Chess

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Jonathan Speelman had an excellent win against Viktor Korchnoi in the first round of the New York leg of the Intel Speed Chess Grand Prix

Their first game - with each player allowed 25 minutes for all his moves - was a 61-move draw full of excitement from start to finish. With Speelman playing Black, the game opened 1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.e4 Bb7 4.f3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bxd2+ 6.Qxd2 Nh6! 7.Nc3 0-0 8.0-0-0 f5. His weird strategy did not equalise, but it was worth a few minutes on the clock.

An ingenious combination later won Korchnoi two knights for rook and pawn, but the knights seemed to trot in circles while Speelman's pawns galloped down the board.

Just as Korchnoi's game looked hopeless, he set a fine trap and swindled his way into an endgame two pawns up. Speelman then showed good technique to hold the draw - a fair result, all things considered.

After game two was also drawn, a play-off was needed. Speelman (White) had six minutes; Korchnoi had five, but needed only a draw to go through to the next round. Here is what happened. Five moves from the end, Black looks secure, but Speelman seeped in beautifully for a quick mating attack.

White: Speelman Black: Korchnoi

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 b6 5 Ne2 Ne4 6 Bd2 Nxd2 7 Qxd2 0-0 8 d5 Na6 9 a3 Be7 10 b4 Bf6 11 Rd1 exd5 12 Nxd5 d6 13 Nd4 Bd7 14 Be2 c5! 15 Nc2 Ba4! 16 0-0 Nc7 17 Bf3 Nxd5 18 Bxd5 Rc8 19 Rb1 Bxc2 20 Qxc2 cxb4 21 Rxb4 g6 22 Qd3 Qe7 23 g3 Bg7 24 a4 Rc5 25 h4 Kh8 26 Kg2 Qe5 27 Rc1 h5 28 Rc2 f5 29 Rb3 Rc7 30 a5 bxa5 31 Ra2 Rc5 32 Rba3 Re8 33 Rxa5 Rxa5 34 Rxa5 Re7 35 Rb5 Kh7 36 Qa3 Qc3 37 Qa6 Kh6 38 Rb8 Qd2 39 Rg8 Be5 40 Qc8 Kh7 41 Qf8 resigns. (After 41...Rc7, there is no reply to 42.Bf7.)

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