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Nigel Short vs Ye Jiangchuan
Sanjin Hotel Cup (2004), Taiyuan CHN, rd 8, Jul-17
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B47)  ·  1-0



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Given 14 times; par: 27 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <luzhin: Kingsandsquares is mistaken in thinking that 27 Qxh7+! "turned the tide". Short's attack was already overwhelming. What is true, however, is that Jiangchuan had completely missed White's 27th move -- Short's own notes indicate his opponent's evident surprise.> If Jiangchuan really overlooked 27. Qxh7+, that is quite surprising. Admittedly I knew it was a puzzle, but still I felt dismayed it took me close to a minute to solve (because I wasted time looking at 2. Rf7+?). This sort of Queen sac to set up a corridor mate should be pretty routine fare for any GM.
Oct-24-06  zb2cr: Found this very quickly, less than 10 seconds. I have to say, I did not consider the useless interposition ... Bh4 at move 28, which <notyetagm> pointed out. As <chessmoron> & <cu8sfan> point out, it's still mate in five.
Oct-24-06  cavaleiro: Yeah! I found the combination! It's funny that the database doesn't classify the queen sac here...
Oct-24-06  YouRang: Found it after a few seconds. How wonderful when you have enough force that you can afford to send your queen on a suicide battering-ram mission. :-)
Oct-24-06  kevin86: Watch for the move before the crusher-white lured away the black knight in order to open up the f-file for his rook to seal off the black king.

The bishop will end with a brillant discovered mate at f8.

Oct-24-06  Castle In The Sky: Got it almost immediately, especially when I had in mind that the theme of this week's puzzles seem to be queen sacs.
Oct-24-06  Spudds: Does 27) Rf7 not insure the same result?
Oct-24-06  Spudds: Oh, I see... 27)...h5 saves black in that line.
Oct-24-06  ChessGeezer: <Spudds>, does 27... h5 really save black? What does black do after 28. Rxg6? After 28... Rxg6, 29. Qxh5+ looks like a forced win for white to me. What am I missing?

I'm sure I'm missing something. I had a blunder-fest in a tournament this past weekend :(

Oct-24-06  luzhin: Peligroso Patzer, there is no 'if' about whether Jiangchuan missed 27.Qh7+!. The fact that he played 26..Nxd5? proves it.
Oct-24-06  babakova: eeeasy.
Oct-24-06  Gbness: 27...Kxh7 28 Rf7+ Kh8 29 Rh3#. Pretty easy, decent Tuesday puzzle.
Oct-24-06  kbaumen: This seemed easy even for me. A forced combination with no 'quiet moves'. Took me about 10 seconds.
Oct-24-06  babakova: <27...Kxh7 28 Rf7+ Kh8 29 Rh3#> Not 28.Rf7+?? Rg7 you have to play 28.Rh3+ and then check with the bishop on h6 and end with a discovered check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Are we being trained to look for a gaudy sacrifice as the first resort? Of course, in this case, the Queen sac leads inevitably to checkmate, no way out for Black. But I would think ditching the queen may not be the best habit to get into.
Oct-24-06  alphee: A nice combination, not too hard to spot and as everybody said ... it's tuesday.
Oct-24-06  YouRang: <Ger7ry: Is 26. ... Nxd5 a blunder? Does Black have anything better? Is 26. ... Nh5 any good?> It's certainly better than 26...Nxd5, and probably black's best try. I think Black is still in a jam, but it's not mate-in-4.
Oct-24-06  psmith: <Spudds> 27. Rf7 Nf6
Oct-24-06  aazqua: This one is painfuly obvious, but how about b-c1 as a set up? Short must have been sniggering as he played it, the bishop appears to defend the knight but was cleraly destined for h6 the whole time.
Oct-24-06  Chess Classics: Happy Tuesday everyone. Pretty easy this time around.


Nov-03-15  NeverAgain: Timman analyses this game in detail in his book "On the Attack - The Art of Attacking Chess According to the Modern Masters" (2006, New in Chess, pp.69-73), as one of three best examples of Short's brilliant play. It's interesting to compare that to Ftacnik's annotations from CBM 102 and see how both stand up to the scrutiny by the silicone monster.

The analysis starts with the next post.

Nov-03-15  NeverAgain: Aided by a somewhat unexpected pawn sacrifice, White succeeds in launching an attack. Then, with subtle manoeuvrings, he starts piling up the pressure on the enemy position. The attack is rounded off with a quite attractive combination.


In the previous game, Short went for <6.Be3>, in order to aim for queenside castling. This time he is going for a more classical set-up, aiming for castling on the kingside. This type of play usually leads to set-ups known from the ancient Scheveningen Variation.


A useful move to prepare the advance of the f-pawn.


In his comments for New In Chess 2004/6, Short observes that this swap is usually not a good idea in the Scheveningen. It reinforces Black's centre, which means that he can decide to go for the advance <...d6-d5> at any time. Other factors favour White, however: Black's 5th and 9th moves turn out to be pretty useless in the altered situation.


Putting the queen into position to switch to the kingside if necessary. This plan is possible because the white queen's bishop has not been developed yet; if the bishop is already on e3, the queen is usually redirected to the kingside via e1.


This premature castling manoeuvre gives White a chance to launch an attack. Some months earlier, Ribli had played <11...Bb7> against Short in the Bosnian team championship in Neum, where the Hungarian grandmaster had decided that castling was too dangerous. After <12.b3 c5 13.Bb2 d5 14.e5 Nd7 15.Rael g6 16.Qh3 d4 17.Nd1> White was slightly better.


14.Ra1-e1 Ra8-e8
Both players take their queen's rook over to the kingside, and it is clear that the main battle will take place there. Now the game has reached a critical stage.


In his comments, Short observes that this was by far the hardest move of the game. And it's true that it is not an obvious thing to sacrifice a centre pawn in return for two tempi. But this transaction is warranted by the special circumstances obtaining in this position, the main one being that all white pieces are involved in the attack. Moreover, White will get 'Horwitz bishops' to attack the black king.

[Here Ftacnik analyzes a wild sacrificial line that could arise after <15.Qg3 d5 16.exd5 exd5 17.Bxa6 Bxa6 18.Nxd5 Qc6 19.Rxe7 Nh5 20.Qf3 Bxf1 21.Rxe8 Qxe8 22.Qxf1>

click for larger view

and considers <22...Qa8 23.Qd1> to lead to unclear play. Stockfish (dev build Oct 16) refutes the idea with <22...Qe4 23.c4 <<24.Qd1 - hoping for 24...Rd8?? 25.Nf6+ and 26.Qxd8 - is met by the simple 24...Re8 >> 23...Ra8> and Black has a winning position. White's attack evaporated and so will his queenside soon; meanwhile Black is the exchange up.

The only reason I make this detour (after all 15.Qg3 didn't occur in the game) is to illustrate the point that even a well-known GM analyst can benefit from using an engine.]


Ye picks up the gauntlet. After the alternative 15...d5 White would be better after 16.e5 Nd7 17.Bd3.

[Ftacnik also gives <15...Bxe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Bd3

click for larger view

17...d5 <<17...f5? 18.Rxe4! SF>> 18.Bxe4 dxe4 19.Qg3 f6 20.Rxe4 >]

[to be continued]

Nov-03-15  NeverAgain: 16...Ne4-f6 [ /39 SF]
Too optimistic. Black hangs on to his material plus, with the result that White will get an extremely dangerous attack. Black should have played <16...d5>, as returning the pawn would put an end to the white attack. After <17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.Bxe4 Bxe4 19.Rxe4 Qc6> White retains a slight advantage, because the black queenside pawns are isolated. But Black's defensive task will not be all that onerous, given that he has sufficient influence in the centre.

[Ftacnik gives the same line with a zwichenzug <19.Qg3>, forcing <19...f6> and only then <20.Rxe4 >. SF's eval hovers between and at d=38 here.]

Deploying the rook. Now White is threatening to execute a typical combination: <18.Nd5 Bxb5 19.Bxf6 g6 20.Qxh7+!>, followed by mate - a striking illustration of the dangers for Black in this position.

[Ftacnik notes that Short did not sacrifice the pawn in order to equalize with the tactical shot <17.Nb5>:

<17.Nb5 axb5 18.Bxf6

click for larger view

18...h6 <<18...g6 19.Bxe7 Rxe7 20.Bxb5 is level>> 19.Bxg7 19...Kxg7 20.Qg4+ Kh8 21.Qh5 Bxg2+!? 22.Kg1! Kg7 23.Qg4+> with a perpetual check.

Curiously, that was White's best course [=/30], according to Komodo 9.1]

[to be continued]

May-14-18  ChessHigherCat: I didn't like 13...c5 and SF agrees. 13..d5 gives black a slight advantage (-0.17) whereas 13...c5 gives white a significant advantage (+0.40).

Anyway, to get away from the cyber-jargon, fantastic attack by Short! Sacrificing e4, f5, Ne3, 24. Bc1, a real class act.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: A month and a half earlier in the Bosnian Team Championship Ribli had played 12..Bb7 was new; 12..d5, 12..c5 and 12..e5 had been plated previously. The alternative defense 17..h6 would have also have given White a powerful attack after 18 Rg3..Kh8 19 Nd1!..Rd8 20 Ne3..Qd8 21 Rg5! (with the idea of Rh5). In response to 20..exf Short, Timman and Franco all give 21 Rxe7..Rxe7 22 Bxf6 but Byrne pointed out that 21 Rxf5 would also have been very strong. 25..Rxg6 would not have helped after 26 Nd5..Rxg3 27 hxg..28 Rxf7..Nf6 29 Bg5..Kg8 30 Qe6.

Short on 27 Qxh7+!:
"...Nunn beat Portisch in a similar way at the 1988 Reykjavik World Cup. The Doc believed he quickly spotted the winning queen sacrifice thanks to his perusal of a Fred Reinfeld book, "1001 Ways to Checkmate"...."

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