Independent Pursuits: Chess

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The Independent Culture
PROFESSIONAL CHESSPLAYERS Association (PCA) world champion Gary Kasparov breezed through London in the second half of the week, dispatching opponents in two

simultaneous exhibitions to the tune of 36-0. On Wednesday night he took on 24 teams at the Berkeley Hotel to raise money for the Kasharon school for special needs; and, with the teams of up to five players contributing as much as pounds 5,000 per board, was able to raise more than pounds 75,000 in the evening.

On Thursday he was in action again, launching a new Internet-based service, Play Games Now!, for the BT games network Wireplay. In a presentation before the main event BT's head of Intellectual games, Keith Silver, explained that the service, whose internet address is, will comprise four major areas: backgammon, various mind sports, bridge and chess. It will be possible to play online, to chat and also to receive tuition

The chess part of the venture, programmed by Mark Levitt, who has represented South Africa at the Olympiad, is connected to Malcolm Pein's shop Chess and Bridge. And it was Pein himself who commented as Kasparov took on three teams of journalists, players from the Mind Games network and juniors, in four relays.

With just the three 15-minute games at a time and playing White on all boards, you could hardly suppose, though, that Kasparov wouldn't inflict another wipe-out; and while the juniors in particular - Thomas Rendle, Gawain Jones, Murugan Thiruchelvam and David Howell - did all fight gamely, all hands went down again.

In contrast to bridge, chess is not a team game and certainly not normally played in consultation. So it was tough for the teams on Wednesday and panic often set in as Kasparov loomed towards their boards and a decision had to be taken.

One of Kasparov's best performances was against one of two teams from The Times newspaper. The team were unlucky to end up in a slow strategic game - much better to complicate if possible - where Kasparov got a big space advantage and two active bishops. When "Times A" allowed the kingside to be blocked, Kasparov had all the time in the world to stroll his king over to the queenside and mop up.

White: Gary Kasparov

Black: Times "A"

King's Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6

2 c4 g6

3 g3 Bg7

4 Bg2 d6

5 Nf3 0-0

6 0-0 Re8

7 Nc3 c6

8 e4 Bg4

9 h3 Bxf3

10 Bxf3 e5

11 d5 c5

12 Be3 a6

13 a3 Nbd7

14 Be2 Nf8

15 b4 b6

16 Rb1 Rb8

17 Qa4 Qd7

18 Qxd7 N6xd7

19 Rfc1 Kh8

20 Na4 Bf6

21 bxc5 bxc5

22 Bd2 Rxb1

23 Rxb1 Rb8

24 Rxb8 Nxb8

25 Ba5 Nbd7

26 Bc7 Be7

27 Nc3 Nf6

28 Bd1 h5

29 Ba4 N8d7

30 Bc6 Kg7

31 Kg2 g5

32 f3 Kg6

33 g4 h4

34 Nd1 Kg7

35 Ne3 Kf8

36 Nf5 Ke8

37 Kf1 Kf8

38 Ke2 Ne8

39 Ba5 Nb8

40 Ba4 Nf6

41 Bc7 Nfd7

42 Kd3 f6

43 Kc2 Kf7

44 Kb3 Kf8

45 Bc6 Kf7

46 Ka4 Nxc6

47 dxc6 Nf8

48 Bb6 Ke8

49 c7 Kd7

50 Nxe7 1-0