Independent Pursuits: Chess

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The Independent Culture
DON'T BE taken in by all the propaganda. There really is nothing very interesting about a lot of men kicking footballs around in France. Now a footballer playing chess ... that's interesting!

The loser of today's game is a grandmaster who used to play football for Norway and Aberdeen. He was a piece up at half-time, but his defenders simply did not have the speed to keep up with Black's play on the right wing.

White's whole idea of 25.Rg3 and 26.h3 may have been faulty. Once Black had lost one knight, his position was transformed to full dynamism, with the other knight suddenly freed from passivity on g7 to play a full attacking role.

The final combination (see diagram) with 37...e2! freeing e3 for the knight was very neat.

White: Simen Agdestein

Black: Juan Becerra

Havana 1998

1 d4 Nf6 22 Bd4 Nf6

2 c4 g6 23 Nb6 Bxb6

3 Nc3 Bg7 24 axb6 Bd7

4 e4 d6 25 Rg3 Ng4

5 f3 0-0 26 h3 Rac8

6 Bg5 a6 27 hxg4 fxg4

7 Nge2 Nbd7 28 Re3 Nf5

8 Nc1 c6 29 Qd2 Qf7

9 a4 e5 30 Ba1 Qe7

10 d5 h6 31 g3 h4

11 Be3 cxd5 32 Bd1 hxg3

12 cxd5 Ne8 33 Kg2 Rf7

13 Be2 f5 34 Rh1 Rh7

14 exf5 gxf5 35 Rc3 Rxc3

15 0-0 Qf6 36 Bxc3 e3

16 a5 Qg6 37 Qc2 e2

17 Kh1 Bf6 38 Qxe2 Ne3+

18 f4 Ng7 39 Kg1 Rxh1+

19 Na4 Bd8 40 Kxh1 Qh4+

20 b4 h5 41 Kg1 g2

21 Ra3 e4 White resigned

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