Independent Pursuits: Chess

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The Independent Culture
THE MATCH between Michael Adams and Yasser Seirawan in Bermuda ended on Monday in a five-all draw after a gritty contest. I had imagined - and I think it was generally believed - that Adams, outgrading his opponent by nearly 75 points, and far from inexperienced in match play, would run out the easy winner. This view was reinforced when in the first game Seirawan, as White, blundered in a winning position and lost.

The American fought back, however, with wins as Black in games 4 and 6, the former after a fairly bad blunder by Adams and the latter after a howler in time trouble, the like of which I've seldom if ever seen Michael commit before.

After today's splendid draw in game 7, Adams equalised in a satisfyingly bloody struggle and, when Seirawan failed to gain advantage in his final White, Adams had a chance to pip him in his last White. As in all his other Blacks, Seirawan in game 10 stuck to his guns in the Caro Kann (1 e4 c6) but Adams got some pressure in which resolved itself into an endgame where he had the advantage of the two bishops and ultimately two lone bishops against knight and two connected pawns. Though proven by a database to be winning, this is tough enough without the pawns, and Seirawan held on.

In this wonderfully messy struggle of game 7, analysed by Yasser in his Inside Chess Online (http:// www.insidechess. com), he mistakenly allowed a tactical storm with 9 Nc3?. 9 Be3 was much safer. He'd missed 11 ...Bd7!, rather than 11 ...a6 12 Ba4 b5 13 Bb3 Bc5 14 Nxc6 "when I thought I'd advantageously recapture the d5-pawn."

14 ...Nf3+ was a tempting alternative, probably also leading to perpetual. With 15 Kf1 Seirawan cleverly offered a draw; when Adams refused it, it had the effect of causing Michael to reject the best line two moves later: 16 ...Rxd5 17 Qxd5 Rd8 18 Qb3 Rd1+ 19 Qxd1 Bxd1 20 fxe5 Qb4 21 Bxc6 Qc4+ 22 Kf2 Qe2+ 23 Kg3 Qg4+ etc.

The endgame after 17 Nxe6 was better for White and the advantage then oscillated between small and highly significant - for instance White shouldn't have allowed 24 ...Nxb2 and 38 ...h5? invited the White king to walk to g5 immediately - before Seirawn, still better but tired out by the heavy struggle, repeated moves at the end.

White: Yasser Seirawan

Black: Michael Adams

Pirc Defence

1 d4 d6

2 e4 Nf6

3 f3 d5

4 e5 Nfd7

5 f4 c5

6 Nf3 Nc6

7 c4 e6

8 cxd5 exd5

9 Nc3? cxd4

10 Nxd4 Ndxe5! 11 Bb5 Bd7!

12 Nxd5 Bc5

13 Nb3 Bg4

14 Qd2 Qh4+

15 Kf1 0-0-0

16 Nxc5 Be6?

17 Nxe6 fxe6

18 g3 Qh3+

19 Qg2 Qxg2+

20 Kxg2 Rxd5

21 Ba4?! Nd3

22 Bb3 Rd6

23 Be3 b6

24 Rhf1? g6

25 Rab1 Kb7?

26 Bd1! Rc8

27 Bf3 Kb8

28 Rfd1 Rcd8

29 Bxc6? Rxc6

30 Rd2 Rd5

31 Rbd1 Rcd6

32 b3 Nb4

33 Rxd5 Nxd5

34 Kf2 Rc6

35 Rd2 Kc7

36 Bd4 Rc1

37 Bb2 Rh1

38 Kf3 h5?

39 Be5+? Kd7

40 Rc2? a5!

41 Rd2 Rc1

42 Kg2 Ke8

43 Kh3 Kf7

44 Kh4 b5

45 Bb2? Rc5

46 Bd4 Rc1

47 Bb2 1/2-1/2