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Zahar Efimenko vs Nigel Short
"Short Changed" (game of the day Sep-22-2009)
Short - Efimenko Match (2009), Mukachevo UKR, rd 2, Sep-21
Spanish Game: Open. Bernstein Variation (C80)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-21-09  luzhin: I think the turning point was when Efimenko unwisely accepted Short's pawn sac. After 25.Bd3 White would be doing fine, fighting hard for the critical e4 square.
Sep-21-09  tonsillolith: Why not 37...f6?
Sep-21-09  JamTin: 37 .. f6?

doesn't that lose to something like 38 ef+ Kxf6 (or Kf7) 39 Qg6+ ?

Sep-21-09  Ezzy: Efimenko,Zahar (2654) - Short,Nigel (2706) [C80]
Match Nigel Short vs Zahar Efimenko Mukachevo/Ukraine (2), 21.09.2009

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Nxe4 <This is a surprise, and probably surprised Efimenko. I don't think Nigel's played the open Ruy Lopez with black before. Nigel's played the white side of an open Lopez 10 times (+3 –0 =7)> 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 g6 < Korchnoi played this against Karpov (won) in their world championship match in Bagio city. Nigel here shows Korchnoi how to play the opening. Come to think of it, Nigel's come a long way in his chess career since he beat Korchnoi as a 10 year old in a simul.> 11.Bc2 <Karpov played 11 Qe2 in that game.> 11...Bg7 12.Re1 0–0 13.Nb3 Nd7 14.Bg5< This could be a new move.> 14...Qc8 15.Bf4 Ne7 16.Qd2 c5 17.Bh6 Qc6 18.Qg5 <Obviously threatening 19 Bxg7 Kxg7 20 Qxe7 >18...Rfe8 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.h4 <Not a new idea in this opening. White wants action on the kingside because black is already mobile on the queenside. The few games I've seen, this h4 pawn never seems to get going.> 20...a5< Continuing queenside play is the order of the day.> 21.a4 h6 22.Qf4 Reb8 23.Nbd2 b4 <Stops any counterplay by white with 23 axb5 Qxb5 24 Ba4> 24.c4 b3! <This move in conjuction with 25...Rb4 appears quite strong.> 25.Bxb3 Rb4 26.cxd5 Nxd5 27.Bxd5 Bxd5 28.Qe3 Nf8< Nigel is in no rush to regain his pawn just yet. He continues to put his pieces on strong squares.> 29.b3 Ne6 30.Rac1 Qb7 31.Rc3< So Nigel has his queen and bishop lined up on the a8-h1 diaganol, a strong rook on b4 controling central squares and hitting h4, and a knight on e6 blockading whites central pawn. All in all, nice manouevering by Short.> 31...Rd8 32.Rd3? <The resulting exchanges are better for black.> 32...Bxf3 33.Nxf3 <[33.Rxd8 Bxg2 34.Rd6 Rg4 35.f3 Bxf3+ 36.Kf2 Bd5 and black smashes open whites kings defences.]> 33...Rxd3 34.Qxd3 Rxb3 35.Qd1 Rb4 36.h5 g5 37.Qc2 Qc6 38.Ra1 Rg4 39.Qf5 Rf4 40.Qc2 Rg4 41.Qf5 Rf4 42.Qc2 Kg8 <Computers seem to like 42...Rxf3 but there's no need for heroics. It's probably much too risky to assess over the board. [42...Rxf3 43.gxf3 Qxf3 44.Qd1 Qh3 45.Qd5 Nd4 46.Qg2 Qxh5 47.Ra3 Qd1+ 48.Kh2]> 43.Qd1 Rb4< This has been the 'home' for this rook.> 44.g3?< Efimenko wants to stop the Nf4 invasion, but the queen invasion is more deadly> 44...Qe4 45.Nd2 Qxe5 46.Rc1 Qd5 47.Qc2 g4 48.Re1 Qxh5< Nigel's pieces have been in harmony throughout the game. A pleasure too watch> 49.Qd3 Rd4 50.Qe3 Ng5 <Threatening 51...Rxd2> 51.Qe8+ Kh7 52.Re2< [52.Nb3 Nf3+ 53.Kf1 Qh1+ 54.Ke2 Qxe1#]> 52...Rxd2 0–1

Bravo Nigel!! The perfect way to hit back after a loss. An astonishing display of flawless attacking chess. Chess authors should use this game as a perfect example of pieces working harmoniously together. Your rook on b4 controling central squares and attacking the a4 and h4 pawns, your queen and bishop dominating the long diaganol, your blockading knight ready to pounce into action via d4, f4 or g5. So enjoyable to watch the game unfold into a unstoppable attack.

Efimenko's attempted kingside play never materialised, whilst your queenside play was devastating.

A scintillating performance.

Sep-21-09  Ezzy: Not only does this seem to be the first time Short has played an open Ruy Lopez with black, but he must have done some research and realised that Efimenko has never won (in 6 games) against the open Ruy Lopez.

Great game and preparation.

Sep-22-09  nigelsnoru: Too bad, fellow Niggle...have you not had your shower and coffee?
Sep-22-09  Garech: Great game from Nigel; love a good positional squeeze. Well played.
Sep-22-09  HeadCrunch: I'm completely bamboozled by this game at the end Black takes the knight with the rook and a rook is worth 5 and a knight is worth 3 surely its not a sensible idea?
Sep-22-09  DaveyL: Black regains the rook and is a knight up, after RxR and Nf3 check.

In fact it is even better for Black, as the game will go:

53. Rxd2 Nf3+
54. Kf1 Qh1+ (or the king can go to g2 but Qh2+ then chases the King to f1 anyway) 55. Ke2 Qe1+
56. Kd3 Qxe8

Sep-22-09  vonKrolock: <Ezzy <<<Computers seem to like 42...Rxf3 but there's no need for heroics. It's probably much too risky to assess over the board.> [42...Rxf3 43.gxf3 Qxf3>>> I believe that You have no need of being a computer to like this line, even with 43...♘d4 etc <K. Bischoff> instead of taking immediately in 'f3', but the position is so comfortable for black in the whole, and particularly in a comparison between his powerful ♖ and white's poor placed, passive ♖ , that, evidently - Yes - Short was not feeling some urgent need for an exchange combination here
Sep-22-09  cyclon: Great game by Short.
Sep-22-09  vonKrolock: <13.{Nb3> cf. Z Barasz vs Hromadka, 1912 Short's ♘d7 appeared before at least in a postal game , Zimmermann vs Weiss, DD♖ corr 1984, 14.♘fd4 ♘cxe5 15.♘xe6 fxe6 16.f4 ♕h4 etc, so Efimenko's 14.♗g5 is actually the TN
Sep-22-09  YetAnotherAmateur: It's odd: I tend to think of Short as playing attacking chess with tactics that seem crazy at first but have the virtue of working. And in this one, what I'm seeing is lots of smart positional play that suggests he's becoming far more versatile. To which I say bravo, Nigel. This one's a beaut.

<Headcrunch> It makes perfect sense: 53. Rxd2 Nc3+ 54. Kf1 (54. Kg2? Qh7#) Qh8+ 55. Ke2 Qe1+ 56. Kd3 Qxe8. Or if you wanted something simpler, 54. ... Nxd2+ winning back the rook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game on Youtube:

Sep-22-09  Ezzy: <kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game on Youtube:> Very nice presentation and commentary.
Sep-22-09  mworld: <Ezzy: <kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game on Youtube:> Very nice presentation and commentary.>

Seconded. Thank you kingcrusher, I enjoyed your video.

Sep-22-09  screwdriver: "Thirded" nice video and annotation, kingcrusher.
Sep-22-09  HeadCrunch: <DaveyL>

Thanks for the explanation, you know its a funny old game chess, that Kasparov simply blundered a knight away today against Karpov he must have forgot a knight is worth 3 and a pawn is worth 1

Sep-22-09  WhiteRook48: he was totally owned
Sep-22-09  Udit Narayan: Short did not actually change, he was the same person, except now he had a quest for vengeance!
Sep-23-09  JustWoodshifting: <Kingcrusher>
Very nice video and commentary.
Very enjoyable & educational.

Great commentary on this game!

Sep-23-09  DaveyL: "Nigel Bites" would be a good name for a future GOTD :-)
Sep-25-09  Hesam7: 21. h5 looks like a major improvement.

<When I was in Zahar's age I was taught not to touch pawns on the side where my opponent is attacking. But these young 2650 players do not care about "rules". 21.h5 was a more direct approach. After 21...h6 (Black cannot allow h6) 22.Qg3 White has strong pressure.> -- GM Klaus Bischoff

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black will soon win after he regains the rook-with a piece interest.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: 24 ... b3! is a nice Pawn sacrifice, clearing the b4 square for the Rook to attack White's Queenside Pawns. Later the Ne6 coordinates ideally with Black's forces.

53. Rxd2 Nf3+ 54. Kf1 Nxd2+ wins handily enough but the Skewer 54 ... Qh1+ 55. Ke2 Qe1+ is even better.

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