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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Alexey Shirov
Corus Group A (2003), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-15
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System. Lilienthal Variation (D44)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-12-03  PVS: Shirov may have winning records against all the hand picked Candidates, with the definite exception of Kasparov.
Aug-12-03  refutor: what a nice game by Shirov...i knew that 21.Qg7?! couldn't be any good ;)
Aug-13-03  xu fei: Shirov did well to avoid a repeat of Ivanchuk vs Shirov, 1996
Nov-24-03  PinkPanther: This must have come as a rude schock to Alexei, but I have to give credit where credit is due. He found a better way to play against the sacrifice than before, and took the whole point home.
Jun-14-04  jeffnool: i think that 36...Bc4 37.Rg1 Kg1 38.b1Q Kg2 is a draw? Any suggestions???
Jun-14-04  acirce: <jeff> 38. Kg2 Qe4+ loses the bishop but maybe 39. Kh2 is worth looking at. There are many similar positions where the materially inferior part builds an impregnable fortress. On the other hand, doesn't black have 36. Bxc4 Rd1, not having to lose the rook to queen? 37. Ba2 Ra1 etc.
Jun-14-04  jeffnool: my friend thanks your rigth!! can you also help me regarding my other comments in other games??? just click my name to see where are my other kibitz! thanks
Jun-14-04  acirce: Sure, I will have a look later.
Jul-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: A nice finesse in the final position is that if Ponomariov had tried 43.Kf3, Shirov has 43. ... c3! .

For example: 44.Ba3 c2 , or if 44.Bxc3 Rd3+ 45.K any Rxc3 .

Jul-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: BTW, if Ponomariov had tried 43. Kf3 (See previous post.), Shirov also could have won with 43. ... Rb1 (in addition to 43. ... c3!, the strongest move), but the obvious check 43. ... Rd3+? would have been a blunder, since then after 44. Ke4 the outcome would have been unclear.
Nov-21-09  hedgeh0g: The Chucky variation of the Botvinnik System!
Sep-17-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In volume 1 of Shirov's Fire on Board Shirov had included a whole chapter on the Botvinnik Variation (D44). At Wijk aan Zee 1996 Ivanchuk had shocked Shirov with 21 Qg7! which he had found over the board. He went on to win a beautiful game after Shirov responded 23..d4?. In the years afterwards Shirov had determined that Black's position could be defended and was surprised that Ponomariov entered the line. In addition to Shirov's 23..Rxg7 also playable was 23..Rc7. 24 Nxd7 was a new move; 24 Bh3 and 24 Bd4 had been played previously. Shirov spent almost an hour on 25..Rg6 with the idea of exchanging it for one of White's pieces thus reducing White's attacking potential. After 26 Rfa1?! Black took over the initiative; the game would have remained balanced after 26 Rd1. 27 R7a5 ..Rxe3 28 fxe..Qe6 29 Re1 would have been a tougher defense.

I don't think I have ever seen a game with this variation that wasn't interesting.

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