Chess: Anand revels in siesta

Click to follow
VALERY SALOV has become the first man through to the last six of the Fide World Championship, completing an easy 5-1 victory over Alexander Khalifman at the weekend.

He looks set to be joined by Gata Kamsky, Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, who are all two up with two to play against Paul van der Sterren, Artur Yusupov and Leonid Yudasin respectively. In the other two matches, Boris Gelfand and Jan Timman hold 31 2 -21 2 leads against Michael Adams and Joel Lautier.

On Sunday, Adams played Black in his sixth game against Gelfand. After the opening moves 1. d4 d6 2. e4 Nf6 3. f3, Adams seemed to be looking for a tactical fight when he played the unusual 3 . . . d5?] After 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 he found himself in a sort of French Defence. It was just the type of position in which Gelfand excels and he stifled all life out of Black's game to win in 52 moves.

Yesterday, Adams kept the match alive by converting his pawn advantage in the adjourned fifth game to a win, but he will be under great pressure to win his last White of the match today.

The most impressive sixth round game was Anand's win over Yusupov. The opening line with 5 . . . f5 is oddly called the Siesta Variation, though it is one of the least sleepy of all Ruy Lopez variants. Anand's 9. Bc2 avoided the tactics of 9. Re3 e4 10. Ne1, but he introduced his own complications with 12. d5. Since 12 . . . Nxd5 loses a piece to 13. Qb3, and 12 . . . Nb8 invites 13. Ng5 with Ne6 to follow, Yusupov added to the complexities with 12 . . . e4 13. Ng5 Ne5 14. Ne6 Qd7.

Now 15. Nxf8 Rxf8 16. Nd2 Qf5 gives Black dangerous counterplay, but Anand's 15. Nd2] was very well judged. Declining the offer of 19. Qh8+? Kf7 20. Qxa8 when Nxg2] gives Black a probable draw. Instead Anand won a pawn, returned it to catch up on development and finally tempted a blunder from Yusupov who was down to his last minute for 15 moves. At the end, 25 . . . Kf7 loses a piece to 26. Qh5+.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Anand Black: Yusupov ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 e4 e5 14 Ne6 Qd7 2 Nf3 Nc6 15 Nd2 e3 3 Bb5 a6 16 Rxe3 Nxd5 4 Ba4 d6 17 Nxf8 Nxe3 5 c3 f5 18 Qxh7+ Kf8 6 exf5 Bxf5 19 fxe3 Re8 7 0-0 Bd3 20 e4 d5 8 Re1 Be7 21 Nb3 dxe4 9 Bc2 Bxc2 22 Be3 Bf6 10 Qxc2 Nf6 23 Rf1 Ng4 11 d4 0-0 24 Bd4 Qc6 12 d5 e4 25 Bc5+ 1-0 13 Ng5 Ne5 -----------------------------------------------------------------