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
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)
34.Qg2 Kf8 1-0Reuse content