Valery Popov Valery Popov,
International Grandmaster

FIDE World Chess Championship,
India, 14 December.

      The 3rd day of the 6th round
  Shirov - Grischuk. Ruy Lopez (я96).
    In a well-known position Shirov employs a very rare move
14.Qe2 - a common continuation is 14.b3. But what is intresting: in the data base there are only 4 games, which were played with this variation and in one of them Grischuk has played: Grischuk - Bezgodov, Ch Russia(KO) Moscow 1999 (1/2). It is unlikely that Alexander seriously prepared to this variation, consequently further Alexei will be better prepared theoretically - but this is so much costs in today's yardsticks ...
    After the exchanges on a4 (Bezgodov played 14...Qd7 - which looks suspiciously) Black has 2 Bishops but a slightly spoiled pawn structure. It seems also that White first will launch the active actions. On 14...Nfd7 15.ab ab 16.Ra8 Qa8 17.Qb5 and now White has an upper hand after 17...Ba6 18.Qa5 and after 17...f5 18.Bg5! (Hansen L.B.).
19.Nc3 - significantly stronger then 19.Nbd2 - in the game Gazik - Romanishin, Novyi Smokovec 1992 (1-0) - there the position has arose after the moves' transposition - 19...Bc8 20.Nf1 a4 21.Bd2 Bd7 with an easy equalization (which has not prevented to Romanishin further to lose confidently)
    Further the rivals till the 21st move repeat the game Topalov-Piket, Groningen 1997 (1/2).
21.b3! - the move certainly prepared at home by Shirov (the 1st critical moment - Shirov gets a psychological advantage) - an interesting opportunity to fight for initiative. Black has retarded in the development, he also has less space - White treads! The occurred continuation 21.Qd3 f5! (Grigoriants - Zenin, Moscow 1997 (0-1) - is very strange, Topalov played in this position 21.Nd2 - and Black immediately traded the Bishops 21...Bg5 and not without some adventures has equaled. At long last the theory is ended! :)
Shirov successfully use in the preparation "another's" idea
21.Rb1!? (Hansen L.B.) - it is impossible to change the Bishops on g5, this is certainly suit to White...
    After white Rooks doubling on b-file
23.Reb1 it becomes the second critical moment in the game - White has created an sought "KingsIndian" preasure, Black is slightly constrained but his position looks firm. Grischuk impatiently want to play actively and he undermine White's center by
23...f5!? - which leads to unexpected complications (true unexpected to those who don't know Who is Shirov :).
    Alexei stuns his rival with a piece's sacrifice by the way of
24.Bc5!? dc 25.Ne5 - even if this is prepared at home - obviously in a hurry: The iron computer's brains confidently assert Black's position also in the variation 25...Qc7 - 26.Nc6 Bg5 27.e5 Bd7 28.Nb5 with a perpetual assault to the Queen. Also possible 25...Bb7!? 26.Qb2 Bf6! 27.f4 Be5 28.f4 Nc4 29.Qe2 Nb6 with the same result...
    What had in view Shirov remains off screen, Grischuk reacts rather suspiciously- with
25..Na4 he although changes a couple of piece, but after
28.e5 White has a visible compensation for the piece and just in such positions Shirov especially dangerous.
    On 28...Ra6 - (all back!) with an idea to return back the material by the reciprocal sacrifice on c6 except happened in the game
29.Qf3 (to defend!) the computer offers 29.Ne7 Qe7 and Black's position is very unpleasant - under a cover by the formidable pawns the white Rooks will "made the order". The Queen on f3 blocks the way to f-pawn, which was able to maintain the central companions with f4 and at that to block the way to the c8-Bishop and this could turn out very important: The second critical moment in the game.
    Grischuk immediately use the imperfection of the rival's move
29...f4! - the further play looks like a cowboy western and why Alexei was able to " smother" his rival without any counterplay...
    With the next moves
30...Bf5, 31...Bc2, 32...Bg6, 33...Be8 the white colored Black's Bishop tries to "reach" White's Knight on c6 - the White's King will be in future slightly open for assaults after the pawn's throw on f4: And he skillfully managed this assault after
36...Bc6!! - the super antic-computer's chess - Black sacrifice the material and attacks! Grischuk fires his "shot" first!
37...Bg2! - the next shot. If 38.Kg2 f3 39.Kh2 Qf5! With a perpetual movement on squares f4 and f5. Grischuk's tactical view is incomparable:
39... Bg4!! - the third shot! Still all hit the mark! The Bishop has made his affair - the Bishop could go away :). The "inviolable" Bishop (if 40.hg then after 40:Qg4 and the pawn's move on f3 White will not be able to beware of a perpetual check) not only assault the h3-pawn but also stops the white pawns e5 and d6 - Black already has a sufficient counterplay for a draw!
    But as it usually happens - laughs that one who : shots the last. Having passing the time trouble and retaining an unclear position Grischuk probably lose the concentration making a terrible mistake
44...f3?? Follows an instant punishment in view of an intermediate
45.e6! - the black King unexpectedly turns out to be weaker: White goes ahead with pawns taking no accounts on the importunate pawn f3
46.e7!, 48.d7! - with losing the f3-pawn and the game by Black...
    But the draw was so near - 44...Bh3! - opening the g-file for an attack on the white King and now:
A) 45.Qh2 f3 46.e6 Rf6 47.e7 Rg6 48.Kh1 Bg2 with a perpetual check
B) 45.Qa8 (perhaps the best for White) Rf8 46.Qd5 Kh8! 47.Qf3 Qg5 48.Kh2 Qh4! With a draw
C) 45.Qf3 Qg5 (it seems that is possible "humans" 45...Rf5!!? 46.Qd5 Kf8 47.Qa8 Kf7 48.Qd5 (after 48.e6? Kg6 White is bad - 49.Qe4 Kf6!) 48...Kf8= (48...Kg6!? 49.Qe4 - 49.Qe6? Kh5-+ - Kh6! 50.Ree2 Rg5 - in the Queen's endgame which arise after exchanges Black stands no worse).
    The Bishop so long moved all over the board and couldn't drop in h3 - it is a pity, isn't it? :) In spite of the result the game could be entered on the credit side of achievements of the young Russian star...

  Adams - Anand . Russian game (я42).
    Here the events developed not so impetuously - as well as in the first game of the match Anand has went to a tight defence outplaying a firm but passive variation. With
15.Ra2 Adams employed an interesting novelty (it was used 15.Bg5 - as it was in the first game and 15.Ng5 in the game Topalov-Adams (!) , which was played in this tournament).
    As well as in the first game Adams has got a significant advantage - as it often happens the Hindu perhaps played quickly subtilizing no in depths of the position :). The suspicious Bishop's maneuvers -
16...Bg6?! and 18..Be4?! leaded to a position with a stable White's advantage who possesses of the two Bishops' preponderance and an advantage in space without any counterplay from the Black's side. Such a position in Anand's hands and a slow death from a suffocation is guaranteed...
    But although Anand played in this day worse than usually Adams who is similar to him in the style was also "not in the Anand's form". After the maneuvers which have not changed the position's character he blinds an important counter-chance
29...h6! Now after 30.Bh6 Bh6 31.Qh6 Re4 32.fe Qg4! Black immediately " goes off" a draw and after the happened in the game
30.Rf4 approaches to it gradually - in future - the different colored Bishops...
    A "tasteless" game, which showed that Adams was not ready to the final - two white colors in vain: No debts that Anand will make a draw with white pieces!

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