Chess

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Today's game demonstrates conclusively that Bobby Fischer is wrong. Fischer, you may remember, has advocated a change in the rules of the game that entails randomising the positions of the pieces on the back rank (subject to a few constraints) at the start of the game. What the players in this game do, however, is contrive a far more profound randomisation after starting in the usual position. Generally, when games begin weirdly - either at Fischerandom or standard chess - the laws of good positional play ensure that a more or less normal position is soon reached. The pawns have to form a sound structure and the pieces then find their best squares. This time, however, nothing ever approaches normality.

The fun begins with 2...Qa5, which is the sort of move only adopted by a committed Sicilian player who hates having the fun taken out of his favourite opening with 2.c3. After this Q-side lurch, Black balances himself by lurching on the other wing with 5...h5 and 6...h4. Then, as if to prove that 2.c3 created an unacceptable weakness, 7...Ne5, 8...Qa6!? and 8...Qd6?! all attack the d3 square. Both 10...e6 (stopping Nd5) and 11...a6 (stopping Nb5) threatened g5, then White got into the spirit with 12.g5, 13.Bf1 and 14.Ng2. It is only with 42.Re4 that one realises what is going on at all. Amazing!

White: Ruslan Ponomaryov

Black: Sergei Movsesyan

World Junior Championship 1997

1 e4 c5 32 Rxe5 Qxe5

2 c3 Qa5 33 Bf3 Nxf3+

3 g3 Nc6 34 Qxf3 Bg5

4 Bg2 Nf6 35 Ng4 Qd4+

5 Ne2 h5 36 Kh2 Bxd5

6 h3 h4 37 Qxd5 Qxd5

7 g4 Ne5 38 cxd5 Re8

8 d3 Qa6 39 Kg2 Bf6

9 c4 Qd6 40 Rf4 Re2+

10 Nf4 e6 41 Kf3 Rxa2

11 Nc3 a6 42 Re4 Kf8

12 g5 Ng8 43 Nxf6 gxf6

13 Bf1 Ne7 44 Rxh4 Rd2

14 Ng2 Nec6 45 Rh8+ Kg7

15 Bf4 e5 46 Rh7+ Kg8

16 Be3 Ng6 47 Ke3 Rb2

17 Nd5 Be7 48 Rxd7 Rxb3

18 Be2 Nd4 49 d6 c4

19 Bh5 Nf8 50 h4 Rxd3+

20 f4 Ne6 51 Ke2 Rh3

21 g6 f5 52 Re7 Rh2+

22 0-0 exf4 53 Kd1 Rh1+

23 Bxd4 Nxd4 54 Kc2 Rh2+

24 exf5 0-0 55 Kc3 Rh3+

25 Rxf4 Bg5 56 Kb4 Rb3+

26 Re4 b5 57 Ka5 Ra3+

27 Qg4 Bd8 58 Kb6 Rd3

28 Rf1 Bb7 59 d7 b4

29 Nge3 Bf6 60 h5 Kf8

30 b3 Rae8 61 Rf7+ resigns

31 Qg2 Re5

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