Games: Chess

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The Independent Online
When Garry Kasparov played the entire Argentine team in a simultaneous display last week, he lost only one game, winning six and drawing five. The match comprised two rounds, in each of which he played six opponents under normal conditions - except for the fact that his clock could well be running on all six boards at the same time.

Indeed, his opponents might have done better had they practised some synchronised moving beforehand. Instead, they took it all rather too seriously, made their moves when they were ready, and let Kasparov glide easily from board to board.

His only loss, however, did show some of the strains this type of play can create. Hugo Spangenberg, playing White, found just the right formula. What is needed is a sound yet complex strategy, unusual enough to force Kasparov to take difficult decisions over the board rather than relying on his repertoire of routine that covers almost any position he is likely to encounter.

In this game, the unusual 6.g3 line against the Najdorf Sicilian did the trick. Black's 14...Re8 (to leave f8 free for the bishop), followed by a5, Ba6 and Qb8 all looked natural enough, but after 19.b3 he was suddenly in trouble. White threatens to surround the b-pawn with Qd2 and Ra4, and could even, if necessary, consider lining up the bishop on d2 and queen on e1. Kasparov could find no satisfactory counterplay and resigned when the b-pawn fell.

In the final position (see diagram) 28...Rxc2 loses to 29.Qa4 Nb6 30.Qa5, while other moves condemn Black to a slow death as White plays c4 and slowly advances the Q-side pawns. With five other games to think about, Kasparov decided it was not worth continuing.

White: Hugo Spangenberg

Black: Garry Kasparov

Sicilian defence

1 e4 c5 15 a3 a5

2 Nf3 d6 16 Be3 Ba6

3 d4 cxd4 17 Re1 Qb8

4 Nxd4 Nf6 18 axb4 axb4

5 Nc3 a6 19 b3 Rc8

6 g3 e5 20 Qd2 Nc5

7 Nde2 Be7 21 Ra2 Bb7

8 Bg2 b5 22 Rea1 Rxa2

9 0-0 Bb7 23 Rxa2 Ba8

10 h3 Nbd7 24 Ne4 Nd7

11 g4 b4 25 Ra4 Qc7

12 Nd5 Nxd5 26 Ra7 Qd8

13 exd5 0-0 27 Ng3 Bf8

14 Ng3 Re8 28 Qxb4 1-0