Comments by Svidler and Shankland
Peter Svidler equalled the score in his match with Shankland with a quite convincing and attractive win today. The following moment was crucial:
Svidler said that after his bad stretch it was pleasant to be pressing again. 'This is a very topical line which I don't know much about. He obviously knew much more. Black should be OK in general.' Shankland had indeed prepared very carefully, but mostly the positions without 11.Bb5 and 11...a6. 'With the pawn on a6 there are some subtle differences' -- mostly, that the b7-pawn becomes weaker.
This is a dynamic move that Shankland hadn't considered in his preparations: 'I still think Black should be OK here, but I have to find some accurate moves.'
Svidler: 'I thought 15...Nxc4 16.Qxb7 Bb5 should be OK for Black.' After 17.Bf4 (17.Re1, which Svidler had planned, may be easier for Black, he will be playing 17...Qd7 anyway) 17...Qd7 and White is still a bit better.
16.c5 bxc5 17.dxc5 Bxc5 18.Bxa6 Rb8
18...Rc6 might have been more precise, according to Svidler. After 19.Bb5 Rd6 20.Bh6 Kf7 Black may be able to solve his problems.
19.Qc2 Qb6 20.Bd3
'This was very awkward for Black', said Svidler.
Now White always has the threat of Qc2-d2-Qh6, but after 20...Kf7 there is always Bxg6+ hanging in the air.
21... Rbc8 looked more tenacious, when after 22.Qe2 (or first 22.Rab1) the black king should go to f7 anyway.
After 22.Bxd6+ Qxd6 23.Rfd1 Black couldn't find any way to make his pieces cooperate, and Svidler finished off with a number of careful moves, in the meantime walking a couple of miles through the playing hall. When it was over, he uttered a few sighs of relief.