W

An amazing piece sacrifice that refuses to cede the initiative. It has highly unclear consequences. White avoids 21 £>c6 ®d3+ 22 <&al Aa6! 23 Sfel «d2.

White is a piece and a pawn down, but this zwischenzug keeps his options open for moves like Scl-c7+ or ®h8, without allowing things like 26 Wh8 ®d3+ 27 4>al g5!.

Wells mentions 26...®c4!?, which is a fascinating attempt to win that deserves analysis. Black covers the dangerous cl- and fl-squares, but still has trouble getting his pieces out, and it's remarkable how White succeeds in attacking after 27 <4>al (to stop ...We4+ and ...®xe5)

17 £>xe5 #xe5 gives some counterplay due to 27...h6 (27...a5!? 28 h4! ®b5 29 #h8 g6 30

White's king position.

16...£>xg4 is no improvement thanks to 17 Shgl e5 18 £>xe5! with the point 18...^xe5? 19 Sxg7+!.

Much safer and objectively better is 17 Axe4! dxe4 18 £>e5; e.g., 18...Aa6 19 Wc6 Wdl 20 #xe4 ®xf2? (20...Sac8 21 f3) 21 Sc2 Wh4 22 Sc7 and Black is stuck for good moves.

19...#d2 loses to 20 £>e5 f6 21 Wc6 Sb8 22 #d6, with the idea 22...Sa8 23 Sxc8.

Now Black seems to be getting the advantage.

1T6+; 27...1rb5 28 ®h8 g6 29 Scl! &e7 30 #xh7+ <£e8 31 ®xg6+; 27...Wd3? 28 ®c7+ 4>e8 29 ®c6+ <4>d8 30 Scl!) 28 h4! (these slow moves are the most fun) 28...h5 (28...g6 29 h5 g5 30 ®f6+ <4>e8 31 Wxh6 and ®xg5, when die h-pawn becomes a factor) 29 e4! ? (29 a3 g6 30 e4! is also promising) 29...b5 30 exd5 exd5 (30...#xd5 31 Sfl+) 31 e6+ and While wii

This saves the game, covering cl. Bad is 27...g5? 28 «c7+ &g6 29 h4! g4 30 Sxg4+ <&h5 31 Sg5+ <£xh4 32 Sgl!.

31 Sg7+ i>c6 32 ®xa8+ 4>c5 33 ®f8+ <£>d4 draws!

29...£>e7 30 ®d6+ 4>f7 31 #c7+ 4>e8 32 on the relevant central squares. In the end, it fc6+ V2-V2

A short but great battle. After a paradoxical opening, the game turned into a dynamic fight for the initiative.

just hangs out there in space. 17 d5! (D)

Game 8

Kasparov - Portisch

Niksic 1983

Moving back a few years, let's see how Kasparov implements his philosophy of 'splitting the board in two', as well as the kind of dynamic line-clearing that has so influenced his contemporaries. The following game was almost instantly a classic, partly because of the impression created by White's low-fuel attack. But it also showed a different philosophy of attack from what most players were used to.

Id4£if62c4 e6 3 3 b6 4 ±b7 5a3 d5 6 cxd5 £ixd5 7 e3 <£>xc3 8 bxc3 Ael 9 i.b5+ c6 10 J.d3 c5 11 0-0 12 Ab2

White's fairly uninspiring piece disposition proves to have a touch of poison.

14...cxd4 is the normal move now, with 15 cxd4 Af6 the most common continuation. But 14...®c7 had been played by Polugaevsky, with the idea of meeting 15 e4 with 15...£>a5 and queenside pressure.

This seems pretty obvious now, but in many similar positions played before this, advancing the c-pawn had weakened White's centre and in particular c4 itself. Also, the move e4 was supposed to be consistent with White's whole strategy. Portisch responds naturally:

15..Jtf6? 16 d5 £>e5? is a tactical mistake due to 17 £>xe5 Axe5 18 i.xh7+! <£>xh7 19 Wh5+ &g8 20 Axe5. Kasparov showed that 15...£ia5 also allows 16 d5! exd5 17 cxd5 c4 (17...Axd5 18 Axh7+ <£xh7 19 Sxd5 and White is clearly better) 18 £¿5 2cd8 19 e4, when there is no pressure on White's centre and he has a large advantage.

Natural, attacking c4, but after White's next move we discover that this is not one of those well-placed knights on the rim, e.g. one that ties b

The same idea as in the last note, except that this time White's centre is traded away and Black gets counterplay down the c-file.

After 17...£kc4 18 We4! g6 19 Axc4 Wxc4 20 l*e5 f6 21 ®xe6+ White wins the pawn back with a big attack. Kasparov gives the attractive line 21...fif7 22 5c 1 ®a6 23 d6 Sxcl 24 Sxcl i.d8 25 £>g5! fxg5 26 2c7!! Axel 27 #e8+ Hf8 28 lfe5, winning.

The material is even, and Black is well poised to counter any cheap designs on the kingside by using his centre files.

Or is he? Kasparov says that Axgl represents 'a totally different style' and I have to agree. This attack is not only conducted a piece down with reduced material on the board, but White has to operate without his fl-rook! 21 £\g5? is useless due to 21...#c2!.

'Splitting the board in two' is Kasparov's comment. This is a slow way to pursue an attack, yet the added pressure on f7 makes the difference. The obvious 22 £id4? can be answered with 22...2h8! 23 £>f5+ sfrfS. Here the knight on f5 isn't sufficient because of the lack of attacking pieces.

The most natural idea, clearing f8 for the

White to the defence or exerts enough pressure king. Black has a number of plausible defences,

but the exposed black king and especially the f7-square are real problems for him. Following Kasparov's analysis, we can see how this works out:

a) 22...f5 23 2d7 (23 2d3 ®c5 24 £\d7) 23...®c5 24 <2ki3 and White wins material.

b) 22...Scd8 23 ®g4+ <4>h7 24 £>d7! threatens 2h5#, and 24...f5 25 £ixf8+ Hxf8 26 2xf5 2xf5 27 Wxf5+ <&g7 28 2el leaves Black's king helplessly vulnerable, not to mention the three connected passed pawns.

c) 22...Wc2 23 Wg4+ <&h7 24 2d3 2c3 25 ®f5+ &g8 26 2g3+ wins the queen on c2.

d) 22...2h8 23 Wg4+ (23 2d7 Wc5 24 ®g4+ <5frf8 25 Wf4 also wins) 23...sfef8 24 Wf5 f6 25 2el ¿hc6 (25...«cl 26 2ddl) 26 £M7+ 4f7 27 2xe7+! and it's over.

White has so few attackers that one might expect something to hold. One try is 24...jtd6 25 Wf6\ &c4 (25...d?g8 26 Wg5+ *f8 27 #h6+ 4>g8 {27...<£>e8 loses to 28 2el} 28 £>g4! Ixh2+ 29 <&hl is winning for White) 26 £>g6+ <S?e8 27 2el+ <&d7 28 2e7+ 4>c6 29 2xc7+ &xc7 30 Wxf7+ &b8 31 h4 and White wins. Another is 24.. JLxa3 25 £>d7+ 2xd7 26 2xd7 #c4 27 2fdl and Black's pieces are too far away on the queenside: 27...i^c6 28 Wh3 (threatening mate on h8 and capture on a3) 28...1b2 29 27d2!, attacking b2 and c8.

The tempting move 25 £}g6+?! is less good: 25..:&g7! 26 £rf4 2xd5 27 Wg6+? (27 £>xd5! HfcS 28 &xe7 Wxf5 29 £>xf5+ gives White an extra pawn) 27...<&h8 28 Wh6+ (28 2g5!) 28...¿g8 with a draw.

25...4>g7 26 2el is devastating. 26 2xd7 ttc5 27 Wh7 Kasparov also mentions 27 «h3. 27...2c7 (D)

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Black has a wonderful response to 28 2d3? in 28...®xf2+!! 29 <£>xf2 (29 2xf2? 2c 1+ wins for Black) 29...£c5+ 30 &g3 2xh7 31 2xf6+

with a draw.

Now White is threatening moves like 2g3 and 2h3.

29...£ic4 30 2fdl! £>e5? But 30...Ad6! 31 2d5! Wc6 (31...Wxa3? 32 2xd6! ^xd6 33 H?h7+, winning) 32 h4 ties

Black up and prepares to promote the h-pawn.

32 ®g8+ &f5 33 g4+! <&f4 34 2d4+ <&f3 35 Wb3+ 1-0

Game 9

Kveinys - Speelman

Moscow OL 1994

1 e4 d6 2 d4 £if6 3 £ic3 g6 4 1x4 i.g7 5 ®e2 £>c6 6 e5 ^d7 7 £}f3 £>b6 8 &b3!? 0-0 9 h3 £>a5

This complex variation of the Pirc (or Ale-khine) Defence is an older continuation. Well, if you consider the late 1960s (or early 1970s?) old!

The play now becomes a mess, which is typical for these original and dynamic players.

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