Three English grandmasters are among the leaders after four rounds of the Goodricke International Open in Calcutta. Speelman shares the lead with Yurtayev and Schlosser, all on 31/2 points, while Short and Levitt are in the group half a point behind.

The best game of the event so far has been the defeat of a Hungarian grandmaster by an Indian player rated some 300 points below him. The opening did not go badly for Horvath, but when he played 16...b4 he underestimated - or overlooked - White's reply. If he had seen it at all, he must have expected the piece sacrifice to be followed up with 18.Nxe6, when either 18...d5 or 18...Rf7 19.Ng5 d5 gives Black the advantage.

Instead, Neelakantan continued his attack by capturing on e6 with the bishop, then barging on with 19.e5. The remainder of Black's moves smack of sheer panic. First, he could calmly have returned the piece with 19...cxb2 20.exf6 Nxf6. Perhaps he had missed at this stage that 19...dxe5 20.Bxd7 Nxd7 would have allowed 21.Nxh7! Qxh7 22.Qxh7+ Kxh7 23.Rxd7+, regaining the piece with advantage.

Even after 20...Rd8 21.fxe5 Black would still have not been badly off if he had played 21...Ng8! (but not 21...Qxe5? 22.Rxf6!). When he played 21...Nxd7, he may have been seduced by the possibility of 22.Rxf8+ Nxf8 23.Rxd8 Qxd8 24.Nf7+ Kg8 25.cxb2! when Black wins. However, after 23.Nf7+! Black was lost. White's e-pawn romped home triumphantly, leaving the black c-pawn, on which so much faith had been placed, on the square it had occupied since accepting White's sacrifice 10 moves earlier.

White: N Neelakantan

Black: C Horvath

Calcutta 1998

Pirc Defence

1 e4 g6 15 Ng5 Rae8

2 d4 Bg7 16 f4 b4

3 Nc3 d6 17 Bc4 bxc3

4 Be3 a6 18 Bxe6+ Kh8

5 Qd2 b5 19 e5 dxe5

6 f3 Nd7 20 Bxd7 Rd8

7 Nh3 Bb7 21 fxe5 Nxd7

8 Be2 c5 22 Rxf8+ Nxf8

9 d5 Ngf6 23 Nf7+ Qxf7

10 Bh6 0-0 24 Rxd8 Kg8

11 0-0 Bxh6 25 e6 Qe7

12 Qxh6 e6 26 Qxf8+ Qxf8

13 dxe6 fxe6 27 e7 resigns

14 Rad1 Qe7

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