B

A magnificent move, which incidentally sacrifices a second pawn. Stohl relates that upon seeing this move Nisipeanu nearly fell off his

A bold and accurate defence. The first thing chair! Surely any mere mortal would prefer to to realize is that by c4, White has protected his keep Black's king in the centre and inflict injury upon the enemy pawn-structure by 16 Axg7+ and in fact play that quickly, out of perceived necessity if nothing else. In the face of ...0-0-0 and ...Axe5, White would seem to have no choice. Shirov's move still neglects development and even allows Black to castle on the queenside. His reasoning is that he finally activates his g2-bishop and perhaps prepares possible action on the queenside by means of jk.f4 and Scl (Black of course has options everywhere, including ...d4). Nevertheless, is it really possible that being a pawn down with his king b5-knight; this is non-trivial and affects nearly every variation. Stohl now enters into a lengthy, dense analysis of many wild possibilities to conclude that the text is 'the most demanding move'. By far the most important alternative is 16...0-0-0 17 cxd5 Axe5 (after 17...exd5 Stohl gives 18 Af4 or 18 Wc2 b6 19 £ki6+! with superior chances), when amazingly, White takes even more time out to play 18 a4! (D).

We then arrive at a mess that requires analysis of four black replies. Stohl finds them all better for White, starting from the relatively easy 18...a6 19 Wc2 b6 20 b4! on to variations b

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