Independent Pursuits: Chess

GARY KASPAROV deservedly won the Hoogovens tournament at Wijk aan Zee on Sunday after a comfortable-looking draw as Black against Vladimir Kramnik took him to the tremendous score of 10/13. Tentative at the beginning but majestic during his magnificent run of seven wins from rounds two to eight, he had again lost confidence after his rather miserable loss to Ivan Sokolov in round nine. Draws against Anand and Timman left him just half a point clear of Anand as they entered the straight. But his fine win against Svidler, who previous to this game had a win and two draws against him, gave Kasparov the one-point cushion he needed when Anand drew fairly tamely with Yermolinsky.

By defeating Topalov in the last round, Anand moved himself up to an undefeated 9.5, just half a point behind Kasparov and a superb result in its own right, netting a performance rating of 2,840 - compared to Kasparov's 2,874 - which would have been enough to win almost any tournament in history.

Vladimir Kramnik was the only other unbeaten player but won "only" three games for third on 8. The other scores were Ivan Sokolov, Piket, Shirov and Timman 7, Ivanchuk and Svidler 6.5, Topalov 6, Kasimdzhanov 5, Van Wely 4.5, Yermolinsky 4 and Reinderman 3.

Despite the high incidence of decisive games - 41/91 - one of the most interesting was this draw between the two unbeaten players. 19 ...Nh3+!? was Kramnik's improvement on 19 ...Re6 with which he lost against Alexei Shirov in in the European Club Cup a fortnight ago. His very crude idea was to get his queen to the long white diagonal to deliver mate.

Anand's 21 c4 was extraordinary but if 21 Nb3 Rb6 22 Qc5 d4! 23 c4 (23 cxd4 Qa8+ 24 d5 Rd8 25 Nd4 Rxd5 26 Qc4 Kh8 27 Nf3 Rd2+ 28 Bxd2 Qxf3 mate!) 23 ...Qc8! 24 Qd5+ Kh8 25 Kf1! Rd8 26 Qg2 Qe6 gives a lot of play. 21 ...Kh8!? looked dangerous but Kramnik didn't like 22 c5. At the end, Black must take the perpetual.

White: Viswanathan Anand

Black: Vladimir Kramnik

Petroff Defence

1 e4 e5

2 Nf3 Nf6

3 Nxe5 d6

4 Nf3 Nxe4

5 d4 d5

6 Bd3 Nc6

7 0-0 Be7

8 Re1 Bg4

9 c3 f5

10 Qb3 0-0

11 Nbd2 Na5

12 Qa4 Nc6

13 Bb5 Bh4

14 g3 Bf6

15 Bxc6 bxc6

16 Qxc6 Re8

17 Ne5 Bxe5

18 dxe5 Ng5

19 f4 Nh3+!?

20 Kg2 Rb8

21 c4 dxc4

22 Nxc4 Qd3

23 Ne3 Rxb2+!

24 Bxb2 Qd2+

25 Kh1 Nf2+

26 Kg1 Nh3+

27 Kh1 Nf2+


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