## CALCULATE LIKE A GRANDMASTER |

Groningen PCA Groningen (5), 1993

**
1.e4
e6
2.d4
d5
3.Nc3
dxe4
4.Nxe4
Bd7
**

The "Fort Knox" variation - so called because it is hard to break down as the gold vaults in Texas. It tends to be favoured by players who are happy to defend.

5.Nf3
Bc6
6.Bd3
Nd7
7.0-0
Ngf6
8.Ng3

8.Ned2!?

8...Be7
9.b3
0-0
10.Bb2
Bxf3
11.Qxf3
c6
12.c4
Re8

12...Qa5!?
is also considered by theory. White nearly always reacts with 13.a3
followed by Rad1, since taking on a3 is not an option for Black as the rook
simply returns to a1

13.Rfe1
Bf8

Shirov has also had to meet 13...Nf8
Against Huebner in Munich in the same year, play went 14.h4
Qc7
15.Rac1
Ng6
16.h5
Nh4
17.Qe3
Bd6
18.Ne4
Bf4
19.Nxf6+
gxf6
20.Qe4
f5
21.Qe2
Bxc1
22.Rxc1
and despite being an exchange to the good Huebner' knight was in trouble and in
the game was unable to solve his problems.

14.Rad1
Qa5
15.Bb1
g6
16.h4?

Always a useful move, as it will be impossible to storm Black's kingside "fortress" - unless White can force some weaknesses over there.

16...Bg7
17.Bc3
Qc7
18.h5
b5

What other plans did Black have? The young Ukranian plsyer Andrei Volokitin, in his annotations to a game he won against Nakamura in Lausanne, said that White was better off putting his pawn on c3 in the Fort Knox, as with the pawn on c4 the d-pawn becomes a target for Black's pieces. Interesting insight but probably overly cautious!

Nevertheless Black could keep one eye on the d-pawn with 18...Rad8!?
19.hxg6
* (19.h6
Bh8
) *19...hxg6
20.Ne4
Nxe4
* (20...c5
21.d5!
Nxe4
22.Bxe4
) *21.Bxe4

(A) 21...c5
22.d5!
* (22.Bxb7
cxd4
23.Bxd4
Bxd4
24.Rxd4
Ne5
25.Qe4
Rxd4
26.Qxd4
Nxc4!
) *22...exd5
* (22...Bxc3
23.Qxc3
e5
24.d6+/-
) *23.Bxd5
Ne5
24.Qg3+/-
;

(B) 18...Rac8
19.hxg6
hxg6
20.Ne4
Nxe4
21.Bxe4
e5!?
22.d5
f5
23.d6!
Qb6!
* (23...fxe4
24.dxc7+-
; 23...Qb8
24.Bb1
e4
25.Qg3
Bxc3
26.Qxc3
c5
27.f3+/-
) *24.Bb1
e4
25.Qg3
Bxc3
26.Qxc3
Re6
27.Rd2~~
;

(A) 18...e5!?
19.hxg6
hxg6
20.dxe5
Nxe5
21.Qf4
Nfg4!
* (21...Nfd7
22.Ne4+/-
) *; 18...e5
19.d5
cxd5
20.cxd5+/=
So it would seem that White is at least slightly better in all variations. Not really surprising though, given that he enjoys the advantage of two bishops, he should be better! Indeed, in the hands of a dangerous attacking player like Shirov, the two
bishops can become a very potent force. With 18...b5, a standard idea in this
variation, Black hopes that White will exchange on b5, gifting the superb square
on d5 to the black knights.

19.h6!
Bxh6?

Quite simply Chernin didn't want the pawn hanging over his head on h6 for the rest the game, and who can blame him? Any check then by White might well be mate but I would have preferred the humble retreat 19...Bh8
20.Ne4
bxc4
21.bxc4
Rad8+/=
* (21...Nxe4!?
22.Bxe4
Rac8+/=
*I guess Black's problem is that he doesn't have room for manoeuvre since any pawn break with ...c5 or ...e5 is likely to open up the game for White's two bishops. *)***
20.d5!
**Now Alexei is happy - tactics are imminent.

20...cxd5

20...Bg7
21.dxc6+-
; 20...exd5
21.Bxf6

21.Bxf6
bxc4
22.Bb2

Unlike in the previous game where Black had two pawns for the piece (in this case Black has three pawns) White's extra piece is likely to prove very useful, as his forces are aimed ominously at Black's
kingside.

22...cxb3

Black would very much like 22...Bg7!?
to work, because in theory the removal of one ot the bishops should greatly increase his defensive chances - but Alexei would obtain an attack, even then! 23.Bxg7
Kxg7
24.Qc3+
* (24.bxc4
Qxc4
25.Rc1
Qb4!
*and White has a lot of work to do, if he is better at all.*) *24...Kg8
* (24...Nf6
25.Bd3?
) *25.bxc4
* (25.Bd3!?
) *25...Nb6
* (25...Rac8
26.Bd3!?
Nc5
27.Bf1+/-
) *26.Nh5!?
* (26.c5!
Na4
27.Qd4!
Nxc5
28.Rc1+/-
Rac8
29.Rc3
Qa5
30.Rec1+-
) *26...gxh5
27.Qd3
* (27.Re5
f5
) *27...f5
28.cxd5
Rad8

23.Nh5!

Alexei needed no invitation!

23...f5

How should White increase the pressure after 23...Bg5?
By 24.Qg4!
Qd8
25.Qd4
e5
* (*it would be a brave man to play *25...Kf8
26.Qg7+
Ke7
27.Rxd5+-
) *26.Qxd5+-
; Other replies are 23...Qd8
24.Qc3+-
; 23...gxh5
24.Qxh5
when 24...Qf4
is met by the elegant switchback 25.Bc1!
; and finally 23...bxa2
24.Nf6+
Nxf6
25.Qxf6
e5
26.Rxe5!

24.Rxd5!

Bravo! Black's position collapses like a house of cards.

24...gxh5

24...exd5
25.Qxd5+
Kf8
26.Ba3++-

25.Rxf5!
Nf8
26.Rxh5

Now apart from still having a raging attack, White is almost back to level material.

26...bxa2
27.Bxa2
Bg7

27...Qf4
was another try. Then 28.Qh3!
Bg7
* (28...Qd2
29.Bc3
Qxa2
30.Rxh6
*and Black is not long for this world.*) *29.Bxg7
Kxg7
30.Bb1
h6
31.Re3!
Rab8
32.Bc2!
Nh7
33.Rg3+
Ng5
34.Rhxg5+
hxg5
35.Qh7+
Kf6
36.Rf3
Here Black is only defending with the queen and knight - hardly sufficient
against the heavy pressure of White's attacking force.

28.Qg4
Kh8

White is having a lot of fun in this position. 28...Rad8
29.Rg5
* (29.Rc1!?
Qf7
30.Bxg7
Qxg7
31.Rg5
Ng6
32.Bxe6+
Kh8
33.Bf5
Rd6!?
; 29.Bxg7
Qxg7
30.Rg5
Ng6
31.Bb1
(31.Rxe6
Rxe6
32.Bxe6+
Kh8
33.Bf5
Qe5
34.g3
Qe1+
35.Kg2
Rd1!
) 31...Qc3
32.Rf1
(32.Bxg6?
Qxe1+
33.Kh2
hxg6
34.Rxg6+
Kf7
35.Rg7+
Kf8
36.Rg8+
Ke7
seems to throw a spanner in the works.) 32...Qd4
(32...Rd4
33.Qh5
) 33.Qh5
) *29...Ng6
30.Rxe6?

When you have a winning position it's easy to believe that everything wins,
but it's important to remember that there are always hidden resources.

29.Bxg7+
Qxg7
30.Rg5
Ng6

30...Qf7
31.Qd4+
e5
32.Bxf7
exd4
33.Rg8#

31.Bb1
Qc3
32.Rd1
Qf6

32...Rad8
33.Bxg6
Rxd1+
34.Qxd1
hxg6
35.Rxg6+-

33.Rd7!

Now White introduces the deadly threat Rxh7. But can't he play 33.Bxg6
and Black resigns doesn't he? No. 33...Rg8
is an easy move to miss, which is important to check everything. Then on 34.Rd7
follows 34...Rxg6
35.Rh5
h6

33...Re7

Or 33...Qa1
34.Qe4!
is simplest. e.g. 34...Rg8
35.Rh5
Rg7
36.Qxa8+

34.Rxe7
Qxe7
35.Bxg6

Now this is really decisive.

35...Rg8
36.Qd4+
Rg7

Now 36...Qg7
is met by 37.Bf7!!
; and 36...e5
with 37.Rxe5

37.Rh5
e5

37...e5 38.Rxe5 is decisive. Shirov made this attack look easy - but that's because he calculated Black's defensive possibilities very well and chose the most accurate move every time. Another -powerful display.

** 1-0**

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