chess William Hartston

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The Independent Online
Just as Anatoly Karpov dominated the chess world between 1975 and 1985, and Garry Kasparov has reigned supreme from 1985 to 1995, all the indicators point to the next 10 years being shared between Viswanathan Anand and Gata Kamsky, (with Vassily Ivanchuk and Vladimir Ktramnik giving them an occasional fright). But what will happen after 2005?

Anyone looking for a long-odds, long-term investment could do much worse than bet on the world championship match in 2008 being between England's Luke McShane and France's Etienne Bacrot.

Luke, still only 11, has been beating international masters and even the occasional grandmaster for some time now, but he has just been overtaken in the super-prodigy league by the French 12-year-old.

At the beginning of this month, Etienne Bacrot secured the second norm towards his international master title by sharing first place in a tournament in Switzerland. Last weekend he did even better by gaining a place in the Paris leg of the Intel Grand Prix when he finished the qualifying tournament as the highest-placed Frenchman.

As the following game from the event in Switzerland shows, Bacrot's style is unsophisticated but resourceful. When his impressive centre was demolished in the late stages of the opening, he ran into difficulties, but after 19...Nh4, he responded to the threat of Nf3+ with great imagination.

After 20.f5! he had planned to meet 20...Nf3+ with 21.Qxf3! Bxf3 22.f6 when 22...Qd7 23.Rxg7+ Kh8 24.Rxh7+ leads to a draw.

Unwilling to allow this perpetual check, Black played 20...Nxf5, but must soon have been regretting it.

White: E Bacrot Black: JL Costa

1 d4 d5 19 h5 Nh4

2 c4 c6 20 f5 Nxf5

3 Nc3 e6 21 Bg5 Qc7

4 e4 Bb4 22 Bf6 g6

5 e5 Ne7 23 hxg6 fxg6

6 Nf3 c5 24 Bxf5 exf5

7 Bd2 0-0 25 Qc4+ Rf7

8 dxc5 Nbc6 26 Qxc5 Rxf6

9 Bd3 dxc4 27 exf6 Re8+

10 Bxc4 Ng6 28 Kd2 Qf4+

11 Qe2 Nd4 29 Kc2 Re5

12 Qe4 Nxf3+ 30 Qxa7 Be4+

13 gxf3 Qc7 31 Kb3 Re6

14 f4 Bd7 32 a4 Qc7

15 Rg1 Rac8 33 Qd4 Rb6+

16 Bd3 Bxc5 34 Ka3 Rd6

17 h4 Bc6 35 Qb4 1-0

18 Qe2 Qe7