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The Independent Culture
ON THE cover of one of his innumerable - and excellent - Discworld books, Terry Pratchett features a picture of a gentleman in a wheelchair (Arch-Chancellor Ridcully of Unseen University, if I'm not mistaken) leading his "troops" into battle, brandishing a walking-stick.

A fine conceit and (I hope I'm not being too rude here) one that would make a splendid icon for the doughty team of Veterans at the Dutch multi- millionaire Joop van Oosterom's annual contest between them and the Ladies.

Surely elderly wizards are supposed to protect maidens in distress, but that isn't what's happened in the eighth annual showdown - the Flamenco tournament in Marbella - as they've stormed to victory by 28 to 17 with yesterday's round to spare. As last year, the mainstay has been Victor Korchnoi who has made 7/9, while three of the other four Veterans - Hort and Portisch on 6/9 and Spassky on 5 - have a plus score, and only Smyslov is on 4/9. Meanwhile (with a round to go) all the women had less than 50 per cent!

The final result, and one of Korchnoi's many wins, to be reported on Thursday; but for the moment here is how the nowadays notoriously drawish Boris Spassky scored his one and only win - but the quickest of the tournament so far.

Zhu Chen got rather less than nothing from the opening but 19 Bb5? was awful. 24 e4 looked like an escape route but after 26 ...Qg6! Black wins a whole rook.

White: Zhu Chen

Black: Boris Spassky

Queen's Gambit Declined

1 d4 d5

2 c4 e6

3 Nc3 Nf6

4 Nf3 Nbd7

5 cxd5 exd5

6 Bf4 c6

7 h3 Bb4

8 Qb3 Qe7

9 a3 Bxc3+

10 Qxc3 Ne4

11 Qc2 0-0

12 e3 c5

13 Bd3 b6

14 Ne5 Nxe5

15 dxe5 Bf5

16 Qd1 Rad8

17 0-0 Bg6

18 Qg4 Qe6

19 Bb5 Bf5

20 Qh4 h6

21 Qh5 Nd2

22 Rfe1 Nb3

23 Rad1 c4

24 e4 Bxe4

25 Bxc4 dxc4

26 Rxe4 Qg6!