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Alexey Shirov vs Garry Kasparov
"Don't Be Too Shirov Yourself" (game of the day Jun-15-2016)
Linares (1997), Linares ESP, rd 10, Feb-15
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack Anti-English (B90)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-06-05  KingG: Brilliant game by Kasparov. 17...h4 wasn't really a sacrifice, because after 17.fxe5 dxe5, the knight is trapped.
Mar-11-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: Good point <KingG>.After 37...Bf6,white is in a terrible bind.Amazing game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: What a stunning game!
Mar-12-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: I love how Kasparov builds the king side pawn chain,uncompromising logic.
Jun-01-06  spirit: good game...
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I really liked this game. It was probably this game, as much as any other, that brought the 6..Ng4 line into fashion. I cannot imagine too many everyday players like me getting away with charging the kingside pawns forward like that. 14..e6 must have been a difficult move to play as the d6 pawn is a cripple the entire game. Kasparov is critical of 16 b3 as that takes away an escape square for the N. Shirov must have overlooked 17..h4 as his kingside is entombed after that. Kasparov recommends 23 Qd2 with white having close to level chances. 36 Kf2 (instead of 36 Rd3) is also criticised.
Dec-29-06  notyetagm: The simple 34 ... ♗c3! is the move that makes White's position fall apart. It forces 35 ♖e1-e2, which creates a -terrible- pin on the White e3-bishop down the e-file.

Kasparov then masterfully exploits this pin to liquidate into a winning pawn endgame with 38 ... ♖x♗e3!.

Apr-14-07  notyetagm: <KingG: Brilliant game by Kasparov. 17...h4 wasn't really a sacrifice, because after 17.fxe5 dxe5, the knight is trapped.>

Very nice. Kasparov uses the tactical theme <TRAPPED PIECE> in order to carry out his strategic goal of advancing his kingside pawns while ignoring his opponent's threat of 18 f4x♘e5.

Apr-14-07  notyetagm: A possible concluding position for this game:

click for larger view

This diagram shows the main idea behind the <TACTICAL LIQUIDATION> 38 ... ♖xe3!, a winning pawn ending.

The moves in this variation are 38. ... ♖xe3! 39. ♖xe3 ♖xe3 40. ♔xe3 ♗g5+ 41. ♔e2 ♗xd2 42. ♔xd2 f4 43. ♔e2 fxg3 44. ♔f1 gxh2.

Apr-14-07  Fisheremon: 15.Nce2?! should be counted as opening mistake (15.Nxc6!?)

18.Be3?! (18.fxe5!? dxe5 19.Be3 exd4 20.Nxd4 White's a bit better)

24.Rfe1?! (Nde2!?)

26.b4? losing (26.Nd5!? still defendable).

Aug-05-07  willychess: I think Shirov have to be prepared with vaseline when he plays kasparov,
Oct-01-07  notyetagm: One of my very favorite Kasparov games.
Apr-19-08  positionalgenius: <notyetagm> I can see why. Its a top-class game.
Mar-22-09  alexrawlings: What would black's response to 29 Bxd6 be? Doesn't this win material for white?
Mar-22-09  Karpova: <alexrawlings: What would black's response to 29 Bxd6 be? Doesn't this win material for white?>

29.Bxd6 Qxc3

Jun-15-16  Razgriz: Looks similar to the game he played with Vishy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: doesn't he still owe Shriov a promised $100k for cheating him out of the world championship of the PCA?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: The finish is well worth knowing. It includes a tactical technique which crops up a lot in pawn endgames.

After 38...Rxe3, we end up here:

click for larger view

White has the unappealing choice of either struggling on a bishop down or allowing a series of exchanges. Losing a bishop to Kasparov is tantamount to resignation, so we go into a little forced sequence

39. Rxe3 Rxe3 40.Kxe3 Bg5+

click for larger view

The skewer forces the win of the white rook and all the pieces come off ...

41. Ke2 Bxd2 42. Kxd2

click for larger view

Kasparov has exchanged down into an easily won endgame. Easy ... if you know how.

42. ... f4! 43. gxf4 (other moves don't help) g3 44. hxg3 h2

click for larger view

There is no way to stop the h pawn from becoming a queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The finish demonstrates a simple, yet necessary technique which is part of every strong player's armoury and considerably shortens the conversion process.
Jun-15-16  Virgil A: A sleeping giant that pawn on h3. Nice game.
Jun-15-16  Ironmanth: Once, thank you for the analysis! Intuitively, it felt like a win for Black after the simplification. Yes, that h3 pawn is certainly the crux! Bravo.
Jun-15-16  morfishine: Well, the critical move is White's 18th move: 18.fxe5 Bxe5 19.Nxe6 Bxe6 leaves the game level

So, whats the big deal, other than Shirov missed the best move?


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This boils down to a sacrifice and regain of the exchange by black with a pawn plus in a winning endgame.

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