Chess: Desperation meets inspiration

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
WITH four rounds left to play at Linares, Garry Kasparov has begun his late run in the hope of catching Anatoly Karpov. In round nine, Karpov was held to a draw by Shirov, while Kasparov scored an easy win against Kamsky. Despite dropping half a point, Karpov is still a full point ahead.

The Kasparov-Kamsky game was a curiously one-sided game, with Kamsky reacting violently - and positionally disastrously - to an opening innovation from Kasparov. Varying from his game with Karpov two rounds earlier, Kasparov met the solid 4 . . . Nd7 line of the Caro- Kann with 5. Ng5. White's knight seems to be galloping into space, and indeed is chased back four moves later, but only after Black has been forced to adopt a passive formation with the bishop enclosed on c8.

At move 10, Black is reluctant to chase the queen with 10 . . . Nf6, since the knight is better placed on d7 to support the freeing moves c5 or e5. When Karpov played 11. Qg4] however, Kamsky must have begun to wonder whether his 10 . . . Qc7 was a mistake. With 11 . . . 0-0 losing to 12. Bxh6, it is hard for Black to find a comfortable way to defend his g- pawn. Kamsky's bold 11 . . . g5 carried the possible threat of 12 . . . Nf6 with g4 to follow, but after the subtle 12. Qh3] Black was in trouble. White threatens Bxg5 and 12 . . . Bf4 is no help because of 13. Nxg5.

Combining desperation with inspiration, Kamsky found 12 . . . Rg8 inviting 13. Qxh6 g4, when either 14. Ng5 or 14. Nd2 can be strongly met by Bf4, but Kasparov played it more calmly, and left Black's game riddled with weaknesses. At move 20, Karpov won the h- pawn and three moves later the g-pawn fell. By that stage, Black's game was considerably worse than the position Ivanchuk had resigned against Karpov a few rounds earlier, but Kamsky chose to prolong his suffering. Kasparov must have enjoyed the rest, particularly 30. c4, when 30 . . . Bxc4 loses sweetly to 31. Bxc6+ Rxc6 32. Qb8+.

White: Kasparov

Black: Kamsky

1 e4 c6 21 Qg7 Rf8 2 d4 d5 22 Rd3 Bd7 3 Nd2 dxe4 23 Bxg5 Bxg5 4 Nxe4 Nd7 24 Qxg5 Qd8 5 Ng5 Ngf6 25 Qe5 Qe7 6 Bd3 e6 26 Qc7 Bc8 7 N1f3 Bd6 27 Qa5 b6 8 Qe2 h6 28 Qe5 Ba6 9 Ne4 Nxe4 29 Be4 Rc8 10 Qxe4 Qc7 30 c4 Rg8 11 Qg4 g5 31 b3 Bb7 12 Qh3 Rg8 32 Rfd1 Ba8 13 Nd2 Bf8 33 c5 bxc5 14 Ne4 Bg7 34 Rd6 c4 15 0-0 Bxd4 35 bxc4 c5 16 Be3 Be5 36 Bxa8 Rxa8 17 Rad1 Nf6 37 Qxc5 Rb8 18 Nxf6+ Bxf6 38 g3 Qb7 19 Bh7 Rh8 39 Qd4 Kf8 20 Qxh6 Be7 40 Qf6 1-0

At a slightly less exalted level, the second Cafe Baroque International is taking place this week, at 33 Southampton Street, London WC2, where three English players will be chasing their Master titles.