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Sergei Shipov vs Tony Miles
"Shipov Fools" (game of the day Aug-09-2006)
Hastings (1998/99), Hastings ENG, rd 2, Dec-30
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Classical Defense. Main Lines (D27)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-09-06  suenteus po 147: <al wazir> A great literary handle. He is quite the unusual figure to study in world literature.
Aug-09-06  RandomVisitor: The move 7...b6 has not performed well for Black in opening explorer or in Hiarcs opening book. Perhaps 7...b5 or 7...Nc6.
Aug-09-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: I guess black could move 24.Qc8 but that just prolongs the agony.
Aug-09-06  Runemaster: <Timothy> 24...Qc8 25.Qd6+ mates in at most two more moves.
Aug-09-06  EmperorAtahualpa: I almost can't believe this is Miles playing Black. I'm used to much better play from him!

White handled the game quite well, giving a lot of pressure on Black's kingside. He also managed to hold on to his pawn at e5, which really bugged Black.

I'm wondering, did Black make a mistake by moving 14...Kf8?

Aug-09-06  backyard pawn: <Emperor...> I was wondering the same. Neither of Miles' rooks saw any active play, while Shipov made good use of all his pieces. "Ship of Fools" is, of course, an old Grateful Dead song, as well.

I wonder if Shipov's father was a chess player...that would make Sergei a "Shipov the old block."

Aug-09-06  EmperorAtahualpa: Apparently "Ship of Fools" is also the name of a painting from the late 15th century by Dutch painter HiĆ«ronymus Bosch. The painting is now in the Louvre (Paris).

Aug-09-06  Ulhumbrus: After 11...Nc5 has delayed getting the KB out, 14 Qg3 induces 14...Kf8, depriving Black of the right to castle. After 15 Rd1 has induced 15...Nd7, 16 Ra4 presents a double threat, that of 17 R4d4 attacking twice the pinned Nd7 and 17 Rg4, compelling Black to disturb the King side pawns. After 21 Rgd4 has induced 21..Bc6, Qd6+ will be able to fork the Black King on f8 and the Black QB on c6.
Aug-09-06  DCP23: Shipov was not bad in his prime. In fact, he's still not bad, having beaten Carlsen with the black pieces just recently.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <EmperorAtahualpa: I almost can't believe this is Miles playing Black. I'm used to much better play from him!> My thoughts exactly. By the end of the game, Black's position is replete with weaknesses. 24. ... Qc8 25. Qd6 and 24. ... Qb8 25. Qc4 are just a couple of hypothetical next-move pairs that uderscore the fact that Miles's resignation came not a moment too soon in this game. Things were just going to get uglier for his position. Reflecting on his wonderful wins against Karpov (as Black), Ljobojevic (also as Black) and Browne, among others, it is hard to believe Miles could have found himself in such a mess after two dozen moves against Shipov. I guess this really is a difficult game!

At any rate, Tony, may you enjoy your eternal rest. You were a fabulous player and a splendid soul. We all miss you. R.I.P.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <EmperorAtahualpa: ***
I'm wondering, did Black make a mistake by moving 14...Kf8?>

Indeed, it might have been objectively better to sac the exchange with 14. ... 0-0 15. Bh6 g6, but that line still looks like + / - to me.

Aug-09-06  dakgootje: Even the best masters are human afterall mate. Maybe he just had a bad-chess-day or something
Aug-09-06  patzer2: <RandomVisitor> I concur <7...b6?!> is the start of Black's problem with lack of development in this game. Instead 7...Nc6 as in Sasikiran vs N Guliyev, 2006 seems more to the point.
Aug-09-06  Jack Kerouac: "The human race was dyin' out-
No one left to scream and shout;
Goin' down and holding fast-
Hope our little world will last-

Ship of Foo-oo-ools, Ship of Fools..."
sez Jim

Aug-09-06  patzer2: With the simple 14. Qg3! Shipov leaves Miles with a cramped game, unable to castle, and on the verge of losing. And despite my computer's optimistic estimate of only a slight disadvantage for Black after 14...Bf8 15. Bg5 , IMO Black's cramped position is much worse.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: When I think of "Ship of Fools" I think of a mournful song by the Grateful Dead of the same name

mp3 link:

21. Rgd4 <Shipov fools, on a cruel sea> Bc6 <Shipov fools, sail away from me.> 22. Rf4 <It was later than I thought> f5 <when I first believed you> 23. exf6 <Now I cannot share your laughter,> e5 24. Qd3 <Shipov fools.> 1-0

Aug-09-06  patzer2: For more on the "ship of fools" allegory see
Aug-09-06  patzer2: Shipov's 16. Ra4! appears to be the start of a decisive attack on the helpless King's position.

With his final 24. Qd3! Shipov ignores the attack on his Rook by creating an even more powerful double attack threat (i.e. 24. Qd3! exf4 25. Qd6+ Kg8 26. f7+ ).

Aug-09-06  kevin86: Could an oil tanker be called "A ship of fuels"?

White wriggles past the guards and into the throne room of black's king.

Does a king's throne have a handle to flush and it the action called "a royal flush"?

Aug-09-06  Boomie: Black has bad shape as they say in go. In chess it's either shape up or Shipov.
Aug-09-06  cuendillar: <If it's a ship of fools, why did Shipov win?! > Because Shipov fools his opponent.
Aug-09-06  ricochetrabbit: nice game, nice pun and great kibitzing.... no firsting... no trolling, just good analysis, freindly agreements and disagreements.
Aug-09-06  DrawMachine: An excellent advertisement for accepting a small positional weakness to grab the initiative against an underdeveloped opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: I was fortunate enough to witness this game in persona as I was also playing the World Ama. Championship which I won.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 7..b6?! was first played by Flear against Tkachiev in the French League 1996. It has been played a few times since this game but not with any success. 8..Nxe4 9 d5..Be7 10 Re1 would have been extremely dangerous for Black. After 9..Nfd7? Black was already in trouble; Shipov recommended 9..Ne4 10 Nxd4..Bb7 with a small edge for White. A clever variation offered by Plaskett was 12..Qd3 13 Rd1..Qg6 14 Nh4!..Qh5 15 Rd8+..Kxd8 16 Bd1 and wins. 17..Bxf3 18 Rxg7!..Bh4 19 Qxh4..h5 20 Rxd7..Qxd7 21 Rg3..Bc6 22 Qf6 would not have helped Black.
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