Khalifman wins game 4 of World Chess Championship match

by Sam Sloan

Khalifman defeated Akopian in an endgame in game 4 of the match, reversing an endgame loss by Khalifman the previous game.

At a press conference after the game, Khalifman said that a critical move was 16. .... Be6 by Akopian. Khalifman felt that 16. .... a6, as Topalov had played in another game, was better.

Khalifman added that after the exchange on f4 with 32. Bxf4 gxf4, he had the advantage.

The final position. White has just played 61. Ke4. Black resigns.

When asked at what point he felt that he would win the game, Khalifman said that this was when he played 36. Re4, after Akopian had played 35. .... d4. He said that d4 is probably a desperate try, but it almost worked. However, Khalifman added that Akopian is one of the best defensive players in the world and is very resourceful at defense, and that later Khalifman felt that he might have thought he was winning too soon. As a result, it was not until he played 58. h6 that Khalifman felt certain that he would win.

Khalifman now leads the match by 2 1/2 to 1 1/2. If Khalifman wins tomorrow, the match is over. A draw or a loss by Khalifman will take the match to six games.

When asked about his blunder against Akopian in the previous game when Khalifman could have held a draw with Kf7, Khalifman said that he has been blundering throughout the tournament and each time he has come back to win the next game.

Here is the score of game four.

[Event "FIDE World Chess Championship"]
[Site "Las Vegas USA"]
[Date "1999.08.26"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Khalifman,Alexander"]
[Black "Akopian,Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Opening "King's Indian: Gligori'c-Taimanov system"]
[ECO "E92"]
[NIC "KI.18"]
[Time "17:32:19"]
[TimeControl "6000+30"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 e5 7. Be3 exd4 8.
Nxd4 Re8 9. f3 c6 10. Bf2 d5 11. exd5 cxd5 12. O-O Nc6 13. c5 Nh5 14. Qd2
Be5 15. g3 Ng7 16. Rfd1 Be6 17. Nxe6 fxe6 18. f4 Bf6 19. Nb5 Be7 20. Rac1 a6
21. Nd4 Bf6 22. Nf3 Qa5 23. Qxa5 Nxa5 24. b4 Nc6 25. Rb1 h6 26. a4 g5 27.
fxg5 hxg5 28. g4 Ne5 29. Nxe5 Bxe5 30. Be3 Rf8 31. Rf1 Bf4 32. Bxf4 gxf4 33.
Bf3 Rf7 34. a5 Rd8 35. Rbe1 d4 36. Re4 d3 37. Bd1 d2 38. Rfxf4 Rxf4 39. Rxf4
Ne8 40. Kf2 Nc7 41. h4 e5 42. Rc4 Nd5 43. Kf3 Rf8+ 44. Ke2 Rd8 45. Kf3 Rf8+
46. Ke2 Rd8 47. Rc2 Nf4+ 48. Ke3 Nd5+ 49. Ke2 Nf4+ 50. Kf3 Kf7 51. c6 bxc6
52. Rxc6 Rd3+ 53. Ke4 Ke7 54. h5 Rd4+ 55. Kxe5 Rxb4 56. Rc7+ Kf8 57. Rd7 Ng2
58. h6 Kg8 59. g5 Ne3 60. g6 Rb5+ 61. Ke4 {Black resigns} 1-0 

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