- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 2, 2002

We have two fine games on tap today from recent tournament winners, but the victories are very different in character and style.

GM Evgeny Bareev called his triumph in the Category 18 Corus Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Holland, the greatest result of his career. The 35-year-old Russian, although long one of the world's elite, has labored in the shadow of his great compatriots Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik. Neither was in Wijk aan Zee, and Bareev seized the day.

His penultimate-round win over France's Joel Lautier was an absorbing struggle, made all the more impressive because Bareev had to bounce back from a 20-move disaster against fellow Russian Alexander Khalifman in the previous round.

Still slightly shell-shocked, Bareev as White adopts a modest Queen's Pawn Opening set-up and with simple moves builds up a strong position. With 16. Ne3 Bf8 17. b4 a6 18. c5!, White grabs a big space edge on the queen-side, while his two bishops are ready for a king-side attack if the center opens up.

On 20. dxc5 Bg7 (Maxim Notkin and Sergei Shipov, annotating the game on Kasparov's Web site www.kasparovchess.com write that Black's f7 becomes a juicy target after 20…e5?! 21. Ba2 Rcd8 22. Rcd1 d4 23. Nc4 Nd5 24. Nd6 Bxd6 25. Bxd5) 21. Bd3!, the attack on the a-pawn, while not exactly subtle, is extremely awkward for Black to meet.

Lautier hangs tough with 21…Qa7 (a5? 22. b5 Ne7 23. Be5 Qa7 24. c6 Ba8 25. Qa2 is too awful to contemplate) 22. Ne5 Nxe5 23. Bxe5 Nd7 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Ng4! e5 26. Qd2 Qb8!, avoiding such lemons as 26…e4? 27. Bxe4, and 26…f5 27. Qh6+ Kg8 28. Bxf5! (Notkin and Shipov) gxf5 29. Qg5+ Kh8 30. Nf6 Re7 (Rg8 31. Nxg8 Rxg8 32. Qe7 Bc6 33. Rxe5 wins for White) 31. c6! Bxc6 32. Rxc6 Rf8 33. Qh6 Rg7 34. Nxd7 Qxd7 35. Rxe5, and White has a big edge.

But Bareev's 27. Qh6+ Kg8 28. Bxa6! Bxa6 29. c6 Nf8 30. Nf6+ Kh8 31. c7, masterfully playing both sides of the board, disrupts Black's game and creates a powerful passed pawn that ties down the Black forces.

Lautier's knight must guard constantly against mate, and his rooks are virtually paralyzed. In his bid to make time control, however, Bareev allows a threefold repetition with 44. Nf6?? Nf8, since the position is the same as after Moves 38 and 42 but Lautier misses his chance and the fight goes on with 45. Nxd5!.

White misses a quicker kill with 48. Rxe5! Rxe5 49. Qd8+ Qe8 (Re8 50. Qd4+ Kg8 51. Rxc4 Qa6 52. Ng4 Re6 53. h3!, with a won game) 50. Qxe8+ Rexe8 51. Rxc4 Re7 52. Nd5 Rd7 53. Rc5 Rxd5 54. Rxd5 Rxc7 55. Kf1, winning.

Bareev alertly trades down to secure the point: 51. e3 Qxc2!? (not a bad practical chance, for 51…Qb7 52. Rxc8 Rxc8 53. Nf1! Qc6 54. Qd4 keeps White in charge) 52. Nxc2 Rxc2 53. h3 Rxf2 54. Qxf2! Nxf2 55. Kxf2.

The queen-side passed pawns prove too mobile, and the Black king is too far away from the action. If 60…Rb4, Notkin and Shipov give 61. a5! Rxb5 62. a6 Ra5 63. a7 Ra2+ 64. Kg1 Ra1+ 65. Kh2 Kf8 66. Rb7 Ke8 67. Rb8+. After 65. Re4, the Black king is cut off, and the win is assured. Lautier soon gave up.

U.S. junior champ Hikaru Nakamura of New York scored the best result of his career earlier this week, tying for first in the annual Bermuda invitational event in a field that included five grandmasters.

Unlike Bareev, Nakamura achieved his best game in the very first round, and no endgame technique was required. Instead, Nakamura detonates a beautiful rook sacrifice against the fine Canadian GM Alexandre Lesiege, producing an old-fashioned king hunt and a mating finale.

This Sicilian Defense promises a sharp game from the outset, with the players preparing opposite-wing attacks. After 16. Na5 c3! 17. Qxc3 Bxg5, the pedestrian 18. Nc6?! Qf6 19. Bxg5 Qxg5+ 20. Kb1 Rc8 promises Black an easy life, so Nakamura instead risks 18. f4!? exf4 19. Nc6 Qc7 (Qf6 20. Bd4 Ne5 21. Nxe5 dxe5 22. Bxe5 Qg6 23. Bxg7 Rg8 24. d6! Qxg7 25. Qc6+ leads to a quick mate) 20. Bd4.

White's sacrifice appears to have come to naught after 22. Reg1+ Ne5 23. Bxe5 fxe5 (see diagram), as Lesiege apparently has established a solid defensive firewall at e5 and is ready to consolidate his advantage by castling.

Instead there comes the remarkable 24. Rxe5+!! (stunning and, apparently, sound in every variation) dxe5 25. d6. Testing now is 25…Qb6 26. d7+ Kf7, but White appears to win with 27. Nxe5+ Ke6 28. Re1 f3+ 29. Kb1 Qb5 30. Nxf7+!! Kxf7 (Kxd7 31. Qd4+ Kc6 [Kc8 32. Nd6+] 32. Qd6+ Kb7 33. Re7+) 31. Qxf3+ Kg6 (Kg8 32. Re7 Rf8 33. Qxf8+! Kxf8 34. d8=Q+ Qe8 35. Qxe8 mate) 32. Re6+ Kg5 33. h3! Qf5 34. h4+! Kxf4 35. Qxf5.

Flushed from the pocket and with all his receivers covered, the Black king is doomed to take the sack. Key is the quiet 30. Nf3!, a non-check that threatens some nasty mates as well as 31. Rd5+.

The finale: 31. Nd4 Qc4 32. Rg1+ Kh3 (or 32…Kh5 33. Qe5+ g5 [Kh4 34. Nf3+ Kh3 35. Qh5 mate] 34. h4! [with the threat of 35. Rxg5+! Bxg5 36. Qxg5 mate] Rhg8 35. hxg5 Rxg5 36. Qe8+! Rg6 37. Rh1+ Kg4 38. Qxa8 Qxd4 39. d8=Q, again winning) 33. Qe5! g6 34. Qe4!, and there's no defense against the coming 35. Qg2+ and 36. Qg4 mate.

Corus Tournament, Wijk aan Zee, Holland, January 2002


1. d4Nf637. Rc1Bc4

2. Nf3e638. Nf6Nf8

3. e3b639. Nh5Ne6

4. Bd3Bb740. Rc5Qa8

5. Nbd2c541. Nf6Nf8

6. b3Nc642. Ra5Qc6

7. a3Be743. Nh5Ne6

8. Bb20-044. Nf6Nf8

9. 0-0Qc745. Nxd5Nd7

10. Rc1Rac846. Qh4e4

11. c4Rfe847. Ne3Ne5

12. Re1d648. Nxc4Nd3

13. Bb1Qb849. Rc2Qxc7

14. Nf1cxd450. Qf6+Kg8

15. exd4d551. Ne3Qxc2

16. Ne3Bf852. Nxc2Rxc2

17. b4a653. h3Rxf2

18. c5g654. Qxf2Nxf2

19. Qe2bxc555. Kxf2Rc8

20. dxc5Bg756. b5Rc3

21. Bd3Qa757. a4Rb3

22. Ne5Nxe558. Ra6f5

23. Bxe5Nd759. Ra7f4

24. Bxg7Kxg760. Re7e3+

25. Ng4e561. Kf3Kf8

26. Qd2Qb862. Re5Kf7

27. Qh6+Kg863. Kxf4Rb4+

28. Bxa6Bxa664. Kxe3Rxa4

29. c6Nf865. Re4Ra3+

30. Nf6+Kh866. Kd4Ra2

31. c7Qb567. g4Rh2

32. Rc5Qa468. Re3Rb2

33. Ra5Qc669. Kc5Kf6

34. Nh5Ne670. b6Kg5

35. Nf6Nf871. Rc3Black

36. Nh5Ne6resigns

GMA Bermuda Tournament, Bermuda, January 2002


1. e4c518. f4exf4

2. Nc3d619. Nc6Qc7

3. Nf3Nf620. Bd4f6

4. d4cxd421. Rhg1Bh6

5. Nxd4a622. Rge1+Ne5

6. Be3e523. Bxe5fxe5

7. Nb3Be624. Rxe5+dxe5

8. f3Nbd725. d6Qd7

9. Qd2Be726. Nxe5Qb5

10. 0-0-0b527. d7+Ke7

11. g4Nb628. Qa3+Ke6

12. g5Nfd729. Qd6+Kf5

13. Nd5Bxd530. Nf3Kg4

14. exd5Nc431. Nd4Qc4

15. Bxc4bxc432. Rg1+Kh3

16. Na5c333. Qe5g6

17. Qxc3Bxg534. Qe4Black


David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at dsands@washingtontimes.com.

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