|Sep-25-09|| ||Ezzy: Short,Nigel (2706) - Efimenko,Zahar (2654) [B90]
Match Nigel Short vs Zahar Efimenko Mukachevo/Ukraine (5), 25.09.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 Nc6 7.Be2 e5 8.Nxc6 bxc6 9.f4 <Nigel has had this position before when he beat Quinteros in the Biel Interzonal 1985. Quinteros played 9...Nd7> 9...Be7 10.a5 0–0 <Possible novelty. 10...Rb8 has been played before. Hracek v Vachier Lagrave 2008 >11.0–0 exf4 12.Bxf4 Be6 13.Kh1 Qc7 14.Qd2 Rfd8 15.h3 Qb7 16.Qe3 d5 17.Be5 <A dual purpose move. It stops the 17...d4 threat and prepares 18 Qg3 which threatens 19 Rxf6! > 17...Nxe4 18.Nxe4 dxe4 19.Qxe4< 20 Bd3 is looming> 19...Bd5 20.Qg4< Perhaps a monday puzzle? White to play :-) >20...g6 21.Qf4 c5 22.Bf3 <Pressure on f7 is starting to look a bit scary> 22...f5 23.Bc3< Threatening a quick win by 24 Qe5> 23...Bd6 24.Qh4< Aiming to finish it with 25 Qf6 >24...Bxf3 25.Rxf3 Qf7 26.Re1< A nice move which threatens the subtle 27 Rd3 which then threatens 28 Rxd6 Rxd6 29 Re7 >26...Re8< Efimenko has to contest the 'e' file.> 27.Rfe3< Still piling on the pressure with ideas of 28 Rxe8+ Rxe8 29 Rxe8+ Qxe8 30 Qf6!> 27...Rxe3< Only move.> 28.Rxe3 Bf8 29.b3 Rc8 30.Qe1< Constant pressure from Nigel now looking at 31 Re6!> 30...c4 31.b4 f4?< Efimenko looks for counterplay, but allowing 32 Re6 is a big gamble. [31...Qd7 32.Re6 Rc6 Seems to keep it tidy for black.] >32.Re6 f3 <Threatening 33...f2 winning. >33.Qe5 <Threatening mate on h8. This has been a recurring theme in both of Nigel's wins: the queen and bishop working together on a strong diaganol.> 33...Bg7 34.Qxg7+ Qxg7 35.Bxg7 f2 36.Rf6 Kxg7 37.Rxf2 c3< So nigel is a pawn up and black will have to suffer trying to hold this endgame. Constant pressure and initiative has put Nigel in this advantageous position. Quality play!> 38.Rf4 Rd8 39.Rc4 Rd1+ 40.Kh2 Rb1 41.Kg3 Rb2 42.Rxc3 Rxb4 43.Rc6 g5 44.Kf3 Rb5 45.Rxa6 Rc5 46.c4?! <To win, white just needs to keep his king active and not worry about his pawns. It's all very complicated though, and Nigel probably wasn't sure about giving up his pawns and creating a pawn race until things were a little clearer. [46.Ke4 Rxc2 47.g4 Rh2 (47...Rc4+ 48.Kd5 Ra4 49.Ra8 Ra3 50.a6 Kf6 51.Kc6 h6 52.Kb5 Rb3+ 53.Ka5 Ra3+ 54.Kb6 Rb3+ 55.Ka7 Rxh3 56.Rb8 Rg3 57.Rb6+ Kg7 58.Kb7 Rxg4 59.a7 Ra4 60.Ra6 Winning.) 48.Rb6 Rxh3 49.a6 Rg3 50.Kf5 Ra3 51.Kxg5 Ra5+ 52.Kf4 Kf8 53.g5 Kf7 54.Rb7+ Ke6 55.a7 Ra4+ 56.Ke3 Kf5 57.Rg7 Kg4 58.Kd3 Kf5 59.Kc3 Kg4 60.Kb3 Ra1 61.Kb4 Winning.]> 46...Rxc4 47.Rb6 h5< Now with blacks pawns advanced and white's king passively placed, black is creating a defence.> 48.a6 Ra4 49.Ke3 Ra2 50.Rb7+ <[50.Kd4 Rxg2 51.Kc5 Ra2 Crucial for survival. (51...Rc2+ Only if black plays this does he lose. 52.Kb5 Ra2 53.Rb7+ Kf6 54.a7 Kf5 55.Rc7 (55.Kb6?? g4 56.Rb8 gxh3 57.a8Q Rxa8 58.Rxa8 h2 59.Ra1 Kg4 Draw) 55...g4 56.hxg4+ hxg4 57.Rc5+ Ke6 58.Rc6+ Kd7 59.Ra6 Rb2+ 60.Kc5 Rc2+ 61.Kd4 Rc8 62.a8Q Winning.) 52.Kc6 g4 53.hxg4 h4 54.Kb7 h3 55.Rb3 h2 56.Rh3 and black has escaped the danger.]> 50...Kf6 51.a7 Kf5 <[51...Ke5 Trying to keep the king from advancing is a more stubborn defence]> 52.g3 <[52.Kd4 Kf4 53.Kc5 Kg3 54.Rg7 Wins] >52...Ra4 53.Kd3 Ra1< [53...Ke6 54.Kc3 Kd5 55.Kb3 Ra1 56.Rg7 g4 57.h4 Kc6 58.Rh7 Ra5 59.Kb4 Ra1 60.Rh6+ Kb7 61.Rxh5 Rb1+ 62.Kc3 Kxa7 63.Rg5 Kb6 64.Rxg4 Should win eventually but it's still not technically straightforward when time is short.] >54.Kd4 h4 55.gxh4 gxh4 56.Kc5 Kf4 57.Rg7 Kf3 58.Kb6 1-0
Another amazing game from Nigel Short! He siezed the initiative from move 17 and never let it go throughout the game. Efimenko who's game is based on fighting for the initiative doesn't know what hit him.
You should write a book Nigel entitled - 'How to win chessgames with Queen and bishop working together on diagonals'. Both your wins have used this theme.
Wow, that endgame started to get extremely complicated. Your patience was well rewarded. Extremely well played. I couldn't take my eyes off the game. A flawless middlegame. Pressure, pressure, pressure. I think you broke Efimenko's heart today.
|Sep-25-09|| ||luzhin: Perhaps 20...g6 was the source of Black's problems; it looked more natural to challenge the killer Bishop with 20...f6. If then 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.Rxf6 Qxb2 and Black seems to be fine.|
|Sep-25-09|| ||Ezzy: <luzhin: Perhaps 20...g6 was the source of Black's problems;> Yes, it certainly gave Nigel's Queen and bishop some fun on the a1-h8 diaganol.|
|Sep-26-09|| ||whiteshark: <Ezzy> Nigel uncorked <46.c4!> only after a long thought. Let's assume, his 35 years of chess practice learned him a lot about rook endgames and that he was sure on what he did. :D|
Generally: If you can't place rook behind you passed pawn, then the rook is best placed on the adjacent file.
Your line <46.Ke4 Rxc2 47.g4 Rh2 48.Rb6 Rxh3 49.a6 Rg3 50.Kf5 Ra3 51.Kxg5 Ra5+ 52.Kf4 Kf8...> will lead to a draw after <52...h5=>
click for larger view
|Sep-26-09|| ||Ezzy: <whiteshark:> Yes, nice find 52...h5 does seem to hold the draw.|
|Sep-26-09|| ||whiteshark: GM Klaus Bischoff on <46.c4!>:|
"It is important for White to protect his passed pawn from the side. Nigel could not keep both queenside-pawns anyway. So he makes sure that he gets Rb6 and a6 in."
|Sep-26-09|| ||Ezzy: <whiteshark:> This endgame has given me an even deeper respect for endgame play. For the players to navigate through all the variations, when a single innocent looking move can mean the difference between victory and a draw, is quite incredible.|
So Nigel is now officially the oldest player in the 2700 club. His resurgence to the elite level is giving me great joy.
I played in the same chess congresses as Nigel(obviously at a lower level) when he was a young teenager climbing the ranks and winning all the open events. It's been a blast and an education following his career.
He's certainly running hot at the moment with some great games.
Can he put the 'icing on the cake' and end a fantastic year with a stellar performance at the London classic. Not to be missed :-)
|Sep-26-09|| ||AgentRgent: Oddly enough, I had exactly the same position after 48. Ra4 (albeit with colors reversed), occur in a game of mine just a couple of days ago.|
|Oct-01-09|| ||tamar: Karsten Mueller analyses this tricky rook ending that won Nigel Short the match http://www.chessbase.com/cbm/cbm132...|