Chess / A knight to remember

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The Independent Online
When Garry Kasparov defended his PCA world title in New York recently, he chose Vladimir Kramnik to lead his personal think-tank of analysts and theoreticians. In today's game, from the recent Belgrade tournament, Kramnik shows the credentials that make him Kasparov's favourite secret weapon.

With 11.g3, White aims for a more quiet life than in the sharp lines with 11.c3 or 11.Bd3. Black is meant to be discouraged from playing f5 because of the scope it will give to a white bishop on g2. That's fine in theory, except that Kramnik never gave White time to put his bishop on g2.

With 11...f5! and 12...e4! he launched an imaginative assault on the long black diagonal. Black's position looks recklessly loose, but when he met 15.Qd5 by simply castling, it became clear that White had over-reached.

After 16.Qxc6 Qxb2, Black's attack breaks through, while 18.Qxc6 cxb2 has a similar effect. By the time Ljubojevic succeeded in exchanging queens, his game was hopeless.

A remarkable game with the knight on c6 offered as a sacrifice for four consecutive moves.

White: Lubomir Ljubojevic

Black: Vladimir Kramnik

1 e4 c5 13 f6 Bxf6

2 Nf3 Nc6 14 Nxf6+ Qxf6

3 d4 cxd4 15 Qd5 0-0

4 Nxd4 Nf6 16 c3 b4

5 Nc3 e5 17 Nc4 bxc4

6 Ndb5 d6 18 Qxd6 Be6

7 Bg5 a6 19 Qf4 Qg7

8 Na3 b5 20 0-0-0 Nb4

9 Bxf6 gxf6 21 Qe5 Nxa2+

10 Nd5 Bg7 22 Kb1 Qxe5

11 g3 f5 23 Nxe5 Bb3

12 exf5 e4 White resigns