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Alexey Shirov vs Loek van Wely
Corus Group A (2007), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-18
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  0-1



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Given 25 times; par: 47 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-18-07  Whitehat1963: Shirov is definitely way off his form.
Jan-18-07  diegoami: 27.Bc4! is winning for White
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Poor Shirov. He no longer has that "fire on board" magic. His board is now getting waterhosed instead.
Jan-18-07  Ulhumbrus: With 12..a4 Van Wely plays boldly, answering the pawn attack g5 with the pawn attack 12...a4. Then with 15...a4 Van Wely plays boldly in this way again, answering pawn attack with pawn attack. With 17....b3 Van Wely even gets his pawn attack in before Shirov has managed the pawn advance g6. 19...Bb3 returns the piece taken on d4 . It may be that this makes Shirov uncomfortable , if Shirov prefers to attack. The result, a win for Van Wely, suggests that bold play has been the right psychological tactic to adopt against Shirov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 27 h5 was the first new move. 27 Bc4 was played last year in Rohit-Karavade that white eventually won. I assume Shirov was familiar with that game!?
Jan-18-07  SniperOnG7: For a deeper view of Black's attack potential, see Karjakin vs Anand, 2006
Jan-19-07  percyblakeney: After this game Shirov has played 14 games with white against van Wely, and no draws yet, could be some kind of record (+10 -4 =0 for Shirov).
Jan-19-07  alicefujimori: According to chessbase, Shirov had already used up over an hour by move 22, rather strange considering that this was all theory.

This game, together with his game against Kramnik, seems to suggest that Shirov's bad performance seems to be contributed to his unpreparedness. Simply put, he was too lazy to keep up with theory lately and thought he can survive in these elite tournaments with the mere use of his talent. Shirov, wake up and start working!

Jan-19-07  shr0pshire: Van Wely gives a post mortem of this game in the press conference.

Dutch chess web site Chessvibes has it via Youtube. Worth a look.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <diegoami: 27.Bc4! is winning for White> This move should be better than the move actually played, but why winning? There is any forced win. The losing move was played later. It is clear that 28.g6? was a completely wrong sacrifice. The simple 28.Bxe5+ dxe5 29.g6 was more or less equal.
Jan-31-12  Nemesistic: I don't know what the engines say about 31.gxh7 as opposed to 31,g7? which was played,because g7 finishes whites game..

31.gxh7 threatens all kinds of unpleasant tactics,and a mate in 5 (i think?) or loss of Material and a much better attacking and defensive position..

Another move that no matter how long i look at it, i don't understand!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: Black is still winning after 31.gxh7 Bb6 32.Qg7+ Ke7 33.Qg5+ Kd7. White doesn't have any serious threats against Black's king.
Nov-19-13  LoveThatJoker: GOTD: Fired on Board


Nov-28-15  cdcook2: Why does the knight go to e8 as opposed to h5 on move 13?
Feb-05-17  Sharpen Your Tactics: GM Analyzed here for thematic sac
Jan-12-21  ZoneChess: Ha! Van Wely has definitely studied Karjakin-Anand from the previous year there!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: I had never seen this game before. After comparing it with Karjakin vs Anand the previous year, it does seem that Shirov found a better continuation for White with 23.Qg2!

23.Qg2 appears to better exploit van Wely's badly placed Bishop, Knight & Rook (on e7, e8 & f8): finding antidotes for Black - at this point - seems an unrewarding task; I do think Shirov was better overall.

Being a passive-aggressive type, I wonder if Black could have achieved a more solid (albeit less fighting) position with 11... Kh8 (?) After 11... Kh8, Black frees up the g8 square for his Knight in the event of g4-g5... and this allows him to keep free the e8 square for his King-Rook - which could be a more natural place for it?

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