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Two queen sacrifices decided games in the third round of the Wijk aan Zee tournament. The first was this splendid finish by Piket (Black) against Van Wely:

Black ended his attack with 1...Qxh4+!! 2.Rxh4 Rxh4+ 3.Kg1 Rd6! and White, with no answer to the threat of Rg6+ and Rh1 mate, resigned.

Then came the game between Vassily Ivanchuk and Alexei Shirov. The first 19 moves were the very latest theory, and Ivanchuk's idea of 20.Qg4+ and 21.Qg7!? must have been prepared in advance. White gives up his queen for two pieces and a huge pawn on g7. Shirov's 23...d4! and 25...Qb6! is an imaginative way to prevent White from obtaining a total bind with Bd4, but Black stumbled into a mating net with 31.Ra6! threatening Rb7+. At the end, White rounds up the c-pawn and wins easily with his K-side pawns.

White: Vassily Ivanchuk

Black: Alexei Shirov

1 d4 d5 19 Be3 Nc5

2 c4 c6 20 Qg4+ Rd7

3 Nc3 Nf6 21 Qg7 Bxg7

4 Nf3 e6 22 fxg7 Rg8

5 Bg5 dxc4 23 Nxc5 d4

6 e4 b5 24 Bxb7+ Rxb7

7 e5 h6 25 Nxb7 Qb6

8 Bh4 g5 26 Bxd4 Qxd4

9 Nxg5 hxg5 27 Rfd1 Qxb2

10 Bxg5 Nbd7 28 Nd6+ Kb8

11 exf6 Bb7 29 Rdb1 Qxg7

12 g3 c5 30 Rxb4+ Kc7

13 d5 Qb6 31 Ra6 Rb8

14 Bg2 0-0-0 32 Rxa7+ Kxd6

15 0-0 b4 33 Rxb8 Qg4

16 Na4 Qb5 34 Rd8+ Kc6

17 a3 exd5 35 Ra1 resigns

18 axb4 cxb4