Analysis of Shankland-Svidler
Here is what the players told us right after the game:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 c6 5.Bg2 d5 6.b3 dxc4 7.bxc4 c5 8.Bb2 cxd4 9.Nxd4 O-O 10.O-O
'This move was played by Anish (Giri, against Kramnik in Stavanger 2016, PB), so it should be good', said Svidler.
11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Nd2 Bg4 13.Bxc6 Rc8 14.Bf3 Bxf3 15.exf3 Qd3 16.Rc1 Rfd8 17.Bc3
17.Nb3 looked scary', Svidler thought. 'But it doesn't work', Shankland replied immediately: '17...Qxd1 18.Rfxd1 Rxd1+ 19.Rxd1 Rxc4 20.Rd8+ Bf8 21.Bd4 and now 21...Ra4 saves Black: 22.Bxf6 exf6 23.Nc5 Rxa2 24.Nd7 Kg7 25.Nxf8
and now White's knight doesn't get out. Perhaps White can get a pawn for it but this should be an easy draw.'
17...Bh6 18.f4 Ne4
This direct method had been underestimated by the American GM.
19.Nxe4 Qxe4 20.Qa4 Rxc4 21.Qxa7 Ra8 22.Qd7 Rxa2 23.Rfe1
'A devilish trick', Shankland grinned.
Not 23...Rxc3? 24.Qc8+ and White wins! But now the fire goes out.
24.Bd4 Rxc1 25.Rxc1 Bf8 26.Rc8 Ra8 27.Rxa8 Qxa8 28.Be3 ½-½
'A pretty OK game', Svidler said. 'Of course it's better if you know
everything and you don't have to work it all out over the board.' 'Anyway the level of the three games has been pretty good so far', Shankland ventured. 'Yes', Svidler agreed. 'In the first game, Sam played much better, in the second I played slightly better...' 'Much better', Shankland interrupted. 'Of course if both sides play good all games should end in a draw, but still it was OK.' And off they went to grab a bite to eat together.