ETCETERA / Chess

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This week the PCA/Intel Grand Prix moves to London for the latest in its rapid-play series. This time, the computer, Mephisto Genius 2, will be competing alongside the world's best. We asked it to assess one of its main rivals.

White: G Kasparov

Black: A Shirov

Novgorod 1994

Comments based on analysis by Genius 2.

1. c4

I suppose he feels he can get away with stuff like this against humans, but I can't help noticing that Kasparov always played 1. e3 against my colleague Fritz 2 in Munich a couple of months ago.

1 . . . e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Nd5 Be7

My book prefers 3 . . . Ba5 4. b4 c6.

4. d4 d6 5. e4 c6

5 . . . exd4 6. Qxd4 Nf6 followed by Nc6 looks more straightforward to me.

6. Nxe7 Qxe7 7. Ne2 f5

This looks fishy. 7 . . . Nf6 8. Nc3 0-0 must be the right way to play.

8. dxe5 Qxe5 9. exf5 Nf6 10. Qd4]

Good move. I saw this too. Now it's not so easy for Black to get his pawn back.

10 . . . Bxf5 11. Bf4 Qa5+

11 . . . Qxd4 12. Nxd4 leaves both bishop and d-pawn attacked.

12. Qc3

Timid. I'd have brazened it

out with 12. Nc3 0-0 13. Bxd6 Re8+ 14. Be2.

12 . . . Qxc3+ 13. Nxc3 0-0 14. 0- 0-0 d5 15. Bd6

15. cxd5 cxd5 16. Nxd5 Rc8+ is troublesome, so I'd have

played 14. Rd1 instead of 0-0-0.

15 . . . Rc8 16. f3 Nbd7 17. g4 Be6 18. g5 Ne8 19. cxd5 Bxd5 20. Bg3

I must say I didn't guess any of White's last four moves. He must be planning 20 . . . Bxf3 21. Bc4+ Kh8 22. Rxd7 Bxh1 23. Rf7]

20 . . . Be6 21. Bd3 Nc5 22. Bc2 Rd8 23. h4 Bf7 24. Ne4 Nxe4 25. fxe4 Kf8?

White has a clear advantage after this. 25 . . . c5 is better.

26. Rdf1 Kg8 27. h5] Rd7 28. Rf2 Nd6 29. g6] (see diagram)

Just as I missed his plan of g4 and g5, I didn't see h4 and h5 either. He certainly seems good at pushing his pawns. Now 29 . . . hxg6 30. hxg6 Bxg6 loses to Bxd6 and Bb3+.

29 . . . Be6 30. gxh7+ Kh8 31. h6 g6 32. Rf6 Re8 33. Rxg6

I prefer 33. Be5 Kxh7 34. Bxd6, when Rxd6 is murdered by 35. e5.

33 . . . Nc4 34. Be1 Kxh7 35. Rg3 Ne5 36. Bc3 Bc4 37. Rg7+] resigns.

After 37 . . . Rxg7 38. hxg7+ Kxg7 39. Rh5 Kf6 40. Rf5+ White wins a piece. There's no doubt this Kasparov plays well, but I'm told I'll be operating on a faster processor in London.

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