Short leads in fight to find challenger

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The Independent Online
AFTER a draw in Saturday's fifth game of the World Chess Championship Candidates Final in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, Nigel Short leads Jan Timman by 3-2 in the battle to find a challenger for Garry Kasparov's title. After outplaying Timman in the fourth game, Short looked set for another win as he gained a clear advantage with the black pieces in game five, but facing resolute defence by the Dutch grandmaster, he let his opponent escape.

Allowing his pawns to be crumpled in exchange for active piece play, Short seized the initiative then took advantage of some confusion among the white pieces to win rook and two pawns for two pieces. White was clearly struggling, but Short's 30th move fell into a deep trap. After having to play passively just to hold his game together, Timman seized his chance, pushing a central pawn to fight his way back into the game.

With his rook entombed, Short had to surrender it for a bishop to preserve any winning chances. The result was a delicate endgame in which his three pawns still looked stronger than Timman's knight, but the Dutchman managed to hold back their advance until Short became convinced that the position could not be won.

The first week's play has been characterised more by nervous errors than brilliance, though the most worrying feature for Timman must be his inability to secure an advantage in any of his three games with the white pieces. So far, Short's preparation has looked better, but neither has settled down to his best form. There are nine games left to play. After a rest day yesterday, play resumes with game six this afternoon. Here are the moves of game 5:

---------------------------------------------------------------------- White: Timman Black: Short ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 cxd5 exd5 5 Bg5 c6 6 e3 Bf5 7 Qf3 Bg6 8 Bxf6 Qxf6 9 Qxf6 gxf6 10 Rd1 Nd7 11 Bd3 Nb6 12 Nge2 Kd7 13 e4 dxe4 14 Bxe4 Re8 15 Bd3 Bb4 16 0-0 Kc7 17 Ng3 Bxc3 18 bxc3 Na4 19 f4 Nxc3 20 f5 Nxd1 21 Rxd1 Re7 22 Kf2 Rd8 23 fxg6 fxg6 24 Ne2 f5 25 g3 b5 26 Bc2 Kb6 27 Nc1 a5 28 a4 Rd6 29 Rd3 Rde6 30 Bd1 Re1 31 d5 Rh1 32 d6 Rd7 33 Kg2 Re1 34 Ne2 Kc5 35 Kf2 Rh1 36 Kg2 Rxd1 37 Rxd1 Rxd6 38 Rc1+ Kb4 39 axb5 cxb5 40 Rb1+ Kc5 41 Kf2 a4 42 Nc3 Rb6 43 Rc1 Kd4 44 Ne2+ Kd3 45 Rc3+ Kd2 46 Ra3 Rd6 Draw agreed ---------------------------------------------------------------------