Chess: Anand and Kamsky go for the throat

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The Independent Culture
THE FIDE Candidates matches are under way in Sanghi Nagar in India, with local hero Viswanathan Anand playing Gata Kamsky and Vladimir Kramnik meeting Boris Gelfand, writes William Hartston. The third match, between Jan Timman and Valeri Salov, will begin tomorrow. The three winners - the best of eight games to decide - will join Anatoly Karpov in the semi-finals. This is the first time the champion has had to compete before the final match, and is an aftermath of the unusual circumstances surrounding last year's title matches.

Kramnik and Gelfand began quietly with a 14-move draw, but Anand and Kamsky went for each other's throats from the start with a marvellous scrap in the Marshall Gambit. When Nigel Short threatened that gambit against Kasparov, the champ neatly dodged it every time with 8. a4, but such quiche-eating tactics do not appeal to Anand. Instead he accepted the pawn, played his first twenty moves in three minutes, and invited Kamsky on to the attack.

The game really began with Anand's 20. Ne4 followed by Bd2 and Bd1. With white-squared bishops exchanged, Black has lost one of his most potent attacking men, but White has had to surrender the e-file to achieve it. Kamsky took full advantage with f5, followed by Re2 and R8e3] If White takes the rook, then 26. Bxe3 Qxf3 leaves Black in total command; the threat is Nxe3 and the bishop cannot move without allowing Qxf2+.

Anand scrambled a brilliant defence with 26. Ra8+ and 27. Ng5+ (when Qxg5 is met by Qxe2]), but still needed to find 29. Rf1] (29 . . . Nxf1 30. Kxf1 is fine for White) and 30. Re8] After that, it was hard to tell who stood worse with both kings in mortal danger. Kamsky's 30 . . . f4 kept his attack alive, and Anand's 32. h4+] steered himself put of danger. A draw by perpetual check was a fitting result.

White: Anand

Black: Kamsky

1 e4 e5

2 Nf3 Nc6

3 Bb5 a6

4 Ba4 Nf6

5 0-0 Be7

6 Re1 b5

7 Bb3 0-0

8 c3 d5

9 exd5 Nxd5

10 Nxe5 Nxe5

11 Rxe5 c6

12 d4 Bd6

13 Re1 Qh4

14 g3 Qh3

15 Be3 Bg4

16 Qd3 Rae8

17 Nd2 Qh5

18 a4 Re6

19 axb5 axb5

20 Ne4 Bc7

21 Bd2 Rfe8

22 Bd1 Bxd1

23 Rexd1 f5

24 Ng5 Re2

25 Nf3 R8e3

26 Ra8+ Kf7

27 Ng5+ Kg6

28 Bxe3 Nxe3

29 Rf1 Kxg5

30 Re8 f4

31 Qe4 fxg3

32 h4+ Qxh4

33 Qxh4+ Kxh4

34 Re4+ Kh3

35 Rxe3 Rxb2

36 Re7 Bf4

37 fxg3 Rg2+

38 Kh1 Rh2+

39 Kg1 Rg2+

40 Kh1 Rh2+

41 Kg1 Bg5

42 Re5 Rg2+

43 Kh1 draw