Games: chess

The sixth game of the Shirov-Kramnik match in Cazorla, Spain, was a short draw, but full of fun. Shirov sidestepped his opponent's Petroff Defence and steered the play into the Four Knights' Game instead.

Kramnik's sacrifice of both centre pawns gave him a dangerous lead in development which even allowed him the luxury of a temporary piece sacrifice. After 10...Bxd4, White must give back the piece since 11.Nf3 Qxd5 or 11.f4 f6 are both good for Black.

A position resulted in which White still had an extra pawn, but Black's counterplay was enough. At the end everything fizzles to a draw after 19.Qf3 Bxf4 20.Bxf4 Qxd3 21.Qxd3 Bxd3 22.Rxc6 Bxe4.

Shirov can be satisfied with the result on two counts: first, it let him maintain his one-point lead in the match; and second, he did far better than the last grandmaster to play the white pieces in this opening. In a tournament in Villa Martelli in Italy last year, the Argentine Hugo Spangenberg lost in only 12 moves to Vladimir Tkachiev: 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bb5 Nd4 5.Bc4 Bc5 6.Nxe5 d5 7.Nxd5? Nxd5 8.Qh5 (noticing too late that 8.Bxd5 Qg5 is very strong for Black) 8...g6 9.Nxg6 (hoping for 9...fxg6 10.Qe5+) 9...Nxc2+ 10.Kf1 (Kd1 may be met by Bg4+ and Nde3+) 10...Qf6! 11.f3 hxg6 12.Qxd5 Rh5 0-1. White will be a rook down after Nxa1.

White: Alexei Shirov

Black: Vladimir Kramnik

Game 5 - Four Knights' Game

1 e4 e5 11 0-0 Rxe5

2 Nf3 Nf6 12 d3 c6

3 Nc3 Nc6 13 Nf4 b6

4 Bb5 Nd4 14 Qc2 Rc5

5 Bc4 Bc5 15 Qe2 Ba6

6 Nxe5 d5 16 Be3 Qd6

7 Bxd5 Nxd5 17 Rac1 Rxc1

8 Nxd5 0-0 18 Rxc1 Be5

9 c3 Re8 Draw agreed

10 cxd4 Bxd4

Since Shirov won game four, Kramnik has generally dictated the play. But pushing your opponent around is not the same as winning.

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