Competition Nearing a Close

The Professional Chess Assn. world championship inched closer to conclusion with another short draw in Game 16 Friday in New York. The game lasted 20 moves and took only 70 minutes. Challenger Viswanathan Anand appears to have given up the struggle to dethrone champion Garry Kasparov.

Kasparov leads the best-of-20-game match, 9 1/2 to 6 1/2. He needs one more point (either one win or two draws) to end the match and collect the $1-million prize. The loser will receive $500,000.

In Friday's game, Anand, playing Black, used the same Scheveningen variation of the Sicilian Defense that Kasparov had used as Black five times earlier in the match. Kasparov abandoned the Scheveningen after losing the ninth game. Perhaps Anand's adoption of it sends the message that he thinks he can handle it better than Kasparov did, or perhaps he merely wanted to emphasize the frivolous nature of the last games of the match.

With 16 Bd4, Kasparov varied from the seventh game, in which Anand tried 16 e5. Kasparov offered a draw at move 20, and Anand accepted immediately.

After the previous non-battle on Thursday, Kasparov attempted to explain Anand's frustration by referring to the challenger's series of victories in world championship qualification matches, saying: "I don't think it's easy for someone who spent two years of his life climbing and getting quite close."

On Friday, Anand raised the possibility of a livelier game next week by saying: "Actually, I think I might have one more shot at him." He gets what may be his last chance on Monday. Here are the moves of Friday's game:

Kasparov-Anand #16: 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be2 e6 7 0-0 Be7 8 a4 Nc6 9 Be3 0-0 10 f4 Qc7 11 Kh1 Re8 12 Bd3 Nb4 13 a5 Bd7 14 Nf3 Rac8 15 Bb6 Qb8 16 Bd4 Bc6 17 Qd2 Nxd3 18 cxd3 Nd7 19 Bg1 Qc7 20 Nd4, Drawn.


World Chess Championship

Thursday: Draw

Standings: Kasparov leads 9 1/2-6 1/2 in best-of-20 series

Next game: Monday

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