Games: Chess

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The Independent Online
With three rounds left to play in the World Team Championship in Lucerne, England are in third place on 14 points, behind the United States, 15, and Russia, 141/2. The other scores are Armenia 13, Croatia 12, Ukraine 111/2, Kazakhstan and Switzerland 11, Cuba 91/2, Georgia 81/2.

The gap at the top closed in the sixth round as the US were held to a 2-2 draw by Armenia while Russia beat Ukraine 3-1 and England beat Kazakhstan 21/2-11/2. The English victory came thanks to a win by Jon Speelman and draws from Short, Sadler and Hodgson.

Perhaps the most significant result of the round was Russia's win against Ukraine. After a 31/2-1/2 win over Cuba in the first round, the Russians had drawn their next four matches. They seem now to have woken up again.

In the last three rounds, the US will meet Switzerland, Russia and Kazakhstan; Russia have still to play Croatia, US and Georgia; England's opponents will be Cuba, Ukraine and Armenia; and Armenia have to meet Georgia and Cuba as well as England. The last-round match between Armenia and England may well be crucial in deciding the title.

After their hesitancy in the early rounds, Russia was back to its old win-with-White, draw-with-Black routine in its match with the Ukraine. Alexander Khalifman had a particularly nice attacking win on second board. When Romanishin gave up the exchange with 19 ... b5 he was hoping for a Q-side attack with his mobile pawns. Once he had lost control of the d4- square, however, it was all over. White's 26.Bd4!! in the diagram position was a neat finish. As the game went, Black resigned because 28...Nh7 29.Rxh7 Kxh7 30.Rh1+ leads to mate. He must either have overlooked 26.Bd4 completely, or missed the fact that 26 ... Rxe4 can be met by 27.Bxg7! Nxd3 (Kxg7 loses to Qc3+) 28.Bf6 with a similar finish to that of the game.

White: Alexander Khalifman

Black: Oleg Romanishin

Queen's Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 15 hxg5 Nh7

2 c4 e6 16 f4 Re8

3 Nf3 b6 17 Bb5 Nhf8

4 Nc3 Bb7 18 0-0-0 a6

5 a3 g6 19 Bc6 b5

6 Qc2 Bxf3 20 Bxa8 Qxa8

7 exf3 Bg7 21 Ne4 b4

8 Bg5 c5 22 axb4 Qb8

9 d5 h6 23 f3 cxb4

10 Be3 exd5 24 Kb1 b3

11 cxd5 0-0 25 Qd3 Nc5

12 g4 d6 26 Bd4 Nxd3

13 h4 Nbd7 27 Nf6+ Bxf6

14 g5 hxg5 28 Bxf6 resigns

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