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Alexey Shirov vs Magnus Carlsen
M-Tel Masters (2009), Sofia BUL, rd 10, May-23
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation Novosibirsk Variation (B33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 13 OF 13 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-24-09  returnoftheking: Is 25..e3 a good move?
May-24-09  kc1968: This game was over 70% theory

May-24-09  Nietzowitsch: Can theory fit the facts?
May-24-09  shintaro go: This was a pretty convincing beatdown handed by Shirov to the wonder boy. The Sveshnikov was suppossed to be a <drawing weapon>. A well deserved tournament victory to Shirov.
May-25-09  notyetagm: Game Collection: Chess is *not* checkers: *don't* have to capture 29 .. Rg7xg3+ 30 Kg1-h1! sidesteps the check, 30 h2xRg3?? loses

<28...Ba8 [<<<28...Bxg3 29.fxg3>>> (29.Qxc6?? Bxh2+ 30.Kh1 Qf4 31.Qxe4 (31.Rxe4 Qf3+ 32.Kxh2 Qg2# ; 31.Qf6 Qf3+ 32.Kxh2 Qg2# ) 31...Qh6 with mate in a few moves.) <<<29...Rxg3+ 30.Kh1 and that's basically that, as tricks trying to use the Bc6 lead nowhere>>> - e.g. 30...R8g6 31.fxg6 e3+ 32.Bd5 and game over.]>

May-25-09  Magnusch: Shirov played 18.Qg4 (pinning the bishop and attacking e4).

Now, what do you thing about 18..h5 here?

If 19.Qxh5 then 19..Bxb2 and maybe white will do something like Re1-e3-h3 ?

I guess it - h5 - is bad, but how will white proceed? (A puzzle for you)

<Another question:> Was it necessary for black to play d6-d5? That pawn blocked his own bishop and it had to move again for "cleaning" the diagonal. Ok, it did move again (with tempo) but anyway. I have no concreate idea what to do instead of d6-d5 and haven't analysed it.

May-25-09  Eyal: <Magnusch> As you mentioned yourself, 18.Qg4 not only pins the bishop but also attacks e4. So 18...h5 19.Qxh5 Bxb2 would lose to 20.Qg4+ followed by Bxe4 and Black's position crumbles (he doesn't have enough time to take on a3 if the bishop remains on b2). Both 18...Rfe8 and 19...d5 are part of Black's strategy of establishing a strong grip on the center, which is a crucial element of the compensation he's supposed to get for all the sacrificed pawns.
May-25-09  acirce: <The Sveshnikov was suppossed to be a <drawing weapon>.>

Yes, quite right. The stuff you sometimes hear about Carlsen taking big risks complicating the game to play for a win would have been considerably more convincing if he had played the Najdorf or the Dragon. Isn't it much more likely that he simply played chess, basically considering draw a good result (especially since, as it seems, Topalov winning would in that case have meant a playoff), but being ready to take his chances for even more if he got them? Again, it was Shirov who sharpened play as much as possible, willingly entering lines that I believe theory said should be satisfying for Black.

May-25-09  jmboutiere: accoding to rybka 3 22...Bc3 23.Be2 Rg8 is best for black
May-25-09  jmboutiere: Dorian Rogozenko in The Sveshnikov Reloaded (2005)says that after 18....Rfe8 black has compenstions for the pawns
May-27-09  Magnusch: Thanks <Eyal> for solving the Puzzle! You were the first (and only one) to do it! Great!

Ok, I should have seen the nasty check at g4. I guess that has something to do with that I'm a human. But anyway thanks for a good analyse!

May-27-09  Magnusch: But.. if black doesn't play Bxb2 after Qxh5..? Giving away the pawn at h5 is probably very dangerous but anyway.. it takes one move to take it (a tempo). So if black can use that tempo (Rfe8 or bxc4 or ?). In the game black didn't gave away the h-pawn but instead the a- and b-pawns.. was that better?
May-27-09  Eyal: It does make some sense to divert the queen by 18...h5 19.Qxh5, so that 19...bxc4 cannot be answered by 20.Bxe4; however, it helps White to activate the offside knight on a3. There's one game on chessbase database where Black tried this idea, and it ended very badly for him:

[Event "BLR-ch 70th"]
[Site "Minsk"]
[Date "2004.03.04"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Azarov,Sergei"]
[Black "Zhigalko,Sergei"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 Bg7 11.Bd3 Ne7 12.Nxe7 Qxe7 13.0-0 0-0 14.c4 f5 15.Qh5 Rb8 16.exf5 e4 17.Rae1 Bb7 18.Qg4 h5 19.Qxh5 bxc4 20.Nxc4 d5 21.Ne3! Qd6 [21...exd3 22.Ng4 with the deadly threat of f6] 22.Ng4 Bc8 23.Qg5 f6 24.Qg6 Bd7 25.Rxe4! 1-0 [25...dxe4 26.Bc4+, and there's no good defence against 26.Nh6+ Kh8 27.Rh4 - e.g., 25...Be8 26.Nh6+ Kh8 27.Rxe8! Rbxe8 28.Qxe8! or 25...Rb4 26.Re6!]

May-27-09  Magnusch: <Eyal> Thanks. So it was played before, but not succesfully. Well there were better moves for black in other positions but anyway: Shirov was playing very strong chess and was well worth to win the tournament! Carlsen will have more chances.. :-)
May-27-09  Bjornemann: What about instead of playing 18...Rfe8 (or 18...h5 for that matter), to have tried 18...Kh8, letting White take with the bishop on e4 and only then move the rook, i.e. 19.Bxe4 Rfe8 (or perhaps 19...Bxb2)? Unfortunately I don't have much to analyze with here but it seems an interesting continuation.
May-27-09  talisman: 25. ♖ g7. i think this move allowed shirov to breathe. And win.
May-28-09  Eyal: It's possible that some of the moves Carlsen made once the game left "theory" weren't the very best ones (like 22...Be5 instead of Bc3, as already mentioned), but until he blundered with 27...Qc7? it was an open game. After <27...Ba8!>

click for larger view

The potential threats of ...d3 or ...e3 are hovering over White's position, and it's going to be very difficult for him to disentangle without giving back a piece.

For example, after 28.Rd1 the removal of the rook from the e-file allows - as already mentioned on chessdom and chessvibes - 28...e3 29.Nxe3 (pretty much forced, otherwise Black's pressure on the K-side becomes too strong) 29...dxe3 30.f6 (with the rook on e1, 30.Qxe3 would gain back the piece; now it allows Black to force a draw by 30...Bxg3 31.hxg3 Qh4! 32.Bd5 Rxg3+ 33.fxg3 Rxg3+ 34.Qxg3 Qxg3+ and perpetual) 30...Bxf6 31.Qxe3 with 4 pawns for the piece and an unclear position.

Or 28.a3 (with the idea of activating the knight via b4 as in the actual game) 28...Qc5 and now 29.Nb4 runs into 29...d3 followed by Bd4, as White cannot counter by Ne3.

May-29-09  Albertan: I have analyzed this game extensively and posted the analysis I have done in my chess forum. I used the strongest chess program in the World Deep Rybka 3, as well as the very strong program Zappa Mexico 2 in analysis mode in order to find out where the good and bad moves of this game were. Please drop by my forum when you have time to check out my analysis and feel free to copy it using a printer to play through the analysis using a chessboard and pieces or a program on your computer.
May-29-09  Strongest Force: Albertan, how much stronger is Deep Rybka over Fritz-11? Is it worth buying if i already have Fritz-11?
May-29-09  WhiteRook48: Hooray Carlsen lost!!
Jun-03-09  Albertan: <Premium Chessgames Member Strongest Force: Albertan, how much stronger is Deep Rybka over Fritz-11? Is it worth buying if i already have Fritz-11?>

Strongest Force on the latest SSDF ratings list (go to:, Deep Rybka 3 is rated at 3224 and Fritz 11 is rated at 2913 so there is quite a difference in rating. However,this rating was derived from playing computer program versus computer program not computer program versus human being. Deep Rybka really requires that you have a multiprocessor computer to take advantage of its programming. If you don't have a multiprocessor then don't bother, unless you are interested in buying Rybka 3 (which was designed for single processor computers).

Again however you need to ask yourself what are you using this program for? Game analysis from your chess club or just general play/fun Seriously, my rating is below 2100 elo and I believe that if your rating is below 2100 (which is true of 95% of all players who play chess) that you will notice any difference in play of Rybka or analysis by Rybka if that is what you are using it for.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Shirov will annotate this game for sure, but I doubt he will deeply examine Black's possibilities after 27...Ba8.

Over the board, any result was possible. Shirov had 12 minutes and Carlsen 5, if memory serves, when 27...Qc7 was played

Sep-17-09  Knightequila: sicilian is a garbage
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Knightequila> Your profile says one of your favorite players is Tal. So how do you account for this?:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <Knightequila: sicilian is a garbage>


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