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Levon Aronian vs Pavel Smirnov
FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004) (blitz), Tripoli LBA, rd 3, Jun-24
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation. Shabalov Attack (D45)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-29-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: A great fight featuring the Opening of the Day. Three features stand out:

1. It's rare to see both players attacking at the same time, and for so long. The attacks begin around move 15 and keep going almost until the end.

2. White has an amazing number of resources to try and hold the draw despite his material minus. His mating attack evolves into a "let's get the perpetual check" attack which persists for dozens of moves. Although he lost the game, this shows why there are so many draws at the top level--it is so dang hard to beat these guys!

3. I thought White's final move was a blunder that threw away the game, but not so--91...Rg8 is an extremely subtle combination, threatening 92...Rg7+; 93.Kc8,Qa1+; 94.Qb8,Rg8+! 92.Qc6 *might* delay the inevitable, but if Black has nothing quicker (I haven't looked very closely), he can exchange Queens, eventually sac the Rook for the b-pawn, force White to sac the Bishop for one of his pawns, and still have one left to reincarnate into a Queen. This would make a good Sunday Puzzle of the Day.

There's a lot going on here, and the complications are such that a lot of mistakes bby both players might be found. Nonetheless, a fun game for study.

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