Chess: Adams moves a step closer

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MICHAEL ADAMS moved closer towards a place in the last four of the PCA/Intel World Championship by winning the sixth game of his match against Sergei Tiviakov to take a 31 2 -21 2 lead. In the other quarter-finals, Kamsky has beaten Kramnik 41 2 -11 2 , Anand is 4-2 ahead against Romanishin, and Short and Gulko are tied at 3-3 after a 10-move draw in game 6.

The latest Adams-Tiviakov game is a certainty for any future book of Adams' best games. A combative rather than scientific player, Adams seems to view the opening more as a means of reaching an interesting middle-game than an opportunity to secure an advantage through total precision.

On this occasion, his 2. c3 against the Sicilian, followed by 6. Be3 (to induce cxd4) and 9. a3 (to prevent the manoeuvre of a knight to b4 and d5) all gave the appearance of safety rather than ambition, but Adams began to apply the pressure with 17. Bxd5.

After that, the natural course of events would appear to be major piece exchanges on the e-file, leading to an endgame in which White's knight is better than Black's white-squared bishop, but winning chances are minimal.

Adams, however, was not thinking about any endgame. With 20. b4, he kept the black knight out of a5 and c4, then 22. h4, began a little softening of the black K-side, 24. Rxe8] and 25. Qa2] prepared the way for Ne4] and Nd6. All this left Black severely cramped, and the strain was increased with 34. Nf1]

Rather than permit an invasion with Ne3 and Nf5, Tiviakov further loosened his position with f5, which set the scene for the decisive combination by Adams.

38. Ndxf5] cleared the road for the e-pawn and effectively finished the game. Black cannot keep his extra piece without letting the e- pawn promote. Adams concluded with customary efficiency: 43 . . . Bxe6 44. Qxe6+ Kh6 45. Qf6+ Kg8 46. Nh6+ is fatal.

White: Adams

Black: Tiviakov

1 e4 c5 23 hxg5 hxg5 2 c3 d5 24 Rxe8 Rxe8 3 exd5 Qxd5 25 Qa2 Ne7 4 d4 Nf6 26 Ne4 Bg7 5 Nf3 Nc6 27 Nd6 Rd8 6 Be3 cxd4 28 Rc1 Bc6 7 cxd4 e6 29 Qe2 Ba8 8 Nc3 Qd6 30 Qd3 Bf8 9 a3 Be7 31 b5 Bh6 10 Bd3 0-0 32 Re1 Rf8 11 0-0 b6 33 Nh2 Bg7 12 Qe2 Bb7 34 Nf1 f5 13 Rad1 Rad8 35 Be5 Ng6 14 Bg5 g6 36 Ng3 Bxe5 15 Bc4 Rfe8 37 dxe5 Nh4 16 Rfe1 Nd5 38 Ndxf5 Nxf5 17 Bxd5 exd5 39 e6 Qh7 18 Qd2 f6 40 Nxf5 Bb7 19 Bf4 Qd7 41 e7 Re8 20 b4 g5 42 Re6 Bc8 21 Bg3 Bf8 43 Qxd5 1-0 22 h4 h6