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Loek van Wely vs Alexey Shirov
Corus Group A (2010), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-21
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-21-10  kb2ct:

Shirov is playing in a fashion not understood by chess engines. He isn't playing safe. He is playing for plausable mistakes a 2500 or 2600 might make.


Jan-21-10  beenthere240: Go back and read the comments on page 8 -- they're a hoot. Everyone thinks Shirov is trying to scrape out a draw!
Jan-21-10  weisyschwarz: He is a monster, I tell you! A monster!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: With due respect to Shirov (and Nepomniatchtchi), this 8...g5 idea seems to have started with Agdestein and Thorfinnsson.

Given its berserker style, I suggest it be called <The Viking Attack>.

Jan-21-10  Skakalec: Van wely missed a golden oportunity 34. ♗g6!! with drawing chances. 34...fg6?? 35.♕g6 and white winns.
After 34...♖h8 or ♖h3 35. ♗e4 draws.
Jan-21-10  dagwood2005: Incredibly enough, 31. Bb8!! equalizes for white.

31... Rxb8 32. Rxe6! fxe6 33. Qxg4+ Kf8 34. Qf4+ Kg7 35. Qc7+ Kh6 36. Qxb8=

Jan-21-10  kingsindian2006: a shame for the chessworld not to have shirov playing top form all the time...he is something else when hes on his game
Jan-21-10  Bdellovibrio: Keres' attack reversed!?
Jan-21-10  WickedPawn: <dagwood2005: Incredibly enough, 31. Bb8!! equalizes for white. 31... Rxb8 32. Rxe6! fxe6 33. Qxg4+ Kf8 34. Qf4+ Kg7 35. Qc7+ Kh6 36. Qxb8=>

WOW! if he pulls that combination he would have been checked with a metal detector...

Jan-21-10  laskersteinitz: <Domdaniel: Even more Shirov himself now.> Pun intended? :-)
Jan-21-10  patzer2: There's an old saying "be careful what you ask for because you just might get it."

In this game, with 18. Nd6+ and 20. Qd3 Van Wyley plays to exchange his Rook for a Bishop and Pawn. He gets what he asks for, but Shirov's play is so precise and accurate that he presses his exchange up position from a slight advantage to a sure win.

Better in retrospect might have been 16. Qxd8+ = to , 18. Nc3 = or 20. Rd1=.

Jan-21-10  jmboutiere: 11.Nc4 is much better than b4;
15.Bb2 better than Nb5;
16.Qd8 better than Qc2
34.Bg6 = 34.Be4 - 1.74 (Rybka 3)
Jan-21-10  Eyal: <34.Bg6 = 34.Be4 - 1.74>

When you're in severe time trouble, as I believe Van Wely was at that stage, it's almost impossible to come up with moves like 34.Bg6; still, from a purely aesthetic viewpoint it's a bit of a pity that Shirov didn't play straight away the spectacular <33...Bd5!!> to finish the game:

click for larger view

And here 34.Bg6 doesn't help, of course, because of the mate threat on h1.

Jan-21-10  laskereshevsky: About 8. ...pg5 we have to refere @ Korchnoi too:

Serper vs Korchnoi, 1993

Jan-21-10  shintaro go: Shirov doesn't bother to castle anymore and just levels Van Wely. Next please.
Jan-21-10  patzer2: <Eyal> Thanks for pointing out the fantastic obstruction sacrifice 33...Bd5!!, which Shirov missed. Looks like best play is 33...Bd5!! 34. cxd5 Qxd3 35. Qf4 Qf3! .
Jan-21-10  Attila the Hunk: He really did start the fire! Who will extinguish the fire on board?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Why does Wely have to sac the exchange? He seemed equal, after 20 moves. Why not try and repel Shirov's kingside attack, instead of just giving up material?

I never learn anything from Shirov's games--the openings cant be recommended to average players, you have to be talented to know how to play once your opponent deviates from the gm games. but, it is fun to watch him do it.

Jan-21-10  M.D. Wilson: Loek out! There's a fire!
Jan-22-10  Gogia: 5/5, what is he doing and how?
Jan-22-10  whatthefat: <It's a little unfair to the incredible effort Shirov put in to focus on how van Wely might have turned things around with one incredible computer-found shot in mutual time trouble. But it's such a beautiful sequence of tactics it's worth going over. Black has no good answer to 36.Bg6!!, but White would have to find several more difficult moves to back it up and Black has threats of his own. It's remarkable how many different options there are. Just on move one Black can try 36..Rh3, ..Rh8, or even ..Rh1+, all leading to different play. Honestly, it looked to us during the game like three kinds of voodoo that Black can survive at all with his king open, a rook out of play on a8, and white having two bishop and a centralized queen. It shows Shirov's confidence and his mastery of calculation that he rejected a repetition to play on with 28..Qc2.>

Jan-22-10  newton296: shirov is an animal ! total animal!
Jul-10-11  Hesam7: Any analysis of this game published anywhere? It seems to me that up to 23rd move White had some advantage. After that the valuations became very volatile to say the least. Here are a number of turning points:

<24. Rd1?> = 24. b5

<25. b5?> 25. Bf1 =

<30. ... Kg8?> = 30. ... Qg6!

<32. Bd2??> 32. Bf1! =

<33. ... Bxc4??> 33. ... Bd5!!

<34. Be4??> 34. Bg6!!

<34. ... Bd5!!>

Anything that I missed? I did not look at the opening that much. But this whole 8. ... g5 line seems rather new and untested.

Jul-10-11  Hesam7: <jmboutiere: 11.Nc4 is much better than b4; 15.Bb2 better than Nb5;
16.Qd8 better than Qc2
34.Bg6 = 34.Be4 - 1.74 (Rybka 3)>

The only agree that 16. Qc2 is weaker than 16. Qxd8 Kxd8 (16. ... Bxd8? does not work because of 17. Be3 after which it is very hard to defend the Q-side) 17. Rd1+ Ke8 18. Be3 c6 19. Nd6+ Bxd6 20. Rxd6 Ke7 21. Rad1 and White has a big advantage.

How does Black draw after 34. Bg6 ?

Jul-10-11  Hesam7: < Just on move one Black can try 36..Rh3, ..Rh8, or even ..Rh1+, all leading to different play.>

I would add 36. ... Qf3 to that list. The position is very irrational.

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