Kasparov fights to claim a draw

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GARRY Kasparov and Nigel Short drew the 17th game of their match at the Savoy Theatre, London, leaving Kasparov 11-6 in the lead, still needing one and a half points for outright victory.

After losing the 16th game on Tuesday, Kasparov had another shock yesterday. In a seemingly quiet position, after queens had been exchanged, he overlooked Short's 24th move, a bishop sacrifice which introduced a forced tactical sequence leaving Black a pawn ahead.

After that, Kasparov looked likely to have to struggle to save the game but he displayed excellent technique to steer himself clear of danger.

When the players reached the time control at move 40, it quickly became clear that there was no way for Short to make anything of his extra pawn and a draw was promptly agreed.

The match seems to be ambling towards its inevitable conclusion of a Kasparov victory - the current odds being offered against Nigel Short are 500-1 - but the last couple of games have gone a long way towards helping the English grandmaster edge towards a reasonably respectable result compared with the disaster that looked likely a week ago.

White: Kasparov

Black: Short

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6

3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Bc5

5 Nxc6 Qf6 6 Qd2 dxc6

7 Nc3 Be6 8 Na4 Rd8

9 Bd3 Bd4 10 0-0 a6

11 Nc3 Ne7 12 Ne2 Bb6

13 Qf4 Ng6 14 Qxf6 gxf6

15 Ng3 h5 16 Be2 h4

17 Nf5 Bxf5 18 exf5 Ne5

19 Re1 Kf8 20 Bf4 Rd4

21 g3 Kg7 22 Rad1 Re4

23 Kg2 hxg3 24 fxg3 Bf2

25 Kxf2Rxh2+ 26 Kf1 Rexe2

27 Rxe2 Rh1+ 28 Kf2 Rxd1

29 b3 Rd7 30 Rd2 Rxd2

31 Bxd2 c5 32 Ke3 c6

33 Ke4 c4 34 b4 b5

35 Bf4 Nd7 36 Kd4 Kf8

37 Bc7 Ke7 38 g4 Kf8

39 Bd6+ Kg7 40 Bc7 Kf8

41 a3 draw