Chess: Triumph in Amsterdam

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The Independent Culture
THE final round in Amsterdam saw both leaders sprinting for the finish, stumbling as they went. Kasparov and Ivanchuk led with 31 2 points each, well ahead of Short and Timman on 11 2 . Kasparov was Black against Short; Ivanchuk was Black against Timman. With everything to play for and nothing to lose, the situation was a cliche writer's dream.

Short and Kasparov continued where they left off in London last year: Short sacrificed all his pieces and drew by perpetual check. Whether it was correct or not, only the players can tell.

White: Short

Black: Kasparov

1 e4 c5

2 Nc3 e6

3 Nf3 a6

4 d4 cxd4

5 Nxd4 d6

6 g4 b5

7 a3 h6

8 Bg2 Bb7

9 0-0 Nd7

10 f4 Rc8

11 Be3 g5

12 Qe2 gxf4

13 Rxf4 e5

14 Rf5 exd4

15 Bxd4 Ne5

16 Nd5 Bg7

17 Raf1 Rh7

18 Kh1 Bh8

19 c3 Ne7

20 Bxe5 dxe5

21 Qf3 Nxf5

22 Qxf5 Rg7

23 Nf6+ Kf8

24 Nd7+ Kg8

25 Nf6+ Kf8

Draw agreed

If Black had played 23 . . . Ke7, then 24. Qxe5+ Kf8 is unconvincing, but 24. Nh5 makes the defence of f7 very difficult indeed. Whether White has enough for his rook after 21 . . . Bxd5, however, is another question.

That left Ivanchuk needing a win to take first place, but it never looked likely. Playing his best game of the tournament, Timman maintained a small advantage into the endgame, when the diagram position was reached with Ivanchuk (Black) to move.

With the natural 1 . . . Bg5+ 2. Ke4 c4 running into trouble against 3. Rg1] Ivanchuk played 1 . . . c4 at once and was knocked down by something even better: 2. Ra6+] Kxa6 3. Nc5+ Ka5 4. Nxd7 and White is winning - although only by the narrowest of margins. There followed 4 . . . Bg5+ 5. Ke4 Bc1 6. dxc4 Bxb2 7. c5] Bxc3 8. c6 Ka6 9. Kd5 Ba5 10. Nc5+ Ka7 11. Kd6 Kb8 12. Kd7 g5 13. Nd3 b4 (13 . . . Bc7 14. Nb4 is also unattractive) 14. Nxb4 e4 15. fxe4 g4 16. Na6+ Ka7 17. c7 Bxc7 18. Nxc7 g3 19. Nb5+ Kb6 20. Nd4 and Black resigned.

Final scores: Kasparov 4, Ivanchuk 31 2 , Timman 21 2 , Short 2.

(Graphic omitted)

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