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The Independent Culture
OVER the next few months, as Nigel Short and Jan Timman prepare to battle for the right to challenge Garry Kasparov for the world title, we shall be taking occasional looks at their previous matches to spot the strengths and weaknesses that will decide the match.

We start today with a Short victory from Tilburg 1991, to illustrate the Timman weakness of stubbornness. Jan Timman is a player with an unusually wide opening repertoire, but he has some old favourites well past their play-by date.

A basic rule of chess is that you do not play Alekhine's Defence against Nigel Short. The English grandmaster is at his best in positions with a single open file, blocked central pawns and a space advantage. He knows better than anyone how to establish a bind in such positions, then turn the spatial plus into a decisive attack.

In this game, there are two crucial moments. The first is Short's finely judged decision to allow 18 . . . Nxc4, splitting his pawns. He knew their weakness would never play a part in the game. The other was Short's final winning plan. Such was his bind that his king was able to walk boldly into enemy territory to help the mating attack, with his own men providing a total security guard. After 34. Kg5 Bxd7 35. Kh6, Black is mated.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Short Black: Timman ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 e4 Nf6 18 b3 Nxc4 2 e5 Nd5 19 bxc4 Re8 3 d4 d6 20 Rd1 Qc5 4 Nf3 g6 21 Qh4 b6 5 Bc4 Nb6 22 Be3 Qc6 6 Bb3 Bg7 23 Bh6 Bh8 7 Qe2 Nc6 24 Rd8 Bb7 8 0-0 0-0 25 Rad1 Bg7 9 h3 a5 26 R8d7 Rf8 10 a4 dxe5 27 Bxg7 Kxg7 11 dxe5 Nd4 28 R1d4 Rae8 12 Nxd4 Qxd4 29 Qf6+ Kg8 13 Re1 e6 30 h4 h5 14 Nd2 Nd5 31 Kh2 Rc8 15 Nf3 Qc5 32 Kg3 Rce8 16 Qe4 Qb4 33 Kf4 Bc8 17 Bc4 Nb6 34 Kg5 1-0 -----------------------------------------------------------------