Independent Pursuits: Chess

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The Independent Culture
THE BATTLE between Matthew Sadler and Nigel Short in the Smith & Williamson British Championship turned this year's event into the most exciting I can remember. With three rounds left, Sadler was half a point clear and seemed well placed. Then he made a disastrous blunder to lose to Mark Hebden. When the final round began, Short was a point clear, but he lost to Tony Miles, Sadler caught up and a quick-play play-off was needed.

The first game, Sadler playing White, ended in a draw. Short won the exchange in the second, but after move 40, everything went wild. From the diagram play continued 41.Rf8+ Ke6 42.f5+ Kd6 (Bxf5 loses to Rc6+) 43.Rfc8 e2 44.Rc1 Rh3+! 45.Kg4 (45.Kxh3 Bxf5+ 46.Kg2 bxc8 lets Black escape) 45...Bxf5+! 46.Kxf5 Rf3+ 47.Ke4 Rf1 48.R8c6+ Kd7 49.Rc7+ Kd8 50.Kd3 e1=Q 51.Rxe1 Rxe1 52.Rxh7 a6 53.Ra7 Rh1 54.Rxa6 Rxh2 and White squeezed out a win with his extra pawn.

And that's how Nigel Short won the British Championship.