The world champion, Gary Kasparov of the Soviet Union, was forced to settle for a first-place tie with the Yugoslav grandmaster Ljubomir Ljubojevic in the super-strong SWIFT International Tournament in Brussels. Both players were undefeated as they notched six wins and five draws apiece for 8 points in the 12-player round robin. The only other undefeated player, former world titlist Anatoly Karpov, annexed third place with three wins, drawing the eight other games. This was the first time in recent years that Kasparov failed to take first place outright, as Ljubojevic, who has often declared that he is not world championship class and will settle for a third-place ranking after the Soviet K's, was in fine form. Ljubojevic actually led the tournament by half a point going into the final round, but was held to a draw by Karpov. That opened the door for Kasparov, who defeated former world champion Mikhail Tal of the USSR to pull even.
Today's featured game sees Ljubojevic avenging himself against British Grandmaster Nigel Short, who defeated him the month previously in an international tournament in Reykjavik, Iceland. It was an exciting game, of great credit to both parties, until the young British GM suddenly weakened, allowing the Yugoslav a decisive winning tactical shot. Sicilian Defense Short Ljubojevic 1. P-K4 P-QB4 2. N-KB3 P-Q3 3. P-Q4 PxP 4. NxP N-KB3 5. N-QB3 P-QR3 6. P-QR4 (a) N-B3 7. B-K2 P-KN3 8. B-K3 B-N2 9. O-O O-O 10. P-B4 R-N1 11. K-R1 B-Q2 12. N-N3 P-QN4 (b) 13. PxP PxP 14. B-B3 P-N5 15. N-Q5 N-K1 16. P-K5 (c) P-K3 (d) 17. N-B6 ch BxN 18. PxB QxP 19. R-R6 R-B1 20. R-N6 (e) Q-K2 21. Q-Q2 N-N2 22. R-N7 N-B4 23. B-B2 R-N1 (f) 24. BxN RxR 25. BxR B-N4 (g) 26. R-B1 QxB 27. QxNP R-N1 28. K-N1 (h) QxP ch 29. KxQ B-B3 ch 30. Resigns (i)
A.Although this seldom-played move has the merit of restraining Black's P-QN4, it allows Black to obtain a satisfactory form of the Sicilian Dragon. A main point here is that White's normally aggressive continuation of queenside castling (to attack the Black king with a kingside pawn storm) is not feasible with the White pawn at QR4.
B.This thematic thrust is available because White's king pawn is forfeited after 13.PxP, PxP; 14.BxP, NxP.
C.A promising pawn sacrifice, which was indeed necessary unless White reconciled himself to the 16.B-B1 retreat, since otherwise he could not both guard his QNP and meet the threat of 16.... P-K3, entrapping his advanced knight.
D.This offers better chances for a Black advantage than 16.... PxP; 17.B-N6, Q-B1; 18.N-R5, K-R1; (18.... NxN?; 19.NxP ch costs Black's queen); 19.NxN, QxN; 20.B-R7, R-Q1; 21.PxP, BxP; 22.NxNP.
E.The plausible 20.N-B5, PxN; 21.QxB, R-B2; 22.Q-Q2, N-Q5 leaves Black a pawn ahead with a satisfactory position.
F.This alert move frees Black's game and ensures adequate counterplay. It appears to be a blunder, but Ljubojevic seldom errs tactically.
G.The stinger, which regains the piece and leaves Black with the more comfortable position.
H.Perhaps unsettled by the shifting initiative, White commits an uncharacteristic oversight. Though the Black position was now preferable, 28.N-Q4 offers White fair drawing chances, particularly in view of the bishops of opposite color.
I.Since after 30.K-N1, RxQ; 31.B-N3, B-Q4, White will be forced to spew another pawn with a dreadful position.
International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion and has won or shared the US Open title five times.