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Alexey Shirov vs Nigel Short
Dos Hermanas (1997), Dos Hermanas ESP, rd 9, Apr-11
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-25-06  suenteus po 147: I remember reading some post somewhere that Shirov has big plus scores against some top GMs. He is a force to be reckoned with unless you're Kasparov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <I didn't except it to be so one-sided between them.> It sometimes happen. Btw, Shirov has more than one nemesis of his own too. For example, Anand, Karpov, not to mention Kasparov.:-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The position after 9..Bf6 resembles the the 9..Nd7 line of the closed Ruy Lopez without black having played b5 and with white taking two moves to play d4. Shirov could have won the bishop back with 22 Nf6+ but perhaps he wanted to keep the position tenser. 24..Bg6 would have kept the White N out of h5; not sure what the idea was to placing it on h7 instead. Shirov discusses 25..Rc2 as one of several alternatives to 25..Nd7 which sacrifices a pawn to reach an engame with some drawing chances. Shirov also says that 32..Rd6 probably would have been good enough to draw. The line Short selected makes the white h pawn much too powerful.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Shirov takes 10 pages to annotate this game in FOB2.

He says 32...Nxd6 is the decisive mistake.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: With the rook hanging we don't have time to take the bishop, and 48.Rxa3 bxa3 just let Black promote first and cover the diagonal.

However it does look like we have time to push the passer immediately with <48.h6.>, since after 48..>Rxa7 49.h7 Black's can't stop the pawn. And other rook moves simply allow its safe capture.

Sep-05-17  tjshann: Like many endgames, a simple matter of counting. And, "passed pawns must be pushed!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: How to shear off short.

I think white just pushes 48. h6 and if Ra1 49. Rxa1 or else 49. h7 Rh8 50. a8=Q Rxa8 51. Ra1+ K-wherevuh 52. Rxh8 with ample time to reach the back rank and stop the black pawns.

If 48...Rxa7 49. h7 and the passed pawn is unstoppable.

Sep-05-17  Altairvega: There is no force able to stop the h-pawn: 48.h6!
Sep-05-17  Strelets: Shirov bottles it by letting his rook hang in order to push the h-pawn. That's the beauty of promotion combinations: it's easier to sacrifice a lot of material when you know it's going to get you a shiny new queen.
Sep-05-17  diagonalley: yep... pawn push, but quite subtle for a tuesday!
Sep-05-17  AlicesKnight: The simplest proves to be the best. 48.h6 gets the white pawn to queen first. Even 49...Re3 fails; 50.h7 Re8; 51.Ra8+ etc.
Sep-05-17  leRevenant: Although there were two possible solutions yesterday I got today's in a much Shorter time.
Sep-05-17  saturn2: 48 h6 and white is faster than 48..b3 because 50 h8Q is mate. Also 48 ..RxR or 48.. BxN does not safe black. 1-0
Sep-05-17  leRevenant: <ChessHigherCat: How to shear off short.>

j'approuve !

Sep-05-17  morfishine: <48.h6> tick tock
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: "Passed pawns must be pushed," quite often at the cost of giving up material.

That's the case with today's Tuesday (48. ?) puzzle, as 48. h6! +- (+11.16 @ 28 depth, Stockfish 8) offers Black an enprise Rook. Despite the loss of the Rook, White will win the race to promote a pawn with decisive advantage.

P.S.: For an improvement for the losing side, instead of 25...Nd7? 26. Bxd6 ± (+0.81 @ 29 depth,) Stockfish 8 suggests 25...Bg6 26. Nf4 Bh7 27. Nh5 Bg6 28. Nf4 Bh7 29. Nh5 = (0.00 @ 35 depth) with a draw by repetition.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Advance the pawn! Even a rook ahead, black cannot stop it!
Sep-05-17  clement41: <AlicesKnight>, with a good tactical vision, rightly points out that after the elimination of the defender+deflection capture 48...Bxf5 49 Kxf5, giving black access to e3, 49...Re3 in view of 50 h7 Re8 is unfortunately insufficient due to either 51 Ra8+ or 51 h8Q RxQ 52 Ra8+ , which outcome is obviously 1-0 in both cases (although the strongest no doubt is to trade on e8 before promoting)
Sep-05-17  lzromeu: I found 48nd4, 48. R-sac and royal fork mate in 49nc6+ Goes nowhere, but a beauty fight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < leRevenant: <ChessHigherCat: How to shear off short.> j'approuve ! >

yea me too! CHC you should do the pun submission for that!

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < saffuna: Shirov takes 10 pages to annotate this game in FOB2. He says 32...Nxd6 is the decisive mistake. >

what is FOB2 ? I'd like to read his analysis. probably includes some of his deep opening prep

Sep-05-17  FairyPromotion: FOB = Fire on Board, the title of Shirovs Books.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <what is FOB2 ? I'd like to read his analysis. probably includes some of his deep opening prep>

<pawnsac> I will try to post a little more of his analysis. I have it as an ebook, maybe I can cut and paste.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: The critical position of the game. White has done the utmost to activate his pieces, create threats and thus combat Black’s advantage of the two bishops. It’s still not enough for more than equality, but now Short wants to make things too simple.

25…Nd7?! In fact he had two good possibilities: the natural and sharp 25…Rc2!? and the simple 25…Bg6. Let’s look at 25…Rc2 first. White is now obliged to play 26 Bb4! (why didn’t I make this move earlier?) since 26 Bb2? would fail to 26…Nxd5 27 Nxg7 Rxb2 28 Nh5 Rc2! 29 b4 Qb6 30 Nf6+ Kh8 31 Nxh7+ Qxd4 32 Nxd4 Rc4 33 Nxf8 Rxd4. And after 26 Bb4 Black’s best response is 26…Nc8, as variations such as 26…Rxa2 (if 26…Bg6 27 Nf4 Rxa2 28 Nxg6 fxg6 29 Re6 g5 30 Bc3 with compensation) 27 Bc3 f6 (27…Rc2 28 Nxg7 Rxc3 29 Re8 Qc7 30 Nh5 Rc1+ 31 Kh2 f5 32 Rxf8+! Kxf8 33 Qh8+ Bg8 34 Qxh6+ Ke7 35 Qg7+ Bf7 36 Ng5 wins) 28 Qg4 (28 Nf4?! Nd7 29 Ne6 Qc8) 28…Nd7 29 Re6 Kh8 30 Nxg7! look pretty dangerous.

However, after 26…Nc8 it’s White who has to be very careful. Probably he is not worse after 27 Qg4 (if 27 a4 Ne7) 27…Bg6 28 Nf4 Ne7 29 Nxg6 (29 Nh4 Qb6 30 Nhxg6 Qxf2+ 31 Kh2 Nxg6 32 Nxg6 fxg6 is good for Black) 29…Nxg6 30 Qf5 (30 a3 or 30 a4 also lead to unclear play) 30…Rxa2 31 Qb1 Rxf2 32 Kxf2 Qb6+ 33 Re3 Qxb4 34 Qe4, but I doubt he would have serious winning chances.

But sometimes one doesn’t feel like calculating anything, in which case Black could just try 25…Bg6!? 26 Nf4 Bh7 when, objectively speaking, White should probably repeat the position with 27 Nh5.

Once again I look at the game, played many years ago, with a strange feeling. I had a good position in the opening, then played logical moves but got nothing out of the whole thing. And even worse: for six years I couldn’t understand why. However, today it’s clear to me that both 16 Ba3 and, later on, 21 Ne4 were wrong and therefore I finally put the mark ‘?!’ on those moves. Instead I could have played prophylactically with 16 a4 or 21 Bb4, which would be more in Tigran Petrosian’s style. Black’s pieces, especially the knight on b6 and bishop on d7, would be far less active than in the game and White would have control over the action. Trying to attack the enemy king is good of course, but preventing your opponent’s play is sometimes better!

Well, back to the game… Thanks to Short’s desire to defend an inferior ending, I was able to demonstrate reasonably good technique and still feel satisfied at the end of all.

26 Bxd6! Qb6 The only move. 27 Bxf8! Not 27 Qxb6 Nxb6 28 Bxf8 Kxf8 and Black is completely OK. 27…Qxd4 28 Nxd4 Kxf8 Even though White is a pawn up, he has to be very quick

Sep-05-17  zb2cr: Simple. 48. h6, Bxf5; 49. Kxf5 and the Pawn promotes. White still has a lot of work to do with Black having advanced Pawns, but the material advantage should stand up.
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