Independent Pursuits: Chess

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THE ANNUAL tournament is well under way in Tilburg, in the southern Netherlands. It was first sponsored by the Interpolis Insurance Company, then was taken over three years ago by Fontys - the University of Professional Education.

In accordance with their remit Fontys decided to pit youth against experience, with 11 players under 30 and a "Professor" to test them. No easy task, and this year 67-year-old Victor Korchnoi, great warrior though he is, has been having a torrid time of it. Yesterday was a rest day and after four rounds he was equal last with Joel Lautier on just 1/4. Meanwhile Viswanathan Anand leads with 3/4, ahead of Topalov, Van Wely and Matthew Sadler - who overtook Michael Adams by beating him on Monday - 21/2, Zvjagintsev, Leko, Svidler, Adams and Kramnik 2 and Piket 11/2.

Arguably, Anand's second-round win against Kramnik was the best game thus far. But my favourite is this bloodfest:

After a very sharp opening, Black managed to force off White's black squared bishop but the cost of a lot of time. It then quickly developed into a traditional "coffee house" race between the two attacks. Topalov seemed to be way ahead until Zvjagintsev's shot of 34... Qg1! in the diagram. Then 35 Qxd6+ seemed natural, but 35 Rh1! looks best when if eg 35... Qg5 (35... Qxh1 36 Ng6 mate!) 36 Qxd6+ Kxf7 37 Rf1+ Ke8 (or 37... Bf6 38 Nf3!) 38 Qe6+ Kh7 39 Nf5 Bh6 40 Nxh6 Qxh6? 41 Rh1 wins. After he got hit again with 39... Qd1!, Topalov lost control. In the final position a draw was a fair result. Best play seems to be 46... Kb3! (not 46... Ka5? 47 Rhxc7) 47 Qf3+ Kxc2 48 Rh2+ Qd2 (48... Kc1 49 Qe2 Rd8 50 Rh1+ Qd1 51 Rxd1+ Rxd1 52 Qb5 looks worse) 49 Rxd2+ Kxd2 50 Qf5 Rc5 51 Qd7+ Ke3 52 Qxa4

White: Veselin Topalov

Black: Vadim Zvjagintsev

Tilburg 1998

Sicilian Taimanov

1 e4 c5

2 Nf3 e6

3 d4 cxd4

4 Nxd4 Nc6

5 Nc3 d6

6 g4 a6

7 Be3 Bd7

8 Qd2 b5

9 g5 Nge7

10 0-0-0 Nxd4

11 Qxd4 Nc6

12 Qd2 Be7

13 f4 0-0

14 Kb1 Na5

15 Qf2 Rb8

16 h4 b4

17 Ne2 Nc4

18 Nd4 Nxe3

19 Qxe3 Qb6

20 Qd2 a5

21 f5 e5

22 Nf3 Rfc8

23 f6 Bf8

24 fxg7 Bxg7

25 Bh3 Bxh3

26 Rxh3 Rc4

27 g6! hxg6

28 h5 Rbc8

29 Rc1 a4

30 hxg6 b3

31 Qd5 R4c7

32 gxf7+ Kf8

33 Nh4 bxc2+

34 Ka1 (see

diagram) Qg1!

35 Qxd6+ Kxf7

36 Qd5+ Ke7

37 Nf5+ Kf8

38 Qd6+ Kf7

39 Qd2 Qd1!

40 Qg5 Bf6

41 Rh7+ Ke6

42 Nd4+ Qxd4

43 Qf5+ Kd6

44 Qxf6+ Kc5

45 Rxc2+ Kb4

46 a3+ 1/2-1/2