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Rafael Vaganian vs Nigel Short
Skelleftea World Cup (1989), Skelleftea SWE, rd 9, Aug-??
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange. Positional Variation (D35)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-27-08  notyetagm: Position after 37 ... ♕h2-g2! 38 f3-f4??


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White has played the blunder 38 f3-f4?? to avoid losing his f-pawn. Black (Short) had previously provoked this blunder by playing 37 ... ♕h2-g2!, attacking the White f3-pawn and leaving White with no good method to meet the simple threat of 38 ... ♕g2xf3 because of the <PIN> of the White e2-knight against the <UNDEFENDED> White d2-queen.

But White has forgotten that <EVERY TIME YOU PUSH A PAWN IT WEAKENS A SQUARE>. Here 38 f3-f4?? has fatally weakened the e4-square, allowing the Black f6-knight to access this square.

Black now strikes with a wicked tactical shot, 38 ... c4-c3+!


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putting the Black c-pawn on a square where it is undefended and appears to have three(!) White pieces attacking it!

What did Black see?

39 ♔b2xc3?? ♘f6-e4+ <FORKS> ♔♕

39 ♕d2xc3 ♕g2x♘e2+ hangs White e2-knight

39 ♘e2xc3?? ♕g2x♕d2+ drops ♕ to <PIN>

So although the c3-square appears to be defended three(!) times, actually it is not defended at all(!) since taking with the White b2-king creates a <KNIGHT FORK ALIGNMENT> with the White d2-queen, taking with the White d2-queen puts the White e2-knight <EN PRISE>, and taking with the White e2-knight breaks a <LATERAL PIN> and drops the White d2-queen.

A tremendous tactical blow by Short, winning ♘ for ♙.

Jan-28-08  notyetagm: 38 ... c4-c3+! is one of my favorite tactical shots.


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It is all the more impressive since Vaganian is -very- tactically strong and missed it.

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<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
38 ... c4-c3+! Black f6-knight adds to control of the c3-square
from Knights control squares same color they are on by notyetagm
47 ... Ne3xg4 makes k-side majority, not pawn-grabbing, losing
from Endgame Lessons by notyetagm
38 ... c4-c3+! not one of White b2-K,d2-Q,e2-N defends c3-sq!
from notyetagm's favorite tactics by trh6upsz
38 f3-f4?? fatally weakens the e4-square for Black f6-knight
from EVERY TIME YOU PUSH A PAWN IT WEAKENS SQUARES by Progressant
Round Nine, Game #72
from Skelleftea World Cup 1989 by suenteus po 147
20
from TRENDS Queen's Gambit Declined (McDonald) by Chessdreamer

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