Chess

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The Independent Culture
Nigel Short's win against Vladimir Kramnik in the Euwe Memorial Tournament in Amsterdam was a fine positional achievement with a puzzling finish. The opening looked like one of Short's castle long and bash them on the K- side specials, but Kramnik's logical play kept his king free from danger.

When White plays a move such as 16. e5, he must balance the attacking chances it offers against the potential weakness of the isolated pawn. Short's 26. Qd6] seemed to accept that there was no attack worth playing for. When queens were exchanged, Kramnik offered a draw, presumably considering that the position was ompletely equalised, but Short had seen very deeply into the potential of the White Q- side pawn majority. 26. b4] and 32. c4] were the quick path to creating a passed pawn. With all White's men well placed to shepherd its advance, Black's defence was difficult.

Short must have played 41. Rxd5 in very confident fashion, for Kramnik resigned immediately. After 41 . . . exd5 42. b6 Rc8 it looks as though the passed pawn will cost Black his rook, which is why Kramnik gave up. The next day, Short admitted that he was not certain his position was winning. He gave as best play 43. Kb5 f6] 44. b7 Rd8 45. Na6 (45. exf6+ Kxf6 46. Nd7+ Kf5 47. b8=Q Rxb8+ 48. Nxb8 Ke4 is fine for Black) 45 . . . fxe5 46. b8=Q Rxb8+ 47. Nxb8, when White can probably squeeze a win. In resigning when he did, Kramnik was perhaps a little too trusting.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Short Black: Kramnik ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 e4 c5 22 Bxc5 Nxc5 2 Nf3 Nc6 23 Qd6 Rac8 3 d4 cxd4 24 Qxc7 Rxc7 4 Nxd4 Nf6 25 Rfd4 Rb8 5 Nc3 d6 26 b4 Nb7 6 Bg5 e6 27 Ne4 Kf8 7 Qd2 a6 28 Kb2 Ke7 8 0-0-0 h6 29 a3 Rd8 9 Be3 Bd7 30 Rxd8 Nxd8 10 f4 b5 31 Nc5 a5 11 Bd3 Be7 32 c4 axb4 12 Kb1 0-0 33 axb4 bxc4 13 Rhf1 Ng4 34 Kc3 Nc6 14 Nxc6 Bxc6 35 Re1 Na7 15 Bg1 Nf6 36 Kxc4 Kd8 16 e5 dxe5 37 Rd1+ Ke7 17 fxe5 Nd7 38 b5 Nc8 18 Bd4 Bc5 39 Kb4 Nb6 19 Be4 Qc7 40 Rd6 Nd5+ 20 Bxc6 Qxc6 41 Rxd5 1-0 21 Rf4 Qc7 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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