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Alexey Shirov vs Ivan Sokolov
33rd Bosnian Sarajevo (2003), Sarajevo BIH, rd 2, May-19
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Breyer Defense (C95)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 12..Re8 is the main line; 12..c5 was a specialty of Gligoric that he played numerous times in the 70s. 14..Bf8 had been the most popular continuation; 14..cxd was a relatively new idea that Sokolov had been looking at. The idea behind 16..d5! was 17 e5?..Bb4. 19..Bb4 was an alternative when it looks like Black would have equalised. Sokolov said he had underestimated 21 Bd4!?. Sokolov originally planned 22..Bxh3 thinking that White had no more than a perpetual check but then realised that after 23 Nh6+..Kh8 24 Nxf7+..Kg8 25 Nf5!..Bxf5 26 Bb3! White would have had a powerful attack. Forcing an immediate draw with 29 Nf5+ or 29 Nh5+ would have been the prudent course. 32 Nf6+ would have been his last chance to take the draw; instead, after 32 Be4? White was down material with little compensation. Stronger would have been 34..Qc1+ 35 Kh2..Qh6 and Black will likely win: eg. 36 Qe5..Bf5+ 37 Kg1..Bxe4 38 Ne8+..f6; after missing this Black never had quite enough to win.

An exciting, fighting draw.

Jan-05-21  SChesshevsky: A key question I often have in Ruy lines is should I close the center with d5? A main idea being to try to make both white B's better than the black B's. This cramp might also suggest that black has to undertake some sort of break to counter the bind. Maybe making an unwise push or giving white time for better play. White's downside is that a closed center is likely to also restrict his pieces. Probably not as much as black's but they will clearly be less dynamic for awhile.

Think the younger Fischer greatly preferred to not close the center. Using possible outposts and open lines.

Fischer vs Spassky, 1972

Though not sure if the older Fischer was more open to closing the center?

Fischer vs Spassky, 1992

Here, given his general style, not surprising Shirov would not want to close the center. But maybe 13. d5 or even more so after 13... Re8 14. d5 is a real consideration?

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