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CHESS

For Garry Kasparov it was business as usual during the third round of the recent international tournament in Linares, Spain when he routinely defeated Viswanathan Anand. In recent months, the Indian grandmaster has emerged as the most dangerous threat to the Russian's chess throne.

For Anand the loss seemed disastrous. "I was really let down," he said after the tournament.

But then fate took a different turn. Kasparov granted a series of nine draws in the next nine rounds to score a meagre total of 6 1/2 points in 12 games and finish in a tie for third-place with Vladimir Kramnik. It was one of his worst performances ever.

Anand after drawing a series of six games himself, concluded with a flourish by winning two of his last three. At the end, he was alone in first place with a 7 1/2 -4 1/2 score -- a half-point ahead of Alexei Shirov. The victory was a big one. "Linares 1998" is rightly considered one of the strongest tournaments ever held.

His win over Anand in round three, notwithstanding, Kasparov played without the often intimidating high level of energy which is his trademark. Reportedly, he was suffering from a heavy cold.

With the tournament up for grabs, the Professional Chess Association world champion uncharacteristically agreed to draws in under 20 moves in two of his last three games. Three earlier games had lasted less than 25 moves and one other only 26.

Anand gained new status with his victory which added further to the luster of other recent accomplishments.

Below is a crucial 12th round win against Vassily Ivanchuk, the fourth-rated player in the world.

Ivanchuk Anand
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 Nc6
6. Bg5 e6
7. Qd2 Be7
8. O-O-O O-O
9. f3 Nxd4
10. Qxd4 a6
11. h4 b5
12. Kb1 Qc7
13. h5 h6
14. Bh4 Bb7
Ivanchuk Anand
15. Ne2 R(a)c8
16. Qd2 R(f)d8
17. Re1 e5
18. Bxf6 Bxf6
19. Nc3 Bg5
20. Qd1 Qa5
21. Nd5 Bxd5
22. exd5 Rxc2!
23. Kxc2 Qxa2
24. f4 Rc8ch
25. Kd2 Bxf4ch
26. Ke2 Qxb2ch
27. Kf3 Rc1!
White resigns(a)
Note (a): If 28. Qe2, then ... Qc3ch with a crushing attack.

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