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Nigel Short vs Zhong Zhang
International Kings Challenge (2003), Beijing CHN, rd 2, Sep-22
Italian Game: Evans Gambit (C51)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-01-03  Phoenix: Big oops here.
Oct-01-03  patzer2: I'm pleasantly surprised a super GM would play the Evans Gambit, and a little disappointed that his strong GM opponent would decline it. Short appears to gain a lasting initiative and then a decisive advantage after the exchange sacrifice. Although black's 26. ..Rd6 allows white's winning combination, starting with 27. Qxf4, other alternatives appear to allow white to maintain the advantage -- due to the ideal posting of his pieces, his extra pawn and the pressure on black's isolated pawn.
Oct-01-03  NiceMove: What about 14. Rxf4 Qg5 (not 14 ... Qxf4 because 15. Ng6+) 15. h4 Qh5 16. Rxf6 gxf 17. Nf7+ and now white is up another a piece, rather than the exchange.
Oct-01-03  Alyosha Karamazov: <NiceMove> I too wonder about 27. Rxf4 (incidentally, you meant move 27, not 14, right?). Does anyone else have an analysis of that move? I'm not so sure about the rest of your continuation as Black would just capture the Knight after Nf7+. It seems Short's intention was not just winning back the exchange, but also getting down to the endgame quickly, where Black's lone rook would be insufficient to guard all those pawns.
Oct-01-03  patzer2: <NiceMove/Alyosha Karamazov> NiceMove's 27. Rxf4 wins after 27. ..Qxe5 [27. ..Qg5 28. h4 Qxe5 (28. ..Qh4 29. Rxf6! gxf6 30. g4! Qe8 31. Qxh6+ Kg8 32. Qxf6 Qf8 33. Bxe6 Rxe6 34. Qxe6+ ) 29. dxe5 Rxd2 30. exf6] 28. dxe5 Rxd2 29. exf6.

However, Short's choice of 27. Qxf4 is also a pretty forced win. So, both 27. Rxf4 and 27. Qxf4 are forced wins, with the choice being a matter of style and personal preference.

Oct-01-03  crafty: 27. ♖xf4 ♕g5 28. h4 ♕xf4 29. ♘g6+ ♖xg6 30. ♕xf4   (eval 6.97; depth 16 ply; 500M nodes)
Oct-01-03  patzer2: Was Short's 16. d4 a brilliant move setting a trap for his opponent to "win the exchange" and give white a strong positional advantage, or was it simply a tactical oversight? Was Zhang Zhong's 16. ..Nxe5 a combination that backfired, or did black just misplay the position after "winning the exchange?"
Oct-15-03  Johannes: White played the evans gambit aggressively, just like PAtzer had mentioned ( a surprise). I think this surprise was the reason that got white the initiative+ the tempo, while Zhang zhong was playing along in some sort of following the leader fashion against an unusual opening at this level of chess. (nerveracking) And I definately do agree with RXG4, but at that level of play I think he just wanted to cut all the B.S by simplifying the game. cause after Rxg4, Qxe4 does leave black some chances and opportunities, as the game is still far from over. Zhang Zhong's 16th move was definately a reasonable one, as short really came forward with an unexpected response going rook for a piece and a pawn. I believe for the most part that most players wouldn't have the courage to play at short's fashion, moving the rook back giving the peice back. If that were the case black would have the advantage. I just think its zhang's bad luck playing short at that particular position.
Oct-15-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 26...Rd6 was a blunder. Black should have played 26...Kg8 at first. I think that then position looks quite balanced.
Mar-06-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: This might make a good puzzle of the day at move 27 that could say white to play and win. Move 18 is also noteworthy of Short. Powerful play.
May-19-08  JLDATE: Is 27 Rxf4-Qxf4 with 28 Ng6 a better result?
Jun-12-14  Whitehat1963: What's the finish?

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