Chess v

Before I tell you what it's all about, play through the following game and see what you think:

White: V. Anand

Black: J. Polgar

1 e4 c5 17 Rac1 Ne5

2 Nf3 e6 18 Nxb4 Bxe4

3 d4 cxd4 19 Nxa6 Qb7

4 Nxd4 Qb6 20 Rxe4 Nxe4

5 Nb3 a6 21 Nxb8 Nxd2

6 Nc3 Qc7 22 Bxb7 Nxb3

7 Be2 Nf6 23 cxb3 Rxb8

8 0-0 b5 24 Rc8+ Rxc8

9 Bf3 Nc6 25 Bxc8 Nc6

10 g3 Bb7 26 Bb7 Na5

11 Bg2 d6 27 b4 Nxb7

12 Re1 Be7 28 a5 Bd8

13 a4 b4 29 a6 Bb6

14 Na2 0-0 30 Be3 Nc5

15 Bf4 Rfd8 31 bxc5 dxc5

16 Qd2 Rab8 32 b4 resigns

From two such brilliant tacticians as Anand and Polgar, the fireworks in the middlegame are no surprise. Black's 18...Bxe4 invited 19.Bxe4? Nxe4 20.Rxe4? losing the queen to Nf3+ or 19.Rxe4 Nxe4 20.Bxe4 Qc4! when Black's double attack on b4 and e4 wins material.

Anand countered cleverly with 19.Nxa6! and 20.Rxe4! leading to an endgame in which he had an extra pawn, though after 25...Nc6, he needed to give some thought to the threat of a black-square blockade with ...d5 and Bb4.

He came up with a splendid solution. 26.Bb7!! looked like a blunder, inviting a fork of the bishop and the pawn on b3, but 27.b4! revealed the point of the idea. The knight on b7 just does not have sufficient space to turn in the tight corner and stop the a-pawn.

The bishop did its best to come to the rescue, but 30.Be3! and 32.b4! (again) stifled all resistance.

The remarkable feature of all this, however, is that the game, for all its bewildering tactics, was played at the rate of 25 minutes for each player. And, I nearly forgot to say, they couldn't see the pieces either.

It was played in the 4th Amber Rapid Chess and Blindfold tournament in Monaco, where 12 of the world's top players are enjoying themselves in a mixture of quickplay and quickplay blindfold matches.

First they play fast, then they play fast, with only an empty board on a computer screen to help their thoughts. Games such as the above support the view that chess pieces and a board are pure luxury for the top grandmasters. But it's hard work without them.

After four rounds in Monaco, the lead is shared by Kamsky, Karpov and Anand, each with 51/2 out of 8.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

SharePoint Administrator/Developer (C#, VB.NET, VISUAL STUDIO 2

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SharePoi...

European HR Director, London

£80000 - £95000 per annum: Charter Selection: A leading Global organisation Ja...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit