World champion Gary Kasparov and challenger Anatoly Karpov last night again adjourned the 16th game of their title series, with Karpov on the ropes and the champion pressing for a knockout.

After six hours of wide-open play, with Kasparov the aggressor and Karpov parrying defensively, time ran out. Kasparov sealed his 89th move in the game, whose first 40 moves were played in a five-hour session Saturday. The game is to resume on Tuesday, while Game 17 is scheduled to begin today.

Either player, however, can call a timeout, which would delay the start of the next game until Wednesday. A timeout must be requested by noon in Lyon, France (6 a.m. EST), where the games are being played.

Winning this game would give Kasparov a huge advantage, giving him a lead of 8 1/2-7 1/2 and forcing Karpov to win two of the final eight games in the 24-game series. Of the first 15 games, 13 were draws, with Kasparov and Karpov each winning only one game. If the series ends in a 12-12 tie, Kasparov would retain his championship.

As the game resumed yesterday, Kasparov showed excellent technique, starting with his sealed 41st move, which led to an exchange of queens. After the exchange, however, Karpov pushed his central pawns forward to the black squares with his 44th and 45th moves to allow himself a more active defensive position.

Kasparov then tried to dislodge Karpov from this active defense, starting by moving his rook to the eighth rank to prepare an attack from the rear on the challenger's central pawns. Kasparov could not win a pawn with 52. Rxe5 because Karpov could have countered with 52. . . . Nd3, forking the champion's rook and bishop. Instead, Kasparov launched a series of excellent rook maneuvers (moves 52 to 57) to force Karpov's g pawn to move forward, where it became weaker.

After Kasparov's 58th move, Ba5, Karpov could not play 58. . . . Nd3 because that would have led to 59. Bd8ch Ke6, 60. Bg5, followed by 61. Rg7, winning the important g pawn. Karpov had to protect this pawn with his bishop, which allowed Kasparov a pawn break, 59. f4, that allowed the champion to push black's king back and win the d pawn in the process. Karpov could not respond with 59. . . . e4 because that would have allowed Kasparov to play 60. Bb6, winning immediately.

Karpov then tried to build a fortress around his g pawn with his bishop and knight, but the knight, on the h file, was running out of playing room.

As the game adjourned, the winning setup was in sight for Kasparov: He was trying to place his king on e7, and Karpov was denying that square to him.

Kavalek is an international grandmaster. Horne is a Washington Post assistant foreign editor.

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