Game 8 of the world chess championship match was adjourned yesterday in Moscow with challenger Gary Kasparov trailing by a pawn and struggling to hold a draw, while champion Anatoly Karpov explored the possibility of turning his slim margin into a victory. Grandmasters at the scene were uncertain, without time for detailed analysis, whether Karpov could nurse his extra pawn to victory. But the odds are that, given a whole night for his team of experts to examine all possibilities, Kasparov can hold a draw.
On first glance, the adjourned position looks simple. But in a rook-and-pawn endgame, with minimal material on the board, small differences of tempo and position can have momentous results. Kasparov seems to have two main lines of play, and which one he chooses will be signaled by his sealed 41st move. He can try to protect his remaining pawn with 41 . . . Ke5, hoping to put his king on f4. With Kd6, he can begin an effort to dislodge Karpov's rook and capture the a-pawn, in which case he may leave his g-pawn exposed to attack.
Kasparov played well for a while in a game that opened in rather routine fashion (the first dozen moves have been seen at least half a dozen times in games between these two players), but he fell into slight imprecision in moves 28 to 33. With his rook paralyzed by Karpov's threat of Ne3 (with or without a pawn capture) followed by Rxg2ch, he had to allow the champion a small positional advantage that was exploited into an extra pawn.
Queen's gambit:White/Black Karpov/Kasparov 1. d4d5 2. c4e6 3. Nc3Be7 4. Nf3Nf6 5. Bg5h6 6. Bh40-0 7. e3b6 8. Be2Bb7 9. Bxf6Bxf6 10. cxd5exd5 11. b4c5 12. bxc5bxc5 13. Rb1bc6 14. 0-0Nd7 15. Bb5Qc7 16. Qd3Rfd8 17. Rfd1Rab8 18. Bxc6Qxc6 19. Rxb8Rxb8 20. dxc5Bxc3 21. Qxc3Qxc5 22. Qxc5Nxc5 23. h3Ne4 24. Rxd5Rb1ch 25. Kh2Nxf2 26. Rd8chKh7 27. Rd7a5 28. Rxf7Rb2 29. a4Nd1 30. Re7Rb4 31. Nd4Nxe3 32. Nc6Rc4 33. Rxe3Rxc6 34. Re5Rc3 35. Rxa5Ra3 36. h4Kg6 37. g4Kf6 38. Rf5chKe6 39. Rf4g5 40. hxg5hxg5 41. Rb4