Beautiful Chess Moves: An Unknown Gem

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. :)



  • 4 years ago


    Marvellous! Thank you!

  • 4 years ago


    @komouro you can just press solution and run thru the moves lol

    Very exciting endgame with a shocker at the end. i wish i could find moves like that lol. Thank you IM MacMolner

  • 4 years ago


    A very shocking endgame for me. But it was brilliant from Shirov, Alexei (2699) to win the game although he was down on material during the middle game.

  • 4 years ago


    A stunning finnish to looked to me like lost game,moto is never stop looking for linda(Hue&Cry check them out folks )

  • 4 years ago


    Really confusing the fact that the game was set as a puzzle,because we couldn't guess the played move.Nevertheless,it was very interactive.

  • 4 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    cute game/finish.  i recall seeing it before, i think it was pointed out that a1 = Q leads to a quicker win than Qf4+, nevertheless Qf4+ is of course is quite 'simple' and good enough once you see the point.

    may see you in philly, then, Mac [although not in my section, fortunately for my prize chances] ], if i recall the pre-reg correctly.

  • 4 years ago



  • 4 years ago


    well ummm black is the one playing the "beautiful moves" so i think the puzzle should be made so the player plays as black

  • 4 years ago


    Well, I ought to rectify. A nice idea to go through the game as a puzzle. Helps focusing

  • 4 years ago


    Yes, the game was settled as a puzzle and the single positions as diagrams. Much better I think the positions as puzzles and the game as an annotated one. Anyway, thanks for the article

  • 4 years ago

    NM dcremisi


  • 4 years ago


    Very good!

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