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After a lengthy famine in the Intel Grand Prix rapid play tournaments, the contingent of English grandmasters finally helped themselves to a good meal of victories at last weekend's event in London. Nigel Short began by winning an elegant miniature.

Curiously, he had done all the important work for this game before, for Ivan Sokolov fell into the same trap that had earned Short an easy win against Robert Hubner in 1990.

Black's 12...Na5 and 13...c5, normal in other Ruy Lopez variations, is rather loosening here, and his 14...Nc6 (cxb4 is essential) may already be the losing move. After 15.Nfg5, with 15...g6 losing to 16.Bxd5 Qxd5 17.Nf6+, there is no good defence to the threat of Qh5.

White: Nigel Short

Black: Ivan Sokolov

1 e4 e5 13 Ba2 c5

2 Nf3 Nc6 14 b4 Nc6

3 Bb5 a6 15 exd5 Nxd5

4 Ba4 Nf6 16 Ne4 cxb4

5 0-0 Be7 17 Nfg5! f6

6 Qe2 b5 18 Qh5! fxg5

7 Bb3 0-0 19 Nxg5 h6

8 c3 d5 20 Qf7+ Kh8

9 d3 Bb7 21 Bxd5 Bc5

10 Nbd2 Re8 22 Qg6 Bxf2+

11 Re1 Bf8 23 Kh1 Qxg5

12 a3 Na5 24 Bxg5 1-0

Sadly, Short lost the second game to Sokolov and was then eliminated in an even faster play-off. That English defeat, however, was balanced by Tony Miles's excellent first-round win against last year's overall Grand Prix winner, Vladimir Kramnik. With Michael Adams beating Jonathan Speelman, England had two players in the second round for the first time.

Matters improved further when both defeated Dutch opponents to reach the semi-final where they were drawn to play each other.

Adams won to reach the final against Alexei Dreyev who had been steadily knocking all the favourites out of the top half of the draw. On second thoughts, steadily is not the right word, since both Anand and Ivanchuk overstepped the time limit in winning positions against him, but at this rate of play good firtune is as important as good chess. Good chess, however, decided the final, particularly in the following game, a superbly controlled effort by Adams.

At the end, Black has no good defence to the threat of 40.g5+ Kh5 41.Rxh7 mate.

White: Michael Adams

Black: Alexei Dreyev

1 e4 e6 21 Bb6 f5

2 d4 d5 22 f3 Rae8

3 Nd2 c5 23 Rad1 Rf6

4 exd5 Qxd5 24 b3 Nf8

5 Ngf3 cxd4 25 Qf4 Rg6

6 Bc4 Qd8 26 Kh2 Nd7

7 0-0 a6 27 Bc4! Nxb6

8 Nb3 Qc7 28 axb6 Qxb6

9 Bd3 Nc6 29 Re2 Qc5

10 Nbxd4 Nxd4 30 Qd6 Qc8

11 Nxd4 Bd6 31 Rde1 Kf7

12 h3 Ne7 32 Re5 Rf6

13 Re1 0-0 33 Rc5 Qb8

14 Qh5 Ng6 34 Bxe6+ Kg6

15 Nf3 b5 35 Bxf5+ Kh6

16 Be3 Be7 36 Qxb8 Rxb8

17 a4 b4 37 Bd3 g6

18 a5 Bb7 38 Re7 Bc6

19 Ng5 Bxg5 39 g4! 1-0

20 Qxg5 Qc6