As a top grandmaster's career reaches its final years, the rule these days seems to be women and children last. For the past few years we have seen an annual match - always conducted in the most luxurious of conditions - between a team of male veterans and the world's top women. Over the past week, a similar event has been taking place in Cannes between a team of old men and the world's best juniors.

Both sides had impressive line-ups: the veterans comprised Boris Spassky, Viktor Korchnoi, Svetozar Gligoric and Mark Taimanov, all leading candidates in the world championship contests from the early Fifties until the mid- Seventies. The juniors included the two youngest grandmasters of all time, Etienne Bacrot of France and Ruslan Ponomaryev of Ukraine.

The Veterans won by 161/2 to 151/2 thanks to Korchnoi and Spassky, who both scored 5 out of 8. The following win by Korchnoi was a typical performance from the 66-year-old.

Black was always prepared to sacrifice his isolated d-pawn, but Korchnoi waited to take it until he was sure to maintain a bind on the game.

White: Viktor Korchnoi

Black: Etienne Bacrot

1 c4 e5 21 g4 Nd7

2 g3 c6 22 Nxd5 Nb6

3 d4 exd4 23 g5 Qg6

4 Qxd4 Nf6 24 Qxg6 hxg6

5 Nc3 d5 25 Nc7 Rxd1

6 Nf3 Be7 26 Rxd1 Bxa2

7 cxd5 cxd5 27 Nxa6 Be7

8 Bg2 Nc6 28 h4 f6

9 Qa4 0-0 29 Nc7 Bc4

10 Be3 Ng4 30 Nd4 fxg5

11 Bd4 Nxd4 31 hxg5 b4

12 Nxd4 Bc5 32 Rc1 Bf7

13 0-0 Bd7 33 f4 Rc8

14 Qd1 Qf6 34 Rc6 Kh7

15 e3 Qh6 35 Bh3 Rb8

16 Nf3 Rad8 36 Be6 Bxe6

17 Re1 Be6 37 Rxe6 Bf8

18 Qd3 a6 38 b3 Nd7

19 Rad1 b5 39 Rc6 Nc5

20 h3 Nf6 40 Nce6 resigns