The Euwe Memorial Tournament in Amsterdam is developing into a splendidly exciting contest. Kasparov, clearly irritated by his first- round defeat by Veselin Topalov, has bounced back with two wins and now shares the lead with four other players.

Nigel Short, clearly deciding to stick close to Kasparov, also lost his first game and won the next two. His defeat cam about through a fine combination by Joel Lautier.

In the position above, after Short's 25th move as Black, the English grandmaster must have calculated that 26.Nxg6+ hxg6 27.Qxg6 was not dangerous because of 27...Qf7. However, Lautier surprised him with 26.Nxd5! Bxd5 27.Bxd5 Nxd5 28.Rxd5.

If Black accepts the sacrifice with 28...Qxd5, then 29.Nxg6+! hxg6 (29...Kg7 loses to 30.Nxe7+) 30.Qxg6 leaves him defenceless against the threats of Qh6+ or Rh1+.

In round three, Short was on the right end of a neat endgame combination against Topalov:

With rook for bishop and pawn, Black clearly has good chances of victory, but Short found a quick way to bring White's Q-side structure tumbling down. Ignoring the attack on his rook, he played 1...a3! 2.Bc1 (2.bxa3 Rxc3 or 2.Bxc5 axb2 are hopeless) 2...b4! and White resigned. After 3.Kd2 axb2 (or even 3...b3!) 4.Bxb2 bxc3+ 5.Bxc3 Kf4, his K-side pawns must fall quickly.

Scores after round three: Kasparov, Kramnik, Lautier, Short and Topalov 2; Gelfand 11/2; Piket, Seirawan and Timman 1; Anand 1/2.