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Nigel Short vs Garry Kasparov
Sarajevo (2000), Sarajevo BIH, rd 6, May-23
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B95)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-13-06  KingG: I've just played a game in this variation (up to 9....gxf6)online. I have no idea why anyone would want to play this as White. Black seems to have all the advantages with his strong centre and bishop pair.
Jan-13-06  alicefujimori: <KingG>People play it because it is a lesser known line. If you look at the resulting position more deeply, you can see that the position looks a little similiar to the poison pawned variation, but with the white b2 pawn still in place. Kasparov in this game had handled the position just like in the poisoned pawn. (ie.h5...Bh6..etc).
Jan-13-06  KingG: <alicefujimori> Yes, but people play the poisoned pawn to get attacking chances, i can understand that. But by swapping queens and a pair of minor pieces, you go into an endgame which seems to be better for Black. Certainly i can't believe that White has any serious winning chances.

Can you point out some of the advantages that White has in comparaison to Black? the only things i can see are that White has a lead in development and a better pawn structure, but i can't see any way of exploiting this.

Jan-13-06  alicefujimori: Sure. I think that is the reason why I dont play that as white as well. The advantage of this line is that it is lesser known and doesnt give up a pawn. But I do agree that Black has the better chances. I think Kasparov has demonstrated how to press for a win in this game.
Jan-13-06  KingG: <alicefujimori> Ok, we agree then. I don't think playing a lesser known line that even to an amateur looks bad is going to cut it against Kasparov. Short was lucky not to lose.
Jan-13-06  alicefujimori: <KingG>Short was never in Kasparov's class, not even in
Jan-13-06  KingG: <alicefujimori> Yeah, but at least he came close a few times by playing sharp 6.Bc4 and 6.Bg5 variations against Kasparov's Najdorf.
Jan-13-06  alicefujimori: <KingG>It is quite clear to us that the Short in 2000 is no better than the Short in 1993, while Kasparov was probably at his very peak in 2000. So it is understandable for Short to dodge the challenge that Kasparov
Jan-13-06  KingG: Yeah, he was probably playing for a draw anyway.
Apr-06-08  sallom89: in "how the play the Najdorf" kasparov says: short saved it by a miracle, but it didn't have anything to do with the opening.

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