The modern form of the Philidor Defense arises via the move order 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5. Then after 4.Nf3 Nbd7, Shirov has introduced the pawn sacrifice 5.g4!? into practice – and achieved excellent results with it.
Accepting the sacrifice leads to a very sharp position full of tactical possibilities.
Shirov is one of the best connoisseurs of this system. And although he has been very successful with the white pieces in this line, he is always striving for objectivity. He also shows the possibilities for Black’s counterplay as well.
Who finds the gambit 5.g4!? too double-edged can find an alternative in the tried and tested solid strategic approach 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Re1 c6 8.a4.
Also on this system, Alexei Shirov presents many of his own games. Discussing among other things the difficult, but extremely important question of whether and when White can advantageously proceed in the center with d4-d5.
The third system presented by GM Alexei Shirov arises after the traditional Philidor Defense move order 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4. Black tries to solve his problems by the radical 3… exd4 now, a move which was already played by Horwitz versus Staunton in 1846 and which recently has come into fashion again.
Analyzing his game against Nisipeanu, apart from Bacrot one of the experts on Black’s way of playing, Shirov shows how White can fight for the advantage here.
About the Author:
Alexej Shirov was born in Riga just like world champion Mihail Tal, and also his playing style reminds many chess fans of the young Tal.
At the beginning of the ’90s, a comet-like rise brought the young Latvian to the world top within the shortest of time.
Being no older than 22 years, he already had an ELO rating of nearly 2750 and belonged to the absolute elite. Since then Alexei Shirov has been one of the best players in the world, delighting all chess fans with original and amazing ideas on the board.
Minimum: Dual Core, 2 GB RAM, Windows 7 or 8.1, DirectX11, graphics card with 256 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9, ChessBase 14/Fritz 16 or included Reader and internet access for program activation.
Recommended: PC Intel i5 (Quadcore), 4 GB RAM, Windows 10, DirectX11, graphics card with 512 MB RAM or more, 100% DirectX10-compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 11, DVD-ROM drive, and internet access for program activation.