ETCETERA / Chess

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Grandmaster Plaskett looks back on the Short-Kasparov match with an analysis of the sixth game.

White: Short

Black: Kasparov

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bb3 Nbd7

In later games, Kasparov met 6. Bc4 with all sorts of ideas, revealing a remarkable variety and depth of preparation.

8. f4 Nc5 9. f5 Be7 10. Qf3 0-0 11. Be3 e5 12. Nde2 b5 13. Bd5 Rb8 14. b4

Commentating on the game at the Savoy, I had bet a spectator pounds 5 this move would not be played.

14 . . . Ncd7 15. 0-0 Nxd5 16. Nxd5 Bb7 17. Nec3 Nf6 18. Rad1 Bxd5 19. Nxd5 Nxd5 20. Rxd5 Rc8 21. Qg4]?

Made almost instantly by Short, though such active play had never entered my head.

21 . . . f6

I found this passive move scarcely credible. The difference between grandmasters and super-grandmasters became apparent to me during this match. The pundits in the press room are often way off mark, but the very top guys have the ability to assess, calculate and accurately improvise at speed.

22. Rf3

Black can never bring as many defenders across as White has attackers. Kasparov solves the problem by creating his own play.

22 . . . Rxc2

Time and again I was struck by Kasparov's tendency to ignore threats or pressure, always preferring counter-attack to defence.

23. Rh3 Rf7 24. Qh5 h6 25. Qg6 Kf8 26. Bxh6

Afterwards they were all baying for 26. Qh7 Ke8 27. Qg8+ Bf8 28. Bc5] Rd7 29. Rhd3 winning. The next day, Kasparov produced 27 . . . Rf8] 28. Qxg7 Qc7 intending Qc4 with counterplay.

26 . . . gxh6 27. Rxh6 Qb6+ (see diagram)

The remaining moves are forced.

28. Rc5] Bd8 29. Rh8+ Ke7 30. Rh7 Rxh7 31. Qxh7+ Kf8 draw agreed.

My general impression of Kasparov's approach is that his whole game is underpinned by the schooling he has received. Of game ten, he commented 'If White plays fxe6 in the Sicilian, then he should be worse'; of Short's play in game 15, he said: '(The plan of) . . Rxe7, b6 and Bb7 is completely wrong when Black has played a6. Indeed Black was lost then.'

Such depth of strategic thinking was way over almost everybody else's head. The top British players were not the product of schooling but developed merely through playing. This may underlie our failure to produce a world champion.

I should also add that Garry Kasparov is the most dynamic human being I have ever met.

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