Friday 23 January 1998
The Shirov-Kramnik game was full of excitement. White's 14.h4 left Kramnik with a dilemma. He cannot castle without walking into a direct attack with g4 and g5, but his Q-side attack cannot work without the use of his king's rook. Kramnik solved the problem in his usual uncompromising style by sacrificing on c3 and breaking in the centre with d5. This left Black rook for knight behind, but the weakness of the pawns on a3, c3 and f3 promised good compensation.
Shirov's 21.c4! was essential to prevent Black completing his bind with Rc8. White gave up his a-pawn, but found the only way to activate his rooks with Rhe1, Re4 and Ra4. Kramnik may have missed the strength of 30.Rc4 and 31.Bf2! After 31...Bxf2 32.Rxc6 both white rooks become dangerously active. As the game went, White's pair of bishops was just too strong. At the end, Shirov calculated accurately that the black passed pawns were no danger.
White: Alexei Shirov
Black: Vladimir Kramnik
1 e4 c5 27 Kb2 Kh7
2 Nf3 Nc6 28 Be1 Bd5
3 d4 cxd4 29 Rd3 Bc6
4 Nxd4 Nf6 30 Rc4 Ne6
5 Nc3 d6 31 Bf2 Bb5
6 Bg5 e6 32 Rxc5 Nxc5
7 Qd2 a6 33 Bxc5 Bxd3
8 0-0-0 h6 34 cxd3 h5
9 Be3 Be7 35 Kc3 Rc8
10 f3 Nxd4 36 Kb4 Rb8+
11 Bxd4 e5 37 Ka4 Kg6
12 Be3 Be6 38 Be6 Rh8
13 Kb1 Rc8 39 Bf2 Kh6
14 h4 Qa5 40 Ka5 hxg4
15 a3 b5 41 fxg4 g6
16 g4 Rxc3 42 g5+ Kg7
17 Qxc3 Qxc3 43 Kxa6 Rd8
18 bxc3 d5 44 Bc4 f5
19 exd5 Nxd5 45 Kb7 e4
20 Bd2 0-0 46 d4 f4
21 c4 bxc4 47 d5 e3
22 Bxc4 Rb8+ 48 Be1 f3
23 Bb3 Bxa3 49 Kc7 Rf8
24 Rhe1 f6 50 d6 Rf4
25 Re4 Bc5 51 Bc3+ Kh7
26 Ra4 Nc7 52 Bd3 resigns
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