Shahram goes fishing & the one that got away

Many thanks to Shahram Nikrow for providing the following two games with annotations from recent Drogheda Congress, where he won a grading prize in the top section.  In the first game, he obtained a winning position against current Irish Champ Colm Daly before letting it slip.  In the second game, he defeated a player 300+ points higher rated.

Colm Daly (2288) – Shahram Nikrow (1660)

Drogheda Congress 2014, 02-Jun-14

(Click here to replay the game:

The night before the game I find out I am playing Colm in the morning, so I spend 30 minute going over English opening which he plays a lot, in the morning he is late as expected and I go for a long walk around the hotel and come back and he is not there and another long walk and he shows up . We start 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 I decide to go for budapest gambit which I guess he would not be as familiar with than my indian defence 3. d5 Bc5 4. Nc3 d6 5. e3 O-O 6. a3 a6 7. Bd3 c6 8. Nf3 Bg4 9. h3 Bh5 10. Bd2 first 10 moves nothing spectacular but his king not castled yet


10… cxd5 11. cxd5 Re8 12. e4 b5 to suggest b4 and take away chances he will castle queenside and also keep initiative ( I am not much for making passive moves ).13. Qe2 h6 try to lure him into playing  14. g4 followed by g5 and h pawn to follow it will open g file and good attack for him but it will keep his king in the centre where I want it and hope to be able to exploit it  later but he doesn’t take the bait 14. Rc1 b4 15. Na4 bxa3 16. Nxc5 axb2 17. Rb1 dxc5 18. Rxb2 after exchanges I am up a pawn and have 2 isolated passed pawn but he is confident he’ll be able to neutralise them and then I see it , YES, time has now come to punish my opponent for leaving his king in the centre for so long , I say to myself when I play my next move at first he will think I’ve lost my marbles and then he will realize what a great move it is…


18… Nxd5! now if 19. exd5 then 19….e4  20.Bxe4  f5 will follow and with his knight pinned against the queen and the queen against the king with my rook and bishop eyeing them it looks hopeless , so he decides 19. O-O Nf4 and then my knight gets exchanged for bishop 20. Bxf4 exf4 21. Rd1 I am up by 2 passed pawns and in clear winning position and  know I should play Nc6 but then I am thinking he will play 22.Bb5 and exchanges the knight for his bishop because if nd4 then he will sacrifice his rook for knight and then his bishop picks up my rook and that the knight on d4 later would be a monster and worth as much as rook so 30 seconds after he plays 21.Rd1 , I play


21… Qf6?? thinking I am creating more threats saving the knight and still have initiative and I see  22. e5 but then see with his Qe4 fork or Rc7, I have blundered badly and press self destruct button and play another 10 minutes for the craic  22… Bxf3 23. Qxf3 Qe6 24. Qxa8 Nd7 25. Qxa6 Nxe5 26. Qxe6 fxe6 27. Re2 Nxd3 28. Rxd3 Kf7 29. Re5 Rc8 30. Rc3 Kf6 31. Rexc5 Re8 32. Kf1 g5 33. Ke2 Re7 34. Kf3 h5 35. Ke4 Re8 36. h4 gxh4 37. Rxh5 Kg6 38. Rxh4 Kg5 39. Rxf4 Ra8 40. Rg3+ Kh5 41. Ke5 Ra5+ 42. Kf6 Kh6 43. Rh4+ Rh5 1-0 The WORST part was when I played  21…Qf6 , I had just over 1 hour left on clock while Colm was down to just over 10 minutes , if I had been more mature and taken some time to think it would have been different , after the game I go to the bar and Colm sees me and says 18… Nxd5 was nice move , had you played nc6 you would have won. Anyway a great opportunity to beat the irish champion was missed and next time if we meet I am sure he will be more focused and alert.

Shahram Nikrow (1660) – Juan Campos (1980)

Drogheda Congress 2014, 31-May-14

(Click here to replay the game:

My first game in Drogheda: I am playing juan campos and 1.e4 e6 2.d4 a6 3.Nf3 b5 and he play unusual  french sideline 4.Bd3 c5 5.c4 bxc4 6.Bxc4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bb7 8.Bd3 Nc6 9.Nxc6 Bxc6 10.O-O Nf6 11.Qe2 Qb6 12.Be3 Qb7


first 12 moves nothing spectacular and it is move 13 ,my move and know I should play 13.f3 but think if I sacrifice my pawn on e4 and exchange knight & bishop for his ( specially the menacing light squared bishop) I’ll be down a pawn but well developed while he is well behind development ,not castled, his bishop not developed yet and d- pawn will be unguarded after castling so I play 13.Nc3 he smiles and thinks I have blundered and goes for the pawn 13… Nxe4 14.Nxe4 Bxe4 15.Bxe4 Qxe4 after exchanges ,being down a pawn I know I  have to go for a strong attack , keep pressure on his weak points and develop with tempo on his queen and the  game continues and he is trying  desperately to keep his material advantage and also develop properly but finds that when playing against shahram , It is hard to have your cake and eat it too! 16.Rac1 Be7 17.Rc4 Qe5 18.Qd2 Qb5 19.Rc7 Rd8 20.Rd1 d5 21.Rdc1 Bd6 22.R7c6 O-O 23.Rb6 Qa4 24.b3 Qa3 after 25.Rcc6


his queen must now abandon h pawn and run, leaving me with 2 connected passed pawn but plays 25… a5 and after 26.Qc2 and threatening to play 27.Bc1 ,now he realizes that his queen is trapped and gives up his rook for my bishop and rest is history 26… Be5 27.Bc5 Qb2 28.Qxb2 Bxb2 29.Bxf8 Kxf8 30.Ra6 d4 31.Kf1 Bc3 32.Rd6 Rxd6 33.Rxd6 Ke7 34.Rc6 Bb4 35.Ke2 Kd7 36.Ra6 e5 37.Kd3 f5 38.f3 Ke7 39.a3 Bc3 40.Rb6 h5 41.b4 axb4 42.axb4 g5 43.b5 g4 44.Rh6 gxf3 45.gxf3 h4 46.b6 Kd7 47.Rxh4 Kc6 48.Rh6+ Kb7 49.Re6 Ba5 50.h4 Be1 51.h5 e4+ 52.fxe4 fxe4+ 53.Rxe4 1-0



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3 Responses to Shahram goes fishing & the one that got away

  1. shahram says:

    Thank michael for your time and posting this .This is embarrassing !. In my game against campos in commentary I called the opening ” unusual french side line ” This opening has a name and it is called ” st george opening ” , How a patzer like me gets to be leading scorer so late in this competition is beyond me .I don’t know why the commentary and board video can not be on the same page , otherwise best to open 2 webpages and flip between commentary and board as you progress in the game . I am done posting games here for a very long time if ever, I have no problem giving a game to be posted here in the future but not wasting my time annotating it , specially when no one bothers thanking me for it.

  2. mjdkennedy says:

    Congrats on your great result in Drogheda – you’ve hit the big time now.

    In the Daly game, that lovely combination with …Nxd5 set you on the winning track. It’s quite amazing that such a natural move as 21… Qf6 proved such a blunder. The move was clearly designed to achieve more than one thing at the same time – sidesteps the opponent’s threat from the Rd1, creates a threat against the Rb2, etc. In that sense it’s the type of move we’re typically happy to select. It’s just too tempting to make such moves quickly. I guess a couple more minutes spent on the move and you’d have sensed the danger, but still the challenge of converting a winning position into a full-point against the Irish Champ.

    In the Campos game, that interesting pawn gambit really changed the complexion of the game. I guess he’s fine with accurate play, but that’s a narrow path to tread. He paid the price when he tried to cling on to material with moves like …Qa3 and …a5, fearing possible connected passed pawns, when maybe he was better off looking to push through his own d & e pawns sooner.

  3. shahram says:

    Yes michael , In daly game I had a knee jerk reaction to the perceived threat of Rd1 and did not use my time properly , I had about one hour on the clock vs opponent’s 12 minutes and should have taken my time .

    In campos game playing f3 is better than sacrificing my e pawn and I know that , but I am usually good at punishing poorly developed opponents .Ok, the truth is that I have become a bit of sacrifice junkie and in most of my games I am either sacrificing or offering to sacrifice material .

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