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John Nunn vs Igor Alexandre Nataf
"Slim to Nunn" (game of the day Jun-06-2013)
FRA-chT (1999), France, rd 6
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-10-07  aleister23: 14.Be2??White wants to drive Black's knight away, but the knight moves not backwards but forwards!!! The best move is f4! which appears weakening but .....nope it is not!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: 9...f4 was probably a novelty at the time. All other games in this database with that move are post-1999. My guess is that Nataf cooked it at home, but who knows, maybe he came up with the whole thing OTB.
Aug-12-09  Albertan: Hi Fusilli, actually the move 9...f4 was first played in the following correspondence game:

[Event "FRG-FIN corr"]
[Site "Germany"]
[Date "1990.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Jaederholm, Bo"]
[Black "Clauss, Andreas"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B32"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "1990.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn (corr)"]
[EventRounds "2"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1997.09.01"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. c4 Be7 7. N1c3 a6 8. Na3 f5 9. Bd3 f4 10. Nd5 Nf6 11. O-O O-O 12. Be2 Nxe4 13. Nxf4 Nf6 14. Nd5 Nd4 15. Nxe7+ Qxe7 16. Bd3 Bd7 17. Be3 Ne6 18. f3 Bc6 19. Qc2 d5 20. cxd5 Bxd5 21. Rac1 Nd4 22. Qc7 Rf7 23. Qxe7 Rxe7 24. Rfe1 Nc6 25. Nc4 Nd7 26. Bg5 Ree8 27. Nd6 Reb8 28. b3 b5 29. Bf5 Nf6 30. Bxf6 1-0

Among top Grandmasters the move 9...f4 in this variation was first played by GM Alexander Shabalov in this game at the 1998 United States Chess Championship:

[Event "USA-ch Gr-A"]
[Site "Denver"]
[Date "1998.10.31"]
[Round "1"]
[White "De Firmian, Nick E"]
[Black "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B32"]
[WhiteElo "2605"]
[BlackElo "2645"]
[PlyCount "111"]
[EventDate "1998.10.31"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "13"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.02.01"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. c4 Be7 7. N1c3 a6 8. Na3 f5 9. Bd3 f4 10. Nc2 Nf6 11. b3 O-O 12. Bb2 Kh8 13. Qe2 Be6 14. Nd5 Rc8 15. O-O-O b5 16. Kb1 bxc4 17. Bxc4 Na5 18. Bxa6 Ra8 19. f3 Nxd5 20. exd5 Bf7 21. b4 Bf6 22. Bb5 Qb6 23. bxa5 Rxa5 24. a4 Bg6 25. Qc4 Raa8 26. Rd2 Rfc8 27. Qb3 Rc7 28. Rc1 Rac8 29. Ka2 Qa5 30. Re2 h6 31. Bc6 Bf7 32. Nb4 Rb8 33. Ka3 Bd8 34. Re4 Ra7 35. Bc3 Bb6 36. Kb2 Be3 37. Rb1 Rc7 38. Kc2 Rb6 39. Qc4 Qa7 40. Qd3 Bg6 41. Rb3 Rc8 42. Kb2 Qe7 43. Rxe5 dxe5 44. Qxg6 Bd4 45. Bxd4 exd4 46. Qe4 Qc5 47. Qc2 Qe7 48. Nd3 Rxb3+ 49. Kxb3 Rb8+ 50. Bb5 Rd8 51. Nxf4 Qe3+ 52. Nd3 Rxd5 53. Qc8+ Kh7 54. Qe8 Rg5 55. Qxe3 dxe3 56. Nf4 1-0

May-13-10  SpiritedReposte: This hasnt been game of the day yet?? Sparkling attack weaved around the White king. 21. ...Bh3+! so cool.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Since my pun is apparently going to never be used, it's "Nataf bad!"
Mar-07-11  scormus: <Jim> let me add my thanks, a very interesting game.

Brutal attacking play by Nataf, the sort of customer you hope not to meet in the ring.

<9 ... f4> I can imagine W was not expecting this, even though <Albertan> it had been played before. To me it looks anti-positional but the sort of move that can cause an opponent to go wrong. I dont think 10 g3 is the best reply while 11 gxf4 seems to compound the error. It will be interesting to see how Rybka evals some of this.

Finally <DarthStapler> your pun aint at all bad.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: GM Nataf referred to this game as his best game ever played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 8..f5 was apparently first played by Shabalov in his win over Kudrin at the 1997 US Masters. Kudrin responded 9 exf which allows White to respond to ..Nf6 with Bg5 fighting for control of d5. In the 1998 US Championship Defirmian played 10 Nc2 against Shabalov and won; Nunn's 10 g3 was new. Nunn was surprised by the pawn sacrifice 10..Nf6 though that move has been played several times since this game with great results for Black. Note that 14 Qd2? would not have avoided the sacrifice: 14..Nxf2! 15 Bxf2..Rxf2 16 Kxf2 Bg5! (chasing the queen away so Black can play ..Qg5+) followed by ..Bh4+. Since 14 0-0!? looks shaky Watsons suggestion of 14 f4!? looks best (as mentioned earlier in this thread. Nunn pointed out that 16 Rf1..Ng4 would have left Black with only a small edge.

Nunn after 24 Qxh4: "...After 16..Nb4 I had calculated up to here, and thought that Black had nothing better than 24..Qxf3+ 25 Kg1..Qe3+ 26 Kg2 with perpetual check. It is true that 24..Rxf3+ is bad after 25 Kg2 but, astonishingly, Black has a quiet move which gives him a decisive attack."

After all his brilliant moves Nataf could be excused for missing the stronger 25..Rxf3+ 26 Kg2..Qe2+ 27 Kg1..g5. Voted the best game of Informant 75.

May-02-13  chesswar1000: This game really should be one of the games of the day...14. Be2? 14. f4! and Black's position is cracking.
Jun-06-13  LoveThatJoker: Lovely stuff from GM Nataf!


Jun-06-13  FSR: Shouldn't this pun have been reserved for one of the many games between Nunn and Slim Bouaziz?
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Nunn was (is) extremely difficult to beat. Nunn graciously annotated this loss in that wonderful book "The World's Greatest CHESS GAMES"

In his notes, Nunn overlooks Black's initial sac 14...Nxf2 setting up the follow up rook sac and agrees that best for White was 14.f4 (instead of 14.Be2 after which there is no salvation) and actually claims a small advantage for White

Jun-06-13  queenfortwopawns: Goodness. That was a demolition act.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black is just up a rook for a piece,but will certainly gain victory.
Jun-06-13  weisyschwarz: <FSR> A few years ago, I placed the game you mentioned in my pun submission page, under the title of, "Your Chances of Winning Are...". I guess my entry was overlooked...again. :-(
Jun-06-13  Lutwidge: Well, that escalated quickly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: What an explosive game. The early pawn sac by black is brave.
Jun-07-13  Moszkowski012273: Really wish 25...Rxf3+ had been played (forcing mate).
Jun-07-13  FSR: <weisyschwarz: <FSR> A few years ago, I placed the game you mentioned in my pun submission page, under the title of, "Your Chances of Winning Are...". I guess my entry was overlooked...again. :-( >

The ChessGames pun gods are fickle, no doubt about it.

Mar-17-14  Sourav: Does anyone know how to invert the board?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: What viewer are you using?
Mar-18-14  Sourav: pgn4web
Mar-18-14  Cemoblanca: Absolutely breath-taking.
Mar-19-14  Sourav: @WannaBe: Pressing the f key does it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  docbenway: Nunn annotates this game in his book Understanding Chess move by Move.
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