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Alexey Shirov vs Sarunas Sulskis
"Chopped Liver" (game of the day Dec-02-2014)
Tromso Olympiad (2014), Tromso NOR, rd 2, Aug-03
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Fried Liver Attack (C57)  ·  1-0



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find similar games 3 more Shirov/S Sulskis games
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-07-14  capafischer1: Shirov was a frequent visitor to TAL along with shabalov. You can definitely see the same style of aggressive chess and daring attacks and always going for the initiative.
Aug-15-14  latvalatvian: Wow. Shirov's opponent probably spent a few thousand hours studying the Fried liver but what good would it do? He must have forgot his analysis after white's fifth move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I didn't know there were GMs who voluntarily entered the fried liver attack with the black pieces in this day and age. And against Shirov, nothing less...
Sep-26-14  Caissanist: Gary Lane annotates this game at ChessCafe: .
Sep-28-14  Naniwazu: Shirov after the game: “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti” xD
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Of course the Fried Liver is unsound. Everybody knows that, especially once they get home and fire up Fritzy and his Friends.

Alas, before the post mortem the gods have placed the game.

Dec-02-14  MNW: I haven't seen a fried liver in forever! Talk about a trip down memory lane.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Excellent Danny King video posted by ndc.

Why did black play into this, against Shirov of all people? Danny King says that he might have prepared a new idea - found by computer analysis - that he wanted to try, but Shirov either solved it over the board or took him into a variation he hadn't prepared for.

This could be the way that chess is played in future. Computers could rehabilitate lines that were long since thought to have been exhausted. The good news is that we might get more attacking chess like this. The bad news is that it might become more of a memory test.

If we get to see games like this, that would be fine by me

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Alas, before the post mortem the gods have placed the game.>

I wish I'd said that.

Sulskis is no slouch, 2550, but giving this to Shirov is like serving up a fat pitch at the Home Run Derby [Google].

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM> At the Derby, they're <supposed> to throw fat ones.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: This might be the key position after 8... Ncb4

click for larger view

According to Danny King, the more usual move here is 8...Nce7. But then white gets a strong attack with moves like d4 and 0-0.

So 8...Ncb4 might be home preparation - an older line resuscitated by computer. And indeed Fritzie does think that 8...Ncb4 gives black a slight edge compared to 8...Nce7 which gives the advantage to white.

The results in Opening Explorer are overwhelmingly in white's favour with more than 80% of games ending in a win for white. But Fritzie is saying that this line is playable. Indeed black can consider himself happy if he has a small edge after 8 moves.

And you can bet that Sulskis would have studied this position far more thoroughly (and more recently!) than Shirov.

So maybe not such a silly opening choice after all.

Until Shirov played 9. a3 ...

It's quite possible that Sulskis hadn't analysed this in any depth, if at all. White gives up a rook and pawn for a knight that he might be able to recapture later. Fritzie blinks his red terminator eye at this point. The evaluation has gone from slightly in black's favour to more than a pawn advantage for black.

But it keeps the attack going. It exchanges an active black knight for an inactive white rook. And black's king is still stuck in the middle of the board, And it almost certainly took Sulksis out of his preparation.

Why did Sulksis play this against Shirov? Quite possibly because it was a piece of home preparation which could well have won if Shirov had not played as well as he did.

We may need to stop sneering at openings like this if computers keep on finding new ways to play them. Okay, it didn't work in this game. But that's largely down to the Shirov factor.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I was analysing this game the other day as I play the 2 Ns sometimes as Black but considered it as White also and toyed with the Traxler...but usually in the FL the N should go to e7 but I think White has the chances.

Better to avoid it if playing someone like Shirov with the main move either 5.....Na5 or 5...b5

Dec-02-14  TheaN: The Fried Liver is still one of the more interesting human vs computer openings in existance.

13....b5 was Sulskis' definite mistake, this overshoots evaluations for white after 14.Nb4!. Rybka gives 13....h5 as drawing. All in all this position is extremely hard to defend.

As has been said, the new idea in the rook sacrifice is 11....Qh4!, but this move is also extremely hard to visualize on the board. Possible is 11....c6?! too, conceding the same material as white did to tone the attack down.

Tl;dr: know the FLA completely or don't play it as black. It bounds to backfire in the end anyway.

Dec-02-14  goodevans: <28...Bxd6> looks as though it might have posed white some problems but <29.Qd3> would have solved them quite neatly, e.g. 29...Be7 30.Rd6+ (but not 30.Qxd7? Rd8).
Dec-02-14  whiteshark: Sometimes when I'm bored I drink some water just to shock my liver.
Dec-02-14  kevin86: White will queen the pawn and win black's remaining bishop. The three soldiers on the k-side will chop up the position to pieces.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> - <So it did the one time I recall having this position, in a club game circa 1973, when rated 1200 or so. Believe I mishandled the attack, not obtaining enough for the piece and went down to defeat.>

Me too. Around 1976, rated maybe 1650, I had a brainstorm and played 1.e4 - don't think I've played it since. My opponent was a friend who later became an IM - I'd previously beaten him with an English. But this time, via a kind of double bluff, we wound up in a Fried Liver - where, around move 8, I castled instead of attacking. This 'positional' reflex was my undoing, and I went on to lose.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: GM Sulskis shouldn't have played 5...♘xd5 against GM Shirov considering he is 1 of the best players of all time. 5...♘a5 is a much safer move. Many ppl think that the Fried Liver Attack is unsound but black needs to be alert defensively to stave off attacks from good players much of the time. I love to play over Fried Liver Attack games b/c they are usually very interesting & exciting. This is a great game by Shirov & Sulskis' position did indeed look like bits of chopped liver in the latter part of the game. 
Dec-02-14  Gilmoy: After <9.a3>, liver on fire!
Dec-31-14  Abdel Irada: <Naniwazu: Shirov after the game: “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti” xD>

Hope he doesn't develop haemolytic anemia:

Dec-31-14  Abdel Irada: I note that 9. a3 is not a new idea.

When I was in college in 1983, I took chess lessons from an expert (I was then class B) named Richard Flacco.

When his survey of openings got to the Fried Liver, he advocated this move, which although objectively questionable yields a persistent attack in which White appears to have compensation that is not readily tangible or easily perceived by computer analysis.

How sound it really is remains a question for future, deeper analysis to tease out whether Black's "advantage" is real or merely apparent; in practice, however, it is very hard to meet, and even a grandmaster may find himself lost in its ramifications.

Apr-23-16  patzer2: The computers indicate 11...Kd6? allowing 12. d4! (+2.96 @ 29 depth, Komodo 9.1) was the decisive mistake.

Instead, the silicon monsters suggest Black holds with advantage after 11...Qh4! 12. N6+ Ke7 Nxc8 13. Rxc8 14. d3 Kd8 (-0.64 @ 47 depth, Stockfish 180315).

May-29-17  Ironmanth: Great game!
Aug-30-18  dannygjk: 11...Qh4 gives black a clear edge so 9.a3 might be doubtful.
Aug-01-22  Goldrider: 9. a3 is considered weak by Stockfish. So, if playing Stockfish, play something else. That said, 9. a3 is effective at the club level, and, as seen in this game, even effective against grandmasters.
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