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Vladimir Kramnik vs Alexey Shirov
Astana (2001), Astana KAZ, rd 3, May-22
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation. Schallopp Defense (D12)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 15 Rhg1 had been played in a few games; 15 Rhe1 was new. Kramnik was critical of 15..0-0-0?!; 15..a6 or 15..Rc8 were alternatives. 16..cxd could have been answered by 17 Nb5..Bb8 18 Kb1..Nf6 19 Rc1+..Kd7 20 Nxa7+..Bxa7 21 Bb5+ winning. The middlegame resulted in a slight edge for Kramnik in the endgame.

Shirov (a few months after the game)on 34..a6:
"This move doesn't lose the game, but makes Black's task much more difficult. Now White can go for the exchange of rooks which gives him excellent winning chances, since Black's queenside pawns are not sufficiently advanced. 34..a5 was called for."

At the time Shirov was surprised by 35 Bd3 as he had assumed Kramnik intended to keep Bf5 as a possibility avoiding the rook exchange. 39..Bxb2? allowed the possibility of a clever White win; 39..b5 40 Bf7..Ke7 would have been sufficient for a draw. Kramnik had provided exhaustive analysis of 41 Bg9 and had determined that there was no win; Shirov working with Karsten Muller later found what they considered to be a winning continuation: 41 Bf7!..a5 42 Kg6..a5 43 Kb7..c4 44 bxc..b4 45 Be8!..Kc5 46 g6..b3 47 h4..Be5! 48 Ba4..Kb4 49 Bxb3..Kxb3 50 c5..a4 51 c6..a3 52 c7..a2 53 c8(Q)..a1(Q) 54 Qb7+ and White should win. Shirov's 52..Bb2! was the only move to draw; ie. 52..Be3? 53 h7..Bd4 54 Kd5..Bh8 55 Bxc4.

Jul-26-18  Howard: This endgame was analyzed very extensively in the 2002/1 issue of NIC.

Shirov concluded that he'd probably missed a win.

Jul-26-18  Howard: This endgame was analyzed very extensively in the 2002/1 issue of NIC.

Shirov concluded that Kramnik had probably missed a win.

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