Game 13 of the world chess championship was adjourned yesterday in Lyon, France, with challenger Anatoly Karpov writing down his 42nd move and putting it in a sealed envelope to be held overnight. Analysis of the adjourned position indicated that the game will be drawn in a few moves, and the players are likely to agree to a draw without coming back for a scheduled second session today.
Defending champion Gary Kasparov seized the initiative early although he was playing black. In the adjourned position, he had two joined passed pawns on the queenside, often a winning combination. But Karpov had a more advanced passed pawn, escorted by a rook, on his d-file, and his king was well-positioned to keep the black rook from attacking this menacing asset.
In more than two weeks since the first half of the match ended in New York, Kasparov must have examined the openings in games 1-12 and decided to make the Gruenfeld Indian his main defense in France. He had played it only once in New York, in a game where he was under pressure. But this time, he juggled the order of opening moves slightly and emerged from the opening with more freedom for his pieces (especially the bishops) than Karpov had. By move 11, Karpov had created a passed pawn, but black was in a very good position for blockading it. Karpov spent almost an hour -- twice as long as Kasparov -- on his first 13 moves and had to take aggressive measures to ward off Kasparov's initiative.
After the exchange of white-squared bishops, the question was which pawns were weaker. Traditionally, pawns on the same-color square as one's bishop are considered weak, but Kasparov, paradoxically, had a more active position with the only weakness, on b6, easily covered by the bishop. After 31. . . . Bc7, it started to be clear that Karpov would be pushed back. After 35 moves, Karpov had only five minutes for his remaining five moves.
With 40. Ke1, he was able to avoid a brilliant tactical stroke prepared by Kasparov. Had he played the tempting 40. d6, Kasparov would have won with a rook sacrifice. 40. . . . Rg1ch; 41. Kxg1, d2, and the pawn cannot be stopped from queening.
In the adjourned position, a draw seems inevitable after 42. Kxc3, Rxa4; 43. d6, Ra1; 44. Kc2, Ra4; 45. Kd3. White will not allow the black rook to occupy the d-file, attacking the white passed pawn, and black has to repeat the moves, leading to a draw after the same position is reached three times, to keep white from advancing his d-pawn.
Game 14 is scheduled to begin Monday with Kasparov playing white.
Lubomir Kavalek is a chess grandmaster. Joseph McLellan is a Washington Post staff writer.