Hello everybody it is jrobi. I wanted to do
kind of a fun video series here, get it started off. I’m going to put these out here once
in a while. And it is going to focus on trying to find the mistakes that Grandmasters have
made in the past. And thankfully they make mistakes, you know, on a fairly regular basis.
Obviously not as much as the weaker rated chess players in the world such as myself.
But they definitely make some crucial mistakes at tournament level play. And that’s good.
I think it is healthy for the game and it keeps things exciting. I think if all the
games were perfectly played obviously we’d end up with nothing but draws. So, you know,
from my end of things I think it is healthy to see Grandmasters make mistakes, and they
definitely do. Sometimes they are really huge mistakes. I was looking at game of Karpov’s
and a Queen was completely just dropped. And I thought that that was very interesting.
Like, I mean, you see it on occasion at amateur level play, but you definitely don’t see
it with a high degree of frequency at the Grandmaster level play. But that being said,
the series is going to be called Grandmaster Chess Blunders: Can you Spot the Mistake?
And this game was a very interesting game. I was kind of browsing through the games of
Nigel Short on my site yesterday. And I came across this game. It was played in 2008 at
the Olympiad. And Nigel Short was playing white and Peter Nielsen was playing black.
Now at the time Nigel Short was rated 2642 and Nielsen was rated 2662. So they are both,
you know, very strong Grandmasters. And they reached this position and Nielsen had just
played his Knight to G6. Now I’m thinking that the plan here at the time, you know,
if there was a plan, which I’m sure there was, was that after the Pawn takes the Knight
here on G6 the Queen can come in and take the Knight on E6. And that would kind of give
the Queen some options. It would be directly attacking the Pawn here on G4 and, you know,
it would kind of help break things open a little bit for black and get black out of
this cramped position. Because as we can see here we’ve got all these Pawns of blacks’
very close to its home rank. And whites’ are very, you know, they are nicely advanced.
So black is in a very cramped position. So I’m thinking that that’s what the plan
was that the Grandmaster had. Now you can definitely post what you might’ve thought
the Grandmaster was thinking. I definitely don’t claim to be a Grandmaster. But, you
know, it seemed that that might seem like a logical course of events to take place.
Unfortunately though however Knight to G6 was a crucial blunder. So what I’d like
you to do is pause the video, see if you can come up with white’s best move to capitalize
on black’s mistake here. And see if you can spot why this was such a devastating blunder.
In fact after white’s next move black resigns. So we definitely go ahead, pause the video,
and I’m going to dive into this solution here. So the Knight was played out to G6 and
Nigel Short probably was looking at this as if a gift had just been given to him, because
what he plays here is he plays Pawn captures Knight on G6. And I’m not sure how long
black took a look at this position before he resigned because, you know, the time isn’t
in the PGN file. But I would imagine that it probably wasn’t too long before black
realized that he made a crucial mistake by offering up that Knight onto G6. And the reason
is simply that this Knight cannot be taken. Now you might have come up with an alternative
reason why this Knight can’t be taken. And actually I posted this position on my blog
this morning. And I’ve had a couple of people respond to the blog post as well as on Twitter
to me, that one of the reasons that the Knight can’t be taken is because after the Queen
comes in to take the Knight, white has a brutal check here on H7. Now that’s going to force
the enemy King away to F8 and the resulting position is about a full Rook worth of material
in terms of positional strength. But the kicker is, is that it is actually not the best move
in this position, if the Knight is taken. Now let’s take a look at it. So once again
Nigel Short has just taken the Knight hrtr onto G6. And let’s suppose that his opponent
takes Knight back on E6. Now let’s take a look at a couple of things. First of all
we have this nice Pawn here on G6 now that is all of a sudden removing these two squares
from the enemy King from accessing. More importantly the Queen is now off at the back rank to defend
the King from a check. And that is where the beauty of the move comes. Simply Queen now
to B8 lands the check and it is going to be mate in one more move. So, for example, Queen
comes and hits a check. The only option for black in this position is to move the Queen
to C8 or to E8 both of which fail of course. Let’s just go to E8 for an example. And
here we go with the checkmate. So there’s a mate in two if that Knight would’ve been
taken. So Nigel Short’s opponent probably realized that he had just given Nigel Short
a completely free piece. And in the process of doing so of course gave him also the game.
And that is definitely why Nielsen resigned after Short took the Knight with the Pawn
on G6. And don’t feel too bad if you thought of the line Queen check here on H7 because,
you know, that is definitely a winning line as well. It is just definitely not as quick
as the forced mate if that Knight is taken. So take care, hope you enjoyed the video and
we will see you next time!