Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Alexey Shirov vs Oleg Nikolenko
"French Lessons" (game of the day Nov-09-2017)
USSR Championship (1991), Moscow URS, rd 8, Nov-??
French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 30 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 3,407 more games of Shirov
sac: 23.Qg3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You should register a free account to activate some of's coolest and most powerful features.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A superb move that was never played...

In his notes to this brilliant game, played on Tal's last birthday (he was at that tournament) Shirov says that 22...Ne7 is a better defence. He would have continued

23.Qg3 Qxf1 24.Ne4+ Kf7 25.Bh6 when, although all four of white's pieces are en prise, he thought that white's attack would win through.

But he was playing through the game with Fritz 4 (do you remember that?) and it found the move 25...Qf4!! a stunning move that removes all the threats: 26.Bxf4 Bxe4 27.Be5 Rg8=

Mar-06-08  ToTheDeath: Fantastically complex game. I won't bother listing the long variations but 20... Kg8 was a better defense.
Mar-07-08  whiteshark: <27.Nf4!!> finishes immediately.

click for larger view

Mar-07-08  whiteshark: <offramp: A superb move that was never played...>

After <23.Qg3 Qxf1 24.Ne4+ Kf7 25.Bh6 Qf4 26.Bxf4 Bxe4 27.Be5 <Ng6>>

click for larger view

it is an unbalanced position (♕ vs ♖♘♙♙) which I think is rather unclear than <=>. Though I would prefer the white pieces with a ♕.

Fritz 4 is it equivalent to the year 1897 ?

Premium Chessgames Member
Nov-09-17  morfishine: 3-D chess


Nov-09-17  thegoodanarchist: I believe this is only the second game I've ever seen in the French Defense where the player castling first actually wins, not counting Magnus Carlsen games.
Nov-09-17  Ironmanth: Insane game! Impressive, Alexey.
Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: A favorite of mine. I wish my French games as white ended like this ! Given that Shirov's has played wild lines likes the Muzio Gambit and Fried Liver, I wonder if we will ever see him play the Halloween Gambit or the black side of the Traxler......
Nov-09-17  kevin86: The mate threats win the queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Well spotted,! Today is indeed this games 26th anniversary:

<offramp: In his notes to this brilliant game, played on Tal's last birthday....>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: This is the kind of game that almost persuades you that White has a forced win against the French. Of course, it helps if White's name is Shirov.
Nov-09-17  cormier: 1) +0.94 (20 ply) 11...exf5 12.Nf4 Nb6 13.Bb5 Bb7 14.e6 Bd6 15.exf7+ Kxf7 16.O-O Re8 17.Nxd5 Kg8 18.Nxb6 Qxb6 19.Ba4 Qc7 20.Ng5 Kh8 21.Qh5 g6 22.Qh4 Re7 23.Bb3 Rae8 24.Bf4 Bxf4 25.Rxf4 bxc3

6 second analysis by Stockfish 8

Nov-09-17  cormier: 1) +0.18 (33 ply) 3.exd5

2) +0.07 (33 ply) 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7 8.O-O Nf5 9.Nc3 h6 10.a3 a6 11.Be3 Be7 12.Bd3 Nxe3 13.fxe3 Rc8 14.Qe2 Na5 15.Rf2 O-O 16.e4 Bc6 17.exd5 Bxd5 18.Nxd5 exd5 19.Re1 Nb3 20.Rd1

3) +0.06 (33 ply) 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Ngf3 cxd4 6.Bc4 Qd6 7.O-O Nf6 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.Nbxd4 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 Qxd4 11.Nxd4 Bc5 12.Rd1 Bd7 13.Bf4 O-O 14.Be5 Ng4 15.Bg3 Rad8 16.c3 e5 17.Nb3 Bb6 18.Bh4 e4 19.Be2 Nf6

4) +0.09 (32 ply) 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 gxf6 7.Nf3 f5 8.Ng3 Qd6 9.c3 Nd7 10.Be2 b6 11.Nd2 Bb7 12.Bf3 O-O-O 13.a4 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Ne5 15.Qe2 Bg5 16.a5 Bxd2+ 17.Kxd2 Nc6 18.axb6 cxb6 19.Kc1 Kb8 20.Kb1 Qc7 21.Ra4 Ne7

5) -0.12 (32 ply) 3.Bd3 dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.Bf3 c5 6.Be3 Be7 7.dxc5 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 O-O 9.Kc1 Nc6 10.Nd2 Ne5 11.a4 Nfg4 12.Bd4 Rd8 13.Ne2 Nxf3 14.Nxf3 e5 15.Bxe5 Nxf2 16.Re1 Bxc5 17.Bd4 b6 18.Bxc5 bxc5 19.b3 Bb7 20.Kb2 Be4

6) -0.16 (32 ply) 3.Bb5+ c6 4.Bd3 dxe4 5.Bxe4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Nxe4 7.Nxe4 Qd5 8.f3 Be7 9.Ne2 O-O 10.c3 e5 11.dxe5 Qxe5 12.O-O Rd8 13.Bf4 Qa5 14.Qc2 Qb6+ 15.Kh1 Na6 16.N4g3 Be6 17.Nd4 Rxd4 18.Be3 c5 19.cxd4 Nb4 20.Qe2 cxd4 21.Bd2 Nxa2

60.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8

Nov-09-17  cormier: 1) +0.01 (38 ply) 3...Bb4 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.Ne2 O-O 7.O-O Re8 8.h3 Nbd7 9.a3 Be7 10.Ng3 Nf8 11.Nce2 Ng6 12.c3 c5 13.dxc5 Bxc5 14.a4 Bd7 15.Nd4 a5 16.Bc2 h6 17.Ngf5 Ne5 18.Nb3 Bxf5 19.Bxf5 Bb6 20.Nd4 Nc6 21.Be3 Bxd4 22.Bxd4 Nxd4 23.Qxd4

2) =0.00 (37 ply) 3...Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4 5.exd5 Qxd5 6.Bxf6 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 gxf6 8.Qg4 Qa5 9.Ne2 Bd7 10.Qg7 Rf8 11.Qxf6 Bc6 12.Qh4 Nd7 13.f3 Nb6 14.a4 Qf5 15.Ra2 Qa5 16.Kf2 Nxa4 17.Qxh7 Qb6 18.Qd3 Qb1 19.Qc4 Nb2 20.Qb3 Nd1+ 21.Ke1 Nb2+ 22.Kf2

3) +0.15 (37 ply) 3...c6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.e5 Ne7 6.Bd2 b6 7.b3 c5 8.Bd3 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 Ba6 10.Bxa6 Nxa6 11.Bb2 O-O 12.O-O Rc8 13.Qe2 Nb8 14.c3 h6 15.Rac1 Qd7 16.Rfd1 Qb7 17.h3 Nd7 18.g3 Rc7 19.a4 Rfc8 20.Ba3 Ng6 21.Kg2 c4 22.Qb2 cxb3 23.Qxb3

2.5 hour analysis by Stockfish 8

Nov-09-17  cormier: 1) +0.13 (31 ply) 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Be2 Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.Qd2 b5 11.a3 Bb7 12.dxc5 Bxc5 13.Bxc5 Nxc5 14.Rad1 Rc8 15.Qe3 Qe7 16.g3 h6 17.b4 Nd7 18.Nd4 f6 19.exf6 Rxf6 20.Nxc6 Rxc6

2) +0.10 (31 ply) 5.Nce2 c5 6.c3 Be7 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.a3 O-O 9.g3 b5 10.Nf4 cxd4 11.cxd4 Qa5+ 12.Bd2 Qb6 13.Be3 b4 14.a4 b3 15.Be2 Ba6 16.O-O Bxe2 17.Qxe2 Na5 18.Rfc1 Nc4 19.Nd3 Rfc8 20.Nd2 Nxe3 21.fxe3 a5 22.Kg2

3) +0.04 (31 ply) 5.Be3 c5 6.f4 cxd4 7.Qxd4 Nc6 8.Qd2 Bc5 9.Nge2 a6 10.Nd4 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 b5 12.a3 O-O 13.Be2 Qc7 14.O-O Rb8 15.Rfd1 f6 16.exf6 Nxf6 17.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 18.Qd4 Qxd4+ 19.Rxd4 Bd7 20.g3 Rfc8 21.Rdd1 a5

4) =0.00 (31 ply) 5.Nf3 c5 6.Ne2 cxd4 7.Nexd4 Qb6 8.c3 Nc6 9.Bf4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Qxb2 11.Nb5 Bc5 12.Bd2 O-O 13.Rb1 Qxa2 14.Ra1 Qb2 15.Rb1 Qa2

5) -0.07 (31 ply) 5.Nge2 c5

20.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8

Nov-09-17  cormier: 1) +0.10 (27 ply) 5...a5

2) +0.12 (27 ply) 5...Be7 6.f4 c5 7.Nf3 O-O 8.c3 Nc6 9.g3 h6 10.Be3 a5 11.Bg2 b6 12.O-O Ba6 13.Re1 f5 14.Qc2 Qc8 15.a4 Qe8 16.h3 Qh5 17.Qd2 Rac8 18.Bf2 Qg6 19.b3

3) +0.16 (27 ply) 5...c5 6.f4 Nc6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.c3 O-O 9.g3 h6 10.Be3 b6 11.Bg2 Ba6 12.O-O Rc8 13.Re1 f5 14.Qd2 Qe8 15.Rad1 Qg6 16.b3 Qf7 17.Bf2 Qg6 18.a4 Qh5 19.h3

4) +0.20 (27 ply) 5...b5 6.a3 c5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.c3 c4 9.h4 Be7 10.Be3 O-O 11.g3 a5 12.Bh3 h6 13.O-O Nb6 14.Nf4 Bb7 15.Qe1 b4 16.Qb1 bxa3 17.bxa3 Kh8 18.Bg2 Kg8 19.Bd2

8.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8

Nov-09-17  cormier: 1) +0.16 (29 ply) 6.f4 Nc6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.c3 O-O 9.Be3 c4 10.g3 b5 11.a3 Nb6 12.Bh3 a5 13.O-O b4 14.Qb1 bxc3 15.Nxc3 Rb8 16.Qc2 h6 17.Rae1 Bd7 18.Re2 Kh8 19.Bd2 Kg8 20.Bg2

2) +0.16 (29 ply) 6.c3

3) =0.00 (28 ply) 6.Nf3 cxd4 7.Nexd4 Nc6 8.Bf4 h6 9.h4 Bc5 10.c3 O-O 11.Bd3 Qb6 12.Qd2 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 f6 14.b4 Be7 15.exf6 Bxf6 16.Be3 a6 17.Nb5 Qd8 18.Nd4 Qb6

4) -0.19 (28 ply) 6.Bf4 Nc6 7.Nf3 f6 8.exf6 Nxf6 9.c3 Bd6 10.Bxd6 Qxd6 11.Ng3 O-O 12.Bd3 e5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Qxe5+ 15.Qe2 Qf4 16.O-O Re8 17.Qc2 Bd7 18.Rae1 g6 19.h3 b6 20.Qd1 Bc6 21.a3 Rxe1 22.Rxe1 Re8 23.Rxe8+ Bxe8 24.Nf1 Bd7

8.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8

Nov-09-17  cormier: 1) +0.04 (27 ply) 7...Be7 8.Nf3 O-O 9.g3 a5 10.a4 b6 11.Bh3 f5 12.O-O Ba6 13.Bg2 h6 14.Rf2 Qe8 15.b3 Rc8 16.Be3 Qh5 17.Qd2 Qg6 18.Qc2 Qh5 19.Rd1 g5 20.fxg5 hxg5

2) +0.04 (27 ply) 7...b5 8.a3 c4 9.Nf3 Be7 10.Be3 Na5 11.Rb1 f5 12.g3 O-O 13.Bh3 Qe8 14.O-O Nb3 15.Bg2 Bb7 16.h3 h6 17.Qe1 Na5 18.Rd1 Nb3 19.Nc1 Na5 20.Qf2 Nc6 21.Ne2

3) +0.26 (27 ply) 7...c4 8.Nf3

5.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8

Nov-09-17  cormier: 1) +0.17 (23 ply) 8.Nf3

30 second analysis by Stockfish 8

Nov-09-17  cormier: 1) +0.12 (29 ply) 8...c4 9.g3 Be7 10.Nf3 O-O 11.Bg2 Na5 12.Be3 Nb3 13.Rb1 a5 14.O-O Nb6 15.Nd2 Nxd2 16.Qxd2 Bd7 17.Ra1 Qc7 18.g4 f5 19.g5 g6 20.Ng3 Bc6 21.h4 b4 22.h5 bxc3 23.bxc3

1.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8

Nov-09-17  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 27

1. = (0.00): 9...c4 10.Be3 Be7 11.Ng3 0-0 12.Be2 Qb6 13.0-0 g6 14.a4 b4 15.Rb1 Rb8 16.Re1 f6 17.Nf1 bxc3 18.bxc3 Qxb1 19.Qxb1 Rxb1 20.Rxb1 Kg7 21.Bd2 fxe5 22.fxe5 h6 23.h3 Nd8 24.Kh2 Nc6 25.Kg1 Nd8

2. = (0.17): 9...Ba6 10.f5 exf5 11.Nf4 Nb6 12.Be3 c4 13.Nh5 h6 14.Be2 Qc7 15.Qc2 Bc8 16.Nh4 Ne7 17.0-0 Qc6 18.Bd1 Be6 19.Bd2 Qc7 20.Rb1 Qd7 21.Bf3 Rc8 22.Nf4 g6 23.Be3 Bg7 24.Qf2

Nov-09-17  Andresiano: 17.... Nxd5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <cormier: Analysis by Houdini 4: d 27

1. = (0.00): 9...c4 ...>
I think Shirov would have been happy to see Black play 9...c4. It slows down Black on the q-side quite a lot.

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
ughaibu's bookmarked games
by ughaibu
Attacking Games
by takchess
Game 32
from Fire on the Board by Alexey Shirov by suenteus po 147
by triangulation
USSR Championship 1991
by suenteus po 147
Fantastically complex.
from Inspiring Games! by SpiritedReposte
Beautiful games
by minnixxx
97_C11_Steinitz. Boleslavsky Variation Opposite
by whiteshark
This is one of my favorites
from Shirov Gives French Lessons by JoseTigranTalFischer
Chess Informant Best Games 3
by koinonia
Classical. Steinitz Variation
from MKD's French Defense by MKD
French Classical Music 3...Nf6
by fredthebear
The rook is immune from capture
from yP-K4 Games of Fredthebear by fredthebear
This is one of my favorites
from Shirov Gives French Lessons by takchess
Chess Informant Best Games 3
by Olanovich
Game 530
from # Chess Informant Best Games 501-600 by Qindarka
Novemer 9: French Lessons
from Game of the Day 2017 by Phony Benoni
By Heart , Game Opening
from French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation by ISeth

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC