Chess

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The field in the Dos Hermanas tournament in Spain has stretched out a little after the fifth round, with Kramnik, Polgar and Anand all winning to bring their scores to 31/2 points. Gelfand has 3, Topalov, Salov and Karpov 21/2, Short and Shirov 11/2, Illescas 1.

Round five saw some of the best fought games of the event so far. Kramnik plugged away in an advantageous endgame for 77 moves before Illescas finally overstepped the time limit, while Judit Polgar seemed to be in trouble for a good deal of her game against Short, before the English grandmaster went astray. After losing his first two games, then scoring a win and a draw, Short had seemed to be fighting his way back into the tournament, but this loss dumps him back near the wrong end of the table again.

Here is Short's brightest moment of the event so far. When Illescas played 8.d5 and 9.Bxd7, his intention was to continue in the fashion of a King's Indian Defence, but with the absence of white-squared bishops lessening the impact of the Black's K-side advance. Short, however, was not disconcerted and pushed forwards vigorously to open the g-file and triple his major pieces on it.

The final attack came from an unexpected direction with 32...b5! putting the final strain on White's position. White cannot take the bait, since 33.Rxb5 Rg1+ or 33.Nxb5 Nxe4 would be fatal. Illescas tried 33.Re1 b4 34.Ne2, which would have been fine in the case of 34...Nxe4 35.fxe4 Qxe4 36.Ng3! but was killed off by 35...Rg1+! when 36.Nxg1 Qg2 is mate, and 36.Rxg1 Qxe4+ lasts only one move longer.

White: Miguel Illescas

Black: Nigel Short

1 e4 e5 19 Qe2 Kh8

2 Nf3 Nc6 20 Rec1 Rg6

3 Bb5 Nf6 21 c5 dxc5

4 0-0 Be7 22 bxc5 Bxc5

5 Re1 d6 23 Bxc5 Nxc5

6 c3 0-0 24 Nb5 b6

7 d4 Bd7 25 a5 Qe7

8 d5 Nb8 26 Nb3 gxf3

9 Bxd7 Nbxd7 27 gxf3 Nxb3

10 c4 Ne8 28 Rxb3 Rag8

11 Nc3 g6 29 Qf2 Qg7

12 Rb1 f5 30 Rbb1 Rg2

13 b4 f4 31 Qh4 Qg6

14 a4 Rf7 32 Nc3 b5

15 Ba3 g5 33 Re1 b4

16 Nd2 Nef6 34 Ne2 Nxe4

17 f3 Rg7 35 fxe4 Rg1+

18 Kh1 g4 White resigned

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