Apr 21, 2001

Round 3

Anatoly Karpov became the single leader of the tournament, having won a third victory in succession. The Englishman Nigel Short, defeated in his favourite French Defence by the Hungarian grandmaster Judith Polgar, is left behind. The opponents made castlings on different sides in this game which always presupposes a keen struggle, so that every mistake can become fatal. Black made this mistake on the thirty fifth move, and White developed a crucial attack after 36.f6!. The game Milos - Ricardi also was dramatic. White got an advantage in the Sveshnikov Variation, but on the twenty sixth move he overlooked a strong 26.Rc4!, then refused to repeat moves and made a blunder, having lost a rook after 35. Nc6??. Thus Milos suffered his third defeat and now occupies the last place in the fixture list. Viorel Bologan needed a victory in the game with Flores despite the unfavourable black colour, and he managed to gain it, having performed a mass advance of pawns on the queenside. In the game between Leitao and Milov there was no tense struggle. Compared with the other games, it looks like a quick draw.

Pierrot - Karpov [B92]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O Be6 9. Be3 Nbd7 10. Qd3?!

An unlucky continuation. Usual 10. f4 or 10. a4 were better.

10... Rc8

10... Nb6 11. a4 Rc8 12. a5 Nc4 13. Bc1 d5 14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Nxd5 Qxd5 which occurred previously also gave a good play to Black.

11. f3 O-O 12. Kh1

If 12. a4, then after 12... Nb6 to be followed with 13. Qd2 or 13. Nd2 there was 13... d5, owing to the fact that in case of an exchange on b6 Black takes the white bishop with a check.

12... Qc7 13. a4 Rfd8

14. Qd2

White cannot prevent the black knight from getting to b6 with 14. a5?, as then Black would have fulfilled his main threat 14... Nc5!, and after an exchange on c5 White lost the queen.

14... Nb6 15. Bxb6

No other way, as after 15. a5 Nc4 16. Bxc4 Qxc4 the advance d6-d5 cannot be prevented.

15... Qxb6 16. Nd5

White averts the threat of d6-d5 forever, having allowed his opponent to get rid of the weakness of the square d6 instead.

16... Nxd5 17. exd5 Bd7 18. a5 Qa7 19. c4?!

From this moment on Black played very unconvincingly in an approximately equal position. There was 19. Bd3 f5 (if, like in the game, 19... h6, then Black had to reckon with 20. f4!?) 20. Rfe1 h6 21. Qb4, maintaining the balance.

19... h6!

A good move. Black wants to reinforce the position of his dark-squared bishop.

20. Bd3

There was no 20. f4!? because of 20... e4.

20... Bg5 21. Qe2

Another unlucky continuation. It was better to bind up Black’s pieces to the pawn d6 with 21. Qb4, thus restricting their possible activity.

21... Re8 22. Nd2?

Now this move is absolutely bad. Black’s queen gains the control over the queenside. The programmed 22. Rfe1 should have been played without fail, even though Black would have kept the initiative after 22... f5.

22... f5 23. Rfe1 Qc5!

Black’s queen does not miss its chance to enter the active play.

24. b3 Qb4 25. Nf1 Rc5 26. Qa2 Bd8 27. Qc2 e4?

A strange decision. A mere 27... g6 or 27... Rf8 28. Ne3 g6 won the pawn without any compensation for White.

28. fxe4 Bf6 29. Rab1 Rxa5

29... f4 was probably preferable.

30. Qf2?

White overlooked his chance. After 30. e5! Bxe5 (in case of 30... Rxe5 31. Rxe5 Bxe5 32. Bxf5 Black had no winning chances because of the weakness of light squares on his kingside) 31. Bxf5 Bxf5 32. Qxf5 Ra3 (if 32... Ra2, then 33. Ng3) 33. Re3 White might hope for a draw both in case of 33... Rf8 34. Qe6+ Kh7 35. Qe7 Rxb3 36. Qxf8 and in case of 33... b5 34. Rf3 Kh8 35. Qg6.

30... Ra3 31. e5

Played one move later, this break-through is already weaker, but even in case of 31. Ng3 White lost because of 31... Bh4 to be followed with 32. Rf1 Bxg3 33. Qxg3 fxe4 34. Bxe4 Rxe4 35. Qf3 Re5 36. Qf7+ Kh7 37. Qxd7 Rxb3.

31... Bxe5 32. Bxf5 Bxf5 33. Qxf5 Rxb3 34. Qc2 Rxb1 35. Rxb1 Qc3 36. Qg6 Rf8 37. Qg4 Qd3 0-1 White resigned.

"Chess is so interesting in itself, as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it;and thence it is never played for money."

Benjamin Franklin, "Chess made easy", 1802

"It is one of the insights of modern players, and especially of the best ones, that one has toplay the position itself, not some abstract idea of the position."

John Watson, "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy", 1998

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