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Alexey Shirov vs Levon Aronian
"Are You Shir?" (game of the day Jan-05-2011)
Tal Memorial (2006), Moscow RUS, rd 4, Nov-10
Spanish Game: Marshall Attack. Modern Main Line (C89)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I think Shirov made a serious error in not playing either 44 Bb4 or 44 Ba3 or even 44 Bc7! (found by my Chessmaster - ok I only set it for 10 minutes -perhaps someone has analysed this - or can do so on a better computer?) ) but I cant find a win for Black.

Usually the Marshall, which is indeed dangerous - paradoxically ends in a draw at the GM level...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Shows the great benefit of knowing endgame studies.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: And still another astonishing endgame brilliancy from Aronian. I don't know how he does it.
Jan-05-11  malkabir: this is the vision of a world champion... Aronian is a sureshot future WCC.. maybe even as early as '12
Jan-05-11  Toliman: Given the task: create a mating net without the aid of any of your pieces, or even pawns; and by moving your ♔ back to its home need just believe on.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Morten: Amazing. The way Aronian repeats the theme of Rh8 from ten moves earlier in the final position (well, two moves after resignation) is pure art.
Jan-05-11  Eduardo Bermudez: I love this special chessgame !!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Pun: "To Shir with Lev"?


Jan-05-11  shach matov: Ohh man, these horrific puns with the atrocious "references" to the obscure and irrelevant aspects of pop-culture. Oyyyy pundarosaaa (?)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A zugzwang classic:a seemingly lost ending (exchange for three pawn) turns into a win because the king has to move and has nowhere to go.

Epitaph on an atheist:All dressed up,no place to go.

Jan-05-11  weisyschwarz: Get Aron!
Jan-05-11  redorc19: doesn't 18. f3 give up the rook
Jun-18-11  ycbaywtb: Does it lead to stalemate if he takes the Rook in the corner? Isn't a draw better than losing?
Aug-17-11  foldyflops: No draw, <ycbaywtb>, because the king will be forced into that corner and the pawns will have to move, leaving black with a passed pawn.
Nov-16-11  abstract: 48..Ke8 What a stunning move !!
Nov-16-11  computer chess guy: After 44. h6 White is lost, although precise play by Black is required. Better was something less committal like ♗b4, but White would still have a difficult task holding the endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <abstract: 48..Ke8 What a stunning move !!>

Indeed! However (and to update my post from <Oct-21-07>), I recently learned that the theme Aronian used here has been known for centuries and actually originates in a late 16th century study with White to play and win in this position:

click for larger view

The position in the diagram above is study #1 in<888 Miniature Studies>, by KASPARIAN, Genrikh Moiseyevich, BeoSing, Belgrade 2010, at p. 12.

The diagram in the Kasparian book attributes the study to G. Polerio, 1590, but the accompanying text says that some sources attribute the study to A. Salvio.

Aug-19-14  posoo: LOL look at da shirmo! DIS makes CLEAR dat da "move of da universe BH3 was nothing but a luky shot!" Shirv tries to do DA SAME THING and gives his bishap away FOR NO REASON and then LOOK! Boxed boxed away!

Lol makes da posoo laufh.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: What I've always liked about this game is how Black kept repeatedly offering the Rook, just daring White to take it. Of course he couldn't because of zugswang, but not taking it leads to defeat. Now that's chess!
Jul-20-15  SpiritedReposte: So this is an honest to goodness zugzwang?

After taking the rook white is forced to move a pawn and lose where if he could pass then black would be forced to move and lose.

Maybe mutual zugzwang is different.

Apr-20-16  posoo: AH YES, da ZOGSWANS truthers are out in full force!

It is not da LETTER of da zugz dat matters, it is da SPIRIT.

NO ONE CARS about da "passing" rule. "I know a ZUGZ when i SEE IT."

-Justice Putter Sturt

Feb-09-17  SuperPatzer77: White to move and Black wins below:

click for larger view

1. Kxf5 Kf7!! (only move for a win), 2. Ke5 Rxh7, 3. Kd6 Rxh6+, 4. Kc5 Rh5+, 5. Kxc4 Ke6!, 6. Kb4 Kd5!, 7. Ka5 Rf5, 8. b3 Rxf4, 9. Kb6 Rf3, 10. c4+ Kxd4, 11. Kxc6 Rxb3, 12. c5 Rc3, 13. Kd6 Rxc5

Final Position below:

click for larger view

It's all over!!!


Feb-25-18  PJs Studio: 48... Ke8!!! Im looking at it and Im like, is he trying to force a draw? Then I calculate for half a minute and realize if White captures the rook at h8 then blacks kind plays Kf8 - f7 back and forth. White will be forced to move all of his pawns!!! the b pawn will move last (!) allowing cxb3 and black wins!

Devistating genius.

Aug-19-19  Howard: Shirov had already played the Marshall as White against Leko earlier in the event, but only got a draw. The position in this game after White's 22nd move is identical to that game. Shirov almost certainly had an improvement prepared, but...Aronian struck first with 22...Qg6. That move was a novelty, which Shirov didn't react to properly.
Aug-19-19  Howard: Incidentally, NIC 2006/8 remarked that Kasparov never had much luck playing the White side of the Marshall. That's news to me--anyone have any comment on that ?
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