### (1) Aronian,L (2783) - Shirov,A (2749) [D45]

Shanghai Masters Shanghai CHN (2), 04.09.2010

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1.d4
d5
2.c4
c6
3.Nf3
Nf6
4.Nc3
e6
5.e3
Nbd7
6.Qc2
Bd6
7.Be2
0-0
8.0-0
dxc4
9.Bxc4
b5
10.Be2
Bb7
11.a3
Re8
Aronian is an expert of the Semi-Slav with both white and black, which is possibly why Shirov chooses this uncommon continuation instead of the more usual ...a6.

12.Rd1
Qb8
13.e4
e5
14.g3
a6
15.dxe5
Nxe5
16.Bg5
Neg4
17.h3
There can be no doubt Aronian saw Black's next move, which isn't winning per se, but what was the alternative? [White has to try and kick the knight off, and 17.Nh4
also gives his own knight plenty of good squares to choose from. 17...Bc5
18.Rf1
Qa7
19.Bf3
h6
20.Bxf6
Nxf6
21.Nf5
with a dynamically balanced position with a slight tug for Black.]

17...Bxg3!
18.hxg4
[Of course not 18.fxg3??
Qxg3+
19.Kh1
Nf2#
]

18...Nxg4
19.Be3
Nxe3
20.fxe3
Re6
So how do things stand? Is Black winning? Is White? In all honesty, a draw with some perpetual theme seems likely, since Black does have enough for that, but doesn't seem to have any means of bringing in the other pieces with any ease, though one should never discount Shirov's boundless imagination in these situations.

21.Bf1
Qa7
22.Bh3
Rh6
[22...Qxe3+
would be a serious mistake, since after 23.Kg2
Rg6
24.Bf5
Qh6
25.Rd7
Bc7+
26.Bxg6
Qxg6+
27.Kh1
White regroups and is winning.]

23.Kg2
Bc7
24.Bf5
Qxe3
25.Rd7
Qf4
26.Qf2
Bc8
27.Ne2
Rh2+
28.Nxh2
Qxh2+
29.Kf3?!
An inaccuracy that gives Black chances for more than a draw now. [29.Kf1
was best.]

29...Qh5+
30.Bg4
Qg5
31.Rad1
Bxd7
32.Rxd7
Be5
33.b3
h5
34.Bf5
g6
35.Bh3
Bb2?!
[35...Re8
was stronger. White would not have time for 36.Ra7
because of 36...Rd8
and White has to trade rooks, leaving a nasty endgame.]

36.Nf4
Qf6
37.Kg2
Bxa3
38.e5
Qg5+
39.Kh1
Qxe5
40.Nxh5
Rf8?!
[40...Be7
was preferrable as it cuts off the rook and prevents Nf6+ as in the game.]

41.Nf6+
Kg7
42.Ng4
Qc3
43.Kg2
Bc1
44.Qf3
Qxf3+
45.Kxf3
a5
46.Rc7
Bb2
47.Rxc6
a4
48.bxa4
bxa4
49.Bf1
Ra8
50.Rc7
a3
51.Bc4
a2
52.Rxf7+
Kh8
53.Bxa2
Rxa2
54.Ke4
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