Philidor Defense, Shirov Gambit Declined

Hello there again, it’s Ivan and I have a new case for you: today I’m White, and my opponent is a Philidor Defense fan.

The good news is that he always plays the same line, while the bad news is that I haven’t been able to prove any advantage for White in the main line with 5. Bc4 <click on 5. Bc4>, so I have to change it.

I need some serious stuff now, so let’s see if there’s something like that in the CHOPIN Professional package: let’s check the ”Feather“ tab. Well, not bad – two articles on the Shirov Gambit with 5. g4. I definitely need part two – I saw him play 5… h6.

OK, let’s check the Summary first. Long castling on the tenth move seems interesting: it’s a Recommendation for advanced players with international titles (obviously – that’s me!), it’s also the Best mutual play, and a Dangerous line for Black. I guess that’s OK, let’s just see the line! <click: Summary, Dangerous line for Black>

OK, so let’s scroll up to see the main line first: 10… Nde5. OK, let’s see what comes next… <play move by move until 12. Bd2>. Well, the Black king is now stuck in the center with no material to show for it; that seems great, and that’s probably enough for now, I can always check it later.

So, what’s with the sideline? >move 10… Qb6 and click on the plus sign next to it> That’s more like him (I mean – my opponent), it looks like a counter-play… But I can obviously play 11. Qd2 and sacrifice a pawn… it’s also a bit of a trap: he can’t capture it with his knight due to 12. Be3 and Black would be losing a piece… So, let’s now capture the pawn with the Black queen: 11… Qxf2 <browse move by move until 16. Rdf1>.

Well, I’m impressed, and it even suits my style. I sense some serious co-operation between a man and an engine: a positional pawn sacrifice supported by a very concrete attacking plan. The case is closed, but don’t think that I won’t be checking it later for more details, now that CHOPIN has already done my homework. You can do it, too – this article on the Philidor Defense is available to registered users.

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