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Veselin Topalov vs Alexey Shirov
Linares (1998)  ·  Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  0-1
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sac: 47...Bh3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-04-10  MaxxLange: It's almost unbelievable that 47.....Bh3!! was played OTB, and not in a study
May-04-10  aragorn69: Nigel Short remembers this game:
<Nigel Short: I am crap at endgames. I remember discussing an opposite bishops endgame (Topalov-Shirov) live with Vishy Anand in Linares once. After several minutes of analysis or so we concluded it was drawn until Shirov suddenly played ...Bh3!!! Our jaws dropped. It was perhaps one of the greatest moves I have seen in my life.>
Aug-04-10  dondiegodelavega: What a move! This comes from Mars!
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: ..47. Bh3?, a rabbit out of a hat. That is how a Master is capable of thinking! All my sympathy for Topalov. What am I doing in this game? Beats me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: 47...Bh3!!!!

One of the greatest moves of all time.

Sep-16-10  hedgeh0g: Inconceivable brilliance. I would never consider ...Bh3!! in a million years and I think Shirov is the only player alive who possesses the combination of tactical and endgame brilliance to find such a move. There is no comparison, because other endgame piece sacs involve advanced pawns, while this one simply involves freeing a square and gaining a tempo.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Kinghunt: <Plato: <Helloween> Yes, I agree. I would also rank 47...Bh3!! as the greatest move ever played. Sheer genius.>

Sheer genius, yes. Greatest move ever played? Not quite. For that I'd have to go with Rxd4!! Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kinghunt: Another move rarely put in contention that should be: Bxh6! Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990 My engine won't find that until I force it to look seriously at it, and then it loves it. It's such a deep move that relies on a near perfect understanding of the position after the series of exchanges.
Oct-09-10  keithbc: not the best move though of course (according to Fritz 10)!
Jan-14-11  Dymdez: This game takes place at a Linares chess tournament.

Great game

Apr-26-12  Llawdogg: 47 ... Bh3!! Greatest move of all time? Well, at least it's on the list.
Jul-24-12  vinidivici: 47...Bh3!!
Puzzle of the day!! Maybe for Saturday.

I think only a GM could do that kind of move.
After 47.Kg1, i was thinking about getting a draw. But Shirov had something different in mind.

Great sacrifice

Nov-10-12  Powerthinker: 47. ...Bh3 !! Yeah, this is a really greatest , but I think not mainly, but in the endgame technique! It associates Shirov with The Great Alekhine, who was able to adorn such simple positions with so wizard's moves. Shirov, of course , has a very deep understanding of endgames, the confirmation voila! And , at last, if Shirov had seen Bh3 when he played Qd5 for exchange, by my opinion, just this fact is enough for saying that Shirov is genius, The Real Genius!
Dec-20-12  Helloween: It has been said that 47...Bh3!!! cures depression in all cases.
Mar-03-13  ADDADZ: Chirov is a great player but he never won Kasparov
Jul-14-13  Dionysius1: Would 48 g3 not just leave the position near enough as it was? Why did White have to take the bishop?
Premium Chessgames Member
  shivasuri4: <Dionysius1>, the point here is that White would be forced to move the pawn, either to capture the bishop or move forward. This allows Black to force his king into the queenside.

Here's a possible line after 48.g3. 48...Kf5 49.Kf2 Ke4 50.Bxf6 (if Ke2, 50...d4) Kd3. Now Black proceeds with the ideas of Bg4, d4 and advancing the a-pawn, depending upon where the White king and bishop move. For instance, if White plays Ke1, Black will respond immediately with Bg4, cutting off the king's entry to the queenside.

Jul-15-13  Dionysius1: Thanks <shivasuri4>
Jul-15-13  builttospill: Really the single most clever chess move I've ever seen. Even fools Stockfish. Thinks a3 is the best move (-2.8), but then when I force the issue and make the move Bh3, it takes 23 ply before the evaluation goes from 0 to -2.5, before finally settling at -4.6 after 32 ply. I'm at a loss for words!
Aug-05-13  EvanTheTerrible: One of my favorites.
Oct-30-13  tlgsvm: finally stockfish has found the move after calculating for about 18 minutes and 44 plies deep.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Gull 2.2x64 had 47...Bh3 at 13th choice, absolute worst move at 18 minutes, last behind such lemons as 47...Kd7 at 31 ply.

Finally at 23 minutes, the penny dropped and it shot to first.

Truly a once in a lifetime find over the board.

Nov-20-13  tlgsvm: an update to my previous comment, houdini found the move in only one minute with 23 plies depth.

stockfish 4 has a better score against houdini 3.0 but houdini found this move much quicker. i'm confused which engine is better.

Apr-10-14  Everett: <tlgsvm: an update to my previous comment, houdini found the move in only one minute with 23 plies depth. stockfish 4 has a better score against houdini 3.0 but houdini found this move much quicker.< i'm confused which engine is better.>>

It depends on the position, just like humans.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Travis Bickle: Fischeresque ending!!
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