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Nigel Short vs Vladimir Kramnik
London Chess Classic (2011), London ENG, rd 2, Dec-04
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Rubinstein Variation Accepted (C48)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-04-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Silly opening by Short.

If you're gonna play these kind of openings, you have to be sure you know them better than your opponents..

Dec-04-11  frogbert: short seems to have a little thing for getting his pieces tangled up. consider the final position of van wely - short from waz 2005:


click for larger view

try to find a useful black move here! (white threatens b4 with a decisive invasion on the 8th row)

Dec-04-11  kurtrichards: This was a Four Knights Game which ended up with Four Bishops War. lol c,)
Dec-04-11  master of defence: Why Short resigned here?
Dec-04-11  Oginschile: I'm sure someone will be able to provide concrete lines, but it looks to me like black's king is going to have the final say here. White's bishops are busy plugging too many holes
Dec-04-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Dumb question time--why didn't/couldn't White play 15.Bd3? Or for that matter, 13.Qxf5,Bxf5; 14.Bd3?
Dec-04-11  polarmis: The problem with 15.Bd3 is just that you're admitting you've ruined the kingside pawn structure for nothing (the f8-rook escapes). 13.Qxf5 Bxf5 14.Bd3 is perfectly sensible, though, and would almost certainly have been a draw. Short got a bit carried away!
Dec-04-11  Everett: Funny
Dec-04-11  puzzlepatzer: <How does one lose a Rubinstein Four Knights game? I guess the answer is: ask Nigel Short! People play this variation when they want a quick draw. A GM actually losing a Rubinstein Four Knights is mind-boggling.>

Actually it can get quite sharp with 5. Bc4. Here's a few games worth checking out.

Bacrot vs G Sargissian, 2009
Short vs E L'Ami, 2009
E Najer vs Shirov, 2006

Another notable four knights game by Short but not so great for him.

Short vs Beliavsky, 1992

Dec-04-11  AVRO38: <Actually it can get quite sharp with 5. Bc4.>

The 5.Nxd4 line is a dead draw and is used when the players need to be elsewhere on a particular day. Some model games are:

Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1914

Smyslov vs Gligoric, 1999

Losing a game in this line is incomprehensible.

Dec-04-11  King Death: < AVRO38: The 5.Nxd4 line is a dead draw and is used when the players need to be elsewhere on a particular day.

Losing a game in this line is incomprehensible.>

This is usually right unless Black gets greedy with 7...cd+ 8.Bd2 Qf6. White gets a lot of play for his pawn after that.

Even in the line with 5.Nd4, White still has to show up and play some good moves. It isn't an automatic draw.

Dec-04-11  fetonzio: the final position is beautiful. white resigns because he has one piece less! the line i see in my mind is bf2 bxf2. kxf2 be4. bc1 kg4. kf1 kh3. kg1 h6 zugzwang
Dec-05-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: white didn't get much, for all of his efforts with the Bishop on the e file.

white's imprisoned LSB shows that this opening is not always a dead draw.

Dec-05-11  King Death: White's useless light squared bishop reminds me of what happened to the same piece when another very strong player was careless a long time ago. Bogoljubov vs Tarrasch, 1922.
Dec-05-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Bogolyubov has another game where his bishop again gets locked in for most of the game. It's Capablanca again that imprisons the bishop.

Capablanca vs Bogoljubov, 1922

Dec-05-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: This looks like an embarrassing game for Short.
Dec-05-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Short will be furloughed and sent off to the re-education camp.
Dec-05-11  waustad: I remember early on thinking that Black's lsb would be the bad bishop. Boy was I wrong.
Dec-06-11  SChesshevsky: Maybe White could've kept the tempo with 15.b4 right away instead of Ba4 if 15...axb5 16. bxc5 keeps the pressure on and keeps it complicated and even if 15...Bb6 or Ba7 the place for the Bishop might not be as good for Black as in the game.
Dec-07-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The French suits Nigel so much more, especially the 3...h6 line he used on Adams. He should perhaps consider 1.e3 as White, with h3 to follow -- a sort of Basmaniac Van't Kruijs.
Dec-14-11  bubuli55: <savagerules: When someone plays 1 e4 against Kramnik it's clear they're happy to just draw. In this case Short should have stayed with his draw plans by playing 13 Qxf5 and 14 Bd3, instead he amateurishly went in for the 13 Be7? nonsense. >

bloody nonsense indeed if I may add

Dec-16-11  Ulhumbrus: By choosing a quiet opening Short may have attempted to outplay Kramnik in Kramnik's own style of game. By doing so however Short played to his Kramnik's strengths, and he lost. The wiser course would have been to avoid playing to Kramnik's strengths. Although Kramnik can be considered strong in any type of game, he has occasionally gone wrong in complicated positions, for example in the games Kramnik vs Anand, 2008 and Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2011
Dec-17-11  Ulhumbrus: By choosing a quiet opening Short may have attempted to outplay Kramnik in Kramnik's own style of game. By doing so however Short played to Kramnik's strengths, and he lost. The wiser course would have been to avoid playing to Kramnik's strengths. Although Kramnik can be considered strong in any type of game, he has occasionally gone wrong in complicated positions, for example in the games Kramnik vs Anand, 2008 and Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2011
Aug-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: A bit like M Gurevich vs Short, 1990, but with the shoe on Short's other foot this time. In both games, White blatantly played for a draw but instead received an embarrassing loss.
Sep-01-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: From today's commentary from the World Cup. Nigel was talking about this game as the last time he played Kramnik "I played dreadfully. I played really, really dreadfully... that was a shocking game. I mean I've lost to Kramnik before obviously, but it was one of those games and ah Vlad told me afterwards, he said "I almost felt sorry for you". And actually I missed almost everything. It was like one of those days when the engine never started. And I made at least half a dozen big... miscalculations. And then in the middle game he played d6 to d5, which I didn't see at all. No tactic, just a strategic move. And I looked at that and I thought "and now I resign". And I played on for some moves, but it made absolutely no difference...It was so humiliating, that game, that I just thought it was embarrassing to resign so soon..."
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