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John Nunn vs Alexey Shirov
Bundesliga (1995/96), Germany
Modern Defense: Standard Line (B06)  ·  0-1



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Given 12 times; par: 53 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-15-12  iamdeafzed: My comments on this game without using an engine:

16.) Qd3 looks weak to me and I can't understand what Nunn was thinking when he played it except maybe believing it'd stop c4. Obviously it didn't, as Shirov proved nicely.

18.) Ra1?, giving black a pawn for basically nothing it looks like.

...23.) Rxc4...interesting move by Shirov.

...27.) Kg7 I didn't understand why Shirov would have played this at first instead of the more knee-jerk Bg7 retreat. His 28th move illustrates.

...29.) b3 Another good move by Shirov. After which, it looks like it's pretty much over for Nunn.

Jan-16-12  King Death: <iamdeafzed: My comments on this game without using an engine:

16.) Qd3 looks weak to me and I can't understand what Nunn was thinking when he played it except maybe believing it'd stop c4. Obviously it didn't, as Shirov proved nicely...>

Nunn probably didn't like the looks of 16.c4 Bb5 17.ab a4 18.Ba2 b3 19.Bb1 Nc4 when he also loses a pawn. In the game at least he had some chances to create play except that Shirov handled the middlegame very well.

Mar-26-12  iamdeafzed: @ King Death

I see your point...the knight on b5 turns out to be a liability for white that ultimately costs him a pawn no matter how he handled it. So I guess Nunn's mistake must have come earlier than I originally thought. Shirov might have already been better by move 15, owing to his substantial queenside space. I suppose I'd have to examine the game more closely (or use engine assistance) to figure out where Nunn went wrong then.

Mar-13-20  Nerwal: Indeed Nunn's opening seem to have seriously failed at an early stage. Black had already the better prospects at move 13, and 13. d5 c5 was simply bad for White.

Overall Shirov played the whole game very strongly, nearly perfectly even, to punish White's wrong play. In his analysis in <Fire On Board> he maybe underestimated how good his position really was. He tried to prove that after White's best practical try 31. ♖xb3, 31... ♕xe2 was wrong and 31... ♕xb3 was right when probably both moves wins. The analysis of 31... ♕xe2 is very convincing despite the rather pessimistic final assessment, including the beautiful line 31. ♖xb3 ♕xe2 32. ♖f3! ♗g5? (♗e7!) 33. ♕c7 ♖f8 34. ♕xe5+ f6 35. ♖c7+ ♔h8 36. h4! ♕d1+ 37. ♔h2 ♕xf3!?

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38. ♖xh7+! 39. ♕c7+ ♔g8 40. gxf3 which he gives as better for White (it's probably winning).

The analysis of 31. ♖xb3 ♕xb3 has some holes though. Shirov recommended 32. ♕xa6 a4 33. ♘g3 for White :

1°) However, the line 33. ♘g3 ♗e7 34. ♖c7 ♗d6 35. ♖b7 ♕c2 36. ♕b6 ♗c5 37. ♖xf7+ ♔xf7 38. ♕e6+ ♔f8 39. ♕f6+ ♔e8 40. ♕e6+ ♗e7 41. ♕g8+ ♔d7 42. ♕e6+ ♔c7 43. ♕xe7+ is obviously not a draw but a win for Black.

2°) In the same line, 35... ♕d1+ 36. ♘f1 a3 37. ♕b6 is still winning for Black with 37... ♕c2!! as there is no perpetual check after 38. ♕xd8 ♗c5 39. ♖xf7+ and Black ultimately wins the position with equal material thanks to the a pawn (this was quite impossible to figure out with the 90s engines).

3°) The only significant oversight is that those complicated lines are rather unnecessary; after 33. ♘g3 (and against many other moves), Black wins quite handily with the simple idea ♖b8-♖b4.

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