Chess

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Nigel Short rounded off a splendid second half to the Novgorod tournament by drawing a spirited game against the world champion in the final round. Indeed, the position after the opening seemed so balanced on a knife edge, that the odds must be heavily in favour of both players having analysed this particular line to a draw in their preparation for the world championship match of 1993.

The 6.Bc4 variation against the Najdorf Sicilian had a good workout in that match. This time, Short adopted a forthright attacking plan with 10.e5 and 12.Be3, offering a pawn sacrifice for the sake of quick development. After 15.Rf3, Black has a problem defending against the crude threat of Rh3. He certainly does not want to bring the b3-bishop back to life by playing ...e5.

Kasparov's defence with 15...b4 and 16...h6 is based on the idea of meeting 17.Bxh6 by 17...g6 18.Rg3 Qd4+ when 19.Be3 Qh4 or 19.Kh1 bxc3 are both in Black's favour. Short's 17.Rd1 encouraged Black to offer a queen exchange with Qa5 (see diagram) when 18.Nd5! gained just the time needed to create the threats that led to a perpetual check.

After 20.Bd5 the threats of Qxh6, or Qg6 (which wins after 20...dxe3), or Bxh6 (which is the answer to 20...Bf6), leave Black with nothing better than the game continuation.

White: Nigel Short

Black: Garry Kasparov

1 e4 c5 14 Nxc6 Nxc6

2 Nf3 d6 15 Rf3 b4

3 d4 cxd4 16 Rh3 h6

4 Nxd4 Nf6 17 Rd1 Qa5

5 Nc3 a6 18 Nd5 exd5

6 Bc4 e6 19 Rg3 d4

7 0-0 Be7 20 Bd5 Bg5

8 Bb3 0-0 21 Bxg5 Qxd5

9 f4 b5 22 Bf6 Qxh5

10 e5 dxe5 23 Rxg7+ Kh8

11 fxe5 Nfd7 24 Rg6+ Kh7

12 Be3 Nxe5 25 Rg7+ draw

13 Qh5 Nbc6

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