Shirov Beats Dubov 5-1 in Exciting Exhibition Match

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 08.12.2013, 11:45.

In an exhibition match held in Moscow, Russia, the Latvian grandmaster Alexei Shirov outclassed the Russian talent Daniil Dubov: 5-1. Shirov won four games while the first and the last were drawn. In what was a very exciting match, Shirov clearly felt more at home in several highly complicated middlegame positions.

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

This week's match was called the Battle of Generations and 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 company that provides videos streaming for all big Russian chess events these days. During the games Chess.TV provided live broadcast with commentary by GM Sergey Shipov, who is also Dubov's coach.

It was a six-game match played at the FIDE time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves and then 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds per move. 

In the first game, an Anti-Meran, Shirov got a slight initiative as White but Dubov could trade some pieces and find back the coordination of his remaining forces, when it was all equal.

The players, and Oleg Skortsov, shake hands at the start of the match 

The match regulations stipulated that on days when the game was drawn, the players would play two blitz games (which wouldn't affect the match score).

In the first, Shirov sacrificed a piece for long-term compensation but in the end Dubov managed to hold the draw. Just when Black was winning material, White could give a perpetual. Dubov won the second game from an Alekhine Defense. Here are both blitz games.

A fine first day for the match! It was clear that the chess fans were in for a treat, and indeed in the subsequent classical games sharp openings and wild complications came on the board. Somehow Dubov didn't seem fully ready yet for the fire-on-board kind of chess Shirov likes to play, as the Latvian GM won four games in a row. But credits should also go to Dubov for not avoiding these complications; this way the match must have been a very instructive experience.

Below are games 2-6.

As the last game also ended in a draw, the players played two more blitz games. Again it was Dubov who won this minimatch, and so he got some sort of revenge for his big loss in the classical games. Below are Sunday's two blitz games.

Shirov-Dubov 2013 | Final score

Name Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 Pts Perf
Shirov, Alexei 2695 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 5 2909
Dubov, Daniil 2629 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 2415

Photos courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation. Games via TWIC.

Czytano 10530 razy 27 komentarze
3 głosów


  • 3 lat temu


    the real fire on board

  • 3 lat temu


    my favorite player since childhood...tal,shirov...

  • 3 lat temu


    Come on, chessdoggblack. Chess in Russia is thriving with no big state policy in support of it, but simply thanks to the energy and commitment of some very ardent enthusiasts of it. That is all.

  • 3 lat temu


    Shirov is one my favorite player, his playing style is very similar to Tal. :)

  • 3 lat temu


    Shirov's attacking style is surely missed. 

    Why is he not playing in major tournaments? I missed the news on that. 

  • 3 lat temu


    some crazy games.... I heard of this legend.... I see why he's dangerous.... it would be fun to watch him play naka or even carlsen.... I do wonder why I don't see him in major tournments... going to go study these crazy games....

  • 3 lat temu


    Good training experience for Dubov, and a good showing of creativity from Shirov in those sharp positions!

  • 3 lat temu


    Carlsen would demolish Shirov...come on...he beat a young great player, why all the exagerated comments. Nice games in any case!

  • 3 lat temu


    What an off-beat debut preparation by the youngster. It almost feels like he was playing blitz and standard games in the same manner, which obviously resulted in a subpar performance.

  • 3 lat temu


    Long live Fischer!!!

    ... followed this match and Shirov was truly the old "Fire on Board" player of the 90's!

  • 3 lat temu


    I like shirow amazing games

  • 3 lat temu


    Why did white lose game 4? can't they just take black's rook and even if the other pawn pushes to defend , the rook can soon get behind and the game is over for black? did he lose on time maybe?

  • 3 lat temu


    I imagine that the experience Dubov just acquired is the sort of thing that's frustrating but truly helpful. Playing matches against players better than you seems like a good way to identify weaknesses in your game.

  • 3 lat temu


    While I have always been a fan of Shirov, at 41 he is definitely past his prime.  

    HOWEVER, I have always been amazed at how strong Shirov is in matches, despite his crazy tactical style.  This is, after all, the guy who beat Kramnik in a match in 1998 that was supposed to allow him to challenge Kasparov for the world title, before negotiations broke down.  

    And here Shirov proved again that he is even stronger in matches than in tournaments.  

  • 3 lat temu


    I agree with several of the comments there seems no reason Shirov shouldn't be playing regularly in top tournaments. These are enjoyable games and the Shirov style is as strong as ever. One of the more interesting current players I hope we see more of him. Well done.

  • 3 lat temu


    Nice. A modicum of commentary for the games would be appreciated though.

  • 3 lat temu


    These games are fabulous. Shirov needs to start playing in some major tournaments. Him, Ivanchuk and Morozevich in one and the same tournament versus the "big dogs" Carlsen, Aronian, Naka etc. would be very exciting.

  • 3 lat temu


    Shirov is in the 2600's? That's sad almost..

  • 3 lat temu


    against Carlsen Shirov would clearly be the outsider but maybe he's one who could take Carlsen out of his comfort zone. could be interesting..but unlikely to happen..

  • 3 lat temu


    Shirov should play Carlsen!

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