Sunday Mail, March 11 2001

This year’s super tournament at Linares lost some of its shine when Vishy Anand declined his invitation due to commitments to his sponsors and Vladimir Kramnik could not reach agreement with the organisers over the playing contract. Headed by Garry Kasparov, the line-up is still impressive, from veteran Anatoly Karpov, 49, to rising star Alexander Grischuk, 17. All games in the first three rounds of the six-player double round robin were drawn, the monotony relieved only by the continuing hostility between Kasparov and Alexei Shirov, both avoiding handshakes and eye contact, and Judit Polgar at last breaking her duck against Kasparov. For spectators the contiguous international tournament for blind players, with eight former world blind champions, provided more entertainment until the fourth round, when the real action started. Kasparov outplayed Grischuk and Polgar downed Shirov in a thriller, while Karpov was still searching for a win against Peter Leko as this column went to print.

Polgar HUN (2676) – Shirov ESP (2718)

Linares ESP 2001

Sicilian Najdorf, Byrne Attack

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Nbd7 9.Qd2 b5 10.a4 b4 11.Nd5 Bxd5 12.exd5 Nb6 13.Bxb6 Qxb6 14.a5 Qb7 15.Bc4 g6 16.Ra4 Rb8 17.Nc1 h5 18.Nd3 Bh6 19.Qxb4 Qc7 20.Qa3 0-0 21.Nf2 Bc1 22.Nd3 Be3 23.Kd1 Rfc8 24.Re1 Bh6 25.c3 Rb5 26.Bxb5 axb5 27.Rb4 Nxd5 28.Rxb5 Qc4 29.Rxd5 Qxd5 30.Kc2 Ra8 31.a6 Qc6 32.Ra1 e4 33.Nb4 Qc4 34.Qa5 exf3 35.gxf3 Re8 36.Qd5 Re2+ 37.Kd1 Rd2+ 38.Qxd2 Bxd2 39.Kxd2 Qf4+ 40.Kc2 Qf5+ 41.Nd3 Qxf3 42.Ra5 Qa8 43.a7 d5 44.Nb4 d4 45.Nd5 dxc3 46.bxc3 Kg7 47.Kb3 Black resigns