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Levon Aronian vs Alexey Shirov
"Not Too Shirov Himself" (game of the day Jun-08-2007)
World Championship Candidates (2007), Elista RUS, rd 2, Jun-06
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Central Variation. McDonnell Defense (D20)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-06-07  Inf: 1st muahaha!! black should have resigned long ago..
Jun-06-07  Ulhumbrus: 9 Qxb7 appears to lose more time for development than 2..dxc4 and 4...exd4. It is true that the Q attacks the N, and that the Q is in contact with the diagonal f1-a6, including the points c4 and d3, after 10 Qa6.

15 Ba3?! invites the exchange sacrifice 15...Nxe4!

After 19 Qc4 instead of 19..Qxc4, 19...Ne5 may be better, for on 20 Qxd5 exd5 White may be unable to stop Black's pawns eg after 21 Bc5 Bc3 22 Bxa7 Rc8 23 Rad1 c5.

After 23 Bc1 Black is struggling to draw, and eventually loses.

Jun-06-07  Marmot PFL: <Ulhumbrus> I agree about white's opening (Qb3xb7)and I doubt Aronian will repeat this line.
Jun-06-07  amateur05: Shirov and Topalov are quite similar to each other. They both like sacrificing exchanges. There is one small difference: Topalov usually wins.
Jun-06-07  Eyal: With h5 played a move earlier - on move 39 - Shirov might have had some drawing chances. After 39...Rc3? 40.Rb2 the only move that doesn't lose immediately for Black is 40...Nb5, to stop the invasion of White's second rook to the 8th rank. After 41.Rbb8, to quote from what was posted during the live broadcast:

<Mateo: Shirov is lost.

If 41...g5 42.Rb7+ Kh6 43.Rh8 mate.

If 41...g6 42.Rb7+ Kh6 43.h4, Black must sac the Knight to avoid mate.

The only other move is 41...Kh6. But then 42.h4 gives an overwhelming advantage after 42...g5 43.Rh8+ Kg7 44.hxg5 with 2 connected passed pawns.>

Jun-06-07  Ezzy: GM Aronian,Levon(ARM) (2759) - GM Shirov,Alexei(ESP) (2699) FIDE candidate matches Elista (2.1), 06.06.2007

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Bxc4 Nc6 6.0–0 Be6 7.Bxe6 fxe6 8.Qb3 Qd7 9.Qxb7 Rb8 10.Qa6 Nf6 11.Nbd2 Bd6 12.b3 0–0 13.Bb2 Bf4 14.g3 <Novelty I think. 14 Qd3 has been played before.> 14...Bh6 <Black threatens 15...Nxe4 >15.Ba3 Nxe4 <[15...Rf7 also seems playable]> 16.Bxf8 Nxd2 17.Nxd2 Bxd2 18.Ba3 Qd5 19.Qc4 Qxc4 20.bxc4 Ne5 21.Rab1 Rd8 22.c5 Nc4 23.Bc1 d3?!<[23...Ba5 24.Rb7 a6 25.Ra7 d3 26.Rxa6 d2 27.Bxd2 Bxd2 28.Rxe6 was probably better for black]? 24.Rb7 c6 25.Bxd2 Nxd2 26.Rd1 Ne4 27.f3 Nc3 28.Rd2 Nxa2 29.Rb3 Nc1 30.Rb1 Ne2+ 31.Kf2 e5 32.Ra1 Rd5 33.Rxa7< He could of taken that pawn on move 29. Aronian seems to prefer a 'Rook tour'> 33...Rxc5 34.Rxd3 Nd4 <If Shirov was playing 'Deep Fritz', he may of missed the mate in 1 threat. :-) Sorry Vladimir> 35.Rd2 <35.f4 Seems straightforward and direct.> 35...h6 36.f4 Nb5 37.Ra8+ Kh7 38.f5 Nd4 39.g4 Rc3? <Just a fraction too slow. Yes it threatens 40...h5 41 gxh5 Rc3+, but Aronian now has time to coordinate his rooks. [39...h5! 40.gxh5 Rc3 41.Rf8]> 40.Rb2 h5??< It's too late for this now. It's gone from a good move at 39 to a blunder at move 40. Chess is all about one tempi. [40...Nb5 offers more resistance.> 41.Rbb8 1–0< play will go 41...Kh6 42.h4 g5 43.Ra7 gxh4 44.Rg8 and black can not avoid mate or heavy material loss.>

I get the feeling Shirov miscalculates things he shouldn’t be miscalculating. He plays a fine game, and then seems to lose the thread.

I think he has lost the level of concentration needed to be at the very top. He hallucinated against Adam’s and made a blunder, and this game shows again that he seems to have lost that edge.

Aronian will not ‘let him off the hook’ if he doesn’t retain his focus.

Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Interesting imbalanced opening variation, Black very active but with various pawn weaknesses. So Black must gambit something rather than let the game solidify. Hence my guess would be that Aronian had prepared the endgame beforehand rather than improvising at the board.
Jun-06-07  pulsar: On Michael Marin's analysis on ChessBase, he implied that 24...Bc3 is playable, analyzing "[Maybe Shirov initially intended to play 24...Bc3 , but saw in the last moment that after 25.Rxc7 d2 26.Rd1 he does not threaten to win material yet because his minor pieces are hanging. However, the position remains highly unclear, because the bishop is trapped after all and maybe he should have sticked to this line.]" But 26...dxc1 27.Rxc1 Be5 28. Rxa7 might be more playable than the line Shirov chose--although the two pass white pawns might provide some problems to black.
Jun-06-07  acirce: <Actually my position was OK if I played Bxc1 or Ba5 instead of erroneous c6.> -- Shirov at (far down) talking about move 24.

I think it is him even if it's not confirmed yet, he was posting there now and then before.

Jun-06-07  pulsar: The 24...Ba5 line might be quite similar with the Bc3 line above, ex.: 25.Rxa7 d2 26.Bxd2 Bxd2 Rxc7, still with two passed pawns for white and with black's bishop on d2 instead of e5. On 24...Bxc1 24.Rxc1 d2 25.Rd1 c6 and white has to guard against Nb2, etc. I would prefer the latter line, with White's rooks almost paralyzed.
Jun-07-07  amateur05: <IMIday> This game once again demonstrates that Aronian's main stregth is the ability to find good moves in imbalanced positions. He always tries to create such positions where, unlike his opponents, he manages to keep his feet on the ground.
Jun-07-07  ahmadov: Around move 19 Shirov had a slight edge in the game, but then came erronous moves, according to the computer. They are 19.Qxc4 (Bc3 preferred), 23.d3 and 24.c6 (Ba5 preferred instead of both moves)...
Jun-08-07  thunderhrom: oh...i get it..."sure of" himself...ha ha that is real comedy...
Jun-08-07  chessmoron: Why not 'I Shot the Shirov' (Sheriff)?
Jun-08-07  Marvol: <acirce: I think it is him even if it's not confirmed yet, he was posting there now and then before.>

Confirmed now by Mig.

Jun-08-07  unluckythirtyfive: aronian has an abe lincoln beard.
Jun-08-07  kevin86: White takes full advantage of his material advantage to take this one. How exciting is it to have both rooks on your opponent's home rank!
Jun-08-07  argishti: Not really a genious game by Aronian here. Because Shirov was wrong with the sac from the beginning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! And hardly anybody expects the Queen's Gambit to be accepted, anymore.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: I think, Shirov miscalculated the whole combination while giving up the exchange but still it seems there were chances for him to hang on. In the end, it was Aronian who wove the mating net with his powerful Rooks. Anyway, a lively game.
Jun-23-07  Chessmensch: Malcolm Pein comments on this game in his Telegraph chess column dated June 24, 2007.
Jul-17-07  LIFE Master AJ: The game itself may not have been that great, but the finale was pretty cool.
Sep-13-09  Open Defence: I played a game with a fellow member in this line

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 e5 4. Nf3 exd4 5. Bxc4 Nc6 6. O-O Be6 7. Bxe6 fxe6 8. Qb3 Qd7 9. Qxb7 Rb8 10. Qa6 Nf6 11. Nbd2 Bd6 12. b3 O-O 13. Bb2 Bf4 14. Ba3 Bd6 15. e5 Bxa3 16. exf6 Bd6 17. fxg7 Kxg7 18. Rac1 Rb6 19. Qe2 e5 20. Nc4 Rbb8 21. Qe4 Ne7 22. Ncxe5 1-0

any reason why 14.Ba3 is not tried in high level games ? or is it that Black does not try to get into this line anymore ?

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