Beautiful Chess Moves: An Unknown Gem

GM MacMolner
Jun 30, 2012, 5:12 PM |

Hey guys,

I'm back again with another game to show you! This time, it is not one of my own games, but a game I analyzed recently. I found it to be very interesting: containing one of the coolest moves I've ever seen.

I'm sure you won't be surprised to see that the move was played by GM Shirov and although he is known for a lot of famous moves, I haven't heard much about the one he played in the game. His opponent is GM Boris Gelfand, who recently played Anand in a match for the World Championship. In that match, Gelfand employed the Grunfeld Defense with Black, and maybe it was games such as this that led him to that decision:

The game starts out with a standard mainline exchange Grunfeld but then heads towards more theoretically dense waters when Gelfand chooses to play the 8. Rb1 system. I believe that this system is considered one of the more dangerous lines that Black can face and players as strong as Kramnik have used it on multiple occassions. The game takes a sharp turn when Shirov continues down the mainline with Qa5+, accepting a double-edged position with a strong queenside majority for Black and a powerful central mass for White.







Eventually the game reaches an interesting endgame with two strong outside pawns for the Black Queen and Bishop. However, White is doing reasonably well with his extra pawn for the exchange and his Queen and Rook. The game continues down a logical path with both sides pushing their pawn majorities until Black has to weaken himself in order to keep his King under control.


Finally, after a well-played game by both sides, the game reaches its critical point in this position. Take a second to look at the position below and see what you would do. Black has a way to turn the tables completely on White.


Black can reach a winning position with the stunning Qf4+!! White is left helpless to this beautiful move. After any capture White is left in an untenable position. Rxf4 would result in immediate checkmate due to fxg5# and the capture that happens in the game doesn't get mated but still loses after Shirov shows some good technique.


Here's the game so that you can see the whole thing. I didn't want anyone who's reading this to get too curious and go through it all without trying the puzzle from the game. :)