- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 15, 2001

Garry Kasparov exacted a measure of revenge from the man who took his world title, defeating fellow Russian and former protege Vladimir Kramnik in a 20-game, mixed-format match in Moscow. The event, held in honor of the late Soviet champion Mikhail Botvinnik, was decided in the 10-game blitz portion after the two drew four games at classical time controls and scored a victory apiece in the 6-game rapid chess leg. Kasparov won the first of the 5-minute games Monday, reeled off three more consecutive wins in midmatch, and allowed Kramnik a late, meaningless point to win the overall match by 11 1/2-8 1/2 margin.
When he lost a title match to Kramnik in London last year, Kasparov continually found himself in dry, sterile middle games that stifled his dynamic attacking talents. The ex-champ clearly learned from that crushing defeat, even though no title was on the line in the Moscow rematch.
In his rapid-game win, Kasparov as Black opts for an open Queen's Gambit Accepted line, which produces a wide-open center and plentiful opportunities for intricate, tactical piece play. We pass over the subtle move orders and complex transpositions of the opening to get to 12. b4 Be7 13. Bb2 a5, where both players have multiple options and multiple problems to solve.
On 19. Rc1 Qa8, the awkward-looking jumble of Black pieces in the queenside corner actually apply effective pressure both along the long diagonal and the open a-file. But White also has his trumps in the weak Black b-pawn and the under-defended Black king.
Matters come to a tactical head on 20. Nd4 Nc5 (Bxg2? 21. e4 Bh3 22. Nc6 wins material) 21. Nc4 Nd5!? (the passive 21… Bd8 is not Garry's style) 22. e4 Nf4 23. Qg4, when the White a- and e-pawn are loose, while Black's b-pawn and knight hang.
Kramnik later blamed himself for a failure of nerve that cost him the initiative and a crucial pawn: 25. Nc4 Nxa4 26. Bxa4?! (both players thought White should have risked 26. Nxe6!? here, with unclear play after 26…fxe6 27. Qxe6+ Kh8) Rxa4 27. Qd1! Rb4! 28. Ba3 (f3? e5! [Ba6? 29. Nc6 Qxd1+ 30. Rxd1 Bc5+ 31. Bd4 Rxc4 32. Bxc5 Rxc5?? 33. Rd8+ Nf8 34. Ne7+ Kh8 35. Rxf8 mate] 29. Ba3 Rxc4 30. Rxc4 Bxa3 31. Qb1 exd4 32. Qxb7 Bc5 33. Kh1 Rxb2 34. Nxb2 Bxd4 and Black is on top) Rxc4 29. Rxc4 Bxa3 30. Qb3 (seemingly regaining the piece, but the bishop on a3 can escape with tempo) Ba6 31. Ra4 Bc5!, and the high-wire maneuvering has left Black with two minor pieces for the rook.
Kasparov repeatedly declines White's offer to trade queens, and the Black queen plays a critical role in the decisive infiltration on 48…Ng5 49. Ra3 Qe6!, and the h3-square can't be defended. When the queen trade does come five moves later, Black has picked up a crucial pawn and his pieces dominate the ineffectual White rook. Kramnik resigned.

FIDE's next world champ will be a Ukrainian.
Vassily Ivanchuk, long his country's top player, upset FIDE titleholder Viswanathan Anand of India in their four-game semifinal Thursday in Moscow, winning with Black in Game 4 to end Anand's reign and advance to next month's title match.
His opponent will be 18-year-old compatriot Ruslan Ponomariov, who continued a meteoric rise through the chess ranks by defeating Russian Peter Svidler in the other semifinal match by the same 21/2-11/2 score. Ukraine has never boasted a world champion (Kiev-born David Bronstein fell just short in his 1950 title match with Botvinnik) but has notched some impressive titles through the years, including a win at the recent world team championships.
In his match-deciding Game 3 win over Svidler, young Ponomariov showed he has clearly absorbed modern chess ideas, offering an inspired positional exchange sacrifice that discombobulates the White game: 15. Bc2 g6 16. Qf3 (see diagram) Re4!!.
Black's idea is so simple and powerful that Svidler, in effect, must be forced to take the proffered rook after refusing the offer for a couple of moves. For the rook, Black gets a bishop, a pawn, and a ton of targets on the crippled White kingside.
Ponomariov, whose play has been compared to that of Anatoly Karpov, the legendarily efficient former Russian world champion, plays the entire game with impressive precision. He sidesteps the hasty 19…Rxf4? 20. Qxd5+ Rf7 21. Qxb5 Rg4+ 22. Kh1 Qxc3 23. Re8+ Kg7 24. Qe5+ Kh6 25. Qe3+ Qxe3 26. fxe3 and White wins.
Svidler's 25. Rf1 Bg4 26. Qxg4!? looks like the best practical chance, as White obtains two rooks for his lost queen. But the rooks can't operate in their cramped quarters, especially after the Karpovian 28. Rg3 b5!, and White quickly runs out of useful moves.
The Black king enters the attack with impunity, and the strangled White pieces must give way: 36. Kf2 Kg5! 37. Re2 Kf4, and Svidler must abandon the d-pawn to guard against the threat of 38…Qd3. After 43. Rxh7+ Kxg4 44. Rg3+ Kf5, White has run out of checks and his two rooks are no match for Black's connected passed pawns. Svidler resigned.

Botvinnik Memorial Rapid Match, Moscow, December 2001
1. d4d528. Ba3Rxc4
2. c4dxc429. Rxc4Bxa3
3. Nf3e630. Qb3Ba6
4. e3a631. Ra4Bc5
5. Bxc4c532. Rxa6Qxd4
6. 0-0Nf633. Ra8+Nf8
7. Bd3b634. Qc2g6
8. dxc5Bxc535. g3Kg7
9. a3Bb736. Kg2e5
10. Qe20-037. Ra4Qd6
11. Nbd2Nbd738. Qc4Ne6
12. b4Be739. Qd5Qb8
13. Bb2a540. Ra8Qb2
14. bxa5Rxa541. Ra2Qc3
15. Bb5Qb842. Qd2Qb3
16. a4Rc843. Qd5Qb8
17. Rfc1Ra744. Ra8Qc7
18. Rxc8+Qxc845. Ra6Bd4
19. Rc1Qa846. Qc6Qe7
20. Nd4Nc547. Ra8Qf6
21. Nc4Nd548. Qc2Ng5
22. e4Nf449. Ra3Qe6
23. Qg4Ng650. h4Qh3+
24. Nxb6Qd851. Kg1Ne6
25. Nc4Nxa452. Rb3Qg4
26. Bxa4Rxa453. Qd3Nc5
27. Qd1Rb454. Qf3Qxf3
White resigns

FIDE World Chess Championship, Semifinals, Moscow, December 2001
1. e4e523. f3b6
2. Nf3Nf624. Re3Qf6
3. d4Nxe425. Rf1Bg4
4. Bd3d526. Qxg4Rxg4+
5. Nxe5Nd727. fxg4Qg5
6. Nxd7Bxd728. Rg3b5
7. 0-0Bd629. Rf2Kg7
8. c4c630. Kg2a5
9. cxd5cxd531. Rb2b4
10. Nc3Nxc332. cxb4axb4
11. bxc30-033. h3Qc1
12. Qh5f534. Rgb3Kh6
13. Re1Qc735. Rxb4Qd1
14. Bd2Rae836. Kf2Kg5
15. Bc2g637. Re2Kf4
16. Qf3Re438. Rb3Qxd4+
17. g3Bb539. Kg2Qc4
18. Bf4Bxf440. Rf2+Kg5
19. gxf4Qd641. Rf7d4
20. Bxe4fxe442. h4+Kxh4
21. Qg3Rxf443. Rxh7+Kxg4
22. Rab1Bd744. Rg3+Kf5
White resigns
David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at [email protected]

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