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Michael Adams began the Linares tournament in fine style with a hard-fought win against the Russian grandmaster Alexei Dreyev. White's 6.g3 is generally considered innocuous, whether Black plays g6 or e6 in reply, but Adams introduced an interesting idea with 9.e5.

After 9...dxe5, the continuation 10.Bxc6+ Bd7 11.Bxa8 Qxa8 has long been considered highly dubious for White. The gaping white squares on his K- side make life most uncomfortable and give Black plenty of compensation for the exchange sacrificed. But Adams's quiet exchange of queens left him with a superior pawn formation.

When Dreyev played 12...Rxb2!? he must have calculated 13.0-0-0+ Kc7 14.Kxb2 Kxc6 15.Bxa7 Bf5 as satisfactory for Black, whose rook operating on the Q-side files and pawn majority on the K-side combine to make life difficult for his opponent.

Adams improved his prospects with the clever 14.Bb5! when the black rook is still trapped and Black wins the a-pawn with his knight rather than bishop, cutting down Black's Q-side play. White always looked better in the rest of the game, but it took great skill to restrain Black's counterplay.

White: Michael Adams

Black: Alexei Dreyev

1 e4 c5 28 Nxf5 Rb4+

2 Nf3 Nc6 29 Kc1 gxf5

3 d4 cxd4 30 c3 Ra4

4 Nc3 Nf6 31 Kb2 Kb5

5 Nc3 d6 32 Rd2 Be7

6 g3 g6 33 Bg5 e3

7 Bg2 Bg7 34 Bxe3 Kc4

8 Nxc6 bxc6 35 Ra1 Rxa1

9 e5 dxe5 36 Kxa1 Nd5

10 Qxd8+ Kxd8 37 Kb2 Bd8

11 Bxc6 Rb8 38 Kc2 Ba5

12 Be3 Rxb2 39 Rd1 h5

13 0-0-0+ Kc7 40 Bd2 Bb6

14 Bb5 Rb4 41 Be1 f4

15 a3 Rxb5 42 Ra1 f3

16 Nxb5+ Kb7 43 Ra4+ Kc5

17 Nxa7 Bf5 44 c4 Nf6

18 Kb2 Ng4 45 Ba5 Nd7

19 Nb5 Rc8 46 Kd3 f5

20 Rd2 Ka6 47 Bxb6+ Kxb6

21 a4 e4+ 48 Ke3 e4

22 Bd4 Bh6 49 Rb4+ Kc6

23 Re2 e5 50 Rb5 Nc5

24 Ba7 Rc4 51 Rb8 Nd7

25 h3 Nf6 52 Rh8 Ne5

26 Nd6 Rxa4 53 Kd4 Nd3

27 Be3 Bf8 54 Rxh5 resigns