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Nigel Short vs Garry Kasparov
Belfort World Cup (1988), Belfort FRA, rd 13, Jun-30
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. English Attack (B80)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-04-06  BlackNightmare: a true najdorf supergrand master
Nov-10-06  aazqua: I like the way Short chases Kaspy's pieces to better squares at the end of the game. Kaspy just makes it look too easy.
Mar-22-08  sallom89: i should study some more games like that!
Aug-26-08  sicilianhugefun: Bobby Fischer made the najdorf variation colorful and everything was sensationalizede by garry kasparov himself
Oct-25-11  DrMAL: Kasparov adopted his Scheveningen with Najdorf move order against Short who did not hesitate to go 9.g4 and castle long. 11...Nde5 instead of 11...Nxd4 invited 12.Nxc6 bxc6 with open b-file instead of c-file for counterattack. Short paid no attention to prophylaxis such as 14.Kb1 and went straight for g5. But then Short's inconsistent "finesse" 15.Ba7 merely lost a tempo, letting black equalize. Here is computer line for reference.

Houdini_20_x64: 32/80 12:13:17 461,289,041,783
0.00 15. ... Rb7 16.Bd4 Nd7 17.exd5 cxd5 18.f4 Qa5

Play followed line exactly, 19.Qe3 evaluates second to 19.h5 but difference is meaningless. But purpose of 19.Qe3 Nb8 is to go 20.Qe5 forcing 20...f6 (21.gxf6 Bxf6 22.Qd6) to trade Bs and Qs for draw. Instead, Short played aggressively with 20.f5 but this favored black. 20.Qe5 threatens mate so that black cannot go 20...Nc6 (20...f6 was forced). Here, 20...Nc6 threatens B which cannot move, forcing 21.f6 which is artificial threat because after 21...Nxd4 black has check on e2 so that 21.fxe7 Nxe2+ 23.Qxe2 Re8 loses white pawn. It is interesting that computer evaluates this pawn sac as OK anyway because of 22...Bc5!

Houdini_20_x64: 28/68 39:28 24,651,543,579
-0.49 22.fxe7 Nxe2+ 23.Qxe2 Re8 24.Rd3 Qb4 25.b3
-0.52 22.Qxd4 Bc5 23.Qe5 g6 24.Kb1 Qb4 25.b3

However, Short took B with R instead of Q, 22.Rxd4?! where 22...Bc5! is even stronger, pinning R to Q. Both played out line afterwards accurately until Short again played inconsistent move 24.Rhd1?! instead of 24.h5 or 24.Qf4 to continue attack. Kasparov played 24...Qb4! again best move, threatening b2 then with beautiful 25...e5! decided game 26.Qxe5 was best but loses.

Rest of game is interesting but not as instructive, Kasparov had B for two connected passed pawns but power of his pieces in endgame was already decisive. Game was sophisticated both players being genius attackers in sharp doubled-edged battle. But Kasparov was simply both more accuarate and perfectly consistent, either quality was probably enough for eventual victory but game here demonstrated superiority of his technique in both areas. In such a game it is critical to be 100% focused.

Oct-25-11  anandrulez: Nice analysis DrMal , would 15 f4 be better ? What are the good alternatives ? Black already is gathering steam on the White and looks like Kasparov is better ?
Oct-25-11  SimonWebbsTiger: 15. f4 was awarded a question mark by Kasparov in Informator (ref. 45/266). He gave <15.f4? Nd7 16. f5 Qa5 with the idea Ba3>. Instead, GK thought <15.Na4! Nd7 16. c4! with the idea Qc2> was better and unclear.

I think Short must have overlooked 15. Ba7 Rb7 16. Bd4 Nd7 17. exd5 cxd5 18. Bxa6 Rxb2!

Oct-25-11  DrMAL: Thanx <anandrulez> yes, very astute! 15.f4! was even in my notes from 1988, it is better way to attack but I did not mention (then be compelled to go into) because I wanted to focus on instruction from Kasparov technique. In any case, black's Najdorf Scheveningen should have held draw in absence of clear mistakes. Short played some inaccuracies (e.g., obvious 22.Rxd4?!) but was also not fully consistent (15.Ba7 and, worse, 24.Rhd1?!). Kasparov played mistake before with this defense in his important Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 (see analysis there on how) but game was too high pressure for Karpov this and his fallback (due to style) on 23.Be3? blew chance of win.
Oct-25-11  DrMAL: Sorry I meant 14.f4! not 15.f4 after 15.f4 Nd7 then 16.f5 or 16.h5 and position is equal. 16.f5 Qa5 17.f6 and if 17.Ba3 as <SWT> posted then crazy looking 17...Nb5 is only move but gives equality. This was not considered (computer showed me too). Best was 15.h5 Qa5 16.Kb1 or simply 15.Kb1 for very slight edge. 15.Ba7 was just inconsistent, it tried to discoordinate black pieces with 15...Rb7 blocking B (15...Rb4 was almost as good anyway) but failed to do anything other than lose a tempo.
Oct-25-11  ismet: english variation is chosen a few times for players . It is too dangareous for black if white plays well and too dangerous for white if black plays well and most enjoyable match and there are too risks for white and black so they do not choose that

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