In the first round there were four games of five in which
grandmasters played Black against opponents whose ratings were
much more modest, and three of them managed to win despite the
unfavourable colour. In the game Ricardi - Bologan the
grandmaster from Moldavia overwhelmed his opponent gradually in
an approximately equal endgame after the time control. The duel
of one of the main favourites of the tournament Anatoly Karpov
against Flores, a player of inferior class, was one of the most
tense in the round. The advantage travelled from one side to
another, but in the final result White was the last to make a
mistake in this game, so Black won. A little sensation occurred
in the game Milos - Short. Not that the result itself was
unexpected, but its quickness. The English grandmaster won a
victory over one of the semi-finalists of the recent World Cup in
Shenyang in less than thirty moves, though even five moves before
White resigned nobody would be able to forecast such a quick end.
The only ELO favourite who failed to break the opposition of an
inferior opponent was Vadim Milov who had to be content with a
draw with Pirrot. The game J. Polgar - Leitao was won by the
Hungarian chess player who also has a higher ELO-rating. On the
eighteenth move White applied a novelty, having played 0-0
instead of Nc7+ which gave a new character to the play. Black
defended not in the best way and was defeated.
Flores - Karpov [B22]
1. e4 c5
An unusual choice for Anatoly Karpov. Usually he
prefers to advance the c-pawn on the first move to the sixth
2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nf3 e6 6. cxd4 d6 7. Nc3
An important decision. In case of 6... b6 the move 7. Nc3
would have looked quite proper, but after 6... d6 White prefers
7. a3 more often.
7... Nxc3 8. bxc3 Qc7 9. Bd2 Nd7 10. Bd3
White ventures on a sacrifice of the pawn, trying to prevent
Black from the completion of his development after 10. exd6 Bxd6.
10... dxe5 11. O-O Be7 12. Re1 exd4 13. cxd4 O-O 14. Rc1
Stronger than 14... Qd6?! which occurred previously, allowing
White to gain a perceptible advantage after 15. Re4 b6 16. Bf4
Qa3 17. Re3.
15. Re4 a6
Better, than a seemingly active 15... Nc5?! which allowed
White to hamper the development of Black’s queenside after 16.
dxc5 Qxd3 17. Rd4 Qf5 18. Bf4.
16. Qe2 Nf6 17. Rh4 Bd7 18. Bg5 g6
Black repels the threats to his kingside in cool blood.
19. Ne5 Nd5 20. Bxe7 Qxe7 21. Qg4 Bb5?
For so long Black played excellently and refuted all White’s
immediate threats, but his last move is an essential mistake. Now
White’s pieces can pounce upon Black’s kingside with a new
strength. Better was 21... Rac8 22. Re1 Rc3, leaving to White
minimal chances for the organisation a counterplay which would
compensate him the missing pawn.
White did not miss his chance.
22.... fxg6 23. Nxg6 hxg6 24. Qxg6+ Qg7 25. Qxe6+ Rf7?!
Despite the allowed mistake, Black continues to play for a
win. Probably stronger was 25... Qf7, but after 26. Rg4+ Kh7 (if
26... Kh8, then there was 27. Qe5+) White forced a draw with 27.
Rh4+. In case of 27. Qe4+ Qf5 28. Rc3 Nf4! (no 28... Nxc3?
because of 29. Qe7+ Kh6
30. Qe3+, White mating) 29. Rh4+ Kg7 Black repelled immediate
threats to his king.
26. Rg4 Bc6 27. Re1 Nf6 28. Rxg7+ Kxg7 29. Re5?
Now it’s White’s turn to make a mistake. After 29. Qf5 Rd8
30. Qg5+ Kh8 (if 30... Kf8, then Black had to reckon with 31. Re6
Re8 32. Qh6+ Kg8 33. d5) 31. Qh4+ Kg8 32. Re3 Black’s problems
29... Rd8 30. Rg5+ Kf8 31. h3?!
White does not play well. After 31. Qe5 Rd5 32. Qb8+ Ne8 the
position was still unclear.
A blunder which will cost dearly to White. After 32. Rg6 both
sides had mutual chances.
32... Bd7 33. Qe5 Rd1+ 34. Kh2 Bxf5 35. Qxf5 Rd5 36. Qf4
Ne8 37. Qh6+ Ke7 38. Qb6 Nd6 39. Qc7+ Ke6 40. Qc2 b5 41. g3 Nc4
42. h4 Rxf2+! 0-1 White resigned. After 42... Rxf2+ 43. Qxf2
Rd2 White’s opposition was absolutely senseless.