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Garry Kasparov vs John Nunn
"Nunn on the Run" (game of the day May-21-11)
Luzern olm ;BIG (1982)  ·  Benoni Defense: Taimanov Variation (A67)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 48 times; par: 26 [what's this?]

Annotations by Otto Borik.

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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?
Jan-04-09
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

May-21-11
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.

May-21-11
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
May-21-11  Penguincw: Oooh. Punn probably didn't even know what he was doing.
May-21-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Kaspy wins rather easy here,why is this a GOTD?
May-21-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
May-21-11
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.
May-21-11  artemis: <lost in space>

I don't have a computer, nor am I tremendously familiar with the benoni lines, but here is a general idea I would have with white, not going into any really detailed lines:

Two candidates which jump out at me are 17. a5 and 17. Ra3 and possibly 17. g4

17. a5 Bb5 18. Re1 and now not 18. ... Nd3? 19. Nxb5 axb5 20. Qxd3

to be consistent we could look at the idea of 18. ... c4 with Nd3 planned but I think white would get the advantage after 19. Re3 Nd3 20. Nxb5 axb5 21. Rxd3 cxd3 and now the d4 square is unguarded and the e6 knight would force black to give back the exchange, or suffer for a long time. If he gives back the exchange, then his queenside expansion is shot to hell while white's center has yet to even begin to fight.

I don't really see any way for black to fight for an active defense other than to try this bishop manuever. If black does not try to plant a knight on d3 then white can just continue with simple moves like Re3 and or Ra3 may be Kh1 (with the idea of allowing Na4 since after Qxa5 Nxc5 Qb6 would no longer pin the knight to the king.

If that were to happen, with black having given up on active counterplay, the white can continue with a kingside pawn advance at his leisure. Black looks very passive.

I think originally, after 15. ... Qc7, White may already be in position to play 16. a5 by leaving his queen back on d1 then the d2 square is available to the knight and bishop in some lines.

May-21-11  SirChrislov: surprised <Phony Benoni> hasn't kibitzed on this yet. I like to read his stuff.
May-21-11  WhiteRook48: once again, fine play from Kasparov
May-21-11  Sho: May 21, 2011: Game of the (Rapture) day.
May-21-11  M.D. Wilson: Beam me up, Scotty.
May-22-11  MaxxLange: This game is a good indicator of how strong the young Kasparov was!

In 1982, Nunn was, or almost was, a top ten player, and a leading theoretician, with expertise in the KID and Benoni, and Kasparov just takes him apart, like a cheap suit.

Aug-16-11  DrMAL: IM Borik's opening comment was useful. Yes, 8...Nfd7 is basically compulsory, after which half the CG database games were won by white. This game is a great example of how.

I do not agree with Borik's comment 15.gxf5 "hastens the end" black's position is still defend-able here. The mistake actually came from 16...Bxa4? exchanging off the key defender.

Aug-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The kibitz stating that '8....Nfd7 is basically compulsory' isn't the case, really, though as a specialist in the White side of this line, I was happy to see the alternatives 8....Bd7 and 8....Nbd7.
Feb-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <M.D. Wilson: Beam me up, Scotty.>

He's <The Queen of the Beam>, no?

Feb-26-12  AlphaMale: <I do not agree with Borik's comment 15.gxf5 "hastens the end" black's position is still defend-able here. The mistake actually came from 16...Bxa4? exchanging off the key defender.>

Yes, not sure when/where Borik annotated this game, but it seems he's just echoing Kasparov's comment from <The Test of Time>.

On 16...Bxa4, Kasparov notes:

<Black was pinning his hopes on this counter-blow, but no sort of trickery can repair his positional defects. Things were not essentially changed by 16...Re8 17.Bxc5 fxe4 18.Nd4 Nd3 19.Nxe4! when the outcome of the game is not in doubt.>

But instead of 18...Nd3, my Fritz thinks that ...f5, ...Rc8 and ...a5 are superior and that Black's positional defects are more apparent than evident.

In which case, 16...Bxa4 may have been Nunn's sole if fatal error.

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Kasparov on Kasparov: Part I
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