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Levon Aronian vs Magnus Carlsen
Tal Memorial (2006), Moscow RUS, rd 6, Nov-12
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation (E15)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-12-06  notyetagm: Could some endgame expert please post analysis indicating where Magnus went wrong here? I thought he would be able to hold this endgame.

Nov-12-06  notyetagm: 22 ... g5 23 ♘c6! is a great <ZWISCHENZUG>, simplifying down to an advantageous endgame (extra pawn, more active rook), which Aronian converts into the full point.
Nov-12-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  micahtuhy: Considering these two are set to square off in the first round of the candidate matches, and that Carlsen has yet to beat Aronian, you have to think this was a big win for the Aremenian, who will have the psychological edge along with experience and skill. NO one can deny the talent of the Boy Wonder, but, it doesn't appear to be his time yet. Do we not remember that 16 year old Bobby Fischer got trounced by Mikhail Tal losing all four games to him in the candidate tournament. Meanwhile, Tal went on to become world champion. I'm not saying Levon wil lgo on to be world champion, but I am saying that Carlsen will NOT beat Aronian in the candidates.
Nov-12-06  notyetagm: <I'm not saying Levon wil lgo on to be world champion, but I am saying that Carlsen will NOT beat Aronian in the candidates.>

If you look at this game and his recent loss to Karjakin at Cap D'Adge, Magnus seems quite vulnerable at this level in queenless middlegame positions.

Maybe these two games are anomalies but I think you could bet the house on Kramnik when he plays Magnus in Corus A in January.

And how in the world did Magnus fail to hold this endgame? His king was in front of the White pawns and he had an active rook. My rook endgame skills are not very strong but even I know that with these two factors alone there must be good drawing chances for Black.

Nov-12-06  notyetagm: Do the tablebases say anything definitive about the position after 59 ♖a4? This position looks rather drawish to me but I am not an expert.

Black To Play: 59 ... ?


click for larger view

Nov-12-06  Scarecrow: <notyetagm> I'm no endgame expert, but I have... http://www.k4it.de/index.php?topic=... -- that is, 6-men tablebases which indicate that the position after 61...fxe5 was a draw. Neither of the players left the drawing path until 73...Ra7+, instead of which only ...Kg6 held the draw. So this is where Carlsen went wrong, but frankly I don't know why.

I'm surprised that 74...Ra8+ 75. Ke7 Rb8 does not appear in the game score above, these moves showed up during the live transmission on the official site.

Nov-12-06  dehanne: <Could some endgame expert please post analysis indicating where Magnus went wrong here? I thought he would be able to hold this endgame.><notyetagm> I guess we'll have to wait til John Nunn posts his comments on Chessbase ;-)
Nov-12-06  crwynn: You seem to be thinking along the same lines as I did, if you're looking at Black's 59th...sometimes it seems as if 90% of all question marks go to pawn moves. Otoh, such moves are often a sign of desperation, not wanting to be squashed by some otherwise-inevitable winning plan. Does White actually have anything here?

Seems to me 59...Rd1+, to make White block his own rook with his king, then ...Rf1 and White is making no progress.

Nov-12-06  Ulhumbrus: According to one master, possibly Dvoretsky, 73...Ra7? is a losing mistake, 73...Kg6! being necessary. It is conceivable that if a player applies a knowledge and understanding of a handful of Rook and Pawn endings, he will be able to understand what Black gains or avoids by 73..Kg6.
Nov-12-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Magnus fails to draw what is possibly the most important R+p vs R position to know about apart from Lucena and Philidor.


click for larger view

This position is given in <Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual> after 1..Ra1-a7+ 2.Rd1-d7 from the initial diagram. The following is taken from the book, and mentions Aronian's tricky 73.Rd6:

-----

2..Ra8!

<The simplest defensive method: Black prevents the position with the pawn on the 7th rank. 2..Ra6?? would have been a grave error in view of 3.Ke8+ Kf6 4.e7, and if 4..Ke6, then 5.Kf8!

However any other rook retreat along the a-file, for example 2..Ra1, does not give up the draw because after 3.Ke8+ (the only correct reply to 3.Rd6!? is 3..Ra8!) 3..Kf6! 4.e7 Ke6! 5.Kf8 Black has 5..Rf1+!. Here he manages to hold only due to the fact that the White rook is misplaced at d7.>

3.Rd8

<3.Kd6+ is useless: 3..Kf6 (3..Kf8) 4.Rf7+ Kg6=.

The waiting attempt 3.Rb7 can be met either with 3..Kg6 4.Kd6 Kf6 5.e7 Kf7= or with 3..Ra1 4.Kd7 Ra8 5.e7 Kf7= (but not 3..Kg8?? 4.Kf6 Rf8+ 5.Rf7 ).

<In case of 3.Rd6!?, 3..Ra1? is bad because after 4.Ke8 Kf6 the pawn steps ahead with a check. 3..Rb8? loses to 4.Rd8! Rb7+ 5.Kd6 Rb6+ 6.Kd7. The only correct reply is 3..Kg6!>>

3..Ra7+ 4.Kd6 Ra6+ (4..Kf6?? 5.Rf8+ Kg7 6.e7) 5.Ke5 Ra5+! 6.Rd5 Ra8 (6..Ra7?? 7.Rd7+; 6..Ra1!?) 7.Rd7+ (7.e7 Kf7 8.Rd8 Ra5+) 7..Kg6!= (rather than 7..Kf8?? 8.Kf6 because passive defense does not help against a central pawn).

<The reason for the drawn final was the position of the black rook: it was placed on the long side. Let us shift all the pieces except for the black rook one file to the left. Now when the rook is on the short side, Black, as one can see easily, is lost.>

Nov-12-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <after 1..Ra1-a7+ 2.Rd1-d7 from the initial diagram.> Supposed to be 1..Ra2-a7+, hopefully most of the rest is correct.
Nov-12-06  notyetagm: <acirce> Thanks, great post.

PS Please change your avatar. :-)

Nov-12-06  notyetagm: <acirece> <<In case of 3.Rd6!?, 3..Ra1? is bad because after 4.Ke8 Kf6 the pawn steps ahead with a check. 3..Rb8? loses to 4.Rd8! Rb7+ 5.Kd6 Rb6+ 6.Kd7. The only correct reply is 3..Kg6!>>

Damn, Aronian knows his endgames.

Yesterday he saw the "king trapped in the corner" theme -many- moves in advance. Today, he plays 73 ♖d6!?, which gives him winning chances since Black must then find the only move 73 ... ♔g6!, which Magnus failed to do.

So, aside from being an outstanding tactician (23 ♘c6!), Aronian is also showing his profound endgame knowledge (73 ♖d6!?).

Very impressive.

Nov-12-06  notyetagm: <acirce: ... The reason for the drawn final was the position of the black rook: it was placed on the long side. Let us shift all the pieces except for the black rook one file to the left. Now when the rook is on the short side, Black, as one can see easily, is lost.>

What this reinforces is the importance of having the defending rook on the -long- side of the pawn.

Dvoretsky's comment here is very telling and instructive. In the final position by merely shifting every piece except the Black rook one file to the left, <<so that the White e-pawn becomes a d-pawn and what used to be the -long- side is now the -short- side>>, Black now has a lost endgame simply because his rook is now on the -short- side of the pawn.

Long side draws, short side loses.

Nov-12-06  centercounter: <notyetagm: Do the tablebases say anything definitive about the position after 59 a4? This position looks rather drawish to me but I am not an expert.

Black To Play: 59 ... ?>

Not an easy game to win, but also not easy to hold. Another similar rule comes to mind regarding 3 vs. 2 Pawns on the same side: Do not trade to 2 vs. 1 unless you receive a tangible benefit that makes the 2 vs. 1 position winnable. This goes for 4 vs. 3 on the same side, also :)

The superior side is typically the only one able to make such an offer anyway.

If Black controls the 6th rank, it seems very difficult to envision any penetration by White. While being a natural post, perhaps f1 wasn't the correct one for the Rook.

I, also, am no endgame expert. In a way it kind of sickens me to see people resort to tablebases instead of figuring it out and learning from experience, but then I'll probably go and turn on Shredder and join the herd...

Nov-12-06  Ezzy: Aronian,L (2741) - Carlsen,M (2698) [E15]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (6), 12.11.2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 <Aronian plays this rare move for the first time. Obviously trying to take Carlsen out of his comfort zone.> 5...Nc6 <An even more rare reply. Is Carlsen already out of 'book', or is it mind games?> 6.Nbd2 <Novelty I think. 6 a3 and 6 Bg2 have been played before.> 6...d5 7.cxd5 Qxd5< Because of the discovered attack on c6 by the white queen.> 8.e4 <8 a3 has an interesting threat of 9 e4 winning the a6 bishop or the c6 knight.> 8...Nb4 9.Qa4+ Qd7 10.Qxd7+ Nxd7 11.Bxa6 Nxa6 12.00 Nf6 13.a3 c5 14.Re1 Be7 15.Ne5 Rc8 16.b4 cxd4 17.Ndf3 Nb8 <They say if you you are stuck for a plan, improve the position of your worst placed piece.> 18.Nxd4 Nfd7 19.Nef3 00 20.Bf4 Nc6 21.Rac1 Nxd4 22.Nxd4 g5 23.Nc6 <I like this move. It seems that Aronian has seen a lot further into the position than Carlsen.> 23...Rxc6 24.Rxc6 gxf4 25.Rc7 Ne5< Carlsen decides to go for a rook endgame a pawn down. Probably the correct decision as this line seems more difficult to defend. [25...fxg3 26.hxg3 Rd8 27.Rd1 Nf8 28.Rxd8 Bxd8 29.Rxa7 Which looks pretty good for white.]> 26.Rxe7 Nf3+ 27.Kf1 Nxe1 28.Kxe1 a5 29.Rb7 axb4 30.axb4 Rd8 31.f3 Rd3 32.Ke2 Rb3 33.Rxb6 Rb2+ 34.Kd3 Rxh2 35.gxf4 h5 36.Rb5 h4 37.Rh5 h3 38.Kd4 Kf8 <Now the king is in the zone to stop any possible runaway b pawn.> 39.Ke5 Ke7 <Only move. Chasing the b pawn loses. [39...Rb2 40.Kf6 Kg8 41.Rxh3 Rxb4 42.Rg3+ Kf8 43.Rg7 Rb7 44.e5 Ra7 45.f5 exf5 46.e6 f4 47.Rh7 Kg8 48.exf7+ Kxh7 49.f8Q Winning]> 40.f5 exf5 41.Kxf5 Rb2 42.Rxh3 Rxb4 43.f4 Rb5+ 44.e5 Kf8 45.Rd3 <This threatens 46 Kf6 winning > 45...Rb4 46.Kg5 Kg7 47.Rd7 Rb5 To stop 48 e6 48.Kg4 Kf8 49.Kf5 Kg7 50.Ke4 Rb4+ 51.Rd4 Rb1 52.Rd7 Re1+ 53.Kd5 Rd1+ 54.Kc6 Rf1 55.Rd4 Kf8 56.Kd7 Rf2 57.Kd6 Rf1 58.Kd5 Ke7 59.Ra4 f6 60.Ra7+ Kf8 61.Kd6 fxe5 62.Ra8+ Kf7 63.Ra7+ Kf8 64.fxe5 Rd1+ 65.Ke6 Re1 66.Rf7+ Ke8 67.Rh7 Kf8 68.Rh8+ Kg7 69.Rd8 Ra1 70.Ke7 Ra5 71.e6 Ra7+ 72.Rd7 Ra8 73.Rd6 Ra7+?< Carlsen cracks under the pressure. I don't think Aronian can break through if Carlsen plays something similar to this line. But we will have to wait for the endgame experts. [73...Kg6 74.Rd1 Ra7+ 75.Rd7 Ra6 76.Rc7 Kg7 77.Rb7 Kg6 78.Rd7 Ra8 79.Rc7] >74.Ke8 10

Nice play by Aronian. He always had the initiative and forced Carlsen into an rook endgame a pawn down. The endgame was probably theoretically drawn, but Aronian kept the pressure on, making Carlsen find the only move. Eventually Carlsen cracked under the pressure.

Nov-13-06  Confuse: nice grind at the end... aronian pushes carlsen really hard, and he falls over. fantastic wins from aronian this tournament : )
Nov-13-06  notyetagm: <Ezzy: Aronian,L (2741) - Carlsen,M (2698) [E15] Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (6), 12.11.2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 <Aronian plays this rare move for the first time.>>

5 ♕c2!? is fast becoming a main line against the Queen's Indian 4 g3 ♗a6.

In fact, over at chesspublishing.com, they speculate that Judit Polgar played 4 ... ♗b7 at Essen and not 4 ... ♗a6 in part to avoid the 5 ♕c2!? reply.

Chesspublishing.com also points out that -all- Queen's Indian books on the 4 g3 ♗a6 line are now obsolete, since in the past 5 ♕c2!? had been dismissed as a harmless sideline.

Nov-13-06  notyetagm: Black To Play And Draw: 73 ... ?


click for larger view

73 ... Kg6! is the only move that draws.

From chessbase.com:
<Everything has gone according to plan, the position is still drawn, but Black must play an accurate move. 73...Ra7+?? That's not it, only 73...Kg6! keeps the draw. 74.Ke8! Now White could force a win as demonstrated by Alessandro Salvio in the 17th century, but (perhaps falsely) attributed to Luis Ramirez Lucena at the end of the 15th century. Carlsen's memory reached back far enough to understand that he had blundered, and so the Norwegian teenager resigned. 1-0.>

Nov-13-06  notyetagm: <The reason for the drawn final was the position of the black rook: it was placed on the long side.>


click for larger view

<Let us shift all the pieces except for the black rook one file to the left. Now when the rook is on the short side, Black, as one can see easily, is lost.>


click for larger view

Nov-13-06  Ezzy: <notyetagm: Chesspublishing.com also points out that -all- Queen's Indian books on the 4 g3 a6 line are now obsolete,> All those trees that could of been saved.

<74.Ke8! Now White could force a win as demonstrated by Alessandro Salvio in the 17th century,> Carlsen is going to have to get his head stuck into some 400 year old history books.

Nov-13-06  notyetagm: <Ezzy: <notyetagm: Chesspublishing.com also points out that -all- Queen's Indian books on the 4 g3 a6 line are now obsolete,> All those trees that could of been saved.>

Here is the link to the chesspublishing.com site that I mentioned: http://www.chesspublishing.com/cont....

GM Emms says that there has been an "explosion" of interest in this line, 4 g3 ♗a6 5 ♕c2!?. We may be witnessing the birth of a brand new mainline.

Nov-13-06  Tariqov: I suppose the reason for Kg6!!(Rd6!? has been said as the most trickiest move) is to remain the Position of the rook. At a8 it controls the 8th rank AND is at the long side(so Rb8?shortens the rook)Because of this The rook cannot move so only the king can. By understanding you can remember easier i suppose.
Nov-13-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Damn, Aronian knows his endgames.> Rather Carlsen doesn't know basic endings well. This is one of best known endgame positions and anybody can find it not only in Dvoretsky but probably in every endgame manual published in last two centuries or more. Magnus is natural supertalent but this game shows that he has a lot of work and study ahead of himself to become the real top player. Lessons of this kind can help him but I would say that loss in this engame in such a tournament is a bit expensive lesson.
Nov-13-06  Ezzy: <notyetagm:> Thanks for the information.

<We may be witnessing the birth of a brand new mainline> Interesting. I suppose that doesn't happen too often. Because of the power of computer analysis, I suppose the world of chess openings will eventually go through a radical change.

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