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Alexey Shirov vs Zbynek Hracek
Shirov - Hracek Match (1998), Ostrava CZE, rd 2, Nov-15
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation. Van der Wiel Attack Dreyev Defense (B12)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Game 2 of their six game match; Shirov won 5-1 (no draws). Shirov had previously used the 4 Nf3 system against the Advance CK but had been impressed by a recent game by Sutovsky (one of his seconds during the Kramnik match) using 4 Nc3 against Magem at the 1998 Elista Olympiad. One of the ideas of 4..Qb6 is to avoid the sharp syatem 4..e6 5 g4!?. 8..Bg4 would have been the theoretical move; 8..c5!? was new and very risky as the opening of the game should favor White who is better developed. Shirov was critical of the overagressive 12 g4?! recommending 12 f4 instead. 14..b5? would have been a blunder after 15 Nxb5..axb 16 Bxb5+ but after 14..h5! Hracek had dangerous counterplay. Kavalek said that if 16 fxg?! then 16..Nxg6 17 Bxg4..Qh4 18 Qe2..Ng3! 19 hxg..Qxg3+ 20 Qg2..Qxe3+ 21 Qf2..Qxf2+ 22 Rxf2..Nxe5 and Black has three pawns for the piece and White's fprces are uncoordinated. 16..g3?! worked out poorly; Nunn recommended 16..f5 with complications. Hracek may have overlooked 18 h3 which slowed down Black's attack. Shirov considered 18..g2?! to be the losing move and recommended instead 18..Nf2 19 Bxf2..gxf 20 Rxf2..Nc6 with play for the pawn but Nunn disagreed saying that after 21 Bg4 Black would have been lost anyway. This was Shirov, in his prime, playing in the style of a youthful Tal; voted the 4th best game in Informant 74.

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