[Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.02.05"] [Round "2"] [White "Shirov, Alexei"] [Black "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B23"] [WhiteElo "2704"] [BlackElo "2752"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 {Dominguez mainly uses the solid open games against strong opposition, but today he decided to play big and opted for his beloved Sicilian.} 2. Nc3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 {Probably this line was the reason. Shirov had used it quite a bit lately, and Black had prepared well for it.} Nc6 5. Qd2 g6 6. b3 Bh6 {Asking White the awkward question: do you trade the dark-squared bishops, which would be an opening failure, or do you self-pin $2} 7. f4 Nf6 ({Another recent game of Shirov’s went:} 7... f5 8. Bb2 Nf6 9. O-O-O Rf8 10. exf5 Bxf5 11. Bb5 Qb6 12. Re1 O-O-O 13. Nf3 e5 {Shirov,A (2704)-Santos Latasa,J (2639) Salamanca 2021}) 8. Bb2 O-O 9. O-O-O e5 {Black is practically blitzing and Shirov starts to take time on his clock. In fact, for the next three (still known moves) the Latvian-born-Spanish GM would spend more than an hour of his precious time.} 10. g3 Re8 {An obvious and strong move. It is Dominguez who is better developed, thus he is the one seeking a quick opening of the center.} ({ Another interesting top-level game went} 10... exf4 11. gxf4 Re8 12. Bd3 Bg4 13. Nge2 Qa5 14. Kb1 Bxe2 15. Qxe2 Bxf4 16. Bc4 Be5 {Andriasian,Z (2887) -Firouzja,A (3053) Chess.com INT 2019}) 11. Kb1 Nd4 12. Bg2 Bg4 13. Rf1 d5 $1 { Of course $1 Black is hardly trying to take over the initiative. And notice: he does this while heavily on top on the clock.} 14. h3 $1 $146 {This logical move is a novelty.} ({The predecessor saw:} 14. exd5 Bf5 (14... Rc8 $5 { at once also looks appealing.}) 15. Rc1 b5 16. Nge2 b4 {With an initiative for Black, who emerged victorious after} 17. Na4 Nxd5 ({Perhaps even stronger was} 17... Nxe2 $1 18. Qxe2 exf4) 18. Nxd4 exd4 19. Bxd4 Qa5 {Di Nicolantonio,L (2408)-Lamard,G (2452) Paris 2019}) ({Also} 14. Nxd5 {changes little due to} Nxd5 15. exd5 Rc8 16. Rc1 Bf5 {with Black's edge.}) 14... Be6 {Black also starts to think a lot and this would soon lead to mutual time-trouble.} 15. g4 {Fire on board $1} ({After} 15. exd5 {Black could have switched back to the predecessor with} Bf5 $1) 15... Nxe4 ({Certainly not} 15... Bxf4 $2 16. Rxf4 exf4 17. Qxd4) 16. Nxe4 dxe4 17. Bxe4 Rc8 {The center has been opened and both sides start their walk into the minefield.} 18. Qd3 {Unpinning seems best.} ({ The other logical move was to develop at once with} 18. Ne2 Nxe2 19. Qxe2 { with the idea} Bxf4 ({However} 19... exf4 $1 {is stronger, and better for the second player.}) 20. Bxb7) 18... Qa5 {A risky affair.} ({Safer was to deprive White of his next resource with} 18... f5 $5 19. gxf5 Nxf5 {The threat of a fork on the g3-square practically forces White to swap the queens after} 20. Ne2 Qxd3 21. cxd3 exf4 22. Nxf4 Ng3 23. Nxe6 Nxe4 24. dxe4 Rxe6 {which should be approximately equal.}) 19. f5 $1 {The logical follow-up which, however, has a hidden flaw.} Bd5 {The most logical move.} ({But there was this amazing, unbelievable resource instead} 19... Nxc2 $3 20. fxe6 Nb4 $1 21. exf7+ Kh8 $3 { In the spirit of the Spassky-Bronstein game, Black can sacrifice a rook with a check, adding a knight and a pawn on the road. Still, after} ({Notice that} 21... Kg7 $2 {does not work due to the underpromotion fxe8=$146+ Rxe8} 22. Qd7 {and White wins.}) 22. fxe8=Q+ Rxe8 {White, who is up heavily on material, will have to part with loads of material to safeguard his king. First, the queen would leave after} 23. a4 Nxd3 24. Bxd3 {But then there is also the double-attack} Qd5 $1 {that wins a whole rook more for Black and then} 25. Bc4 Qe4+ $1 26. Ka1 Qxh1 {should be big edge for the second player.}) 20. Rh2 ({ Apparently, Dominguez was not afraid of} 20. Bxd5 Qxd5 21. Ne2 Rxc2 22. Nxd4 Rxb2+ 23. Kxb2 exd4 {as he lost a similar situation with the white pieces against the world champion.}) 20... Bxe4 21. Qxe4 Nb5 {Again the most logical continuation. This knight is looking for glory $1} ({Here} 21... Qa6 22. Re1 Bf4 23. Rf2 g5 {might be better according to the machine.}) 22. Qxb7 {Shirov decided to risk it and snack on the pawn.} ({This was the last good moment to finally bring the knight into the game with} 22. Ne2 {when White needs not to fear} Na3+ ({Perhaps Shirov disliked} 22... Nd6 {but there, too, he has good play with} 23. Qh1 $1 Bf4 24. Nxf4 exf4 25. fxg6 hxg6 26. a4) 23. Bxa3 Qxa3 24. fxg6 fxg6 25. g5 Bxg5 26. h4 {with nice attacking prospects for the first player.}) 22... Nd6 {The point behind the maneuver. Dominguez wants to bring his passer into motion while opening the important long diagonal.} ({Although there was nothing wrong with} 22... Nc3+ 23. Bxc3 Qxc3 24. Qe4 Red8 25. Ne2 Qc5 {when Black should have enough for the pawn.}) 23. Qf3 e4 24. Qd1 {Stepping on a mine...} ({Correct was} 24. Qf2 $1 {hitting the f7-pawn and thus preventing} Nb5 ({True, there is the highly dangerous idea} 24... e3 $1 25. Qh4 Bg7 26. Bxg7 Ne4 $3 {when the forcing play} 27. fxg6 fxg6 28. Bd4 Nd2+ 29. Rxd2 exd2 30. Nf3 Rxc2 $3 {leads, as strange as it looks, to a draw, at least after a quick engine tackling} 31. Kxc2 Qxa2+ 32. Kc3 Rc8+ 33. Kd3 Qc2+ 34. Ke3 Re8+ 35. Be5 Qc1 36. Rxc1 dxc1=Q+ 37. Kf2 g5 38. Qh6 Rxe5 39. Nxe5 Qc5+) 25. fxg6 $1 ) 24... Nb5 $1 {Back to the c3-spot $1 Once the diagonal has been opened, both sides want to have it, no matter the price.} 25. c4 ({Alas, it is too late for } 25. Ne2 Qc7 26. Rg2 Red8 $1 {when White cannot defend his c2-root-pawn.}) 25... Nc3+ 26. Bxc3 Qxc3 {Practically, it is over. The huge battery on the long diagonal leaves the white pieces horribly fragile.} 27. Rc2 Qe5 $1 { Luring the white queen away from the first rank.} ({Correctly avoiding} 27... Qf6 28. fxg6 $1) 28. Qd5 Qf6 {Now the rook on f1 is hanging.} 29. a3 ({Once more, there is no time to activate the knight with} 29. Ne2 Bg7 30. Nc3 Rcd8 31. Qb5 a6 32. Qb7 Re7 33. Qb4 e3 {and Black should destroy the opponent's defenses soon.}) 29... Bg7 (29... Rcd8 $1 {would have been equally good.}) 30. Ka2 Rcd8 31. Qa5 Rd3 {The decisive infiltration begins. The Cuban-born-American GM will force more weaknesses first.} 32. Ne2 Rb8 33. b4 Rbd8 {Both players are in horrible time trouble, but it is far easier to attack than to defend when low on time.} ({There was also the beautiful idea} 33... Rc8 34. c5 Qc6 35. Nf4 e3 $3) 34. b5 {Missing his last chance.} ({ Which was connected with} 34. g5 $1 {and if the automatic} Qxg5 {White can get rid of the queens with} ({Black should be still able to win with} 34... Qd6 $1 35. f6 Rd2) 35. fxg6 Qxa5 36. gxf7+ Kf8 37. bxa5) 34... e3 35. Rfc1 Rd2 { With the threat of Qf6-b2+ above all.} 36. Kb3 R8d3+ 37. Rc3 ({Or} 37. Nc3 Rxc2 38. Rxc2 e2 $1) 37... Qd6 {All the black pieces are involved and Shirov's position collapses.} 38. Qxa7 Rxe2 {A pretty attack by Dominguez $1} 0-1