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Alexander Beliavsky vs Alexey Shirov
Belgrade Investbank (1997), Belgrade SRB, rd 9, Nov-21
Slav Defense: Czech. Wiesbaden Variation Sharp line (D17)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This game was played in the last round.
Shirov was tied for first with Ivanchuk and Anand. This loss left Shirov in third a half point behind the joint winners and a half a point ahead of Lautier, Gelfand and Kramnik. 16 Qf3 was new; 16 Qe5 had been played previously. In this highly theoretical line it is in white's best interest to exchange queens to reduce the pressure on his king and to convert to an ending where he can show that his extra piece is worth more than the pawns. 19..Qg5?! was a wasted tempo; 19..Rd4 would have been more logical. 22..Qd5? misjudged the resulting ending; Shirov would have had better drawing chances with 22..Qxh5. The point was that Beliavsky was able to get a rook to the seventh rank and a kingside attack. If 23..Rxd5 24 Nd6..c5 25 Bf3..Rd7 26 Ne5 and black is in trouble. Shirov apparently underestimated how strong the knight would be on d6. After 28 g4! white's attack was quite strong: if 28..fxg 29 Nf7 or if 28..f4 29 g5..Rd2
30 Bg4..Nd3 31 Be6+..Kh8 32 Nf7+..Kg7
33 Ne5+..Kh8 34 Nxd3..Rxd3 35 Rxf4 and wins. 30 Nc8! was decisive as Shirov's only effective defense against Re7 and Rg7+ was to abandon the queenside pawns.
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