Inspired by some of the mega-prep at Wijk aan Zee this year, especially the 79-move "speed chess" game Nepomniachtchi-Shirov from round 5, I thought back to another bit of seemingly flawless home cooking by Shirov. In Madrid 1996 he drew a 42 move game with Azmaiparashvili that had been worked out in advance all the way to the end. In Fire on Board Shirov drolly concluded his commentary on the game "Sometimes the Botvinnik variation gets so boring", and with that the line chosen by Azmai was buried.
Very impressive, but before you bury your head in anti-theory or take up Chess960, learn a lesson from Loek van Wely. He took a more careful look at Shirov's idea, and more importantly, thought deeply about what it was intended to achieve. By varying just before Shirov's own improvement, he was able to thwart Shirov's idea, and now the burden of proof is on Black to stay alive in that variation.
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this game, and the game itself is pretty good too! To see it, and hear some further ruminations on the matter, have a look here. The show is free, as always (free registration required) and will be available on-demand for the next month or so.