1 MAY 1992, Page 44

CHESS

Conquering hero

Raymond Keene

Nigel. Short has done it. By defeating Karpov in the tenth game in Linares he has scored an historic triumph making him the first ever British player to penetrate to the final of the qualifying competition. There his opponent will be the Dutch grandmas- ter, Jan Timman, who saw off his semi- final rival Artur Yusupov by the same score of 6-4. This is the first time that the candidates final has been fought out be- tween two Westerners.

Short-Karpov: World Championship Semi- final, Game 4, Linares 1992.

In game 4 Nigel finally made the break- through to score his first direct hit. Nigel won rook for knight during the middle game and after 44 moves the following position was reached: In this position Nigel traded queens, taking the long and scenic route to victory. Instead he could have played the instantly terminal 45 Rxf7+ Nxf7 46 Qxf7+ Kh6 47 Bd3 Qg5 48 f4 when Black has to resign.

Game 5 was somewhat of a disappoint- ment, in that Nigel had an extra pawn for most of the game but could not convert it, but in game 6 our man was the beneficiary of the most spectacular blunder of Kar- pov's long and illustrious career.

Short-Karpov: Game 6.

After 25 moves the position given below was reached in which White clearly enjoys a marked strategic advantage in view of his pressure in the 'c' file and a bishop which is more active than Black's knight. In spite of this, there was no need for Karpov to fall into the hideous trap of playing 25 . . . Qxd3?? Nigel must almost have fallen off his seat with surprise before gathering his wits sufficiently to respond 26 Rd2, setting up a lethal skewer down the 'd' file. Karpov could have resigned at once but staggered on with 26 . . . Qxd2 27 Bxd2 Nxe4 28 Rc2 Black resigns.

The former champion struck back in game 7. Having outplayed Nigel, the crunch came when Karpov found an ele- gant way to separate Nigel from his queen. Once again, the tenacious Karpov, as so often in the past, had immediately reco- vered from what, to others, would have been a devastating blow to the morale.

Short-Karpov: Game 8; Ruy Lopez. Game 8 caused jubilation when the moves

came through to London. Nigel had won the best game of the match so far, first feinting on the queen side and then switch- ing to a sudden slashing attack on the other wing.

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Qe2 b5 7 Bb3 0-0 8 c3 d6 9 d4 Bg4 10 Rdl exd4 11 cxd4 d5 12 e5 Ne4 13 a4 bxa4 14 Bxa4 Nb4 15 h3 Bh5 16 Nc3 Bg6 17 Be3 Rb8 18 Na2 c5 19 dxc5 NxcS 20 Nxb4 Rxb4 21 Bc6 Qb6 22 BxdS Rxb2 23 Qc4 Rc2 24 Qg4 Qc7 25 Nd4 Rc3 26 Nc6 Re8 27 Bd4 Rc2 28 NM Rd8 29 Nxc2 Bxc2 30 e6 Bf8 31 exf7+ Kh8 32 Rel Bg6 33 Re8 RxeS 34 fxe8Q Bxe8 35 BxcS BxcS 36 Qe6 Black resigns.

Karpov-Short: Game 9.

Nigel could virtually have decided the match in game 9. A pawn ahead with the better position, he could have maintained a decisive advantage by playing 41 . . . Qc7. Instead, uncertain whether he had passed the time control at move 40 Nigel ham- mered out 41 . . . Qa8+ 42 Kh3 Qh8 43 Qxh8+ KxhS 44 bxc5 bxc5 45 Rb2 Kg7 46 Rb6 after which White had sufficient com- pensation for his pawn and could not lose.

Short-Karpov: Game 10; Sicilian Defence. The tenth and final game was an up-and- down struggle. At first Nigel had a total grip on the game, then he allowed Karpov some counterplay but finally, after Karpov had more or less accidentally 'won' Nigel's queen, it turned out to be a pyrrhic conquest and Karpov resigned when

Nigel's 'c' pawn was about to romp home and queen.

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 Bg5 e6 7 Qd2 Be7 8 0-0-0 0-0 9 Nb3 a6 10 Bxf6 gxf6 11 h4 Kh8 12 g4 b5 13 g5 b4 14 Na4 Rg8 15 f4 Rb8 16 Kbl Bf8 17 Be2 e5 18 f5 fxg5 19 hxg5 Rxg5 20 Qe3 Qf6 21 Nb6 Ne7 22 NxcS RxcS 23 Bxa6 Rd8 24 Qb6 Ng8 25 Na5 d5 26 Nc6 Rd6 27 exd5 Ne7 28 Qxb4 NxdS 29 Rxd5 Qg7 Black should have played 29 . . . Rxd5 30 Oxf8+ Rg8 when if 31 Qe7 he can muddy the waters with 31

. . Qh6 setting the trap 32 Rcl Qxcl+ 33 Kxcl Rgl + mating. 30 Rxd6 Rgl + 31 Rdl Rxdl+ 32 Rxdl Bxb4 33 Nxb4 Qg4 34 Rd8+ Kg7 35 a3 QxfS 36 Rdl h5 37 Rel Qe6 38 Bbl f5 39 Bd5 Qf6 40 c4 e4 41 c5 Black resigns.

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