10 MARCH 1990, Page 51


Best Boris

Raymond Keene

Kasparov managed to stay on top of the category 16 tournament in Linares, Southern Spain, but only after he had been given something of a fright by his 21-year- old compatriot Boris Gelfand. The final scores were: Kasparov 8, Gelfand 71/2, Salov 7, Ivanchuk 61/2, Short 6, Yusupov 51/2, Beliaysky 5, Spassky 4, Portisch 4, Illescas 4, Ljubojevic 3.

Gelfand won as many games as Kaspar- ov. The high total of 6 and his vigorous, inventive and erudite style remind me strongly of the young Kasparov himself. When the duels between Kasparov and Karpov for world supremacy finally end I predict that Gelfand will be the next to challenge. Over the past year Vassily Ivanchuk, a Soviet the same age as Gel- fand, has been widely tipped as a future challenger but judging from my own observation at Linares I suspect that his nerves may not be able to stand the rigours of a full-scale assault on the world cham- pionship. Nigel Short achieved the success of emerging as the best non-Soviet at Linares while Boris Gulko, well known to British audiences through his participation at Hastings over the past two years, can be highly satisfied with his win against Kas- parov. He now has the outstanding lifetime score of 31/2 out of 4 against the champion. No other player in the world has a better record. The game at Linares was, however, largely undistinguished in that Kasparov appeared to confuse his opening systems in the King's Indian Defence, employing a line which his own published analysis had already castigated as unsound. Most of the

game was simply a lengthy mopping up process with Gulko two pawns ahead.

The older generation at Linares suffered a sorry setback. It was sad to see the great Boris Spassky repeatedly humiliated with the black pieces against his younger and more booked-up rivals. Of Boris Gelfand's wins the following was the one that most caught my eye.

Gelfand-Beliaysky: Linares; Queen's Gambit Declined.

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 Be7 5 Bf4 0-0 6 e3 c5 7 dxc5 Bxc5 8 Qc2 Nc6 9 a3 Qa5 10 0-0-0 This is the sharpest variation of the Queen's Gambit, which incidentally can also arise by transposition from the 4 Qc2 variation of the Nimzo-Indian. Speelman-Short, Candidates quarter-final 1988, continued 10 ... Be7 11 g4 Rd8 12 h3 a6. Beliaysky, well aware of this game, had pre- pared what he must have believed to be an improvement on Black's play. 10 ... Bd7 11 g4 Rfc8 12 Kbl Bf8 13 g5 Nh5 14 Bg3 Ne7 15 Ne5

Position after 29 ... R(12

Be8 16 Bet f6 17 gxf6 gxf6 18 Nf3 Bg6 19 e4 dxe4 20 Nh4 White is obliged to sacrifice a pawn as 20

Nxe4 would run into 20 f5 followed by ... f4 winning material. In compensation though, White gains significant counter-chances against the weakened residence of the black king. 20 ... Nxg3 21 hxg3 f5 22 g4 Consistently playing to blast open a route to the black monarch. 22 ... Bg7 23 gxf5 exf5 24 Nxg6 hxg6 25 Nb5 Qb6 26 Qb3 The crude threat of 27 c5+ enables White to invade at h7 with his rook. 26 ... Kf8 27 Rh7 Rd8 28 Rdhl Qf6 29 c5 Rd2 (Diagram) The climax of Black's counter-attack which obliges White to make a fresh sacrifice. 30 Rxg7 Kxg7 After 30 ... Qxg7 31 Nc7 threatens both Nxa8 and Ne6+ forking the black king and queen. 31 Nc7 Qe5 Black has no time to move either of his rooks. He must make the f6 square available for his king otherwise Ne6+ would be fatal. 32 Nxa8 Rxe2 33 Ne7 A brilliant and unexpected riposte. The threat of NeS+ obliges Black in his turn to sacrifice his rook for the energetic white knight. 33 ... Qxc7 34 Qc3+ K17 35 Qc4+ Kf6 36 Qxe2 Qxc5 37 Rd Qd5 38 Rdl Qc5 39 Rd7 Qc6 40 Qdl Ke6 41 Rd8 Nd5 42 Qb3 a5 43 Qg3 Ne7 44 Qb8 Qb6 45 Rd2 Qc6 46 Qd8 b6 47 a4 g5 Black is clearly under pressure but this move appears to be quite misguided in that Black voluntarily deprives his king of lateral shelter. The black king-side pawns never pose any genuine threat. 48 Qd4 g4 49 Rdl The threat of Rhl now drives Black's king into the open. 49 ... Qc5 50 Qd7+ Ke5 51 Qe8 Kf4 52 Qb8+ KgS 53 Qd8 Kf4 54 Rd Qb4 55 Rc3 Ng6 56 Qf6 Ne7 57 Qe6 Kg5 58 Rc7 Black loses on time. He is in any case quite lost since 58 ... Ne6 59 Rg7 wins the black knight.

The match between the House of Lords and the House of Commons played last week at the Athenaeum resulted in a narrow victory 81/2-71/2 for the Commons. The match was sponsored by The Spectator and the trophy for the winning team was presented by Dominic Lawson, editor de- signate of The Spectator. More of this in a later article.