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Nigel Short vs John Nunn
Hastings (1979/80), Hastings ENG, rd 8, Jan-??
Modern Defense: Standard Defense (B06)  ·  0-1



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sac: 30...Rxe4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-15-14  diagonalley: <Lighthorse> / <patzer2> yep, i also went for 42 .... Q-R8+ first, as then white's QBP must also fall
Oct-15-14  gofer: <42 ... Rxc4>

This wins a piece as the rook is immune...

43 bxc4? Qa1+

44 Re1 Qxe1+
45 Kb1 Qa1 the queen is still lost!

44 Kg2 Rb2
45 Re2 Rxc2
46 Rxc2 Qb1/Qd1

So black must find another reply, but what???

43 Rxe6? Qa1+
44 Kg2 Rxc3 looks to be a losing plan

43 Re1 Bxd4+
44 Kg2 Rxc3 looks to be a losing plan


Yep, a nice "Wednesday" POTD, now for work...

Oct-15-14  morfishine: Resigning Shortly will come Nunn too soon

<42...Rxc4> 43.bxc4 Qa1+ 44.Kg2 Rb2


Oct-15-14  Coriolis: White came Short and there was Nu'nn he could do.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: If we rewind this game to 32. f3, we see a winning technique that is not often mentioned in chess:

click for larger view

Black has a smallish advantage. White's exchange sacrifice hasn't really worked. The white bishop on h2 is hemmed in. Black's only weakness is his backwards e6 pawn, but it's hard for white to target it.

But it's hard to see how black breaks through. There is no stunning POTD style tactic.

So black carries out a strategy of probing for weaknesses. He doesn't know how he is going to win. White may be able to defend. But all the while black is pushing and attacking. He waits for white to make a mistake, confident that he isn't exposing himself to risk.

Black starts by advancing and then exchanging the b pawn. This then gets us to here (after 37...bxc3):

click for larger view

Fritz evaluates this at -1.5. In other words, it's a material advantage for black (white's failed exchange sac), but it's not an immediate win.

From here the good doctor keeps pushing. He jiggles his rooks between b8 and c8, probing the weak pawns. His queen hunts between b5 and a5. I don't think he has a plan to break through. Fritz can't find anything concrete. Instead he probes for weaknesses, he squeezes for a mistake.

And that is exactly what happens. Nigel makes two mistakes in a row - 41. Re4 and 42. Nc4.

Of course, it's easy to be an armchair quarterback and criticise these mistakes. Over the board they are very hard to spot, and it's a thankless task to be subject to constant pressure.

Chess books seem to concentrate on the wham-bang tactics, but don't often talk about this kind of sustained pressure. It's sustained pressure without a goal in mind, but it can be very effective all the same.

Oct-15-14  Herma48852: 42。.. Rxc4 43. bxc4 Qa1+ 44. Kg2/Kf2 Rb2 pinning the white queen to the white king.

<Once> Thanks for the instructive post on caving in under constant pressure.

Oct-15-14  Chesschatology: This jumped out at me immediately, having recently watched the excellent coverage of <<Nakamura v. Caruana >> in the Sinquefield Cup by Yasser Seirawan, Jennifer Shahade and Maurice Ashley, in which Fabiano missed Bh4! just before the time control, setting up a very similar queen trap motif based on a royal skewer. Maybe watching the games of great players is actually good for your chess?
Oct-15-14  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy"
Black to play 42...?
Black has a Rook for a Knight and a pawn.

43.Kg2 Rxc4
44.bxc4 Rb2 White can not save the Queen
45.Re2 Rxc2
If Rook is not taken:

44.b4 Rxc3
45.Qf2 Rxb4
46.Re1 Rc1
47.Rxc1 Qxc1
48.Bg1 Rb2
again White Queen is lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: The Nunn vs Short games score is unbelievable. Is John a monkey on Nigel's back???
Oct-15-14  mistreaver: Wednsday. Black to play. Medium/Easy. 42...?
42... Rxc4
43 bxc4 Qa1+
44 Kplays Rb2
Oct-15-14  mistreaver: Btw can someone post a link to yesterday's puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < mistreaver: Btw can someone post a link to yesterday's puzzle. >

I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I believe this was yesterday's puzzle:

Black to move, 23...?

click for larger view

J Saradjen vs M Perunovic, 2004

Oct-15-14  pawn to QB4: <The Nunn vs Short games score is unbelievable. Is John a monkey on Nigel's back?> most of the games were played before Short's prime, and when Nunn was at his peak. Plus, Nunn was/is a particularly dangerous attacking player, and my impression is that Short sometimes finds them (qv Polgar) the hardest type to handle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: 42...Rxc4! If White recaptures, he loses his queen to a rook: 43.bxc4 Qa1+ 44.Kg2 Rb2; otherwise he is simply down a rook, with Black threatening to invade via c3.
Oct-15-14  mistreaver: <Penguincw>
Thank you very much, kind sir.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: If white takes the bishop, the queen will be lost in a few moves to a pin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: The c pawn is overstretched and the knight is begging to be taken. I had

42. Rxc4
43. bxc4 Qa1+
44. Kf2 Rb2
45. Re2 Rxc2
46. Rxc2 Qb1
Looks like black can clean up the pawns and bring its bishop into play. Short did not play bxc4 but nothing else seems attractive. If the rook moves to the first rank then black can play Bxd4+. If
43. b4 Qa1+
44. Kg2 R(b8)c8?
43. d5 Rxc3
Probably I donít have the best lines but over the board I would definitely have taken the knight and looked excited.

Oct-15-14  BOSTER: <Lighthorse:I kept going back and forth>.

So,did the white knight,who spent all his life wandering,until we come here.

White to play 30.

click for larger view

Here knight could finally win a prize playing Nd6.

After 30.Nd6 Qe7 31.Nxe8 fxe3 32.Nxg7 exf2+ 33.Qxf2 Qxg7 the game looks like a draw.

Oct-15-14  BOSTER: Looking at the pos.white to play 30. I'd say that Nunn was afraid that Nigel could win this game.
This is why he put all his pieces on white squares, and if he could , he'd change the color of the bishop g7 too.
Oct-15-14  WDenayer: 41. ... Bxd4 also wins.
Oct-15-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: The obvious shot is

42 ... Qa1+
43 Kf2/Kg2 Rxc4
44 bxc4 Rb2

Black has pinned the queen, and will wind up with queen for rook, more or less. (If White for some odd reason plays on, pawns will be flying off the board too quickly to count.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <BOSTER> I sat Fritzie on the position after 29...f4 for a couple of hours.

Fritzie says that black has an advantage of about a pawn whatever white plays.

The strongest move is 30. Rxe4, which was what Nigel played. Fritzie evaluates this as -0.96.

30. Nd6 is the second best move for white, with an evaluation of -1.07. Then a plausible line is 30...Qg6 31. Ree1 Qh6 32. Nxc8 Rxc8

click for larger view

Black has given up the exchange, but in return has a strong central pawn mass. Black will win at least another pawn with Qxh3.

Fritz evaluates this as -1.07, which ought to be a comfortable win for black.

Players of the calibre of Nunn and Short do not miss one move royal forks. Short didn't play 30. Nd6 because he found the better move in 30. Rxe4. But both he and Nunn would have known that white was losing by this point.

Oct-15-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Hmm. Perhaps there's some slight advantage to the game move order in lines where White declines to take the c4 rook. Hardly matters, of course, since resignation is in order either way.
Oct-15-14  BOSTER: <Once>.

Thanks very much for your evaluation.

Oct-15-14  TheBish: Short vs Nunn, 1979

Black to play (42...?) "Medium/Easy", Black is up an exchange for a pawn.

42...Rxc4! 43. bxc4 Qa1+ 44. Kg2 Rb2 wins the queen. Super easy for a Wednesday!

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