15 APRIL 1995, Page 52


Plus ca change .

Raymond Keene

NOW CONSIDER THIS: 'That the cham- pionship should be the private property of the champion is anomalous enough; it is a greater anomaly that it should become the property of a commercial organisation, however benevolent its attitude towards chess. Fide can scarcely be expected to abdicate its claims, and there is some dan- ger that in time we might see simultaneous- ly two rival champions of the world, each claiming to be unique . . . On the other hand here is a wealthy body, ready to spend its money upon a game that is constantly cramped for lack of financial support, and able to show proof that it knows how to spend it fruitfully. Evidently the ideal solu- tion would be that the commercial compa- ny should come to terms with Fide. But, failing that, what most lovers of the game principally desire is to see the greatest mas- ters frequently brought together over a chessboard.'

This might appear to be a description of recent events and the current standing con- cerning the modern world championship where Fide, the World Chess Federation, and the Professional Chess Association, supported by Intel, have both laid claim to the title. In fact, those words were written in the Times on 29 November 1938 by Sir Stuart Milner-Barry. What he was describ- ing was an offer by the Avro company in Holland (which had just sponsored the great tournament won by Fine and 'Ceres ahead of Botvinnik, Alekhine and Capa- blanca) to privatise the world champion- ship. The parallels with the present day are extraordinary.

At least, though, some clarity has now descended after Anand defeated Kamsky in the PCA cycle. We now know that Kasparov will face Anand for the PCA title in Cologne over September and October while Kamsky will challenge Karpov for the Fide title later this year. The planned grand reunification match between Fide and the PCA, designed by Kasparov and Campomanes to occur next year, can now also proceed without the possibility of the curious anomaly, as Sir Stuart might have put it, that Kamsky might have had to play himself in that encounter. This could only have come to pass if Kamsky had emerged unscathed from both the PCA and Fide qualifiers, but this eventuality is now impossible. The most likely outcome is that Kasparov will probably defeat Anand (Nigel Short puts Anand's chances at around 40 per cent), while Karpov will defeat Kamsky. The grand reunification final next year will then treat us to the sixth clash between Kasparov and his old rival Karpov. Karpov's chances cannot be com- pletely written off, in spite of his earlier defeats at the hands of his younger rival. Indeed, Karpov still maintains an immense zest for battle, as can be seen from the fol- lowing game, which was probably his best win from the match against Gelfand which launched him into the Fide final. We join the game after Black's 20th move.

Karpov—Gelfand: Fide Candidates, Sanghi Nagar, 1995; Granfeld Defence.

(Diagram) From this position the game contin- ued 21 Rd l Ned5 22 Nd2 Re8 23 Nc4 1118 24 Ne4 Bb5 Now Black cannot play 24 ... Bc6 on account of 25 Nxb6 winning a pawn. 25 Re2 Walking into a self-pin with the aim of doubling his rooks in the 'c' file. 25 ... Be7 26 Rec2 Rb8 27 Qd2 Rf8 (Diagram) Karpov has placed his pieces on optimum squares for the moment so he Position after 27. . . Rf8 switches to a demonstration against Black's king. 28 h4 Ne8 Gelfand panics. He needs this knight to bolster d5 not on the kingside. Black should probably pass with a move like 28 ...Kh8. 29 Ne3 Ng7 30 Nc3 Black has been tricked. ICarpov's knights were not heading for the king- side after all. Suddenly White has three pieces aiming at d5, the Black blockade is broken and White can soon achieve his longed-for ambition to advance in the centre. 30 ... Nxc3 31 Rxr.3 g5 A sign of desperation. As I have said before, against Karpov all pawn moves tend to be weak- ening, and this is an extreme example. 32 Ing5 fxg5 33 Ng4 gxf4 34 gxf4 Bd6 35 Rf3 Karpov is in no hurry. Now that Gelfand has essentially wrecked his own kingside, Katpov's massed legions, which had seemed poised for penetra- tion in the 'c' file, now shunt easily around to the other side of the board in preparation for the decisive attack. 35 ...Be8 36 Ne5 Nf5 37 d5 The ultimate humiliation for Black's strategy based on blockading the d5 square. Now all the lines open up very unpleasantly against the black king. 37 ... Bxe5 38 fxe5 Ftb7 If 38 ... Qxd5 39 Rg3+ wins Black's queen, but Black might as well have risked 38 ... exd5 (probably met by 39 e6), which cannot be worse than the text and at least leaves him with an extra pawn. 39 KU Rg7 40 Bh3 Bh5 41 Rf4 White's pressure against the knight on f5 means that Black no longer has the option to capture White's pawn in the centre. Next move Karpov eliminates Black's knight which was his last active piece. 41 ...Kh8 42 BLS exf5 43 B1i4 The rest is very simple mopping up. White con- trols most of the board, has two connected passed pawns and the lethal threat of Bf6. 43 ...Qe8 44 Bf6 Bg4 45 Bxg7+ ICxg7 46 Rc7+ Kh8 47 e6 Qh5+ 48 Kgl Qg5 49 Ka There are other choices such as 49 Qc3+ or 49 Qd4+ but ICarpov's decision to run his king out of the fir- ing line is sufficient to cause Black's resignation. 49 ...Qh4+ 50 Ke3 Black resigns After 50

Qg3+ 51 Kd4 Qgl+ 52 ICc3 Qg3+ 53 Kb4 Black will have completely run out of steam.