Games: Chess

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Not so long ago, any top-class international tournament tended to see the very best players drawing with each other, leaving the event to be decided by seeing which of them could be most effective at beating the weaker participants. Nowadays, however, the best young players are so combative that they try to beat each other all the time.

The current event in Belgrade is a good example. In the first round, Joel Lautier beat Viswanathan Anand, but Anand beat Kramnik in round two, and Lautier lost in round five to Boris Gelfand, who had been beaten by Alexei Shirov in the first round. After five rounds, Anand, Shirov and Ivanchuk share the lead on 31/2 points. Kramnik has 3 points, following this nice win in round five against Alexander Belyavsky.

The opening hardly looked like the sort of stuff to produce a quick Black win. After 13...Nd7 Belyavsky wisely declined the offer of a pawn, in favour of getting his king out of the centre.

Kramnik gained the initiative with 22...h5 and 24...h4, but White's 26.g4 looked like panic. After that move, his black squares invited the attack that followed.

The end came neatly with 33...Re3! and 34...Rxc3, when 35.Qxc3 allows mate on f2 and 35.Qxc3 is fatally met by 35...Bb5+ 36.Ke1 Re6+.

White: Belyavsky. Black: Kramnik

1 d4 Nf6 19 Nd4 Nxd4

2 c4 e6 20 exd4 Rc7

3 Nf3 d5 21 Qd3 g6

4 Nc3 Be7 22 Bg4 h5

5 Bg5 0-0 23 Bf3 Rce7

6 e3 h6 24 g3 h4

7 Bh4 b6 25 Qd2 Kg7

8 Qb3 Bb7 26 g4 Re6

9 Bxf6 Bxf6 27 h3 Bg5

10 cxd5 exd5 28 Qc2 Qd6

11 Rd1 Re8 29 Qb3 Bd8

12 Bd3 c5 30 Bg2 Qf4

13 dxc5 Nd7 31 Rc1 Bc7

14 c6 Bxc6 32 Rfd1 Rf6

15 0-0 Nc5 33 Qc2 Re3

16 Qc2 Rc8 34 Kf1 Rxc3

17 Bh7+ Kh8 White resigns

18 Bf5 Ne6