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Chess v

The Melody Amber Rapid Chess and Blindfold Tournament in Monaco, named in honour of the daughter of its Dutch sponsor, Joop van Oosterom, looks like providing another trophy for Anatoly Karpov's collection. At fast rates of play, and particularly with the strain of playing half the games blindfold, the younger grandmasters usually do best, but Karpov, at 43 the oldest player in the field, is showing few signs of slowing down. With 101/2 points from 14 games he holds a 2-point lead over Viswanathan Anand, with Gata Kamsky and Judit Polgar half a point further back.

The best game so far, however, has been Polgar's win over Vassily Ivanchuk. Black's troubles began in the opening. Playing 10...Nc5, then dithering too long over taking the bishop on d3, he found himself in difficulties after 15.Qg3. With 15...Nxd3 16.Rxd3 putting his d-pawn under more pressure, he played the casual 15...Rad8, leading to further trouble after 16.Bd2! Since 16...Nxd3 is met by 17.Nd5! he had to retreat his queen but 17.a5! pushed him further back: 17...Qxb2 18 Rb1 Qa3 19.Ra1 and 20.Rfb1 traps the queen, while 17...Qxa5 18.Nd5 is still fatal.

Polgar's forcing 19.Bxc5 and 20.e5 kept the initiative, but her 24.Re1 - necessary to defend the e-pawn - seemed to give Black a breathing space. His 24...Ne6 and 25...Qxe5, however, allowed a spectacular finish. After 26.Rxf7!! the rook is immune: 26...Kxf7 27.Qxh7+ and now 27...Qg7 28.Rf1+, or 27...Kf8 28.Rf1+ Nf4 30.Rxf4+ Qxf4 31.Qh8+ Kf7 32.Bc4+ or 27...Ng7 28.Bc4+ Rd5 29.Rf1+ Ke6 30.Nc3, Black is lost in all lines. As the game went, White's 29.Qb3! posed unanswerable threats. 29...Bxg5 loses to 30.Re7+ Kh8 31.Rxe1 Rxe1 32.Qc3+ and Ivanchuk's ingenious 29...c4 and 30...Rc8 (to cut out the check on c3 if the queen returns to b3) fell to the brilliant 31.Rf8+! At the end 32...Kh6 33.Nf7 is mate.

White: Judit Polgar

Black: Vassily Ivanchuk

1 e4 c5 17 a5 Qa7

2 Nf3 d6 18 Be3 Qb8

3 d4 cxd4 19 Bxc5 dxc5

4 Nxd4 Nf6 20 e5 Bxf3

5 Nc3 a6 21 Rxf3 Nh5

6 f4 e5 22 Qh3 g6

7 Nf3 Nbd7 23 g4 Ng7

8 a4 Be7 24 Re1 Ne6

9 Bd3 0-0 25 Ne4 Qxe5

10 0-0 Nc5 26 Rxf7 Ng5

11 Kh1 exf4 27 Nxg5 Qxe1+

12 Bxf4 Bg4 28 Bf1 h5

13 Qe1 Re8 29 Qb3 c4

14 Rd1 Qa5 30 Qxc4 Rc8

15 Qg3 Rad8 31 Rf8+ Kg7

16 Bd2 Qb6 32 Qg8+ resigns