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Nigel Short vs Ian Rogers
Manila Olympiad (1992), Manila PHI, rd 13, Jun-22
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B48)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-02-08  patzer2: <Once> Good job! Looks like you found a second three-move mate possibility from my diagram in 37. Qe5! (I'm sure that's what you meant, since 37. Qe4 is not a possible legal move in that position.) 37...Qg4 (37...Qxf3 38. Qxg5#; 37...g4 or any other try here meets with 38. Qh2#) 38. Qh2+ Qh3 39. Qxh3#.
Jul-02-08  Marmot PFL: This was harder than the previous two days combined, but finally I realized that if Bxf7+ Kxf7 Rxd7+ Bxd7 Rxd7+ Ke6 (or Ke8) Qg7, and black can't defend against mate on f7 and e7. Short and sweet. Rogers saw it also, and went into the ending, which while preferable to mate is very easy for white with an extra pawn and black's remaining pawns all weak.
Jul-02-08  SuperPatzer77: <dzechiel> <If 31...Kf6 then 32 Qg7+ Kg5 (32...Ke6 Qf7#) 33 Qxe5+ Kh6 34 Qg7+ Kg5 35 Rd5+ Kf4 36 Rxh5 gxh5 37 Kf2 and black can only avoid mate by giving up a rook on b2>

After 35...Kf4, White's best move is 36. Qc7+! Ke3, 37. Qc1+ Ke2, 38. Qd2#

36. Qc7+!, 36...Qe5 instead of 36...Ke3, 37. Qxe5+ Ke3, 38. Qg5+ Ke2, 39. Qd2#

<dzechiel> Isn't it a piece of cake?


Jul-02-08  zb2cr: White goes up by a Pawn with 29. Bxf7+, Kh8; 30. Qxh5, gxh5; 31. Bxh5. The mating lines if Black accept have been pointed out by others and were what I initially saw to justify going down by a Rook.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Funny,I was looking at the grand sacrifices at f7 and d7-but I didn't even touch on black's decline of the sac Bf7+ by Kh8.

White picks up two pawns and ends a pawn plus.

Jul-02-08  YouRang: A pretty R+B for 2P sac, which (if swallowed) leads to a not-too-hard Q+R mating attack while black's queen and two rooks watch helplessly from a distance.

The key moves weren't hard to see, mostly because there is practically no other way to bring white's pieces into the attack to support our otherwise immobilized queen.

Of course, black should decline the sac (as he did), which merely leaves black with a dreadful game that he will lose eventually.

Jul-02-08  littlefermat: Strange choice for a Wednesday puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<Dr. J> wrote: [snip] And, yeah, I confused <dzechiel> with <johnlspouge> in my very first post above. My abject apologies to both of these fine gentlemen. >

Hi, <Dr. J>. I am in the same time zone (PST) as <dzechiel> until Sunday, hence my posts are 9 hours earlier than my normal EST posts. For my part, apology accepted. Without different time zones, my style is almost indistinguishable from <dzechiel>'s ;>)

<<Dr. J> wrote: <Hector> Welcome to the neighbourhood! Relax and enjoy! >

Because of my early post, I can say: <Hector Maluy>, you are impressively fast and accurate! I echo <Dr. J>'s welcome to the neighbo(u)rhood, and I look forward to more of your posts.

Jul-02-08  Kasputin: Black has an extra pawn and both sides have all their heavy pieces plus light squared bishops in play.

Initially both kings look somewhat vulnerable. The way that whites pieces are set up (queen near the enemy king, bishop attacking f7, rooks doubled on the half open d-file) suggests that white should attack the black king - possibly with the idea of delivering mate, possibly to win material. Black looks weak on the dark squares around the king, and it also looks like action could take place on the 6th, 7th, and 8th rank - especially the 7th.

Black of course is threatening to capture the white queen. If white take the black queen first, then blacks pawn structure looks pretty bad (after playing 29 ... gxh5). White could come after those pawns (e.g., moving the king to f2 and the d1 rook to h1), which might not be a bad way to go about things. But is there anything better for white - a way to win material and/or threaten the black king?

Initially anyway, moving the white queen does not look promising.

White can sac the bishop at f7 - what does this do?

First candidate: 29. Bxf7+

Well black can move the king away but lets start by thinking about black being materialistic.

A) 29 ... Kxf7
30. Rxd7+ Bxd7
31. Rxd7+

Moving ... Kg8 allows 32. Qg8# so black can try 31 ... Kf6 or ... Ke8 or ... Ke6 and it looks like black might wriggle away. The only thing that white can do is move the queen to g7. This protects the rook - connects the queen and the rook - and maybe white can deliver mate. Concretely:

31 ... Kf6
32. Qg7+ Kg5 (or ... Ke6; 33. Qe7#)
33. Qxe5+ Kh4
34. Qf4+ Qg4
35. Qxg4#

31 ... Ke8
32. Qg7

Now black cannot do anything with the rooks to prevent mate next move. Also ... Qh2 or h1 is simply a spite check. 32 ... Qh4 or ...g5 prevents mate on e7 but white still has 33. Qf7#. Lastly with ... Qxf3 or ... Qf5 white could take the queen or just play 33. Qe7#

31 ... Ke6
32. Qg7

In this case black can swing a rook over to e8 or f8 but cannot cover both mate squares (e7 and f7). The black queen has exactly the same options as in a2 with the same result (mate is delivered on e7 or f7 depending on what black does).

So it looks like white has mate by force if black simply gobbles up all the offered material. I have just double checked this squence again and it looks correct.

B) What if black declines the rook sac?

29. Bxf7+ Kxf7
30. Rxd7+

Well if black moves ... Ke6 or ... Kf6 then R(d1)d6#. ... Kg8 of course is 31. Qg7# And if black tries ... Ke8 then white basically plays the same sequence as before with the queen moving to g8. The presence of the black bishop does not fundamentally change anything. If the bishop captures the d7 rook then white plays Rxd7, and we have the first mate sequence by transposition. Something like ... Bd5 still allows the queen the e7 square to mate the black king.

C) Finally, what if black declines the bishop sac?

29. Bxf7+ Kh8
30. Qxh5 gxh5
31. Bxh5

Now white is a pawn up with a better position. White should win the resulting endgame. One idea would be to play Bg4 to attack black's d-pawn. Another idea could be to move the king to f2 (and maybe even up the board starting with g3 - g4 etc...) and swing the d1 rook over to h1 to go after the isolated h pawn.

I don't see anything better for white after 29 ... Kh8. Maybe I have missed something. Taking the bishop certainly leads to mate (if I have calculated correctly). Declining the bishop is the best option, but then Rogers has the pleasure of watching Short grind out an endgame win.

My guess is that black does move the king over to h8, and, if so, I am curious to see if I missed some other way to win. If I didn't miss anything, I wonder how Short wins the endgame because I have the feeling that such a position with a pawn up would be fairly straightforward for Short - if it is Nigel that we are talking about.

Jul-02-08  Kasputin: I didn't even think about any of the following because I didn't even think about 33 ... Kh6.

<SuperPatzer77: <dzechiel> <If 31...Kf6 then 32 Qg7+ Kg5 (32...Ke6 Qf7#) 33 Qxe5+ Kh6 34 Qg7+ Kg5 35 Rd5+ Kf4 36 Rxh5 gxh5 37 Kf2 and black can only avoid mate by giving up a rook on b2> After 35...Kf4, White's best move is 36. Qc7+! Ke3, 37. Qc1+ Ke2, 38. Qd2#

36. Qc7+!, 36...Qe5 instead of 36...Ke3, 37. Qxe5+ Ke3, 38. Qg5+ Ke2, 39. Qd2#

<dzechiel> Isn't it a piece of cake?


Jul-02-08  Googleandchess45: I got the whole solution. Although I didn't bother looking further then Bxh5, figuring it was a won endgame. Suprising since this solution wasn't nessecarily a straight-forward mate.
Jul-02-08  tjshann: The combination that leads to the winning endgame is not too difficult. The question, as someone else alluded to, is the not-always-easy process of winning a won game.
Jul-02-08  234: Tuesday puzzle Jul-01-08 <23. ?> Keres vs V Rootare, 1942
Jul-02-08  Marmot PFL: <After 35...Kf4, White's best move is 36. Qc7+! Ke3, 37. Qc1+ Ke2, 38. Qd2#

36. Qc7+!, 36...Qe5 instead of 36...Ke3, 37. Qxe5+ Ke3, 38. Qg5+ Ke2, 39. Qd2#>

Yeah, i didn't even get into all this, just assuming that after 31..Kf6 32.Qg7+ Kg5 33.Qx5+ mate would come quickly, but it isn't so simple. Usually Wed. I can see all the lines to mate or decisive material edge but this was tougher.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<Marmot PFL> wrote: [snip] Usually Wed. I can see all the lines to mate or decisive material edge but this was tougher. >

I also acknowledge <patzer2> and <SuperPatzer77>: obviously, I could not bring myself to do a Friday's worth of analysis on a Wednesday puzzle ;>)

Jul-02-08  Woody Wood Pusher: well i saw Bxh7 and Rxd7 and was sure a mate was there but didnt see it all. Hopefully in a real game I would.
Jul-02-08  vanytchouck: With no enthousiasm :

29. Bxf7+ Kh8 because

29...Kxf7 30. Rxd7 + Bxd7 (or not) 31. Rxd7 + and the black king is soon dead.

So 29. Bxf7 + Kh8 30. Qxh5 gxh5 31. Bxh5.

I don't see anything better and i wish it wasn't the best line.

Jul-02-08  TheaN: 3/3

I was afraid I would not get this Wednesday as I missed the potential of Qg7 WITHOUT check. Well, so it goes:

The start is not that hard to see, the continuation is the problem.

Unfortunataly, Black cannot accept the sacrifice, leading to a Rook sacrifice afterwards.


And Black cannot defend both e7 and f7, checkmate next move or the move thereafter (after Qh1+).

So far so good, but the upcoming variation might differ between players.

Mate if to e6.


The King is being hassled around, only now the e5 pawn is gone.


Queen interposing only delays, and allows more squares to be taken by the White Queen.

And all the flight squares and interposions are taken away.


Ok, now I'm a bit stuck. Winning seems to be:

And the same diagonal as after 35....Kf4 decides, with mate on h2.


The King has no valuable squares, albeit g3 leading to Qc7+ and mate once again, and the Queen cannot stop this (37....Qxf3 38.gxf3 still leads to a quick mate as the Black Rooks are not working yet).

Now the g-pawn is gone, and White decides after either:




Back to the main variation without the sac; White easily wins material, but the endgame is not easy.

Now, trading is the working alternative, removing the Queen from her small space with a material winning trade.


And White should be winning. Still, such combination as Wednesday :S?

Jul-02-08  TheaN: <Dr. J and other>
Please look at the variation:
29.Bxf7+ Kxf7 30.Rxd7+ Bxd7 31.Rxd7+ Kf6 32.Qg7+ Kg5 33.Qxe5+ Kh6 34.Qg7+ Kg5 35.Rd5+ Kh4 <36.Qe7+!> g5 (Kg3 37.Qc7 as pointed out) <37.Qd7!!> g4 (nothing else works against Qh3#) 38.Qe7+ and back she goes: Kg3 39.Qc7+ Qe5 40.Qxe5+ Kh4 41.Qh2#

Albeit Black giving his Queen for a pawn, I think this is a forced mate from 29.Bxf7+ on.

Jul-02-08  ajile: First time for me to get 3 in a row in one week.


Jul-02-08  patzer2: <TheaN> Good catch on 37. Qd7 mating in five moves, beginning with several long distance Queen checks. Also good is 37. Qe5 Qg4 38. Qh2+ Qh3 39. Qxh3#.
Jul-03-08  LivBlockade: The critical variation seems to be 29. Bxf7+ Kxf7; 30. Rxd7+ Bxd7; 31. Rxd7+ Kf6; 32. Qg7+ Kg5; 33. Qxe5+ Kh6; 34. Qg7+ Kg5; 35. Rd5+ Kh4 arriving at this position:

click for larger view

Here, I think the clearest win is 36. Kh2! threatening g3 mate. I don't see a reasonable reply for Black. 36... Rxb2 is answered by 37. Qxb2 when Black can resign, while 36... Qxd5 is answered by 37. Qh6+ Qh5; 38. g3 mate. Did I miss something?

Jul-03-08  Dr. J: <LivBlockade> This is essentially treated in earlier comments. Your line wins: best play is then 36 ... Rxb2 37 Qf6+ g5 38 Qf5 and mates in 3 more. (37 Qxb2 Qxd5 is not quite as good.) This is essentially the same as the slightly shorter, simpler line given by <patzer2>: 36 Qf6+ g5 37 Qf5 (or Qe5<Once>) mating in 3 more.
Jul-03-08  TheaN: <Also good is 37. Qe5 Qg4 38. Qh2+ Qh3 39. Qxh3#.>

Better even, as it mates two moves earlier. But the idea is the same, and I astestically I like the idea of the Queen roaming the 7th rank with mate threats XD.

I have to admit however, that it is only now that I see your post with 36.Qf6+ g5 37.Qf5 which is essentially the same with two moves mate compared to my 36.Qe7+ with Qd7 and five moves mate.

Jul-05-08  maelith: Mr short, i am your fan, what are your novelties that you are most proud of?

Seeing you play the evans gambit, i have questions, after,


is 8..Nd2 as the best move for white? this is suggested by larry christiansen a few years ago.

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