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Nigel Short vs Gawain Jones
Bunratty Masters (2012), Bunratty IRL, rd 6, Feb-19
Sicilian Defense: 2.b3 Variation (B20)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: Short's long-term rook sac 22.Nxd5+! is courageous as well as brilliant, especially as he would have seen he could get a favourable Rook ending with the simple 22.Nxe4 Bxb2+ 23.Kxb2 dxe4 24.Bxe4 Qe5+ 25.c3 Bxe4 26.Qxe4 Qxe4 27.Rxe4. It seems he missed a win with 40.Qxe6, but as that would have involved his King being chased half-way across the board, it's hardly surprising that short of time he avoided it. Perhaps the last chance to win would have been to play 52.cxb5
Feb-20-12  OrigamiArtist: 29.Bf5 wins too but Short was quite low on time. Jones will probably be quite pleased to have escaped again due to the opponent's time pressure - he was also losing to Lawrence Trent earlier in the tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Wonderful game.

Things already started to get interesting after 2.b3, only the 8th most popular move in the database in the Sicilian (after 2.♘f3, 2.♘c3, 2.c3, 2.d4, 2.f4, 2.♘e2 and 2.d3). Then, 4.♕f3 was only played in E Levushkina vs M Seps, 2010 where in that game 4...d6 was played. So, 4...♗g7 (see diagram 1) is a novelty.

After 6.e6 black wastes time bringing the knight back, so I think 6...f6 is best. I can see 7.exd7+ ♘xd7 8.♗c4 but after 8...♘b6, that bishop can't be on that diagonal much longer.

Lastly, 40.♕e3 seems a little too passive. Why just defend the rook? Why not play 40.♕xe6 (see diagram 3) to defend the rook, grab a pawn, and have some play against the black king?

Diagram 1

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Diagram 2

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Diagram 3

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Feb-22-12  pericles of athens: What if white plays 4. e5?
Feb-22-12  pawn to QB4: 4...Nd5 apparently. Only a few games in the database; White's tried various obvious 5th moves with no great success. I thought this was a good punch up in the line: E Safarli vs I Kurnosov, 2008
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