The deadlock in the Kramnik-Shirov match continued as some good opening preparation by Shirov earned him a comfortable draw with Black in the third game of their match.

The contest is being held to find a challenger to play Garry Kasparov in October in the first championship match of a new organisation called the World Chess Council. The council, in this case, appears to consist primarily of Kasparov himself and Luis Rentero, a Spanish chess lover who has extended his sponsorship of major events to give Kasparov yet another organisation under whose auspices he can defend his title. First there was Fide, then the Grandmasters Association came and went, then the Professional Chess Association came and went. Now it's the World Chess Council.

The trouble with these ad hoc arrangements is that everything is fine as long as Kasparov continues to win, but once he is defeated, his conqueror will have little legitimacy. One day there will have to be a unifying match with the Fide champion, and until then, nobody can really call himself the world chess champion.

Anyway, as long as it's an excuse for some good chess, why complain? One feels, however, that the best of Kramnik and Shirov is yet to come. In the third game, Kramnik adopted an opening variation that Karpov had used on several occasions against Kasparov, but Shirov had little trouble steering the game to a draw.

White: Vladimir Kramnik

Black: Alexei Shirov

Game 3 - Grunfeld Defence

1 d4 Nf6 17 Qd3 Nxe3+

2 c4 g6 18 Qxe3 Qh4

3 Nc3 d5 19 h3 Bh6

4 cxd5 Nxd5 20 Qd3 Rf8+

5 e4 Nxc3 21 Kg1 Qf2+

6 bxc3 Bg7 22 Kh1 Qe3

7 Bc4 O-O 23 Qxe3 Bxe3

8 Ne2 c5 24 Rd1 Rf2

9 O-O Nc6 25 Ng1 Kf7

10 Be3 Bg4 26 Rd3 Bb6

11 f3 Na5 27 Rf3+ Ke7

12 Bxf7+ Rxf7 28 Rxf2 Bxf2

13 fxg4 Rxf1+ 29 Nf3 Kd6

14 Kxf1 cxd4 30 g3 Bxg3

15 cxd4 e5 31 Kg2 Bf4

16 d5 Nc4 Draw agreed