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Nigel Short vs William N Watson
"Short Order" (game of the day Jan-07-2005)
Lugano op (1986), Lugano SUI, rd 5, Mar-??
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. General (B70)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-07-05  notsodeepthought: Well, the pun could have been worse - I was afraid of "Elementary, Watson".
Jan-07-05  JohnBoy: Sure looks like black should exchange queens on move 21 - is there any obvious flaw with this?
Jan-07-05  Skylark: Why was it necessary to give away a pawn with 36. ... e4?
Jan-07-05  Andrew Chapman: <Why was it necessary to give away a pawn with 36. ... e4?>he is threatened with Rxf7#. Also it opens a line of attack against the white king, with the discovered check g4.
Jan-07-05  Shams: <skylark> white threatened mate in 1 and I guess black didn`t like the look of 36...Kg7 37. Rxf7+ Kh8 and maybe 38. Rd1

<Johnboy> I think the queen trade favors white. black`s queenside pawns are weak, whereas white`s are fine. white threatens to give black an isolated pawn. also white has the better bishop and can occupy d6 if the d-file is opened. Bc7 is also in the air.

Jan-07-05  TheAussiePatzer: Fascinating. Does anyone know if there is an annotated version (preferably by Short himself) somewhere on the web?
Jan-07-05  Ed Caruthers: Was 28...Nxg3 the critical error, losing an extra exchange? What's the evaluation after 28...Bg7; 29.Bxe5, Bxe5; 30.Rxe5, Kf8?
Jan-07-05  artemis: 9. ... b6 looks odd, as ...b5 seems to be stronger in most of the sicilians that I have experience with (including the Najdorf with Bg5 and the sheveningen (1. e4 c5 2. nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. nxd4 nf6 5. nc3 a6 6. B (any besides g5) ... e6). In the sheveningen I frequently re fionchetto my kingside bishop, which seems like a waste, but as Kasparov believes, the attacking power of this bishop is worth it. Any way, I believe that this suggests the d6-d5 pawn advance played later, so that b6 is covering the c5 square.

15. c3 is strong, blocking black's ideas on the c file and the a1-h8 diagonal. In the endgame, this would be a potential weakness, since the darksquared bishop would hinder the advance of the c and b pawns, but that is a long way off.

18. Bg3 is a great move, putting the bishop in an area for great effect, countering a possible Nf4 with the bishop. This is like using steinitz's rule against the kinights, removing advanced posts.

After 21. ... Qa5, Black rejects the queen trade, since white would use the open file and the d6 square to dominate the position. The e5 square would be useful. In general queen trades are wrong if your opponent's other pieces are better placed than yours. The a1-h8 diagonal is covered by the bishop, but the d6 square is too weak, so if black trades queens, they want to get something out of it.

Jan-07-05  artemis: 22. ... Nf5 begins an ill advised queen chase, which forces a queen for two rook trade or a retreat of the queen to the detriment of white's position. Short realizes that he will get the queen for two rooks and after the dust clears on move 31. the queen cannot beat the two rooks. No individual move was a mistake here, the plan was wrong.

After this point, Black uses an anti rook strategy, keeping them on different files and ranks and simultaneously opening up the king for an attack to use the incredible range of the queen. The final position is indicative of the power of the two rooks. They can overpower the queen when they work together, since any move in the position allows the rooks to doubly attack the bihsop, winning it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Short's brilliant Queen sacrfice 27. ♕xd8! appears very close to being decisive. He gains a Rook and a Bishop for the Queen, and his subsequent threats guarantee him at least the win of the exchange and an attacking initiative. However, with careful defense, Black can make the win very difficult and may even be able to hold the draw with "best play."

An analysis, checked and validated with Fritz 8, follows:

27. ♕xd8! ♖xd8 28. ♘xd5 ♘xg3

[28...Bg7 29. Ne7+ Nxe7 (29...Kf8 30. Nc6 Rxd1 31. Rxd1 Bf6 32. Nxa5 ) 30. Rxd8+ Kh7 (30...Bf8 31. Rxe5 b5 32. Rxe7 Qxd8 33. Rxf7 ) 31. Bxf7 (may answer <Ed Caruthers'> question]

[28...Bg5 29. h4! Nxh4 30. Rxe5 Nf5 31. Rxf5 (also winning is 31. Nf6+! Bxf6 32. Rxa5 bxa5 33. Bc7! ) 31...gxf5 32. f4! ]

[28...Kh8 29. Bxe5+ Bg7 30. Bc7! Rc8 31. a4! Qc5 32. Bxb6 Qc6 33. a5 Qb5 34. Nb4 ]

[28...Kf8 29. Bxe5 Qb5 30. Bc7 Rc8 31. Nf6 Bg5 (31...Rxc7 32. Rd8+ Kg7 33. Ne8+ Kh7 34. Nxc7 ) 32. Rd7 Nh6 33. Bd6+ Kg7 34. Re5! Qc6 (34...Rc5 35. Bxc5 Kxf6 36. Bd4 Qxd7 37. Re4+ Kf5 38. Bc2 ) 35. Nxh5+ Kh8 36. Rxg5 Qxd7 37. Rxg6 fxg6 38. Be5+ Qg7 39. Bxg7+ Kh7 40. Bxh6 Kxh6 41. Nf4 ]

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: 27. ♕xd8! ♖xd8 28. ♘xd5 ♘xg3 29. ♘e7+

[29. Nf6+ Kg7 30. Rxd8 Kxf6 31. fxg3 Qc5+ 32. Kh2 h4 33. Rd7 hxg3+ 34. Kxg3 Bf4+ 35. Kg4 is the game continuation, at which point Black blundered with 35...g5?? allowing 36. Kh5! (or 36. g3! or 36. Red1! ), when 35...Kg7! 36. Rxf7+ Kh6 37. Kf3 Qc6+ could have held the position with drawing chances.

27. ♕xd8! ♖xd8 28. ♘xd5 ♘xg3 29. ♘e7+ ♔f8 30. ♖xd8+ ♔xe7 31. ♖d5 b5 32. ♖dxe5+ ♔f6 33. fxg3 ♗f8 34. ♖d5 ♕c7 35. ♖ed1 ♗c5+ 36. ♔h1 a5 37. ♖d7 ♕xg3 38. ♖xf7+ ♔g5 39. ♖f3 ♕c7 40. ♖ff1 a4 41. ♖d5+ ♔h6 42. ♗c2 ♗e7 43. ♖f3 ♕b6 44. ♖e5 to (Fritz 8 declares it a win @ +1.50 and 13 depth. Yet Black's position, though requiring careful defense, offers some practical drawing chances)

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An odd finish-white either checks and wins the bishop-or if the bishop moves,then a queen is lost via a fork.
Apr-12-09  WhiteRook48: 27. Qxd8!!!!

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