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Peter Leko vs Alexey Shirov
Tal Memorial (2007), Moscow RUS, rd 1, Nov-10
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-10-07  goldenbear: Ultimately, 10.O-O is not "safe" at all. It seems "safer" here to play something "riskier", such as Bg4 or maybe even Nxe4, exploiting the absence of the knight on Nd2, although I wonder whether there is a combinative refutation of that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Maybe not the best day to remind of
<My best games in the Spanish - Alexei Shirov>
Nov-11-07  Whack8888: This game starts off the same as Leko-Anand from Mexico City, but there Leko played the turtley 13. Be3 and the position soon became ultra equal as Black will capture the e pawn or the d pawn I believe.

Here, instead, Leko maintains his center but his King side gets a little messed up. Turns out the King side structure weakness is not all that important.

Was Shirov busted if he doesnt sacrifice his Bishop?

I am geussing that 20...something not a sacrifice 21. Nxb6 Rxb6 22. Ra7 maybe would be very unpleasant for Black, but it might not be a win.

For instance 22...Rc6 and Black gets a little counterplay.

Of course, 21. Nxb6 might be unnecessary (if not bad) as Black's bishop is so limited anyway--but I cant really see why Shirov felt compelled to sacrifice a piece at this point of the game.

Maybe it is something as simple as him missing 24. Nc4, as if White plays anything else, Black looks to have a lot of compensation for the piece--ie Rxb4, f3, Rxe4, Rg4+ etc.

Nov-11-07  hitman84: <Whack888>Good points and its obvious Shirov missed 24.Nc4
Nov-11-07  ahmadov: The fact that Shirov makes unjustified sactifices proves that Shirov is getting weaker nevres...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: The all variation seems eather dubious. 15.f4!? is enough to control the board with a solid positional edge (White's center is impressive and Black's Bishop is doing nothing at all). (Maybe 15.dxe5 was playable too, although 15...Qh4 16.exd6 Ne5 may offer some obscure counterplay).

26...Ne5? loses a pawn without any compensation. 26...Rb7 should be better although White has a big edge of course, since in this position the Bishop is stronger than 3 pawns.

Nov-20-07  AAAAron: Why didn't Shirov play 23. Qxb4???? Is that not a great move???? It threatens 3 pieces and white cannot guard them all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <AAAAron <Is that not a great move???? >>

No, it isn't!

<24.Bd5!! Ne7 25.Nc6 Nxc6 26.Bxc6 >

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Nov-20-07  AAAAron: Hmmm, I see, but would it not still win a pawn???
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Dummy Shirov, he must have missed it.
Nov-22-07  LIFE Master AJ: We went over this game at chess club.

It was nearly impossible to tell where Black went wrong.

Nov-22-07  LIFE Master AJ: After the TN of 15.f4!, Black may not be able to salvage his position.
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