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Nigel Short vs Hannes Hlifar Stefansson
VIII Gudmundur Arason (2002), Reykjavik ISL, rd 5
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1-0


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find similar games 2 more Short/Stefansson games
sac: 36.Bd5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-18-06  EmperorAtahualpa: Great puzzle! I spotted the first two moves (4 ply) actually, but missed the essential (and brilliant) combination after that, so I guess I didn't quite get this puzzle... :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  knightfly: <Cogano> I think patzer2 means 39....Kg7 rather than Kg6.
Feb-18-06  ReikiMaster: I agree with <SneechLatke>. After 35...Rc7, white wins with 36. ef7+ Bxf7 37. Bd5! as Bf7 is pinned on f-file.
Feb-18-06  DexterGordon: <Ziggurat>, <Soltari> asked about 37...Re5, not about 35...Re5. That later move doesn't prevent e7. My suspicion is that Black just didn't see 38. Rxg6+, otherwise he might have tried <patzer2's> suggestion of 37...Rg5.

I wonder if 37...Rg5 38.Kh3 Bd7 would allow Black to survive a little longer.

Feb-18-06  dakgootje: Saw the first 6 half moves but missed the final move (Rxg6), though i looked at it as being the first move as candidate move but it didnt seem to do anything, and when i got the 6 half moves i didnt think like hey maybe it works now...Partly solved?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <<Snosko> or <> delete the intitial post. Quite annoying.>

<Blingice> I think Chessgames would be justified in pulling the "first" posts as off topic. I hope that it's really just one person with multiple accounts, for it would sadden me to think more than one person found entertainment in it.

Feb-18-06  LIFE Master AJ: Here is an additional puzzle for you.

Who can tell me WHY 35...Rc7 is inferior to 35...Re5; (in the initial position - given as the problem of the day - after Black's 34th move)?

Please don't give variations by the computer, (although these would be helpful), but explain - in simple verbiage - why one move is superior to the other.

Feb-18-06  McCool: B-E-A-U-tiful finish.
Feb-18-06  marcusantonius: I think Re5 forces you to sacrifice the Bishop on d5 and to actually see Rxg6. I played it against Fritz and he somehow played Rc7 and everything was much easier. Maybe FRitz had a bad day there.
Feb-18-06  Dick Brain: <Life Master AJ> A big problem with 35..Rc7 is that it doesn't at least try to force anything with the e-pawn; it allows Bd5 with complete paralysis. White can then prepare to win on the queenside at his leisure.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <LIFE Master AJ> I'm not so sure after 35. e6! that 35..Rc7 is inferior to 35...Re5. They both allow White to win, but 35...Rc7 seems to make it much more difficult for White.

click for larger view

[After 35. e6! Rc7!?, find White's (36?)]

I figured the solution involved playing 36. c3 to fix the White squared pawn weakness and then playing a later Bd5 to strengthen the pin, but I had much more trouble understanding the details of this win (after 35. e6! Rc7!?) than with the game continuation.

I'm still not sure of the entire solution, but one likely, fun continuation for White might be 35... Rc7 36. c3! bxc3 37. bxc3 Re7 38. Bd5 Ra7 39. Re1! fxe6 40. Rexe6! Bf7 41. Rxf7! Raxf7 42. Rf6 g5 43. Kg3! (+6.69 @ 17 depth per Fritz 8) when Black is in Zugzwang.

Premium Chessgames Member <# 1.) Did I solve the puzzle?> Of course, everybody should notice that 35.e6 is a hard move to answer. But if you saw ...Re5 refuted with Bd5!, and you also considered the ...Rc7 defense, I would say you solved it completely. Anybody who also saw the game continuation with Rxg6+!! deserves special commendation.

On the weekends it's usually a question of "how much did you see?" rather than simply "did you see it?" Tomorrow's puzzle should be an even more striking example of that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A Marshall type finish! A two pronged sac combined with a peasant's revolt of pawns--leading to a quick knockout!

38...fxg6 39 exf8(♕)#

OR 38...hxg6 39 h7+ ♔g7 40 exf8 (♕)+ ♔xf8 41 h8(♕)+ wins the rook at e5!

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <cogano> Sorry for the confusion. I did mean 39...Kg7 as <knightfly> noted.
Feb-19-06  olydream3: Rxg6!! is the best move. for course not fxg6?? Rxf8#, if hxg6, then h7+! if kxh7, exf8=Q, or Kg7, exf8=Q+! then h8=Q+ and win!
Feb-19-06  Cogano: Hello <knightfly> & I sincerely hope this finds you well. Thank you for taking the time to point that out.

& hello to you as well <patzer2> & I sincerely hope this finds you well. No apologies necessary & no harm done. I just thought I'd point that out so as to avoid anyone being confused when they read your line.

Take very good care both & have a great day & a great weekend too, what's left of it anyway. Cheers mates! :)

Feb-19-06  LIFE Master AJ: In my opinion - 35...Rc7 is grossly inferior.

Black may last 10 (even 20!) moves more. But he will also find himself (quickly) reduced to a state of total helplessness. Soon, the only piece he will be able to move is his Rook on the 7th rank.

There are a few positions where passive defense is called for, and is much superior to that of "active" defense. (This is not one of them.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <LIFE Master AJ> Good point! Though both 35...Re5 and 35...Rc7 lose, I guess the objective for Black at this juncture is to find which of those moves creates the most problems for White.

In addition to the idea of preferring active defense you mentioned, another argument in favor of 35...Re5 is that by requiring White to sacrifice a piece it discourages the decisive 36. Bd5! reply. On the other hand, 35...Rc7 almost guarantees White will play a decisive Bd5 followup, and as you said Black will then surely <find himself (quickly) reduced to a state of total helplessness.>

Feb-22-06  LIFE Master AJ: <patzer2>
You said it all. (Well done.)
Dec-01-07  notyetagm: 38 ♖f6xg6+!!
Jul-21-08  notyetagm: White to play: 38 ?

click for larger view

38 ♖f6xg6+!! 1-0

click for larger view


Aug-20-08  myschkin: . . .

(in German)

Dec-04-10  sevenseaman: 38. Rxg6+! a stunning idea. New or has it been used before?
Dec-04-10  BobCrisp: It's new in that position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 6..Bd7 is unusual as the d7 square is usually reserved for the retreat of the knight on f6. 7..e6 had been played in Pachman-Filip Teplice 1953 and White went on to win; 7..b5 was new. Black's plan of ..Ne8-c7-b5-d4 seems awfully slow. After 24..Bc6? 25 f6+ Black was lost; better was 24..Rac8. Likely Black had been expecting the standard recapture 26 exf+ overlooking the strength of the pin after Short's 26 Rxf6!. 28 Qd6..Qe3! 29 Bxc6..Rxc6 30 Qxc6..Qxe5+ would have been strong for Black; instead Short used the time gained from setting up the pin in creating a winning attack.
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