Pastimes: Chess

Gata Kamsky was thrown completely off balance in the fourth game of his Fide world title match against Anatoly Karpov.

The diagram position was reached after Karpov's 18th move as Black. It is just the same type of isolated d-pawn formation for White that brought Kamsky victory in the second game. He now played 19.Nc4 with an attack on the black queen. The natural reply is 19...Qc6, offering the exchange of queens, but after 20.Qf4! Black is uncomfortable against a quick build- up of Q-side pressure with Rac1, Be4 and perhaps even Na5.

19...Qc7 seems next most likely, to meet 20.Bf4 with 20...Qc6 when the white queen can no longer go to f4. The trouble is that 21.Be5! preserves a clear advantage for White.

Karpov played 19...Qa6! It looks decidedly odd putting the queen on the diagonal of White's bishop, but the knight has no good discovery. Kamsky's 20.a4 was a poor move (perhaps hoping for time to play a5 and Nb6), and after 20...Bc6 21.Qf4 Bd5 Black had a fine position. The "aggressive" 22.g4 is strongly met by ...g5!

Kamsky played 22.Ne5 Qb6 and now 23.Bxf5? was another error, losing all control of the white squares. Karpov played 23...exf5 and won at move 45.

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