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Kasparov's return to tournament play finds him sailing along at top form

Fresh from a triumphant result in the team championships at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he lost only one game to Yasser Seirawan of the United States (featured in an earlier column), World Champion Gary Kasparov returned to the tournament wars. Although he had played in numerous training matches in preparation for his conquests of Anatoly Karpov, and was successful in all of them, this superstrong gathering at Brussels represented his first tournament appearance in almost three years. A double round-robin competition, with the very high average international rating of 2636, the event might have been expected to provide the young titleholder with quite a severe test. The opposite proved true, however, as he scored 7-2 to crush the field and emerge victorious by two full points. Trailing him were grandmasters Viktor Korchnoi (5), John Nunn and Robert H"ubner (5), Nigel Short (4), and Lajos Portisch (3).

Other world champions who possessed the ability to overpower world-class opponents on occasion were Bobby Fischer and Alexander Alekhine, to whose style that of Kasparov has often been compared. Gr"unfeld Defense Kasparov Nunn 1. P-Q4 N-KB3 2. P-QB4 P-KN3 3. N-KB3 B-N2 4. P-KN3 O-O 5. B-N2 P-B3 6. N-B3 P-Q4 7. PxP PxP 8. N-K5 P-K3 9. O-O KN-Q2 10. P-B4 NxN? (a) 11. BPxN N-B3? 12. P-K4! (b) PxP 13. B-K3 (c) P-B4 14. PxP e.p. RxP 15. NxP RxR ch 16. QxR (d) NxP? (e) 17. R-Q1 P-K4 18. N-N5! Resigns (f)

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A.Supersharp play. The conservative 10.... N-QB3, which leads to more-normal play, is considered satisfactory for Black.

B.Kasparov, with typical vigor, opens up the game, even at the possible cost of a pawn.

C.The point of the preceding move. Black cannot now play passively and allow 14.NxP, as his KB3 square will then be woefully weak.

D.No doubt the position Kasparov envisioned when he essayed 12.P-K4.

E.A terrible blunder for a world-class grandmaster, even in a difficult position. 16.... BxP should have been tried, though White has more than ample compensation for the gambited pawn. After 16.... BxP; 17.BxB, QxB ch; 18.K-R1, Black's queenside piece development is in arrears and his king position is porous. Moreover, White will soon obtain control of the Q file. All in all, a poor bargain against a world champion.

F.White threatens a devastating queen check at QB4. And if Black defends against this, the bishop check at Q5 will be equally unpleasant.

International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion and has won or shared the US Open title five times.