[Event "Moscow Nutcracker rap "] [White "Shirov,Alexei"] [Black "Dubov,Daniil"] [Site ""] [Round ""] [Annotator "Havanur,Nagesh"] [Result "0-1"] [Date "2014.12.24"] [WhiteElo "2675"] [BlackElo "2629"] [PlyCount "102"] 1. e4 e6 {Young Dubov chooses the combative French Defence.} 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. a3 {This move was initiated by Louis Paulsen way back in 1879. It prevents...Bb4+ and also prepares cxd4 followed by b2-b4.} f6 { "I have suggested this move as a good move in every edition of "Play The French" and I am continually surprised that so few people have used it." -John Watson} (6... c4 {countering a possible 7.b4 is the standard move from the old days.} )(6... a5 7. Bd3 Bd7 8. O-O cxd4 9. cxd4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 Qxd4 11. Nc3 Qb6 $44 {was seen in Shirov-Anand,( 1/2 - 1/2 , 34 moves) World Chess Championship, K.O.2000, New Delhi/Teheran} ({Greedy is} 11... Qxe5 $6 {White has lead in development after} 12. Re1 $16 ))(6... Nh6 {is currently in vogue.} )7. b4 { This pawn advance delays piece development.} (7. Bd3 fxe5 8. dxe5 c4 9. Bc2 Nh6 $11 {is better known.} )fxe5 8. bxc5 {This move opening up the b-file and forcing the queen to retreat appwars attractive. However, White still lags in development.} ({After} 8. dxc5 Qc7 {White's far advanced queenside pawns are vulnerable to attack and Black has a free hand in the centre.} )(8. Nxe5 { may be met by} cxd4 $5 9. Qh5+ g6 10. Nxg6 Nf6 11. Qh4 hxg6 12. Qxh8 Kf7 13. Bh6 Bxh6 14. Qxh6 e5 $44 )({Perhaps} 8. dxe5 c4 9. Be2 Nge7 $11 {is a reasonable line.} )Qa5 9. Bd2 $2 {This move threatens c2-c4 and if 9... exd4 10.cxd4 again targeting the queen. However, it underestimates Black's next move.} (9. dxe5 Bxc5 10. Bd3 Nge7 11. O-O O-O {is best.} )e4 10. Ng5 Nf6 11. Be2 Be7 12. Bh5+ g6 13. Be2 Qd8 $2 {The queen gets back into the game, indirectly targeting the knight on g5.} ({But Black missed} 13... h6 $1 14. Nh3 e5 $17 )14. h4 h6 15. Nh3 e5 16. Be3 Kf7 $2 {Clearing the first rank so that the queen and the two rooks remain together in action. Reminiscent of a famous game, Bondarevsky-Botvinnik, USSR Championship 1941. But this could have waited.} ({First, he should have completed development with} 16... Bf5 $1 )17. Nd2 Kg7 $2 {Dubov was probably concerned about a possible knight sacrifice on g5.} (17... Qc7 {keeping an eye on e5 is preferable.} )18. Nf1 $2 {The knight is headed for g3 and then White would launch an attack on the Black king. However, White's pawn position, c3-d4-c5 is vulnerable.} (18. Rb1 $1 {instead countered any freeing move like ...b7-b6.} )Qa5 {The queen is back again to target c3.} ({Perhaps he could have paid more attention to the protection of e5 with} 18... Qc7 )19. Bd2 {The White bishop is also back at his old post. For now the d-pawn is only indirectly defended.} ({Instead he could have tried the line,} 19. Nd2 Bd7 $15 ({Pawn humting with the queen,} 19... Qxc3 20. Rc1 Qxa3 21. Nb3 exd4 22. Ra1 Qb2 $11 {fetches only a draw.} ))Qc7 {The queen is in the right position, protecting e5 and also ready for a freeing move like...b7-b6.} 20. Be3 $2 {White is ready to meet ...b7-b6 with cxb6 and dxe5. Yet it is rather late.} (20. Ne3 b6 21. cxb6 axb6 22. Nc2 Bd6 $17 { was the lesser evil.} )Be6 ({Better is} 20... b6 $1 21. dxe5 Qxe5 22. Bd4 Nxd4 23. cxd4 Qc7 24. c6 Qxc6 $17 )21. Ng3 Rad8 ({Again better is} 21... b6 $1 22. dxe5 Qxe5 23. Bd4 Nxd4 24. cxd4 Qc7 25. c6 Qxc6 $17 {similar to the previous line of analysis.} )22. O-O $2 {From the frying pan into the fire! The king is also in danger.} (22. Rb1 {keeps Black's pawn advance, ...b7-b6 in check.} )Qc8 23. dxe5 Nxe5 {This is not bad.} ({But} 23... Ng4 $1 { targeting both the d-pawn and the h-pawn may be better.} )24. Nf4 Bf7 25. Bd4 Nc6 26. Bg4 Qc7 27. Ne6+ Bxe6 28. Bxe6 Nxd4 29. cxd4 h5 30. Qb3 b6 31. cxb6 axb6 32. Rac1 $2 {This natural move looks obvious and is still wrong. It allows the Black queen to target both the a-pawn and f4 square.} (32. Ne2 $1 { was necessary to prevent the invasion of the Black queen on dark squares.} )Qd6 33. Bh3 Ng4 34. Rc3 $2 {Shirov brings the rook to the third rank both for attack and defence. However, he allows the h-file to be opened with fatal consequences.} ({He missed} 34. Bxg4 $1 hxg4 35. h5 Bg5 36. hxg6 Kxg6 $11 )Bxh4 35. Bxg4 $2 {This move should lose.} (35. Qc2 {was the lesser evil.} )hxg4 $19 36. Rfc1 Rd7 37. Rc6 Qf4 38. R1c2 ({After the better try,} 38. Re1 Re7 39. Qe3 Qxe3 40. Rxe3 Rf8 $19 {Black wins as White cannot defend his vulnerable pawns on a3, d4 and f2. The rook on e3 cannot leave his post without allowing the advance of the Black e-pawn. If the rook on c6 captures the b-pawn, his counter part enters the c-file with decisiive effect.} )Rh6 $2 {Guarding g6 against possible surprises and also preparing... Rd8 and...Rh8. However, this preparation is too elaborate.} ({With a litte more time on the clock he would have found} 38... e3 $1 39. Qd3 Rd6 40. Rxd6 exf2+ 41. Rxf2 Qxd6 $19 )39. Nf1 Bxf2+ $1 {The beginning of a brilliant combination just before the first time control in a rapid game. As it turns out, it only draws.} 40. Rxf2 Rh1+ $1 41. Kxh1 Qxf2 42. Rc1 {An understandable decision. Shirov preserves the knight on f1 so that it can cover the king with Nh2 in the event of a check.} ({However,} 42. Ng3 {also draws.} Rd8 43. Rc7+ Kh6 (43... Kf6 $4 44. Nxe4+ $1 dxe4 45. Qf7+ $18 )44. Kh2 Kg5 $11 )Rd8 43. Rc7+ Kf6 44. Rc6+ Kg7 45. Rc7+ Kf6 46. Rc6+ Kf5 $4 {Dubov does not want a draw. But the king steps over a minefield!} (46... Kg7 $1 47. Rc7+ Kf6 $11 )(46... Kf7 $1 47. Rc7+ Kf6 $11 {comes to the same thing.} )47. Ne3+ $4 {The wrong check!} ({He would have won with} 47. Ng3+ $1 Kg5 48. Qxd5+ $1 Rxd5 49. Nxe4+ Kf5 50. Nxf2 $18 {Sveshnikov.} )Kg5 {Now the tide turns.} 48. Rxg6+ Kxg6 49. Qxb6+ Qf6 50. Qc7 Qd6 51. Qb7 Rb8 0-1