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Alexey Shirov vs Vladimir Eduardovich Akopian
Merida (2000), Merida MEX, rd 6, Jun-19
French Defense: Winawer. Retreat Variation Armenian Line (C18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Played in the last (6th) round of this 5 player double round robin; Shirov was tied for 1st with J.Polgar so he was playing for a win with White. 16 Qxf7!? was a new move; 16 Rfe1 and 16 Qh4 had been played previously. Shirov had not considered Akopians interesting exchange sacrifice 17..Rxf3!?. After Shirov had played 21 Kf1 Akopian spent almost an hour on his response. After Akopians 25..Qxa3?! Shirov missed the opportunity to obtain a powerful attack with 26 Rxd5!..exd 27 Re1. 26..Qa4? was the losing move missing Shirovs winning response 27 Rxe6!; instead the alternative 26..d3 would have led to unclear complications after 27 Rxd5+..exd 28 Rxd3..Qc1+ 29 Kg2..Qxc2 30 Qh7..Rg6 31 Rxd5+..Ke8 32 Qh8+. Black could have tried 28..Kxe6 29 Re1+..Kd7 30 Qxe7..Kc8 31 Qc5+..Bc6 32 Re8+..Kc7 33 Re7+..Kc8 34 Qf5+..Bd7 35 Qd5 though this should be winning for White. Shirovs clever exchange sacrifice 41 Rxd5 simplified to a winning ending.
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