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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Levon Aronian
Morelia-Linares (2006), Morelia MEX, rd 2, Feb-19
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Indian Formation (A15)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-19-06  Mating Net: Black is getting close to being in zugzwang on move 43. Even if he doesn't play 43...e5, White is going to play 44.Nxe6! as the Knight is invulnerable owing to the mate threat created by the 2 Rooks on the 7th.

Chucky flirted with defeat, but pulled it off in fine fashion.

Feb-19-06  Petrosian63: Well deserved win by Ivanchuk.
Feb-20-06  ahmadov: A very beautiful game indeed!
Feb-20-06  Philidor: Did Levon fall due to Aronian greed? 40. - Rxa2 is the decisive move, since he lured himself away from the critical c8 square. Well, maybe Black was already on the losing street, with that weak Knight? I don't know - I'm only human!
Feb-20-06  ahmadov: Sometimes ratings do not reflect players true strengths.
Feb-20-06  olydream3: Rxf7 was decisive
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: Nice finish. If 44... Re8 45. Re7!, White wins.

43... e5? leads to a quick loss. Anything else was better.

1) 43... Rc8 44. Nd3 Ne4 45. Rf7! Nd6 46. Rg7 Kf8 47. Rh7 Nb7 48. Rh8, White wins.

2) 43... Nb1 (best) 44. Kf3 with a big edge for White.

Feb-20-06  Paul123: A Reti at Linares? Nice! I'm a Reti nut...leave it up to Ivanchuk to spice things up....
Feb-21-06  notyetagm: A beautiful tactical finish by Ivanchuk.

44 ♘e6! exploits the <lateral pin along the 7th rank>, since taking the knight by 44 ... fxe6 opens the 7th rank and leads to 45 ♖g7+ ♔h8 46 ♖xh7+ ♔g8 47 ♖bg7#.

Then Chucky plays 45 ♖xf7!, exploiting the fact that <heavy pieces on the back rank do not defend along the file or diagonals>. If the White f7-rook is taken by 45 ... ♖xf7, then Black is mated by 46 ♖b8+ ♖f8 47 ♖xf8#. It takes a pretty sharp tactical eye to see that the Black king is trapped on the back rank here since even the super-tactician Aronian missed this tactical point.

Feb-21-06  Ulhumbrus: 47 Rxf7! seems a useful resource to know about with this constellation of pieces.
Feb-21-06  notyetagm: <Ulhumbrus: 47 Rxf7! seems a useful resource to know about with this constellation of pieces.>

Yes. Since the Black h7-pawn self-blocks h7 and the White e6-knight covers g7, the Black g8-king is one flight square (f7) from being trapped on the back rank.

But since a White rook on f8 will cover this f7-flight square, the Black king is essentially trapped on the back rank and then, of course, 45 ♖xf7! makes perfect sense, <deflecting> the Black f8-rook from the back rank.

Feb-21-06  shr0pshire: This is a English Symmetrical double fianchetto opening.

The term double fianchetto is made in reference that both black's bishops are fianchettoed in the opening.

There was a surge of popularity with this line when Kasparov used it against Karpov in their matches in the early 1980s.

There is a lot of flexibility in these positions so it it can make for an interesting game.

9. Be3. This is thematic of a couple of different variations in the English opening. One will also see this sort of moved played in the reverse sicilian dragon. This move is setting up white's attack. White wants wants his pieces all developed to bring into the attack in a moments notice.

11. ... a6. It is official black has adopted a hedgehog system. Note that none of black's pieces extend past the 6th rank, this is key characteristic for the hedgehog. Black will curl up in a ball so to speak and wait for a chance to attack at white's position.

Feb-21-06  notyetagm: Ivanchuk's 20 ♘b4! - 21 ♘a6 was brilliant.
Feb-25-06  Mating Net: I still can't believe that White's Knight on the rim didn't fall. Not only didn't it fall, it delivered a killer blow with 44.Ne6!
Feb-28-06  siggemannen: i think aronian should've taken the g2-bishop while he had time
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessCoachClark: This game has at least two continuations (although one is improbable).

One ends with an Arabian Mate-- 45. ... Rxf7 46. Rb8+ Rf8 47. Rxf8#.

The other ends with a Seventh Rank Mate, but the Knight is the stopper-- 45. ... Re8? 46. Rg7+ Kh8 47. Rxh7+ Kg8 48. Rbg7#. Excellent for training!

Sep-26-15  Esauwept: Please excuse my beginner's inane questions, but I don't understand the white rook moves on 29 and 32. Why does he bring them together and then separate them? How does it fit into the overall strategy? Thanks
Sep-27-15  Esauwept: Thanks so much! Deeply appreciated
Sep-27-15  cunctatorg: A beautiful game indeed with just one remark; this game should be considered a beautiful and didactic demonstration of Aron Nimzowitsch's "My System" and particularly of Part I...
Sep-27-15  cunctatorg: Just read the titles of the Chapters of Part I of "My System" in Wikipedia and you will get the point!...
Sep-27-15  cunctatorg: The new (or perhaps "new") element of this very game is the decisive maneuvers (read also "notyetagm"'s and "Mating Net"'s posts) of the Ng1; Ng1-f3 and then Ne1-d3-b4!-a6!-c5-a4-c5-e6, that is a maneuver of the Ng1 which took nine moves out of the White's forty-five moves, it "broke" Black's balance in the Queen's wing and eventually it helped delivering the decisive blow in the King's wing...; perhaps Vassily Ivanchuk started by trying to "develop" this Knight (via e1 and d3) but this seems to me a poor understanding of the position from my part; Ivanchuk was obviously determined to make use of this Knight against Black's right wing (in cooperation with his Be3, perhaps the Queen...) but I fail to understand White's 18. f3 and I don't understand Levon's 18... e6...
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