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Alexey Shirov vs Laurent Fressinet
36th Olympiad (2004), Calvia ESP, rd 6, Oct-20
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation. Shabalov Attack (D45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-31-09  SpoiltVictorianChild: <Nostrils: Shouldn't the black horse have taken the Rh1 not the Rd1?>

I believe he can just ignore it with Bb4

May-31-09  SearchOfTheTruth: I saw quickly O-O-O and Nf2 and I thought that it must be the line, but with no calculations to prove it !
May-31-09  Eduardo Leon: I'd play 16. 0-0-0, but, to be honest, I haven't calculated anything. And I won't.
May-31-09  zenpharaohs: Well I got the move (Ne4), but I didn't calculate much more that that.
May-31-09  DarthStapler: I at least considered the first move
May-31-09  David2009: I agree with <Nostrils>. Why not 17... Nxh1 e.g. 18 Rxh1 Be7 19 f5!? (as per game) Kxg7 and Black survives e.g. 20 Bc3+ f6 21 Rg1+ Kf7 22 Qb3+ Qd5.

If 17... Nxh1 18 Bb4 <SpoiltVictorianChild> Bxb4 19 Rxd8+ Rxd8 and White is well behind on material.

Like many others I castled hopefully and looked up the solution.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: I took a look with my no formal rating at all and thought, "Hell, if it was me, I'd castle queenside and hope for the best."
May-31-09  znprdx: funny posts: 1200, 1400, 16000 ratings - yup and me with my one time potential 1800 rating 16.0-0-0 was hardly a difficult challenge : It was fairly straightforward - but what in heck was with 19...Qb6 and just rolling over? ---at least ....f6 might have offered some hope. I don't see any forcing line for White after that. This whole game is "much ado about nothing" - Black just isn't in the same league. Shirov is the modern day Rubinstein of sorts...the way he recently demolished Carlsen (at M-tel) was astounding.
May-31-09  Pawnage: I took a look without the ability to play chess and thought, "Hell, if it was me, I'd really need to learn how to play chess."
May-31-09  MiCrooks: znprdx - if 19...f6 before moving the Queen then simply Ne6 with a family fork!
May-31-09  stacase: Thanks Suffering Bruin, I'd say you hit the nail on the head!
May-31-09  Kings Indian: I don't like the long ones. Sometimes I think the picked player doesn't really know what 12 moves are going turnout exactly. Some of black's moves surprised me. I did get the castling, only because I was very afraid of the two black nights, with the king exposed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Rating? Thats what Rybka freeware is for.

Anyway, heres another very recent game from Shirov with a quick, explosive finish. Black to play and win. From todays LA Times. Move 23.

click for larger view

Ivanchuk vs Shirov, 2009

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane):

Shirov vs Fressinet, 2004 (16.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Even. The Black Kf8 has 3 legal moves, one Kxg7 into the open g-file. In fact, without Ke1, the threat 16Kxg7 is a sham: 16Kxg7 17.Rg1 then 18.h3. The observation alone suggests 16.O-O-O as a candidate, to hold Ng7 on the board. The White Rh1 can seize the open g-file immediately with Rg1. The White Ra1 requires activation, but can be brought into play with O-O-O to reload Rg1. The White Qc2, Nc3, and Bd2 also require activation, but can be brought to the Black K-position rapidly (through Nc3-e4 and Bd2-c3, in particular), suggesting some possibility of a sacrificial attack. The Black Pf7 is burdened with preventing Ne6+, forking K+Q. The Black Ng4 is loose, and the Black Qd8 alone protects Bd3 and Nh4, suggesting pins along the d-file, overloading, and possible gains of tempo by attack. The White Ke1 is vulnerable to 16Nf3+ and 16Ng2+, but is otherwise secured from checks.

Candidates (16.): O-O-O, Ne4, Bc3

<[I thought the variation 16.O-O-O Nf2 did not lead to a winning advantage, so I then started exploring 16.Ne4, but found nothing definitive and terminated analysis.]>

Toga evaluates best play, with hardly a striking advantage as:

[ply 20/66 time 1:37:01 value +1.05]

15...<Kf8> 16.0-0-0 Rg8 17.Nh5 Qa5 18.Ne4 Qxh5 19.Nxd6 a5 20.Ne4 Qf5 21.h3 Nf6 22.Nxf6 Qxf6 23.Qxh7 Nf3 24.Bc3 Qe6 25.Kb1 Qxe3 26.Qh6+ Ke8 27.Ka1 a4 28.Qh7 Kf8 16.Ne4

The candidate 16.Ne4, it evaluates as follows:

[ply 15/52 time 04:50 value +0.07]

15...Kf8 16.<Ne4> Rg8 17.0-0-0 Rxg7 18.Bc3 Rg6 19.Rxd6 Rxd6 20.Bb4 Nxe3 21.Qc3 Kg8 22.Bxd6 Nd5 23.Rg1+ Ng6 24.Qh3 Qe8 25.Be5 Qe6 26.Qh6

It doesnt look like puzzle material to me, and I am glad I surrendered when I did.

May-31-09  WhiteRook48: 16 0-0-0!! what?!
May-31-09  drnooo: Has to be one of the most difficult combos ever. Or is it just I? Less like Rubenstein than Alexander the Great. you know Alex, that guy that whupped the Cuban. One of his triple whammos. Or, as stated, maybe it's just I, . Most of the games I get here, or at least a lot of the insane moves, but this was night and fog all the way to the end of the line. Makes me wonder(to kind of mix the metaphor) how come Shirov never made it all the way to the top of Everest and didn't leave the rest of the crew far back down shivering on the slopes.
May-31-09  VaselineTopLove: what's wrong with 22.Qd3 threatening Qd8 and then mate.
May-31-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this wide open position from Shirov (what else is new), material is even, minor pieces are very active on both sides, both kings have degraded pawn shelters on their kingsides, and white has stopped black from castling, but has a knight hanging as a price. So the central question is, does white retreat the knight or improve the position of the other pieces? The latter seems much more likely (even without the knowledge of Shirov's attacking preferences) given the potential vulnerability of the king at g7 and the prospects for attack along the d-file, g-file, and c3 diagonal. white has a tempo of development in hand with the queen at c2. Furthermore, the dark square weaknesses on the black kingside look to be prime targets from white's Q or B from c3.

Candidate #1


I like this because it attacks the Bd6, frees c3 for the bishop, and protects f2. The possible drawback seems to be Nf3+, forcing a liquidation that may dissipate white's initiative, but the complications are devilish to navigate:

A. 16...Nf3+ 17.Ke2 Nxd2 18.Qxd2 Bc7 (Kxg7? 19.Qd4+ f6 20.Nxd6 looks great for white) 19.Qc3?! Qd5! 20.Nf5 Qxf5 (Qxe4? Qxh8#) 21.Qxh8+ Ke7 22.Qxa8 Qxd4 23.Qxa7 is an insane puzzle by itself. Black has too much counterplay for my liking, but I have difficulty proving a result.

Looking for improvements,

A.1 20.Rhg1! Qxe4 21.Rxg4 (not Ne6+? Qxe6 22.Qxh8+ Ke7 and e3 is unprotected) Rd8 (to prevent Qc5+) 22.Ne6+ Qxe6 (not fxe6 23.Qxh8+ Ke7 24.Rg7+) 23.Rg8 Rxg8 24.Qxg8 and white's exchange advantage should win.

A.1.1 20...h5 21.Ne6+ Ke7 (Qxe6 22.Qxh8+ Ke7 23.Qc3 should win) 22.Nxc7 Rac7 23.h3 seems to keeps the edge.

There's a lot of analysis left here, but IMO this is the right track.

Time to check...

May-31-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: Interesting. When I looked at 16. O-O-O Nf2 17. Ne4 I couldn't refute the simple 17...Nxe4, so I went back to my first idea.
May-31-09  Bobsterman3000: Typical Shirov elegance - a beautiful tactical attack with well coordinated pieces. Every piece contributed...
May-31-09  totololo: I think that :
a. The position is clear ripe strategically for a tactical development as d column can get a battery after 0-0-0 , the diagonal a1/h1 can be used as well as the column g, the central squares can be controled after Ne4 b. this kind of position is a potentially attacking position that is studied by the players in their preparation ( at that level)

c. the ideas of the two white moves 0-0-0, Ne4 it is easy to find from their on it is different on the answer of the black -> see (S Martinovic vs V Kulakov, 2006)as another continuation

Based on c. I have the feeling that we are facing a different kind of puzzle - how to construct an attack - that has not a clear answer without a lot of analysis of variants and sub-variants and can be misleading for most of the problem solvers.

Let's take , for the argument, the key position of the Velimirovici attack in Sicilian and ask in a puzzle : Find the winning continuation , the same goes for the Traxler variation of the Two Knights. Do you think it is a fair puzzle? or a theoretical research?

The development of the game shows the weakness of the 7th rank and the final blow comes because of that.

What is interesting is that the other game tries to give an improvement in the black defence ( this shows that there is not an unique way to continue - this makes the difference between attack and combination - forced line or set of lines)by taking Nf2xe4. However, the final conclusion is the same : the black is lost on the 7th rank.

This is food for thought!

May-31-09  gofer: Well this one had me stumped... ...the only good move I could find was

16 0-0-0

It moves the king out of harms way.
It moves the rook to d1 to create a bishop/queen pin in the future. It improves the chances of the bishop getting to c3
It does invite the double rook fork on f2, but that either puts the knight on h1 (out of the way doing nothing much) or it puts it on d1 and the bishop/queen pin is still alive and well...

I have tried a number of variations for black from that point on and most of them seem doomed to failure... ...but I am by no means sure...


time to check...

May-31-09  gofer: Okay, well I saw the first couple of moves correctly where white captures the black knight with Rxd1, but I was way off, really.

I had no idea that the main line would be using the two knights so effectively. I thought black would trade off the knight on g7 for the rook on h8, ie giving back the exchange he had just won, but the main line went no where near this...

Even more so, I was actually quite surprised that black went for 16 ... Nf2 in the first place, I was thinking that Rg8 played pretty well too.

looks like I will have to wait for Monday to get some satisfaction!!!


May-31-09  zooter: got it in a second (all the way till move 27)!

Off course, I'm just kidding. In what move does white really show a winning advantage?

May-31-09  Udit Narayan: Not a typical puzzle, to say the least. I think this puzzle is meant to show how to nurse an advantage...which is definitely an important quality of the best chess players.
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