10 NOVEMBER 1990, Page 60


Level crossing

Raymond Keene

With one game to go in the New York section of the world championship the scores are still level. Defensive play has been taking precedence over attack. I broke off my coverage last week with the 7th game, in which Karpov equalised the scores and I now join game 8 with Kaspar- ov in a promising position after yet another successful Ruy Lopez opening.

Kasparov — Karpov: World Championship Fin- al, Game 8.

In this position it is quite clear that White stands extremely well and Kasparov could have in- creased his advantage, which consists in mobile aggressive pawns and generally more active pieces, by playing 30 Rf3 with the plan of Rg3 and Qg4. Against this Black is largely helpless. Instead Kasparov thought he could see a way to end the game at once but he overlooked a vital defensive resource. 30 Qh4 f6l What Kasparov had not seen in his euphoria was that 31 exf6 fails to 31 . . . Qd6+ and . . Qxf6 with a defensible position. 31 Qg3 Kf8 32 Khl White should at least have played 32 exf6 gxf6 33 Qxc7 with an extra pawn though after 33 . . . Qd6+ 34 Qxd6 Rxd6 the ending is almost certainly a draw. 32 . . . Qc5 33 exf6 gxf6 34 13b3 Nd5 35 Qh4 Kg7 36 Rd1 c6 37 Rd4 This is a blunder in Karpov's (!) time trouble. White could achieve the same objectives and avoid the loss of his c3 pawn by playing 37 Rd3. 37 . . . Qxc3 38 Rg4+ Kh8 39 Bxd5 Qal+ 40 Kh2 Qe5+ Kasparov now sealed his move. There has been a complete turn-around and he must struggle for a draw. Everyone expected Karpov to win with his normally4superb technique but in the second session lib repeatedly ran himself short of time. 41 Rg3 cxd5 42 Qg4 Qc7 43 Qd4 Qd6 44 Khl! To meet 44 . . . Qxg3 with 45 Qxf6+. 44 . . . Re8 45 Qg4 Qd7 46 Rd3 Rel+ 47 Kh2 Re4 48 Qg3 Re5

49 Ra3 Re8 50 Qf4 Qb7 51 Khl Qb8 52 Qh4 Qb6 53 Qb4 d4 With his clock flag hanging Karpov misses the crusher 53 . . . 0f2 which would have won, e.g. 54 Qxb5 Rel+ 55 Kh2 Qf4+ 56 g3 Qf2 mate. Alternatively 56 Rg3 Re3 winning White's rook since White has no checks with the queen. 54 Rg3 Qc7 55 Rd3 Qcl+ 56 Kh2 Qf4+ 57 Kg1 Qcl+ 58 Kh2 Qf4+ 59 Kgl Rc8 60 Rdl Rd8 61 Qxb5 White has restored material equality and by managing to blockade Black's passed pawn, eventually achieved a draw.

Karpov — Kasparov: World Championship Fin- al, Game 9.

Game 9 was something of an anti-climax with both players clearly exhausted after their marathon struggle of game 8. In this position Karpov could have played on with either 32 Bf4 or the interesting 32 Bel. Instead he chose 32 Bd2 RxdS 33 Bf3 RddS 34 BxaS and a draw was agreed. Karpov later claimed that 32 Bd2 was a slip of the hand but this just sounds to me like a convenient story. More likely is that he was very tired and wanted to force a draw, even though playing White, but did not wish to admit this openly.

Kasparov — Karpov World Championship Fin- al: Game 10, Petroff Defence. Game 10 was a triumph for a minor subway of chess theory but hardly a game to stir nations 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 d4 exd4 4 e5 Ne4 5 Qxd4 d5 6 exd6 Nxd6 7 Nc3 Nc6 8 Qf4 Karpov produced the novelty 8 S. . . Nf5 against which Kasparov could find absolutely zero. The pieces were swiftly hoovered off and a draw came on move 18. Although this kind of thing is boring for the

spectators it's very useful in a match to be able to score painless draws with the black pieces. Kasparov as White is rather like Boris Becker with the serve and although such a game is not equivalent to a break of service (unlike chess, draws don't exist in tennis; someone has to win) it could be construed as a dent.

And so we come to game 11 one of the more exciting draws of this match.

Karpov Kasparov: World Championship Fin- al; Game II, King's Indian Defence. 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 Nf3 0-0 6 Be2 e5 7 Be3 exd4 8 Nxd4 Re8 9 f3 c6 10 Qd2 d5 11 exd5 cxd5 12 0-0 Nc6 13 c5 A well-known position played many times before where White was considered to have a small advantage but Kasparov's 13th move sacrifice may totally upset this verdict. 13 . . . Rxe3 14 Qxe3 (2113 An amazing idea which nobody had predicted. Black speculates with the weakness of White's pawn on c5. I had been looking at 14 . . . Nxd4 15 Qxd4 Ng4 16 Qd2 (16 Qxd5 Bd4+) 16 . . . Nxh2 17 Rd1 (17 Kxh2 Qh4+ 18 Kgl Bd4+) 17 . . . Qh4 18 Nxd5 Be6 19 Nc7 Be5 20 Nxa8 Nxf3+ 21 Bxf3 Bh2+ 22 1(11 Bc4+ 23 Be2 Qf6+ but somewhere in all this I feel there must be a refutation. Kasparov's move is much deeper and stronger. 15 Nxc6 bxc6 16 Khl Rb8 17 Na4 Rb4 A tremendous way to activate the rook which now operates on both flanks. 18 b3 Be6 19 Nb2

Position after 22 . . g4

Nh5 20 Nd3 Rh4 21 Qf2 Qe7 22 g4 (Diagram) It looks now as if Black must retreat or supinely capture on al when his pieces on the king's wing are stranded. Instead comes a superbly sparkling way to force a draw by perpetual check. 22 . . • Bd4 23 Qxd4 Rxh2+ 24 Kxh2 Qh4+.

Scores after eleven games:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 91011Total Kasparov 1/2 1 1/21/21/21/2 0 1/21/21/21/2 51/2 Karpov 1/201/21/21/21/2 1 1/21/21/21/2 51/2