To no one's surprise the Soviet juggernaut, led by world champion Gary Kasparov on Board 1, and former titleholder Anatoly Karpov on Board 2 won the 1988 Olympiad, which ended Nov. 27 in Thessaloniki, Greece. The Soviets easily outdistanced all opposition, winning the gold medal with a score of 40.5 points. The rest of the world fought it out for the other places, with England winning the silver medal on tiebreaks over the Netherlands, both teams scoring 34.5 points.
The United States team and Hungary finished half a point below and a plethora of teams tied for the next spot. Kasparov scored a most impressive 8.5 out of a possible 10 points on the top board, and Karpov, 8 out of 10.
The big surprise was in the women's event, where a team led by the three Polgar sisters from Hungary surprised and took the gold medal, half a point ahead of the Soviet contingent, the only time in my chess career that the Soviet women have lost this event.
There were many reasons for the ``upset,'' starting with the Polgars, led by Susan on Board 1 and the incredible 12-year-old Judith (who scored an astounding 12.5 out of 13) on Board 2, while Sophia also played well on Board 3. The Soviet effort was hindered by the timing of the women's world championship match between titleholder Maya Chiburdanidze and countrywomen Nana Ioseliani, which ended shortly before the Olympiad. At first, both players were fatigued and refused to play, but the Soviet Sports Committee convinced them it was better that they do so. Chiburdanidze did not appear up to par, though, allowing some draws in superior positions.
Perhaps the chief reason the Soviets lost, however, was the marriage and immediate defection of Elena Akhmilovskaya, the fifth-ranked woman in the world. Akhmilovskaya, who left Greece right after a secret Nov. 25 wedding to non-playing US team captain John Donaldson, had been playing very well on Board 2, with 8.5 out of 9 points, and might very well have spelled the difference in the decisive final matches.
Today's game features the fighting qualities of Mrs. Donaldson as she copes with a prepared variation and eventually outplays Gabriela Stanciu of Romania. She will certainly make a welcome addition to US chess as she joins her longtime friend Anna Akhsharumova as an American chessplayer. Queen's Gambit Declined (Tarrasch Defense)
Akhmilovskaya Stanciu 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Bg5 cxd4 10. Nxd4 Re8 11. Qa4 Bd7 12. Rad1 h6 13. Be3 (a) Nb4 14. Qb3 a5 15. a4 Bf8 16. Nc2 b5!? (b) 17. axb5 a4 (c) 18. Qxb4! (d) Bxb4 19. Nxb4 Qa5? (e) 20. Nbxd5 Nxd5 21. Rxd5 Be6 (f) 22. Rd4 Bb3 23. Bxa8 Rxa8 24. Ra1 Qc7 25. Rb4! (g) Qb7 26. b6 Qc6 27. Bf4 Qb7 28. Ne4 Bd5 29. Nd6 (h) Qd7 30. Rd1 Bc6 31. f3 g5 32. Be3 Qe6 33. Ne4 Bxe4 (i) 34. fxe4 Qe7 35. Rc4 a3 36. bxa3 Qxa3 37. Bf2 Qa2 38. b7 Rf8 39. Rc8 Qb3 40. Rxf8 ch Black resigns
A.This position has occurred often in master play. It is well known that White can expect no advantage from an exchange on f6, because of the Black control over the d4 square. If 13.Bxf6, Bxf6; 14.Nxc6, bxc6 or 14.Nb3, d4.
B.This seems to be a very strong innovation designed to capitalize on the precarious emplacement of the white queen. We suspect a Romanian home brew.
C.A strong, possibly winning move which White may have overlooked. Now 18.Nxa4, Bxb5 wins for Black. Some variations: 19.Nb6, Rxe3; 20.fxe3, Qxb6; 21.Nxb4, Ba4 or 21.... Bc4, or 20.Qxe3, Nxc2, and finally 19.Nc3, Bc4 traps the Queen more advantageously than in the text.
D.The best practical chance. White obtains two minor pieces and a strong passed pawn for the queen - enough to make a fight of it, but probably not quite enough to hold against best play.
E.Having won the queen, Black relaxes and makes a fast move. It would be judicious to return some material with 19.... Rxe3; 20.fxe3, Be6. The Black queen will soon assume a strong post on b6, where it controls the b-pawn and eyes White's weak pawn at e3. This would assure Black of the edge while, as the play goes, Black feels compelled to yield the exchange under less favorable circumstances.
F.Now 21.... Rxe3 is strongly met by 22.Rxd7, and both of Black's rooks are threatened.
G.An excellent move. ``Rooks belong behind passed pawns.'' White is now winning.
H.Here 29.Nc5 wold be faster, as the b-pawn would soon advance.
I.Black wanted to prevent 34.Rd6, but now she has no effective blockader for the b-pawn.
International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion and has won or shared the US Open title five times.