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John Nunn vs Matthew Sadler
17th Lloyds Bank Masters Open (1993), London ENG, rd 9, Aug-29
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



Annotations by John Nunn.      [5 more games annotated by Nunn]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-11-12  Patriot: <Jimfromprovidence> Nevermind, I saw the solution--29.Bxd6 is quite good!

<White anticipates this and plays 29 Rg4, taking that nasty move 29...Ra4 off of the table.> 29.Rg4 makes a lot of sense and shows true mastery. Even though 29.Bxd6 works very well, it gives black a small fight which is taking the game in the wrong direction. With 29.Rg4 he doesn't need to calculate much at all and avoids imbalances.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for two pawns.

Black threatens 27... Qa3.

The passive 27.Qe3 seems to end up in an inferior ending after 27... Qa3 28.Qc1 Qxc1+ 29.Kxc1 Rxc4 30.Bxd6 Rd7.

A better option looks 27.Bxa6 making the most of the overburdened rook on a7 and Black's weak back rank. I'm too tired today to attempt a complete analysis but I think I would reply 27... Kd8 with 28.Bxd6 with many threats and 27... Kf8 or 27... Qa3 with 28.Qb5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: How odd, I find 27.Bf4 far more difficult than the 'incredible' 27.Bxa6.
Nov-11-12  Bengambit: Ok,26.....Ra7!!! 27.Bf4??? Then 27.....Raxf4 then what????? For black Qa3 then b2 and black's c3 and b4 pawn's is cemented in....Mmmmmm,you all can have that one,i going to leave that one alone......
Nov-11-12  morfishine: <SimonWebbsTiger> Thanks for the reply on the continuation <24...bxc3>

I was looking at 25.Qc1 <25...Bg5> 26.f4 Rb8+ 27.Bb3 Rxb3+ 28.cxb3 Qb6

But, Black comes up short

Nov-11-12  viceman: doesn't the little move 27. Qe3 win also?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <viceman: doesn't the little move 27. Qe3 win also?> No, Black has 27...Qa3 28.Qc1 Qxc1+ 29.Kxc1 Rxc4.
Nov-11-12  S A G A R: Yes! there are two solutions (1) 27.Bf4 .. and (2) 27.Bxa6 .. . <White anticipates this and plays 29 Rg4, taking that nasty move 29...Ra4 off of the table.> Thats correct!. And its necessary. Also I agree to play 29.Bxd6 .. . If white plays 29.Bxd6 .. , then black might play 29.Bxd6 Ra4 . This will continue as ..... 30.Qxe7+ Rxe7 31.Rxe7+ Kf8 32.Re4+ Kg8 33.Rxa4 .. . Eventually white wins.(See the picture below)

click for larger view

Nov-11-12  TheBish: Nunn vs Sadler, 1993

White to play (27.?) "Insane"

I think this one really earns the label "insane". Even though White is up a piece for two pawns and attacks the Rh4, Black threatens ...Qa3 and ...Qb2#. So 27. Bxh4?? Qa3 leaves White without an adequate reply, as does 27. Bxd6 Qa3 (there is nothing after 28. Qxe7+ Rxe7 29. Rxe7+ Kd8, and even after 28. Bb5+ Kf8! 29. Bxe7+ Kg8 White runs out of gas). After extensive study (longer than I would have in a game with my clock ticking), I found a move which seems to work.

27. Bxa6!

This move is very counter-intuitive, as it opens up the a-file for Black's a7 rook. If White's Ba6 is now cleared away somehow, Black will have ...Qa1#. But the bishop is immune, since the Ra7 must guard against Qxe7# and if 27...Qxa6 28. Qxa6 Rxa6 29. Bxh4 wins. Also, if 27...Qa3 28. Qb5+ Rd7 (or 28...Kd8 29. Qb8+ Kd7 30. Bb5#, or 28...Kf8 29. Qb8+ mates) 29. Qb8+ Rd8 30. Bb5+ Kf8 31. Qxd8+ Bxd8 32. Re8#. In addition, White threatens 28. Qb5+ trading queens, so moving the Rh4 can be ruled out for Black. Black's only hope is to keep the threat of ...Qa3 and ...Qb2# alive.


If 27...Kf8 28. Qb5! Qxb5 (or 28...Qa3 28. Qb8+ Bd8 29. Qxd8#) 29. Bxb5 Rh5 (not 29...Rd4? 30. Bf2! with a skewer) 30. Bxd6! (seeing 30...Bxd6 31. Re8#) with a straightforward win for White.

28. Bxd6! Qa3

Might as well go for broke, since 28...Bxd6 29. Qe8+ Kc7 30. Qc6+ mates, and if 28...Qxa6 29. Qxa6 Rxa6 30. Bxe7+ leaves White with a simple win.

29. Bxe7+ Kc7 30. d6+ Kb8 (or 30...Kd7 31. Qb5#) 31. Qb5+ Ka8 32. Qe8#.

I'm sure I missed something, but let's see...

Nov-11-12  TheBish: Wow, nice that I found *one* of the winning moves! What I missed was the other one! Maybe if I hadn't found 27. Bxa6 I would have found 27. Bf4. I briefly looked for a way to get either the bishop or queen to c1, and noticed if there was a way to clear the Rh4 off the h-file (such as 27. Bf4 Rxf4) then 28. Rh1 would win. I just didn't put the two ideas together!
Nov-11-12  TheBish: Another amazing option that Nunn missed (pointed out by Fritz as crushing) is 29. Bxd6! Ra4 30. Qxe7+! Rxe7 31. Bxa4+ Qxa4 32. Rxe7+ Kd8 33. Rg4! and Black can resign.
Nov-12-12  Abdel Irada: Strange how different minds work.

As <morfishine> observed, many solvers (probably most) found the first of the dual solutions, (1) 27. Bxa6! rather than (2) 27. Bf4!; a few even found both. But there are also a few of us who found only the latter.

I don't know if this is true of anyone else, but I never even glanced at (1). I saw the urgency of combining two functions in one move — to prevent Black's mate threat on b2, and to get through first with an attack on Black's uncastled king. From this flowed the deflection/enticement of solution (2), and once that idea appeared, I stopped looking for others.

What the source of this difference in approaches may be, I can only conjecture. Perhaps it's a matter of pragmatism for solvers more accustomed to practical play than to artistic problems. Perhaps it's simple laziness. Perhaps, on the other hand, it's a legacy of traditional problems in which the key move was *never* a check or a capture. Or perhaps it's something that hasn't occurred to me yet. ;-)

The crowning irony is, once I saw references to (1) and actually looked at it, I saw quickly that it worked as well as the solution I did find. I even saw the queen sac on d8, followed by Re8#. It is in some ways the more aesthetically pleasing solution. But whatever its merits, I was blinded to them as well as to the mere existence of a solution containing them as soon as I saw the scintillating 27. Bf4!

Quite a nice question of the psychology of puzzle-solving.

Nov-12-12  SimonWebbsTiger: <Abdel>

posterity does not mention whether Nunn saw both moves or whether Bxa6 was an afterthought in post mortem.

I bet it must please the phenomenal many times British and World Problem Champion to know there are two solutions involving two different bishop moves!

Nov-12-12  vinidivici: For solving the sunday puzzle...usually (most/all of them) are the one who used to play chess and study it, i mean the calculation part. Me, for instance, i found this puzzle rather easy than the usual Sunday puzzle, but thats because i study chess a lot and learn to calculate rightly and matured by the experience gained in the real games/matches.

<What the source of this difference in approaches may be matter of pragmatism for solvers more accustomed to practical play than to artistic problems. >

I believe if one capable to find the first solution, he also CAPABLE to find the another one. Just how big your willing to spend the time for the solutions. Its like if you are good driving a truck, you also good driving a limo or something else. Doesnt mean you need to feel how to drive the both vehicles to make sure you are capable.

And if you want to be a good solver, the topmost thing is the STUDY. Not the PLAYING. If you want to be a good player who beat almost your opponents so the answer is STUDY and PLAYING.

But if you just playing, you will never be a good solver and a player.

Nov-12-12  Abdel Irada: <vinidivici>: Thank you for your improving suggestions, O grandmaster-in-his-own-mind. Tell me more. How else can I aspire to the heights you have attained?

Apparently you know not only chess, but everything about me, far better than I; else you couldn't offer such useful advice about STUDY and PLAYING and their relative worth, and how I might benefit from driving both a truck *and* a limousine — apparently simultaneously.

Let me explain something to you seriously: That I *did* not find the second solution does not imply that I *can* not. As in a real game, one need find only one solution to a puzzle. If one wishes to continue looking after doing so, one certainly may, but it is not required.

I'm not sure what your rating is (or was when you were active, as the case may be), but mine was just over 2200: not strong compared to a GM, but certainly not weak. I got there through both study and play, but especially the latter; a lot of games against masters and IMs will add up, over time, to a clearer sight of the board.

So, kindly reserve your patronizing advice for those who need it.

Nov-12-12  vinidivici: < but mine was just over 2200>

Sorry to say this im more than you at least 300 points.

So sorry to say this.

Nov-12-12  Abdel Irada: So sorry to say this, but I very much doubt that. Your kibitzes are not those of a 2500 player, so if you ever were one, you must be as rusty as a barge resting at the bottom of a canal for a century.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Abdel Irada: So sorry to say this, but I very much doubt that....>

You, sir, are not the only one. The constant overweening patronisation by this poster proves your point beyond doubt in my mind.

<....Your kibitzes are not those of a 2500 player, so if you ever were one, you must be as rusty as a barge resting at the bottom of a canal for a century.>

Seems to me there is a quote to the effect that only a strong player knows how weak he truly is. This particular kibitzer appears obsessed with proclaiming his superior understanding in broad terms while simultaneously issuing remarks denigrating others' insights.

There are a fair number of kibitzers on CG in your classification as a player, and I would venture to say that all of them would be more than capable of discerning who, as between you and the <Conquering Hero>, has understanding and who lacks same.

Most certainly there is no question which of the two of you treats others with respect and which does not.

Next stop: raise the Titanic and see how rusty the old behemoth is after that century in the briny deep!

Nov-13-12  morfishine: Hello <Abdel Irada>! Of course <vinidivici>, who appears to suffer from that common malady peculiar to chess players: an ego-centric constitution that evidences itself with bombastic, condescending claims, is nor was rated ~2500. Perhaps in his rabid haste to deliver his provocative message, he miss-typed a '2' while intending a '1'

BTW: Funny comment about the rusting barge

To remain objective, he raises a good point, the differences between solving and playing. For me, its been a painful process over the past 2-years to improve my solving ability since I've primarily been a player. I've found by trying to improve at both, the effort will compliment each area. So, by working on one's solving skills, one becomes a better player and vice versa.

As for this problem, I need to address an inaccuracy in my post, namely my assertion: <27...Rh8 Forced>...'Practically Forced' would've been more accurate (after all, Black played <27...b3>)

Also inaccurate was my statement <Black has no other way to counter an invasion at <h8> starting with 28.Rh1> since if after 27...Rh8 28.Rh1 Black can play 28...Rxh1 29.Rxh1 <29...Kd7> and here, Black is lost, though he can struggle for awhile:

click for larger view

Which brings me to my last inaccurate statement
<28...Rf8 A sad concession> since per the above, Black can play 28...Rxh1

Always striving to learn and improve......

Nov-13-12  hedgeh0g: <So sorry to say this, but I very much doubt that. Your kibitzes are not those of a 2500 player>

"Hi, my name is steve. chess is my hobby" hardly resonates "Grandmaster".

Nov-13-12  vinidivici: ^^
I dont say my rating is 2500, i say AT LEAST 300 more than 2200 (non-GM Abel).

Chess is my hobby, its true, but what you dont know is, is it chess also my profession....dont worry you'll never know.

Nov-13-12  hedgeh0g: 2500 was giving you the benefit of the "doubt".
Apr-09-14  Conrad93: There are many players who don't join the USCF who are at least 2000+ in rating.

Some of the homeless in NYC are very strong, even if they aren't up on latest theory.

Apr-09-14  Conrad93: There's something nice about a game where you are judged solely on your performance and not your rating.

That's why I prefer to know my opponent's rating after the game, not before.

Same with myself. I don't reveal until the game ends.

Amazing what bias can do...

Oct-07-19  BxChess: Nunn better
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