Independent Pursuits: Chess

AS EXPECTED, Vladimir Kramnik completed a fine victory at the Eighth Amber blindfold and rapidplay tournament on Sunday, though deceleration in the second half of this most demanding of tournaments reduced his lead, which at one stage was a full point and a half, to the bare minimum.

In the blindfold, last-round victories by Topalov and Shirov enabled both to catch Kramnik up, with the three finishing joint first equal on 8/11, well clear of Lautier 6.5, Nikolic and Karpov 5.5, Ivanchuk 5, Gelfand 4.5, Piket and Anand 4 and Ljubojevic and Van Wely 3.5.

Meanwhile Anand belied his lousy blindfold play with a powerful 7.5/11 in the rapidplay ahead of Kramnik 6.5, Ljubojevic, Topalov and Shirov 6, Karpov and Van Wely 5.5, Piket and Lautier 5, Gelfand and Ivanchuk 4.5 and Nikolic 4.

So the final combined scores were: Kramnik 14.5, Topalov and Shirov 14, Anand and Lautier 11.5, Karpov 11, Nikolic, Ljubojevic and Ivanchuk 9.5 and Piket, Gelfand and Van Wely 9.

After this barrage of figures, a stampede of blinkered horses - which must surely have given both players serious headaches!

In an Averbakh King's Indian, White gained space on the kingside and Black on the queenside. 16 Nf2! was essential to prevent ...b4 followed by a thematic knight sacrifice on e4, smashing White's carefully constructed position.

After the exchange of queens, White looked to have a clear edge but Ljubojevic's excellent 20 ...gxh5! left White with a weak h5 pawn to defend and after 32 ...Bg5! it was fairly unclear.

36 ...f5? was a bad blunder though - 36 ...Nd7 looks correct - and after 38 Nc7! the white cavalry carried the day. At the end if 48 ...Nce5 49 Ng6+ Nxg6 50 hxg6 Nf6 51 Rh7!+ Nxh7 52 g7 is mate.

White: Vladimir Kramnik

Black: Ljubomir Ljubojevic

Amber Blindfold 1999 (Round 2)

King's Indian Averbakh variation

1 d4 Nf6

2 c4 g6

3 Nc3 Bg7

4 e4 d6

5 Be2 0-0

6 Bg5 Nbd7

7 Qd2 e5

8 d5 Nc5

9 f3 a5

10 g4 Bd7

11 h4 c6

12 h5 cxd5

13 cxd5 a4

14 Nh3 Qa5

15 Rb1 b5

16 Nf2! b4

17 Ncd1 b3

18 a3 Qxd2+

19 Kxd2 h6

20 Be3 gxh5

21 gxh5 Rfc8

22 Nc3 Rab8

23 Rbc1 Ne8

24 Bf1 Nf6

25 Bh3 Kh7

26 Rxh3 Nb7

27 Rxh3 Nb7

28 Rxc8 Rxc8

29 Nc3 Nd7

30 Nd3 Bf6

31 Nb4 Ndc5

32 Nb5 Bg5!

33 Bxg5 hxg5

34 Ke3 Kh6

35 Nc6 Re8

36 Rh1 f5?

37 exf5 e4

38 Nc7! Rc8

39 Ne6 exf3

40 f6 g4

41 Ne7 Ra8

42 f7 Nd7

43 Nf5+ Kh7

44 Rg1 Na5

45 Rxg4 Rc8

46 Rg7+ Kh8

47 Ne7 Nc4+

48 Kf2 1-0

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face

books
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigour

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone in Mockinjay: Part 1

film
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
A waxwork of Jane Austen has been unveiled at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath

books
Arts and Entertainment
Britney Spears has been caught singing without Auto-Tune

music
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips

music
Arts and Entertainment
Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton

music
Arts and Entertainment
The new film will be shot in the same studios as the Harry Potter films

books
Arts and Entertainment
Duncan Bannatyne left school at 15 and was still penniless at 29

Bannatyne leaves Dragon's Den

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that global inequality has worsened

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck plays a despondent Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty (L) and Carl Barât look at the scene as people begin to be crushed

music
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Caral Barat of The Libertines performs on stage at British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park

music
Arts and Entertainment
Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea perform on stage at the Billboard Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Zina Saro-Wiwa

art
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice