The 16th game of the world chess championship series between champion Gary Kasparov and challenger Anatoly Karpov was adjourned last night after 40 moves, with Kasparov holding a slight advantage in pieces but Karpov with a positional edge that gave him a good chance for a draw.
The champion, playing white, used the same Scotch Opening he employed last week, and both men's moves were identical to those of the 14th game until Karpov's eighth move. The opening led to a wide-open game, with the players trading pieces as Kasparov pressed a king's-side attack and Karpov parried skillfully.
The series stands tied at 7 1/2 to 7 1/2, with each man having won one game and the remaining 13 tied. Kasparov needs only an overall tie in the series to retain his crown.
The first 12 games were played in New York, with the second half of the series now being played at a sold-out 1,000-seat hall in Lyons, France.
Karpov chose to develop his king's side quickly, sacrificing a pawn by castling on his 15th move. Kasparov was able to hide his king by castling on his 21st move, however, and it was unclear what Karpov had gained by his pawn sacrifice.
As in many of the games in this series, Kasparov attempted to overwhelm Karpov with a forceful attack and prepared his final assault on the king's rook side with his 26th move -- Rh2. But Karpov immediately saw the threat and moved his knight to the king's side.
With his 32nd move, Rc6, Karpov was able to halt Kasparov's attempts to break through with his king's pawn. With his 33rd move, Karpov was threatening to enter white's position, so Kasparov moved his bishop to b1 to block the challenger.
On his 35th move, Rh3, Kasparov threatened to put all his remaining firepower into the h file, but Karpov was able to block the threat with a series of tactical moves. First he attacked Kasparov's bishop on b1; then he attacked his queen by taking a pawn. But with his 37th move, . . . Ng6, Karpov was forced into an exchange of black's rook for white's bishop, because 37. . . . Rb2 followed by 38 Qh4 would have given Kasparov a mating attack.
Both men played under time pressure in their last moves of the evening. Kasparov sealed his 41st move as they adjourned, with the game to resume Sunday at 5 p.m. Lyons time (11 a.m. EDT).
Kavalek is a chess international grandmaster. Horne is an assistant foreign editor of The Washington Post.