Chess: Ivanchuk and Kasparov share Amsterdam lead

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
IT SEEMS as if I spoke too soon. Just as I was praising Garry Kasparov's excellent form, he crashed to an ignominius defeat in the fourth round at Amsterdam against Vassily Ivanchuk.

Not only was he defeated, but his position was lost within a dozen moves when Kasparov fell into an ingenious trap.

After the opening moves (with Ivanchuk playing White) 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f4 Qc7 7. Qf3 g6 8. Be3 Bg7 9. h3, Kasparov attacked in the centre with 9 . . . e5. He must have been surprised by the response it received: 10. fxe5 dxe5 11. Bh6]]

Since 11 . . . exd4 12. Bxg7 Rg8 13. Bxf6 loses Black a pawn with a miserable game, and 11 . . . 0-0 12. Bxg7 Kxg7 13. Qxf6+] Kxf6 14. Nd5+ is even worse, Kasparov had to continue 11 . . . Bxh6 12. Qxf6.

Now 12 . . . Rf8 13. Nd5 leaves the black queen unable to protect both e7 and e5, so he played instead 12 . . . 0-0 13. Nd5 Qa5+ 14. b4 Qd8 15. Ne7+ Qxe7 16. Qxe7 exd4, but the two pieces never looked sufficient value for the queen.

The game continued 17. Bc4 Nc6 18. Qc5 Be3 19. Rf1 Nd8 20. Rf3 Be6 when Ivanchuk chose 21. Rxe3 dxe3 22. Bxe6 Nxe6 23. Qxe3 as the simplest path to a technical win. When Kasparov resigned at move 39, the times on the clock confirmed the story of the game: Black 1 hour 56 minutes, White 59 minutes.

In the other game of the round, Jan Timman gained revenge for his first-round defeat by Nigel Short, winning in 64 moves. Scores are now Kasparov and Ivanchuk 21 2 , Timman and Short 11 2 .


Kasparov produced a magical combination in his third round win against Timman. Playing Black, he seemed in some difficulty in the diagram position: the bishop on e4 seems to dominate the board, defending the strong pawn on g6, pinning the knight on d5, and creating possible threats with Nxb6.

All that changed with Kasparov's next move, 30 . . .Nf4]] There followed 31. Bxb7 Rxg6+ 32. Kh2 Rxg6+ 33. Kh1 d5] Now 34. Ne3 Rxb2 brings little joy: 35. Rg1+ would even lose to 35 . . . Kf6 36. Ng4 h5. Curiously, White's bishop, which was so powerful in the diagram position, has been lured offside and shut out of the game.

So Timman returned the piece with 34. Nxb6 Rb8 35. Rxe6 Rxb7 (Nxe6 is a probable draw after Kxg2) 36. Rd6 Rg5. White is now a little worse, but Timman lost the thread of the game completely.

There followed 37. Rd1? (37. Rg1] should draw) d4] 38. Nc4? (38. cxd4 cxd4 39. Rg1] is still correct, but not 39. Rxd4, losing to Rh5+ and Ne2+) Kh7]] 39. Re1 (39. cxd4 loses to 39 . . . Rbg7 40. Rd2 Nd3] threatening Rh5+ and Nf2 mate) Rh5+ 40. Kg1 Rg7+ and White resigned. 41. Kf1 Rh1+ 42. Kf2 Rg2 is mate.