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Nigel Short vs Ljubomir Ljubojevic
Amsterdam VSB (1991), Amsterdam NED, rd 6, May-09
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance. Short Variation (B12)  ·  1-0
To move:
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Given 7 times; par: 78 [what's this?]

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Jan-24-10  cyclon: My proposal for a "main-line" is following; -25.NH7 (I wasn`t quite satisfied by the moves like Nxe6+, or Rh6. Now White threatens -among other `latent` things- 26.Nxf8) -Rxh7 (-Re8 27.Nf6 Bxf6 [threatened Bh6+ mating] 28.exf6+ Kg8 [-Qxf6/-Kxf6 29.Bg5/+ wins Queen] 29.Rxh8+ Kh8 30.Rh1+ Kg8 31.g5 and White should mate after coming Qh3. Also 25. -Rhg8 26.Bh6+ Kh8 [-Kxh7 27.Bxf8+ mates] 27.Bg7+ mates, or -Rfg8 26.Bh6+ mates.) -26.RxH7+ Kxh7 27.Rh1+ Kg8 [-Bh4? 28.Bg5] 28.Qh3 Bh4 29.g5 Re8 30.Qxh4 Kf8 31.Qh8+ Ke7 32.Qf6+ Kd7 33.Qxf7+ Whites [clear] edge. If Black gives the exchange by; (there are simply too many possibilities trying to outline here - that`s more like a computers job!) (25.NH7) - Kg8, then probably 26.Nxf8 Bxf8 [-Qxf8 27.Rxh8+ Kxh8 28.Rh1+ Kg8 29.Bh6 Q- 30.BG7 winning] 27.Bg5 winning. It seems that after 25.NH7 Blacks game cannot be saved even by giving material. If my line is faulty, it would be "nice" to know!.
Jan-24-10  cyclon: Okay , I see.... White played 29.Bh6 instead which must be a good move, I suppose. Really brilliant move was 31.Bd1.
Jan-24-10  WhenHarryMetSally: 29. h6????!!

A simple pawn push would have sufficed (i.e. 29. Pg5 would have done the trick and black would have effectively gone down a bishop. either that or he loses the queen or the game itself due to the impending white queen attack).

None of this bh6 complexities; g5 looks good to me.

This is a 1259 player talking here so please bear with me. I must surely be missing something.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane):

Short vs Ljubojevic, 1991 (25.?)

White to play and win.

Material: B for N. The Black Kg7 has 1 legal move and is vulnerable to 25.Rh7+. The Black Nb6 and Nc6 are not effectively placed for defense of Kg7, and the P structure cramps Black. The closed position protects Black, so White might be able to open it to his advantage with a N sacrifice. After Ng5 moves, White has the invasion square h6 for immediate return of the exchange, thinning the Black defenses and inviting a heavy piece invasion. The White Kg2 is secured from all checks except the pointless …Rh2+.

Candidates (25.): Nxe6+, Nh7, Rh7+

[25.Nxe6+ fxe6 26.Bh6+ Kg8 27.Bxf8 Qxf8 28.Rxh8+ Kxh8 29.Rh1+ Kg8]

25.Nh7 (threatening 26.Nxf8, winning R for N)

(1) Black can accept the passive sacrifice:

25…Rxh7 26.Rxh7+ Kxh7 [else, drop R for N] 27.<Qh3+>

<[Toga evaluates the game variation 27.Rh1+ at about +0.8 P, 27.Qh3+ at about +0.3 P.]>

(1.1) 27…Kg8 28.Rh1 Bh4 [else, 29.Qh7# or 29.Qh8#] 29.g5

Black cannot defend Bh4, which prevents the mate threat on the h-file.

(1.2) 27…Kg7 28.Qh6+ Kg8 29.Rh1 Bh5 30.Rxh5

(1.3) 27…Bh4 28.g5

White recovers material, with some positional advantage.

(2) Black can decline Nh7:

25…Re8 [Rg8 26.Bh6+ Kxh7 27.Bf8+ Bh5 28.Qh6#]

26.Nf6 Rf8 [Bxf6 27.exf6+ Qxf6 28.Bg5 traps Qf6]

27.Bh6+ Rxh6 28.Qxh6#

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Loverly jubbly, mark it down as good sight if you handled Nh7. Trot over the knight and nick the edge square forcing rook takes.. Nh7 Rxh7 Rxh7 Kxh7 Rh1+ Kg8 Qh3 dispatches it with short thrift. Bh4 stalls the inevitable..Bh6 g5 f4 gxf4 Bd1 only fools him trading in pawn d4/e5 for a horse.. Nd7 Bc2 Ndxe5 dxe5 Nxe5 he's reliant on motoring the queen between the gap.. Bxf8 f3+ Kf1 Qg5 Qxh4 Qc1+ triggers the xchange.. Qe1 Qxe1 Kxe1 Kxf8 g5 Kg7 Kf2 f5 Re1 Nd3+ one of his final nags heading off the bishop and shooing for a leg in I expect Short was slating his choice.. Bxd3 cxd3 Kxf3 breathtaking Nigel's attack, great variation of moves.
Jan-24-10  RandomVisitor: Perhaps Black's last chance in this game is to close the h-file with 20...h4:

click for larger view

Rybka 3:

<[+0.40] d=22 21.Nf3> Kg7 22.Bg5 Nd7 23.Bxe7 Qxe7 24.Qf4 Rh7 25.g5 Rh5 26.Rg1 Ra8 27.Rae1 Rh7 28.Rh1 b4 29.axb4 axb4 30.Ra1 Rhh8

[+0.32] d=22 21.Bf4 Kg7 22.Nf3 a4 23.Rab1 Na5 24.Bg5 Nb3 25.Bxe7 Qxe7 26.Qf4 Nc8 27.Bd1 Rf8 28.Bc2 Nb6 29.Ng5 Kg8

Jan-24-10  Utopian2020: I had every move from 25 though 30, except I had white's 25 and 26 reversed. I guess no credit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <RandomVisitor> <31...Nd7 is the problem move that could possibly be improved. 31...Re8 and 31...f3+ are candidates.>

After 31...Re8, I wonder what white can really do at this point.

click for larger view

If he takes the f pawn with 32 Bxf4, black finally gets rid of the mate in one threat after 32...Kg7 (seeing 33...Rh8).

click for larger view

If he tries to keep the pin on the black bishop with 32 Bc2, then black has 32…Na4, attacking white’s b pawn.

click for larger view

The position is unclear to me at this juncture.

Jan-24-10  gofer: It is obvious that black wants to play Bh3+, but the knight has to move first! I tried lots of knight moves; Nxf7, Nxe6, Nf3, Ne4 but they all seemed to help black, then I finally saw Nh7, which clears the path for the bishop AND causes other problems for black.

25 Nh7 ...

1) 25 ... Rxh7 26 Rxh7 Kxh7 27 Qh3+ Kg8 28 Qh6 ...

28 ... Bh4 28 g5 f4 29 Qxg6+ Kh8 30 Rh1 Rxf2+ 31 Kg1 mating 28 ... Bf6! 28 Rh1 Re8 29 Qh7+ Kf8 30 Bh6+ Ke7 31 gxf6 Kd7 32 Qxf7+ Kc8 33 Qxg6 winning

All that hard work for two passed pawns! But obviously 25 ... Rxh7 isn't good enough!

2) 25 ... Rfg8 26 Bh6+ Kxh7 27 Bf8#
3) 25 ... Rhg8 26 Bh6+ Kh8 27 Nxf8 winning

4) 25 ... Re8 (to avoid going an exchange down)

26 Bh6+ Kg8 (Kxh7 Bf8+ mating)
27 Bf8! ...

27 ... Bxf8 28 Nf6+ Kg7 (Qxf6 is winning for white) 29 Rxh8 Kxh8 30 Rh1+ mating 27 ... Rxh7 28 Rxh7 Bxf8 29 Rh1 Bg7 30 Rxg7+ Kf8 (Kxg7 Qh6 mating) 31 Rxf7+ Kxf7 32 Rh7+ Kg8 33 Qh6 with mate in two to follow

27 ... Bh4
28 Nf6+ Bxf6
29 Rxh8 Kxh8
30 Qh6+ Kg8
31 Rh1 Nxe5 (Nd7 33 exf6 Qxf6 34 g5 mating)
32 Bc5 Re7
33 dxe5 Bxe5
34 Qh7+ Kf8
35 Qh8+ Bxh8
36 Rxh8+ Kg7
37 Rxd8 Rb7
38 Bd4+ f6
39 g5 Nd7
40 gxf6+ Nxf6
41 Rd6 Kf7
42 Bxf6 Kxf6
43 Bg4 b4
44 axb4 axb4
45 Rxe6+ Kg5
46 Kg3 bxc3
47 bxc3 Rb3
48 Re5+ Kh6
49 Rxd4 Rxc3+
50 Bf3 winning for white

So in short summary, this is too insane even for "insane", so what have I missed... :-)

Jan-24-10  tacticalmonster: < I'm very doubtful Black could afford to leave White with the 2 bb. After 21...Bxg5 22. Bxg5 Ne7 White can play 23. Bf6! and after 23...Rh7 (otherwise 24. Qh6 etc.) 24. Qg5! followed by h4-h5 seems winning for White> Good. Qg5 seems like the problem move for black. But here black can improve unpon my line by maintaining flexibilty. The idea is not to surrender the dark square bishop so volunterily in some lines. 21 Bxg4!? Qc8! (this move allows white queen to waste time with Qe2-Qf3 before Bxg5 and no more Qg5) 22 Qe2 Ke8 23 Qf3 Bxg5! 24 Bxg5 Rh7

click for larger view

black will run his king to d7. If white does nothing black will play Ne7-f5 as long as white rook not on the e-file give e6 push surport. h4-h5 push only help black when the white king is on the g-file. black can try playing on both wings. If 25 h4!? Kd7 26 h5 gxh5 27 Bxh5 Qg8 28 Qg4 Ne7 29 f4 Nf5 with good conterplay

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The attack is not working because the white rooks are not in the attack. The 2B is strong but knights has good outpost at f5 fully conpensate for the 2B. The position is equal.

Jan-24-10  wals: Rybka 3 1cpu 3071mbhash
tracked the text moves from 25.Nh7 to
31.Bd1 but preferred 31...Re8 (+0.71)
to the text move Nd7 (+1.77).
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight. Black would probably like to trade all heavy pieces along the h-file. If the white knight were not on g5 then 25.Bh6+ would win the exchange. This suggests 25.Nxe6+, 25.Nxf7, 25.Ne4 and 25.Nh7. The first two let the black king escape through f7. The third doesn't look too forcing. Therefore, 25.Nh7:

A) 25... Rxh7 26.Rxh7+ Kxh7 27.Rh1+

A.1) 27... Bh4 28.Bg5 f6 (28... Ne7 29.Rxh4+ Kg8 30.Bf6 and 31.Rh8#) 29.Rxh4+ Kg8 30.Bxf6 Rxf6 (30... Ne7 -or Qd7- 31.Rh8+ Kf7 32.Rh7+; 30... Qe8 31.Qh6; 30... Qa(b,c)8 31.Qh6 Kf7 32.Qg7+ Ke8 33.Qxg6+ Kd7 34.Rh7+) 31.exf6 Qxf6 32.Qh6 + -.

A.2) 27... Kg8 28.Qh3 Bh4 29.g5 f5(6) 30.gxf6 Kf7 31.Qxh4 with an extra pawn and an overwhelming position. For example, 31... Qd7 32.Qh7+ Ke8 33.Qxg6+ Qf7 (otherwise 34.Rh7) 34.Qxf7+ Kxf7 35.Bh5+ Kg8 36.Bh6 Kd8 37.f7+.

A.3) 27... Kg7 28.Bh6+ Kg8 29.Qh3 (threatens Bg7 and Bxf8) Bh4 (29... f5 30.Bxf8 Kxf8 31.Qh8+ Kf7 32.Rh7#) 30.g5 f5 (30... Bxg5 31.Bxg5 Qxg5 32.Qh7(8)#) 31.Bxf8 Kxf8 32.Qxh4 + -.

B) 25... Rfg8 26.Bh6+ Kxh7 27.Bf8+ Bh4 28.Qh6#.

C) 25... Re8 26.Nf6 (26.Bh6+ Kg8 (26... Kxh7 27.Bf8+ Kg8 -27... Bh4 28.Qh6+ Kg8 29.Qg7#- 28.Rxh8+ Kxh8 29.Qh6+ Kg8 30.Qg7#) is unclear)

C.1) 26... Bxf6 27.exf6+ Qxf6 (27... Kxf6 28.Bg5+; 27... Kg8 28.Rxh8+ Kxh8 29.Be5 Kg8 30.Rh1 threatens 31.♖h8 and 32.♕h6+ Qf8 31.Qh3) 28.Bg5 traps the queen.

C.2) 26... Rf8 27.Bh6+ Rxh6 28.Qxh6#.

C.3) 26... Rxh1 27.Rxh1 looks similar to the previous lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Yes, it is definitely Sunday! :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: Sunday's Insane problem Short vs Ljubojevic, 1991 White 25?

My first thought was a sacrifice on h7 which goes nowhere fast. 25 Rh7+ Rxh7 (if Kg8?? 26 Rxh8+ 1-0) 26 Nxh7 Rh8 and now what? 25 Nh7 Re8 and now what?
Or even (in either line) 26...Kxh7!? 27 Qh3+ Kg8! 28 Rh1 Bh4! and survives (=).

How about 25 Nxe6+ fxe6 26 Bh6+ Kf7 27 Bxf8 Qxf8 28 Rxh8 Qxh8 29 Rh1 Qg8 30 Rh6 - No this is nonsense, Black has the B to drive away the Rook. I am getting nowhere with this. Time to see how the game went.
I certainly didn't solve this, but at least I "beat" Crafty playing Short's line. Crafty agrees with the game until move 31 then deviates with 31...Re8 32.Bc2 Na4 33.g5 Ne7 34.Qxh4 Ng6 35.Qh5 Nf8 36.Bg7 f3+ 37.Kxf3 f5 38.gxf6 1-0 adjudication (Crafty does not allow e.p captures).

So what happens with my proposed defence 25 Nh7 Re8? Playing it out colours reversed against Crafty I lose the Black queen: 25...Re8 26.Nf6 Bxf6 27.exf6+ Qxf6 28.Bg5!!

click for larger view

(the move I had missed) 1-0

Crafty links:
Short vs Ljubojevic 1991, 25? Short vs Ljubojevic 1991, 25...? colours reversed In both positions you are white, drag and drop the move you want to make.

Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: <Jimfromprovidence: [snip] After 31...Re8, I wonder what white can really do [snip] If he tries to keep the pin on the black bishop with 32 Bc2, then black has 32…Na4, attacking white’s b pawn.

click for larger view

The position is unclear to me at this juncture.> Jim, after 32.Bc2 Na4 33.g5 Ne7 34.Qxh4 Ng6 35.Qh5 Nf8 36.Bg7 Black is struggling

click for larger view

see my previous post Short vs Ljubojevic, 1991

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Very nice game! I saw this idea but didn't how white could regain material without letting queens get traded.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <David2009> <Jim, after 32.Bc2 Na4 33.g5 Ne7 34.Qxh4 Ng6 35.Qh5 Nf8 36.Bg7 Black is struggling.>

I agree that the line 32.Bc2 Na4 33.g5 is winning for white. 33 g5 is a really good move. There has to be something else better than the follow-up 33…Ne7 for black, though.

FWIW, <wals> pegged the position at +.71 for white after 31...Re8 so there should be something better out there for black after 32 Bc2, but it’s too deep for me.

Jan-24-10  WhiteRook48: I wanted to play 25 Nxe6+ fxe6 26 Bh6+ I guess no credit
Jan-24-10  RandomVisitor: After 31...Re8:

click for larger view

Rybka 3:

<[+2.38] d=20 32.Bc2> Nxe5 33.dxe5 d4 34.cxd4 Qxd4 35.Qxh4 Qd2+ 36.Qf2 Qxf2+ 37.Kxf2 Rc8 38.Bxf4 b4 39.Bh7+ Kg7 40.Be4 c3 41.Bh6+ Kg8 42.axb4 axb4 43.bxc3 Rc4 44.Ke3 Rxc3+ 45.Ke2 Rc4 46.Bd3 Rc8 47.Rb1

[+0.67] d=20 32.Bxf4 Kg7 33.Qxh4 Qxh4 34.Rxh4 Ne7 35.Bg5 Nd7 36.Rh2 a4 37.Bh6+ Kh8 38.Kf3 Ng6 39.Bc2 Kg8 40.Kg3

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: GM Short's 25. Nh7!! facilitates a strong and likely wining attack on the open h-file against the weakened Black castled position, and solves today's Sunday puzzle.

Two surprising and strong moves in the follow-up to this combination are 29. Bh6! (instead of the simpler 29. Bg3 ) and 31. Bd1! (instead of 31. Bxd8 or 31. g5 ).

As <Jimfromprovidence> and <wals> observe, 31...Re8!? would have put up more resistance. However, after 31...Re8 32. Bc2! White appears to be winning as indicated by <RandomVisitor>'s deep Rybka analysis.

Jan-25-10  ComboKal: I looked at this position for five minutes and never even considered <25.Nh7>. I thought for sure it was a sacrifice with <25.Nxe6+ fxe6, 26.Bh6+>.
Jan-25-10  Al2009: Sorry for you Tacticalmonster, but again your line doesn't seem to work.

After 21. Bxg4!, Qc8 I don't play like you suggest 22. Qe2?!, but I play 23. Qc2! (idea: 24.Nxe6+ and Qxg6+ ). Now the best for Black seems 23…Bxg5 (if 23…Ke8 24. Nxe6! followed by Qxg6+ and Bxe6 wins) 24. Bxg5 Ke8 (24…Rh7 25. h4! and h5 plus Rh1 wins) 25. Bf6 and now both 25…Rg8 and 25…Rh7 leads to 26. b3! Ne7 27. a4! and fatal b-line opening + Whites’ Rooks + Queen break-through, while Black cannot connect his Rooks timely.

Sorry, but if Black loses several tempos and plays Kf8, and then again Ke8, while White is attacking, you cannot expect a different ending.

Jan-25-10  Al2009: Ah, little correction: after 26.b3! Ne7 it is better 27. Reb1 etc.
Jan-26-10  Al2009: Moreover, after 30. f4, maybe Black could defend everything by playing 30...f6, instead of 30...gxf4

After 30...f6 31. Bxf8 Qxf8 32. exf6 Qxf6 and now it's impossible to play fxg5 due to the mate in f2...

In conclusion, I am very doubtful about this game.

Good for Short, it went well, but it doesn't seem a 100% correct game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Short - Ljubojevic

after 24...Qd8

click for larger view


"My hand was forced."

- GM Nigel Short (from the book On The Attack by Jan Timman)

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