Independent Pursuits: Chess
Tuesday 16 March 1999
To begin with, the Moldavian Viktor Bologan was in the ascendancy, racking up a most impressive 6/7. But his shocking loss in the penultimate round to Joel Lautier in just 10 moves clearly affected him, and, while Lautier draw his final game with Christian Bauer, Bologan lost his second in a row to Russian Ponomariov.
This put Lautier clear first on 6.5/9, ahead of Bologan on 6, Tkachiev and both wunderkinds Ponomariov - who won't be 16 till October - and Bacrot - who was 16 in January - on 5, Salov on 4, Beliavsky, Rausis and Sadler on 3.5 and Bauer just 3.
Although he had a bad tournament, Matthew Sadler was admirably upbeat when I spoke to him a couple of days after the event, extolling the venue and organisation which engendered superb fighting spirit among the players in an event without a single "Grandmaster Draw". He kindly pointed me in the direction of this fine game.
In a fashionable line of the Ruy Lopez, Black initally sacrificed a pawn, and great complications started about move 20. If 21... Bxe1 22.Nxe4 dxe4 23.Qxe4 Bd2 24.Qxh7+ Kf8 25.Qh8+ Ke7 26.Qxg7! is very strong since if Bxc1 27.Qf6+ Kf8 28.Rh4 wins.
22.Rg4!! was splendid. If then 22... Ne4 23.Rgxe4! Bxe1 24.Rxe1 is simplest. Black was forced to jettison his queen for if 23... g6? 24.Qf6 or eg 23... f6 24.Bf5 Qf7 25 Rxg7+ Qxg7 26.Bxg7 Kxg7 27.Qg4+ Kh6 28.exf6 Rg8 29.Qf4+ Rg5 30 bxc3 etc. After 25.Qf3! - not 25. bxc3 Bxc3 - it was reasonably straightforward.
White Viktor Bologan
Black Vladimir Tkachiev
Enghien-les-Bains 1999 (Round 7)
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
These Harry Potter lipsticks are sparking all sorts of controversy with Hogwarts fans
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
Hunted: Channel 4 to test 'surveillance Britain' by taking Big Brother to sinister new lengths
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'