The Slav is now the most popular answer to the Queen's Gambit and is distinguished by the move c6. In the sharp lines of the Semi-Slav e6 is also played and of course the two often transpose.
Shirov's lecture covers the history of the opening which he has contributed to and advanced the development of many lines. In the Meran Variation, Shirov's name is linked to what is now known as the 'Shabalov Attack' attributed to Shirov's Latvian contemporary Alexander Shabalov who also left his homeland and is a former US champion. After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 it was Shirov and Shabalov who introduced the move 7.g4 into chess praxis in 1992. Today there are over 1000 games in the Mega Database with that variation. Shirov recounts the way this extravagant line arose and explains some of its most important ideas. Video running time: 5 hrs 20 min.
Alexei Shirov was born and raised in Riga the home town of tactical genius and former world champion Mikhail Tal and his style is reminiscent of the 'Magician of Riga'. In the early 90s, a meteoric rise took the young Latvian into the world's top 10 and at the age of 22 he had an Elo rating of nearly 2750 . Shirov has been one of the world's leading players ever since, delighting chess fans with his boundless creativity and fighting spirit. Shirov's world title ambitions were curtailed when despite defeating Vladimir Kramnik in a Candidates Final, a match could not be organised with Garry Kasparov who played Vladimir Kramnik instead, Shirov continued to enjoy success in tournaments and he reached the final of the 2007 World Cup and was an impressive winner of the 5th Mtel Masters Super Tournament in May 2009.
System requirements: Pentium PC, 64 MB RAM, Windows XP, Windows Vista, DVD drive, soundcard