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Levon Aronian vs Vladimir Kramnik
Kramnik - Aronian Rapid Match (2007) (rapid), Yerevan ARM, rd 4, May-05
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation. Shabalov Attack (D45)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-06-07  Ulhumbrus: 7 g4 begins an attack which is probably unsound. Conceding an advantage in space to White by 7...dxc4 may be the wrong way to answer it. An alternative is to choose a moment to offer a pawn by ..Ne4 eg 7...0-0 8 g5 Ne4. A second alternative is 7...c5 starting at once to open lines. Instead of 10...b6, 10...0-0 gets ready as quickly as possible to open lines against White's weakened King side by ...f5. 18 g5?! invites 18...f6 attacking White's weakened King side. The move 31...g6 indicates Black's problem in this position. It seems that the move h5 in combination with a B on e4 has created the potential threat of Bxh7+ followed by g6. This seems a useful resource to know about. Furthermore after 32 hxg6 Black would like to safeguard h7 permanently by 32...fxg6 but then 33 Kg3 and Rh1 creates the potential threats of Bxg6! and of Rxh7!! when it may be that the Black K, N and h7 pawn don't quite manage to cover every one of White's threats - and it takes only one White threat to succeed for the attack to prevail. This also seems useful to know about. It is possible that Kramnik failed to foresee in time just one or two potential White threats and this led him to choose a mistaken plan of development against White's attack. However this was a rapidplay game, so the outcome in a game with traditional time controls could have been different.
May-06-07  Shajmaty: <Ulhumbrus: 7 g4 begins an attack which is probably unsound.> 7. g4 "unsaound"!? U better take alook at some statistics. +45.4% =30.4% -24.2% in this database, for example...
May-06-07  Shajmaty: <Ulhumbrus: Conceding an advantage in space to White by 7...dxc4 may be the wrong way to answer it.> Statistically, 7...dxc4 + 8...Nd5 is the BEST answer to 7. g4.
May-06-07  euripides: 11.Ng3 seems to be new in this database. Aronian concentrates on chasing the d5 knight. He then castles king's side, which looks unusual in the Shabalov-Shirov. Aronian's plan seems to have taken Kramnik by surprise and may be an important innovation.
May-06-07  aazqua: Nice. This really is a contrast in styles. Kramnik wins the quiet stuff and Aronian wins the shootouts.
May-06-07  DUS: <aazqua> One can say Aronian plays like a brave chessboy (cowboy) if he is good in the shootouts.
May-08-07  artemis: As a semi-slav player myself, I have looked at several games in these lines, as this opening sequence is (perhaps incorrectly) attributed to shabalov (wasn't this line Sjirov's?), and has gained some popularity, after Kasparov used it in 2003 against fritz.

I find the surprising 7. ... Bb4 to be very promising. This loss of tempo provides the threat of ... Ne4, so most of the time, players will chose 8. Bd2, when 8. ... Qe7 is strong, supporting the bishop, and preventing the white bishop from reaching b4. then, if 9. g5 9. ... Bxc3 10. Bxc3 Ne4 is good. If 9. Rg1 then black still plays his Bxc3 and Ne4 manuever. The trickiest line is 9. Bd3 when 9. ... Nxg4 is probably best, when 10. Rg1 dxc4 11. Bxc4 f5 is good (notice that the queen on e7 is taking on the role of guarding g7 if the knight were to be forced away). Black can still play the typical queenside expansion plan with a6, b5 and c5 in most of these lines, but with the added benefit that the white king is frequently on that side of the board.

May-08-07  euripides: <artemis> from an interview I remember that Shabalov and Shirov worked on it together. I think Shirov played it first but the idea may have been Shabalov's.
May-08-07  artemis: euripides: Ahh, I see, well that makes more sense.
May-10-07  argishti: simply AMAZING
Jun-05-07  acirce: Kramnik says in his autobiography that he had started to analyse 7.g4 already back in 1988, four years before Shirov and Shabalov introduced it. He thought it was interesting and never found any clear refutation, but he didn't use it since he simply didn't believe it could really be good.
Jun-05-07  micartouse: I read the same comment by Kramnik and found it suspect at first - did he really notice the possibility of the 7. g4 thrust?! But then it occured to me that under the influence of Botvinnik, it's not unthinkable; Botvinnik sometimes used this aggressive K-side bayonet in similar positions.
Jun-05-07  Davolni: I think this game should be a "Notable Game" for Aronian's page.

????

Jun-05-07  suenteus po 147: <Davolni> Games are only added to a player's notable games list when lots of different kibitzers add the game to their collections. The more games already on the list (and the more collections each game is in) demands that new games be in even more collections than the previous ones to achieve a high place on the list. So if you want this to be a notable Aronian game, add it to your Aronian collection.
Aug-22-19  Everett: <emberJun-05-07 acirce: Kramnik says in his autobiography that he had started to analyse 7.g4 already back in 1988, four years before Shirov and Shabalov introduced it. He thought it was interesting and never found any clear refutation, but he didn't use it since he simply didn't believe it could really be good.>

*Yawn* Same here, I was looking at this back when I just learned chess way back in 1977. Too bad I didnít introduce it...

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