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Alexey Shirov vs Sergei Tiviakov
Corus Group A (2001), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 8, Jan-22
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Kmoch Variation (E20)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: In the 19 games in the database for Shirov in this line of the Nimzo Indian with 4...f3, Shirov secured 12 wins and 6 draws. The 4...f3 line of the Nimzo Indian appears to be a solid idea for attacking players who have a good grasp of tactical, positional and endgame play.

In the middle game and endgame here, Shirov gets the better of a situation in which his opponent has three pawns for his Bishop. Shirov's technique in this situation is excellent and worthy of study.

Jan-13-05  notyetagm: And the amazing aspect of many of these Shirov wins in the 4 f3 Nimzo Indian is that his king is left wandering around the center of the board and he <still> wins pretty easily.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 4 f3 was a move that Shirov played frequently in his career but he had not played it since 1992; he chose it here because he anticipated Tiviakov playing 4..Nc6 which Shirov believed to be favorable for White. In Ulibin-Tiviakov Essent 2000 White had played 8 Be3 and Black had gone on to win; 8 f4 was new. Shirov had reached the position after 12 gxf in his home analysis and figured that the two bishops and the open g-file was good compensation for the weakened kingside pawns but he had under-estimated Black's piece sacrifice 13..Ncxd4!?. 16..d4?! was dubious; Shirov thought that Black would have had equality after 16..Qxe5+ 17 Kf1..Bxc3 18 bxc..Ne3+ 19 Bxe3..Qxe3. 20..cxb+ would have been an improvement for Black. Avoiding the trade of queens with 29..Qf1+ 30 Kb2..Rf8 31 Qe5 would not have helped Black but the White pawn on b5 after 30 axb was a monster in restraining the Black queenside pawns. Black lost quickly after 31..f6?; he would have retained some drawing chances after 31..Kf8 32 Kb3..Rf4 33 Rd7..Rf5 34 Rxc7..Rxb5+ 35 Bb4+..Ke8 36 Rxa7..Rf5 37 Re7+..Kd8 38 Re3..Kd7.

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