Chess: Short and Adams leave it to the last

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The Independent Culture
NIGEL SHORT and Michael Adams have been indulging in brinkmanship in their PCA/Intel world championship quarter-finals in Trump Tower in New York.

While the other favourites, Gata Kamsky and Viswanathan Anand, won their matches with time to spare (Kamsky beat Kramnik 4 1/2-1 1/2 ; Anand beat Romanishin 5-2), the Short-Gulko and Tiviakov-Adams matches both left everything to be decided on the final game.

Short and Gulko scored one win each early in the match, then settled into a rut of draws. Gulko had no objection to quick draws with White, while Short pushed hard against Gulko's Caro-Kann, with out forcing a second win. So it was 3 1/2-3 1/2 with one game to play and Short due for the black pieces.

Tiviakov-Adams has been a thriller. Adams won the first two, Tiviakov won the next two, then came their sole draw before Adams went ahead with a fine win. Then the English grandmaster played his worst game of the match to let the Russian equalise again.

Tiviakov's 6. Bxc6 and 7. Qe2 is an uncommon line of the Ruy Lopez, but Bg4 and Bxf3 does not look the right way to meet it, especially if you are one up with two to play in a world title quarter-final. After the minor piece exchange on f3, Black has given up his asset of the bishop pair, and now has nothing to compensate for his mildly crumpled pawns. White is encouraged to play for a win with no risk.

White's superior pawn structure is emphasised by 12. f4, and the complications that followed did not help Adams.

After 19. Rxb7, his pawns on a6 and c6 were always going to be a problem. L 20. Re7] was a neat flourish to emphasise White's advantage, but Black was already suffering. When the two weak black pawns died, the game was decided and the last dozen moves were superfluous.

White: Tiviakov

Black: Adams

1 e4 e5

2 Nf3 Nc6

3 Bb5 a6

4 Ba4 Nf6

5 0-0 Be7

6 Bxc6 dxc6

7 Qe2 Bg4

8 h3 Bxf3

9 Qxf3 0-0

10 d3 Nd7

11 Qg3 Re8

12 f4 exf4

13 Bxf4 Bd6

14 Bxd6 cxd6

15 Qxd6 Qb6+

16 Kh1 Qxb2

17 Na3 Ne5

18 Rab1 Qxa2

19 Rxb7 Rad8

20 Re7 Rf8

21 Qc5 Ng6

22 Ra7 h6

23 Rxa6 Ra8

24 Qxc6 Rxa6

25 Qxa6 Kh7

26 d4 Re8

27 Qd3 Kg8

28 Nc4 Rc8

29 Ne3 Qb2

30 e5 Qc3

31 Qe4 Re8

32 Nf5 Qc4

33 Re1 Qc3

34 Nd6 Re7

35 Rf1 Qa3

36 c4 1-0