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 GM Nigel Short - GM Jan Timman; 
 Tillburg, (Holland / NED) 1991. 










N. Short (2660) - J. Timman (2630) 
[B04]
 Tilburg, HOL;  (Rd. #4), 1991. 

[ GM I. Rogers  +  {A.J.G.} ]

   The CB medal for this game.  (sht-tim_rp1.gif, 02 KB)


   The notes are by  GM Ian Rogers.  (From ChessBase) 
   I have added a few notes where I thought it was appropriate. 
    (My notes are followed by my initials. Rogers notes are followed by his full last name.) 

  I have received probably over 100 e-mails ... over the last two years ...    
  suggesting (or demanding) that I do this game.
     


One of the most incredible games of all time. This game may not be 100% sound. 
But it is very, very interesting and original. {A.J.G.} 

Around this time, Timman was easily in the  'Top 25'  players in the world. (Having been - just a few years earlier - in the Top 10.) 
And it was around this time that Short played his World Championship match with Garry Kasparov. So it is fair to say that both of these players were at or near the top of their game. {A.J.G.} 

GM A. Soltis  also rates this game very highly. (See his book of  "The 100 Best.") 


1.e4 Nf62.e5 Nd5;  {Diagram?} 
Black tries the sharp Alekhine's Defense. {A.J.G.}

3.d4 d64.Nf3 g6;  {Diagram?} 
This is the sharp fianchetto variation, not often used that much at the master-plus level. 
(But still perfectly playable.) {A.J.G.} 

5.Bc4, Nb66.Bb3, Bg77.Qe2, Nc68.0-0, 0-0
9.h3!, {Diagram?} 
By preventing ...Bg4 White ensures that Black will be unable to lay siege to the e5 pawn, 
keeping Black's bishop on g7 permanently out of play. [Rogers] 

     [ 9.exd6!? ].  

9...a510.a4, dxe511.dxe5, Nd4; ('!?')  12.Nxd4, Qxd413.Re1, e6;  
14.Nd2! Nd515.Nf3, Qc516.Qe4 Qb4!?; {Diagram?} 
Black is trying to prevent the transfer of White's queen to h4 but Short is prepared 
to ruin his pawn structure and give up the bishop pair just to gain h4 for his queen. 
[Rogers]

This might be a doubtful idea ('!?'/'?!') by GM Timman. 
The appellation of  '!?'  here, also originates with me. {A.J.G.} 

  Short - in my own opinion - has not received enough praise or even the recognition this   
  game deserves. This contest - and the key, strategic elements involved - are some of the   
 
most original ideas ... that have been produced in OTB play in the last 50-to-100 years.   
  {A.J.G.} 

     [ Much better was: >= 16...Rd8; 17.Qh4, "+/=" {Diagram?} 
       and White only has a small edge in this position. {A.J.G.} ]

GM I. Rogers only gives White's next move one exclamation point. 
I would have easily given it two exclams. {A.J.G.}  
17.Bc4! Nb6!?; {Diagram?} 
This could be a little risky. (...c6 may have been wiser.) 
Yet this was also the most testing response for White to face here. 
{A.J.G.} 

 ('!?' - A.J. Goldsby) 

     [  Maybe the move 17...c6; {Diagram?} was a more solid approach. {A.J.G.} ].  

18.b3!, Nxc419.bxc4, Re820.Rd1, Qc521.Qh4, b622.Be3 Qc6?!; {Diagram?} 
This is bad, Black decides to leave his King defenseless. 
(Black wants to erect a BATTERY of a Queen on c6, and a Bishop on b7; to threaten 
 White with a constant threat of mate on g2. Black also prefers to play ACTIVE chess, 
  than play a passive retreat.)  {A.J.G.} 

Better was ...Qf8; to help guard the dark squares. Of course it is always easy to play 
Monday-morning Quarter-back. 
(It was not so easy to see what GM N. Short was planning in advance!) {A.J.G.}

The dubious appellation ('?!') for Black's 22nd move here, 
originates with GM Ian Rogers. {A.J.G.}

     [ Now White is free to pursue his kingside attack without hindrance;  
         >/= 22...Qf8
; {Diagram?} was necessary. [Rogers]  ].   

23.Bh6, Bh824.Rd8!, Bb725.Rad1, Bg7; {Diagram?} 
Against other moves 26.Qe7!,  (now answered by 26...Bxh6); 
would have been very strong. [Rogers]

26.R8d7!  Rf8; {Diagram?} 
This is probably forced. 

     [ After  26...Bxh627.Qxh6, White threatens 28.Rxf7!  [Rogers]; 

       If  26...Qe4;  then  27.Rxf7!!, "+/-" {Diagram?} 
       Timman saw this move too late (Anand). [Rogers]  

     (White threatens Rxg7+, AND ... if the King takes, there is a devastating 
       Knight fork on g5. {A.J.G.}].  

***

Now it becomes obvious Black is nearly defenseless on the dark squares. 
What is NOT obvious is how White is to go about trying to exploit his 
advantage on the King-side! {A.J.G.}  

In the next series of moves, I would have given White's 28th and 30th moves 
exclamation points. (But GM I. Rogers did not.) {A.J.G.} 

27.Bxg7, Kxg728.R1d4, (!)  28...Rae829.Qf6+Kg830.h4, (!)  30...h5
 {See the diagram just below.}   
This is probably forced. It is almost certain that Black cannot allow h4-h5xg6; 
further weakening the defenses of his King. {A.J.G.} 

    The actual game position after Black's 30th move. Short's winning method is nothing short of simply unbelievable!!  (sht-tim_rpos1.gif, 16 KB)

The game position after Black's 30th move. 
Short's way of winning  ...  is unbelievable, profound, and pure genius. 

***

I would give White's next move at least one exclam. {A.J.G.}  
31.Kh2 Rc8; {Diagram?}  
Black can only play defence. The d-file is nailed, and Black cannot even trade pieces. 
{A.J.G.} 

     [  Black must remain passive since 31...Bc8;  allows  32.g4! hxg4; {Diagram?} 
        This looks to be forced. {A.J.G.}   (32...Bxd733.gxh5, "+/-" {Diagram?}   
          White wins here. He has the simple but effective threat of h5xg6-g7, then    
           Queen to h6. Black has no real defense to White's ideas. {A.J.G.})     
        33.Ng5! Bxd734.h5!,  {Diagram?} with a winning attack. [Rogers]  ].   

***

Now White has a fine attacking position but the immobility of his knight 
on f3 prevents an immediate knockout. 
However Short finds a phenomenal idea - to use his king as part of the mating attack. 
[Rogers]  
32.Kg3! Rce833.Kf4! Bc834.Kg5!!, (Incredible!) {Diagram?} 
Black Resigns. 
(Black cannot play ...Kh7; to try and defend; as Rxf7+, wins on the spot.) 
 {A.J.G.} 

     [ After 34.Kg5!! Bxd735.Kh6!, {Diagram?} 
        Black cannot avoid mate on g7. [Rogers]  ] 

White threatens to simply move his King to h6, and he will then have an 
unstoppable threat of Qg7 mate. {A.J.G.}

Black has no defense. {A.J.G.} 

White's magnificent King journey of  Kh2!!!Kg3!!Kf4!!Kg5!!
with the threat of  Kh6!! ... ... ...  has, in my mind  ...  
... virtually  no  parallel  in modern,  master level  or  GM chess!   
{A.J.G.} 

  This might be  ... ... ...  THE MOST  MAGNIFICENT  KING MARCH  ...    
   ... IN THE HISTORY OF ALL OF CHESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     
 (Steinitz would be proud!)  {A.J.G.} 

Yet Korchnoi, in his game against Tal, ('62) actually played this idea ... well before Short was born. 
(It was a highly similar idea, but not identical in its motif or its execution.)  {A.J.G. Nov, 2002.}

  Copyright (c) {my notes only!} A.J. Goldsby I, 2002.  

   (Code initially)  Generated with  ChessBase 8.0   

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