It's been 7.5 years since Alexey Shirov last beat Vladimir Kramnik, proving once and for all that the man who brings the fire to the board is one of the most beautifully inconsistent players in history (last year at the Canadian Open he lost to an IM, this year he dominates a field of nothing but elite super GM's).
Shirov's victory made me think of some of Shirov's classic games. The brilliant bishop move in the endgame, the rook sacs, etc. One Shirov game I will always remember was with black against Kramnik, and it was a draw.
This is theory. This is why I'm not afraid or confused against the Saemisch. Kramnik-Shirov 1992.
But sometimes at a chess club you'll come across some strong grizzled vets who have spent hours upon hours of studying openings. The thing is that these guys spent hours upon hours studying their openings in 1975. They're strong enough OTB to get by with it, but they live in a time warp.
One such guy, was all smug about the Saemisch.
"I just play the line Shirov played against Kramnik," I say.
"Shirov? He's one of the new guys."
New guys? He played that line last century before I even knew how to move the pieces!
So we play, and he gives me a gaping advantage in the middlegame, but works a draw in the end. (One thing about a lot of these grizzled guys, they are up on endgame theory, and that stuff rarely expires).
If you get to the 21st century, it gets worse.
Carlsen wins the King's Tournement a few months ago. He beats Wang Yue with the King's Gambit!
At a tournament I say "This weekend the highest rated player in history has won with the King's Gambit"
And I get my comeuppance from another old wolf.
"Ridiculous, Spassky played it all the time!"
And you get my point.
Or maybe you don't because you think I'm a punk who needs to get off your lawn.