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Alexey Shirov vs Andrei Volokitin
European Club Cup (2002), Halkidiki GRE, rd 2, Sep-23
Pirc Defense: Austrian Attack. Weiss Variation (B09)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-28-03  patzer2: With 17. Bxa7 Shirov wins a decisive pawn in the Pirc Austrian Attack. On the surface this looks like a simple move (snatching a free pawn), but before taking it Shirov had to have calculated ahead to figure out how to escape and gain the advantage in case Black played 17...b6 "trapping the bishop." If 17...b6, attempting to trap the pawn grabing bishop, White can escape losing the piece and gain a small advantage. However, the escape is clever and subtle (not so obvious) and the technique (sort of a Chess Houdini) is definitely worthy of study.

Fritz 8 analyzes best play after 17...b6 as 18. a8! Qa8 19. d6! Nc6 20. Bf3 e4 21. Bxe4 Bxc3 22. Bxc6 Qxc6 23. bxc3 Nf4 24. Qd2 cxd6 (+0.41 @ 16/43 depth & 718kN/s).

Dec-28-03  patzer2: Perhaps Black should have played 17...b6 afterall. I plugged in the final position after the above analysis, and Fritz now indicates that Black equalizes after 17...b6 as 18. a8! Qa8 19. d6! Nc6 20. Bf3 e4 21. Bxe4 Bxc3 22. Bxc6 Qxc6 23. bxc3 Nf4 24. Qd2 cxd6 25. Bb8 [25. Rb1 g5 =] 25...Nh3+ 26. gxh3 Rxb8 (= 0.03 @ 14/52 depth & 753kN/s).
Dec-28-03  patzer2: After Black misses the opportunity to equalize with 17...b6, Shirov wins easily with his pawn plus. The winning technique in securing a passed pawn, forcing its advance and gaining control of the Queening square from moves 25 to 34 are instructive, with 30. Qb3! being particularly noteworthy.
Dec-28-03  ajjassi2003: hi there...i'm new to the board...but i couldn't help wondering how 18. a8 is you mean 18. a3?
Dec-28-03  patzer2: <ajjassi2003> The corrected analysis should read 17...b6 18. a4! Qa8 19. d6! Nc6 20. Bf3 e4 21. Bxe4 Bxc3 22. Bxc6 Qxc6 23. bxc3 Nf4 24. Qd2 cxd6 25. Bb8 [25. Rb1 g5 =] 25...Nh3+ 26. gxh3 Rxb8 (= 0.03 @ 14/52 depth & 753kN/s).

Sorry for the confusion ajjassi. Don't know why I recorded 18. a4 incorrectly, except that perhaps I was concentrating too much on Black's reply which is 18...Qa8.

Dec-30-03  ajjassi2003: thanks patzer2...that cleared up some confusion...for a moment, i thought you mistyped a8 for a3...but 18.a4! is a stronger move...
Mar-22-04  parinda: 18 good. .but not best. . 18. d6 is more forceful. . for example 17...b6 18.d6 cd6 (18...Nc6 19.Qd5+ then d7 and Bf3) 19.Qd6 Rf6 20.Qb8 Qb8 21.Bb8 Nc6 22.Bc7 (now a couple more black pawns are hanging) Nb4 23.Bxe5. .and now i don't want to be black trying to save this ending almost two pawns down with minor piece exchanges immanent

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