Chess: Short and Adams scrape into semis

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BOTH Nigel Short and Michael Adams survived nail-bitingly close matches to reach the semi-finals of the PCA/Intel world championship. Both Short and Jonathan Speelman have reached world title semi-finals before, but this is the first time two English players have travelled so far together.

Both their matches ended level at 4-4 after the eight scheduled games. Short and Gulko then played two more draws in a play- off mini-match in which the players were restricted to half-an-hour for all their moves. Two further half-hour games resulted in a win and a draw for Short, giving him victory in the match.

Adams cut things even finer. His match with Sergei Tiviakov also ended 4-4, and all four half- hour play-off games were drawn. They played again, and drew again, when each player was reduced to 15 minutes. Finally, another game at the same rate gave Adams an exciting victory.

The fun began with 24. g4, when retreating the knight would have lost Black's h-pawn. So Tiviakov played a temporary piece sacrifice and Adams took up the challenge with 27. Qxg5] He seemed about to lose a knight, but solved the problem with 29. Nd6] when 29 . . . Qxd6 loses to 30. Qf7+ Kh7 31. Re3.

The endgame, with rook and two pawns for two bishops, was still unclear until Tiviakov blundered at move 67.

White: Adams

Black: Tiviakov

Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5 36 Qb4 c5

2 c3 Nf6 37 Qc4+ Kf8

3 e5 Nd5 38 Qd3 Rc8

4 Nf3 Nc6 39 Qd7 Rc7

5 Bc4 Nb6 40 Qxe7+ Kxe7

6 Be2 d6 41 Rd3 c4

7 exd6 e6 42 Rg3 Ke6

8 d4 Bxd6 43 h4 Bh6

9 0-0 0-0 44 g5 fxg5

10 Bd3 g6 45 hxg5 Bg7

11 dxc5 Bxc5 46 g6 Kf5

12 Qe2 Be7 47 Rd1 Bf6

13 Nbd2 Nd5 48 bxc4 Rg7

14 Nc4 Qc7 49 Kf1 Ba6

15 Be4 Nf4 50 Rf3+ Kg5

16 Qe3 Nh5 51 Rg3+ Kf4

17 Qh6 Re8 52 Rd6 Bxc4+

18 Ng5 Nf6 53 Kg2 Bh4

19 Bxc6 bxc6 54 Rh3 Kg4

20 Re1 Bf8 55 Re3 Kf5

21 Qh4 h6 56 Rf3+ Kg4

22 Nf3 Nh5 57 Re3 Be7

23 Nfe5 Bg7 58 Rd7 Kf5

24 g4 Nf4 59 Rg3 a6

25 Bxf4 g5 60 a4 Be6

26 Bxg5 hxg5 61 Rc7 Bd5+

27 Qxg5 f6 62 Kf1 Ke6

28 Qh5 Ba6 63 Ke1 Be4

29 Nd6 Red8 64 Ra7 Bxg6

30 Nef7 Rxd6 65 Rxa6+ Kf5

31 Nxd6 Qxd6 66 Ra7 Rh7

32 Rad1 Qe7 67 Rg1 e4

33 b3 e5 68 Ra5+ Kf4

34 Qf5 Bc8 69 Rxg6 Rh1+

35 Qe4 Bb7 White won