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Loek van Wely vs Nigel Short
Corus Group A (2010), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-16
Queen's Gambit Declined: Barmen Variation (D37)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-16-10  Matsumoto: van Wely going Dutch!
Jan-16-10  chessic eric: Seemed to me during the game that 39.Rxg7+ pursued the advantage more directly. After 39...Kxg7 40.Ne6+,Kg6 41.Nxd8, is there some drawing strategy for black that I'm missing that would explain Van Wely's decision not to play such a straight-forward tactical continuation?

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Jan-16-10  holland oats: <chessic eric> Your continuation leaves white with an extra pawn, but with queens on the board the outcome is unclear.

Instead of 41.Nxd8, 42.Qc7 Rd7 (Rb8? 43.Nf8+) 43.Nf8+ might be even better. Van Wely's continuation was probably best because he kept the pressure up.

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  An Englishman: Good Evening: So the old Exchange QGD still has some bite. <chessic eric>, I think both continuations are about equal; after all, the game didn't last very long after Van Wely's choice.
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  Eisenheim: what next? of course, the black rook can flee anywhere and nothing will stop 47 Rg6 and mate right after with Qg7#. 46... the black queen cannot support the rook since it needs to protect mate on h7
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  luzhin: This is a copybook illustration of the Minority Attack in the Orthodox Queen's Gambit. Seeing how Short was efficiently strangled helps explain why so few GMs now want to defend this as Black.
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  patzer2: Van Wely seems to win this one primarily with the accumulation of a lot of small advantages, as opposed to a single knock out blow.

However, after 42...Re8 the discovdered attack 43. Nxf6+! gives White a position with a mating attack in waiting. In the final position, Black has no defense to effectively counter White's coming threats (i.e. 46...h4 47. Rg6 ).

Perhaps Black can improve in the opening with the mainline 11...Bd6 = as in Van Wely vs L Bruzon, 2002.

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  Stonehenge: "39.Rxg7+ Kxg7 40.Qxd8 Qxd8 41.Ne6+ would have won a pawn, but this is even easier".

Loek van Wely

Jan-16-10  Marmot PFL: I thought pushing the f pawn was supposed to be black's counter to white's minority attack. Short plays f6 but that's as far as it gets. Anyway the game is a good warning of what happens when black just stays passive.
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  Eyal: Van Wely's comments from the post-game presentation:

<Quite a pleasant opponent for the first round, as I didn't have to prepare major theoretical lines for Nigel. Black against Anand, Kramnik or Carlsen would be a different situation!

3.Nf3 I had played 3.Nc3 against him a couple of months ago [Van Wely vs Short, 2009 ] so I decided to change up.

11.Bf4 This main line of the Exchange Variation of the Queen's Gambit has been played a billion times. If Black now plays 11...Bd6 or 11...Ng12.Bh2 Bd6, I will trade bishops and castle queenside.

11...a5 A waiting move after which I have nothing better than 12.0-0.

15.Rfe1!? [novelty] A rather mysterious move; could be clever as it stops him from the plan 15...Qe7 and 16...Ne4.

15...Be6?! Bd7 would have been better.

20.b5 The knight on g6 is either very good or very bad, depending on whether it can go to h4. In this position it can't, so it looks a bit strange.

21.bxc6 In principal I should not play 21.Bxe4 dxe4 22.Nd2, because 22...Nh4! looks dangerous.

22.Rb6 This stops the idea 22...Qf6 (threatening Bxh3) as White would play 23.Nxd5.

30.Nd3 If Black plays actively, for example with 30...g5, he will burn his bridges. I don't think an active defense would have changed the result, but at least he might have had a bit more fun.

39.Ra7 39.Rxg7+ Kxg7 40.Qxd8 Qxd8 41.Ne6+ would have won a pawn, but this is even easier.

Van Wely vowed to play every game like it was his last and enjoy the Corus Chess Tournament one more time. The Dutchman was not too interested becoming the best Dutchman: "I have bigger problems in my life than Smeets and Tiviakov."> (

Jan-16-10  Marmot PFL: I hope Short can turn it around in later games. His problem obviously isn't lack of talent but maybe inadequate preparation. Often he doesn't seem to have a plan but is playing from move to move hoping something will turn up.
Jan-16-10  Jim Bartle: Short has some history of brutal first round losses, followed by excellent performance in following games. At least he did that in his candidates matches with Gelfand and Karpov.
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  Eyal: He also has a more recent history of a brutal first round loss followed by rather bad performance in the following games... (London Chess Classic (2009)/Nigel Short)
Jan-16-10  Poisonpawns: The opening is just deficient by nature, Nigel didn't make any errors.The variation he chose is just unsound, it should be obvious now as to why the variation is only sporadically seen at the top levels.Whites gets a great position with only simple and obvious moves, and black has no counter play.
Jan-16-10  ajile: Classic minority attack on the q-side by White. White has a pleasant position on the q-side and Black has no equal corresponding counterplay in the center or k-side.
Jan-17-10  anandrulez: Yes classical game where black never gets anything and has to keep on defending . What surprises me is that there are lots of simple manuevers with King and I am surprised black cant get any counter . Maybe its just because the white Knight is dominant vs the bishop .
Jan-17-10  notyetagm: GM Kaidanov annotates:
Jan-17-10  notyetagm: <luzhin: This is a copybook illustration of the Minority Attack in the Orthodox Queen's Gambit. Seeing how Short was efficiently strangled helps explain why so few GMs now want to defend this as Black.>

Yes, best <MINORITY ATTACK> I have seen at the GM level in years. Like a game you find in the textbooks won by Reshevsky back in the 50's.

Jan-17-10  The Rocket: "Poisonpawns: The opening is just deficient by nature, Nigel didn't make any errors.The variation he chose is just unsound"

queens gambit declined has not and will never bee refuted... analyze the game with an engine and you will see short has made clear mistakes to lose this game.

Jan-17-10  Rama: 15. ... Be6, makes the minority attack work, as it hands white a free tempo. Moreover it is illogical; black immediately builds up on the e-file which the B has just blocked.

Those rook maneuvers just give white more time to organize his attack, which goes splendidly. By move 35 black's counterplay is exhausted thanks to his need to defend the weak c6 square.

White played a good game using a good plan which gave his opponent good opportunities to blunder.

Jan-18-10  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 23...Qf6 is 23...f5 preventing Bxg6 and beginning Black's own minority attack. Black's N on g6 keeps White's N out of e5.
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