Chess

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THE ENGLISH had an unfortunate habit of attracting each other's names every time the pairings were made at the SWIFT Rapid Chess Challenge in Brussels earlier this month. In the first round, Michael Adams knocked out John Nunn, in the second, he defeated Nigel Short. In the quarter-final, Adams was, of course, drawn against Jonathan Speelman, of which more later. Today's game is the decisive encounter from the Adams-Short match.

Opening with the Trompowski, Adams achieved less than equality with the white pieces. Short's recipe of 2 . . . c6, 3 . . . h6, 4 . . . Qb6 and 5 . . . e5] solves all his problems since 6. dxe5 loses a piece to Qb4+.

Black's 17 . . . b6, however, is hard to understand. With such games of pawn advances on opposite wings, it is usually best to leave your defending pawns untouched, if only to increase the time it takes for your opponent to reach them. By the time Short found himself having to play 22 . . . Bf7 just to avoid the worst of White's Nd4, it was clear something had gone wrong. Short then did his best to create counter-chances, but Adams always stayed on top of the complications.

White: Adams

Black: Short

1 d4 d5 23 Nd4 f4 2 Bg5 c6 24 Ncb5 f3 3 e3 h6 25 gxf3 Qh3 4 Bh4 Qb6 26 Rfb1 exf3 5 Qc1 e5 27 Bxf3 Ne4 6 c3 Nd7 28 Bxe4 dxe4 7 Nf3 e4 29 Qxe4 Bxc5 8 Nfd2 f5 30 Rc1 Bb6 9 Bg3 Ngf6 31 Nd6 Bxd4 10 c4 Nh5 32 exd4 Bh5 11 Nc3 Nxg3 33 c7 Ra8 12 hxg3 Nf6 34 c8=Q Raxc8 13 a3 Be6 35 Rxc8 Rxc8 14 b4 Qd8 36 Nxc8 Qxc8 15 Be2 Be7 37 Re1 Bf7 16 c5 0-0 38 d5 Qd7 17 Nb3 b6 39 Rd1 Qd6 18 0-0 Rb8 40 Qe3 a5 19 Qc2 g5 41 Qc3 h5 20 b5 bxc5 42 Qc6 Qe5 21 dxc5 Qc8 43 d6 Qe2 22 bxc6 Bf7 44 Qc1 1-0

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