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Grandmasters are not generally in the habit of buying drinks for colleagues who defeat their rivals, but if they were Viswanathan Anand would owe Peter Svidler a large one for disposing of Alexei Shirov in the penultimate round at Linares.

When the game was played, Shirov led the tournament, half a point ahead of Anand. In this game, however, the same adventurous style that had brought him so many exciting victories proved his downfall.

The opening is a line of the Ruy Lopez that Shirov has brought back into fashion. By developing his bishop on c5 instead of e7, Black adopts a more aggressive stance than usual. The potential dangers, however, lie in the absence of the bishop from the K-side, which may make Bg5 by White difficult to deal with, and in the ungainly formation of pieces and pawns on Black's Q-side. Shirov solved both problems by delaying castling - which ensured that Bg5 could always be met by h6 and g5, then distracting White by giving up the b-pawn.

Black gained the initiative and after 14...Nh5 he seemed to have good prospects of developing an attack on the white king, but Svidler's cautious play kept him out of danger.

In the end, it was White who broke through on the K-side with 29.Nxg7! neatly exploiting Black's weaknesses. After 29...Rxg7 30.Qa8+ Black is mated. Shirov regained nominal material equality with 33...Nxg3+, but White's knight was too strong. At the end, the threats to the d-pawn and to the king with Rh1 make Black's position untenable.

White: Peter Svidler

Black: Alexei Shirov

1 e4 e5 20 Qd3 exd4

2 Nf3 Nc6 21 cxd4 e5

3 Bb5 a6 22 d5 Ne7

4 Ba4 Nf6 23 Bxb6 Rxb6

5 0-0 b5 24 Nxc7 Rxb2

6 Bb3 Bc5 25 Ne6 Rg8

7 a4 Rb8 26 Kg1 Ng6

8 c3 d6 27 Qa3 Rb6

9 d4 Bb6 28 Kh1 Nf4

10 Na3 Bg4 29 Nxg7 Ne2

11 axb5 axb5 30 Nf5 Rgb8

12 Nxb5 0-0 31 Qd3 Rb2

13 Re1 Bxf3 32 Rf1 Ra8

14 gxf3 Nh5 33 Qc4 Nxg3+

15 Kh1 Qf6 34 hxg3 Qd8

16 Rg1 Nf4 35 Qc1 Rb3

17 Be3 Ne6 36 Kg2 Qf8

18 Bxe6 fxe6 37 Qc7 resigns

19 Rg3 Kh8

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