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Nigel Short vs Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Corus Group B (2009), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-24
Italian Game: Italian Variation (C50)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-24-09  Ezzy: Short - Kasimdzhanov [C50]
Corus Chess 2009 Wijk aan Zee (7), 2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0–0!!! :-) <The Sasikiran game has sent Nigel to the extreme. Now he's castling in the minimum amount of moves :-) > 4...d6 5.c3 Nf6 6.d4 Bb6 7.a4 a5 8.dxe5 <New move. 8 Bg5 has been played before.> 8...Nxe5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 10.Qf3 0–0 11.h3 h6 12.b3 Qe7 13.Re1 Rd8 14.Ra2< Nigel's favourite rook 'uplift' move at the moment. He's played it twice in the last 3 games. It could be Nigel's next book or DVD - 'Openings with Ra2'> 14...Be6 15.Ba3 Qe8 16.Nd2< The last piece to be developed and the last piece remaining on the board at the end of the game. Nigel's handling of the knight is a masterclass in itself. See also the Vellejo-pons game for some excellent knight handling by GM Short.> 16...Rd7 17.Bxe6 Qxe6 18.Nc4 Rad8 <Threat is 19...Rd3 >19.Qf5 Qxf5 20.exf5 e4?!< I think Nigel must of seen this as a tempo wasting move which does nothing to improve black's position.> 21.Kf1! <This is quite insightful. Nigel recognises the inevitability of rook exchanges and decides to get a head start in pushing his king up the board.> 21...Rd3 <This was probably better on his previous move instead of 20...e4?!> 22.Be7 R8d5 23.Bxf6 gxf6 <The pawns are beginning to seperate, which isn't a good sign.> 24.Rc2 Rxf5 25.Rxe4 Rd1+ 26.Re1 Rd3 27.Re8+ Kg7< With whites control of the more important 'e' file, the black king is pushed further away from the future central action.> 28.Ke2 Rd7 29.f3 Bg1 30.Rd2< white has forced the exchange of the first rook.> 30...Rfd5 31.g4 Rxd2+ 32.Nxd2 f5 33.Re5 fxg4 34.hxg4 b6 35.Ne4 <Threatening the all powerful 36 Rh5! 37 g5 when the Bishop on g1 is in danger of any Rg5 checks.> 35...Bh2 36.Rf5 Re7 37.b4 Re5?< Black seems to be technically lost after this, I can't find any defence for black. [37...axb4 38.cxb4 and trying to hold your ground may be better. White's knight will always have a target though, whilst Black's bishop will be aiming at thin air. 37...Re5? just makes Nigel's task much easier. ]> 38.Rxe5 Bxe5 39.bxa5 bxa5 40.Ke3 <Nigel plays perfectly to secure another magic performance. It's just like watching Brazil!> 40...c6 41.f4 Bc7 42.Ng3 Kg6 43.Ke4 Bd6 44.Nf5 Bc5 45.Nh4+ Kg7 46.Nf3 f6 47.Nd2 Bb6 48.Kf5 Kf7 49.Nb3 Kg7 50.c4 1–0

What do the books say - Bishop's are better than knights when there are pawns on both sides of the board.' Not true if you have an active king that dominates the center of the board!

Another masterclass GM Short. Kasimdzhanov now has another loss to you. He just can't seem to handle your play.

Now at the top of the leaderbooard at just over the halfway stage. Fantastic effort! I have been having some fun with the castling comments, but today my favourite move was your idea to move the king away from it's castled position back towards the center 21 Kf1! Your insight for the endgame was spot on. Every move seemed to be made with absolute precision.

Capablanca would be proud of this game. I hope you are. Good luck tomorrow!

Jan-24-09  KingG: Nice endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Makes you wonder what would have happened had Short played Kazim at Tripoli.
Jan-24-09  notyetagm: An excellent game by Nigel.
Jan-25-09  ZIMMIE: Why is Nigel not playing the A GROUP it doesn't make any sense
Jan-25-09  notyetagm: <ZIMMIE: Why is Nigel not playing the A GROUP it doesn't make any sense>

I believe it is because Short had a poor -2 showing the last time he played in the A group:

Corus Chess Tournament (2005)/Nigel Short

Jan-26-09  ZIMMIE: Thanks notyetagm lets hope he keeps it up.... Maybe next year
Feb-27-09  DrGridlock: <37.b4 Re5? Black seems to be technically lost after this, I can't find any defence for black. [37...axb4 38.cxb4 and trying to hold your ground may be better. White's knight will always have a target though, whilst Black's bishop will be aiming at thin air. 37...Re5? just makes Nigel's task much easier.>

Rybka gives 37 ... Re5 a value of .97, and 37 ... axb4 a value of .94. Very marginally better for black, but it's certainly not the move that decided the game.

Rybka's continuation is:
axb4, cxb4 c6, kd3 ra7, a5 bxa5, rxa5 rd7+, kc4 rd1, rc5 rf1, rxc6 rxf3.

Jun-21-09  Justawoodpusher: There is an endgame analysis on youtube by jrobichess:

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