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Alexey Shirov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Corus Group A (2003), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-16
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation (B33)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-02-04  Drstrangelove: I bet if Kramnik and Shirov had a second match Shirov would win again. He has a plus score against Kramnik, although I think they are tied for classical as of Kramnik gaining the World Champion title. It's odd, I feel that Shirov would beat Kramnik, yet I feel that Kasparov would have rolled over Shirov in 2000. Maybe it has to do with style.
Jan-02-04  PinkPanther: <I bet if Kramnik and Shirov had a second match Shirov would win again. He has a plus score against Kramnik, although I think they are tied for classical as of Kramnik gaining the World Champion title. It's odd, I feel that Shirov would beat Kramnik, yet I feel that Kasparov would have rolled over Shirov in 2000. Maybe it has to do with style.?

With classical time controls, I very much doubt it. If Kramnik really wanted to he could probably hold Shirov to a draw in every game and just hope to win once, thereby winning the match. If Kramnik so desires, he can be pretty much unbeatable at classical chess. However, in doing so he doesn't win much either. Just look at Linares and Dortmund (Corus was some sort of a fluke by Kramnik's standards), in those two tournaments he hasn't lost once, against the best the world has to offer, not once. HOWEVER, he's only won 3 times, I believe.

Jan-02-04  Drstrangelove: I totally hear what you’re saying about Kramnik’s drawing ability and the positive aspects that go along with it, however, when it comes to Kramnik vs. Shirov it is actually the opposite result. Look at there match in 1998. It was draw, draw, draw, draw, Shirov wins, draw, draw, draw, Shirov wins. So while this is usually the other way around with Kramnik, something about Shirov makes me think he could take him again. That was my main point. In 2001 Kramnik had a good year against Shirov, However, in 2002/2003 in terms of classical chess, Shirov has won they're last couple encounters (I believe, could be wrong). So I guess we’ll see what 2004 brings us, hopefully it will be some exciting chess.
Jan-03-04  PinkPanther: <I totally hear what you’re saying about Kramnik’s drawing ability and the positive aspects that go along with it, however, when it comes to Kramnik vs. Shirov it is actually the opposite result. Look at there match in 1998. It was draw, draw, draw, draw, Shirov wins, draw, draw, draw, Shirov wins. So while this is usually the other way around with Kramnik, something about Shirov makes me think he could take him again. That was my main point. In 2001 Kramnik had a good year against Shirov, However, in 2002/2003 in terms of classical chess, Shirov has won they're last couple encounters (I believe, could be wrong). So I guess we’ll see what 2004 brings us, hopefully it will be some exciting chess.>

I think if they played a match, this time around it would be different. Kramnik could expend all his resources on bascially shutting Shirov down, and not having to worry about where he stood in a tournament....thinking that he has to play for a win to catch up with the others, which is probably the reason that he lost some of those games to Shirov. If Kramnik could just focuse on shutting Shirov down, and just winning a game or two, I think he wouldn't have much of a problem doing it.

Jan-14-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Tomorrow Shirov-Kramnik 2004 could see a repeat of last year's hammer and tongs battle. It is probably on both GM's computer screens as we speak. What adds to the tension is that Kramnik shares Kasparov's dismissive attitude toward Shirov, but has not been able to back it up over the board. He would dearly love to redeem this variation.
Jan-14-04  refutor: personally i hope it's a repeat of Kramnik vs Shirov, 2002 ;) who is white and who is black?
Jan-14-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Shirov has white. Batten down the hatches.
Jan-14-04  Drstrangelove: <Kramnik shares Kasparov's dismissive attitude toward Shirov> I doubt he felt that way in 1998, when Shirov beat him in a match. Lol, if Shirov loses tomarrow, PinkPanther is going to have a field day with me (-; But if he wins.... I'll be here (-;
Jan-02-06  Conde de Montecristo: This is the 17th victory of Shirov against Kramnik.
Jan-04-06  Karpova: your calculating skills are simply astonishing
Oct-20-06  Whitehat1963: I doubt Shirov can do this today against Kramnik, but he should be allowed to try! (Another of my favorite Kramnik games.)
Oct-20-06  RookFile: The problem is, you don't get 1. e4 c5 today, you get 1. e4 e5, and good luck trying to break Kramnik down in either the Petrov or the Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense.
Oct-20-06  suenteus po 147: <RookFile> Don't be so sure. Shirov uses the Ruy Lopez and the Petrov just as much as Kramnik does. He knows the ins and outs and could use such positions to his advantage against Kramnik. I'm just speculating, of course, but I'd be interested to see how such a face off would turn out.
Oct-21-06  acirce: Good game by Shirov. 20.f3 is the "obvious" and accurate response to Kramnik's novelty 19..Qb7. Friedman at http://www.chessclub.com/resources/... says <Since white really looked good, now it was all about black's ability to generate counter play and activity. Positionally his structure is not a pretty picture, not to say strategically unsound. In serious time trouble the Russian couldn't solve all the problems his 'Bette noir' opponent was posing to him.> Alterman adds a '!' mark to 21.Qg3!, <Keeping the Queen in the attacking position Alexey forces Kramnik to start an actions on the Queen side.> (sic)

23.Nc4 and the necessary follow-up 24.fxe4! is a nice temporary piece sac, although he wouldn't have gotten much of an advantage against correct play.

Notkin in <Super Tournaments 2003> attaches '?!' marks to:

- the "pseudo-active" 28..Re2?!, suggesting 28..bxc3 29.bxc3 (29.Rxh6 Qd4+ 30. Ke1 Qe3 with a perpetual after, for example, 31.Bh7+ Kh8 32.Rh3 Qxg3 33.hxg3 followed by bishop checks) 29..Qc5+ 30.Kh1 Re3 31.R6f3 Qc4!

- 33..Qe5?!, analysing other tries but concluding that 33..f5! would have held things together and <after 34.Bxf5 (or 34.c4 Kh8) 34..Qxc3 the game would have ended up in a draw>

- 34..Kh8?!

and correctly labels 35..Qa5? the decisive mistake, <Correct was 35..Qe6 36.Qd3 Qg6 trying to reach the ending with opposite coloured bishops>.

He also calls the immediate returning of the piece by 25..Nxf5 26.Rxc5 Rae8! safe, which might be true, and gives 26..Qxa2 in this line as "too risky" after 27.Rf4 although there's 27..Qxb2 28.Qd3 f5! (he only considers ..Rfe8) and Fritz finds no better than 0.00 via perpetual check after 29.Rxf5 Qxc3 30.Rxf8+ Rxf8 31.Qh7+ Kf7. So I suspect that 27.Qd3 may be stronger, but I haven't taken the time to check.

Funnily, in a later round Grischuk followed this game but it was Shirov who deviated with 21.Qf4 and somehow quickly collapsed: Shirov vs Grischuk, 2003

Jun-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 19 Nxb5..a4 20 Bd1..Qa5 had been played in several games; 19 Qg5 was a relatively new idea. 19..Ng6 had been played against Bruzon in a little known 1999 game; 19..Qb7 was new. Shirov's choice of 21 Qf4 3 rounds later in his loss to Grischuk was clearly not an improvement. Perhaps Kramnik underestimated Shirov's 24 fxe! though he still had decent defensive chances. A better defense would have been 28..bxc 29 Rxh6..Qd4+ 30 Kh1..Qe3 31 Qxe3..Rxe3 32 Bh7+..Kh8 33 Rh5 when White will likely settle for a repetition. 33..f5! would still have been good enough for equality; Kramnik's 33..Qe5?! left the door open for White. 34..Kh8? (34..Qe6 was better) was an odd move and after 35..Qa5?! Black was lost.

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