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Peter Svidler vs Alexey Shirov
European Team Championship (2003), Plovdiv BUL, rd 2, Oct-12
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation (B12)  ·  1-0



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Given 18 times; par: 37 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-05-14  gofer: Well the first few moves are pretty clear for a

<22 Nc6+ ...>

22 ... Qxc6?
23 Rd8+ Qc8
24 Rxc8+ Kxc8

<22 ... Kc7>
<23 Qd2! ...>

White threatens 24 Qd7# and 24 Qd8+ Kxc6 25 Rd6+ mating

<23 ... Nxd1>
<24 Rxd1 ...>

Defense is difficult!!! All black's minor pieces are useless! So its left to the king an queen to sort out themselves into some sort of defence... ...only one comes to mind!!!

24 ... Qxc6
25 Qd8#

24 ... Kxc6
25 Qd7+ Kc5
26 Rc1 ...

White threatens 27 Bd4+ Kb4 28 Rb1+ Ka5 29 Rxb6 Kxb6 30 Bxg6

26 ... Qb4?
27 Bf1+! Kb6
28 Qd8+ Ka7
29 Rc8 mating

26 ... Kb4?
27 Qd2+ Kc5 (Ka4 28 Bc3+ Ka3 (Kb5 a4#) 29 Rc4 mating) 28 Bxe6+! Kb5
29 Bd7+

26 ... Qb2
27 Qc7+ Kd4
28 Rd1+ Ke4
29 Bd3+ Kf4
30 Bxg6 mating (or winning a piece)

<26 ... Qc5!>
<27 Na5! ...>

click for larger view

White has a massive attack, not a clear win, but still a huge positional advantage...


What!?!?!?! Okay my line must be completely wrong! Not another post that looks anything like it...

Sep-05-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: <Jamboree>,

I'll confess to missing your clever zwischenzug, but I think the plan a4/Ra2 takes care of the problem. Black doesn't happen to have a "safe" square on the a6-f1 diagonal, since letting his bishop be exchanged off at c4 would let White reinstate his plan of winning the remaining, pinned bishop.

Sep-05-14  Chess Dad: I didn't get anywhere close. I was looking at Nxc6+ and didn't even consider Nxe6.

From the ending position, I don't see a quick checkmate, but it's likely that white will very soon win the bishop on f8.

Sep-05-14  Caramello: After 22. Nc6+ Kc7 23. Rd7+ the black queen is lost, isn't it?
Sep-05-14  detritus: White's knight is hanging on c6, so after 22. Nc6+ Kc7 23. Rd7+ Black just replies with 23. … Kxc6.
Sep-05-14  detritus: I think I would try 26. Bd5 after a Bd3 on Black's 25th, with the idea of 27. Rd7 for White, aiming both Rook and Bishop at Black's b-pawn and eyeing a possible skewer along the b-file to pick off the knight on b2. If 26. … Kb6, 27. Rb8 Kc5 and 28. Bxb7 maintains the pin on the 8th rank and sets up a 29. Rc1+ which I think nets Black's a pawn for White as well.
Sep-05-14  Chess Dad: <Jamboree: In the final position in the game, at which point Shirov resigns, let's just say for example he had tried 25. ...Bd3.

What then is white's crushing continuation?>

I let an online version of Stockfish 1.8 play it out against itself from the resigned position, and the engine played your suggestion of Bd3. I only gave it 45 sec/move, which is perhaps a bit too short to be sure it found the best moves.

It took another 33 moves to get to a position on the 6 piece endgame tablebases, from which it would still take white another 12 moves to finish the game.

I would agree that Black resigned way too early.

But on the flip side, it was clear for most of that sequence that white had a won game. His passed pawn on e5 forces black to give up his LSB, and then white was able to use his g pawn to force black to give up his DSB.

Sep-05-14  patzer2: My desperado try 22. Qb3?! fails to 22...Bc5! or 22...Qxb3 .

After 22. Qb3?! Fritz 12's strongest line is 22...Bc5! when play might continue 23. Rd2 Bxd4 24. Qxb6 Bxb6 25. Rxb2 Bd4 26. Rab1 b5 27. Be2 Rc8 28. g3 Bxb1 29. Rxb1 Rc2 30. Kf1 Rxa2 31. f4 Ka7 32. h4 Kb6 33. h5 Ra1 34. Rxa1 Bxa1 35. g4 a5 (-4.35 @ 22 depth on a 2.1 GHZ dual core processor).

Sep-05-14  eblunt: I tried 22 ♘c6+ but after 22 ... ♕xc6 23 ♖d8+ ♔c7 I couldn't see a win for white.
Sep-05-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: I could also add that

25 ... Bd3
26 a4 Bc5
27 Bxc5 Nxc5

doesn't really grab a pawn for Black, because White now has clearance for

28 e6

Other aggressive continuations based on 25 ... Bd3 run the risk of actually losing an extra piece -- one of the LSB or N, with the DSB still not getting out of the pin in time.

Sep-05-14  Lighthorse: No clue today. I considered all the Knight moves EXCEPT Nxe6!
Sep-05-14  patzer2: In the final position, both Super GMs recognize the position is lost for Black and resignation is the proper course.

However at Club level Black could play on and set a trap with 25...Bd3!? (position below)

click for larger view

when if White tries 25. Rc1? (diagram below), planning 26. Rc8,

click for larger view

Black has the strong 26...Bc5! (diagram below).

click for larger view

Here White has nothing better than 27. Rxh8 Bxe3+ 28. Kh1 Bxc1 to with the better game for Black.

P.S.: After 25...Bd3!? (first diagram above) the correct move for White is 26. Bb3! when Fritz 12 indicates play could continue 26...g6 27. e6 Bg7 28. e7 Bb5 29. Rc1 Re8 30. Rxe8 Bxe8 31. Rc8 Bd7 32. e8=Q Bxe8 33. Rxe8 (+4.24 @ 20 depth).

Sep-05-14  hedgeh0g: Spent 15 minutes, primarily trying to make Nb5 and/or Nc6+ work and wondering what I was missing. While I gave Nxe6! a glance, I assumed I was playing to mate or win the queen and foolishly rejected the position after 23.Rd8+ Ka7.

Almost makes me wonder if the combination would have been easier to find OTB without the solution bias in the back of my mind. Probably not.

Sep-05-14  kevin86: The material is about even. It is just the crushing pin that nails black down to defeat.
Sep-05-14  Eurotrash: Well put.
Sep-05-14  CP6033: Nb5?? Bc5!! 0-1. So then i looked at Nxe6, actually i think fxe6? is a mistake, Nxc4 Rxf8 Rxf8 Nxf8 black still can play on though it's probably lost.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Miscalculation. I thought 22.Nc6+ would be winning because after 22...Qxc6 23.Rd8+, black will have to give up the queen, but if 23...Kc7, black should be fine.
Sep-05-14  ZaphodBreeblebox: <detritus: I think I would try 26. Bd5 after a Bd3 on Black's 25th...>

I like your Bd5 but mainly because it mobilises the e-pawn. Do you think black has time for moves like 26..Kb6 when white's pawn marches on to e6 with 28.e7 to follow?

Sep-05-14  WDenayer: I spent a whole hour on this. The message is don't play chess when you are tired. I found the solution and played 25. ... Bd3 (forced) and what then? I played 26.Rc1. I though that this was the solution, until I discovered that it is a losing move. Quite a shock. So, I played 26.a4 with the idea of 27.a5. I thought that this is better than 26.Bd5. I did not see a clear win for White and so I decided that this was not the solution. And so, I started to look at 22.Nc6+? and I just did not found anything. So, Shirov resigned after 25.Bxe6. It's clear to him, but I am certain that it is not clear for a lot of others: not an easy win at all.
Sep-05-14  Strelets: Svidler played the nice shot 22.Nxe6! in a complicated position. Facing a nasty pin on his dark-squared bishop and a dangerous passed e-pawn, a tactician as gifted as Alexei Shirov would have seen that the jig was up and he could safely resign.
Sep-05-14  detritus: <Zaphod>, honestly, I never even considered e6 and e7, but I think that is even stronger than the attack along the b-file for White that I was looking at. That's the same idea as in the 26. Bb3 continuation from Fritz12 that <patzer2> posted.
Sep-05-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: It's not just a question of solution bias. Over the board one plays things because:

1. Nothing else could possibly work and/or ...

2. ... one has faith things will (with acceptably high likelihood) work out in practice.

If you dismiss Rc1, Nb5, and Nc6+, there aren't a lot of moves to try other than Nxe6. And the main things you have to see for it to look appealing are that:

a) Rd8+ works as a zwischenzug to establish the pin safely.

b) The fxe3 and fxe6 captures will serve to open the file for an attack on the f8 bishop.

I.e., I'm saying it's both a good and natural choice to play even if you can't rule out having overlooked something like the ... Bd3 try.

Sep-06-14  ZaphodBreeblebox: <detritus: That's the same idea as in the 26. Bb3 continuation from Fritz12 that <patzer2> posted.> Yes, you're right. I still prefer Bd5 over Fritzies Bb3 as you can play the entire line with Bd5 which gives it a more active position when the dust settles and brings back your idea of attack on b7 (combined with attack on g7).
Sep-18-14  Ke2: After 25... Bd3, 26. Bb3 is by far the strongest.

<Zaphod> 26. Bd5? Nc4 and Black is out of the jam, because if 27. e6 Nxe3 28. e7 Bxe7 with 3 pieces vs 2 rooks.

<Jamboree> Your 26. Bf7? is also no good because of Nc4. 27. Rxe3? Nxe5 with 2 pieces for a rook. If 27. e7, Bxe7 28. Rxh8 Nxf7 with 3 pieces vs 2 rooks. White may have stronger waiting moves like 27. h4, but it's not the best.

Now if 26. Bb3! g6 27. e6 Bb7 28. e7 Bb4 29. Rf1 or Rc1 and bad things will happen. For instance 29. Rc1 Re8 30. Rxe8 Bxe8 31. Rc8 Bd7 32. e8Q Bxe8 33. Rxe8 and black has no chance in this endgame because the g&h pawns are toast.

It sort of shows the strength of Shirov to resign here. But it doesn't mean you're a genius if you resign early... All super GMs resign early, but not all who can resign early are super GMs...

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Svidler chose the sideline 4 Be3 having several recent wins by Kasparov with this variation. Anand had played 7 c4 in his win against Khenkin in Germany in 2002; 7 Nbd2 was new but Svidler acknowledged that it was no improvement. 8..c4 would have been more consistent and after 9 Nbd2..Nc6 10 Bxc4..dxc 11 d5..Bc5 12 Bxc5..Qxc5 13 dxc..Qxc6 Black would have been OK. Most Grandmasters would have played 10..a6 maintaining the ability to castle; Shirov's 10..Ng4?! was risky; consistent with his style but probably not justified in this case. 13..Bxc2!? 14 Qg5+ would have strengthened White's attacking chances. 14..Kc7?! and 15..dxc? further compromised the security of Black's king; better would have been 14..Nxb3 15 axb..Bc5 16 c4..Ke7 17 cxd..exd 18 Be2..Rhd8 19 Rac1..Rac8 20 Rc3..Kf8 and Black is fine. 16 Bxc4? gave Black time to organize his defenses; White would have been close to winning had he played 16 Nd2. White continued to misplay the attack and had Black played 21..Bc5 he would have had the advantage; instead after 21..Nxb2? 22 Nxe6! he was lost. Shirov resigned with just 30 seconds left on his clock; he could have played 25..Bd3 hoping for 26 Rc1?..Bc5!.

A sharp, double edged battle; Shirov took some dubious risks but almost got away with them.

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