Chess: Latvia leads world

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The Independent Culture
TWO down, two to go. The PCA world championship in London and the Fide world championship in the Netherlands and Jakarta are over, but the women's world championship and the world team championships are still in progress in Monaco and Lucerne respectively.

In Monaco, Xie Jun extended her lead over the challenger Nana Joseliani by winning the fourth game. She is now 3 1/2 - 1/2 ahead and well on course to retain her title.

In Switzerland, the world team championships are turning into a close struggle with China, the United States and assorted bits of the old Soviet chess empire all in contention. These championships - not to be confused with the Chess Olympics - are restricted to ten qualified teams from the Olympics and continental team championships.

England's disappointing result in the Olympics ended their chance of competing in this event, pushed out by Armenia, Uzbekhistan, the Ukraine and Latvia. Now the event resembles the old Soviet Spartakiades, with a few guest teams from the rest of the world. After three rounds, Latvia held the lead with 7 1/2 points, pursued by the United States on 7 (plus one adjourned), China and Russia on 7. Russia lost to Iceland in round three.

The most attractive game so far came in the match between Iceland and the United States. Energetic play in the opening secured Boris Gulko a fine position, which he improved with an imaginative pawn sacrifice 19 . . . f4] Despite the exchange of queens, Black developed a neat mating finish. 28 . . . Re6 threatened mate on h6, 29 . . . Rff6 repeated the threat, and at the end 31. Kxh2 Rh6+] 32. gxh6 Rh5 is mate.

White: Vera (Cuba)

Black: Gulko (US)

1 d4 d6

2 Nf3 Bg4

3 c4 Nd7

4 Nc3 e5

5 e3 c6

6 h3 Bh5

7 Be2 Be7

8 0-0 f5

9 c5 e4

10 cxd6 Bd6

11 Nd2 Be2

12 Qxe2 Ngf6

13 Nc4 Bc7

14 b3 b5

15 Nd2 Qe7

16 Rd1 0-0

17 Nf1 Nb6

18 Bb2 Nfd5

19 a4 f4

20 exf4 Nxf4

21 Qxe4 Qg5

22 Qf3 Rae8

23 Qg4 Qxg4

24 hxg4 b4

25 Na2 Ne2+

26 Kh1 Nd5

27 f3 Re6

28 Bc1 Rff6

29 g5 Rf5

30 Nh2 Bxh2

White resigns