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Alexey Shirov vs Vereslav Eingorn
Stockholm (1989)
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Kmoch Variation (E20)  ·  1-0



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Given 14 times; par: 25 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-04-06  Jim Bartle: If 24, ...Kxe6, Shirov gives 25 Kc2 Qxa3 26. Bb5 leading to a white win. Pretty gutsy with the white king seemingly so exposed.
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  offramp: It is useful to remember that when a king has one if his knights next to him laterally there are no queen checks.
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  offramp: After 23.Nxe6

click for larger view

Shirov has changed his opinion about this position a few times. It might be a draw. He annotated this game in Informator 49 and in Fire on Board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here is Shirov's original analysis of the position after 23.Ne6 from Informator 49:

He gives 23...Kf7 a question mark and gives

23... Bf8! 24. Nxf8 Nc6 25. Qf6 Qxa3!!

(25... Bf5+? 26. Ke3 Re8+ 27. Kf3 )

26. Kd2!

(26. Nxg6? Bf5+! 27. Qxf5 Rd8+ 28. Ke4 Qb4+ )

26... Qb2+ 27. Ke1 Qc1+ 28. Kf2 Qd2+ 29. Ne2 Qd8! 30. Qxd8 Nxd8 31. Nxg6! hxg6 32. Nd4

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  offramp: In the preparation of Fire on Board Shirov later gave the above annotations in more literary form:

23. Nxe6 Kf7?

The only mistake of the game but one that loses immediately!

(There would have been nothing wrong with black's position after

23... Bf8! 24. Nxf8 Nc6 25. Qf6 Qxa3!!

(25... Bf5+? 26. Ke3 Re8+ 27. Kf3 and white wins.)

26. Kd2 forced

(26. Nxg6? Bf5+! 27. Qxf5 Rd8+ 28. Ke4 Qb4+ wins for black.)

26... Qb2+ 27. Ke1 Qc1+ and the ending after 28. Kf2 Qd2+ 29. Ne2 Qd8! 30. Qxd8 Nxd8 31. Nxg6! hxg6 32. Nd4 Kg7 is approximately equal.)

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  offramp: In Fire on Board he gives that line but adds a footnote in brackets.

This statement [ie that the above line ends in a position that is approximately equal] was based on my old analysis and the stronger alternative .... [after 23... Bf8 24. Nxf8
Nc6 25. Qf6 Qxa3 26. Kd2 Qb2+ 27. Ke1 Qc1+]

28. Ke2 was missed. In fact it yields white a huge advantage, since Black cannot regain the piece immediately.

His best chance is Qb2+

(White wins after 28... Bg4+ 29. Kf2 Qd2+ 30. Kg3)

29. Kf3 Qb4
but even then White has practically a forced win with

30. Nxg6

(30. Ne6 Bxe6 31. Qxe6+ Kg7 might give Black some counter-chances.)

30... Nd4+

(30... hxg6 31. Qxg6+ Kf8 32. Nb5 Nd4+ 33. Nxd4 Qxd4 34. Be2 is clearly better for White.)

31. Kf2 hxg6 32. Qxg6+ Kf8 33. Qf6+ Kg8 34. Nd5 Qd2+ 35. Kg1 Nf3+ 36. gxf3 Qxd5 37. Kf2 Qc5+ 38. Kg3 Bf5 39. Qg5+ Kh8 40. Qh5+ Kg7 41. Bd3 Rf8 42. Re1 Rf6 43. Bxf5 Rxf5 44. Qg4+ Kh7 45. Qh4+ Kg6 46. Re6+ Kf7 47. Rh6 and the attack should soon finish the game.

Thus I must conclude that the main (and not the only!) Black mistake was 20...fxe6, since 20...Bxe6 would probably have ensured the draw.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: But the whole analysis is made redundant in a way, since Black can make the move he really wants to play:

After 23. Nxe6 Bf8! 24. Nxf8 Nc6 25. Qf6

click for larger view

The move Black wants to play, which looks so natural, is 25... Bf5+.

Shirov prefers 25...Qxa3, which he gives a !!. He says that 25...Bf5+ can be met by 26. Ke3 Re8+ 27. Kf3 "and white wins."

But Black can play 25...Bf5+ owing to rather a neat tactical trick:

click for larger view

Now Black has only one move to stay in the game: 27...Ne5+!

There is a series of forced moves: 28.Qxe5 Rxe5 29.Bc4+ Kxf8 30.Rxa1 and now 30...Rc5!

click for larger view

and black regains his piece and the game is dead level.

It's a great line and it's a shame Shirov missed it.

May-01-06  Jim Bartle: Maybe beside the point, but here's another case in FOB where Shirov includes his original analysis, then adds in parentheses later analysis questioning the original. A great way to write, demonstrating that sometimes all is not written in stone.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He is a great annotator. I really like the way he give sthe whole of the old analysis, then his current thoughts. He doesn't - and this would be very easy with a word processor - just make it look like he had analysed it all through straight off.

In FOB he also makes reference to 'checking' his 'analysis with Fritz 4'.

Perhaps running on Windows 3.1.

May-01-06  Jim Bartle: In FOB he's also extremely careful to give credit to other players who came up with opening novelties he plays.
Feb-28-08  nomaster: According to my copy of FOB (as well as a magazine from 1991) moves 7 and 8 were played in reversed order than the one shown here in chessgames. First 7. cxd5 exd5, then 8. dxc5 Bxc5.
Jul-28-11  qqdos: Jonathan Speelman in his Foreword to Fire on Board admires Shirov's combinational ferocity and quirkiness. He says: "One can see both these characteristics ... in one of of the most marvellous games in the collection, the slugfest against Eingorn ... in which Shirov, with his (white) king on d3 as early as move 19, paradoxically exposes it further by sacrificing the e-pawn (20.e6) to prosecute his attack on the BK". What more needs be said?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: Shirov writes that he entered this tournament totally focused on gaining his GM noms. And a focused Shirov is a very dangerous Shirov.

His final note: "This game gave me one of the best feelings I have ever had from chess." That feeling was certainly well deserved.

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