Monday, September 21, 2009

six game encounter


Efimenko draws first blood in Mukachevo match
21.09.2009 – The six-game encounter between former World Championship challenger Nigel Short and the promising Ukrainian grandmaster Zahar Efimenko started with musical pomp in the West-Ukrainian town of Mukachevo. In the first game Efimenko showed great style in beating his more famous and higher-rated British opponent with the black pieces.

Schedule of the Short-Efimenko match


19 September


Opening ceremony, drawing of colours


20 September


Game one: Short-Efimenko


21 September


Game two: Efimenko-Short


22 September


Game three: Short-Efimenko


23 September


Free day


24 September


Game four: Efimenko-Short


25 September


Game five: Short-Efimenko


26 September


Game six: Efimenko-Short


[Event "Match"]
[Site "Mukachevo UKR"]
[Date "2009.09.20"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Short, N."]
[Black "Efimenko, Z."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B23"]
[WhiteElo "2706"]
[BlackElo "2654"]
[Annotator "Klaus Bischoff"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2009.09.20"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. Bc4 Nc6 4. Nge2 Nf6 5. O-O e6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4

{All these transpositions have now led to a Sozin Sicilian. This was Fischer's favorite line against the Sicilian, and Nigel has even used it to try to make life difficult for Black against Kasparov.}

7… Be7 8. a3

{With this innocent looking little move Nigel tries to avoid a theoretical battle. The move in
itself is not stupid at all, he wants to keep his Sozin bishop. But of course Black is given extra time to finish his development.}

8…O-O 9. Ba2 Bd7 10. Re1 a6
11. Be3 Rc8

{Zahar is now ready for Ne5-c4. If he could then protect this
wonderful knight with b5, Black would be fine.} 12. f4 !?

{The exclamation mark is for the courage. But Nigel is weakening his king. For me it looks a
bit strange to combine Rfe1 and f4.}

12… Nxd4 13. Bxd4 e5 $1 14. fxe5 dxe5 15. Bxe5 Bc5+ 16. Kh1

{Unfortunately 16.Bd4 does not work. Black has 16...Bg4 with a
double attack.}


{Black is now winning the exchange.}

17. Bg3 Bf2 18. Qf3
Bxe1 !


{Brave! If Zahar had less self confidence, he could have gone for} (
18... Bxg3 {which leads to a draw. After} 19. Qxg3 {Black has} Qb6 20. Nd5 Nf2+
21. Kg1 Nh3+ 22. Kh1 Nf2+ {with a perpetual.})

19. Rxe1 Qg5 20. Bf4 Qg6 21. Bd5

({It was safer to try} 21. h3 Nf6 22. Be5 Rfe8 23. Bxf6 Qxf6 24. Qxf6 gxf6 25.
Bd5 Rc7 26. Rf1 {White has chances to get away with a draw. But he would have to suffer.})

21... Bc6 22. e5 ?!

{My engines do not like this move at all. But
Nigel wanted to prevent Sf6.}

22… Rfe8 23. Bxc6 bxc6 !?


({It was also possible to
play} 23... Rxc6 {Zahar probably did not like} 24. h3 Nf6 ?! ({but} 24... Nh6
$1 {is playable with a solid advantage.}) 25. Rd1 {and the knight suddenly has
no good squares.})

24. h3 Nf6 25. Rd1 Nd5 26. Nxd5 cxd5 27. c3 Qe4!

{The rest is easy for Black. White needs Bd4 for more resistance, but he will of
course never get this.}

28. Qf2 Rc4 29. Bg3 d4 30. Rxd4 Rxd4 !





{This is a
well-known method. After winning the exchange, you should always try to
exchange your opponents last rook.}

31. cxd4 (31. Qxd4 {was also hopeless.
After} Qb1+ 32. Kh2 Qxb2 {White has no compensation at all.})

31... Rd8 32. Qf1
Rxd4 33. Qxa6 h5 34. e6 fxe6 35. Qb5 Rd5 36. Qe8+ Kh7 37. Kh2 h4 38. Bc7 Rg5

{ This brutal move is winning the house. A perfect start for Zahar, who played
very well today.} 0-1


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