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The Crushing Defeat in the Opening: the Chess Game Kevin Spraggett vs Nigel Short

Spraggett, Kevin (2544) - Short, Nigel D (2683) [C72]
Gibraltar Masters, Caleta (4) 2014

Notes by Boris Schipkov

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5
The Spanish Game or Ruy Lopez.
a3...6 4. Ba4 d6
Usually Black plays 4...Nf6.
5. O-O Bd7 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3








   
7...exd4?!
A dubious move. 7...Nxd4 deserves attention, 8. Nxd4 exd4 9. c3 dxc3 10. Qh5! Qe7 11. Nxc3 Nf6 (11...c6!?) 12. Qf3 c6?! (12...Qd8) 13. Bf4?! (better is 13. h3! b4 (13...Qd8 14. Bf4! b4 15. e5! dxe5 16. Bxe5 Be7 (16...bxc3 17. Rae1) 17. Ne4?! (17. Bxf6! with a clear edge) 17...O-O 18. Rfd1 White is better 18...Ne8? (18...Nxe4 19. Qxe4 Qe8) 19. Rac1 Qc8 20. Ba4 1-0 Vitolins, E - Neduchal, Z, ICCF corr 1985) 14. Na4 Be6 15. Bg5 Bxb3 16. Qxb3 (16. axb3! with a clear edge) 16...Qb7 17. Bxf6 gxf6, White has a small advantage, Moucka, J - White, D, ICCF 2003) 13...Ng4 14. Rad1 Ne5 15. Qe3 Bg4 16. Rd2, and White had a small advantage in Spraggett, K - Lejlic, S, Cappelle la Grande 2011.
8. c3!
A strong response: White sacrifices a pawn, but quickly develops the knight. In the case of 8. a4 Be7 9. axb5 axb5 10. Rxa8 Qxa8 11. Na3 Na5 12. Nxd4 (12. Ba2!?) 12...Nxb3 13. cxb3 Qxe4 14. Naxb5 Qb7 the game is equal, Short, N - Gretarsson, H, Bled 2002.
8...dxc3 9. Nxc3!
Weaker is 9. Qd5?! Qe7 10. Nxc3 Nf6 11. Qd1 Ne5 12. Bg5 (12. Nxe5!?) 12...c6! 13. Nd4 h6 with equality in Ghaem Maghami, E - Short, N, Tehran 2013.
9...Na5








   
10. e5!?
An interesting novelty. But here White can sacrifice a bishop and attack with the powerful 10. Bxf7+!! Kxf7 11. Ng5+ Ke8 12. e5 Bc6 (12...dxe5 13. Qd5 Nh6 14. Qxe5+ Qe7 15. Qxc7 Nc6 16. Bf4) 13. Nd5! dxe5 14. Ne6 Bxd5 (14...Qd6 15. Ndxc7+ Kf7 16. Qh5+ g6 17. Qh3 Ne7 18. f4 Nf5 19. fxe5 Qxe5 20. Bd2) 15. Nxd8 Rxd8 16. Qh5+ Kd7 17. Qxe5 Kc8 18. Bg5 Nf6 19. Rfd1 c6 20. Qc3 b4 21. Qd4, and White wins.
10...Nxb3 11. axb3 Be7?
A mistake. After the correct 11...dxe5 12. Nxe5 Bd6 13. Nxd7 Qxd7 14. Qe2+ Ne7 15. Nxb5 O-O 16. Nxd6 Qxd6 17. Rd1 White has a small advantage.
12. Re1!
White pressures on the black king.
12...Kf8
If 12...Be6 then 13. Nd4 dxe5 14. Nxe6 fxe6 15. Qh5+ Kf8 16. Qxe5 Nf6 17. Qxe6, with a clear edge to White.









   
13. Bf4!
White obtains a big advantage in development. Black's kingside looks ugly.
13...Be6?!
13...Bc6 is more stubborn, 14. Nd4 Bb7 15. e6 Nf6 16. b4.
14. Nd4!
Centralization. White threatens Nc6 or Nxe6.
14...d5 15. Qf3 h5 16. h3
Or 16. Be3 Bg4 (16...Ke8 17. b4) 17. Qxd5 Qxd5 18. Nxd5 Bd8 19. Nc6, with a huge edge in the endgame.
16...Ke8
After 16...c6 17. Nce2 Qd7 18. Bd2 g5 19. b4 g4 20. Nxe6+ Qxe6 21. Qc3 gxh3 22. Nf4 Qf5 23. e6 Rh6 24. Re5 Qg4 25. exf7 Kxf7 26. Nxh3 White has a strong attack on the king, because Black's kingside is ruined.









   
17. Red1
After 17. Rad1 Qd7 18. Nxe6 fxe6 White can win with the elegant rook sacrifice 19. Rxd5!! exd5 20. e6 Qd8 21. Nxd5.
17...Qd7
Or 17...g5!? 18. Nc6 g4 19. hxg4 hxg4 20. Qd3 Qd7 21. Qxb5 axb5 22. Rxa8+ Bd8 23. Nxd8 Qxd8 24. Nxd5 Qxa8 25. Nxc7+ Ke7 26. Nxa8 Bxb3 27. Rd4 Rh5 28. Rb4, and White grabs the second pawn.
18. Ndxb5 Rb8








   
19. Nxd5!
A beautiful shot in the center! Black's position is falling apart.
19...axb5 20. Nxe7 Qxe7 21. Ra8! Rc8 22. Qb7
Black resigned. 1-0










Move
   

Spraggett, Kevin (2544) - Short, Nigel D (2683) [C72]
Gibraltar Masters 2014/Caleta (4) 2014

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. O-O Bd7 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 exd4 8. c3 dxc3 9. Nxc3 Na5 10. e5 Nxb3 11. axb3 Be7 12. Re1 Kf8 13. Bf4 Be6 14. Nd4 d5 15. Qf3 h5 16. h3 Ke8 17. Red1 Qd7 18. Ndxb5 Rb8 19. Nxd5 axb5 20. Nxe7 Qxe7 21. Ra8 Rc8 22. Qb7 1-0


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© 2014 Boris Schipkov