September 30, 2014

'F' for Forward

Writes IM Anwesh Upadhyay: This is my first article for ChessAce and naturally I wanted to give my best. Starting my preparations, I was looking for sharp games in my collection to present it in front of the readers. Without any second thought I looked up for the name 'Shirov'. I found out his game against Kamsky in 1993, and while going through the initial phase I had assumptions this will be a hell of a tactical battle. What unfolded was quite a different story and will surely be a huge surprise for all of you!

ALEXIE SHIROV 2670 vs GATA KAMSKY 2655, Linares 1993

A Soviet born Lativian grandmaster at present. His name often sparkles memories of strong tactics and surprising finishes in numerous occasions. Known for his aggressive approach and tendency of liking complicated positions he is often compared to the former world champion, Mikhail Tal.

Soviet born American grandmaster and a former rapid world Champion. Having completed secondary education from Brooklyn College, he attended medical school for a year and later graduated in Law from Touro Law Centre in New York. (No doubt, a personal favourite of yours truly as he also shared a brief period in his life as a premed!) 

The Protagonists have been introduced and the pieces have been setup! So what are we waiting for?! Let's get the ball rolling!

Adrenaline, the hormone related to fight, fright and flight. However, for an attacking chess player, 'f' always means forward! This game is played between two great masters of this gentle game. 

The extremely reliable Grunfeld Defence has been a tough nut to crack for any white player

Rc1!? has a weird idea behind it that was invented by GM Polugaevsky

 Kf1!? loses the right to castle but maintains strong chances of launching an attack with h4!?

The knight retreat is some sort of an undeveloping move. How should White continue now?

After two wins and two losses with the move 15.f3, Shirov thought it was time to move forward with 15.f4!

Kamsky is no mug when it comes to defending. But as you know Shirov will go forward!

White has expanded the maximum he could on the kingside. What do you think was his next move?

Sorry guys if Shirov disappointed you here but such flexibility of a player during the adrenaline rush is rare and worthy of appreciation. 

How should White continue?

White's attack is strong even without the presence of the queens

Pushing the pawn to h6, in boxing terms would be like a punch that really hurts!

White is really coming in for the kill. How should Black defend?

No draw! It's time to move in for the kill

Should White exchange the rooks?

Of course not! The rook on d7 is way stronger than its counterpart

White has a winning advantage thanks to his protected passed pawn on h6. Shirov finishes the game off efficiently

Alexie Shirov: "This was one of the best endings of my career so far!"

I hope that all of you enjoyed this game and learnt a lot from it. Do visit and like the facebook page of ChessAce, so that you can get regular updates of all our articles.

About the Author

Anwesh Upadhyaya is a 22-year-old International Master from India with an Elo of 2366. He was known for his subtle positional style of playing chess until he decided to take a break from chess to pursue a career in medicine. Currently, he is studying at the Bogomolet's National Medical University in Kiev, Ukraine. Maybe, he will be one of the highest qualified International Masters of India.


  1. 20.Qb1... that felt like a troll

  2. nice! Great to see an article from your Dr.Anwesh! :P
    Thought you settled in Ukraine.