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Nigel Short vs Garry Kasparov
"Came Up Short" (game of the day Feb-27-2005)
Kasparov - Short PCA World Championship Match (1993), London ENG, rd 8, Sep-23
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <centralfiles> I'm looking at 13...Qf3. The threat is 14...Ng3+ winning the queen, and 14.gxf3 Bh3+ 15.Ke1 Nc3+ leads to mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: This game must be so well known and analysed that I'm probably the one here not to know the winning line. I remember Nige's bid to win the world crown and how it started so badly with the loss on time, Then the adventurous play against KGs Najdorf when he twice (wasnt it?) came close to winning and to this day I dont know how he didnt.

So attempting this blind I thought 20 Nd6+ might do it. Idea was ... Bxd6 21 Rxd6 then I thought ... Qe4 but Nige would have 22 Rxe6+ fxe6 23 Qxe6 Kf8 24 Rf1+ Kg7 25 Qf7#

If 21 ... Qxg2 its not so clear that W can win as Rf1+ is no longer possible. I fancy now 24 Qd6+ Kg8 25 Qe6+ Kf8 26 Qf5+ and 26 Rf1 but maybe B can defend.

Has Nige blown it? Moving on in the game, after 32 ... Kh6 I fancied 33 Bxh8+ If Kxg5 34 Qe5+ Kg4 35 h3# or 34 ... Kg6 35 Qf6 Kh7 36 Qg7#

Unfortunately there is 33 ... Qg6 34 Nf7+ Kh7 and I think BK is safe

Now to read what everyone else knows ....

May-20-11  centralfiles: <sevenseaman> Actually after 13...Bg4 white can try 14.Nxd5 14.Nxa8 or 14.f3 these may still be good for Black but are still quite complicated 14.Nd7!? may even be an edge for White(With a little help from Fritz11).

<Phony Benoni>
...♕f3! is indeed what i meant, i was analyzing the variation 1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 ♘c6 3. ♘c3 ♘f6 4. ♗b5 ♗c5 5. ♘xe5 ♘d4 6. ♘d3 ♗b6 7. e5 O-O! 8. exf6 ♖e8+ 9. ♔f1 c6 10. ♗a4 d5 11. ♗b3 ♕xf6 12. ♘a4 ♘e2! and found this line, I thought it was quite incredible.

May-20-11  sevenseaman: <jimforprovidence> In <Gliksman>'s line 26...Nc6 was not too clear to me either.

I too was getting Ng6 move from <Crafty> and tried 27. Rd1 Qxd1 28. Kxd1 ~ and now,

White has 29. Qg5 (pins the g6 N and the a8 R still cannot leave base) 30. Ne7+ Kh8 31. Qf6+ Rg7 32, Qxg7#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Wow, even after all these years this game still worthy of exploring. Amazing stuff from both players.

I tried setting up the puzzle position on Rybka amd was rather humbled to see she took all of 4 s to find the same continuation but 24 Qf6, with a clear advantage to W. But B was not compelled to play 20 ... Bxd6 ... f5 and ... Nxe5 was also given though the eval is still clearly in W's favour. So why not my improvement 20 Nd6+ ? Seems B can defend with 21 ... Qxg2 and has the edge

Thanks CG. Great puzzle, belongs at the weekend though

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: From a Sicilian Defense, I think.

White has a pawn for a bishop.

Black threatens 20... Qxe4.

The black king in the center suggests 20.Nd6+ Bxd6 21.Rxd6:

A) 21... Qxg2 22.Rxe6+

A.1) 22... fxe6 23.Qxe6+ Kf8 24.Be7+ Kg7 25.Bf6+ Nxf6 26.Qxf6+

A.1.a) 26... Kg8 27.Rf1 Kh7 (27... Qg7 28.Qe6+ Kh7 29.Rf7) 28.Qxh4+ Kg8 29.Qf6 repeats moves.

A.1.b) 26... Kh7 27.Qxh4+ as in A.1.a.

A.2) 22... Kf8 23.Be7+ Ke8 24.Bg5+ repeats moves.

B) 21... Qe4 22.Rxe6+ is better for White because the square f1 is available for the rook on h1.

Another possibility is 20.Rd6:

A) 20... Bxd6 21.Nxd6+ Kf8 22.Rf1

A.1) 22... Nxe5 23.Qxe6 Qd5 24.Rxf7+ Nxf7 25.Be7+ Kg7 (25... Kg8 26.Qg6#) 26.Qf6+ Kh7 27.Nxf7 with many threats (Qh6+, Ng5+, etc.).

A.2) 22... Rh7 23.Qxe6 Nxe5 24.Qxe5 looks complex.

B) 20... Qxe4 21.Rxe6+ Be7 (21... fxe6 22.Qxe6+ Be7 23.Qxe7#) 22.Rxe7+ Kf8 23.Qxd7 and White looks winning (Bf6 followed by Rhd1, trying Qd8+).

C) 20... Nxe5 21.Nf6+ Ke7 22.Rxc6 Nxg4 23.Nxg4+ Kd7 24.Ne5+ Ke8 25.Rc7 with the better endgame.

I don't know, but probably would play 20.Rd6.

May-20-11  MaczynskiPratten: There seem to be some entertaining lines after 20 Rxd7, which I looked at initially and which some others have suggested:

20...Qxd7? 21 Nf6+

20...Qxe4 21 Qxe4 Bxe4 22 Rhd1! (threat Rd8+) f5 23 exf6 e.p. Bh6 (Bg6 24 f7+ Bxf7 25 Rd8+ Rxd8 26 Rxd8#;) seems to hold for Black even after 24 f7+ Kf8 or 24 Re7+ Kf8, since Black is still a piece up. 21 Rhd1 fails to f5.

20...Kxd7 21 Rd1+ Kc7 was the reason I finally rejected this line - I couldn't see anything more for White.

In many of these lines White seems to have a lethal attack and then Black makes an apparently suicidal HECDOTS "he can't do that, surely?" move which can't be refuted. (HECDOTS is my poor attempt at emulating <Once>'s GOOT; anyone got a better suggestion?)

After that I found Rd6, but certainly not all the variations!

May-20-11  BobbyFissure: This is a great draw. Had never seen this game before.
May-20-11  MaczynskiPratten: After 24 Qf6 Rh7 25 Bh6+ what's to stop Black playing Rxh6? He's a Rook up, after all. After 26 Qxh6+ Black may even be abl to escape via e7 and remain a piece up. Anyone got a refutation? This seems like an Insane puzzle!
May-20-11  cyclon: 20.Rd6, A) -Qxe4 (-f5 21.exf6 is dangerous for Black, or 20. -Nxe5 21.Nf6+ Ke7 22.Qb4 Black's got serious trouble) 21.Rxe6+ Be7 22.Rxe7+ Kf8 23.Rxf7+ Kg8 (-Kxf7 24.Rf1+ probably mates) 24.Rg7+ Kxg7 ( -Kf8 25.Qxd7 guess rest) 25.Bf6++ Kf7 26.Qg7+ Ke6 27.Qe7+ Kf5 ( -Kd5 28.Qd6X) 28.Qxd7+ Kg6 29.Qg7+ mates. B) (20.Rd6) -Bxd6 21.Nxd6+ Kf8 ( -Qxd6 is at ry, but I'd play White) 22.Rf1 Qxg2 ( -f5 23.Rxf5+ mates/ -Nxe5 or -Rh7 gets 23.Qxe6 with clear edge) 23.Rxf7+ Kg8 24.Qxe6 (Rg7+?) Black has no saving moves at his disposal f.e. 24. -Qxg5+ 25.Rf4+. So , right or wrong, this is my suggestion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <MaczyinskiPratten> <After 24 Qf6 Rh7 25 Bh6+ what's to stop Black playing Rxh6? He's a Rook up, after all. After 26 Qxh6+ Black may even be abl to escape via e7 and remain a piece up. Anyone got a refutation? >

Here's the position after 26...Ke7. Black is up a piece for a pawn.

click for larger view

This position wins for white because beginning with 27 Nf5+, black's king has to eventually move to the d file by force of white's knight checks, where white wins the queen after Rd1.

One example is by 27...Ke8 28 Ng7+ Kd7 29 Rd1.

click for larger view

May-20-11  LIFE Master AJ: Short,Nigel D (2655) - Kasparov,Garry (2805) [B86]
PCA-World Championship London (8), 23.09.1993

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Nbd7 8.f4 Nc5 9.e5 dxe5 10.fxe5 Nfd7 11.Bf4 b5 12.Qg4 h5 13.Qg3 h4 14.Qg4 g5 15.0-0-0 Qe7; Can Black afford to take the Bishop on g4? I am not sure even after computer analysis, the box seems to think its OK.

[Interesting was: 15...gxf4 16.Nxe6 Nxe6 (</= But not 16...Nxb3+?! 17.axb3 fxe6 18.Qxe6+ Qe7 19.Qg6+ Kd8 20.Nd5 Qg7 21.Qc6, with an attack.) 17.Bxe6 Qe7 18.Bxd7+ Bxd7 19.Qf3 Ra7 20.Nd5 Bc6 21.Nf6+ Qxf6 22.exf6 Bxf3 23.Rhe1+ Re7 24.fxe7 Bxd1 25.exf8Q+ Kxf8 26.Kxd1 h3=]

16.Nc6 Nxb3+ 17.axb3 Qc5 18.Ne4 Qxc6 19.Bxg5 Bb7 20.Rd6!! Bxd6 21.Nxd6+ Kf8 22.Rf1 Nxe5 23.Qxe6 Qd5 24.Rxf7+!, This is great, but there is an alternative line that might be even better.

[Best was: 24.Qf6!! Rh7 25.Rf5 Qxg2 26.Qxe5 Qg1+ 27.Kd2 Qg2+ 28.Kc3 Qc6+ 29.Kb4 Qd7 30.Qf6 Kg8 31.Bh6 Be4 32.Nxe4 a5+ 33.Ka3 b4+ 34.Ka2 ]

24...Nxf7 25.Be7+ Kg7 26.Qf6+ Kh7 27.Nxf7 Qh5 28.Ng5+ Kg8 29.Qe6+ Kg7 30.Qf6+!?, Probably played to gain time on the clock.


30...Kg8 31.Qe6+ Kg7 32.Bf6+ Kh6▢; No choice.

[Of course not: </= 32...Kf8?? 33.Qe7+ Kg8 34.Qg7#]

33.Nf7+ Kh7 34.Ng5+!?,
More repetitions. (Before grabbing the a8-Rook.)

[Better was: 34.Nxh8 Rxh8 35.Qd7+ Kg6 36.Bxh8 Qg5+ 37.Kb1, but maybe Short was unsure if he could win this. ]

34...Kh6 35.Bxh8+ Qg6 36.Nf7+ Kh7 37.Qe7 Qxg2?!;
An error in judgment.

[Correct was: 37...Kg8! 38.Qxb7 Rf8, "="]

Short misses a win.

[Best was: 38.Bd4! Qh1+ 39.Kd2 Qxh2+ 40.Kc3 Qg3+ 41.Kb4 Bd5 42.Nd6+ Kg8 43.Nf5 Qg6 44.Qe5 Kh7 45.Qxd5 ]

38...Qf1+ 39.Kd2 Qf2+ 40.Kd3 Qf3+ 41.Kd2 Qf2+;
A fighting game of chess ... by two players in their prime. (Neither played perfectly, but only computers could navigate such complications.)


May-20-11  LIFE Master AJ: Should have been "before grabbing the h8-rook."
May-20-11  JohnBoy: Nige was a monster and this game shows him at his most powerful. But even Gamara never did beat Monster X. Not quite the right guy at the time.
May-20-11  WhiteRook48: 20 Rd6!! I only got the first three moves
May-20-11  stst: Getting late again, most analyses should be done already. Obviously d6 is an attraction, guarded by P@e5; it only leaves a choice between Nd6+ or Rd6. Yet the crux should be to constrain the Bk K to the K file, and not allow it to drift to Q side. Give brief development for each line:
(I)20.Rd6 BxR 21.NxB+ Kf8 22.Rf1 NxP 23.Qxe6 Rh7 24.Be7+ Kg8 25.QxN Qd5 26.Qf6 Qxg2 27.Nxf6 Bd5 28.Nh6+ RxN
29.QxR Re8 etc
(II)20.Nd6+ BxN 21.RxB Qc7/c5/c8 (each got its own merits) 22.RxP+ if (A)PxR
23.QxP+ Kf8 24.Rf1+ Kg7 25.Qf7#
if (B)22....Kf8 23.Be7+ Ke8 24.Bd6+ and Q is lost for Qc7/c5 in 21. if in 21 Qc8 then here 24.B goes other way Bf6+ and R is lost, and next Qg7# ... Bed time!!
May-20-11  wals: Rybka 4 x 64

15.0-0-0, =-0.09.
d 17 : 4 min : Black error.
15...Qe7, +0.84. Best, gxf4, -=0.17.

1. = (-0.17): 15...gxf4 16.Nxe6[] Nxe6 17.Bxe6 Qe7 18.Bxd7+ Bxd7 19.Qf3[] Ra7[] 20.Rhe1 Bg7 21.Nd5 Qc5 22.Nf6+ Bxf6 23.exf6+ Be6 24.Qg4 Qc6 25.Qxf4 Qc8 26.Qg5 Rd7 27.Qg7 Rf8 28.Qh6 h3 29.g3 Qc5 30.Qf4 Qc7

d 16 : 4 min : Black error
19...Bb7,(2nd best) +1.71. Best, h3.

1. (0.94): 19...h3 20.Qf3 Bb7 21.Nf6+[] Nxf6[] 22.Qxf6 Qc7 23.Qxh8[] hxg2 24.Bh6 Qc5 25.Rhg1 Bd5 26.Bxf8 Qxf8 27.Qxf8+ Kxf8[] 28.Kd2 Rc8 29.Rc1 Kg7 30.Ke3 Kg6 31.c4 bxc4 32.bxc4 Bc6 33.Rcf1 Rb8 34.Rf6+ Kg7

d 16 : 3 min : White error.

24.Rxf7,(2nd best) +1.12. Best, Qf6.

1. (2.17): 24.Qf6 Rh7 25.Rf5[] Kg8 26.Rxe5[] Qxg2 27.Kb1[] Bd5 28.Bh6[] Qg1+

d 17 : 3 min : White error

30.Qf6+, (2nd best)= 0.00. Best, Bf6.

1. (1.00): 30.Bf6+ Kh6[] 31.Nf7+ Kh7[] 32.Nxh8[] Rxh8 33.Qd7+ Kg6[] 34.Bxh8 Qg5+ 35.Kb1 Qxg2 36.h3 Be4 37.Ka2 b4 38.Be5 Qf3 39.Qe6+ Kh5 40.Bd6 Bxc2 41.Bxb4 Bg6 42.Qe5+ Qf5 43.Qe2+ Kh6 44.Bd2+ Kg7 45.Qe7+

d 16 : 1 min Black error

31...Kg7, +0.94. Best, it is the best.

d 18 : 3m : White error
34.Ng5, =0.00. Best, Nxh8.

1. (1.08): 34.Nxh8 Rxh8 35.Qd7+ Kg6[] 36.Bxh8[] Qg5+ 37.Kb1 Qxg2 38.Qg7+ Kh5 39.Qf7+ Kg4 40.Qe6+ Kf4 41.Ka2 Qe4 42.Qf7+ Kg4 43.Qd7+ Kf3 44.Bf6 Bc6 45.Qh3+ Ke2 46.Qc3 Qf3 47.Qd4 Qf5 48.c3 Qe4 49.Qb6

d 21 :47 min Black error
34...Kh6, +0.79. Best, it is the best.

d 15 : 3 min : White error
35.Bxh8, (2nd best) =0.00. Best, Qe7.

1. (0.82): 35.Qe7 Rag8[] 36.Nf7+[] Kg6[] 37.Nxh8+ Rxh8 38.Bxh8 Qg5+ 39.Qxg5+[] Kxg5 40.g3 hxg3 41.hxg3 Kg4 42.Be5 Kf3 43.Kd2 Bd5 44.Bc7 Be6 45.Kc3 Bf5 46.b4 Bg4 47.Kd3 Bf5+ 48.Kd2 Ke4

d 17 : 2 min : Black error
37...Qxg2, 2.23. Best, Kg8.

1. = (0.00): 37...Kg8 38.Qxb7 Rf8[] 39.Ne5 Rf1+[] 40.Kd2 Qd6+ 41.Ke2 Qd1+[] 42.Ke3 Qe1+ 43.Kd3 Qd1+ 44.Ke3 Qe1+ 45.Kd3 Qd1+ 46.Ke3 Qe1+ 47.Kd3 Qd1+ 48.Ke3 Qe1+ 49.Kd3 Qd1+ 50.Ke3 Qe1+ 51.Kd3 Qd1+ 52.Ke3 Qe1+

d 17 : 2 min : White error
38.Be5, =0.00. Best, Bd4.

1. (2.23): 38.Bd4 Qh1+ 39.Kd2[] Qg2+ 40.Kc3[] Qc6+[] 41.Kb4[] a5+ 42.Ka3 Re8[] 43.Qg5[] Qg6[] 44.Qxh4+[] Kg8[] 45.Nh6+ Kh7 46.Nf5+ Kg8[] 47.Ne7+[] Rxe7[] 48.Qxe7 Bc6 49.h4 Qf7 50.Qe5 Kh7 51.Ka2 Bd7 52.Qh8+ Kg6 53.h5+

May-21-11  KingV93: Bold play by Nigel, a worthy challenger to Kasparov in spirit and technique.
May-21-11  LIFE Master AJ: <Wahls> Thanks for your Rybka analysis, when I have time, I will add those lines to mine. (The file on my PC.)

Between the two of us, the game is nice analyzed.

May-21-11  sevenseaman: <centralfiles> Thanks. One of the better puzzles. 13... Qf3 leads to an amazing crack up. Well done <Benoni>, brilliant!
May-21-11  Hossam Hassan: centralfiles >>>>> I got the is (1...Qf3)...good puzzle and thank you ..i hope u can see this comment..
Jul-10-11  Goldeneyezz: I just watched some old tv footage of john nunn going over this with presenter john snow,and even though iv never run this by an engine,i do think short blew this game..
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: This was a fantastically complicated struggle which has been used as Game of the Day and also Sunday/Insane Puzzle of the Day. The consensus is that White missed two wins:

1) 24. Qf6 Rh7 25. Bh6+ (Gliksman) or 25. Rf5 (<wals>/Rybka 4)

2) 38. Bd4 preventing the perpetual check

On Page 1, Short laments missing 38. Bd4 which would make this game "one for the anthologies" although he would still be way behind in the WC match.

Aug-17-11  ProjectR: Nigel short really had Kasparov in trouble in this match. Iv always felt short was missing some kind of killer instinct,not just in this match but in general
May-03-15  ToTheDeath: The best game of the match.
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