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The end, you would say? Of course, not. Vishy seemed to have hypnotized his opponent in time trouble and the latter found the only way not to win! This was Shirov’s most vexing, and not first, mistake in the event. Now he just has to live through Ivanchuk, Morozevich, and Kramnik, and one of the first prizes (if not the very first) will migrate to his "home collection"… Morozevich’s victory over Fedorov is easy to comment on: Alexander plays much better than Alexei, and so there is nothing to be said.
After two losses with Black, Alexei was thrown back into the main group. Today Shirov used such a terrible novelty against Ivanchuk in the well-known variation of the Sicilian Defense that it seemed that Vassily would surrender in the very opening. Nevertheless, Ivanchuk managed to find several accurate moves and not to drop the flag in time trouble… As for Shirov, he held out just till the first time control. What an offensive defeat! Unlike Shirov, Morozevich, who played with White today, managed to get out of a real scrape.
I haven’t seen such purposefulness and eagerness to win for ages. In the final round he had to defeat Timman – and he didn’t make Jan doubt in his success. I think that the end of the tournament became the “boomerang of optimism” for Shirov and Morozevich. Coincidentally, the two main aggressors of the Wijk aan Zee tournament met in the final round. Both hoped to win the competition and both spoiled their results because of their awful final laps. In the concluding game they fought against all the odds: there were no positional guiding lines, pieces flew like birds, and the spirit of the initiative reigned over the position!