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John Nunn vs Garry Kasparov
OHRA-A (1986), Brussels BEL, rd 1, Dec-??
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Poisoned Pawn Variation (B97)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-13-04  Luis Casarin: and...?
Why stop the game???
Premium Chessgames Member
  crafty: 28. ♗b5 ♗b7 29. ♗d3 ♗xe4 30. ♗xe4 ♕g8 31. ♗c6 ♗c5 32. ♖f1 ♖d2 33. ♖b5 ♖xc2 34. ♖xa5 ♖gxg2 35. ♗xg2 ♕xg2#   (eval -2.69; depth 13 ply; 750M nodes)
Jul-19-04  themindset: the line ends in mate and crafty only evaluates it as -2.69???

that makes no sense.

Premium Chessgames Member It is a little odd. I think it's because crafty was halfway through the 14th ply when he showed that line, it being the best one he found so far at 14 ply, so there might actually be a defense for Black that he hadn't come across yet. I've noticed that with Fritz, sometimes when it's losing it will show an evaluation of "mate in 5" for a split second then it will change its mind and present a score. We must have caught crafty in a similar state of momentary panic.

I bet if I let crafty do 1.5 billion nodes he'll find the forced mate (if there is one).

In any case, Black is winning.

Mar-14-05  RookFile: Well, I must admit I'm puzzled. Black may have a winning position, but that doesn't mean you resign. And I'm puzzled... is Bb5 the only
move on the board for white? I'm not saying this is the best move, but suppose white plays h3
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <rookfile>

29 h3 ♕g8 30 ♘c3 ♗c5 31 ♖f3 ♖g5? Does that work?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <crafty>, can you look at 29 h3?
Premium Chessgames Member
  crafty: 28. h3 ♕g8 29. ♖b6 ♗c4 30. ♘d2 ♗c5 31. ♘xc4 ♗xf2   (eval -4.24; depth 14 ply; 1000M nodes)
Jan-13-06  itz2000: 8 .. Qxb2 was just LOL!

This white falled for a lame trick to show how not skilled he is. :(

May-26-06  KingG: White is dead lost in the final position. His knight is hanging, his queen is badly situated(something that Black can use to gain time for a king-side attack), and the rook on d2 is also short of breathing space(once the knight moves, Black will play ...Bc5, and then the rook is lost). Black also has an extra pawn, the two bishops on a wide open board, and a large mobile pawn centre that he can use to destroy what remains of White's position.

Considering all that, and the fact that you're playing Kasparov, you may as well resign.

Mar-13-07  Bingat29: If as suggested 28 h3 Bc5 29 NxB QxB. and the threats are all over.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Beancounter: This game was featured on one of those TV programmes when the GM's describe their thinking at the end of the game. Nunn's comments were "Oh well, time to evaluate the situation, I'm playing the world champion, I'm a pawn down and have a weak back rank and all my threats have disappeared". With that he offered his hand to Kasparov who accepted it with a look of great surprise.
Premium Chessgames Member
  shalgo: <8 .. Qxb2 was just LOL!>

This line is a very well known variation--the Sicilian Poisoned Pawn, played in thousands of games.

Mar-14-07  TrueFiendish: Yes, there are reams of analysis on it. And John Nunn is a very strong grandmaster rather than "not skilled". But <itz2000> posted this over a year ago and perhaps will never know the error of his ways.
Jun-14-09  hedgeh0g: <KingG>, you're right that White is lost in the final position, but his knight isn't currently threatened as the f-pawn is pinned to the Queen.

What's interesting about the final position is that there's no short-term forced mate or immediate tactics, winning material, but Black's position is simply far superior to White's. First of all, the back rank is an issue. Couple this with rook infiltrations along the d-file, Black's bishop pair and being a pawn up and it becomes clear that Black is totally dominant.

Jun-14-09  WhiteRook48: which is why I play 8. b3 instead
Jun-14-09  MaxxLange: <which is why I play 8. b3 instead> in blitz I like 8. a3 to defend the b pawn. But I usually play 6. f4 or 6. Bc4 against the Najdorf, not 6. Bg5
Sep-01-09  aazqua: This is a premature resignation but it's hard to overestimate the difference in coordination between the two sides. Black's pieces are all well placed and coordinate to create threats while white's pieces are almost randomly distributed about the board and are variously threatened (the knight), tied down (the queen to cover a back rank threat, the rook to pin the pawn threatening the knight), obstructed (the bishop blocked by the knight, the rook staring into a protected pawn) or move limited (the rook on the second rank deprived of a useful square to move to).
Apr-19-10  rafnoc22: white is still at pace. I think he has only lesser time left for analysis...
Apr-05-12  screwdriver: Nice risks taken backed up by good defensive choices. Thanks for the analysis by Krafty!
May-10-12  screwdriver: Kasparov must've really like the poisoned pawn variation. I was once told, "He who takes the pawn sleeps in the subway." Apparently, Kasparov found the sleeping quarters of the subway, not so bad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Well, it's time to survey the position. I'm a pawn down; my back rank is collapsing; my knight on e4 is about to drop off; and I am playing the world champion. Perhaps I'd better resign at this moment."

- GM John Nunn

Source: The Brussels Encounter by Hartston, Iclicki & Lancaster

Mar-08-14  ralph46: I do not have an engine but if we look at the final position black is threatening Qf7 and white is lost cause he loses control over d1 now on the line given by the engine 28 Bb5 Bb7 29 Bd3 instead of ..Bxe4 Ba8 is much stronger keeping pressure on g2 and after Qg8 it should be over
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