Chess

After four rounds of the Women versus Veterans "Foxtrot" tournament at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London, scores are level at 10 points apiece. The men's two-point lead gained in the first round has been slowly whittled away as the women followed a stabilising 21/2- 21/2 draw in the second round with two 3-2 wins. The most successful players so far are Portisch on the men's side and Cramling on the women's, each with 3 points.

In the latest round, Cramling beat Spassky thanks to a surprising trick in the opening. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Nbd2 c5 5.a3 Bxd2+ 6.Qxd2, Spassky incautiously played 6...b6. The move looks natural, but after 7.dxc5 bxc5 8.Qg5! Black could not defend both pawns on c5 and g5. The game continued 8...d6 9.Qxg7 Rg8 10.Qh6 Nbd7 11.g3 Ba6 12.Qd2 Qb6 13.Qc2 and White had a sound extra pawn.

With Vlastimil Hort also losing to Ketevan Arakhamia, it was left to the oldest player on the men's side to lessen the margin of their defeat. Even at 75 years of age, Vassily Smyslov has not lost his legendary sureness of touch in the endgame.

His game as Black against Zsofia Polgar seemed to be heading for a peaceful draw when the reached the diagram position after White's 30.Kf2, but the grand old man had spotted some subtle features of the position that enabled him to win in only a dozen more moves.

There followed 30...Kg7 31.Re1 (Perhaps already a mistake - there may be better chances to draw with rooks still on the board) 31...Rxe1 32.Kxe1 Kf6 33.Kd2 b5! 34.a3 Be6! 35.Ke3 c5 36.Bxe6 (This loses, but 36.Ke4 c4 37.Ba2 Bf5+ is not much better.) 36...Kxe6 37.Ke4 a5! 38.g4 a4 39.Kd3 (39.f5+ gxf5 40.gxf5+ Kf6 41.c3 loses to 41...b4) 39...b4 40.axb4 a3 41.Kc3 cxb4+ 42.Kb3 Kd5 White resigned. Black's king invades e4 to reach a winning king and pawn endgame.

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