2012 World Chess Olympiad: Sicilian Defense / Gran Prix Attack with Nigel Short

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2012 World Chess Olympiad, Istanbul Turkey

Round 2 – England — Brazil – GM Nigel Short 2698 — GM Alexander Fier

In what proved to be the only decisive game of this match, Nigel trotted out the Gran prix Attack in the Sicilian defense. The opening derived its name from a group of young masters in the 1980’s who regularly thrashed their weaker opponents in British Gran Prix weekend Swiss System events. Our own GM Roman Dzindzinhasvili has done some excellent videos on the opening. We pick up play after 28 moves where White has fantastic compensation for his sacrificed pawn. He has the open a-file, his knights are beautifully posted on b5 and e4 and the black king is stuck in the center. On move 30 Nigel offers a queen sacrifice for a nifty mate in two! Black manages to survice by trading queens, but White’s superior mobility nets two pawns (33.Nxe6+, 36.Nxc5) and then a third (38.Rxh7). In a desperate bid for counterplay, Black proceeds to get his knight trapped on h2. Nigel then skillfully alternates between exploiting the black king and threatening to collect the stranded black knight. Black tries one last desperate and clever stalemate swindle with 46…Nxg4+ and 47…Rxd6, but the ever alert Nigel puts his lights out with 48.Ra8+! breaking the stalemate.

[Event “Olympiad”]
[Site “1:30.30-1:30.30”]
[Date “2012.08.29”]
[Round “02”]
[White “Short, Nigel”]
[Black “Fier, Alexandr”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]
[WhiteElo “2698”]
[WhiteCountry “ENG”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[BlackElo “2582”]
[BlackCountry “BRA”]
[Remark “Olympiad M 10.3”]
[PresId “1000020103”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. a4 a6 7. Bxd7+
Qxd7 8. Nd5 Qc6 9. d3 Nd7 10. Qe2 e6 11. a5 O-O-O 12. Ne3 d5 13. O-O
Nh6 14. e5 Nf5 15. c4 d4 16. Nc2 f6 17. b4 fxe5 18. fxe5 Qc7 19. b5
Nxe5 20. bxa6 bxa6 21. Rb1 Nc6 22. Rb6 Kd7 23. Ng5 Rhe8 24. Rxa6 Rb8
25. Ne4 Nxa5 26. Na3 Nb3 27. Nb5 Nxc1 28. Rxc1 Qe5 29. Ra7+ Kd8 30.
Ng5 Nh6 31. Qxe5 Bxe5 32. Re1 Bf4 33. Nxe6+ Kc8 34. Re4 Be3+ 35. Kf1
Rb6 36. Nxc5 Rxe4 37. Nxe4 Kd8 38. Rxh7 Ng4 39. h3 Nh2+ 40. Ke2 g5 41.
g4 Ra6 42. Ra7 Rh6 43. Nbd6 Re6 44. c5 Bf4 45. Kf2 Bxd6 46. cxd6 Nxg4+
47. hxg4 Rxd6 48. Ra8+ 1-0

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