Independent Pursuits: Chess

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THE GREAT world champion Mikhail Botvinnik was once asked his opinion of the value of playing friendly games of chess. "I have never played a friendly game," he replied sternly. This week, both current world champions have been engaged in contests which, if not totally friendly, still fall far short of the standards of hostility that Botvinnik would have considered essential. Garry Kasparov is playing an experimental match against Veselin Topalov, in which both players are allowed to use computers to assist their cogitations. More of that odd encounter at a later date.

Meanwhile, Anatoly Karpov is playing Judit Polgar in a speed chess match in which each player has only 30 minutes for the entire game. The first game, with Karpov playing White, was drawn. In the second, however, he had a nasty accident. Under pressure from the opening, the Fide champion defended well, but finally blundered the game away when desperately short of time.

White: Judit Polgar

Black: Anatoly Karpov

Speed Game - Budapest 1998

Caro-Kann Defence

1 e4 c6 26 Rfe1 Qc7

2 d4 d5 27 Rxe6 Kf7

3 Nd2 dxe4 28 Bb3 Kg6

4 Nxe4 Nd7 29 Qd4 Rhd8

5 Ng5 Ngf6 30 Qg4+ Kh7

6 Bd3 e6 31 Bc2+ Kg8

7 N1f3 Bd6 32 Rxd8+ Rxd8

8 Qe2 h6 33 Re1 Kf8

9 Ne4 Nxe4 34 Bg6 Qd6

10 Qxe4 Qc7 35 Qc4 Qd5

11 Qg4 Kf8 36 Qe2 Qd7

12 Be3 c5 37 c4 Qd6

13 dxc5 Bxc5 38 a3 Qd7

14 0-0-0 Nf6 39 g4 Kg8

15 Qh4 Bxe3+ 40 Bf5 Qd6

16 fxe3 Bd7 41 Qc2 Re8

17 Rhf1 Rc8 42 Rd1 Qc5

18 Kb1 Bc6 43 Bg6 Ra8

19 e4 Kg8 44 Qd3 Qe7

20 c3 Nd7 45 Qd4 Be8

21 Bc2 Ne5 46 Be4 Bf7

22 Nxe5 Qxe5 47 c5 Rc8

23 Qf2 f6 48 Bf5 Rxc5

24 Qxa7 Qxh2 49 Qd8+ Qf8

25 e5 Qxe5 50 Bh7+ resigns