chess
The Intel Grand Prix is currently in progress in New York - the second of four events in this speed chess extravaganza - with no major upset in the first round. That was bad news from the English point of view, since Michael Adams was paired against Garry Kasparov. The PCA world champion won 2-0 and is on course for a semi-final meeting with Vladimir Kramnik, the young Russian who knocked him out of two Grand Prix contests last year.

The good news for the British is that Jonathan Speelman is still in contention, having defeated Viktor Korchnoi in the opening round. Speelman won in a five-minute play-off game after two draws, but it was their first game that provided most excitement.

In the opening Korchnoi was unperturbed by typically Speelmanic inventiveness. With 2...b6, Black invited his opponent to grab the centre, which he then set about undermining with 6...Nh6 and 8...f5. When 9...Nc6 provoked a further advance with d5 and f4, White seemed in danger of over-extending, but after 15.Nc3 it was clear that Korchnoi had judged the position correctly: Black was cramped, with little prospect of freedom.

Speelman's 17...Qe7!? invited a combination: 18.d6 led to the win of two knights for rook and pawn, but Korchnoi then seemed to lose the thread of the game. When 25.Qd4 was met by Rad8! he realised that 26.Qxb6 d4 would be very good for Black.

The result was a huge Black attack of phase three, which Korchnoi did well to survive. Had Speelman not overlooked 44.Nef6+! White would have been in severe trouble. Instead he reached an endgame two pawns up. But it was still not enough to win. After all the complications, a draw was the only just result.

Korchnoi - Speelman

1 d4 e6 32 Kd2 Rfe8

2 c4 b6 33 Re1 Qxa2

3 e4 Bb7 34 Kc3 c4

4 f3 Bb4+ 35 Nc1 Qa5+

5 Bd2 Bxd2+ 36 Kc2 Qd5

6 Qxd2 Nh6 37 Na2 b5

7 Nc3 0-0 38 Nac3 Qf7

8 0-0-0 f5 39 Kc1 b4

9 Nh3 Nc6 40 Nd1 a5

10 d5 Ne5 41 Ndf2 a4

11 f4 Neg4 42 Ng4 c3

12 Be2 fxe4 43 bxc3 bxc3

13 Nxe4 exd5 44 Nef6+ gxf6

14 cxd5 Nf6 45 Nxh6+ Kf8

15 Nc3 a6 46 Nxf7 Rxe2

16 Bf3 Nf5 47 Rxe2 Kxf7

17 Qf2 Qe7 48 Kc2 Rc8

18 d6 Nxd6 49 Re4 Ra8

19 Rxd6 Bxf3 50 Kxc3 a3

20 Rxf6 Qxf6 51 Re1 Kg6

21 Qxf3 c6 52 Ra1 Kf5

22 g3 d5 53 Kb3 Kg4

23 Qd3 h6 54 Rxa3 Rb8+

24 Nf2 Qe6 55 Kc3 Kh3

25 Qd4 Rad8 56 Ra2 f5

26 Nd3 c5 57 Kd4 Re8

27 Qe5 Qf7 58 Kd5 Re1

28 Qe2 d4 59 Ra6 Kxh2

29 Ne5 Qe6 60 Rg6 Kg2

30 Ne4 d3 61 Rg5 Kf3

31 Nxd3 Qc4+ draw agreed

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