World Champion Gary Kasparov trailed Yugoslav Lubo Ljubojevic by half a point heading into the final round of the elite SWIFT International (the subject of our last column). When the Yugoslav with the White pieces quickly drew with Anatoly Karpov, it gave Kasparov the opportunity to catch up with him if only he could defeat his redoubtable adversary, Soviet Mikhail Tal, a former world champion. When this was accomplished, some of the journalists in the press room claimed Tal's defense was poor and alleged a Soviet fix, recalling similar charges at Cura,cao, 1962, Palma, 1970, and more recently on a couple of occasions when Karpov met and defeated Soviet colleagues to win tournaments ahead of outsiders. Such a charge, however, has never been leveled at Kasparov, and a kinder view of the win is that he took full advantage of Tal's plausible but faulty strategy. Further, it is noted that Tal made his reputation for his great attacking ability rather than his skill in defense. Today we give the game in question and allow you to judge for yourself.
An interesting aside is that at Brussels, Kasparov found it more difficult than usual to defeat opponents intent on a solid draw (five draws in 11 games). After his last title match Gary was heard to remark that he worked very hard to beat Karpov and now intended to work less. His old mentor, many times world titlist Mikhail Botvinnik, reportedly replied: ``If he makes such a mistake he will not advance further.'
Sicilian Defense Kasparov Tal 1. P-Q4 N-KB3 2. P-QB4 P-K3 3. N-QB3 B-N5 4. P-K3 O-O 5. B-Q3 P-Q4 6. PxP PxP 7. N-K2 P-B4 8. O-O N-B3 9. P-QR3 PxP 10. PxP (a) BxN (b) 11. PxB N-K2 (c) 12. Q-B2 B-Q2 13. B-KN5 N-N3 14. P-KB4 (d) P-KR3 15. QBxN QxB 16. P-B5 N-K2 17. N-N3 N-B1 18. R-B4 N-Q3 19. Q-B2 (e) KR-K1 (f) 20. N-R5 Q-Q1 (g) 21. NxP N-K5 (h) 22. BxN RxB 23. P-B6 K-R2 24. RxR PxR 25. Q-B4 B-B3 26. R-K1 Q-KB1 27. P-N4 QxP (i) 28. N-B5 Q-B1 29. R-K3 B-Q2 30. R-N3 BxN 31. QxB ch Resigns (j)
A.Another possibility is 10.PxB, PxN; 11.P-N5, N-K4 (11.... PxP; 12.BxP, N-K2; 13.N-Q4 gives White the initiative and positional compensation for the sacrificed pawn); 12.PxP or 12.NxP, with White enjoying a slight edge. Apparently Kasparov is after bigger game.
B.Retreating the bishop with 10.... B-Q3 was very much to be considered, particularly since 11.B-KN5?, BxP ch; 12.KxB, N-N5 ch and 13.... QxB favors Black.
C.Black hopes to get in 12.... B-B4 to exchange bishops. White does not oblige.
D.This pawn will be the focal point of White's attack.
E.The transfer of the White queen to the kingside will soon prove decisive.
F.Black might muster sterner resistance by playing this rook to QB1. Then after 20.... Q-Q1 his queen would have immediate access to KB1 and his knight might defend KN2 from the K1 square.
G.20.... Q-N4 was the last shot at a successful defense.
H.Black loses directly after 21.... KxN; 22.P-B6 ch, K-R1; 23.Q-R4 or here 22.... K-N1 or 22.K-B1; 23.Q-N3, and mate on KN7 follows.
I.Since Black cannot shore up his defenses, he may as well establish material parity.
J.For if 31.... K-R1, then 32.P-N5, P-R4; 33.R-R3 wins, and here 31.... K-N1; 32.P-N5, P-R4; 33.P-N6 is equally decisive.
International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion and has won or shared the US Open title five times.