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Gata Kamsky vs Alexey Shirov
"Gataraid" (game of the day Jul-01-12)
World Chess Cup (2007)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Closed Sicilian. Anti-Sveshnikov Variation Kharlov-Kramnik Line (B30)  ·  1-0
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Given 18 times; par: 39 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-15-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: <Ulhumbrus: At move 21 instead of 21 gxf6, 21 Ng3 fxg5 22 Re1! prepares to counterattack in the centre. On 22...Rd8 23 Nf5! Bxf5 24 exf5 Nxf5 25 Nxe5 Rf6 26 Rad1! Rxd1 27 Rxd1 Rf8 28 Rd7 wins.> In this line, instead of 22...Rd8? Black has 22...Bg4 23.Qh1/h2 Bxf3 followed by g4 or Rf8, with a clear advantage.

Shirov's plan was quite risky, but apparently he could have gotten equality - even if not a win - with 22...Qg4.>

After 21 Ng3 fxg5 it seems that the move ...Bg4 must still be regarded as a threat. In that case instead of 22 Re1, waiting for ...Bg4, 22 Nf5 at once offers a pawn on f5 in order to open the central e file against Black's position . On 22...Bxf5 23 exf5 Nxf5 24 Re1 White's central counterattack may win.

I argue that the attacking plan begun by 13...Kh8 is unsound because in the position before 13...Kh8 it is White who has a positional advantage and not Black. The writings of Steinitz and Lasker - taken together with other things- seem adequate reason for believing that if Black has a positional disadvantage, the attacking plan is unsound.

In that case if Shirov could have saved himself at move 29 by 29...Ng4+, it means that Kamsky has missed a chance to gain the advantage at at least one point. I suggest that this chance occurs at move 21, when 21 Ng3 prepares to open the central file by the pawn offer Nf5, instead of accepting a pawn by gxf6 and opening the g file for Black.

Dec-15-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Ulhumbrus: After 21 Ng3 fxg5 it seems that the move ...Bg4 must still be regarded as a threat. In that case instead of 22 Re1, waiting for ...Bg4, 22 Nf5 at once offers a pawn on f5 in order to open the central e file against Black's position. On 22...Bxf5 23 exf5 Nxf5 24 Re1 White's central counterattack may win.>

Again, that's making weaker moves for Black than necessary. Much better is to capture on f5 the other way around - 22...Nxf5 23.exf5 Bxf5 - where Black can continue with e4. I don't think you'll find the win for White that you're looking for in the 21.Ng3 fxg5 line - White probably has nothing better than 22.Nd2 here.

Btw, I'm not so sure that 29...Ng4+ (or the same knight check a move earlier) indeed saves Black, though it's probably better than what was actually played in the game - White's two powerful connected passed pawns in the center should still give him an advantage. But again - 22...Qg4 was probably good enough.

Dec-15-07  arnaud1959: <"A flank attack should be countered with a center strike"> I always kept this principle in mind but never applied automatically because honestly I don't understand the idea. I can understand why doubled pawns, isolated pawns are bad or a bishop pair is good but I have hard time to accept this one. I think it must be a "grandmaster feeling". In this game white should react to g5 and the only good possibility was d4 that he had already prepared with c3 before the flank attack.
Dec-15-07  sushijunkie: Thanks to <Peligroso>, <Eyal>, and <Hitman84>. You helped greatly.

Modern-day GMs simply astound me with their ability to "miss" so darned infrequently. How any of them have any purchase with which to make brilliancies is beyond me.

Dec-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: (VAR) Position after 44 e5-e6+ <pawn fork>:


click for larger view

This position results from the principal variation from the final position of the game.

White (Kamsky) has just played a sequence of 5(!) consecutive checks, forcing the Black king from h8 to d7 and into a <PAWN FORK> alignment with the Black f7-rook.

This game continuation is a great illustration of the value of <FORCING MOVES>. By simply calculating a sequence of five <CHECKS>, to which Black each time has only a single response, White is able to create a winning <PAWN FORK>.

Use <FORCING MOVES> to make your opponent <LINE UP> his pieces! Use <FORCING MOVES> to make your opponent's pieces <LOOSE>!

Dec-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Game Collection: Force your opponent to line up his pieces!

Kamsky vs Shirov, 2007


click for larger view

39. Rgxg8+ Kh7 40. Rh8+ Kg7 41. Rdg8+ Kf6 42. e5+ Ke7 43. Re8+ Kd7 44. e6+


click for larger view

The sequence of <FORCING MOVES> 39. Rgxg8+, 40. Rh8+, 41. Rdg8+, 42. e5+, 43. Re8+ <FORCE> the Black h8-king to d7 and into a <PAWN FORK> alignment with the Black f7-rook.

Dec-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: http://chessmind.powerblogs.com/fil...

<15.d4! The stock advice about meeting a flank attack with play in the center exists for a reason: it works!>

<21.gxf6! Another brave, correct decision. [21.gxh6? is bad, as 21...Rxh6 traps the queen;>

Dec-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: http://chessmind.powerblogs.com/fil...

<23.Qxe5 Qxe5 [The spectacular 23...Rh2+!? would probably cause White heart palpitations, if he hadn't seen this move in advance. All three captures lose, but fortunately the simple 24.Kg1! (24.Qxh2? Qxf3+ 25.Kg1 (25.Qg2 Qxe2 26.f3 Qxg2+ 27.Kxg2 Bxa2 ) 25...Ng4 26.Qd6 Qxe2 27.Rce1 (27.Qxe6 Rg8 ) 27...Qf3 28.Re3 Qf6 29.Rg3 Bc4 ; 24.Nxh2?? Qxe5 ; <<24.Kxh2?? Ng4 +>> ) 24...Rg8+ 25.Ng3 maintains White's advantage. 25...Qxe5 26.Nxe5 Rh5 27.Nf3 Bxa2 28.Ra1 Bc4 29.Rxa7! ]>

Dec-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: http://chessmind.powerblogs.com/fil...

<36.Ng5 Threatening mate with 37.Ng/ef7+ Bxf7 38.Nxf7+ Rxf7 39.Rd/gxg8#.>

Dec-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: This game is really a stupendous effort by Kamksy.
Dec-16-07  masig: When I study this game, the more I'm convinced that 14..g5 presents black solid winning chances. To wit,

after 17.Nf3

17...Nf4, 18.Nxf4, fxf4 19.Qxe5,Qxe5, 20. Nxe5, Bxh3! forcing rook + pawn capture in exchange for two pawns

if 19.Nxe5, Rg5 wins a piece

better I think for white is
19. Qh4, Qxh4 20. Nxe4, Bxh6 21. Kh2 but 21...Bxg2, 22.Nxg2, Ng4+, 23. Kh1, Rg6 looks very uncomfortable for White

Can some please do eval for these positions..just curious if this patzer makes reasonable moves.

Dec-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <masig: When I study this game, the more I'm convinced that 14..g5 presents black solid winning chances. To wit, after 17.Nf3

17...Nf4, 18.Nxf4, fxf4 19.Qxe5,Qxe5, 20. Nxe5, Bxh3! forcing rook + pawn capture in exchange for two pawns

if 19.Nxe5, Rg5 wins a piece>

Assuming you mean 18...gxf4 - it's true that 19.Qxe5 isn't good for White, but after 19.Nxe5 Rg5 he can play 20.Qxh6!; and if Black tries 19...Qg7 then 20.g3/g4 fxg3 21.f4! - in both cases White has a clear edge. Another possibility for White, which might be even stronger, is to take the time for playing 19.Kh1/h2 so as to neutralize Black's tactics on the g file - e.g. 19.Kh1 Re8 [19...Qg7 20.Rg1] 20.R(c/f)d1, aiming for d5.

Dec-16-07  newtonbag: An unusual opening from Shirov and a very nice finish by Kamsky. 29. Ng1 is a deceptively strong move!
Dec-18-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: <Ulhumbrus: After 21 Ng3 fxg5 it seems that the move ...Bg4 must still be regarded as a threat. In that case instead of 22 Re1, waiting for ...Bg4, 22 Nf5 at once offers a pawn on f5 in order to open the central e file against Black's position. On 22...Bxf5 23 exf5 Nxf5 24 Re1 White's central counterattack may win.> Again, that's making weaker moves for Black than necessary. Much better is to capture on f5 the other way around - 22...Nxf5 23.exf5 Bxf5 - where Black can continue with e4. I don't think you'll find the win for White that you're looking for in the 21.Ng3 fxg5 line - White probably has nothing better than 22.Nd2 here.

Btw, I'm not so sure that 29...Ng4+ (or the same knight check a move earlier) indeed saves Black, though it's probably better than what was actually played in the game - White's two powerful connected passed pawns in the center should still give him an advantage. But again - 22...Qg4 was probably good enough.>

On 21 Ng3 fg 22 Nf5 Nxf5 23 exf5 Bxf5 24 Re1 e4 25 Nd2 Re6 26 Rad1 Rd8 27 Nc4 prepares to occupy the d file and Black may fail to find safety. This warrants looking at further.

Another question is whether White can improve on this. The capture 19 Bxe6 frees Black's QB. 19 Rad1 ties the Ne6 to the defence of the point d8, as on 19...Nf4 20 Rd8+ the move 20..Ng8 the N no longer supports a B on g4.

Dec-19-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Ulhumbrus: On 21 Ng3 fg 22 Nf5 Nxf5 23 exf5 Bxf5 24 Re1 e4 25 Nd2 Re6 26 Rad1 Rd8 27 Nc4 prepares to occupy the d file and Black may fail to find safety. This warrants looking at further.>

In this line Black can play 25...Rh6, and after 26.Qe2 Qc7 27.g3 Re8 (or 27.Nf1 Qf4) it appears that White is the one who may fail to find safety.

<Another question is whether White can improve on this. The capture 19 Bxe6 frees Black's QB. 19 Rad1 ties the Ne6 to the defence of the point d8, as on 19...Nf4 20 Rd8+ the move 20..Ng8 the N no longer supports a B on g4.>

I suppose you mean 19.Rcd1 - this might be an interesting alternative (I mentioned in earlier post that Kamsky pointed out this move in the press conference after the game). Of course 19...Nf4 loses on the spot to 20.Rd8+ Ng8 21.Nxf4 followed by 22.Nxe5 or Nxg5; but Black has two other options which may lead to many tactical complications - 19...gxh4 or 19...Nd4(!), blocking the d file and threatening Bg4.

Dec-19-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: <Eyal: <Ulhumbrus: On 21 Ng3 fg 22 Nf5 Nxf5 23 exf5 Bxf5 24 Re1 e4 25 Nd2 Re6 26 Rad1 Rd8 27 Nc4 prepares to occupy the d file and Black may fail to find safety. This warrants looking at further.> In this line Black can play 25...Rh6, and after 26.Qe2 Qc7 27.g3 Re8 (or 27.Nf1 Qf4) it appears that White is the one who may fail to find safety.

<Another question is whether White can improve on this. The capture 19 Bxe6 frees Black's QB. 19 Rad1 ties the Ne6 to the defence of the point d8, as on 19...Nf4 20 Rd8+ the move 20..Ng8 the N no longer supports a B on g4.>

I suppose you mean 19.Rcd1 - this might be an interesting alternative (I mentioned in earlier post that Kamsky pointed out this move in the press conference after the game). Of course 19...Nf4 loses on the spot to 20.Rd8+ Ng8 21.Nxf4 followed by 22.Nxe5 or Nxg5; but Black has two other options which may lead to many tactical complications - 19...gxh4 or 19...Nd4(!), blocking the d file and threatening Bg4.>

In the first line one possible improvement on 24 Re1 is 24 Qh2 because sfter 24...Re8 25 Re1 e4 26 Nd2 Rh6 27 Qg3 Black lacks the resource of ..Qc7.

In the second line I do mean 19 Rcd1.On 19 Rcd1 gxh5 allows 20 Qxe5 On 19...Nd4 20 Nxe5 Nxe2+! 21 Qxe2 Qxe5 22 hxg5 Qxg5 23 f4 Qh4! threatening ..Ng4 and the White R does not seem so effective on d1, as on Rd8+ Black has ..Rg8. This suggests 19 Kh1 with the idea that on 19...Nd4 20 Nxe5 the move ...Nxe2 won't come with check. On 19 Kh1 Nd4 20 Nxe5 Qxe5 21 cxd4 Qxe4 22 Nc3 Qxh4+ 23 Qxh4 gxh4 24 dxc5 with some advantage.

Another possibility is 19 Rcd1 Nd4 20 Ne2 xd4 Bg4 21 Nf5 Qf8 22 Qxg4 Nxg4 23 Nxg5 With two pieces, a pawn and a strong attack for the Queen.

Jan-01-08  minasina: http://chesspro.ru/chessonline/onli... (Translated: http://www.google.com/translate?u=h... The board is not functioning at the translated page.)
Jul-17-08  atropos: A striking feature of the forced sequence of moves arising after 37.Ngf7 and culminating in 44.e6 is that it actively involves all of White's remaining fighting units(king, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 pawns) in bringing about the decisive pawn fork. A combination of the entire white army.
Jul-17-08  Bobsterman3000: Sorry, but I still think that this game is well below Shirov's lofty standards. His attack reeked of desperation. He's playing much better chess lately.

Sep-16-09  WhiteRook48: 40 Ke5 forces mate...
Jul-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: <WhiteRook48> I'm not seeing it 37...Bxf7 38.Nxf7+ Rxf7 39.Rgxg8+ Kh7 40.Ke5 Rc7 and where's the mate? In any case if I ever had this position in a real game I'd go for the forcing sequence with a definite win rather than give my opponent a free move. I think grandmasters are the same.
Jul-01-12  reisanibal: <jahhaj> 40...Rc7 would not be the correct choice since it shortens the mate by 4 moves. 40.Ke5 Rc7 41.Rh8+ Kg7 42.Rdg8+ Kf7 43.f6 and mate 3 moves later. One variation could be 43...Rg3 44.Rxg3 Re7+ 45.fxe7 Kxe7 46.Rg7# Correct continuation would be 40...Rd7. Now white delivers checkmate on move 50. A possible variation is as follows: 40.Ke5 Rd7 41.Rh8+ Kg7 42.Rdg8+ Kf7 43. Rf8+ Kg7 44.Ke6 Rd6+ 45.Kxd6 Re3 46.Rhg8+ Kh7 47.Ke6 Rxe4+ 48.Kf6 Re6+ 49.fxe6 b6 50.Rg7#

Of course all these are computer analyses. However, there is no need to see the exact mating path. It is clear that after 40.Ke5, black has to give up his rooks in order to prolong the mate. And I'm sure it is not too hard for a GM to see that.

Jul-01-12  Pirandus: To see 12 moves? Hmm
Jul-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Odd conclusion:white has his king chased but it is black who faces the sword.
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