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Vladimir Kramnik vs Alexey Shirov
Amber Rapidplay (2002) (rapid), Monaco MNC, rd 11, Mar-28
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System. Lilienthal Variation (D44)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-10-02  refutor: well for starters, i'm glad that shirov decided to play the botvinnik system again, after claiming at the end of "fire on board" that his days playing the botvinnik system were finished. and who a better victim than the "world champion" kramnik. i love 11. ... Rg8!? after 11.g3 and after 12.h4 Rxg5 13.hxg5 the material is a little more in black's favor (rook and a pawn for 2 pieces) than the main line where he's down a whole pawn :) does anyone else hope that shirov comes out of dortmund and shirov and kramnik have a rematch?
Sep-25-03  PinkPanther: Why in the HELL didn't Kramnik take Shirov's pinned knight on f6, what's the point of sacrificing a piece for two pawns in this system if you're not gonna take black's pinned knight on f6.
Sep-26-03  refutor: <pinkpanther...why in the HELL didn't Kramnik take Shirov's pinned knight at f6> ...Rg8 is lesser known theory! Shirov basically wrote a treatise on the Botvinnik line with 11.exf6 in "Fire On Board" and the theory is like 30 moves deep. krammy is also an expert on this line, and always has favored the 11.g3 line instead of the usual 11.exf6. 11.g3 sometimes tranposes back to the main line with 11.g3 Bb7 12.exf6 c5 13.d5 Qb6 14.Bg2 O-O-O 15.O-O b4 etc. but also allows this interesting sideline. also, black can't break the pin by "normal" means so there's no rush to play exf6 immediately. and even so is ...Rg8 better than the main line? look at the position after 17.Qxg6...who's better?
Nov-08-05  KingG: <i'm glad that shirov decided to play the botvinnik system again, after claiming at the end of "fire on board" that his days playing the botvinnik system were finished.> What was the reason he gave?
Nov-08-05  Jim Bartle: I can't find Shirov saying that in FOB, but he does write, "Sometimes the Botvinnik variation gets so boring..."
Nov-08-05  KingG: <Jim Bartle> Thanks. The Botvinnik variation boring?! I've never heard it described in that way before.
Nov-08-05  Jim Bartle: Shirov was joking. The comment came after annotating a 42-move draw vs. Azmaiparashvili. The game did follow a known path through 26 moves, and Shirov wrote that he had analyzed all the way to the end at home.
Nov-08-05  KingG: <Jim Bartle> Ok, that makes more sense. :-)

What do you think of FOB? Is it worth buying?

Nov-09-05  Jim Bartle: Fire on Board is outstanding. Great games, lots of personal comments as well. Includes a few of his losses as well. (Does not include any wins against Kasparov...)
Nov-09-05  KingG: <Jim Bartle> Thanks. In that case, i think i'll buy it next time i get the chance. I hear there is a whole section on the Botvinnik variation, which interests me since i play it.

<Does not include any wins against Kasparov...> lol. This doesn't suprise me somehow. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: There is also a Volume II out now (I have not read it).
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Here's chesscafe's review

Apr-17-06  emolasker: Here is the way I lost in corr. game 2006(man + engine, I used tiger 13 and my opponent used fritz 8 or 9). After 18...Qa5 19.Bxd5!N cxd5 20.Qg6! I found I was down. Main threat is Nc3-e2-f4xe6(or g6 or h5) and I sacrificed my ten days holiday to find any way for rescue black king. I could not, maybe evaluation " " is objective. The game followed: 20...Qa6 (did not help neither 20...Bb4 because of 21.Qxe6! Bxc3 22.Kf1!! nor 20...Qb6 with the idea a7-a5, Ra8-a6 taking under cover Pe6...take a closer look at it by yourselves) 21.Ne2! Kc7 22.Nf4 Bb4 23.Kf1 Nf8 24.Qf7 Bd7 25.Rh8 c3 (The only way to hold blacksquared bishop on the diagonal a3-f8, that is important to cover Nf8, but the river Styx is not far) 26.bxc3 Ba3 27.Rb1! (with the idea Rb1-b3 or Rb1-b4) b4 28.Kg2 bxc3 29.Rb3 Bb2 30.Rxf8 c2 31.Rxa8 c1Q 32.Rxa7 Qxa7 33.Nxe6 Kc6 34.Qf6 and I gave up. What a position!!!. Now I think 18...Qa5 is too slow. Now I am playing the same variantion with the same oponent and I have prepared a surprise for him. We´ll see, said an old woman and put her log on a mina:-).
Apr-17-06  emolasker: BTW Board on fire I and II are very funny. Human fantasy is without borders.
May-09-08  Whitehat1963: High-level play in the Opening of the Day.

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