Independent Pursuits: Chess

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THE ANNUAL Dos Hermanas tournament got underway on Tuesday with a splendidly bloodcurdlng opening round. The big story before play began was the withdrawal of the ill Alexander Morozevich, who was replaced by Boris Gelfand.

Since Gelfand hadn't yet arrived, his first round game against Korchnoi had to be postponed but the other four more than made up for this. IIlescas v Topalov and Kramnik v Karpov were both drawn though Karpov survived some pressure and Topalov was very close to the edge. But White triumphed in both the other two.

Michael Adams won a nice game against Peter Svidler's Sicilian Najdorf, highly reminiscent of his victory against the same opponent at Tilburg last year.

With 10...b4, Svidler varied from that game in which he had played the usual 10...Nh5 but the plot line still remained the same: in a position with queens one pair of rooks and opposite coloured bishops - a highly inflammatory material balance in which initiative is everything - Svidler got mated. The culprit this time may be the new move itself. Certainly after 16.Nh5, Black looked in very serious trouble. The excellent 26.e6! - rather than 26.exd6 - split Black's kingside open. The end was slaughter.

Michael Adams v Peter Svidler

"Sicilian Najdorf"

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Nbd7 9.g4 b5 10.g5 b4?! 11.Ne2 Nh5 12.Qd2 Be7 13.Ng3 Nf4 14.h4 h6 15.Bxf4 exf4 16.Nh5 Bxb3 17.axb3 g6 18.Nxf4 hxg5 19.Nd5 Rxh4 20.Rxh4 gxh4 21.0- 0-0 Nf6 22.Bc4 Nxd5 23.Qxd5 Bg5+ 24.Kb1 Ra7 25.e5 Kf8 26.e6! Bf6 27.exf7 Qe7 28.f4 Qxf7 29.Qxd6+ Qe7 30.Qb8+ Kg7 31.Rg1 Kh6 32.Bd3 Rd7 33.Qg8 1- 0

For all that, the game of the round was surely Judit Polgar's explosive attacking victory against Viswanathan Anand. In a different and considerably madder Najdorf line, she initially sacrificed both knights though one was soon regained. In a game Wedberg v Novikov Copenhagen 1991 Black deferred the capture on c3 with 13...Qc7 14.Bd3 Nc5 15.Bc4 dxc3 16.Bxc3 Nfe4 and later won easily but of course Judit must have had improvements ready.

If 23...Nc5 24.Be3 Nxe6 25.fxe6 is also very dangerous since White threatens 26.f5 and the attempt to repeat with 25...Qg6 (25...f5?? 26.e7! wins) 26.Qh3 Qh6? (he has to try 26...Qe8 27.f5!) loses to 27.Qxh6 Bxh6 28.e7 Re8 29.Rxf6 Bg7 30.Rf7.

White got a massive bind and after 26.Bd5! soon won the piece back by force. Fantastic stuff!

Judit Polgar v Viswanathan Anand

Dos Hermanas 1999 (Round 1)

"Sicilian Najdorf"

1.e4 c5

2.Nf3 d6

3.d4 cxd4

4.Nxd4 Nf6

5.Nc3 a6

6.Be3 e6

7.g4 e5

8.Nf5 g6

9.g5 gxf5

10.exf5 d5

11.Qf3 d4

12.0-0-0 Nbd7

13.Bd2 dxc3

14.Bxc3 Bg7

15.Rg1 0-0

16.gxf6 Qxf6

17.Qe3 Kh8

18.f4 Qb6

19.Qg3 Qh6

20.Rd6! f6

21.Bd2 e4

22.Bc4 b5

23.Be6 Ra7

24.Rc6 a5

25.Be3 Rb7

26.Bd5! Rb8

27.Rc7 b4

28.b3 Rb5

29.Bc6 Rxf5

30.Rxc8 Rxc8

31.Bxd7 Rcc5

32.Bxf5 Rxf5

33.Rd1 Kg8

34.Qg2 Kf8 1-0