Independent Pursuits: Chess

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
OVER THE weekend at the Olympiad in Elista, England had beaten France 3-1, lost disastrously to USA 3-1 and only drawn with Armenia. Yesterday in the last round, without much hope even of bronze medals, their team was up against Poland. Final scores are as follows:

Russia I 351/2 (gold); USA 341/2 (silver); Ukraine 321/2 (bronze); Israel 321/2.

England finished 10th on 301/2, while Ireland had 26 with Wales and Scotland on 251/2.

The women's final scores were:

China 29 (gold); Russia I 27 (silver), Georgia 27 (bronze). England finished with 22 points, Ireland with 181/2, Scotland with 17, and Wales with 161/2.

British chess was taken aback when our bid to hold the European Team Championships next July in Torquay was vetoed on the grounds that the rouble-oriented countries could not or did not want to enter. A Russian venue may be offered.

The Congress, after discussions with Fide World Champion Anatoly Karpov, decided to postpone the World Knock-out Championship in Las Vegas until January 1999; but Karpov is seeded only to the second round.

In a post-mortem with Speelman, Seirawan volunteered that he always played 7 f3 - he was familiar with the line! Black can try 13... Nh5! His 14... e4 is very risky. From the position diagrammed 14... Rag8 would be more appropriate, but even then, after 15 Rxf5 Qxf5 16 Bg5 h6 17 Bh5+ Kf8 18 Rf1 Qxf1+ 19 Kxf1 hxg5 20 Qxg5 Be5 21 Qf5+ Ke7 22 Qe6+ Kd8 23 Bg4 Rxg4 24 Qxg4 Bxb2 25 Qg6, the American would have retained distinct winning chances.

Elista, round 11

White: Yasser Seirawan (USA)

Black: Jon Speelman

1 d4 g6

2 e4 Bg7

3 c4 d6

4 Nc3 Nc6

5 e4 b5

6 d5 Nce7

7 g4 f5

8 f3 Nh6!?

9 Be2 Nf7

10 h4! Ng8

11 exf5 gxf5

12 Qd2 Nf6

13 gxf5 Bxf5

14 Nh3 e4

15 Ng5 Qe7

16 Nxf7 Kxf7

17 fxe4 Nxe4

18 Nxe4 Qxe4

19 0-0 (see diagram)

19... Rhg8

20 Bh5+ Kf8

21 Rxf5+ Qxf5

22 Bg5 Be5

23 Rf1 Qxf1+

24 Kxf1 Kg7

25 Be7 Kh8

26 Qh6 Bg7

27 Qe6 Bxb2

28 Bf7 Rg3 1-0