, playing Black in today's game, faces a hard task. In the seventh game, he outplayed Gelfand completely from a weird opening that began 1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 c4 7. Bc2 g6 8. Na3. In the middle-game, Adams established a winning position, but let Gelfand escape. Then, in a level endgame, Adams went wrong and had to play well yesterday to save himself and keep the match alive.

'It was always going to be a match with a lot of hacking with the White pieces,' says John Nunn, who is acting as Adams' second. With games four, five and six all won by White, Nunn bemoaned Adams' missed chances in games one and seven.

In later rounds, the men to watch seem to be Anand, who still plays at least as well and twice as fast as any other grandmaster, and Vladimir Kramnik, who is terrifyingly good for a man still in his teens. Here are the full moves of his opening win. His coolness in refusing to weaken his position with a6, and his later sacrifice of the d-pawn, set the tone for a neat combination.

White: Yudasin

Black: Kramnik

1 e4 c5

2 Nf3 Nc6

3 d4 cxd4

4 Nxd4 Nf6

5 Nc3 e5

6 Ndb5 d6

7 Nd5 Nxd5

8 exd5 Ne7

9 a4 Nf5

10 c3 g6

11 Be2 Bg7

12 0-0 0-0

13 Qb3 Re8

14 Qb4 e4

15 Bf4 Be5

16 Bxe5 Rxe5

17 Rad1 Nh4

18 Kh1 Qg5

19 Rg1 Bg4

20 Bxg4 Qxg4

21 Rde1 Qf4

22 Qxd6 Nf5

23 Qc7 e3]

24 Rxe3 Qxe3]

25 Nd6 Re7

26 Nxf5 gxf5

27 Qd6 Qe5

28 Qb4 Rae8

29 Qh4 f6

30 h3 Qxd5

White resigns