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Philip Michael Short vs Gerry McCarthy
Cavan Open (1978), Cavan IRL, rd 6
Kangaroo Defense: General (E00)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-23-07  TheSlid: So - this our <Domdaniel>. Good on you for being a real Chess player and not just a load of old Blarney.
Mar-23-07  aazqua: Ehem. "Real chess player" is a bit of a stretch.
Mar-23-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  mckmac: White is listed as having twice won the Irish Championship outright('81,'88). He shared the title in 1986 and lost a tie-break in 1982. Not too shabby.
May-20-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Ahem. "Real" is a bit of a stretch. But anyone who can play a "Kangaroo Defense" is all right in my book. He and <twinlark> should hook up on an instructional video.
Feb-13-09  Woody Wood Pusher: The Kangaroo Defense!?

18..Bxg2 would have tempted me <Dom>

19.Rg1,Rg8 20.Qc3,Ne4 21.Bxe4,Bxe4 22.Rxd8,Rxd8 23.Bxg7,Rd3

looks interesting.

But 18...Ne4 keeps is more appealing OTB I agree.

Nice game <Dom>, you should add some of your annotations and witty observations, I would really enjoy reading them.

Cheers!

Dec-11-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: This was an ordinary 6-round weekend swiss tournament in Cavan, Ireland. Ordinary except that I was in a car crash on the way to the venue, was paired against internationals (current or recent olympiad team members) in 5 of the 6 rounds, and - despite starting with two losses - had to score a win and a draw against Paul Wallace and Philip Short, both over 2200, in the final two rounds, just to make 50%.
Dec-11-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: My win against Wallace might be more interesting, but I've lost the score. I was White, and I think it began 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.b3 g6 3.Bb2 Bg7 4.g4!? ... and chaos ensued, with the black king on walkabout and both players in time trouble.
Mar-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Thirty-four years later, playing the same opponent - still well over 2200 - we wound up playing exactly the same opening moves. This time I tried a bit harder to win, varied with 7...h6 8.Bg4 g5 9.Bg3 Ne4 ... and got a good position, but went on to lose.
Mar-25-12  frogbert: <7...h6 8.Bg4 g5 9.Bg3 Ne4>

hm... something's not quite right here, but as long as the bishop ends up on g3 on move 9 i guess we're fine. :o)

Mar-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Yes, gag gag, I confuse 'g' and 'h' rehularly. Like Harry Kasparov.

The cleric went to h4, then g3.

Mar-25-12  frogbert: btw, may today's game (almost) transpose to the queen's indian/nimzo hybrid lines that timman, karpov, kasparov et.al. played in the 80s, with black playing d6, f5, Qf6 and Nd7/Na6 or isn't that possible?

in the lines i'm thinking of, the capture of knight is typically on c3, but since white plays Qc2 here, the only significant difference might be that white's b2-pawn typically is on c3 there. at least it does look very similar.

Mar-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <frogbert> I was thinking of some Nimzo-Indian games (eg one won by Navara some years ago) with ...h6, ...g5, and ...Qf6.

But the nearest mainstream opening is the Bogo-Indian, into which this can transpose if white plays an early Nf3 after black's ...Nf6. A Dutch, playing ...f5 before ...Nf6, is also possible.

P. Short had no memory of our earlier game in the same line (ie, this one) and was amused that he'd chosen the same plan -- Nd2, a3, Qxd2, then Qc2 to support e4 -- in both games. It's not as though one sees the Kangaroo very often, though I've played it a few times earlier this year.

Short's Qd2-c2 idea is unusual, but solid. Black can certainly equalize, as here -- but an attempt to go for more than that (as in the 2nd game) can rebound to white's advantage.

It's an interesting line, though. And yet another of these opening sequences that is 'rarely seen' for no good reason.

Mar-26-12  frogbert: i was thinking of positions like this one:


click for larger view

from for instance Kasparov vs Timman, 1985 (before white's move 12, where d5 was played). interestingly chessbase classifies this game as e13 while cg.com has it as e12. i suspect the chessbase classification to be right, tho.

now, i don't know how your game continued, but for instance after <10. e3 d6 11. Nf3 f5 12. Qf6> (or Nd7/a6) you seem to have an extra tempo compared to the e13-variations, with the only other difference being the position of white's b-pawn - here still on b2 instead of c3 in the "theoretical" line.


click for larger view

now, if i'm not mistaken, this line was considered to be harmless and not dangerous for black *without* giving black an extra tempo, so i suspect that short's idea of Qxd2 and Qc2 really flies.

Mar-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Good point. This may explain why Qxd2-c2 is so rarely seen, and why I drew the 1978 game so painlessly. The rematch went ... 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 (my deviation) 9.Bg3 Ne4 10.e3 f5 11.d5 Nxg3 12.hxg3 Qf6 13.0-0-0 Na6 14.Nf3 Nc5 15.Nd5 0-0-0 16.Nb5 Kb8 17.f3 Qe5 ... Black was fine until move 25 or so, when I went horribly astray.
Mar-26-12  frogbert: i see. if your idea is to take on g3 (soon), and white hasn't played Bd3, then f5 possibly is a bit premature - there aren't any threats of pushing f4 anytime soon, and hence d6 (opening up for the knight and taking e5 away from the white's dsb) might be more accurate.

if white "accelerates" the push of d5, playing it before Bd3, then Nxg3, Qf6 (without f5), Nd7 and 0-0-0 looks like a very decent setup.

for instance 10... d6. 11. d5!? Nxg3 12. hxg3 Qf6 (so that dxe6 can be met with fxe6 without there being an annoying check on g6) 13. Ne2 Nd7 14. Nc3 (to strongpoint d5) 0-0-0:


click for larger view

with how the game went, houdini seems to favour 13. Nf3 over 13. 0-0-0, but regardless it's probably quite playable for black. however, if white holds on on castling, it's a little bit less obvious how black should continue, as after for instance 13. Nf3 Na6 14. Rc1!? 0-0-0?! white gets a dangerous attack immediately with 15. c5!


click for larger view

(the position after the line 13. Nf3 Na6 14. Rc1!?)

castling short doesn't look like gold here, and 14... Nc5?! 15. b4 Ne4 16. Bd3! is simply very unpleasant for black: e.g. 16... exd5 17. cxd5 Bxd5?! 18. Qxc7 0-0 (now pretty much forced) 19. 0-0 and white's clearly better:


click for larger view

here one would probably start having second thoughts about the wisdom of playing f5 already on move 10...

Mar-26-12  frogbert: btw, it seems like you passed up on a chance to get a small advantage after his 17. f3?! when 17... c6! is surprisingly playable:


click for larger view

can't say i blame you for not playing that move - initially it looks very counterintuitive to me to let knight into d6 and (temporarily) block the a8-h1 diagoanl, but the point might be that the knight doesn't really do that much and might even get a square problem if white's not careful.

the critical line might be 18. Nd6 Ba6 19. e4 fxe4 20. Nxe4 Nxe4 21. Qxd4 and some capture on d5 to follow:


click for larger view

after an exchange on d5, the pawn structure must clearly favour black, i think. objectively it's probably quite holdable, but i would enjoy playing the black pieces here. :o)

Mar-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <frogbert> Yeah, I thought about 17...c6 but (wrongly, it seems) just wasn't happy with a knight on d6. Short pointed it out after the game, though, saying that he hadn't found any very good way to continue for white.

He's still very strong tactically -- he drew with two GMs, and came joint 2nd in the tournament.

I think my 1978 idea was better than my 'improvement'. So much for 'keeping up' with theory.

Dec-15-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <He's still very strong tactically -- he drew with two GMs, and came joint 2nd in the tournament.>

Since I wrote this Short won the Irish championship again, and has beaten several GMs -- eg Baburin in Kilkenny recently.

Nov-17-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: After winning the Irish championship aged 57 - for the 2nd time in 3 years, shared with Lopez (whom he beat in their individual game) Philip Short died suddenly in Sept '18. A great shock and a great loss -- I had spoken to him just a few weeks earlier. RIP.

Philip and his brothers - Jack, Don, and Stephen - were all strong players, but Philip was in a class of his own. They all regularly played in the Bunratty tournament, all sporting beards. Nigel Short was invited to join the 'family' and sportingly donned a false beard for the occasion.

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