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Nigel Short vs Bu Xiangzhi
UK vs China Match (2007), Liverpool ENG, rd 3, Sep-06
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Opocensky Variation Traditional Line (B92)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-07-07  Karpova: With 37...Qd2?? Bu blundered away a very good position. The easier 37...Qxf1+ 38.Kxf1 gxh5 39.Nxd6 Rc1+ would have been better.
Sep-07-07  AlfieNoakes: Does white even need to play 39 Qh4 ? Surely he can simply play Nxf7 Double+ followed by 39...Kg8 40 Qh8 mate, or 39 ...Kg7 40 Qh6 first with mate as above, or am I missing something?
Sep-07-07  Karpova: <AlfieNoakes>
39.Nxf7+ Kg7 and 40.Qh4 would be needed anyway (not 40.Qh6+ Qxh6)
Sep-07-07  Manic: <AlfieNoakes> the queen can be taken after 39...Kg7 40.Qh6 Qxh6.
Sep-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <Karpova: 37...Qxf1+ 38.Kxf1 gxh5 39.Nxd6 Rc1+> 39.bxa6 and Black is effectively down, since White's two pieces beats the 1st R, and two connected passed pawns on the 6th (2CPP6s) beats the 2nd R. White has b5-b6-b7 for an untouchable pawn on the 7th, N(d4,e7)-Nc6 to control b8, its B ideally defends b5-a6, and White's K isn't in much danger.

If Black's c-Rook penetrates to 1, it can have the a5-pawn, but that leaves 1 Rook on 8 to defend b8 and d6 -- hopeless, and White's N easily controls b8.

Apparently Short knew of the double exchange sac theme to obtain 2CPP6 vs. two rooks, e.g. Topalov vs Aronian, 2006. Bu recognized it, too!

Sep-07-07  Karpova: FM Steve Giddins doesn't even discuss the ending but merely states after 30....Nde5 <The watching Jon Speelman was initially a little worried that his man might be losing control, but in fact, Black's counterplay is insufficient and White requires only due care. Short duly reeled in the full point after> 31.Qh5 and points out that both 35...Rc2 and 36...Rc2 are adequately met with Rf1
Sep-07-07  cannibal: < Gilmoy: <Karpova: 37...Qxf1+ 38.Kxf1 gxh5 39.Nxd6 Rc1+> 39.bxa6 and Black is effectively down>

Thanks, I had missed that too.
Still, after toying around with it a little, I think black may hold a draw by playing actively (e.g., starting something like 39. bxa6 Re5 40. Nxd6 Rd8 41. Nc4 Rexd5), and sacking a rook at the right time. Any evaluations by machines (or just better players than me)?

Also, I still wonder what best play looks like in the final position. If 39... Qxe2 40.Rf2 Qh5 41.Nxf7+ Kh7 42. Qxh5 gxh5, is 43. bxa6 already a clear win? (Or 43. Nxd6?) It seems so, but again, some real analysis would help.

Sep-07-07  Karpova: Just some thoughts:
39....Qxe2 40.Rf2 Qh5 41.Nxf7+ Kh7 42. Qxh5 gxh5

43.bxa6 Rg8+ 44.Kh3 Rg4 45.Rg2 Rc3+ 46.Rg3 e3 (<46...Rcxg3+ 47.hxg3 e3 48.Kg2 h4 49.a7 could be insufficient for black>) 47.Rxg4 (<47.a7 e2 48.a8=Q Rcxg3+ 49.hxg3 e1=Q looks ugly for white>) 47...e2+ 48.Kg2 e1=Q 49.Ng5+ and white has a perpetual. But 44.Kf1 could be better for white (<44.Kf1 e3 45.Rf3 Rc1+ 46.Ke2 Rg2+>)

43.Nxd6 might be white's best move and clearly winning.

Sep-07-07  Ashram64: Bu sucks...the way he plays he can never be 2700+
Sep-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  geezerbloke: nice....short is back and chess is a better place for it
Sep-08-07  Dr. Funkenstein: I wonder why Bu didn't play the traditional 11. . . b5 to break up White's q-side stranglehold, maybe he was trying something new, but Short seems to generate a tremendous amount of pressure over the next few moves and the queenside pawn mass ends up deciding the game
Sep-29-07  piteira8: It's nice to see Short doing well. I have enjoyed one of his books, but his recent results are a bit disappointing. He is a great chessplayer, and I am happy that he won this game.
May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Dr Funkenstein,
11...b5 12. ab6 leaves Black with an isolated and weak a-pawn.
May-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <AlfieNoakes>
39. Nf7+ Kg7 40. Qg5 Qe2+ 41. Kg1 Qh5 42. Qh5 gh5 43. Nd6 ab5 44. a6 Ra8 45 Ne8+ Re8+ 46. d6

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