Short gets to world chess final

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NIGEL SHORT, 27, has qualified to become Britain's first challenger for the world chess championship this century, writes William Hartston. By completing a 7 1/2 - 5 1/2 victory over the Dutch grandmaster Jan Timman, 41, in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain yesterday, he has earned the right to meet Garry Kasparov for the world title. The match, with a prize fund of at least dollars 4m will be held later this year.

Playing the 13th game of their match, Short needed only a draw to ensure overall victory. Playing quickly and calmly, he neutralised his opponent's attacking ambitions and moved smoothly into an advantageous position. When Short offered a draw after 39 moves, Timman had little choice but to accept.

It was the culmination of a remarkable year for Short, who has demonstrated outstanding ability as a match player, though ranked only 12th in the world on the basis of tournament results.

While the Short-Timman match was sportsmanlike, the forthcoming Short-Kasparov encounter is likely to resume the rancour conventional in struggles for the world title.