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Loek van Wely vs Nigel Short
Corus Chess Tournament (2005)  ·  Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange. Positional Variation (D35)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-30-05  fgh: This guy Van Wely is incredible. +1, -1, =11 ;-)
Jan-30-05  iron maiden: Another strong showing from van Wely at Corus, though it did owe something to luck. Were it not for his blunder against Svidler, he would have finished undefeated.
Jan-30-05  euripides: Short is generally considered very solid in the QGD. This game may be important for the assessment of the variation; or it may be that the excusion of the queen's rook was too ambitious.
Jan-30-05  euripides: At the end White is threatening b4, Ra8 and Nh6+. Black appears to have no constructive move.
Jan-30-05  ranchogrande: basicly I dont believe in the line that
Nigel plays -that f7,f6 pawn doesnt seem to me to give compensation for the pair of bishops -anybody knows the scores of this line during the last ,lets say 20-25 months? But still a nice performance by Wan Wely -Remember how he used to throw rating away in the Corus"!?...
Jan-30-05  yoozum: Here the decisive mistake for Short was 25...Nc4, allowing Wely to play b3.
Jan-30-05  patzer2: An analysis with Fritz 8 follows:

Van Wely,L (2679) - N Short (2674) [D35]
Corus Chess Tournament Wijk aan Zee NED (13), 30.01.2005

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 <5...Nbd7 6.Nf3 c6 7.e3 h6 8.Bh4 Bd6 9.Bd3 00 10.Qc2 Re8 11.Bg3 Bf8 12.00 Nh5=> 6.e3 Bf5 7.Qf3 Bg6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.Qxf6 gxf6 10.Nf3 Nd7 11.Nh4 Be7 12.g3 Nb6 13.f3 a5 14.Kf2 a4 15.Rc1 Nc8 16.Be2 Nd6 17.Rhd1 00 18.Bd3 Rfe8 19.g4 Bf8 20.Ne2 Bh6 21.f4 Bxd3 22.Rxd3 Bf8 23.Ng3 Ra5 24.Rc2 Rb5 25.Nhf5 Nc4?! <25...Nxf5!? 26.Nxf5 Re4 27.Kf3 Bb4 28.h4 Rb6 29.Ng3 Re8 30.a3 Bd6 31.e4 f5 32.gxf5 Be7 33.h5 Kg7 34.h6+ Kxh6 35.f6 dxe4+ (35...Bxf6 36.Nf5+ Kg6 37.Rg2+ Kh5 38.Rh2+ Kg6 39.Rh6#) 36.Nxe4 Bf8 37.Rg2 Rb5 38.Rg8 Rxb2 39.Ng3 Rb5 40.Kg4 Bg7 41.Rxg7 Re6 42.Nf5+ Rxf5 43.Rh3+ Rh5 44.Rxh5#> 26.b3 axb3 27.Rxb3 Rxb3? <27...Bb4 28.Re2 Kf8 29.e4 dxe4 30.Nxe4 Rxe4 31.Rxe4 Nd2 32.Ree3 Nxb3 33.Rxb3 Rb6 (33...Bd2 34.Rxb5 cxb5 35.Kf3 Ke8 36.Nd6+ Ke7 37.Nxb5 ) 34.Ke3 c5 35.Ke4 cxd4 36.Nxd4 Bc5 37.Rxb6 Bxb6 38.Nf5 Ke8 39.Nh6 Bd8 40.a4 Ke7 41.h4 Ke6 42.h5 Ba5 43.Nf5 Be1 44.h6 Bd2 45.Ng7+ Ke7 46.Kf5 Ba5 47.Nh5 Bc3 48.Ng3 Ba1 49.Ne4 b6 50.Nd2 Kd6 51.Nf3 Ke7 52.Ne1 Kd6 53.Nd3 Bc3 54.Nf2 Ba1 55.Nh1 Kc5 56.Ng3 Kb4 57.Ne4 Kxa4 58.Nxf6 b5 59.Nxh7 b4 60.Nf6 b3 61.Ne4 Kb4 62.Nd2 Bh8 63.g5 b2 64.Ke4 Kc3 65.Ke3 Kc2 66.Nc4 Kd1 67.Nxb2+ Bxb2 68.Kf3 Bc1 69.Kg4 Ke2 70.f5 f6 71.h7 Bxg5 72.h8Q > 28.axb3 Na5 29.Nh5 Re6 30.Ra2 <30.e4 dxe4 31.d5 e3+ 32.Ke1 cxd5 33.Rc8 h6 34.Nxh6+ Kh7 35.Rxf8 Kxh6 36.Rh8+ Kg6 37.h4 f5 38.g5 f6 39.Rh6+ Kf7 40.g6+ Kg8 41.g7 Kf7 42.Rh8 Re8 43.Rxe8 Kxe8 44.g8Q+ > 30...b6 31.Ra4 10 and with the decisive attack on the pinned Knight, Black resigns because of his weak back rank and the decisive threat of 32. b4!.

Play might have continued 31...Kh8 <31...Bd6 32.b4 Bxb4 (32...Nc4 33.Ra8+ Bf8 34.Nh6+ Kh8 35.Rxf8#) 33.Rxb4 Nc4 34.e4! Kf8 35.exd5 cxd5 36.Rb5 Nd6 37.Rxd5 Nxf5 38.Rxf5 ; 31...c5 32.dxc5 Bxc5 33.b4 Bxb4 34.Rxb4 > 32.b4 Nc4 33.Ra8 h6 <33...Kg8 34.Nh6+ Kh8 35.Rxf8#> 34.Rxf8+ Kh7 35.Rxf7+ Kh8 36.Nxf6 Rxf6 37.Rxf6 10

Some observations:

(1) The move 31. Ra4! creates a winning attack on the pinned Knight and Black's weakened back rank-- pinned because of the threat 32. b4! Nc4 33. Ra8 with a second decisive pin.

(2) While 25...Nc4? appears to be a mistake, the alternatives might have also been difficult for Black, especially if the above analysis of the alternative 25...Nxf5!? is any indicator.

(3) The possibility 27...Bb4!? would have enabled Black to put up more resistance, but the endgame also seems difficult for Black.

(4) The doubled pawn weakness created early in the opening causes Black problems throughout the game. Perhaps avoiding this with 5...Nbd7 is a wiser choice.

Jan-30-05  patzer2: At http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/eve..., the analysis indicates Black's 18...Rfe8? was the critical mistake, and instead weakly recommends <18...Bxd3 19.Rxd3 f5, and white will start to torture black, but it's not a win yet.> In the same vein, the TWIC analyst offers the alternative 26...Nd6, commenting <Short should have played 26...Nd6 27.Nxd6 Bxd6 28.bxa4 Ra5 and white has the advantage but at least it's not so clear as in the game.>
Jan-31-05  patzer2: The analysis by GM Popov at http://www.ruschess.com/Online/ches... confirms my opinion that Black's problems in this game centered on 6...Bf5?!, which allowed the weak doubled pawns in the first place.

"1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 Bf5 7. Qf3 Bg6 8. Bxf6 Qxf6 9. Qxf6 gxf6 10. Nf3 Nd7 11. Nh4 Be7 12. g3 Nb6 13. f3 a5 14. Kf2 a4 15. Rc1 Nc8 16. Be2 Nd6 17. Rhd1 O-O 18. Bd3 Rfe8 19. g4 Bf8 20. Ne2 Bh6 21. f4 Bxd3 22. Rxd3 Bf8 23. Ng3 Ra5 24. Rc2 Rb5 25. Nhf5 <I have a strong predjuce to this opening choice of Black. Even beginners know that such a broken pawn structure f6,f7 and h7 is very bad! But some chessplayers are ready to prove that this "Queensgambit" ending is not that bad... And among these chessplayers was even Alexander Khalifman! What a pity! :) How to teach children now? Maybe Van Wely will show?> Opening and after...
Carlsbad variation (D35).
15.Rc1 is a formal novelty, but it has not sufficient meaning for this ending. Van Wely played according to the plan of prevention of any activity from the side of Black and it has brought the fruits. A stable better position in the ending, what to expect more? White gains an important f5-square and moves his Knights there, black's dark-colored Bishop has not perspectives, King is in danger. Short refuted to exchange the Knights on f5 and missed a terrible blow 29.Nh5!,30.Ra2!,30.Ra4!. White treathens b4, Rook is moving to the 8th line, Nh6 + and Rf8 checkmate! <And how Short could play so... I repeat - this variation is bad for Black. Please, never play 6...Bf5! (6...Be7 is much more reliable)>"

Jan-31-05  patzer2: As a correction to an earlier post:

"(4) The doubled pawn weakness created early in the opening causes Black problems throughout the game. Perhaps avoiding this with <6...Nbd7> or 6...Be7 (GM Popov's suggestion) is a wiser choice."

Jan-31-05  euripides: The setup with Nh4, g4 and Ng3 looks extremely logical here; it seems, however, to be almost an innovation in this variation. Many players usually prefer Ne2 in the exchange variation, but here Ne2-f4 looks less threatening than Nf3-h4. One can avoid the whole thing by playing 6 Qc2, but this game is encouraging for anyone who wants to take this variation on as White. However, chessbase's suggestion of 18...Bxd3 19 Rxd3 f5 may well be preferable to the game for Black.
Jan-31-05  patzer2: The Opening Explorer provide some additional evidence to support GM Popov's contention that 6...Bf5?! was the move that caused most of GM Short's problems in this game. In 43 games in the OE where 6...Bf5?! and 7. Qf3! were played, White won 34.9%, Black won less than 5% and 60.5% were draws. Perhaps Black has drawing chances with perfect play, but who wants to play an opening with a 5% chance of winning and a 35% chance of losing?
Jan-31-05  Poisonpawns: Hans Berliner speaks about the weakness of 6...Bf5!? in "The System" This is just a weak line for black period.Of course with perfect play black may draw but for practical purposes after 7.Qf3! black is twisted. Berliner vs Bergraser(French CC Champion) went 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 Bf5 8.Qf3! Qd7? 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nge2 h5 11.Ng3 Bg4 12.Qxf6 Rh6 13.Qe5+! Re6 14.Nxh5 Qe7 15.Ng7+ Bg7 16.Qxg7 Qh4 17.Qg8+ 1-0 Berliner`s comments on Bf5 in this line are interesting: He says "If black can get away with this,then he has equalized.However, now the tactical refutation of this idea.White plays Qf3!
Feb-01-05  euripides: <patzer> I wouldn't touch it myself as Black, but if (like me) one plays the QGD exchange variation as White hoping for a win the high draw percentage and apaprent solidity of this line is bothersome. So van Wely's success in dismantling Short where Timman, Sokolov and Invanchuk had failed is heartening. Actually it wouldn't surprise me if the Dutch players had talked about this line.
Dec-18-05  Unicornio: I ask to myself, why the hell Short keeps playing????

he used to be good, but not anymore, he should retire from professional chess, PCA match days are far away, now Short gets crushed easily.


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Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
6.e3 Bf5 7.Qf3 Bg6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.Qxf6 gxf6 10.Nf3
from Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange Variation by KingG
Chapter 5: QGD (Black deviates from the mainline)
from Starting Out: 1 d4! by kevinludwig
31. Ra4! threatens the decisive pin 32. b4! Nc4 33. Ra8 +-
from Pinning by patzer2


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