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Veselin Topalov vs Alexey Shirov
"Troublesome Priest" (game of the day Mar-14-2016)
Linares (1998), Linares ESP, rd 10, Mar-04
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  0-1



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Given 12 times; par: 63 [what's this?]

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sac: 47...Bh3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Topalov gets a full on meeting with the late, great Amarillo Slim's <Mr More>, courtesy of the elegant 47....Bh3.
Mar-14-16  RTJR: Topalov's claim to fame is being fodder for other player's immortal games.

Kasparov's Immortal, Karpov's Immortal, and this game from Shirov, all of which find Topalov sitting on the losing end.

Thank you Topalov for helping to create some of greatest games ever played ;-)

Mar-14-16  Turtle3: <RTJR: Topalov's claim to fame is being fodder for other player's immortal games. Kasparov's Immortal, Karpov's Immortal, and this game from Shirov, all of which find Topalov sitting on the losing end.

Thank you Topalov for helping to create some of greatest games ever played ;-)>

indeed!! :)

Mar-14-16  Aniara: Love the Thomas Becket reference.
Mar-14-16  maxi: Topalov has played many interesting games. He has also played great games.
Mar-14-16  newhampshireboy: Love this endgame!
Apr-01-16  Conrad93: I will say again, this game is severely overrated.

Obviously three passed pawns beat a bishop, but even with the sacrifice it's easy to see that black has enough play to at least draw.

Apr-01-16  Conrad93: To the guy who said it's a 3400 level move... not it's not. Any average GM would have calculated and seen this possibility.
Apr-01-16  N0B0DY: Even Robert James Fischer could have calculated this with ease.
Apr-01-16  Conrad93: <Even Robert James Fischer could have calculated this with ease.>

Fischer would have definitely.

Apr-16-16  N0B0DY: Hallelujah!
Mar-17-17  Toribio3: Shirov is very creative. Two isolated passed pawns with the strong support of a fighting King, the hostile Bishop can not stop them from inevitable promotion!
Jul-05-17  jibal: <It wouldnt even make my "top ten moves of all time" list.>

That doesn't speak well of you.

<it isn't really that surprising though>

Yes, it is.

<Black was already two pawns up!>

Non sequitur. That actually makes the move harder to find, because many people (and all the machines) are misled into thinking that black can win without Bh3.

Jul-05-17  jibal: <However, there is at least one another way to win using "normal moves". The second solution was tested for hours, even played many times against Fritz 10, with the engine always losing as White. The 2nd (normal) way to win was found and demonstrated by Greece multiple junior champion Haralabos Skoulakis ( back in 2005 who kept all analysis then made.>

Not a word of this is true.

<We will know the truth only after too-many-men tablebases have been generated.>

We know the truth now ... Bh3!! is a forced win and every other move leads to a draw.

Oct-04-17  Davood.rezaiee: If white play 54-Ke2 ... what is the black move?
Oct-10-17  ZackyMuhammad: 54. ♔ e2 54... ♔ c2 55.Bb4 55... d3+ 56. ♔ e1 56... a3 if 57. Bxa3 57... d2+ threatening 58... d1= ♕
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Tim Krabbe calls this the 2nd most fantastic move ever played.

Jul-05-18  ChessHigherCat: <Penguin> Great link, thanks!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: I've got no idea how any human being can find that Bh3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Stockfish suggests 48...Kf2 as a far better move than gxh3. It may even be enough for a draw:

48. Kf2 Bg4 49. Bb2 Kf5 50. Ke3 Bd1 51. g3 Kg4 52. Bxf6 a3 53. Kd2 Bb3 54. Be5 a2 55. Kc1 Kf3 56. Kb2 Bc4 57. Ka1 Ke3 58. g4 d4 59. Bg7 d3 60. Bh6+ Kf3 61. h5 Kxg4 62. hxg6 Kh5 63. Bc1 Kxg6 64. Kb2 Kf5 65. Be3 Bd5 66. Bd2 Kg4 67. Bh6 Kf3 68. Bd2 Bf7 69. Bh6 Ke2 70. Bf4 Bb3 71. Bc1 Ke1 etc.

May-24-19  sharkw: <Whitehat1963: Stockfish suggests 48...Kf2 as a far better move than gxh3. It may even be enough for a draw: 48. Kf2 Bg4 49. Bb2 Kf5...>

Don't be so quick to trust computer analysis, especially when it doesn't make sense! After 48. Kf2, why would Black play 48...Bg4? Given that Black is fine with sacrificing the bishop for a tempo, the most logical move is simply 48...Kf5 when 49. gxh3 would transpose to the game, while on 49. Ke3/f3 Black would just play 49...Bxg2(+).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: You’re right, <sharks>. Why is the computer so easily fooled into believing white can take the pawn on f6 without consequence when the simple move d4 by black seals the victory?
Jan-04-20  YouAreStupid: Hey JIBAL you mother@#$%er. What do you mean when you wrote that? @#$%*@!.
Jan-11-21  mathlover: Fantastic game
Jan-11-21  SChesshevsky: Was a great game. Shirov's 47...Bh3 was nice. Flashy, though the argument questioning its brilliance at the top GM level might have some merit.

Possibly more impressive was his N maneuver starting 24...Nb6 which ends up taking advantage of the what looks like inaccurate 26. Bd2. A move guessing Shirov was really hoping for.

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