Here is the game that decided the European Team Championship. When England lost in the last round by 11/2-21/2 to Germany, only a highly unlikely 4-0 in the Russia-Belarus match could have deprived them of the gold medals. But it nearly happened. Russia won by 31/2-1/2, and this is the draw that saved England.

When Fedorov (Belarus) played a King's Gambit with 4.b3, the English must have been worried, but it led to a bizarre middlegame, with White obtaining definite compensation when he found himself forced to give up rook for knight at move 15.

Svidler's combination with 22...Bxd4 was ingenious, leaving a position after 25...Rxe5 in which White seemed to have too many threats: Rxe2, Rxf5 and Qa1+ are the main ones.

But White saved himself with a rook sacrifice. At the end Black must take a draw or lose with 27...Kf8 28.Qf6+ Ke8 29.Qh8+ Ke7 30.Qg7+ Kd6 31.Qf6+ Kc5 (or 31...Kxd5 32.Bc4+ Kc5 33.Nd3+) 32.Nd3+ Kxd5 33.Bf3+.

White: Alexei Fedorov

Black: Peter Svidler

1 e4 e5 15 gxf4 Nxd1

2 f4 exf4 16 Nxd1 Nf6

3 Nf3 h6 17 Bc4 Bf5

4 b3 d5 18 Nf2 Nh5

5 exd5 Nf6 19 Rg1 g6

6 Bb2 Be7 20 Ne5 Nxf4

7 Nc3 0-0 21 Qf3 Qh4

8 Qe2 Nbd7 22 d4 Bxd4

9 0-0-0 Re8 23 Bxd4 Ne2+

10 Qf2 Ng4 24 Bxe2 Qxd4

11 Qd4 Bf6 25 Qxf5 Rxe5

12 Qg1 Be7 26 Rxg6+ fxg6

13 g3 Bc5 27 Qxg6+

14 Qg2 Nf2 Draw agreed

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