Chess

On Saturday, Garry Kasparov emerged from a television studio in Cologne, Germany, a much relieved man. He had just defeated, by a score of 11/2-1/2, the computer program Chess Genius 2 which had knocked him out of the Intel Grand Prix in London last August. This time too, it was a close shave.

Running on a 120 MHz Pentium processor, the program could calculate around 33 percent faster than when they last played. At that encounter, however, Kasparov claimed that he had had insufficient time to prepare for it and had not been in the right frame of mind when the games were played.

After Saturday's games it is believed that Genius 2 whirred its cogs angrily at having had insufficient time to get used to the new 120 MHz processor. "I knew where I was with the old 90 MHz model," the machine was overheard grumbling.

As the moves of Saturday's first game show, the machine caused the world's strongest player a good deal of anxiety. Kasparov appeared to have a grip on the position from the opening, but Genius fought back with 9...Ne8, 10...f6 and 11...e5, introducing just the sort of complications one tries to avoid against a computer.

15...e4! 16...Nf6! and 18...Be6! were pure Genius, avoiding any weakening of the black pawn structure. After 20...Bxf3, Black stood better, but the machine became too greedy with 22...Qxa2?! (22...Qxf3 safely keeps the advantage) and 25...Qxb2? (23...Qa2! is essential).

After 26.Qc4! White is winning: 26...Qf6 loses to 27.R3d6 Qf6 28.Rd8+ Rxd8 29.Rxd8+ Bf8 30.Bh6. As the game went, 29.Bh6 led to a position in which White could always win the queen with Rxf8+, but Kasparov showed great skill in advancing his K-side pawns before doing so, to ensure a winning position.

White: G. Kasparov

Black: Genius 2

1 c4 c6 21 gxf3 Qd5

2 d4 d5 22 Rcd1 Qxa2

3 Nf3 Nf6 23 Rd7 Rf7

4 Nc3 a6 24 Rfd1 Qb3

5 c5 g6 25 R1d3 Qxb2

6 Bf4 Bg7 26 Qc4 Raf8

7 h3 0-0 27 Rxf7 Rxf7

8 e3 Nbd7 28 Rd8+ Bf8

9 Bd3 Ne8 29 Bh6+ Qa3

10 Rc1 f6 30 Qe6 Qc5

11 e4 e5 31 h4 Qb4

12 dxe5 Nxc5 32 f4 Qb1+

13 exd5 fxe5 33 Kh2 Qb4

14 Be3 Nxd3+ 34 Kg2 Qa3

15 Qxd3 e4 35 h5 gxh5

16 Qxe4 Nf6 36 f5 Qb4

17 Qc4 Nxd5 37 Rxf8+ Qxf8

18 Nxd5 Be6 38 Bxf8 Kxf8

19 0-0 Bxd5 39 f6 Rxf6

20 Qg4 Bxf3 Black resigned

William Hartston

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