Categories: Russian

Shirov on a roll at Wijk

Vasiliev’s second report on Wijk 2010 at Chesspro included Shirov’s comments on his three wins.

Originally posted here. It’s also well worth looking at the original for the photos and their odd captions… Nakamura is “Hooligan” (it has a slightly looser meaning in Russian!) and Carlsen – “Poet-Viking”.

Shirov comments on his three wins. Against Leko:

It turned out that Leko and I switched roles. While he was thinking over his move it seemed to me that he’d enter an endgame with opposite coloured bishops and an extra pawn. I’d have done that in his position. I think with accurate play I should have been able to hold the draw. Besides, it seemed to me that it would have been his style: playing without risk, with chances to win, and then see what happens. And suddenly Peter made a choice that amazed me: he went for a very sharp position (19.bc), where I saw that I didn’t seem to be any worse in the complications. It really wasn’t any worse and later when I analysed the game I saw that the computer shows equality. However, at the board it’s not so easy to find. During the game I assessed the position as equal, but I also couldn’t see a clear defence for him. And when Leko sacrificed the exchange I realised that I was playing for a win.


It was drawn. But I managed to find a few practical chances. He had to make a choice between a number of types of position, I think that they were all objectively drawn, but it was a choice he had to make, and he seemed to refrain a little and then chose the wrong one.


Sergey’s play in the opening was interesting. The position was complex and seemed about equal. We exchanged a lot of pieces, material was equal, opposite coloured bishops, but actually there were a lot of nuances and a danger that black could end up worse. I think I managed to find an interesting move 18…Qd4, which at least didn’t allow white to start playing “strategic chess”, and meant we both had a lot to calculate as a very complex position arose.

And when I began to calculate it seemed to me that I wasn’t any worse. And if that’s the case it means I chose the correct line. Well, and after that everything just came together well.

Karjakin mentioned that he thinks Dominguez (a Topalov second) had used preparation that had been worked on with Topalov – if true I can imagine Danailov having a few words!

About Kramnik-Leko:

– It seemed as though white was on the verge of delivering the decisive blow, and black’s position would collapse… – I said to Vladimir.

– Yes, on the surface black’s position looked very precarious, – Kramnik replied. – But he found some only moves and defended extremely well. Perhaps I should have played 24. Nh7 instead of 24. Qg3, but that didn’t seem so clear to me. In the post mortem we didn’t find anything I could have done to win. In general, it ended up as a logical draw. Now I’ll go and have a look, perhaps the computer will recommend where I could have played better.

Leko thinks he had a strategically lost position and only saved it by a miracle: “I had to make 20 only moves!”

mishanp :