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Alexey Shirov vs Veselin Topalov
Morelia-Linares (2008), Morelia MEX, rd 4, Feb-19
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation Chelyabinsk Variation (B33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 16 OF 16 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-20-08  chessmoron: <TrueBlue> Boohoo. Did I hurt your tortured soul?
Feb-20-08  ahmadov: <TrueBlue: chessmoron, and you are officially on my ignore list, have no idea why I haven't done it sooner.> Maybe because he posts some difficult puzzles :-)
Feb-20-08  ahmadov: By the way, this is a nice win by Shirov otherwise people started to think that Topa was becoming invincible again...
Feb-20-08  Elixir of Life: Lol <TrueBlue>, just because he said Shirov is his hero? How low can you stoop?
Feb-20-08  Ulhumbrus: Topalov would like to play 28...Rxe4 instead of 28...Bd8 but on 28...Rxe4 29 Nc7 creates a double threat. It threatens to capture the Rook on b5 30 Nxb5 as well as the fork 30 Ne6+
Feb-20-08  Ulhumbrus: After 35...g4 it is not obvious that White will win the g4 pawn by the fork Rg6+. He will accomplish this by the move Rf5 inducing ...h6 after which the move h5 will support a Rook on g6 following the move Rf6, a move made possible by the move ...Kg8.
Feb-20-08  SniperOnG7: Supurb game by Shirov in a strangling style, leaving one of the greatest attackers sitting there shifting wood. If this can't be a confidence booster, what can?

Btw, I believe this further proves what I observed on Leko vs Radjabov, 2008: it is no fun playing the Svesh nowadays when everyone sensibly avoids 9. Bxf6. Of course the 9. Nd5 variation is equal, but more equal for White imho.

Feb-20-08  AdrianP: Extremely happy for Alexey, who played this pretty much perfectly, one for the textbooks, subject (i): good N v bad bishop; (ii) converting one type of advantage into another (i.e. exchanging into the better double rook ending).

This is very much the way to play against Topalov, it seems to me. Do not get drawn into critical lines. Get a position with slight pressure and minimal counterplay. If Topper has a real weakness it's a pathological dislike of defending worse positions passively, as Kramnik has said and demonstrated. The real trouble is getting him into such a position.

I'm very excited about Kamsky - Topalov: you can see Kamsky winning a more than a few games like this, but you can also see Kamsky getting blown away before move 20 in others.

Feb-20-08  Jim Bartle: bgkuzzy: Shirov at 62. "Wait a minute... I have another rook!?"

Great observation: That rook had sat ignored on g4 since the Middle Ages.

Feb-20-08  Jim Bartle: For those watching this live here, was Shirov inside the dancing rook?
Feb-20-08  MarkusKann: Excelent endgame Shirov, said Topalov: "Hey man let me use the dark squares", Shirov: "Yeah, of course", jeje
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: What can be said about this game, but that Vesko was outplayed in the endgame. <Jim Bartle> no Shirov on dancing Rook.
Feb-21-08  talisman: had to leave this game around move 50.very glad to see shirov win.had to be a sweeet win for him after just missing out on a topalov match.
Feb-21-08  Alphastar: <whiteshark: When they exchanged Qs at move 23/24 it looked like a 'boring, drawish' endgame. But, no, it became quite a thrilling RRendgame. :D>

Wow, if anything, I would say that endgame is much much better for white, if not directly winning. It's fascinating how Shirov managed to win it though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Alphastar> I still think that the position after <34.Kf1>

click for larger view

is really <drawish> and that you have to violate a bunch on chess wisdom to lose it. By all means of good entertainment value. :D

Feb-21-08  Eyal: <you have to violate a bunch on chess wisdom to lose it.>

Apparently, Topalov went wrong with the pushing forward of his g-pawn on moves 34-35, turning it into a permanent weakness, then with 43...Kg8 - inviting the white rook to f6 (did he miss the fact that White has Rg6+ if the king returns to g7?), and then 44...Rd2 instead of d5.

Also, Black might have had good drawing chances as late as move 54 with Rc8, the idea being 55.Rxf7 Rb1+ 56.Kc5 (56.Ka6 Ra8+ 57.Ra7 Ra1+) Rc1+ 57.Kd5 R8xc6 58.Kxe5 R1c5+ 59.Kf4 Rxh5 (suggested by <acirce> during the game). This might indicate that 53.Kb5 was a slip by Shirov - 53.Kc7 was probably better.

Feb-21-08  acirce: Before all this, Shirov had missed 30.Rd3! with good chances, although as he says, Black can probably survive. The point is after 30..Rxe4 31.Rf3! Rxd5 32.Rfxf7+ Kh6 the quiet computer move 33.Kg2!!

click for larger view

and Black will have to give a rook to avoid getting mated.

Feb-21-08  MarkusKann: Yeah acirce is correct, that was a good variation for Shirov.
Feb-21-08  Whitehat1963: Why does the score sheet not list the players' ratings?
Feb-22-08  MarkusKann: i don't why but, if you wanna know that, enter to and next time enter the player name
Feb-22-08  costachess: < Eyal: Apparently, Topalov went wrong with the pushing forward of his g-pawn on moves 34-35, turning it into a permanent weakness, then with 43...Kg8 - inviting the white rook to f6 (did he miss the fact that White has Rg6+ if the king returns to g7?), and then 44...Rd2 instead of d5.>

Maybe Topalov thoutgh that the rook was outplay after 47.Rxg4 Rxf2

Feb-22-08  euripides: After move 34, it looks as if White's rooks are more mobile than Black's, but perhaps not enough so to give winning chances - after all the f8 move will be released if the f3 rook moves. What's curiously easy to miss in assessing the position is that, in terms of active pieces, White is effectively a king up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Shirov has a CD Rom on the Shevenesnikov he has studied that opening deeply.
Jan-05-09  WhiteRook48: Topalov lost?? How'd that happen? I guess that means I finally figured out why Anand is new champion.
May-24-09  WhiteRook48: 63 Rh4! quite subtle
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