Games: Chess

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If you have access to the Internet, you can keep up with the games of the current Fide world championship on its official web site. The address is: http://www.chessweb.com/wcc where the moves are updated every few minutes to enable almost live coverage. The only problem is that in their haste to keep up to date, they sometimes make mistakes. And that is why we reported yesterday that Nigel Short would be playing against Sergei Rublevsky in the fourth round. In fact, Short's opponent is Alexander Belyavsky, who beat Rublevsky in round three - not the other way round, as the web site had reported.

It is doubtful whether Short can cite this error as an excuse for losing his first game against Belyavsky in the most amazing game of the event so far. First, however, the other results in the first games of the fourth- round matches: Tkachiev 1/2 Gelfand 1/2; Azmaiparashvili 1/2 Krasenkov 1/2; Almasi 0 Anand 1; Van Wely 1 Georgiev 0; Dreyev 1/2 Zvyagintsev 1/2; Akopyan 1/2 Shirov 1/2; Adams 1/2 Svidler 1/2.

The Belyavsky-Short game was quite extraordinary. Belyavsky has a reputation for excellent preparation and finely honed technique, but a slight lack of imagination compared with the very best in the world. Short therefore led the game into confusion from the start. Belyavsky's uncompromising play in the opening, however, suggested that he was ready for Short's unusual e6 and b6 defence. After 5.exf5, theory considers 5...Bxg2 too dangerous for Black after 6.Qh5+. Short's 5...Bb4+ left f8 free for his king, so forced the white king to f1. With 7.Be2, White prepared to counter the threat of an attack on the f-file by developing knight or bishop to f3. But he also had another idea - to embarrass the bishop on b4 by cutting off its retreat with c5.

Refusing to play the ugly 10...c6 (how could one do such a thing to the bishop on b7?), Short gave up a piece for three pawns. Belyavsky then found a way to fight for the initiative, first safeguarding his king's position, then attacking with 22.Ng5, threatening both g4 and Bg4.

Short gave up more material and soon had five pawns for a rook in a totally wild position. 28...Nd3 carried the threats of Nxb2 and Bc5+, which belyavsky countered with 29.Rh8+ and 30.Qg3! when 30...Nxb2 loses to 31.Bh5+. With 30...Qc5+ and 31...Bxc3, Black won a piece back, but White kept his attack alive with 32.Qh4, with the threat of Bh5+.

It looked very much as though White was desperately struggling from move to move, but at the end, it was his attack that broke through. Aty the end there is no defence to the threat of 47.Rxf6+ Qxf6 48.Bg4+ Ke5 49.Re1+. Now Short must win the second game to stay in the championship.

White: Alexander Belyavsky

Black: Nigel Short

1 d4 e6 24 gxf5 Rxf5

2 c4 b6 25 Bg4 Rf4

3 e4 Bb7 26 f3 gxh4

4 Bd3 f5 27 Qh2 Qg5

5 exf5 Bb4+ 28 Rxh4 Nd3

6 Kf1 Nf6 29 Rh8+ Kf7

7 Be2 0-0 30 Qg3 Qc5+

8 c5 bxc5 31 Kh2 Bxc3

9 a3 Ba5 32 Qh4 Bf6

10 dxc5 Nd5 33 Qh7 Qc2+

11 Nf3 Rxf5 34 Kh3 Rxf3+

12 b4 Nxb4 35 Bxf3 Nf4+

13 axb4 Bxb4 36 Kg3 Qxb2

14 Bb2 a5 37 Qg8+ Kg6

15 h4 Rd5 38 Qh7+ Kf7

16 Qb3 Na6 39 Qg8+ Kg6

17 Nc3 Nxc5 40 Qe8+ Kf5

18 Qc2 Rf5 41 Bxb7 g5

19 Rh3 Qe7 42 Rh6 Qc3+

20 Kg1 Raf8 43 Bf3 Ne2+

21 Rf1 d6 44 Kg2 Nf4+

22 Ng5 h6 45 Kh1 d5

23 g4 hxg5 46 Qf7 resigns

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