Chess

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Nigel Short had a dreadful weekend at Wijk aan Zee. In the fifth round he lost - through trying too hard to win - against Viktor Korchnoi, and in the sixth he was outplayed by Jeroen Piket.

Short now has 2 points from six games and looks in danger of losing again all the rating points he gained in winning the Groningen tournament last month. Leading scores at Wijk aan Zee are now Piket 5, Sokolov 4, Salov and Timman 31/2.

Here's how Piket disposed of fellow Dutchman Loek van Wely in round five. Black's sacrifice of the d-pawn in the opening is meant to give him adequate compensation with pressure along the e-file and long black diagonal. Most games in this line have seen White quickly returning the pawn and hoping at best for a small endgame advantage. Piket's plan of 12.Bxb8 (accentuating Black's dark-square advantage) followed by 17.0-0-0 looked risky, but van Wely lost momentum in his attack between moves 20 and 22. When 24.Nd5! hit him, Black was already struggling since 24...Bxd6 25.Nxd6 leaves him curiously helpless.

White: Jeroen Piket

Black: Loek van Wely

1 d4 Nf6 17 0-0-0 fxe4

2 c4 g6 18 Ndxe4 Bf5

3 Nc3 Bg7 19 f3 Qg6

4 e4 d6 20 Rhe1 a6

5 Be2 0-0 21 Rd5 Bd4

6 Bg5 c5 22 Qd2 Be6

7 d5 h6 23 Rd6 Be5

8 Bf4 e6 24 Nd5 b5

9 dxe6 Bxe6 25 Rxa6 bxc4

10 Bxd6 Re8 26 Nef6+ Bxf6

11 Nf3 Qb6 27 Rexe6 Rxe6

12 Bxb8 Raxb8 28 Rxe6 c3

13 Qc2 Nh5 29 Nxf6+ Qxf6

14 g3 Bh3 30 Qd5 cxb2+

15 Nd2 f5 31 Kb1 Qf7

16 Bxh5 gxh5 32 Rg6+ resigns

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