Thursday, 21 October 2010

Who needs pawn structure?

I had an interesting game last night, where early on I 'blundered my pawn structure'. What I mean by this is that due to a poor move I let my pawn structure be damaged, rather than giving up material. When looking over the opening variation later I discovered that it might not have been such a bad idea at all, given that the same variation was played by Alexei Shirov against Vassily Ivanchuk in a rapid game back in 1996. While the game I played isn't worth publishing (although I won), the Shirov v Ivanchuk game is.

Shirov,A (2690) - Ivanchuk,Vassily (2735) [B43]
Tallinn rapid (4), 1996

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 Nf6 7.0-0 Bb4 8.Qd3!? Nc6 [8...Bxc3 9.bxc3 0-0 10.f4 b5 was the variation in my game.] 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Rad1 h5 12.Kh1 Nxd4 13.Qxd4 Be7 14.f4 b5 15.e5 f5 (D)
16.Nd5!! by Shirov ? by Stockfish 16...exd5 17.e6 0-0? [17...Rh6! 18.exf7+ Kf8] 18.Rd3 [18.exf7+ Rxf7 19.Bxh5 Bb7 (19...Rf8?? 20.Rf3!) 20.Bxf7+ Kxf7=] 18...h4 19.Rff3 Kh7 20.Rg3 hxg3 21.Rxg3 f6 22.Rh3+ Kg7 23.Rg3+ ½-½

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