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Alexey Shirov vs Teimour Radjabov
Morelia-Linares (2008), Morelia MEX, rd 7, Feb-23
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Classical System Neo-Classsical Line (E99)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-24-08  notyetagm: <percyblakeney: ... After losing the first game with white Shirov has been the big surprise in Morelia.>

Yes, after the first round Shirov went +2 while Leko went -3.

Feb-24-08  Dr. Funkenstein: Would Radjabov have been better off delaying 15. ...g4 and instead trying 15 ... Rf7 so that Nb5 can be answered with Ng6?
Feb-24-08  nescio: <Dr. Funkenstein: Would Radjabov have been better off delaying 15. ...g4 and instead trying 15 ... Rf7 so that Nb5 can be answered with Ng6?>

That's a good, but very old idea. After Aronin's catastrophe against Taimanov (Taimanov vs Aronin, 1952) Gligoric and Trifunovic concluded that Black's best set-up was Ng6, Rf7 (to protect c7), Bf8 (to protect d6) and Rg7, but that the move h7-h5 shlould be avoided initially, reserving the square h5 for a knight to strenghten the attack. Look at the following games to see the practical implementation of their ideas: Eliskases vs Gligoric, 1953
Najdorf vs P Trifunovic, 1953
Taimanov vs Najdorf, 1953

I would like to know if the ideas about the position after 13.Nd3 have changed, Radjabov simply disagrees with the old Yugoslav analysis, or if perhaps he didn't know about the history. In later games Taimanov avoided Be3, playing Bd2 instead.

Feb-24-08  Landzhev: What the hell is that above the diagram <Uncommon Opening (A00)>? It's a classical continuation in KID, it's a E98/E99 I think... been in top gm practice half a century or more, pretty "common". (truly impressive, Shirov's play, btw)
Feb-24-08  nescio: <Landzhev>< Please calm down... The game is only a few hours old and has probably not yet been prcoessed through the appropriate software. They will no doubt do this when they wake up.
Feb-24-08  Ulhumbrus: 15..g4 ends up offering a pawn on g4. 15..Bd7 gets the QB out and hinders the move Nb5.
Feb-24-08  vonKrolock: Radjabov is not unaware of this line's history - compare Taimanov vs Bronstein, 1952 with V Rogovski vs Radjabov, 2001
Feb-24-08  nescio: Thanks <vonKrolock>, I noticed Game Collection: The Taimanov 9.Ne1 variation of the KID which shows that Be3 has been played many times in the last decades. So there really must have been new attacking ideas in this variation. For I agree with <percyblakeney>: Black looks lost on the queenside after 16.Nb5.
Feb-24-08  talisman: i agree w/ all who call it a KID. And it's all he plays, to d4.(almost).
Feb-24-08  sharkbenjamin: Note in the final position the black queen can be trapped. When black moves the rook on f7, white will play Q-c4+ followed by R-a2 and black's queen is trapped!
Feb-24-08  KingG: Wow, this line hasn't been seen at the highest level in a while. It's interesting to see that Shirov has given up on his favourite Bayonet attack and has switched to this old line in order to beat Radjabov.

But I'm very curious as to why Radjabov avoided to usual ...Rf7, ...Bf8 plan. I think it was in a similar position that in MGP IV Kasparov wrote something like 'every schoolboy automatically makes these moves now'. And as far as I know the resulting positions are thought to be at least equal for Black.

On the other hand this variation is ultra sharp, and Radjabov may have wanted to avoid Shirov's home preperation. Especially as I doubt Radjabov spends that much of his time analysing these Ne1-Be3 lines, and if he does it's more likely to be the modern 13.Rc1 than the very old 13.Nd3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <It's interesting to see that Shirov has given up on his favourite Bayonet attack>

One game does not mean he has "given up" on it. Very probably, he was just trying to keep Radjabov off balance.

Feb-24-08  Tomlinsky: Shirov talking on his Chessbase King's Indian DVD...

"The biggest expert in the world of Ne1 is undoubtedly Viktor Korchnoi... Viktor Korchnoi always goes for one particular line, Ne1 and when Black plays Ne8/Nd7 Viktor puts his Bishop to e3... and actually, I played maybe 2 or 3 games against Korchnoi and I was so impressed by his understanding of these positions, his knowing every concrete nuance, that I practically lost any desire to play the King's Indian again. All I know is that Black is in fact not doing so badly that probably this was more an emotional judgement rather than concrete judgement of this variation and that Black can probably do okay but once again for Black games I send you to Teimour Radjabov for White games I send you to Viktor Korchnoi."

Feb-24-08  znprdx: Thanks<sharkbenjamin: When black moves the rook -> well except in the old days before the increments...had this happened near a time control - or in Blitz: Black has the desperate resource 44....Rf2+! with the hope of hanging on with ...Qb3: (just KIDding) This is a nice example of the accidental or circumstantial twist of synergy that makes Chess what it is - a mind flip of the first order....with the ever present shadow of a Zeno Paradox
Feb-24-08  znprdx: Well all this discussion about whether it is a King's Indian - leaves me baffled. It seems not unlike a Pirc-Robatsch (Rat) defense set up - but I realize move order is everthing. What is definitely 'uncommon' is to move ...Nf6 only to follow up with ...Ne8 switching from a King side attack to a Queen side defense. It is usually difficult to have it both ways especially when Black. Surely the natural ...15.Ng6 keeps the momentum - or has that been busted?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <nescio> In OMGP V, Kasparov claimed that Korchnoi revived this whole line for White in the 1980s.
Feb-24-08  Akavall: <13...h5. Already this natural move is inaccurate. After 13...Nf6 14.c5 Ng6 15.Rc1 Rf7 Black takes control over the seventh rank, controlling the vital square c7. At the same time the rook can be transposed to the g-file later, for instance after Bf8.>

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Feb-24-08  euripides: Funny. People try everything against Radjabov in the KID except the old main line and lose. Then Shirov plays the old (but still quite popular) main line and Radjabov falls over.

Hard to say what went wrong. I doubt that anyone in the world is better prepared in the KID than Radjabov, so it seems likely 13...h5 is a deliberate surprise rather than a slip.

After move 20 the exchange of the light-squared bishops is possibly more important than the extra pawn; very often this exchange kills the black attack in the Mar del Plata.

Feb-24-08  slomarko: i'm very surprised that Radjabov, the leading specialist in this opening, played the completely wrong 13...h5? even more so as this move is known to be bad.
Feb-24-08  acirce: <13.Nd3

This move has a bad theoretical reputation based on some old games where Black dominated on the kingside. This reputation seems to be more or less justified but Korchnoi, at periodic intervals, has taken it upon himself to try and rehabilitate this line. Even he hasn't had great success. Although Nd3 ensures that White can force through c5 without wasting a tempo on a pawn move such as b4, the knight is not well placed here. It has few active possibilities and just tends to get in the way of the other pieces.>

-- Joe Gallagher, "Play The King's Indian"

Feb-24-08  nescio: <keypusher: Kasparov claimed that Korchnoi revived this whole line for White in the 1980s.> Yes, thank you. It had already become clear to me that some catching up was in order. Well, there's nothing new about that.
Feb-24-08  Akavall: <Hard to say what went wrong. I doubt that anyone in the world is better prepared in the KID than Radjabov, so it seems likely 13...h5 is a deliberate surprise rather than a slip.>

I think so too. 13. Nd3 is not a novelty; therefore, Radjabov had to have some home prep on it.

Maybe Radjabov thought 13...h5 was the best; maybe he over-estimated the surprise effect of 13...h5; maybe there is something in the main-line that he really didn't like, or the combination of the above factors.

Feb-25-08  norami: I finally figured out why I was asked if I knew notyetagm. Notyetagm? Norami.
Mar-17-08  Yuri Y: Jonathan Berry has annotated this game - The Globe and Mail, Saturday, March 15, 2008
Page R10
Oct-10-08  Jovan J: I like the way Radjabov plays, but he doens`t feel those kinds of positions...
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