28 NOVEMBER 1992, Page 68


Rope trick

Raymond Keene

Amatch which would have attracted great attention, had it not been for the Fischer-Spassky circus in Belgrade, was the clash between two of the foremost young pretenders to Kasparov's throne in Linares during October. The young Indian grand- master, Viswanathan Anand, Kasparov's opponent in the final of the Paris knockout which I reported last week, challenged the great white hope for the Ukraine, Vassily Ivanchuk. It is universally recognised that Ivanchuk is probably the most talented player in the world (apart from Kasparov himself) and, indeed, he has on occasion advanced to slot number two on the world ranking list, ahead of Karpov. It is also universally recognised that Ivanchuk's chief weakness is an excessively nervous disposition, which has led him into all sorts of personal setbacks and eccentricities during chess competitions.

In some tournaments Ivanchuk has been known to bang gongs during the rounds, or run into the street and start to screech at passers-by, while at Linares 1990 he had to be given a sedative before his last round game against Gelfand before it was even possible to bring him to the board. In the match against Anand this failure of nerve came prominently to the fore and instead of achieving the victory which the statistics had predicted, Ivanchuk suffered a humi- liating defeat.

Viswanathan Anand 2690 1 1 I/2 1/2 1/2 10

1 5

Vassily Ivanchuk 2720 0

0 1h 1/2

1/2 V2 1 0 3 The prize for the winner was $2000 and a new car, which seems faintly ridiculous when compared with the millions on offer for Fischer and Spassky in Belgrade.

Ivanchuk — Anand: Linares Match, Game 7, 1992; Sicilian Defence.

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 Bg5 e6 7 Qd2 Be7 8 0-0-0 0-0 9 f4 Nxd4 10 Qxd4 Qa5 11 Bc4 Bd7 12 e5 dxe5 13 fxe5 This is a well-known variation of the Richter-Rauzer Sicilian. White appears to be winning material but Black's next move saves the day, due to the vulnerability of White's bishop on g5. 13 . . . Bc6 14 Bd2 Nd7 15 Nd5 Qc5 16 Nxe7+ Qxe7 17 Rhel So, White has gained the advantage of the bishop pair but Black's position remains resi-

Position after 19 Bd3

lient. 17 . . . Rfd8 18 Qg4 Nf8 19 Bd3 (Diagram) White's bishops look dangerous, but Black's next move, sacrificing the exchange, gives him excellent counterplay. 19 . . . Rxd3 20 cxd3 Qd7 21 Kbl Amazingly, this is the first new move of the game. 21 Bb4 was tried in Psakhis — Greenfeld, Tel Aviv 1991, and 21 Re3 in Ivanov — Rachels, US Championship 1989. White tempts Black to take the pawn on d3 with check. 21 . . . Qxd3+ I regard this as an error. White's pawn on d3 is not important and this simply drives the white king into safety while potential- ly opening up lines for White's rooks. It would be better to play 21 . . . Bd5 and then push Black's queenside pawns. 22 Kal Qf5 23 Qg3 Ng6 24 Bc3 h6 25 Rfl Qe4 26 Rd2 Bd5 27 b3 Rc8 28 Kb2 a6 29 Rdf2 Rc7 30 Rel Qh4 31 Qxh4 Nxh4 Anand still has some compensation but he has missed the whole point of the variation which is to sacrifice the exchange for the initiative and an attack on the queenside. All Black can hope for now is a long defence. 32 Rdl Ng6 33 g3 Ne7 34 Rd4 Nc6 35 Rdf4 Rd7 36 h4 h5 37 g4 hxg4 38 Rxg4 Ne7 39 h5 Bc6 40 h6 Ng6 41 hxg7 Kxg7 42 Bb4 Bd5 43 Bd6 b6 44 a4 b5 45 a5 f5 Anand loses patience and also the game. His position was already uncomfortable because of the weakness on a6 but this hands Ivanchuk the point on a plate. 46 exf6+ Kf7 47 Be7 e5 48 Rh2 Nxe7 49 fxe7 Kxe7 50 Rg6 e4 51 Rxa6 Black resigns.

Anand — Ivanchuk: Linares Match, Game 8, 1992; French Defence.

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Bb4 5 e5 h6 6 Bd2 Bxc3 7 bxc3 Ne4 8 Qg4 KO 9 NO c5 10 Bd3 Nxd2 11 Kxd2 Nc6 12 Qf4 Qe7 13 a3 White wants to stop . . . cxd4 followed by . . Qa3. 13 . . . Bd7 14 Rhbl b6 15 Qe3 Na5 16 Kel Rc8 17 Kfl Ke8 18 Kg1 Kd8 19 h3 Kc7 Black could draw easily with the blockading move . . . c4. However, in order to tie the match Ivanchuk had to win this game, hence this risky procedure. 20 Ba6 Rb8 21 dxc5 QxcS This gives away the d4 square, after which White makes all the running. If he wanted to play for a win he had to risk 21 . . . bxc5 and follow up with . . . Rb6. 22 Nd4 Nc4 23 Qf4 Rhf8 24 Rb4 b5 25 Rabl Rb6 Trying to trap White's bishop, but Black is always a tempo too late. If instead 25 . . . Nxa3 26 R1b3 Nc4 27 Nxb5+ Bxb5 28 Rxb5 Rxb5 29 Rxb5 with a great advantage to White. 26 Nxb5+ Bxb5 27 Rxb5 Qxa3 28 Rxb6 Nxb6 29 Qd4 Rb8 Of course 29 . . . Qxa6 fails to 30 Qc5+ . 30 Bb5 Rb7 31 Rb3 Qe7 32 Ba6 Rb8 33 c4 dxc4 34 Bxc4 Rd8 35 Qe4 Kb8 36 Bet Qc7 37 Bf3 (Diagram) Black lost on time It is a measure of Ivanchuk's demoralisa- tion in this match that he should here have lost on time. Of course, Black's position is extremely difficult but it does not take a genius to see that Black must quickly play 37 . . . Kc8 when 38 Rc3 (planning 38 . . . Qxc3 39 Qb7 mate) fails to 38 . . . Rdl+! 39 Bxdl Qxc3 when Black is well past the worst. All in all a depressing experience for Ivanchuk who has still failed to establish himself as a convincing claimant to the world crown.