Chess: Kasparov miskicks

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
GARRY KASPAROV must be furious. Just as the goal of a perfect match without defeat loomed in front of him, he kicked wide. And he has only himself to blame - and some very fine play by Nigel Short.

Curiously, Short's win came from the one game in which he seemed to achieve nothing in the opening. After 20 moves, the position was level and soon it looked as though queens were bound to be exchanged, leaving only the prospect of a dull draw. That all changed with Kasparov's 25 . . . g6?

He must have intended to meet with 26. Nd4 with e5 (the pawn is on g6 to stop the knight from moving to f5), but Short had seen that 26. Nd4 e5 27. Rc3] leads to a clear advantage after 27 . . . Qa7 (Qb6? loses the queen to a check on e6) 28. Nc6] Qxf2+ 29. Kxf2 Bxc6 (29 . . . Rc8 is met by 30. Nxe5] dxe5 31. Rxd7 Rxc3 32. Rd8+ winning material).

Kasparov was forced to improvise with Qe5 and g5 (which looked very odd after having played g6 only two moves earlier), but his attempts to turn it into a K-side attack always looked dubious.

Short patiently pursued his play on the other wing, with moves 30 to 36 persistently aimed at the pawn on b5, and Black's game fell apart. At the end, 38 . . . exf5 39. exf5+ Kf8 40. Qxf6 would be a disaster.

White: Short

Black: Kasparov

1 e4 c5 20 Rd3 Rfd8

2 Nf3 d6 21 Red1 Qc5

3 d4 cxd4 22 Qe3 Kg8

4 Nxd4 Nf6 23 Kg1 Kf8

5 Nc3 a6 24 Qf2 Ba8

6 Bc4 e6 25 Ne2 g6

7 Bb3 b5 26 Nd4 Qe5

8 0-0 Be7 27 Re1 g5

9 Qf3 Qc7 28 c3 Kg7

10 Qg3 Nc6 29 Bc2 Rg8

11 Nxc6 Qxc6 30 Nb3 Kf8

12 Re1 Bb7 31 Rd4 Ke7

13 a3 Rd8 32 a4 h5

14 f3 0-0 33 axb5 axb5

15 Bh6 Ne8 34 Rb4 h4

16 Kh1 Kh8 35 Nd4 g4

17 Bg5 Bxg5 36 Rxb5 d5

18 Qxg5 Nf6 37 Qxh4 Qh5

19 Rad1 Rd7 38 Nf5+ 1-0