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After reasserting his superiority in the Las Palmas tournament last month, Garry Kasparov is back in action in another powerful event at Linares in Spain.

Last year, the Linares event was cancelled when the sponsor became fed up with the dispute between Kasparov and Karpov over who was the real world champion.

This time there will be no squabbling, because Karpov is not there, pleading political commitments in Moscow for his absence. After his dismal result in Las Palmas, perhaps he will benefit from a break in order to sharpen his competitive edge again.

Karpov apart, however, everyone else is competing at Linares and the first round brought together the men currently ranked first and second in the world, with Kasparov playing Black against Anand. And a splendid fighting game they produced.

Avoiding the fashionable lines with a quick f4 and g4 against Kasparov's favourite Sicilian Defence, Anand reverted to a traditional build-up combining Q-side restraint with a gradual preparation for a K-side attack.

The critical moment came at move 30. White must create come attacking chances before Black develops his pressure against c2 and e4. The most natural move seems to be 31.Nf5, but Anand chose the more forthright 31.f5, hoping to develop an attack against g6.

It proved to be a bad misjudgement. After 31...g5! White had no way through and it was Black who assumed the initiative on the K-side. Anand's game fell apart completely in time trouble. At the end, 42.Ng3 Nxg3+ leaves White in a hopeless double pin, while 42.f6 Bf8 43.Ng7 Ng3+ is little better.

White: Viswanathan Anand

Black: Garry Kasparov

1 e4 c5 22 Nce2 Nxf3

2 Nf3 d6 23 gxf3 b5

3 d4 cxd4 24 axb5 axb5

4 Nxd4 Nf6 25 Bd4 Qc6

5 Nc3 a6 26 Qg2 b4

6 Be2 e6 27 Ng3 Qb5

7 0-0 Be7 28 Nxe6 fxe6

8 a4 Nc6 29 f4 e5

9 Be3 0-0 30 Bb2 Rc5

10 f4 Qc7 31 f5 g5

11 Kh1 Re8 32 Rce1 Qc6

12 Bf3 Rb8 33 Re2 Kf7

13 Qd2 Na5 34 Bc1 Rg8

14 Qf2 Nc4 35 Be3 Rc3

15 Bc1 e5 36 Bd2 Rxc2

16 Nde2 exf4 37 Bxb4 Rxe2

17 Nxf4 Be6 38 Qxe2 h5

18 b3 Ne5 39 Nxh5 Nxe4

19 Bb2 Rbc8 40 Qf3 g4

20 Rac1 Qc5 41 Qg2 Rh8

21 Qg3 g6 White resigns

After three rounds in Linares, the lead is shared by Kasparov, Kramnik, Polgar and Adams, all on 2 points. Topalov, Piket, Gelfand, Nikolic and Dreyev have 11/2, Shirov and Anand 1; Ivanchuk 1/2.