This paper is devoted to relations between the Kurosh problem and the Shirshov height theorem. The central point and main technical tool is the identity of algebraicity. The main result of this paper is the following. Let A be a finitely generated PI-algebra and Y be a finite subset of A. For any Noetherian associative and commutative ring R ⊃ F, let any factor of R ⊗ A such that all projections of elements from Y are algebraic over π(R) be a Noetherian R-module. Then A has bounded essential height over Y. If, furthermore, Y generates A as an algebra, then A has bounded height over Y in the Shirshov sense. This paper also contains a new proof of the Razmyslov-Kemer-Braun theorem on radical nilpotence of affine PI-algebras. This proof allows one to obtain some constructive estimates. The main goal of the paper is to develop a "virtual operator calculus." Virtual operators (pasting, deleting, and transfer) depend not only on an element of the algebra but also on its representation.