Reports | December 12, 2007 0:27

World Cup: Shirov plaatst zich voor finaleWorld Cup: Shirov qualifies for final

[lang_nl]Ervaring heeft de jeugd overwonnen. Na Gata Kamsky heeft ook Alexei Shirov zich weten te plaatsen voor de finale van de World Cup, door Sergei Karjakin overtuigend te verslaan; de score was 1,5-0,5 in de rapids maar met de remise kwam Karjakin goed weg. Die eerste partij was een fantastisch gevecht in een Sveshnikov-Siciliaan dat uitendelijk leidde tot het verschrikkelijk moeilijke eindspel PP vs TL, waar men meer dan 150 zetten voor nodig heeft om te winnen bij perfect spel. Shirov moest genoegen nemen met remise maar bleek totaal niet van zijn stuk geraakt, en toonde geweldige eindspeltechniek in partij twee, met wit in een Marshall -gambiet waarmee hij ook Jakovenko uitschakelde.[/lang_nl][lang_en]Experience has conquered youth. After Gata Kamsky, Alexei Shirov has also qualified for the World Cup by beating Sergei Karjakin convincingly; the score was 1.5-0.5 in the rapids, while the draw should have been a win as well. The first game was a fantastic fight in a Sveshnikov Sicilian that resulted in the terribly difficult NN vs RB ending, that needs over a 150 moves to win with perfect play. Shirov had to settle for the draw but wasn't affected at all by this misfortune, and showed fantastic endgame technique in game two, with White in a Marshall Gambit, that also did the trick against Jakovenko.[/lang_en]

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[lang_nl]En dus wordt het Shirov-Kamsky vanaf donderdag a.s., met vier standaardpartijen voor een eventuele tiebreak. De Spaanse Let is 35 jaar oud (geboren 4 juli 1972) en de Amerikaan is 33 (2 juni 1974). De eerste partij tussen deze spelers vond plaats in 1986 in Sochi en in de afgelopen 21 jaar speelden ze 22 partijen tegen elkaar. Zes hiervan waren snelschaak, blind- of rapidpartijen (bij het recente Tal Memorial Blitz wonnen ze allebei ?ɬ©?ɬ©n keer van elkaar). In 16 'normale' partijen won Shirov er 7, eindigden 7 in remise en Kamsky won slechts tweemaal, dus we moeten Alexei Shirov beschouwen als de favoriet voor het winnen van de finale van de World Cup.

Update: mederedacteur Arne Moll liet me weten dat Kamsky en Shirov een match hebben gespeeld in 1987 in de Sovjet-Unie. Ergens in 1993 had Arne drie partijen uit deze match gevonden in een Lets tijdschrift, die hij vervolgens naar New in Chess stuurde, die op hun beurt de partijen toevoegden aan hun database. De partijen ontbreken in de Chessbase-database maar kunnen worden gevonden en nagespeeld in NICBase Online.

Hij is waarschijnlijk ook de favoriet onder de fans, vanwege zijn ondernemende speelstijl en vanwege de match tegen Kasparov die door zijn neus geboord werd, maar om deze theorie te checken hebben we een nieuwe poll:

[poll=18]

[/lang_nl][lang_en]And so Shirov-Kamsky it will be, starting on Thursday, with four standard games before a possible tiebreak. The Spanish Latvian is 35 years old (born the 4th of July 1972) and the American is 33 (2 June 1974) and this tournament might well be the last chance for either of these two players to reach a world championship match - although first a last hurdle awaits in Mr Topalov - before the new generation finally takes over. The first game between these players was in 1986 in Sochi and in 21 years they have played 22 games in total against each other. Five of these were blitz or rapid games (at the recent Tal Memorial Blitz they both won one game against each other). In 16 'normal' games, 7 were won by Shirov, 7 were drawn and only 2 by Kamsky and so Alexei Shirov should be considered the favourite to win the World Cup Final.

Update: co-editor Arne Moll informs me that Kamsky and Shirov have played a match in 1987 in the Soviet-Union. Back in 1993 Arne had found three games in a Latvian magazine, which he sent to New in Chess, who subsequently added the games into their database. These games are missing from the Chessbase database but can be found and replayed in NICBase Online.

He's probably also the favourite amongst the fans, beause of his enterprising style and the match against Kasparov he never got, but to check this theory we've put up a poll:

[poll=18]

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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Comments

Cor Dekker's picture

Isn't it incredible, the way Kamsky has made his way back to the top again? Let's not forget that before his early retirement he beat almost the whole present world top, including Anand and Kramnik. He might be the least attractive finalist, don't we all admire Shirov's play (even Kasparov praises him nowadays), but being tough, stubborn and hard fighting might be conclusive in this final.

Eiae's picture

I hope and think Shirov will win, but am a little apprehensive about hit chances, as Kamsky's style of play may very well do murder to any initiative build up by Shirov.
Besides, Kamsky seems to have done some intensive work on his openings and no longer digs in and defend the trenches from move one, hoping for a counter attack.
This "new" Kamsky might very well be lethal to Shirov.

Anyway, I think Kamsky might have a better chance of beating Topalov. It seems it's a lottery whether Shirov is in form or not, but that can be said about Topalov these days too, I guess.

Oak's picture

An outstanding article about outstanding chess! You can say what you want about the World Cup formula, but it sure provides us great with entertainment! From now on I really have to schedule reading Chessvibes in my calendar. Don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t want to miss it. I sense a continuous improvement of quality and quantity

Bert de Bruut's picture

Silly of Shirov to miss the forced mate in 183!

Vosuram's picture

Bravo, Piter! An outstanding work, indeeeed.

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