Chess: Salov employs an impressive strategy

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BORIS GELFAND looks set to be the first to join Karpov in the semi-finals of the Candidates' tournament: he has a winning advantage in his adjourned final game, writes William Hartston. Salov is also well-placed, having taken the lead against Timman in their seventh game, but the Anand-Kamsky match ended tied at 4-4 and must now be decided by a quick-play tie- break.

Salov's win against Timman was an impressive strategic game. Playing 11. Qd3 and 12. Qf3, he encouraged Black to exchange on c3 and blockade the pawns with Na5 and Nc4. With 19. Bxc4, Salov asserted that his black squares were stronger than Timman's white ones.

The crisis came with 21 . . . e5, when 22. dxe5 Re4 favours Black. It seemed that Timman had freed his game, but he lost his way soon after. The plan of 23 . . . Qd8, followed by Bxg5, Rxc1 and f4 looked active but left Black in difficulties after 28. Nd3. Exchanging queens gives White two connected central passed pawns, but any queen retreat runs into trouble against Ne5 followed by Rc7 or Qb3.

As the game went, Salov increased his bind with 31. g4 and 32. g5 and the rest was a beautifully precise exploitation of his centre pawns. At the end, 44 . . . Rb7 (Rg7 allows mate in one) 45. Rc3 leaves Black helpless against the threat of Rc7.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Salov ----------------------------------------------------------------- Black: Timman ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 d4 Nf6 23 cxd4 Qd8 2 c4 e6 24 Rac1 Bxg5 3 Nc3 Bb4 25 hxg5 Rxc1 4 e3 c5 26 Rxc1 f4 5 Bd3 Nc6 27 Nxf4 Qxg5 6 Ne2 cxd4 28 Nd3 Qxe3 7 exd4 d5 29 fxe3 Bf5 8 cxd5 Nxd5 30 Ne5 Re7 9 0-0 0-0 31 g4 Be4 10 Bb1 Be7 32 g5 Kg7 11 Qd3 g6 33 Kf2 h6 12 Qf3 Nxc3 34 gxh6+ Kxh6 13 bxc3 Bd7 35 Kg3 Kg5 14 Be4 Rc8 36 a3 b6 15 Rd1 f5 37 Rf1 Bd5 16 Bd3 Na5 38 Rf4 Rc7 17 Bh6 Rf7 39 e4 Bb3 18 Qe3 Nc4 40 Rg4+ Kh5 19 Bxc4 Rxc4 41 Kf4 Bf7 20 Re1 Qc8 42 d5 Be8 21 Bg5 e5 43 Rg3 Kh6 22 h4 exd4 44 d6 1-0 -----------------------------------------------------------------