Chess

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Nigel Short's win over the world number two, Vladimir Kramnik, in Novgorod was such a quick and convincing victory that it is impossible to judge whether Kramnik miscalculated at short range, or misjudged matters from a long distance.

White's 6.h3 was a nice way to avoid Kramnik's deep theoretical preparation. The system Short transposed to may not be the most potent, but at least it forced Kramnik off his home ground.

After 14.f4, Black had a decision to make: he does not want to allow e5, so his choice is between 14...Qc7 and 14...e5. Possibly after 14...Qc7 he was worried about 15.0-0, when 15...e5 allows 16.fxe5 dxe5 17.Rxf6. Whatever the reason, his 14...e5 followed by Qb6 was a complete change of plan, for he cannot now play ...b5 and Nc4, as he had clearly intended earlier.

After 20.Rhf1, Black seemed to change his mind again. Neither 20...Qe3+ 21.Qxe3 fxe3 22.Rxd6 nor 20...g5 21.g3 (when fxg3 allows Rxf6 again) is appetising, but his plan of Qa5 and Qa1+ looked rather desperate. White's knight, it is true, is forced away from its appointed square on d5, but at the price of leaving Black's queen out of the game. After 27.Rd5, Black had to give up his threat of Nxb3+ and let the white queen enter the attack.

White: Nigel Short

Black: Vladimir Kramnik

1 e4 c5 16 0-0-0 Bb5

2 Nf3 Nc6 17 Qf3 Bxe2

3 d4 cxd4 18 Qxe2 Nxb3+

4 Nxd4 Nf6 19 axb3 exf4

5 Nc3 d6 20 Rhf1 Qa5

6 h3 g6 21 Rxf4 Qa1+

7 Be3 Bg7 22 Nb1 Nd7

8 Bc4 0-0 23 Rxd6 Nc5

9 Bb3 Na5 24 Qe3 a5

10 Qd2 Bd7 25 e5 b5

11 Bh6 Rac8 26 Rh4 Kg8

12 Bxg7 Kxg7 27 Rd5 Ne6

13 Qd3 a6 28 Qh6 Rxc2+

14 f4 e5 29 Kxc2 Rc8+

15 Nde2 Qb6 30 Nc3 resigns

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