Morozevich, Alexander - Shirov, Alexey

The tenacious grandmasters turned the seemingly boring and equal position into a bright one. Morozevich demonstrated a splendid play and deserved his victory. 1.e4 e5 2.Sf3 Sf6 3.Sxe5 d6 4.Sf3 Sxe4 5.Ld3 This looks like Alexander's another opening fad. Leko was the first to employ this move in his game with Kramnik (Linares 1999). This idea was to Morozevich's taste and like, and I believe this variation is going to draw more more admirers after today's game. Alexander's ability to make extravagant openings popular is exceptional. d5 6.De2 De7 7.O-O Sd6 At the Sarajevo-2000 tournament Shirov played Morozevich in the following way: 7...Nc5. This time he follows Kramnik. 8.Dd1 g6 Morozevich and Kramnik played (Vijk-aan-Zee 2000)
[8.Dd8 9.Te1+ Le7 10.Sc3 c6 11.De2 (the queens' transpositions to and fro are quite funny!) Lg4 12.b3 Sd7 13.Lb2 Sc5 14.Sa4 Lxf3 15.Dxf3 Sxd3 16.Dxd3 , a draw.]
9.Te1 Le6 10.Lf1 Lg7 11.d4 So the bishop will be developed in the usual way. O-O 12.Lf4 Sc6 13.c3 Dd7 14.Sbd2 Tfe8 15.h3 f6 # 16.Da4 Now this move is quite possible. Under the operative g7-bishop this move is followed by Nxd4. Lf7 17.Txe8+ Txe8 18.b4 a6 19.Sb3 There threatens 20.Nc5 Qc8 21.Bxa6, and the pawn is won. Morozevich created problems for his opponent with the help of a few precise moves. Se4 20.Sc5 Df5 after
[20.Sxc3 21.Db3 Df5 22.Dxc3 Dxf4 23.Sxb7]
[20.Sxc5 21.bxc5 the "b"-file is open for White.]
21.Le3 In response to
[21.Sxb7 there follows Sxd4! 22.cxd4 Dxf4 23.Dxa6 Sg5! 24.Sxg5 fxg5 , and the black pieces are revived.]
21...Sd8 Black has retreated to the prearranged positions. 22.Dc2 Dc8 23.a4 If
[23.Sxe4 dxe4 24.Sd2 f5 , the bishops are completely operative.]
23...Sd6 From my point of view, also possible is
[23.Sxc5 24.bxc5 Dd7 Black has a passive but firm position.]
24.Lf4 Sc4 25.a5 Otherwise there is 25...b6. Se6 26.Lg3 Sxc5 27.bxc5 The knight has taken on n5 at last. The remaining knight is restricted, but he controls the a5-pawn, and this means that this knight is not useless. Lh6 28.Ld3 Te7 # 29.Sh2
[29.Db3 deserves attention (the idea being Qb4 and Rb1) with the possible continuation c6 30.Db4 Dd8 31.Lxc4 dxc4 32.Ld6 Td7 33.Te1 , where White has a prolonged initiative.]
29...De8 30.Sg4 Lg7 31.Lh4 If
[31.Lxc4 dxc4 32.Db2
(32.Se3 Lh6 33.Sg4 Lg7)
32...Ld5 33.Se3 Lc6 34.Sxc4 Te2 , Black has a counterplay.]
31...Te1+ In case of
[31.Dc6 32.Lxc4 dxc4 33.Se5! Dd5 34.Sxf7 Kxf7 35.Tb1 , White's position is preferable.]
32.Txe1 Dxe1+ 33.Kh2 f5 Safer is
[33.De6 , but Alexey must have miscalculated or underestimated something in the time trouble.]
34.Sf6+ Kh8? And this is a mistake. Instead, possible is
[34.Lxf6 35.Lxf6 De6 after
(35.Sxa5?! 36.Le5 c6? 37.Db2! and the ensuing Qb6-d8, White has a fatal attack.)
36.Lxc4 Dxf6 37.Ld3 b6 , and Black can defend tenaciously.]
35.Lxc4 dxc4 # 36.c6! bxc6 This is the only move. With the white pawn on n7, Black won't last long.
[36.b5 37.axb6 cxb6 38.c7 De6 39.De2! Lxf6 40.Lxf6+ Kg8 41.Df3]
37.Db2! Suddenly the black king is chased. Lf8 in response to
[37.Lh6 38.Db8+ Kg7 39.Sd7 Lf4+ 40.Lg3 Lxg3+ 41.Kxg3 De7 42.Dxc7]
[37.De7 38.Db8+ Df8
(38.Lf8 39.Sxh7! Dxh4 40.Dxf8+ Lg8 41.Df6+ Dxf6 42.Sxf6)
39.Dxc7 Le6 40.Sd7]
[37.Lxf6 38.Lxf6+ Kg8 White has a treacherous move 39.Le5! , preventing the queen from the defense. After this the black king is quickly done for.]
38.Lg3! This is much stronger than
[38.Db8 Kg7 39.Dxc7 De6 (there threatens 40...Bd6+) 40.f4 h6]
38...Ld6 39.Lxd6 cxd6 40.Db8+ Kg7 41.Dxd6 Dxf2 In the ending after
[41.De6 42.Dxe6 Lxe6 43.Se8+ Kf8 44.Sc7 Lc8 45.Sa8!?
(45.Kg3 Ke7 46.Kf4 Kd6 47.Sa8 c5 with counterplay)
45...Ke7 46.Sb6 Le6 47.Kg3 Kd6 48.Sa4 , the knight's advantage over the bishop is obvious.]
42.Sd7 Kh6 43.Dg3! A way towards perpetual check is
[43.Df8+ Kg5 44.Dxf7 Df4+]
43...Dd2 # 44.h4! Le6?! Surely the bishop is a good fighter against passed pawns, but only a very phlegmatical person can risk
[44.Ld5 45.Dg5+ Dxg5 46.hxg5+ Kxg5 47.Sc5 . After Kf6 bad is
(47.Kf4? 48.Sxa6 c5 49.Sxc5 Ke3 50.a6 Kd2 51.Sa4 Lc6 52.Sb6 Kxc3 53.d5)
48.Sxa6 c5 it is hard to believe that Black can escape, but there is no definite win to be seen on the spot 49.Sxc5 more serious is
(49.dxc5 Ke7 50.Sb4 Le4 , and Black organizes a good defense at the queenside, and as far as his kingside is concerned, everything is OK)
(49.Sc7!? Lb7 50.a6 in the pawn ending after (50.dxc5 Ke7 51.a6 Kd7! 52.axb7 Kxc7 53.c6 g5 the best thing that White can achieve is the queen ending 54.g3 h5 55.Kg2 Kb8 56.Kf3 Kc7 57.Ke3 Kb8 58.Kd4 Kc7 59.Ke5 h4 60.gxh4 gxh4 61.Kf4 Kb8 62.Kxf5 h3 63.Ke6 h2 64.Kd7 h1=D 65.c7+ Kxb7 66.c8=D+ Ka7 where the pawn is much too far away from the promotion square) 50...Lxa6 51.Sxa6 cxd4 52.cxd4 f4 but even here Black's defense seems to be all right)
49...Ke7 50.Sa4 Lb7! this move is necessary for protecting the n4-pawn. Losing is
(50.Kd6? 51.Sb6 Kc6 (51.Le6 52.a6) 52.Sxd5 Kxd5 53.a6 Kc6 54.d5+)
51.Sb6 La6 52.Kg3 g5 53.Sd5+ Kd6 54.Sb4 Lb7 55.a6 La8 and the white king hasn't managed to take part in the fight.]
45.Sb8 Lc8 46.Sxc6 Lb7 47.Se5 The queens are still on the chessboard, and this means that Black should watch not only the pawns' safety but also the king's. Ld5 48.Sd7 Le4
[48.Lc6 49.Sc5 Lb5 50.Se6 Lc6 51.d5! Lxd5 52.Dg5+ Dxg5 53.hxg5+ Kh5 54.Sf4+ Kxg5 55.Sxd5]
49.Sc5 Kg7 If
[49.Ld3 50.Sxa6 Dxc3 51.Sc5 Dxa5 , the king is in trouble:
(51.Dd2 52.Dg5+ Dxg5 53.hxg5+ Kxg5 54.a6)
(51.Dxd4 52.Dg5+ Kg7 53.Se6+)
52.Dg5+ Kg7 53.De7+ Kh6 54.Se6 with a mate in a few moves]
50.Se6+ Kh6 #
[50.Kf7 51.Sg5+ Ke8 52.De5+ Kd7 53.De6+ Black loses a lot of pawns. Now there is more trouble for him]
51.Dg5+! Dxg5 52.hxg5+ Kh5 53.Kg3 The black king, who is in the stalemate position, is in check from f4, therefore the d4-pawn has a free hand. h6 54.gxh6?! There is a simple winning move
[54.d5! hxg5
(54.Lxd5 55.Sf4+ Kxg5 56.Sxd5)
55.d6 f4+ 56.Kf2 Lc6 57.Sc5 True, at this moment the opponents were surviving the second time-trouble]
54...Kxh6 55.Sc5 Kg5 56.Sxa6 In retrospect, the easiest way is the transition into the pawn ending
[56.Sxe4+ fxe4 57.Kf2 Kf4 58.g3+ Kf5
(58.Kg4 59.Ke3! Kf5 60.g4+)
59.Ke3 g5 60.g4+ Kxg4 61.Kxe4 Kh5 in case of
(61.Kh3 , White trades off the newly born queens and wins)
62.Kf5! g4 63.Kf4! Kh4 64.d5 g3 65.d6 g2 66.d7 g1=D 67.d8=D+ Kh3 68.Dh8+ Kg2 69.Dg8+ Kf1 70.Dxg1+ Kxg1 71.Ke4]
56...f4+ 57.Kf2 Kf6 58.Sc5 Lc6 59.a6 Ke7 # 60.Sb7! Black loses the n4-pawn, and the fight is over Ld5 61.Sa5 Kd6 62.a7 Kc7 63.Sxc4 g5 64.Se5 Kb6 65.c4 There is a popular puzzle. It consists in moving the knight all over the chessboard without visiting any square twice. Morozevich's heroic knight went along the following route: f3-h2-g4-f6-d7-b8-c6-e5-d7-c5-e6-c5-a6-c5-b7-a5-c4-e5. All in all, this comprises 18 moves. Alexander hasn't managed to make it thoroughly, but I think he will survive it somehow.