Apr 26, 2001

Round 8

Shirov - Kasparov [B90]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5

Struggling against the most aggressive continuation 6. Be3 which is somewhere at the meeting-point of the Najdorf Variation and the Scheveningen Variation G. Kasparov changes his defence pattern every time. In this game he preferred to go deeper into the Najdorf Variation. It can be mentioned that last month he chose the line with 6...Ng4 in his game with the same opponent, and after 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. Bg3 Bg7 10. h3 Nf6 11.Qf3 Qb6 12. 0-0-0 Nc6 Black managed to equalise (Shirov - Kasparov, Sarajevo, 2000). If we set aside the Giants tournament for a while and “sink” to the events that occur at the same time in the Masters tournament we can find a very curious game Topalov - Van Wely (Frankfurt, 2000), played in the eighth round. There was played a very long theoretical line, an adherent of which is A. Shirov. After 6... e6 7.g4 e5 8. Nf5 g6 9. g5 gxf5 10. exf5 d5 11. gxf6 d4 12. Bc4 Qc7 13. Qd3 dxe3 14. O-O-O exf2 15. Bxf7+ Kxf7 16. Qd5+ Kxf6 17. Ne4+ Ke7! 18. Nd6 Bh6+ 19. Kb1 Kf6 20. Rhf1 Rf8 21. Rxf2 Nc6 22. Qc4 Black strengthened his play with 22...Kg7! (22... Bf4? was seen before and let White get to the black king with 23. Rxf4! exf4 24. Qc3+ Kg5 25. Rg1+ Kh4 26. Qf3 1-0 in the game Shirov -Van Wely Loek (Monaco (active), 2000)) 23. Rg1+ Kh8 24. Rfg2 Bg7 25. Rxg7 Qxg7 26. Rxg7 Kxg7 27. Qg4+ Kh8 28. Qg5 Be6, and Black managed to defend against White’s threats, keep his material advantage and win the game.

7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Nbd7 9. Qd2 b5 10. a4 b4 11. Nd5 Bxd5 12. exd5 Nb6 13. Bxb6 Qxb6 14. a5 Qb7 15. Bc4

15... g6

The thirteenth World Champion decided to acquaint his opponent with a new move. In Shirov’s practice there was already 15... Be7 16. Ra4 Rb8 17. Nc1 Bd8, and 18. Nd3 (18.b3 e4 19. Na2 exf3 20. gxf3 Nd7 21. Qe3+ Kf8 22. Kd1 could give more (Nijboer - Van Blitterswijk, Netherlands,2000)) which let Black go 18...Bxa5! and then equalise after 19. Rxa5 Qc7 20. Rxa6 Qxc4 21. Rxd6 O-O 22. O-O Nxd5 in the game Shirov - Gelfand (Vienna, 1996). After 15... Rc8 16. Qd3 Rxc4 17. Qxc4 Nxd5 White managed to gain an advantage in the game Shirov - Topalov (Monaco (active), 2000) with 18. Qe2 Be7 19. O-O-O Nf4 20. Qd2 O-O 21. g3 Ne6 22. f4 Rc8 23. Kb1 g6 24. Rhe1.

16. Ra4 Rb8 17. Qd3 Ra8 18. Qd2 Rb8 19. Qd3 Ra8 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Morozevich - Kramnik [B30]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 e5 5. O-O d6 6. d3 Be7 7. h3 O-O 8. Bc4

White tried already different continuations in this position: 8. Ne2, 8. Bxc6 and 8. Re1.

8... h6 9. a3 Re8 10. Nh2 Be6 11. Nd5 Bf8 12. Nxf6+ Qxf6 13. Ng4 Qg6 14. Bxe6 fxe6 15. c3 Rad8 16. Qe2 Be7 17. b4 b6 18. bxc5

Now White could have arranged an activity on the kingside with 18. f4 exf4 19. Bxf4, but after 19... Bg5 Black still would maintain an approximate balance.

18... bxc5 19. Qc2 Rb8 20. Be3 h5 21. Nh2 Rb6 22. Nf3

22. Rab1 deserved attention right now or on the next move.

22... Reb8 23. Qa4 Qe8 24. Rac1

24. d4 suggested itself in this position.

24... Bf8

25. d4??

It’s hard even to devise a worse move. White’s position became much weaker after the last moves as he lost the control of the b-file. After 25. Nd2 Nd4 (if 25... d5, then 26. Rb1) 26. Qxe8 (and in case of 26. Qd1 Nb3 27. Rb1 Nxd2 28. Rxb6 Rxb6 29. Qxd2 Rb3 Black would have kept the pressure) 26... Ne2+ 27. Kh1 Rxe8 28. Rc2 Nf4 29. Nc4 Rb3 Black would still have a more pleasant play. After the move in the game White will lose his important central pawn at once and then lose the game inevitably.

25... Nxd4 26. Qd1 Nxf3+ 27. Qxf3 Rb3 28. Qg3 Rxa3

As White wanted to lose the game with the queens present on the board he had to part with another pawn.

29. f4 exf4 30. Rxf4 Be7 31. Rf3 Kh7 32. Bg5 Bxg5 33. Qxg5 Qg6 34. Qh4 Rab3 35. Rg3 Qf7 36. Rf3 Qe8 37. Kh2 Rb1 38. Rxb1 Rxb1 39. e5 d5 40. Qf2 Qg6 41. Qxc5 Qe4 42. Qd6 Rb2 43. Rg3 Qf4 44. Qxe6 Rb6 45. Qe7 Rg6 0-1 White resigned.

Leko - Anand [B31]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d3 Bg7 6. O-O Nf6 7. h3 O-O 8. Nc3 Nd7 9. Be3 e5 10. Qd2 Re8 11. Nh2 Qe7 12. Bh6

An attempt to break through at once with 12. f4 was seen, too.

12... Bh8 13. Kh1 Nf8 14. f4 exf4 15. Rxf4 Be6

15... Ne6 occurred previously in this position.

16. Raf1 Nd7 17. b3 Ne5 18. Nd1 a5 19. Ne3

Probably White refused from 19. a4 reckoning on 19... b5 with the idea of c5-c4.

19... a4 20. Nhg4 axb3 21. axb3 Bxg4 22. Nxg4 Nxg4 23. Rxg4 Ra1 24. Rgf4 Rea8 25. R4f3 Be5 26. Bf4 Rxf1+ 27. Rxf1 Qf6 28. Kg1 Bd4+

29. Be3?

It was maybe the most interesting moment of the whole game. White made the most natural move but it was by no means the best one. Obviously there was no 29. Kh1?? because of 29... g5, but there was a much more strong 29. Kh2! with the idea that 29... g5 would be met with 30. Bb8!!, and after 30...Qxf1 31. Qxg5+ Bg7 32. Qd8+ Bf8 33. Qg5+ the game would be over owing to a perpetual check.

29... Qg5 30. Rf3 Ra2 31. Kf2 Bxe3+?

V. Anand ignored his chance and let his opponent live. White’s pieces suffer from the cross-fire of Black’s bishop and queen, and in case of 31... h5! it would be not at all easy for them to escape the binding. Thus, after 32. g3 (if 32. Qd1 Qh4+ 33. Ke2 Ra1 34. Qd2, then 34...Bxe3 35. Rxe3 Rg1 wins, while in case of 32. Qe2 there is 32...Bxe3+ 33. Rxe3 Qf6+ 34. Kg1 Qc3, White losing material) 32... h4 33. gxh4 (if 33. Kg2, then a big advantage is to be achieved with 33...Bxe3 34. Rxe3 Rxc2 35. Qxc2 Qxe3, and if 33. g4, then 33...Bxe3+ 34. Rxe3 Qf4+ wins at once) 33... Bxe3+ 34. Rxe3 Qf4+ 35. Kg1 Rxc2 (after 35... Ra1+ 36. Kg2 Qf1+ 37. Kg3 Qg1+ 38. Kf4 White’s king manages to escape) 36. Qxc2 Qxe3+ 37. Kg2 b6 White becomes a very hard queen endgame.

32. Rxe3 Qf6+ 33. Kg3 Qg5+ 34. Kf2 1/2-1/2


"Chess is so interesting in itself, as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it;and thence it is never played for money."

Benjamin Franklin, "Chess made easy", 1802

"It is one of the insights of modern players, and especially of the best ones, that one has toplay the position itself, not some abstract idea of the position."

John Watson, "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy", 1998

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