Colonel Polhill detects rare subtleties in the final game of the PCA World Title match.

Some commentators have suggested that Messrs Kasparov and Anand were not "playing the game" when they agreed a 12-move draw to conclude their match by 101/2-71/2 in Kasparov's favour. Yet any such criticism is pure calumny. It was a fine game, perhaps the best of the match.

White: Garry Kasparov

Black: Viswanathan Anand


Correct! As the entire match showed, this is the best. 1.d4 and 1.Nf3 each scored a mere 50 per cent in the match. 1.e4 registered 53 per cent.


Again statistically proven to be best. 1...e5 (25 per cent) and 1...d5 (50 per cent) are inferior.

2.Nf3 d6!

A clear improvement on 2...e6, when the 1967 correspondence game Friede- Rudzitis continued 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.f4 Nc6 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Ne7 9.Be3 b5 10.0-0-0 Nc6 11.Qd2 Bb7 12.Bf3 Rc8 13.Bb6 resigns.


Why, you may ask, did he not play 3.Bb5+? Was he not familiar with the game Karaklaic-Nikolic, Belgrade 1973, which continued 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 Qg4 6.0-0 Qxe4 7.d4! Nc6 8.Nc3 Qg4 9.Nb5! Qd7 10.dxc5 dxc5 11.Bf4 0-0-0 12.Qa4 Qf5 13.Bg3 a6 14.Rad1 Rxd1 15.Rxd1 Nf6 16.Qa5!! resigns? Of course he was! But he knew that Anand knew it too, and had an improvement ready!

3...cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6!

Might Anand not have played 5...g6, which brought his opponent such fine results? That would have been a great mistake. With two wins and two draws, the dragon had passed its play-by date.

6.Be2 e6 7.0-0 Be7 8.a4! Nc6! 9.Be3 0-0 10.f4 Qc7 11.Kh1 Re8 12.Bf3! draw.

From this position (see diagram), Anand won game nine with White, yet can anyone with a scintilla of positional judgment doubt that a draw is the only correct outcome?


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