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Nigel Short vs Garry Kasparov
"A Day Late and a Dollar Short" (game of the day Jul-23-2023)
Kasparov - Short PCA World Championship Match (1993), London ENG, rd 10, Sep-28
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-26-04  Stavrogin: great, exciting game.
Apr-26-04  WMD: Short thought for an incredible 52 minutes on his 13th move 0-0-0. The first time control was 40 moves in 2 hours.

14...Nfe4? "Nigel had already seen that after 14...Nd5! 15.Bxe7 Nxe7! 16.Qg3 d5 he would be at a disadvantage because of his out-of-play bishop on b3. However, by now he had no choice but to continue the line and was fortunate that Kasparov had 'completely forgotten that his knight could move backwards' (15...Nxe7) and accepted the sacrifice." (Chess Monthly)

16. Nxe4! "Not only strong but forced since 16.Qe3 Nf2 or 16...Nxc3 17.Qxc3 Qg5+ leave Black with a big advantage." (CM)

32.Nxe6!? "Going for gold. Of course Short saw 32.Re6+ Bxe6 33.Nxe6 Qxe6 34.d8Q and White should win, but felt this was less efficient, especially in time pressure. One might argue that this would be safe and sufficient, but hunting his first win, NS wants more to be sure - and the position justifies this." (BCM)

33.Rf8!? (Miles) Qh4 34.Nf3 Qh1+ 35.Kd2 Qd1+ 36.Ke3 Qc1+ 37.Kf2 is winning.

36.Ne5? "Critics may have misjudged the ease of winning this game in general, but there can be no excuse for a title challenger playing this when the game's simplest win is at hand: 36.Rh1+ Kg6 37.Ne5+ Kf5 38.Nc6 and Black can resign." (BCM)

If 37.Nc6!? then 37..Qf5 38.Ne4 Qf4+ 39.Kb1 Bd5! 40.d8Q Bxe4+ 41.Ka1 Bxc6 Black has drawing chances.

38.Rf8 seems to win 38...Qg1+ 39.Kc2 Bxd7 40.Nxd7.

40.Re7? "Played with four seconds left, but finally lets the win slip. GK pointed out the fantastic variation 40.Ne4! (threatening Rxh7+) 40...Qd3 (40...g5 41.Rf6+ Kg7 42.Rd6) 41.Rf2!! Qe3+!? (41...Qxe4 42.Rh2+! or 41...Qd7 42.Rh2+ Kg7 43.Rxh7+!) 42.Rd2! Qe1+ 43.Rd1 Qe3+ 44.Kb1 Qxe4+ 45.Ka1 and the d-pawn finally decides the game." (BCM)

Apr-27-04  Whitehat1963: A great game that deserves more attention. Good post, <WMD>!
Apr-30-07  acirce: <The most entertaining minute of television I have ever seen came while Short was considering his reply to this move. The English commercial television station Channel 4, owner of the exclusive television rights to the match, was covering the time scramble 'live' as it did every match day. The Channel 4 commentators - or more accurately Nigel Short cheer squad leaders - Ray Keene and Danny King were urging Short to play 35.Ne1 when they were sure Kasparov would resign. "Come on Nigel!", urged Danny King, while Ray Keene pronounced September 28 1993 a great day for British chess. Then, suddenly, a strange sound filled the air - Keene had begun humming 'God Save the Queen' into a reluctant microphone. The camera focussed on Short, who was looking more and more worried. The concert ended and Short was still thinking. The commentators couldn't understand why he wasn't moving. It was a great show, filled with tension, embarrassment and unintentional humour. Then, with only about half a minute left on the clock, Short spoiled everything by moving.> - Ian Rogers, New In Chess 1993/7

On 35.Ne1, 35..Qg4! even wins for Black.

May-02-07  Squares: Acirce, as usual I bow to your superior chess ability, but what happens if Short checks with Re6?
May-02-07  acirce: 35.Ne1 Qg4 36.Re6+ Qxe6 37.d8=Q Qxe1# if that's what you mean.
May-03-07  Squares: Yes that was what I meant, and that is why I am not a good chess player. Cheers for the response. Is there (do you think) a win for Short, at any particular stage of the match? Besides at the very beginning?
May-04-07  acirce: I'm confused again. Do you mean this game? Yes, Short missed several wins! See <WMD>'s post. If you do mean the match, well, Short won this one: Short vs Kasparov, 1993
May-05-07  Squares: Thank you. I should have checked what other people had wrote. And I did mean this game (not match).
Nov-22-09  SamAtoms1573: <meth0dsnk: kasparov never exchanges the d4 knight in his games which is an error...>

Lesson 1, Mr. "future world champion": before making such comments, it might help if you actually study Kasparov's games as Black in the Sicilian. Try these dozen examples of him exchanging White's d4-knight, for starters (I can provide a couple dozen more if necessary):

Adorjan vs Kasparov, 1979

Tal vs Kasparov, 1979

Ph Gerbert vs Kasparov, 1980

Timman vs Kasparov, 1983

Sax vs Kasparov, 1983

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985

Ivanchuk vs Kasparov, 1989

Topalov vs Kasparov, 1995

Leko vs Kasparov, 2003

Morozevich vs Kasparov, 2001

And as a little bonus, how about a couple examples from this very match against Short:

Short vs Kasparov, 1993

Short vs Kasparov, 1993

As you like to say, Mr. <I can beat Carlsen I can beat anybody>...


Nov-22-09  Paraconti: Just shows how strong, supremely confident and contemptious of his challenger Kasparov was that even in a world championship match he could afford to take enormous risks, play recklessly on the precipice of danger and still get away with it. In fact Kasparov could have even had the better position if he'd played d5 at some point before the 12th move. But he was so far ahead in the score that winning another game would have killed what little interest the public had left in the match. It was embarrassing to watch such a one-sided match, and to Kasparov's credit, he kept insisting he had to play his best, when it was clear he was just toying with Short in almost every game. He even had to throw a game (a clear draw) to avoid humiliating Short 100%.
Nov-22-09  Notagm: Paraconti: Either you are very ignorant or you have a grudge against Nigel. The match result somewhat flattered Kasparov.

In several games (including this one), Kasparov had to fight very hard for a draw. In the opening game, Short should have drawn (Kasparov even offered a draw) but tragically lost on time due to misreading his clock.

There is no doubt that Kasparov was a class above Nigel, but your comments are plain ignorant and insulting to both players.

Nov-23-09  KamikazeAttack: <He even had to throw a game (a clear draw) to avoid humiliating Short 100%.>


Nov-13-11  DrMAL: Short's plan with long castle here was even bigger opportunity for Kasparov to try for win than after 14.b4?! in Short vs Kasparov, 1993. Line chosen by Kasparov with 14...Nfe4 was not bad but 14...Nd5! offered much better chance of win. This forces 15.Bxe7 and, after 15...Nxe7 and Q move (16.Qe3 computes as best), 16...d5! makes B on b3 useless, white is left to defend against pawn march b4-a5 hoping for draw.
Aug-01-13  The Rocket: <"On 35.Ne1, 35..Qg4! even wins for Black."> No, it doesn't. Black is completely toasted, of course. Nef3, Qg6,Nxb3, Qd6, Re6+, Qxe6, D8=Q,
Aug-11-13  phil6875: Stronger than 32. Re6+ was surely,
32. Nf7 now there only really three choices for Black, all very bad.

32...Qd5 33. Ne5+ Kf5 34. Rf8+ Kxe5 35. d8Q Qxd8 36. Rxd8

32...Bxf7 33. d8Q Qxd8 34. Rxd8 h5 35. Rb8 Kf6 36. Rxb5

32...Kxf7 33. d8Q Qxd8 34. Rxd8 Be6 35. Rb8 Kg6 36. Rb6

Aug-11-13  The Rocket: Incredible how many opportunities Nigel blew in the match. The numbers do not reflect the match.

Short is at his best when getting the iniative - attacking prospects. I think he is truly creative attacking player. Positionally I don't hold him to such high standards.

Sep-01-13  phil6875: <The Rocket> Black is not completely toasted, in your line rather than 36...Qg6 Black plays 36...Qxd7,

35. Ne1 Qg4 36. Nef3 Qxd7 37. Re1 Qd5 38. Re5 qb7 39. Ne4 g6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Why Short did not win in 1993, revealed twenty years on by that great champion <The Rocket>:

<Short is at his best when getting the (initiative) - attacking prospects. I think he is truly creative attacking player. Positionally I don't hold him to such high standards.>

It must be terrible, really, to have one's, dare I say it, shortcomings thus exposed by this poster, Short having been at top level for many years and played this match with the great Kasparov.

Dec-12-15  seeminor: 39....Qd5? can be met by 40.Ne4! Even here Short can win
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: I like <The Theory of Infinite Resistance> but I hate when my opponent uses it...
Jul-23-23  Cecco: In summary, Short could force the promotion to d8, with the advantage of a rook, with these moves (as has already been pointed out, in some cases): 32. Nf7
33. Rf8
36. Rh1+ (before Ne5, to avoid g6)
37. c4 (more difficult, having allowed 36. ... g6). And with the advantage of a knight with this move: 40. Ne4.
Lack of time is terrible.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Do the bots give Nigel a forced win anywhere? I'm always reluctant to believe analysis until strong chess software corroborates it.
Jul-23-23  goodevans: <seeminor: 39....Qd5? can be met by 40.Ne4! Even here Short can win>

I guess there's something so exciting about this game that folk don't bother checking previous posts before adding their own two penneth worth (at least <Squares> had the good grace to admit it). <WMD> had already posted about 40.Ne4! a decade earlier with BCM's analysis showing how it won, making it clear how complicated it would have been to calculate in a desperate time scramble.

Maybe <seeminor> might like to explain why he gave 39...Qd5 a '?' and what he'd recommend instead.

A truly exciting game and a pretty good pun to boot.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: After yesterday's Karjakin vs Carlsen, 2014, another fantastic draw. There should be a game collection of the like (well, there is one but it's a mix of interesting draws, stalemates and sacs leading to a draw).

The pun is explained by the fact at this stage Short's score was +0 -5 =4 (there is no typo). Also, the "Day Late" could be a reference to the fact the previous round was played 3 days earlier: the format of the match was <game - 1 rest day - game - 1 rest day - game - 2 rest days - repeat>. Hence 20 games took a month and a half. Seems incredible now.

Too bad Short didn't win this one, would have been fair, would have better reflected the (un)balance of the match and might have stimulated Kasparov for the remaining games. Interesting posts above about the missed opportunities.

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