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Nigel Short vs Alexey Shirov
Ch World FIDE (1999), Las Vegas, NV USA, rd 4, Aug-10
King's Gambit: Accepted. Kieseritsky Gambit Kolisch Defense (C39)  ·  1/2-1/2

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-08-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This draw in game 2 of their 4th round match in the World Championship Tournament clinched the match for Shirov who was then eliminated by Nisipeanu in the next round. At Madrid 1997 Short played 7 Nf2 against Shirov and Black won a short game. 9..a6 was new; 9..Qg6 and 9..Rg8 had been played previously. Most players in Shirov's position (needing only a draw to clinch the match) would likely played a line like 14..Bg4 15 Nxf4..Bxf4 16 Qxf4..Qxf4 17 Bxf4..Rxb2 18 Kd2..Kd7 or Kasparov's suggestion of 14..f3 with equality; instead Shirov played for complications with 14..Rxb2!?. Shirov erred with 17..Qxa2?; best was 17..Qd2 as 18 Rxc6?..Bh3 would have been good for Black. Short, however, missed his chance playing 18 Nd4?; instead 18 Rxc6..Bh3 (18..f3 19 Qxf3..Bg4 20 Qf2..Bxe2 21 Rxa6!..Rxg2+ 22 Qxg2..Qxa6 23 Qxe2 is winning for White) 19 Nxf4..Qxf2+ 20 Rxf2..Bxf4 21 Rxf4..Rxg2+ 22 Kh1 would have given White a solid edge. Again Shirov kept the game more complicated than necessary with 19..f3?! when 19..c5 would have left White with little to play on for. White's last chance to play for a win was 29 Kh5..Kxf5 30 Kh6..Ke4 31 Kxh7..f5 with an unclear ending. After 31..d5! Black had no attackable weaknesses and Short was forced to agree to the draw.
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