16 SEPTEMBER 2000, Page 58

Rdbe The Ultimate Islay Malt.




Beholder's eye

Raymond Keene

WORLD Championship matches often pro- duce outstanding examples of chess art, despite the fact that the players are subject- ed to intense psychological pressures, when the supreme title is at stake. In the run-up to the forthcoming World Championship clash in London I will be giving a selection of what I consider to be the most beautiful games of chess ever played. What are the criteria for beauty in chess? Thunderous tactical bril- liance, sheer mathematical calculation or even the nebulous area of general aesthetic impact: all these must be weighed in the bal- ance. This week's game is a sample of fiber- tactics at their most coruscating.

Anderssen–Zukertort: Barmen, 1869; Evans Gambit 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 b4 The Evans Gambit, introduced with this move, was all the rage in the latter half of the 19th century. From the mid-1890s onwards, though, good defensive methods were found and it lay more or less neglected until Kasparov himself revived it in two buccaneering games against Anand and Piket. 4

Bxb4 5 c3 Ba5 6 d4 exd4 7 0-0 Bb6 Iviodcm investigation centres on 6 ... Nge7 7 cxd4 d5 8 exd5 NxdS. Although Black's king is temporarily stuck in the centre, his position is solid enough to withstand White's assault. In view of that, White might prefer the speculation 6 ... Nge7 7 Ng5 Ne5 8 Nxf7 Nacf7 9 Bxf7+ Kxf7 10 Qh5+ g6 11 Qxa5, with an obscure situation to compensate for Black's extra pawn. 8 cxd4 d6 9 d5 Na5 10 Bb2 Ne7 Not 10 ... Nxc4 allowing 11 Bxg7, transfixing Black's rook in the corner. 11 Bd3 Now 11 Bxg7 Rg8 is less happy for White. 11 ...0-0 12 Nc3 Ng6 13 Net c5 14 Qd2 f6 The game has crystallised into a race between Black's huge superiority in pawns on the queen's flank, and White's slow but massive build-up of pieces on the other wing. Black's last move is designed to blunt the power of White's queen's bishop operating on the long diagonal. 15 Khl The start of a deep attacking plan. White needs the square gl for his rook. 15 Bc7 16 Racl Rb8 17 Ng3 b5 18 Nf5 Two days later in the very same tournament, Anderssen, now playing with the black pieces, reached sub- stantially the same position against the German master Louis Paulsen. In the later game Anderssen improved Black's play with the imme-

diate 18 c4, which gains a vital tempo to acti- vate Black's pawns by attacking White's bishop. Anderssen, in fact, went on to win that game too. 18 ...b4 19 Rgl Bb6 20 g4 Now we see the full point of White's king retreat on move 15. White's g-pawn now acts as a battering ram, while its advance also creates the space for White to double his rooks on the g-file. 20 ... Ne5 21 BxeS It is bet- ter to trade this piece for Black's valuable knight on e5. White needs all his forces in the vicinity of Black's king to stay at their posts. 21 ...d,xe5 If 21

fxe5 White can consider both 22 g5 and 22 Ng5. With the recapture in the text, Black hopes to strike directly at White's centre with his newly liberated queen. 22 Rg3 Rf7 23 g5 Bxf5 24 exf5 Qxd5 Black appears to have broken through in the centre and crushed the life out of White's attack. Nevertheless, appearances are deceptive and Anderssen proceeds to extract the maximum from his attacking chances by moves of the utmost artistry. 25 gxf6 White avoids the tempting 25 Bc4 Qxd2 26 Bxf7+ Kxf7 27 Nd2, when White's attack has vanished and Black's dangerous pawns are more than sufficient compensation for the loss of the exchange. 25 ...RdS Black would like to play 25 ... Rxf6, to eliminate the dangerous white pawn, but then 26 Bc4 does not just win the exchange, it picks off the black queen, 26 Regl A

brilliant move planning to meet 26 Qxd3 with 27 Qh6 QxfS 28 Rxg7+ Kh8 29 Ng5, exploiting the full murderous concentration of white force in the g-flle. 26 ...K.118 27 fxg7+ Kg8 28 Qh6 Already threatening 29 Qxh7+ Kxh7 30 Rh3+ Kg8 31 Rh8 checkmate. 28 Qd6 (Diagram) If Black had hoped to stem White's attack by using his own pawn on g7 as a shield for his king, he now suffers a rude awakening, for White can force a brilliant checkmate. 29 Qxh7+ Kxh7 30 f6+ Kg8 If 30 ... Qxd3 31 Rh3+. 31 Bh7+ Kx17 32 Rh3+ Kg8 33 Rh8 checkmate A sensational finale.

Ardbeg Malt Whisky Puzzle No. 46 White to play and win — first move only required. This week's puzzle is a contrasting example of chess aesthetics which elegantly exploits the geometry of the chessboard, rather than blasting through with heavy sac- rifices. This puzzle is taken from the game Reti–Bogolyubov, New York 1924.

Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 19 September or via email to vanessa@spectator.co.uk or by fax on 020 7242 0603. The winner will be the first cor- rect answer drawn out of a hat, and each week I shall be offering a prize of a bottle of Ardbeg Malt Whisky.

Last week's solution: Rh8 Last week's winner: Andrew Gibbons, Worcestershire.