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Magnus Carlsen vs Alexey Shirov
M-Tel Masters (2009), Sofia BUL, rd 4, May-16
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System (D44)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-16-09  Marmot PFL: 33...a5 was evidently winning but no human could expect to see that with so little time left
May-16-09  RandomVisitor: either 37.Qf7+ with perpetual or 37.f7
May-16-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: Drawn by mutual fear (cleverly disguised as perpetual check)?
May-16-09  Mulyahnto: they just shook hands...draw
May-16-09  Marmot PFL: Could swith games and see ivanchuk lose on time...
May-16-09  furrer: I said perpetual when they started (at move 19)
May-16-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: Another exciting game from Carlsen. Unfortunately, Shirov didn't have enough time to find the best moves.
May-16-09  Mulyahnto: they just reached time control in the ivanchuk game
May-16-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: good show
May-16-09  messachess: Great game. Shirov seems to be in good form.
May-16-09  superstoned: nice to see the botvinnik back in action at the elite level.
May-16-09  Hesam7: Shirov is still playing the Botvinnik system! But unfortunately Carlsen did not play the main line (19.Be3) so we did not get to see what Shirov had prepared there.
May-16-09  VaselineTopLove: I didn't follow this game live but when I saw the final position, I knew black had missed a win somewhere...
May-17-09  Atking: Why not simply 24.RxRe8 RxRe8 25.Be3 (I suggested yesterday the lemon Rd1? which doesn't work because after QxBd6 there is Re1+!) Now the threat of Ne5 is not as strong as it was few moves before. Else 25...Bb6 26.QxNd7+ QxQd7 27.Nc5+ Kc 28.NxQd7 KxNd7 29.Bd2! stopping c3 and threatening to win the pawns on queen side looks pretty good for White. 29...Re2?! 30.Rd1! (Kd7)~31.Kf1
May-17-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Atking: Why not simply 24.RxRe8 RxRe8 25.Be3 (I suggested yesterday the lemon Rd1? which doesn't work because after QxBd6 there is Re1+!) Now the threat of Ne5 is not as strong as it was few moves before. Else 25...Bb6 26.QxNd7+ QxQd7 27.Nc5+ Kc 28.NxQd7 KxNd7 29.Bd2! stopping c3 and threatening to win the pawns on queen side looks pretty good for White. 29...Re2?! 30.Rd1! (Kd7)~31.Kf1>

I suppose that should be 25...Bb8 - that's how Beliavsky vs J Smeets, 2007 continued up to move 28 and it ended in a draw after 29.Ra4, but perhaps 29.Bd2 is indeed an improvement. Another possibility is 25...Nb6, but then 26.Nxb6 axb6 27.Qg4 (aiming for Qh5) looks pretty strong.

Shirov is a known expert in this line, so he probably had something in mind...

May-17-09  vindaloo: Botvinnik players won't lose any sleep over Carlsen's unprepared novelty 24.Re3. Certainly the Beliavsky-Smeets endgame might give white something but Shirov should've analysed it well enough even though I doubt his entire opening choice (see below). It should also be noted that Smeets choice of rook is flawed: 23...Rhe8 24.Re7! is a strong additional possibility for white.

As mentioned, 23...Rdg8 24.Rad1 Rxh2! is very cool. After 25.Kxh2 Rxg5 26.Qe4 Nxf6 27.Qxc6+ Kxc6 28.Rd4 Ng4+ 29.Kg2 black has the surprising 29...Nxf2! and the computer indicates the second player should draw. Another interesting white option is 20.Rfd1!? e.g. 20...Bxg2 21.Kxg2 d3 22.Rac1 and the knight can not be taken.

But the most interesting is indeed 19.Be3 and my opinion is that black is struggling. Shirov's potential novelty would have had to be of great value. In fact, I don't understand why he didn't go 13...Nxf6 since it is very difficult for white to get a larger advantage than in Aronian vs Van Wely, 2008 which quickly ended in a draw (despite some black inaccuracies which white did not capitalise on). After all, it is one of the moves he has previously recommended as easy equality. Perhaps he was afraid of Carlsen's excellent technique in such a minimally worse position. Indeed black must still be careful since pawn endgames will often be lost.

May-17-09  Atking: <It should also be noted that Smeets choice of rook is flawed: 23...Rhe8 24.Re7! is a strong additional possibility for white.> Yes a good one <vindaloo>. Thanks <Eyal> for the reference and the comment. Indeed I prefer "my" Bd2 to the bit insipid Ra4. Looks White has an edge after that move.
May-18-09  Hesam7: In "Fire on Board II" Shirov mentions Van Wely vs Shirov, 2004 where he thinks after 24.h4 Black has serious problems. I guess he has figured out an improvement for Black since.
May-18-09  Atking: Yes <Hesam7> this game is interesting too. Mainly matters of who will promote first and decisively his pawn. After 24.h4 I will anively try 25.h5 as 25...d4 26.BxB KxB 27.h6 d3 28.h7 d2 29.Red1 c3 30.bxc bxc 31.h8=Q c2 32.Qh1+ working the diagonal before the promotion. Of this line isn't exhaustive and one should check with a chess program. Could be a new 4 queens game as Alekhine dreamed about). I wondering too what Shirov had in mind playing this line. But true to himself, he works hard to keep this incredible resourceful Botvinnik defence alive.
May-19-09  Hesam7: <Atking> we will see how long this renewed interest in Botvinnik will last. The fact that Kramnik, Anand and Topalov routinely avoid the Botvinnik by playing 5...h6 suggests that a refutation (or something very close to it) is known to the people at the very top.
May-19-09  Atking: <Hesam7> I work a bit more the line I suggested up. Eventually trying 32.Rdb1+ (Keeping the diagonal a8-h1 in case of Ka8 ! Honestly I must admit that 3 queens (Nearly 4) was too much for my mind so I tried simplest) 32...cxR=Q+ 33.RxQb1+ Kc8 (33...Kc7?! 34.Qf4+ Qd6 35.Qh5 (Qc5#) is already too much for Black (At least something like QvsR). 34.Qh1 Qc1+ 35.Kg2 Qc6+ 36.f3~37.Qd1 which is obviously winning for White. Yes like you said this line (Not the board) is really under fire but, as we know, Shirov likes it.
May-19-09  Hesam7: <Atking> could you post your entire analysis in one post?
May-22-09  Atking: <<Hesam> <Atking> could you post your entire analysis in one post?> Of course I do a copy of my 2 previous posts. My line was: 25.h5 d4 as the figthing chance then 26.BxB KxB 27.h6 d3 28.h7 d2 29.Red1 c3 30.bxc bxc 31.h8=Q c2 32.Rdb1+ cxR=Q+ 33.RxQb1+ Kc8 (33...Kc7?! 34.Qf4+ Qd6 35.Qh5 (With Qc5# as idea) is already too much for Black (Something like Q vs R)) 34.Qh1 Qc1+ 35.Kg2 Qc6+ 36.f3~37.Qd1 wins. <Mainly matters of who will promote first and decisively his pawn.> The answer seems to be White.
May-22-09  Hesam7: <Atking> you are suggesting that line in Van Wely vs Shirov, 2004 right?
May-23-09  Atking: <Hesam7: <Atking> you are suggesting that line in Van Wely vs Shirov, 2004 right?> Yes I answered to your post in which you suggested this game. <Hesam7: In "Fire on Board II" Shirov mentions Van Wely vs Shirov, 2004 where he thinks after 24.h4 Black has serious problems. I guess he has figured out an improvement for Black since.> I saw an improvement for white still not for black. If you have an idea it will be welcome.
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