Chess: Kasparov the killer

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The Independent Online
NIGEL SHORT'S confidence will not have been enhanced by seeing the imperious manner in which Garry Kasparov took first place in Linares, Spain, this week. The tournament's 14 players included all the world's top eight, and one of those sharing ninth place in the current rating list.

Any calculation based on ratings would predict a humiliating defeat in the world championship for Short, who is, after all, ranked only eleventh in the world. Match play, however, is different from tournament play, and Short has shown a remarkable astuteness in his preparation, both technical and psychological, for match play. He will need something special to survive against Kasparov on Linares form.

Kasparov is a killer, as he showed in today's game, in which he ripped his predecessor apart in awesome style. Karpov's 9. Rd1 and 10. dxe5 was designed to make the recapture with Black's knight impossible, but Kasparov coolly sacrificed his d-pawn, and justified it brilliantly with 14 . . . b4]

After 15. Qxb4 c5] White's queen would be in trouble: 16. Qb5 Ba6 is very unpleasant, while 16. Bxc5 allows 16 . . . Nxc5] 17. Rxd8 (or 17. Qxc5 Nd3+) Ned3+, with a winning position for Black. Meanwhile 15. Na4 can be met by either Nc4 or Rxa4] followed by Nc4.

After Kasparov's energetic 21 . . . c4] and 22 . . . c3]] Karpov rejected 24. Rc1 when even Nxe5] is possible (25. fxe5 cxb1 and Qd2 mate, or 25. Rxc2 Nd3+ with a winning attack), returning the rook to exchange queens. Karpov lost on time with 13 moves still to make, but he would not have lasted for more than two of them. 28. Rg1 Bf5+ 29. Kb2 Rd1 is fatal.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Karpov Black: Kasparov ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 d4 Nf6 15 Nb1 Ng4 2 c4 g6 16 Bd4 Bxd4 3 Nc3 Bg7 17 Qxd4 Rxa2 4 e4 d6 18 h3 c5 5 f3 0-0 19 Qg1 Ngf6 6 Be3 e5 20 e5 Ne4 7 Nge2 c6 21 h4 c4 8 Qd2 Nbd7 22 Nc1 c3 9 Rd1 a6 23 Nxa2 c2 10 dxe5 Nxe5 24 Qd4 cxd1=Q 11 b3 b5 25 Kxd1 Ndc5 12 cxb5 axb5 26 Qxd8 Rxd8+ 13 Qxd6 Nfd7 27 Kc2 Nf2 14 f4 b4 White lost on time -----------------------------------------------------------------