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Vladimir Kramnik vs Alexey Shirov
Shirov - Kramnik WCC Candidates Match (1998), Cazorla ESP, rd 9, Jun-05
Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Goglidze Attack (D70)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-29-05  810609: <Hesam7> from book: <Sometimes optimism helps! As I could only see myself in darkness after 18. ... Be6 19. Nf2, followed by 0-0 with a clear edge based on the powerful d6-pawn, I decided at all costs to prevent White from castling. And it worked! <19 Ndb5?> - But of course the co-operation of my opponent at such an important stage was necessary. Instead 19. d7! was probably the way to play. I was planning to continue 19 ... Re6, not seeing that I could also try the knight sacrifice 19. ... Qxd7!? 20. Qxd7 Nxd7 21. Rxd7 e4 which Kramnik was afraid of, if I remember correctly. However, in this case White would emerge with a nearly decisive advantage after 22 Nd5! exf3+ 23. Ne7+ Kh7 (23. ... Kf8 24. Bf2) 24. gxf3. So it´s quite clear that 19. ... Re6 is pretty much forced, though it´s very hard to find a reasonable reply after 20. Nd5; for example 20. ... Bb5 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. Ng5 and White is close to winning.>
Jul-29-05  Hesam7: <810609> Thanks, so Kramnik Almost missed a win here.
Oct-16-05  Hesam7: <810609> My engine confirms Shirov's analysis of 19. d7. After 19. d7 Re6 20. Nd5 Fruit computes:

20... Bb5 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. Ng5 Bxg5 23. hxg5 Bc6 24. Nf6+ Kg7 25. a4 Kf8 26. Rh4 a6 27. Qb4+ Kg7 28. Kf2 a5 29. Qd2 b5 30. axb5 Bxb5 31. g4 a4 32. gxh5 axb3 33. hxg6 fxg6 (eval: -1.11)

Depth: 19/60
200K nodes/sec

Oct-16-05  csmath: You cannot selectively chose the errors of your opponent as the ones you cannot see and your own errors as the ones that are blunders.

In this game Shirov's opening is sound and solid. He is doing mighty fine after 14 moves.

He does make a sequence of errors,

15. ... Be6?!

16. Nh3?! (Kramnik returns a favor)

16. ... Nc4? (first serious error, Rc8 was better)

17. Bxc4 ... Bxc4

18. b3 ... Ba6? (second serious error)

19. Nd5 ? (Kramnik returns the favor)

19. ... e4!

20. Nxf6?!

The game is now even. In fact black position is more comfortable.

33. a4?

Serious error which will lose the game.

Oct-16-05  csmath: In both games in Cazorla, Kramnik was outplayed by Shirov in a complex game, and in particular Shirov has shown superior handling of endings.

Also in both game Kramnik played a lost ending, in Petroff he plays a totally lost ending for about 15 moves (like a complete patzer expecting miracle), in Grunfeld game he plays a lost ending for about 10 moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: As far as i can tell, this is the only game Kramnik has ever lost on the White side of the Grunfeld. That's just amazing. He has the reputation as the King's Indian killer, but his record against the Grunfeld is even better!
Jun-23-06  Everett: <<KingG:> As far as i can tell, this is the only game Kramnik has ever lost on the White side of the Grunfeld. That's just amazing. He has the reputation as the King's Indian killer, but his record against the Grunfeld is even better!>

Just like Karpov in his 15 prime years.

Jul-30-06  Hesam7: <csmath> I just saw your old post. As usual you make claims without backing them. No analysis to prove your evaluations and it turns out that many of them are wrong. Here is one example.

<csmath: In this game Shirov's opening is sound and solid. He is doing mighty fine after 14 moves.>

And now let's see what Shirov has to say:

<14... Re8?

As I said, Kramnik had everything prepared; he played quickly and confidently up to this point and here I completely cracked under the pressure. Even now I wouldn't like to be Black after 14... Bd7 or 14... Be6, but either move would at least yield me a playable position, whereas the text should have sent my game downhill. The disadvantage of 14... Re8 is that it doesn't really challenge White's development, while putting Black in danger of a decisive d6-d7 in some lines. Amusingly, this was what helped me to win the game in the end, but that is a different story.>

Another example:

<csmath: 18. b3 ... Ba6? (second serious error)>

Compare to Shirov's commentary:

<18... Ba6!

Sometimes optimism helps! As I could only see myself in darkness after 18... Be6 19. Nf2 followed by 0-0 with a clear edge based on the powerful d6-pawn, I decided at all costs to prevent White from castling. And it worked!>

After 21... Qb6!! Shirov says:

<21... Re6 was also possible but why calculate other moves when you are just winning!>

which is clearly contrary to your assessments about 20. Nxf6 and 33. a4.

Oct-20-06  Whitehat1963: Another of my favorite Kramnik games.
Oct-20-06  ikipemiko: Good game!!
I thought that Kramnik is the best endgame player since Karpov's decline , but after looking at some Shirov's games i kinda changed my mind.
Oct-20-06  aragorn69: Good rebuttal <Hesam7> !! ;-)
Mar-08-07  Tomish: Desperate stuff! I really like Shirov's 16...Nc4. To me it seems part of his plan that leads to 17...bxc4, and stop white from castling. I'm not sure. In any case it is a tight-roped, beautiful game!
Jan-02-08  talisman: it must have been really hard for kramnick to resign this game, knowing that a loss would mean that shirov would win their match, and earn the right to play Kasparov for the title. oh yea...that's right.Only the loser would get to play Kasparov. Well at least they both got paid good and i know shirov needed it because when he got home his ex-wife had cleaned out the house and the bank account. oh yea...only the loser got paid.Well, Alexei, what can i say, sometimes you just can't win for losing. oh yea...well i take that back.
Premium Chessgames Member
  strifeknot: <talisman>, you sound bitter at Kramnik for the injustice visited upon Shirov by Kasparov. Kramnik is not to blame for Shirov's shabby treatment, nor can Kramnik be faulted for accepting the chance to play Kasparov for the title after Anand declined to do so.

Redirect your petulance and hostility to a more deserving target.

Jan-03-08  talisman: <strifeknot> earlier posts elsewhere i have said the same as you.reading my post i can see your point.i posted this tonight when i read how shirov returned after this match to lose his wife, money and child.and then on top of that to lose his shot at the title.had to be a tough time. i was wondering what it was like when Gazza and shirov played later on? had to be the way you think Korchnoi would have stood for these shenanigans? you would've needed an army to stop him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  strifeknot: Shirov is a strong man for enduring all of that. One has to feel for him.
Feb-03-08  apexin: I recently bought a book entitled "how to play the grunfeld" in which the author recommends meeting 3.f3 with the outrageous 3...e5!!? when play might continue 4 dxe5 Nh4! 5.Nh3 (probably the only try for an advantage) Qh4+ Nf2 etc.

It would be interesting to hear some opinions on this variation .

Sep-03-08  Whitehat1963: An excellent look at the Opening of the Day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: It has come to that: <Google Attack> !
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This was Kramnik's last White in the ten game match so, down one, he had to press for a win. His first four Whites had been conventional Gruenfelds and Kramnik had made no progress. 3 f3, originally attributed to Alekhine, was an attempt to avoid Shirov's preparation. 3..c5 would have transposed to a Samisch Kings Indian (or something similar) while Leko won against Kramnik with 3..e5 several months after this game at Tilburg. Shirov's 3..d5 kept the game in Gruenfeld territory though it allowed Kramnik to play 5 e4 without Black being allowed to exchange Knights on c3. 10..h5 was new though it was still within Kramnik's preparation; 10..cxd had been played in Karasev-Zdrowsky 1990 though Shirov was completely unfamiliar with this theory.

Speelman after 26..Rxe4: "Kramnik now went down rather quickly. He may have been able to put up a bit more resistance but the position looks lost for Black anyway. Not only did Shirov have two pawns for the exchange already, plus the bishop pair against a scrawny knight in an open position , but the manifest disorganisation of the white forces promised, as occurred in the game, a further harvest before the position could be stabilised."

Jan-23-12  seeminor:

Shirov's analysis of the game

Jan-23-12  gitz: Shirov's analysis of the game here: (part 1) and here: (part 2)
Mar-09-12  apexin: Wow, this is like Tal at his best.
A sacrifice leading to a significantly better endgame.
Feb-27-14  SpiritedReposte: Surprised this hasn't been GOTD. Similar to spassky's bluebird game sacrificing rook for pawn to keep up the tempo of the attack.

Those bishops were screaming with such an open position.

Aug-07-16  Virgil A: What a game. Might as well call him...

Shir Khan

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