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Chess: Outsider comes from behind

IVAN MOROVIC of Chile scored a surprising victory in the Las Palmas grandmaster tournament this week, overtaking a pack of more fancied runners. He started the event as the second-lowest rated of the 10 contestants, then began with a draw and a loss to confirm his status as an outsider.

After that, however, he did nothing wrong, making three wins (all with the black pieces) and three draws (all with White) to catch up with the leaders. In the final round he won with White against Larry Christiansen of the United States, while all around him were drawing or losing.

Morovic's style is reactive rather than aggressive but as his fine collection of Black wins shows he can be vicious when on the counter-attack. His fifth round win against the Spanish grandmaster Manuel Rivas is a good example.

White's restrained opening was met with matching caution as Morovic insisted on completing his development before taking any action in the centre. Between moves 15 and 20, he began his fight back, while White was losing his way entirely.

23 . . . Nf4] was well judged. After the minor piece exchange, Black threatens disruption with f3, and when White's knight rushed back to defend that square, Black's queen made the decisive incursion. 27 . . . Qxf2+] was a neat way to finish it off, when 28. Rxf2 Rxd1+ 29. Bxd1 Re1 is mate. At the end 29. Qxh6 allows mate on g2, while 29. Nf3 loses the bishop on c2.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Rivas Black: Morovic ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 c4 c6 16 Qe2 c5 2 Nf3 d5 17 Bc2 cxd4 3 e3 Nf6 18 Nxd4 g6 4 b3 e6 19 Qd2 Nf6 5 Bb2 Nbd7 20 Qc3 e5 6 Nc3 Bd6 21 Nb5 Bb4 7 Be2 0-0 22 Qh3 Nh5 8 0-0 Re8 23 Bc1 Nf4 9 d4 b6 24 Bxf4 exf4 10 Qc2 Bb7 25 Nd4 Bc5 11 Rad1 Qe7 26 Nf3 Qe2 12 e4 dxe4 27 Ng5 Qxf2+ 13 Nxe4 Nxe4 28 Kh1 h6 14 Qxe4 Rad8 White resigns 15 Bd3 f5 -----------------------------------------------------------------