Chess

He may have grown older, losing his hair, but Viktor Korchnoi is showing that being 64 is not as bad as the Lennon and McCartney song makes out. Indeed, on results so far, Korchnoi must be voted the most improved young player of 1995.

Having already won two tournaments this year, in San Francisco and Slovenia, he completed the hat-trick this week with first place in a world-class field in Madrid. Indeed, the men who finished in the bottom two places were Nigel Short and Jan Timman, the defeated challengers in the most recent world-title matches.

Despite losing in the last round to Judit Polgar, Korchnoi finished half a point ahead of Valery Salov, with Artur Yusupov in third place and Polgar sharing fourth with Epishin, San Segundo and Illescas. (Incidentally, it was Anatoly Karpov's 44th birthday yesterday, but if you add his age to that of Judit Polgar, you're still two years short of Korchnoi's.)

Perhaps because he came so close to winning the world title in 1978, but fell at the final fence, Korchnoi has been able to continue playing with an energy and appetite for victory at an age long past that at which most grandmasters have put themselves out to grass in a pasture of brief, technical draws. Korchnoi's win against Short was a good example of his controlled aggression. Black's pawn sacrifice with 14...Nbd7 looked reasonable - his potential pressure on the Q-side files usually provides returns for such an investment - but Korchnoi's energetic K-side put Black's position under strain.

The sacrifice with 27.Rxb6! and 28.Bxf6! was not too difficult to make, but the follow-up was very well played. After 34.f6! Black is a rook up but helpless. The threat is Qg7+ followed by Qe7 mate and 34...Ke8 35.Qg7 Nc8 36.f7+ is fatal.

White: V. Korchnoi

Black: N. Short

1 d4 Nf6 19 Bg5 Nfd7

2 c4 e6 20 f4 Nc4

3 Nc3 Bb4 21 Qe2 f6

4 e3 b6 22 Bh4 Bxc3

5 Nge2 Ba6 23 bxc3 Qa4

6 Ng3 c5 24 Rb1 Ncb6

7 d5 0-0 25 h3 g6

8 e4 Re8 26 Qg4 Qc2

9 f3 d6 27 Rxb6 Nxb6

10 Be2 exd5 28 Bxf6 Kf7

11 cxd5 Bxe2 29 Qh4 h6

12 Nxe2 b5 30 f5 Rg8

13 0-0 a6 31 Bd8 Qd1+

14 a4 Nbd7 32 Kh2 g5

15 axb5 Qb6 33 Qxh6 Rxd8

16 bxa6 Rxa6 34 f6 Rg8

17 Rxa6 Qxa6 35 Qh7+ Kxf6

18 Ng3 Ne5 36 Qxg8 resigns

William Hartston

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003