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Garry Kasparov vs John Nunn
"Nunn on the Run" (game of the day Oct-17-2017)
Chess Olympiad (1982), Lucerne SUI, rd 9, Nov-08
Benoni Defense: Taimanov Variation (A67)  ·  1-0


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Given 65 times; par: 26 [what's this?]

Annotations by Otto Borik.

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-30-04  notyetagm: This game is a beautiful example of Gary's belief that <it is worth sacrificing a pawn in order to get a knight firmly entrenched on f5>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have seen this game several times, and was just wondering after Bf4, if black could have prolonged the struggle with a bishop retreat to either c8 or e8 to defend d6. If then say Qe1 with the idea of Qg3, how about black plays the awful looking move g5, which does have the advantage of avoiding the doubling of pressure on d6. Was it completely busted for black after 15 Bf4 ?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stevens: I've taken up using the Benoni after seeing it used in Mikhail Tal's book. I've only used it 3 or 4 times so far but i've won twice and drawn the other(s). It's now my favourite defense against d4 but maybe when i get to a higher level i'll discover this "unsoundness" that i've heard people mention. What are other people's pet d4 defenses and why?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: The first chess book I ever saw was a Kasparov bio by Yudovich, published in the late 80s. I remember the author just mocked Nunn in this game, particularly after ...a6, writing something along the line of "Why do these young punks think they are immune to the eternal principles of chess? He had to play 0-0."
Oct-13-05  notyetagm: Surprised that this game did not make Dr. Nunn's book of best miniatures. Then again, it was Nunn who lost this game. :-)
Apr-05-06  notyetagm: <notyetagm: Surprised that this game did not make Dr. Nunn's book of best miniatures. Then again, it was Nunn who lost this game. :-)>

This game really should be in Dr. Nunn's book of brilliant minature wins.

Jun-15-06  notyetagm: Another terrifying White f5-knight helps wipe out Black here.
Jun-15-06  notyetagm: One of my very favorite miniatures.
Sep-27-06  Marco65: <...the author just mocked Nunn in this game, particularly after ...a6, writing something along the line of "Why do these young punks think they are immune to the eternal principles of chess? He had to play 0-0."> 11...O-O is certainly safer, although it didn't save White in D Norwood vs I Findlay, 1989

The problem with this Na6-b4 manoeuver is that it is too slow, if you play ...a6 after White plays Re1 White can confortably draw back the bishop to f1 where it is much better than on any other square. Any Benoni player knows ...a6 must be played before Re1 to be really effective.

Yudovich's comment is really unfair to Nunn that certainly spent a lot of time to prepare this novelty against the Taimanov attack, and only the genius of Kasparov could imagine that the anti-positional 12.Bxd7! (exchanges in Benoni typically only help Black untangle its pieces), not leaving White time to castle, was a killer.

May-10-07  AbhinavAsthana: Can you friends please explain why 9...Na6
Also, why not 10.'Bxa6'? Isn't black going to have a double pawn weakness?
May-13-07  AbhinavAsthana: My Previous question has been answered beautifully on Kibitzer's Cafe page 2687; People with the same question can have a look.
Apr-11-08  KarAkter: What´s wrong with 15...Qc7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: <What´s wrong with 15...Qc7?> Yes, I have the same question. What is White's most direct way to win from here? Is it simply to attack on the Kingside with fxg6, Qd2, Be3, Nh4, Rf1-f3, etc? Although White should have a strong attack here, it's not clear to me that this should be winning.
Feb-22-09  WhiteRook48: Nunn of us can beat Kasparov :P
May-21-11  meppi: the question by tempi2burn although 7 years old is still unanswered for anyone who does not see how the ending could play out here. after all the annotations mentioned 23. Rd4 means the knight has to move or a rook to defend it.

23. Rad8 24. Ne6 winning exchange.

23. Rfd8 24. Ne6 winning a piece

23. Nc7 24. Rd7 winning a piece

23. Nb6 24. Ne6 winning exchange

this is a good game it shows the weakness of blacks d-pawn in benoni formations, it often wise to attack this point

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Nunn had the bad luck to be playing when the GK monster was roaming the tournament halls.

It could make a guy quit chess and become an astronomer.

May-21-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @hehateme

or one of the finest problem solvers in the world?

Nunn is, of course, one of the finest GMs Britain has produced.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Most definitely, and a fine author. I have a couple of his books.
May-21-11  PaulLovric: Gary: the monster with a thousand eyes
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Oooh. Punn probably didn't even know what he was doing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Kaspy wins rather easy here,why is this a GOTD?
May-21-11  ossipossi: I love Benoni as black, but fight is very hard everytime; in this game Kasparov takes the two bonuses: center dominion and Kingside attack. No hope for Nunn, not even the pale shadow of a counterplay. BKnights move too much, too awkwardly.
May-21-11  psmith: <meppi> But the annotation mentions 23. Ne6 -- Rd4 is coming later. I think the annotator had in mind 23. Ne6 Rf7 (or g8) 24. Nxg7 Rxg7 25. Nxg7 Kxg7 26. Rd4 for ex 24... Nb6 25. Rd6 Nc4 26. Rd7+ winning the promised pawn in addition to the exchange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: I can remember when the game was played. I was very impressed...Impressed in a way, that I never was not able to follow and understand why the comments were something like "Nunn was already lost after 15.Bf4". Wow, I thought, I don't see that, they must be much better players than me.

But even today I see no white advantage at all - but the chess word decided at that time for a while that the Benon-Defence can not be played - at least against Garri.

click for larger view

15...Qc7 16. Qd2 Rae8 and what I see is an excellent Nb4 and a weak square e5. There might be a slight advantage for white, but no reason to avoid the Benoni.

click for larger view

May-21-11  BobCrisp: That <Nunn>'s first three games with <Kasparov> totalled -3 in 66 moves suggests that factors <beyond the boundary> were at play. In other words, <Nunn> was scared @#$%less.
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