Short's accuracy helps preserve chess lead

Click to follow
ACCURATE defensive play saved Nigel Short in the sixth game of his World Chess Championship Candidates Final match against Jan Timman after he had drifted into early difficulties.

A 53-move draw enabled Short to preserve his one-point lead - 3 1/2 to 2 1/2 - with eight games to play in the contest. The winner will challenge Garry Kasparov for the world title later this year. It was announced yesterday that Barcelona has made a bid of dollars 4m (pounds 2.6m) in prize money to host the match.

Timman has so far chosen a different defence in each of his three games with the black pieces against Short's habitual 1. e4 opening. This time it was a very sharp line of the Ruy Lopez, which Short met in a rather superficial manner.

Playing for the win of a pawn at move 15, the English grandmaster entered an endgame in which his weak pawns and poorly placed pieces always gave Timman ample compensation.

As the black knights sat threateningly in the centre and White's extra pawn was calmly surrounded, Short had to play very well to hold his position together. He found a way to surrender a pawn and reach a rook and pawn endgame in which Timman's winning prospects were slim. With a neat trick at move 40, Short doubled the black pawns and made the draw a certainty.

Short will be encouraged to have saved such a poor position; Timman will be relieved finally to have obtained an advantage from the opening.

The full moves of the sixth game are:

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 dxe5 Be6 9 Qe2 Be7 10 Rd1 0-0 11 c3 Nc5 12 Bc2 Bg4 13 b4 Na4 14 Bf4 Qd7 15 Qd3 g6 16 Qxd5 Qxd5 17 Rxd5 Nb6 18 Rd1 Rad8 19 Re1 Nd5 20 Bh6 Rfe8 21 a4 Bxf3 22 gxf3 Bf8 23 Bxf8 Kxf8 24 e6 f6 25 axb5 axb5 26 Kf1 Ne5 27 Be4 Nf4 28 Na3 c6 29 Nc2 Nxe6 30 Ra6 Rd6 31 Nd4 Nxd4 32 cxd4 Rxd4 33 Bxc6 Nxc6 34 Rxe8+ Kxe8 35 Rxc6 Ke7 36 Rc7+ Ke6 37 Rxh7 Rxb4 38 Rb7 g5 39 Rb6+ Ke5 40 f4+ gxf4 41 Kg2 Rb3 42 h3 Kf5 43 Rc6 Kg5 44 Rc5+ f5 45 Rd5 Rb2 46 Kf3 Rb3+ 47 Kg2 b4 48 Rb5 Kg6 49 Rb6+ Kh5 50 Rb8 Kh4 51 Rh8+ Kg5 52 h4+ Kg6 53 Rg8+ Kf7 Draw agreed

The former world champion, Anatoly Karpov, lost in 12 moves to the American grandmaster Larry Christiansen in a tournament at Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands. It was the shortest loss of his career.