Short stays level with a draw

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The Independent Online
NIGEL SHORT and Jan Timman drew the eighth game of their World Chess Championship Candidates Final match, leaving the match level at four games each, with six games left to play.

The eventual winner in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, will challenge Garry Kasparov for the world title later this year. If the match is unresolved after the 14 scheduled games, it will be decided by a quick-play, sudden death contest.

Yesterday's game, correct but uninspiring, was the tamest so far. Short varied from his play in the sixth game, opting for a strategically simpler capture on the 8th move. An exchange of knights resolved all the tension in the centre, leading to a theoretically level position. For a few moves it looked as though Short might preserve some advantage through his aggressively placed queen, but Timman defended accurately to force further exchanges.

A draw was agreed at move 28, in a position that offered neither side any realistic hope of victory. After a narrow escape in game six and a loss in game seven, Short will be happy to have put an end to a patch of bad form; Timman will be content to have drawn with the black pieces. The ninth game will be played tomorrow.

These are the moves of game 8:

---------------------------------------------------------------------- White: Short Black: Timman ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Nxe4 6 d4 b5 7 Bb3 d5 8 Nxe5 Nxe5 9 dxe5 c6 10 Nd2 Nxd2 11 Bxd2 Be7 12 Qh5 Be6 13 c3 Qd7 14 Bg5 Bf5 15 Rfe1 Bg6 16 Qh4 Bxg5 17 Qxg5 0-0 18 Rad1 Rfe8 19 Re3 Qf5 20 Qxf5 Bxf5 21 h3 h5 22 Rde1 Rad8 23 Bd1 g6 24 b4 c5 25 bxc5 Rc8 26 a4 Rxc5 27 axb5 axb5 28 g4 draw ----------------------------------------------------------------------