Games: Chess

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After disposing of the Israeli team in a simultaneous display last week, Garry Kasparov found another opportunity to show his speed of thought in a blitz match against Peter Svidler, played over the Internet as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the state of Israel. Kasparov won both games of the match, with a most impressive blend of strategy and tactics, particularly in the first game.

In a quiet Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez, Kasparov seemed in danger of letting the game become too blocked. He showed how perfectly he had judged the potential of White's position when, in the diagram position after 37...R8d7, he pushed on with 38.g5!

Now 38...fxg5 loses the e-pawn, while 38...hxg5 is met by 39.h6, so Svidler tried to keep the game closed with 39...Ba5. rather than allow counterplay with 45.Qxh6 e4, Kasparov kept his grip on the game and set up the lovely finish with 48.Bxh6+!

At the end, Black is dead after either 54...Rxg7 55.hxg7+ Kxg7 56.Qh6+ and mate in three, or 54...Kh8 55.Qg1 Rd8 56.Qg6.

Kasparov must feel content with his trip to Israel. If he can beat four grandmasters simultaneously, then, for an encore, play a masterpiece in five minutes, one wonders what he will do with plenty of time and only one opponent.

White: Garry Kasparov

Black: Peter Svidler

1 e4 e5 28 Ng6+ Kg8

2 Nf3 Nc6 29 f4 Nxg6

3 Bb5 a6 30 fxg6 Rde7

4 Ba4 Nf6 31 f5 Rd7

5 0-0 Be7 32 Bc3 Red8

6 Bxc6 dxc6 33 Kf1 Bc7

7 d3 Nd7 34 Re3 Bb6

8 b3 c5 35 Rf3 Qc7

9 Bb2 Bd6 36 Kg2 Rd6

10 Nbd2 0-0 37 Rh3 R8d7

11 Nc4 f6 38 g5 Ba5

12 Nh4 Nb8 39 Bb2 Qd8

13 Nf5 Bxf5 40 gxh6 gxh6

14 exf5 Nc6 41 Qe3 bxc4

15 Qf3 Qd7 42 bxc4 Qb8

16 Qe4 Kh8 43 Ba3 Bb4

17 Rfe1 b5 44 Bc1 Bc3

18 Ne3 Nd4 45 Qe2 Kg7

19 c3 Nc6 46 Qc2 Qb4

20 Rad1 Rad8 47 Kh1 Qa5

21 h4 Rfe8 48 Bxh6+ Kxh6

22 h5 h6 49 Qc1+ Kg7

23 g3 Ne7 50 h6+ Kh8

24 g4 c6 51 g7+ Kh7

25 c4 Bb8 52 Rg1 Rd8

26 Ng2 Qb7 53 g8Q+ Rxg8

27 Nh4 Rd7 54 Rg7+ 1-0

Alexei Shirov has taken the lead in the match to find a challenger for Kasparov. He beat Vladimir Kramnik in 63 moves in their fourth game.