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Kasparov consolidates his position

LINARES, MARCH 9. Continuing his splendid run, Garry Kasparov scored an emphatic victory over British Grandmaster Michael Adams to brighten his chances of winning the City of Linares chess title here.

Kasparov's 26-move win with the black pieces in the 12th round raised his tally to 7.5 points. He now needs only a draw against Viswanathan Anand to claim the title with a round to spare.

The Russian crushed Adams in Sicilian Defence where the players attacked from the opposite flanks. Kasparov capitalised on a blunder from Adams on the 20th move and weaved a checkmating net.

Trying too hard

Anand, Kasparov's nearest challenger, pressed too hard for victory over Spain's Francisco Pons Vallejo and eventually escaped with a draw after the latter blundered two moves from close in their 67-move marathon.

Anand took too many chances and was a pawn down in an ending involving rooks and pawns. Luckily for Anand, Vallejo erred in the last minute of their English Symmetrical game.

Earlier, Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov pushed World champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov to the bottom of the standings by inflicting a 32-move defeat. The victory helped Topalov rejoin Anand at the second spot.

The results (12th round): Veselin Topalov (Bul) (6/10) bt Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzb) (3.5/11); Viswanathan Anand (6/10) drew with Francisco Pons Vallejo (Esp) (3.5/10); Michael Adams (Eng) (4.5/11) lost to Garry Kasparov (Rus) (7.5/10); Free day: Peter Leko (Hun) (5/10).

13th round pairings: Vallejo-Topalov; Kasparov-Anand; Kasimdzhanov-Leko; Free day: Adams.

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