Chess: Candidates head for close finish

AS THE FINAL games in the Fide Candidates' matches approach, writes William Hartston, nobody can yet breathe easily. Anand, who had seemed to be coasting to victory against Kamsky, had his lead reduced to a single point after the sixth of eight scheduled games. Gelfand and Kramnik were level after five games, with the sixth adjourned in a better position for Gelfand. Timman won his opening game against Salov and has been jealously guarding his extra point since then, with a series of grim defensive efforts to hold poor positions. He is still a point ahead, with four games completed, but Salov has good winning chances in an adjourned game.

Game four of the Kamsky-Anand match brought Anand his second victory. Normally, in the position reached after six moves, White quietly completes his development with e3, Bd3 and 0-0, or goes for occupation of the centre with Qc2 and e4, followed by Bd3 and 0-0. Kamsky introduced a more vigorous

plan, playing Bd2, ready to castle Q-side and recapture with the bishop on c3.

Anand responded with c6, b5 and a5, getting his Q-side pawns rolling, but the position erupted with 14. d5. Kamsky's 17. exd5 threatened Bxf6 followed by mate on h7; Anand responded with an imaginative sacrifice of the exchange; Kamsky gave it back to maintain the initiative.

That was his mistake. 20. Rxd5?] was an error of judgement, as became clear when Anand found 24 . . .d4] forcing White to give up his queen. The position was still by no means clear, but Anand played excellently, using his knight for defence and queen to create threats. 46 . . . a3] was a neat way to lure the white rook away from defence of c5, and 51 . . . h3] provided a neat echo to finish the game.

White: Kamsky

Black: Anand

1 d4 Nf6 28 Nf3 Qxb4+

2 c4 e6 29 Kd3 a4

3 Nf3 b6 30 Nd2 Qb7

4 a3 Bb7 31 f3 Qa8

5 Nc3 d5 32 Nc4 Nd5

6 cxd5 Nxd5 33 Nd6 Nf4+

7 Bd2 Be7 34 Kd2 Ne6

8 Qc2 0-0 35 Bc3 Qd8

9 e4 Nxc3 36 Rd5 Qxh4

10 Bxc3 Nd7 37 Ne4 Kf8

11 0-0-0 c6 38 Bb4+ Kg7

12 h4 b5 39 Rd7 g5

13 Rh3 a5 40 Bc3+ Kg6

14 d5 cxd5 41 Ke3 h5

15 Bxb5 Nf6 42 Ra7 Qh2

16 Ng5 Qb6 43 Kf2 Qb8

17 exd5 Rac8 44 Ra6 Qc8

18 Bd7 Bxd5 45 Ra5 h4

19 Bxc8 Rxc8 46 Nf6 a3

20 Rxd5 exd5 47 Rxa3 Qc5+

21 Qf5 Qa6 48 Kf1 Qb5

22 Kd2 g6 49 Kg1 Qe2

23 Qe5 Re8 50 Ng4 Nf4

24 Re3 d4 51 Nf2 h3

25 Bxd4 Bb4+ 52 Ra8 h2+

26 axb4 Rxe5 53 Kxh2 Qxf2

27 Rxe5 Qc4 White resigns