ETCETERA / Chess

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A fine game by Michael Adams from last month's PCA world championship qualifier in the Netherlands.

Which was the best game of 1993? Nigel Short's win against Kasparov scores high on historic significance, but was hardly a great game.

Some of Kasparov's wins in that match were magnificent, but perhaps not as good as the ones Short let get away.

The following late entry to the unannounced 'Best of 1993' competition, however, has everything: an opening innovation, a sacrificial mating attack, and it's a win with the black pieces by an Englishman against a top grandmaster.

The notes are based on Adams's comments after the game.

White: Michael Adams

Black: Kiril Georgiev

PCA Qualifier, Groningen 1993.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7

Not so long ago, the Caro- Kann was considered a dull reply to 1. e4, good only for a draw. Recently, more aggressive grandmasters such as Speelman, Seirawan and Karpov, have been showing that it can win games too.

5. Bc4 Ngf6 6. Ng5 e6 7. Qe2 Nb6 8. Bd3 h6

It has long been known that Black cannot afford to take the d-pawn: after 8 . . . Qxd4 9. N1f3 followed by Ne5, the attack on f7 cannot be met.

9. N5f3 c5 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Bd2 0-0 12. 0-0-0 Na4]

A new idea in a well-known position. The threat is Qb6 attacking both f2 and b2.

13. Bb5 Bd7 14. Bxd7 Qxd7 15. Nh3

Remarkably, 15. Bxh6 only leads to difficulties for White after 15 . . . Qc7] The threat of Qb6 is renewed and 16. Be3 Qb6 17. c3 Bxe3+ 18. fxe3 Rac8 leaves Black with a huge attack.

15 . . . Rac8 16. Kb1 Qc6 17. Bc1

Here White offered a draw. 'Not one of the most generous draw offers I've had,' said Adams later. Black's initiative is large and still growing.

17 . . . Nd5 18. Qc4 Rfd8 19. Ka1 b5 20. Qe4 Be7 21. c3

An unpleasant necessity. If White defends c2 with 21. Nd4, then 21 . . . Qa6 threatens Nac3.

21 . . . Qa6 22. Ne5 Bf6 23. Ng4 Naxc3]

The beginning of the demolition. White must accept the sacrifice since 24. Nxf6+ Nxf6 leaves his queen attack and Qxa2 mate threatened.

24. bxc3 Bxc3+ 25. Bb2 Rc4 26. Qf3 Bxb2+ 27. Kxb2 (see diagram)

Having invested one piece already, Black now gives up a rook for a forced mate.

27 . . . Rc2+] 28. Kxc2 Qxa2+ 29. Kd3

29. Kc1 Rc8+ is the end.

29 . . . Qc4+] White resigns.

30. Kd2 Nb4+ leads to mate with Nc2 after 31. Ke1 or Ke3.

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