Chess

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Veselin Topalov won first prize in Madrid after a nail-biting play-off with Alexei Shirov. The two had ended the tournament level on 61/2 points from nine games, then played two 20-minute games for the trophy. When both were drawn, they moved on to a six-minutes-for-White, five-minutes- for-Black decider, with Topalov declared winner after he had drawn the game with Black. Other scores: Belyavsky and Shirov 51/2; Illescas, Short and Polgar 41/2; Salov 31/2; Piket 21/2; San Segundo 11/2.

The diagram sets the scene for the biggest disaster of the event. Salov, playing White against Polgar, was pushing hard for a win. There followed: 1.Kf3 Re5 2.Rb8+ Kf7 3.Rb7+ Ke6 4.Be3 Rf5+ 5.Ke4 Re5+ 6.Kd3 Rd1+ 7.Kc4 Re4+ 8.Kb5 Rd7 9.Rb6+ Kd5 10.b4 Ree7 11.Ra6 Rb6+ 12.Ka5 Rec7 13.Ra8 Kc4 14.Bc5 Rc6!

Suddenly, the tables are turned. The threat is 15...Rb5+ 16.Ka4 Rcxc5! 17.bxc5 Rb1 and Black wins! Salov played 15.Bf8 but after 15...Rb5+ 16.Ka4 Rb8! he resigned: 17.Rxb8 Ra6 is mate.

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