Games: Chess

Click to follow
The Independent Online
g, , ba,

,hx chn

h, ndv n

, , , ,

, ,HBH,

, V C ,H


, , ,GZ

It has been a strange and exciting week in the world of chess. The excitement came in Madrid, where Viswanathan Anand was in fine form and edged his rating within rage of the 2,800 mark, above which only Kasparov lives.

The strangeness came from Kasparov himself, who gave a virtuoso show- off performance by beating the entire Israeli team in a clock simultaneous display. Playing against four top grandmasters, with his clocks running on all four boards at the same time, he scored two draws and two wins (though agreeing a quick draw on top board to allow more time for the other games was a bit sneaky). The puzzle, though, is why four top grandmasters set themselves up for such a humiliating experience.

Both the above events produced fine games, but the most attractive win of the week came in a match in the Netherlands between the veteran Dutch grandmaster Jan Timman and their most promising player of the younger generation, Loek van Wely. After seven games of the 10-game encounter, van Wely led by two points, but Timman fought back to end with honours even at 5-5. Timman's equalising win was the best game of the match.

The idea of a quick h3 and g4 in similar Sicilian lines is well known but not considered particularly dangerous; but in this position, with Be3 and Nc6 already played, Black had no way to steer for positions known to be safe.

Just as van Wely was settling down to a strategically complex middlegame, he must have been startled by Timman's double exchange sacrifice. In the diagram position Timman played 16.Rxf6! Bxf6 17.Rxf6! gxf6 18.Qf2 Kg7 19.e5!! and there was no defence. After 20.Bxh6+ Kxh6 21.Qf6+ Kh7 22.Be4+ Kg8 23.Qg5+ White forces mate, and in the final position, Black can do nothing against Qg5+ or Qh5+.

A spirited performance by the 47-year-old Timman.

White: Jan Timman

Black: Loek van Wely

1 e4 c5 12 Qxd4 e5

2 Nf3 d6 13 Qd2 exf4

3 d4 cxd4 14 Rxf4 Be6

4 Nxd4 Nf6 15 Raf1 0-0

5 Nc3 a6 16 Rxf6 Bxf6

6 Be3 Nc6 17 Rxf6 gxf6

7 h3 e6 18 Qf2 Kg7

8 g4 Be7 19 e5 fxe5

9 Bg2 h6 20 Bxh6+ Kg6

10 f4 Qc7 21 Qh4 resigns

11 0-0 Nxd4