Battle of Generations: Shirov wins 5-1

by Albert Silver
12/10/2013 – Though the result of the match was no longer in doubt, one might have wondered whether Daniil Dubov and Alexei Shirov would play out their last game. To the delight of those watching it was a fascinating Meran, which saw Shirov sacrifice the exchange for a powerhouse pawn on b2. In the end, they drew and went on to the blitz games where Dubov had the edge. A fitting end to a great match.

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Battle of Generations: Shirov wins 5-1

The coverage on Chess.TV was typically superb

The handshake before the last game

In Moscow, at the “Digital October” center of technologies, the friendly "Battle of Generations “ match between Alexei Shirov and Daniil Dubov ended. In the final sixth game the players played a Meran following Aronian - Shirov (Novi Sad, 2009). Shirov ran into difficulties, and with his signature creativity gave up the exchange with 18…cxb2 for a strong passed pawn that secured the balance. In fact, in the final position, he might easily have pressed on, but ultimately decided to call it a day and they shook hands, ending the match on an inexorable 5-1 score.

Though he certainly suffered at Shirov's hands, Dubov always came back ready
for a fight

Shirov racks his brain as he tries to remember his preparation

The draw did mean that there would be two blitz games, as stipulated y the match regulations, and this time 17-year-old Dubov took the lead with 1.5-0.5. This was the second time he won the blitz mini-match after the draw, so although he lost the classical games 5-1, he can take some measure of solace in his 3-1 win in blitz.

The setting was both simple yet elegant

[Event "Friendly match Shirov - Dubov"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2013.12.08"] [Round "6"] [White "Dubov, Daniil"] [Black "Shirov, Alexei"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D46"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2695"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. a3 a5 12. e4 e5 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Bxe5 15. h3 Ba6 16. Be3 b4 17. Bxa6 bxc3 18. Bc4 cxb2 19. Rad1 Qe7 20. Bc5 Qc7 21. Bxf8 Rxf8 22. g3 c5 23. f4 Bd4+ 24. Kh2 Qb7 25. Rfe1 Rb8 26. Ba2 g6 27. e5 Nd5 28. Rd3 a4 29. Qd2 Qc6 30. Qc2 Qb7 31. Qd2 Qc6 32. Qc2 1/2-1/2

The match between 41-year-old Alexei Shirov and 17-year-old Daniil Dubov was the brainchild of Russian businessman Oleg Skvortsov, who also sponsored it. A true chess lover, Skvortsov (International Gemological Laboratories, Moscow) also sponsored the unforgettable 2011 Aronian-Kramnik match, the Zurich Chess Challenge and a friendly match between Dmitry Andreikin and Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Eduard Dubov, Daniil Dubov, Yuri Dokhoyan and Mark Glukhovsky analyze

The match took place at the Digital October center in Moscow, which is part of the former Red October chocolate factory and also the location of the Chess.TV

Alexei Shirov receives his prize from Oleg Skvortsov

Daniil Dubov 2636
Alexei Shirov 2695

Images by Russian Chess Federation and ChessTV


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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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