Chess: Grandmasters gather to do battle in Spain

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BOTH world champions, Garry Kasparov (PCA) and Anatoly Karpov (Fide), are currently competing in the annual tournament in Linares, Spain, and setting an impressively hot pace in one of the strongest events for many years.

After four rounds, Kasparov leads with 3 1/2 points, but is expected to be overtaken by Karpov, who has 3 points and an adjourned game which he should win. With Anand, Ivanchuk, Kramnik, Shirov and Kamsky also playing, the field includes the world's top seven players, together with two (Gelfand and Bareyev) of the three sharing eighth place.

With Nigel Short (apparently not invited) and Michael Adams (withdrew to take time to recover from his defeat in the world championship eliminator by Boris Gelfand) both absent, there is no British player competing among the super-grandmasters in Linares this year.

The most peculiar moment of the event so far has been the end of Karpov's game against Bareyev, in which Bareyev - with a slight disadvantage in an endgame - allowed a one- move mate.

ch01out-harts-nws Playing Black in the diagram position, he must have intended 35 . . . Rxd5 36. Nxd5 Ba7, but retreated the bishop, forgetting that rooks had not yet been exchanged. The game ended 35 . . . Ba7 36. Rxd8 mate. A strong candidate for the Blunder of the Year award.

The results so far have reaffirmed the new world order, with Kasparov and Karpov pursued by Anand on 3 points, and Kamsky and Kramnik on 2 1/2 . Anand's first-round win is the most impressive so far.

After a promising flurry of exchanges introduced by Kamsky's 13 . . . d5, the fun really began with 19. f4] sacrificing the exchange. If Black tries to hold his material with 21 . . . Bxh4, he runs into great trouble after 22. Qxg7 Rf8 23. Qxg1. Playing 21 . . . 0-0, Kamsky may have expected 22. exf6 Qxf6 23. Qxg1 Qxf4+ 24. Kb1 Qxh4. Anand forced an improved version of the same idea with 22. Bd3]

After the first wave of complications had subsided, Anand called his knight over from a4 to reinforce the K-side attack. As Kamsky's defences began to crumble, he created a vicious counter-threat with 33 . . . Rc5, but 34. Ng6+] (when Kh7 is met by Re5) killed him. At the end, Black is quickly mated after 39 . . . Kh5 40. Be2+ Kh4 41. Qd5.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Anand ----------------------------------------------------------------- Black: Kamsky ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 e4 c5 21 e5 0-0 2 Nf3 d6 22 Bd3 Bxe5 3 d4 cxd4 23 fxe5 Qxh4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 24 Rxg1 Qf4+ 5 Nc3 a6 25 Kb1 Qxe5 6 Be3 e5 26 Nc5 Ra7 7 Nb3 Be6 27 Qc6 Qe3 8 f3 Be7 28 Rg2 Kh8 9 Qd2 Nbd7 29 Re2 Qg1+ 10 g4 h6 30 Ka2 Raa8 11 h4 b5 31 Nd7 Rac8 12 Rg1 b4 32 Qf3 f5 13 Na4 d5 33 Nxf8 Rc5 14 g5 d4 34 Ng6+ Qxg6 15 Bxd4 Bxb3 35 Re1 Qf6 16 gxf6 Bxf6 36 Qa8+ Kh7 17 axb3 exd4 37 Bc4 Rc6 18 0-0-0 Ne5 38 Qg8+ Kg6 19 f4 Nf3 39 Rg1+ 1-0 20 Qg2 Nxg1 -----------------------------------------------------------------