Chess

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The Independent Culture
BRILLIANCE or befuddlement? There are two theories about the ninth Short-Timman game: either it was a superb swashbuckling adventure with Short's clarity of thought finally buckling Timman's swash, or it was a piece of suicidal bravado by Timman which should have been punished even more convincingly. White's 14th move and Black's 18th must be put under the analysts' microscopes before a firm diagnosis is made.

Even earlier there was much of interest, beginning with 5 . . . Ne7]? The play up to 9. Nd3 is forced if White wants to keep his extra pawn. Instead, 9. Nf3 Qxe4 10. Re1 Qb4 is satisfactory for Black.

11. b3] invites 11 . . . Qxa1? 12. Nc3, when Black's queen is trapped, but Short's 12 . . . f4] (12. Qxf4? Qxf4 13. Nxf4 Bxe5 wins for Black) added to the complications.

Timman's 14. Qxb7 was new to theory, and the speed with which he had played strongly suggested pre-game preparation, but it all looks disastrous. The crucial question is what happens after 18 . . . Qxa1? White can create some play with 19. Qa4+ Kf8 (19 . . . Kf7 20. Qc4+]? is also messy) 20. Nc3 Bxc3 21. Qxf4+, but it hardly looks worth the rook.

Short's 18 . . . f3 reprieved the rook, a decision justified by the fine 20 . . . 0-0]] One does not normally invite a queen exchange when three pawns behind, but 21. Qc4+ Rf7 22. Qxd4 Bxd4 23. Re2 Rbf8 wins for Black.

As the game went, Timman's position still offered some fight, but he went downhill quickly in time-trouble. The jury is still out on the objective merits of this game, but in view of the importance of the encounter, it was a magnificent scrap.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Timman Black: Short ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 5 0-0 Ne7 6 Nxe5 Qd4 7 Qh5 g6 8 Qg5 Bg7 9 Nd3 f5 10 e5 c5 11 b3 h6 12 Qg3 f4 13 Qf3 Bf5 14 Qxb7 Be4 15 Qxc7 Bxd3 16 cxd3 Bxe5 17 Qb7 Rb8 18 Qxa6 f3 19 Nc3 fxg2 20 Re1 0-0 21 Qe6+ Rf7 22 Nd1 Qxa1 23 Qxe5 Qxe5 24 Rxe5 Nc6 25 Rxc5 Nb4 26 Ba3 Nxd3 27 Rc6 Ra8 28 Rd6 Rxa3 29 Rxd3 Rxa2 30 Ne3 Kg7 31 Kxg2 Ra5 32 Rd4 Rb5 33 b4 Rbb7 34 Rc4 Rfc7 35 Rg4 Rd7 36 h4 h5 37 Rg5 Rxb4 38 d4 Rf7 39 Rd5 Rb2 White resigns -----------------------------------------------------------------

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