Click to follow
There was good news and bad news for England in the Chess Olympics over the weekend. An excellent 3-1 win over Israel in the eighth round was followed by a 21/2-11/2 defeat by Bosnia in round nine. In the latter match, Nigel Short lost to Predrag Nikolicwhile the other three games were drawn.

A few years ago, England regularly finished ahead of Yugoslavia in the Olympics. Curiously, they now find themselves - for the moment at least - behind three teams from that divided country. And as for the six from what used to be the Soviet Union, all that can be said is that the competition in this event has become considerably more intense with the dissolution of the Soviet empire.

Leading scores after round nine: Russia II 241/2; Estonia 24; Russia I and Georgia 231/2; Bosnia, Hungary, China, Ukraine and Yugoslavia 23; Netherlands, Romania, Armenia and Croatia 221/2; Lithuania and England 22.

Today's game, from a fourth round match between Yugoslavia and Russia I is a good example of the tactical exuberance of the recently liberated hordes of grandmasters from eastern Europe.

Bareyev's 7.Qe2 is a new and dynamic plan, delaying the recapture of the d-pawn until after castling Q-side. After 10...h6, he ignored the attack on his bishop and launched his own assault. The complications left Black with rook, knight and bishop for his queen, but he had to shed a couple more pawns to make his king safe.

At the end, it is anyone's guess what's going on. 31...gxh4 loses the bishop to Qf7+, so White will play 32.gxh5 or h5 with a dangerous passed pawn. The agreement to a draw was a sure sign that both players thought they stood worse.

White: Bareyev Black: Popovic 1 e4 e6 17 Qxe6 Re8

2 d4 d5 18 Qf7 Re7

3 Nd2 c5 19 Qf8+ Re8

4 Ngf3 cxd4 20 Qxg7 Re7

5 exd5 Qxd5 21 Qg8+ Re8

6 Bc4 Qd6 22 Qg6 Kc7

7 Qe2 Nf6 23 Qg8+ Re8

8 Nb3 Nc6 24 Qg6 Kc7

9 Bg5 a6 25 Re1 Bf4+ 10 0-0-0 h6 26 Kb1 Rad8

11 Nbxd4 hxg5 27 a3 Nc3+ 12 Nxe6 fxe6 28 bxc3 Rxe1+ 13 Rxd6 Bxd6 29 Nxe1 Rd1+ 14 Bxe6 Kd8 30 Ka2 Rxe1

15 Qd2 Ne4 31 h4 draw 16 Qd5 Bxe6