Chess

Jonathan Speelman scored a fine result to share first place at Pamplona last week. Perhaps the atmosphere of a town where people like to run away from charging bulls suited him. In the following game, however, Speelman needed his best china-shop delicacy to bring home the full point.

After the unusual 7.d5, the logical continuation is 7...h6 followed by g5 and Nh5 to force the exchange of the bishop. As played, Black was rather cramped but Speelman's decision to open the game with 17.h3 and 18.g4 was brave all the same. After 18...fxg4 19.Bxg6 gxh3 20.Bf5 White would stand clearly better, but the game became wild when Speelman set free the bishop on b7 by allowing his d-pawn to be captured. His judgement was justified by the final rearrangement of his attacking forces to create a threat against h6 that could not be met.

White: Jonathan Speelman

Black: Pia Cramling

1 d4 Nf6 19 gxf5 bxc4

2 Nf3 g6 20 Nxc4 Ncxd5

3 c4 Bg7 21 Re6 Nxc3

4 Nc3 0-0 22 Rxd6 Qc7

5 Bg5 d6 23 bxc3 Rad8

6 e3 c5 24 Rxd8 Rxd8

7 d5 e5 25 Ne5 g5

8 Nd2 h6 26 Bg3 gxf4

9 Bh4 Na6 27 Bxf4 Nd5

10 Bd3 Nc7 28 Ng6 Nxf4

11 0-0 Qd7 29 Rxf4 Bf6

12 a3 Nh7 30 Be4 Ba6

13 f4 exf4 31 Rg4 Kh7

14 exf4 f5 32 Nf4 Qe5

15 Qc2 Nf6 33 Ne6 Rb8

16 Rae1 b6 34 Qd2 Bc4

17 h3 Bb7 35 Rg6 resigns

18 g4 b5

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