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Levon Aronian vs Teimour Radjabov
Corus Group A (2008), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-19
Indian Game: West Indian Defense (E61)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-19-08  anjyplayer: Must be time pressure.
Jan-19-08  danbotea: It's really unfair!
Again ??? Against Aronian?
Come on Timi!
Jan-19-08  Ezzy: L Aronian (2739) - T Radjabov (2735) [A62]
Corus Wijk aan Zee NED (7), 19.01.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 c5 5.d5 0–0 6.Bg2 d6 7.Nf3 e6 8.0–0 exd5 9.cxd5 Re8 10.Nd2 b6< A rare move. Not really been seen at top level chess. In fact it doesn't seem to have been played at any level for the past 5 or 6 years. Main line is 10...a6 or 10...Nbd7 >11.Re1 Nbd7 12.h3 Ba6 13.Qa4< Novelty. Donner played 13 a4 back in 1959 >13...Bd3 14.Nf1 b5 15.Qd1 Bc4 16.Nd2 Nb6 17.Nxc4 Nxc4 18.Nxb5<So Radjabov gives up a bishop for knight and sacrifices a pawn. So what is his plan and where is the compensation?> 18...Qa5 19.a4 Nd7 19....Ne4 seems more active. 20.Bf4 Bxb2 21.Rb1 Be5 22.Qc1 a6 23.Qxc4 axb5 24.axb5 Nb6 25.Qc1 c4 26.Bxe5 Rxe5 27.e4 Ree8 <There just doesn't seem to be any compensation for the pawn.> 28.Re3 Qa2 <Black's control of the 'a' file doesn't seem to have any value.> 29.h4 Nd7 30.Rc3 Nb6 31.h5< Aronian has just gained a free move to improve his position.> 31...Re5 32.h6 <The funny thing is - This pawn becomes a nightmare for Radjabov creating back row mating threats.> 32...f5?< It may have been strong against Eljanov, but Aronians pieces are much better placed.and Radjabov now seems to be lost.> 33.exf5 Rxf5 34.Rc2 Qa3 35.Qd2< Threatening the killer 36 Bh3 Re5 37 Be6+ and black must lose the exchange or else Kh8 38 Qf4 and carnage.> 35...Qc5 <To stop 36 Bh3 Rf6 37 Qd4!> 36.Bh3 Rf3 37.Rc3 Rf6 38.Be6+ Kh8 39.Re3< Threat is 40 Qc3 Raf8 41 Rf3 and carnage.> 39...Raf8 40.Qb2< Same idea 41 Rf3 looms.> 40...Na4 41.Qa3 Rxf2 <[41...Qxa3 42.Rxa3 Nb6 43.Rba1 with the idea 44 Ra6 and the knight is trapped.] >42.Qxc5 dxc5 43.Ra3< [43.b6 is a quick win as black can't stop the pawn unless he loses the knight. Is Aronian just toying with Radja?] >43...Nb6 44.Rd1 R2f6 45.Rda1 g5< [45...Rb8 46.Ra7 g5 47.Rc7 Rxh6 48.Ra6 Is still winning easily.]> 46.Ra6 c3< [46...Nc8 47.Bxc8 Rxc8 48.Rxf6]> 47.Rxb6 c2 48.Rc6 1–0

Well well well. Superb by Aronian. He has just taken Radjabov apart in the most destructive way possible. An absolute thrashing of the finest quality!

Radjabov plays an opening variation that nobody else will touch with a barge pole. And he grimly learns a painful lesson of why that is. A horrible opening from Radjabov, sacrificing a pawn for nothing, and then gets completely outplayed and slowly left to suffer.

This is punishment for bad opening play of the highest caliber. Well played Lev Aronian. I am ashamed at placing you so low in the prediction contest. Sorry, never again.

Radja's a very likeable guy. I hope he forgets about this game and moves on. Or at least look at the game again and say ''Ok, let's ditch that variation with 10...b6''

Jan-19-08  hovik2003: Nice job Aronian, to me it was a win in Fischer's style, the best tribute to eternal player like Fischer.
Jan-19-08  percyblakeney: Radjabov got an OK position out of the opening, but the turning point seems to have been the 19th move. With Ne4 instead my (rather primitive) engines saw an advantage for black, but from Nd7 and on this was definitely Aronian's game and he played very convincingly.
Jan-19-08  Open Defence: <With Ne4 instead my (rather primitive) engines saw an advantage for black,> dont you have Rybka Percy ?
Jan-19-08  percyblakeney: <Open Defence> I only have the Neolithic Rybka 1.2 and Shredder 10, but maybe they understand some positions acceptably :-)

Radjabov used very much time to calculate that his 13. ... Bd3 thing was working, and by move 19 I think he was already below 20 minutes.

Jan-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  minasina: http://chesspro.ru/chessonline/onli... This was LIVE commentary with Alexey Korotylev (in Russian) (“Translated”: http://www.google.com/translate?u=h... The board is not functioning at the translated page)
Jan-19-08  percyblakeney: Press conference with Aronian:

http://www.chessvibes.com/videos/co...

Jan-19-08  hovik2003: <minasina>
Thanks again for the valuable links, I was looking for translation and I am sorry once I posted "quit acting like a lighthouse beacon for lost souls" during games in Mexico.
Jan-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Well, a win is a win, but why didn't white play 41. Qa1, maintaining the pin of the ♖ at f6?

If 41...Qa7, then 42. b6 blocks the a7-f2 diagonal and allows 42. Ra3, winning the ♘. And if 41...Nb6, then 42. Qa6 Nd7 43. b6 wins at least the exchange.

Jan-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <al-Wazir> Haven't looked at it too closely, but how about answering 41.Qa1 with 41...c3? If 42.Qxa4, then 42...Rxf2 looks very interesting, what with potential discovered checks and the c-pawn growing up in a hurry.
Jan-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Phony Benoni>: Offhand, I would say that 41. Qa1 c3 42. Qxa4 Rxf2 43. Rbe1 c2 44. Qa1+ R2e5 45. Qc1 is a win for white.

So is 43. Qe4 c2 44. Rc1 Rf1+ 45. Rxf1 c1=Q 46. Rxc1 Qxc1+ 47. Re1, but black has 44...R2f3 45. Rxc2 Rxe3 46. Rxc5 Rxe4.

Jan-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <al wazir> In your first line, how about 41.Qa1 c3 42.Qxa4 Rxf2 43.Rbe1 Rf3!?
Jan-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  minasina: <hovik2003: <minasina> Thanks [...] I am sorry once I posted "quit acting like a lighthouse beacon for lost souls" during games in Mexico.>

That's all right. It's my pleasure to be 'lighthouse beacon'. Anyway, I do not spam so much anymore. Nowadays I always try to put those links daily updated only once, before the round starts.

Jan-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  minasina: <hovik2003> ChessPro.ru is easy to translate with http://www.google.com/translate_t . See my profile page: User: minasina There's somewhere <Translation help>.
Jan-19-08  THE pawn: 10...b6 is a very rare move, I don't think I've ever seen it before.
Jan-19-08  THE pawn: Nevermind, I've just read <Ezzy>'s review. But I don't see how this variation is bad. It does help to develop the bishop without breaking too much the pawn structure.
Jan-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Phony Benoni: In your first line, how about 41.Qa1 c3 42.Qxa4 Rxf2 43.Rbe1 Rf3!?> (I suppose you mean R2f3.)

Hmmm. Well, after 44. Qe4 c2, I don't see any answer to the threat of ...c1=Q, possibly preceded by ...Rxe3.

I guess that's why Aronian didn't play 40. Qa1.

Jan-20-08  ughaibu: I wonder why he didn't play 19....Ne4, it's certainly a better looking move.
Jan-20-08  ughaibu: Maybe he didn't like 20.Be4 Re4, 21.Bf4 Bb2, 22.Rb1 Be5, 23.Qc2
Jan-20-08  jmrulez2004: I have to disagreew with Ezzy, ... a careful study of Radjabov's game shows that he can be a menace with his play in The KID, AND ALSO.. this variation is not totally a dreadful start, there are cetain virtues in black's position.. but the turning point is move 27-35... a rough computer evaluation will show that radjabov's move choice was not the top of the line from then on... i beleive that the postion is one that could run to several complications for both sides, and radjabov on his part has made a few unsound move choices in the middle game.. which resulted in the lost.
Jan-20-08  euripides: There are some tactical wrinkles at the end.

<44.Ra6>, suggested above, runs into 44....c3 e.g. 45.Rxb6 c2 46.Rc1 Rf1+ 47.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 48.Kg2 Rf8 and the c pawn cannot be stopped.

In the final position the equivalent line fails: 49...Rf1+ 50.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 51.Kg2 (not Kxf1 c1=Q+ and if the king tries to escape checks on the h file Black will have g4+ and Qxh6) Rg1+ (now if Rf8 White has 52.Rxc5 winning easily) 52.Kh3 Rh1+ 53.Kg4 and the checks run out.

The crucial difference, I think, is that by Rda1 Aronian prevented c2 from gaining a tempo for Black, giving his other rook time to reach c6 and cover the c pawn.

Jan-22-08  Resignation Trap: First, the ECO code for this opening should be A62.

The game <Ezzy> made reference to was Jan Hein Donner - Borislav Milic , Beverwijk, 1955, which went:


click for larger view

13.a4 h5 14.Nb5 Bxb5 15.axb5 h4 16.g4 Ne5
17.f4 Nexg4 18.hxg4 Nxg4 19.Nf1 h3 20.Bxh3 Qh4
21.Bxg4 Qxg4+ 22.Kh1 Re5 23.fxe5 Qe4+ 24.Kg1 Qg4+
1/2-1/2

Whew! The sparks still fly!

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