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Alexey Shirov vs Garry Kasparov
Tilburg Fontys (1997), Tilburg NED, rd 5, Oct-02
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  0-1



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Given 25 times; par: 53 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-26-02  bishop: Kasparov castled "into it" on his 17th move. I believe Shirov should have tried g5 on his 18th or 19th move. Capturing with the queen instead of the pawn on the 32nd move, not giving Black a passed pawn, seems like the correct play.
Oct-09-06  Bufon: In move 28, seem like White had chances, and then almost out of nowhere, Kasparov has a win position.

At the beggining, didnt seem that Rook bishop vs Queen was gonna win the game, but the pawns were too advanced and Shirov missed that, nice game.

Oct-09-06  Peter Johnson Ng: 41. Qc5 white still win. Do I miss something?
Oct-09-06  Suzuki50: <Peter Johnson Ng> Nope, 41... Bh2
Oct-09-06  you vs yourself: 41.Qc5 Bh2 42.d6 g1=Q 43.Qxg1 Bxg1 44.d7 Bg6
Oct-09-06  Suzuki50: <Bufon: In move 28, seem..> Did you mean 28. f4 ? That move was possible also earlier.
Oct-09-06  Bufon: I meant, after 27th move, white seem to had chances.
Oct-13-07  notyetagm: <Bufon: ... At the beggining, didnt seem that Rook bishop vs Queen was gonna win the game, but the pawns were too advanced and Shirov missed that, nice game.>

Yes, Kasparov had seen very deeply into the position, that his rook + bishop + passed g-pawn would carry the day versus the White queen, mainly because the Black king is not overly exposed to checks from the White queen.

Oct-13-07  notyetagm: <you vs yourself: 41.Qc5 Bh2 42.d6 g1=Q 43.Qxg1 Bxg1 44.d7 Bb6 >

click for larger view

Wow, when I analyzed this ending in my head, I totally missed the danger posed by the passed White d5-pawn.

Black wins the final position only by a single tempo: 44 ... ♗g1-b6 is the -only- move that prevents the promotion of the passed White d7-pawn!

The passed Black g2-pawn and the passed White d5-pawn show, once again, that <PASSED PAWNS ARE DANGEROUS(!)>.

Nov-04-07  sallom89: never seen bishop h2 until i kept reading the comments , i thought Qc5 would stop the pawn.
Nov-04-07  notyetagm: <sallom89: never seen bishop h2 until i kept reading the comments , i thought Qc5 would stop the pawn.>

Position after 41 ♕d6-c5 ♗e5-h2:

click for larger view

In the words of Reinfeld/Chernev, <<<"Notice the immediate decisive effect of gaining control of the promotion square">>>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The day after this game Kasparov said "Shirov? He is not more than a enthusiastic amateur." Kasparov had won a nice game earlier in the year against Shirov at Linares with 6..Ng4 but this time chose 6..e5 to keep Shirov off balance. Kasparov was critical of 20 Nxf6+ saying that it was too slow. He recommended 20 g5 with a sharp game with chances for both sides. The idea behind 21..Qc5 was to prepare ..a3 but Kasparov felt that 21..b3 was stronger. Shirov apparently underestimated Kasparov's queen sacrifice 26..Ke7! although, at that point, Shirov's kingside attack had been pretty well neutralized and he was a pawn down. 31 Re4? was ultimately the losing move. Kasparov recommended 31 b3 and gave a long variation ending in perpetual check but Shirov was probably reluctant to weaken the dark squares around his king. 31 a3 was suggested by both Gallagher and Rogers. Shirov had originally planned 32 Qxe4 but then realized too late that after 32..Rh8 33 a3..b3 34 Qe1..Rh2 35 cxb..axb
36 a4..Rc2 he is lost. However, after 32 fxe the passed g pawn was too strong.
Feb-14-09  pacorrum: What an incredible game by Kasparov!!

Notice how smartly -and unconventionally- Shirov builds up his attack on the castled king, first exchanging the knights to control the light squares, then mounting a train along them, and finally lifting the rook to c4 to win Kasparov's queen. He MUST have been filled with despair when Kasparov proved that the ending is won by black despite his massive material disadvantage.

To me a true masterpiece of defense and counter-attack.

Feb-14-09  pacorrum: This must all have been home prep by Kasparov. He quietly castles into the storm and sets the trap! I refuse to believe that he was able to foresee the consequences of white's attack from move 17 OTB.
Feb-14-09  TheChessGuy: Either way, the final position is hilarious. Shirov can take the rook (with check!) and still can't win.
Feb-14-09  veigaman: what about 25. rh8+ for whites? it seems that simplied the position?
Dec-15-13  Mudphudder: Kasparov was just toying with Shirov in this game. Talk about dissrespect! Hahahaha
Jan-03-16  ex0duz: "He MUST have been filled with despair when Kasparov proved that the ending is won by black despite his massive material disadvantage."

What massive material disadvantage? As far as i can count, it's not even a material disadvantage for black since material is supposed to be equal, or at least if we're counting it based on Q=9, R=5, Minor Piece =3, and P=1.

With 5 pawns, R and Q, Shirov has 5+5+9=19. On the other hand, Kasparov has 6 pawns, 2 Rooks and 1 Bishop, which adds up to 6+5+5+3=18, making it materially equal. However, as the game illustrates quite clearly, a material advantage(or at least what you'd initially/incorrectly assumed was one, heh) is not always the most important part in winning a game of chess..

Jun-16-16  siggemannen: Interesting game.
Does anyone know the game where Shirov came closest to win against Kasparov?
Jun-16-16  Retireborn: <siggemannen> Perhaps this one:-

Shirov vs Kasparov, 1994

Although he wasn't really very close.

Jul-13-18  Inocencio: I like this game! Both players are courageous. But only the smarter will prevail in the end.
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