Chess: Short buckles

OPTIMISTIC sounds from the Nigel Short camp which had been building in volume over the past fortnight were abruptly silenced on Saturday as Garry Kasparov resumed his winning ways with a fine victory in the 15th game of the match. Kasparov now leads by 10 1/2-4 1/2, with six wins, nine draws and no losses, and needs only two more points to clinch the match.

Over the previous fortnight, Short seemed to have stabilised the match with a series of five consecutive draws. Kasparov's unusual hesitancy had been emphasised when he offered a draw in a clearly superior position on Thursday. Then, on Saturday, he spent 52 minutes over his first 14 moves, all of which he had played before in a speed chess tournament in Moscow in 1987. By move 28, Kasparov had left himself with only six minutes to make a dozen moves.

That was when Short's normal sense of danger let him down. At move 28, he had to play Rcd7 to defend the

b-pawn with his queen. Black's position was still uncomfortable, but the onus was on white to prove a clear advantage. Instead, Short exchanged pawns in the centre, making a huge strategic concession. His idea was that 29 . . . Qe8 would both attack the white e-pawn and threaten c5 with a discovered attack on the knight on a4. He had a wonderfully complex line worked out beginning with 30. . . Re1 c5, but after Kasparov's simple 30. . . Nc3 black was strategically lost. Kasparov used only a minute over his final eleven moves.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Kasparov Black: Short ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 d4 d5 21 Nf4 Nxf4 2 c4 e6 22 Qxf4 Ne6 3 Nc3 Nf6 23 Qe5 Re7 4 cxd5 exd5 24 Qg3 Qc7 5 Bg5 Be7 25 Qh4 Ng7 6 e3 0-0 26 Rc1 Qd8 7 Bd3 Nbd7 27 Rfd1 Rcc7 8 Nge2 Re8 28 Na4 dxe4 9 0-0 Nf8 29 fxe4 Qe8 10 b4 a6 30 Nc3 Rcd7 11 a3 c6 31 Qf2 Ne6 12 Qc2 g6 32 e5 c5 13 f3 Ne6 33 bxc5 bxc5 14 Bh4 Nh5 34 d5 Nd4 15 Bxe7 Rxe7 35 Ne4 Qd8 16 Qd2 b6 36 Nf6+ Kg7 17 Rad1 Bb7 37 Nxd7 Rxd7 18 Bb1 Nhg7 38 Rxc5 Ne6 19 e4 Rc8 39 Rcc1 1-0 20 Ba2 Rd7 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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