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Anatoly Karpov vs Nigel Short
"Stop Short" (game of the day Apr-14-2011)
2nd Euwe Memorial (1988), Amsterdam NED, rd 2, Mar-11
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Check Variation (E15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: This is Karpov's classics. After subtle manoeuvring he gets a clear positional edge and then he demolishes his opponent quickly by elegant tactics. 30...Nc6 with idea 31...Nc3 was a mistake but weak black Pawns would have lost the game almost certainly anyway. Final "petit combination" could have continued with 38...Qxc6 39.Qd4+ Rg7 40.Nxf5 etc.

Short could have tried 19...f4!? instead of 19...g4.

Sep-26-06  euripides: Both the pawn formation and the final combination remind me of

Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1984

Apr-14-11  rilkefan: Is Qb4/Qa3 really ok? Is Ne2/Nc1/Ne2 best?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: "Nigelible Results"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Hard to add anything to Honza's commentary. White just has a better bishop and a sounder pawn position, but that's all Karpov needs.

This feels like a Capablance game, one which looks so obviously easy to play until you try to do it yourself.

What alternatives did Short have to 30...Nc6? If he tries 30...Nc3 instead, the way is now clear for 31.Qh5, and White piles up on the f5 pawn as well (taking care to avoid a fork on e2, of course). Alternatives seem to do little besides wait passively for the squeeze, and life is too... er, not long enough for enduring that.

BTW, as the expression goes, I think we've reached the point where all puns based on the names "Tal" and "Short" should be shot at sunrise. Especially when they (or a very close relative) have already done service: Short vs Kasparov, 1993. But I guess if you have one with Kasparov, it's only fair to have one with Karpov too.

Apr-14-11  sevenseaman: 38. Rxc6!

Beautiful! Karpov slaps Short when Short's hands were tied behind his back.

Apr-14-11  Oceanlake: Black looks nearly lost by move 13 which suggests that Black's move 7 or even 6 was a bad idea.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I don't quite see it the same way. As far as I can see, this was a game where black tried for too much (eg pushing the c and g pawns) and made a couple of basic errors. The main problem was 30...Nc6 which simply drops the d pawn for no compensation. Then black has to cope with his isolated pawns - great if you have got lots of pieces to stream into the attack, but awful in a piece-light endgame when the isolanis just become liabilities.

Karpov defended against black's early aggression, patiently withstood the pressure, and then threw the position back in Short's face.

For my money, there were too many mistakes by Short for this to be a classic. Good technique by Karpov.

The date gives us a clue. This game belongs to that period in Short's career where he favoured piece activity over good pawn structure. It worked against lower graded opposition, but came short (!!) against the two Ks.

Apr-14-11  SimonWebbsTiger: I checked the Informator reference. The game was annotated by AK and Zaitsev.

10. Qb4 was a novelty. They suggested 14...Qf6. They gave the following punctuation: 18. Ne2 "! ", then 18...g5"?!" and 21. Ne2 advantage white, and basically nothing much else. Most of their analysis centred around the opening, eg. 10...Nbd7 or 11...c5 and 11...dc4 as alternatives.

Apr-14-11  Mozart72: Karpov's 56.25% win probability in move 38 and Short's 43.75% win probability in move 37 shows the preciseness of 1-0.
Apr-14-11  kia0708: :-))

<Karpov slaps Short when Short's hands were tied behind his back.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White will win the rook back after:38...♕xc6 39 ♕d4+ ♖g7 40 ♘xf5!
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Once .... tried for for much> Yes, I'd say you read that right. In fact I always had the feeling Nige tries for too much, and perhaps still does.

The first game I ever saw of his, when he was pre-teen, he went for a very enterprising attack against Byrne (Robert I think). It looked good - to my eyes it looked winnning - but his opponent defended correctly and beat him. But whats curious is a comment by Byrne. "I might have done the same thing at his age."

Apr-14-11  benjaminpugh: Mozart, that win percentage can't be accurate. Short cannot stop the clearance of all major pieces and then Karpov has three linked passed pawns on the King side. It's not even a challenge against the crafty endgame trainer.
Apr-14-11  Fanques Fair: Why not 30 - ... , Ng4! ?
Apr-14-11  Fanques Fair: I think that after #30-..., Ng4 ! the position is totally level.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Fanques Fair>: After <30...Ng4>:

click for larger view

White can win a pawn with <31.Bxe4 dxe4> (31...fxe4 32.Qxg4) <32.Rd6>. Maybe not decisive, but not totally level either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: This is a great example of how my favorite player Karpov can punish his opponents 4 their mistakes. In this game Short got the short end of the stick!
Apr-14-11  newton296: houdini confirms that 30...Nc6 was the beginning of the end for short!

houdini also agrees with Practically every move karpov makes so karpov's level of play in this game is just amazing, really machine like in his accuracy!

Apr-14-11  WhiteRook48: 38 Rxc6 nice idea
Apr-14-11  Lil Swine: Amazing how many puns you can crank out with namees like Short or Nick, " in the nick of time", " getting nicked". examples. Maybe Grant, " Your Checkmate has been granted".
Apr-14-11  Autoreparaturwerkbau: Does the pun "stop short" have connection with financial markets? Meaning: no more downside moves?
Apr-15-11  Oceanlake: The backward c pawn or the hanging pawns or the isolated pawn will probably lose for Black. Black doesn't have active piece play. White just needs to provoke a second weakness. Black's increasing bad bishop is a start. By move 30, Black has four pawn islands with no compensation.
Aug-04-22  newzild: <<Fanques Fair>: I think that after #30-..., Ng4 ! the position is totally level.>

Interesting try ...

How about 30..Ng4 31. Bxe4 de (not 31...fe 32. Qxg4) 32. Kg2! with 33. Rd6 to follow.

Note that the immediate 32. Rd6 runs into 32...Rc1!

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