Chess: Adams the sole survivor after Interpolis disaster

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AFTER starting so well, the English grandmasters had a disastrous second round at the Interpolis tournament in Tilburg, the Netherlands, with three of them eliminated. Jonathan Speelman lost to Rafael Vaganyan, Julian Hodgson was beaten by Artur Yusupov, and Tony Miles lost to Michael Adams, which leaves Adams as the sole English survivor among the last 32.

Adams, who has already overtaken Nigel Short in the British rankings, may have taken additional cheer from the defeat of Boris Gelfand, who is to be his first opponent in the Fide world title eliminators in January. Gelfand, playing White against Alexey Dreyev, lost the most spectacular game of the round.

In a sharp line of the semi-Slav, Gelfand played a temporary piece sacrifice to expose the black king. Avoiding 21 . . . Nf6? 22. Bxf4] exf4 23. e5 (when Qxe5 loses to Rfe1), Dreyev offered White the option of forcing a draw with 22. Qh5+, but Gelfand played the tempting 22. Bd1, diverting the bishop to h5 to join the attack.

Dreyev's 24 . . . Rg6] was a fine idea, relying on the pincer of pawns at c4 and f4 to keep White tied down, and 29 . . . Nxd5]] was inspired. Increasing his investment to a whole rook, Black turned his white-squared bishop into the most effective piece on the board. Had Gelfand seen this coming, he would surely not have moved his rook from f1, where it would have defended the pawn on f3.

After 33. Qh3, White threatened to free himself by returning a piece with Bxf4. Even 33 . . . g5 allows possibilities such as 34. Qh5+ Ke7 35. Bxf4]? Bareyev kept his grip of the game through the clever idea of moving his bishop temporarily off its best diagonal. When it returned with 36 . . . Bd5] White's game came under great pressure.

Perhaps Gelfand had intended to give up his queen with 38. Qxg7+ Bxg7 39. Nxd5, but changed his mind on seeing the strength of 39 . . . Qc6 followed by Qg6. He may also have miscalculated when playing 39. Ra5 and 40. Nd5. After 40 . . . Bxd5 41. Rfd1, Black wins with 41 . . . Rg2 42. Raxd5 Qh3]

In the game's final position, White resigned on seeing that 45. Ra7+ Kf6 46. Rxg7 Bxf2 was hopeless. The pawn on f3 will cost him a rook.

White: Gelfand

Black: Dreyev

1 d4 d5

2 c4 c6

3 Nc3 Nf6

4 Nf3 e6

5 e3 Nbd7

6 Bd3 dxc4

7 Bxc4 b5

8 Bd3 Bb7

9 0-0 a6

10 e4 c5

11 d5 c4

12 Bc2 Qc7

13 Nd4 e5

14 Nf5 g6

15 Nh6 Nh5

16 Qf3 Nf4

17 Nxf7 Kxf7

18 g3 g5

19 gxf4 gxf4

20 Qh5+ Ke7

21 Qh4+ Kf7

22 Bd1 Rg8+

23 Kh1 Nf6

24 Bh5+ Rg6

25 Bxg6+ hxg6

26 Rg1 Be7

27 Qh6 Rg8

28 f3 b4

29 Ne2 Nxd5

30 exd5 Bxd5

31 Rf1 Bf6

32 Qh7+ Rg7

33 Qh3 Be6

34 Qg2 g5

35 a3 g4

36 axb4 Bd5

37 Nc3 gxf3

38 Qf2 Bb7

39 Ra5 Qd7

40 Nd5 Bxd5

41 Qd2 Bc6

42 Qxd7+ Bxd7

43 Rxa6 Bh3

44 Rf2 Bh4

White resigns