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Magnus Carlsen vs Levon Aronian
"Bilbao Baggins" (game of the day Sep-09-2008)
Grand Slam Chess Final (2008), Bilbao ESP, rd 6, Sep-08
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Wade Variation (D47)  ·  1-0


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Given 38 times; par: 47 [what's this?]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: With the DSB attacked, White must either capture something or move the piece

Figured <27.Rxb4> was best after looking at the only other candidate: 27.Bb6

Aronian played the natural or automatic 27...axb4, but as <gofer> mentioned, Black's best chance to hold is 27...exd4

I couldn't find anything immediately decisive after 28.Rbxd4 Rxd4 9.Rxd4, but what about <29.exd4>

click for larger view

White has all the play here with a passed d-pawn, open e-file & the immediate threat 30.Qa3+

This is probably why Aronian went with 27...axb4, not that it mattered much


Apr-24-15  goodevans: The challenge for the POTD is to find the best move. There is clearly a single move that meets that criterion even though <27.Rxb4 exd4> leads to only a small advantage. In this respect today's puzzle is a better POTD than some where several moves lead to a winning advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Goodevans> True, the challenge is to find the best move. And 27. Rxb4 is surely the best move. But this is what CG says about the puzzles:

<What kind of move am I looking for?

The goal is to find the best move, or sequence of moves, in the given position.

You do not always have to find a checkmate! Just find the best move.

Usually, this move will lead to a superior position, either by a forced sequence of moves which leads to checkmate, or (more commonly) wins substantial material.

By "substantial material" we mean usually winning at least the exchange (i.e. trading a knight or a bishop for a rook). More commonly the winning move will net a whole piece (bishop/knight/rook) and sometimes will win the queen. Occasionally, the material will be only a single pawn--this usually happens in endgame situations where the extra pawn will surely decide the game.

The first move is not always the most difficult move to see. Sometimes, the initial move in the sequence is somewhat obvious, but the real solution to the position lies in the follow-up moves. In order to solve our puzzles, you must see enough moves to demonstrate that the initial move is correct. Simply guessing the first move, without understanding why it works, is not solving the puzzle.

Sometimes we will present a position where the player who is to move is in a nearly hopeless situation. In these positions you are expected to look for a way to draw the game instead of win it. We don't tell you that you are looking for a draw; you are expected to figure this out by the nature of the position.>

Today's POTD wins a pawn against best play, but not in an endgame situation and there is no guarantee that White will win.

That's why - for me - it doesn't feel like a CG puzzle, according to the criteria that CG have set for the POTD.

Apr-24-15  pensiveyaks: but isn't 27....exd4 a much better defence for Aronian than the text move 27... axb4 ?
Apr-24-15  Ratt Boy: <Once>: "Today's POTD wins a pawn against best play, but not in an endgame situation and there is no guarantee that White will win."

Well, it's pretty much a guarantee that White will win, because White is Carlsen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 27.Rxb4 axb4 28.Bc5+ K (move) was pretty obvious to spot, but that's how far I got.
Apr-24-15  Chess Dad: Black's move 27 is a significant blunder according to Stockfish. The evaluation jumps from +1 or so to +6 as a result of 27... axb4.

But that doesn't mean that 27. Rxb4 wasn't the best move. It was, and the difference between that and the 2nd best move (Bb2) is about 1.8 pawns at depth 30.

I also didn't see anything much after 27... exd4 28. Rbxd4.

But then again, neither did Carlsen.

Apr-24-15  Chess Dad: <Gofer: 1) What do our silicon friends say to white's advantage after <27 Rxb4! exd4>?>

Stockfish thinks white is up about 1.2 pawns at this point.

<2) Should play continue with <28 Rbxd4 Rxd4 29 Rxd4> or <28 Rbxd4 Rxd4 29 exd4> or something completely different???>>

Stockfish says "retreat." 28. Rbb1 is the recommended move.

Apr-24-15  BOSTER: Are< young American GM> really strong <tacticians>? This is the picture from the game Holt vs Robson , US Champ 2015.

click for larger view

White to play 12. after Robson 's 11...cxd4 attacking the knight c3. Here Holt the great lover of the <h push> timidly played 12.Nce4. But if he boldly played 12.exd7 , black would not have time to play 12...dxc3. To be cont.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <BOSTER: Are< young American GM> really strong <tacticians>? This is the picture from the game Holt vs Robson , US Champ 2015.>

Why are you posting that here?

<To be cont.>

Somewhere else, please.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For my Friday solution, I visualized 27. Rxb4!! axb4 (27... exd4 28. Rbxd4 ) 28. Bc5+ Ke6 (diagram below)

click for larger view

However, I missed the surprise crushing follow-up 29. Ra1! Rd6 (not 29... b3 30. Ra6+ Kd7 31. Qc6#) 30. Bxd6 Kxd6 31. Qc6+ .

Of course after 27...exd4 28. Rbxd4 (+ 0.87 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 14) Black is still in the game.

Earlier, instead of 25...h5, Fritz indicates Black could have kept it level with 25... e5 26. Bb6 Rd6 27. Rxd6 Qxd6 28. Bxa5 Bxa5 29. Rxa5 Rb8 = (0.07 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

Apr-24-15  BOSTER: < Keypusher: Why are you posting that here?>. I guess we have different understanding of the
meaning " Post is off-topic".
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <BOSTER: < Keypusher: Why are you posting that here?>. I guess we have different understanding of the meaning " Post is off-topic".>

Evidently. But only mine is correct.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Similar to yesterday- a lesser (but more important ) piece is exchanged for a bigger one and the adverse game collapses- this time a little slower.
Apr-24-15  BOSTER: < Keypusher : But only mine is correct>. Maybe you are right after you got < :Please try to keep the discussion here rellevant to the 2015 Gashimov..>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Mag b4 one all on see have game at bag b4 rook river tickles a vow away inter glide light back bone trek across and b4 if ive time gives a win for duty ramble give a good un mink coat over blacks again mind game fang tooth rook heads above flurry it ok ave moggy rates encircle sod em and gomorrah rooks at d8 out of frame can d4 play best after rook up holy inter light glides away am plug a kind frame koinus agree light ahead by a point manage live inter catch and mow b4 down kind tow by wit was tubs and spoons but sub par game shred it ok ave maybe crevice ogle e5 and light gains a plus rat race a8 recall bunts herd a word scathe enter glide sac b4 rend sure at b7 and d4 dumb c5 good call jovial foster b7 a good home thod ja loom different strokes d8 castigated it ok ave find mind jangle b7 a loof ah scrub one off buy tubby moment d7 bat d4 and could carry on to wit wave i ogle winch cave vantage off re you came light have trusts b7 and d4 dips carnage carnival mops up bank rank to joust h8 off and lag again d6 up on time rover tickle gave lucky streak critter d8 nice call inter glide cubb engage boot a boon took treasure trove babooshka cub hole again low hock back bash cover rook sac b4 lid quad grip ok ave two bishops and a queen infer tile ground as boot ie it was ave would quad bind delve aim camp i cutoff point at fly b4 fluffs at cad d4 efface off at ear i dutiful bind am dug call duo dips beset rook at dab hand an believe at aim bind act nearly am lid d4 plate rut each at effect rim bless act ever green at aid locket pocket rocket ave a boon flight an dug b4 i be lesson to by gone conclusion a line alive no more bus i drive lane dream acts enter fought off d4 tempt d8 down aim quad grip ok etc creams couple pieces act tries carafe pour on scorn d6 a key square lanes dipoff eg monarch eg win centre ground often eg liege nt a done deal as he 22.Rxb4 josh around aorta hud d4 do bash over ignoble mission d8 change on ever dash over batch im balloned it ok ave he roam go at flash hang on a hook manage ave lash on a hoopla vet.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Shaaolin ash head ive warrior tanked it ok ave overs c6 low inert again thorax a cut i curry d6 favour ave a good while live i home brave wash over board it ardent ave act dive head above water riff hay odd d4 had just hope hive joust d6 jog home jatha seek c5 dip d4 angles b7 also on good hup jeep ride hq just take ballon up cam b4 as i over rig chickens ala d4 chubb engage blows hot and bands to binds at backs to wall ace balls up banks d8 bucks er vantage board it is ok ave ogle baste a cream c6 banal game thod batch over rook bands first baggy rates encircle bends and beats ave beset beeps around b7 a corner a8 boats build shark blips at water bints and bored it ok ave bunts and bores a drill d6 i bound forth honour and hope bushy ever rook boils up ive blink to blubb babel tower an b8 queen awkward it arduous ave aim vow backs and bades forth bells hop ok ave buffs and biffs away bangs a nail blush banjo play bulls horn beams at burps up b8 a d6 best maybe at a8 or takes d6 brick ive at dust brand ave bases loaded it ok ave d6 butes and mesa rocky d6 burly outcrop d8 vet bowls along aloof bandy arms man low books hind a kabbalah rook ley lines d6 becks and call buick ride cub a bloke broke basks at bunks over ignoble b8 lemmy d6 at em plate up bunks bucky bronce vet booky flubbed it ok ave an debrief d8 down buff deep bode flow fab d4 and devilish rook a dob feel bog b4 do then ive a cream low bag toddy d6 glib doth bodes at fog binds fang tooth rook heads above water line bands suffer a b8 get rook d8 down bonds at fag ever og hurts and jog b4 one take ballon swipe pawn e5 bad but what else at balance 27...exd4 28.Rbxd4 equal material better at position loose pawn a5 and unstable monarch eg win pour forth on choosers 28.Bc5+ at black sixes and sevens try abacus count duck you lavish again pile carpet e7 has to go forth e6 at bind blank black baulk blink back tears e6 dank and dusty coil c5 sprung forth angle guild find choice of a vow to win e6 on a run again a hasty ramble give rabbi burn c5 low inter clout again e6 cage clock am bullseye queen an b8 at herd a word scoot e6 over sense at plays bullrush hang high c5 lout cloud nine quaff e6 drink away am free lane again rook slide after fetch am pagentry 28...Ke6 29.Ra1 Rd6 30.Bxd6 Kxd6 31.Qc6+ troop the colours again cruise a wave bad rush banters b8 a loon crops ever tickles haven as b8 around wheel at head sore point cannons us tenance overt c6 angle lines above curtail curtain rail as have clean spark cutters b8 at sea d6 comes back i dangle around light manage cc engine e7 it zip in evermore abreast a key inter c6 light senses why then point changer true as tender v is haven delight packs a punch c6 a grin sad ive a 31...Ke7 32.Ra8 Qd6 33.Qxd6+ cable wire bus again doorset drivers and plug good black muffs his team chances arrive build dangers not cleared it is ok ave light duffers a vow and good mob why dick around queen c6 dipoffs tender spot vision again delight doused it out overt drivers plug give spark daddies rip it out your overt d6 honour as put kind among dallies can horizon h8 rook zoom i na tours done diffuse good amp vote ave boggles at xray vet alive riven spark delight prince among thieves angles son slide aplomb ables d6 a wind as e7 ment quarter a8 backs d6 and slide away am route one back h8 i rob rank headlongs at gauge off re you came harangues and diffuses any black counter a8 almighty rambles h8 blossom arrivals over now ash 33...Kxd6 34.Rxh8 b3 rook ahead and b-pawn can be a stopped it ok ave at harangue a lift rook aim h4 and safe again balance kind head gap have back pain fuel b5 down ash at b3 aint a promotion chance very good off queen d6 among do deft touch at will it was to be an doth c5 packs away choice seer side at back ma guns diffuse slender lead turns again big mind jangle to kip ban anatomy h8 win h4 all safe hope at hive car h4 and leaps it zip ave fag pin ball basin.
Apr-24-15  mel gibson: I agree with the many posts:

Yes 27.... PxB is a move which almost draws the game. According to DR4 64 bit - white is ahead by less than a pawn.

Therefore Aronian made a big mistake.

Apr-24-15  bmcniece: Ok, well Rxb4 is pretty obvious and the best move, so we still have to say the puzzle is relevant. Besides the exd4 line, which id still rather have white to be honest because all the pressure is on black to play perfectly did anybody see the not so obvious 29.e4!? (or possibly 29.e4?!)29.Ra1 was a tough move to find, switching rook files in the middle of the board during tactics are hard to catch
Apr-24-15  Ratt Boy: I wanna read ChrisOwen's next novel.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <But to all> Thats the point: To find the best moves for both sides, which is why I enjoy <jimfromprovidence>'s post so much, as well as many others. Use one's mind to find all sorts of variations


Apr-25-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: I had the same problems as everybody else with the alternate defense.
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini d 28

1. = (0.00): 24...e5 25.Bb6 Rd6 26.Rxd6 Qxd6 27.Bxa5 Bxa5 28.Rxa5 Qb4 29.Rxe5+ Kd6 30.Rd5+ Nxd5 31.Qxd5+ Ke7 32.Qe5+ Kf8 33.Qb8+ Ke7 34.Qc7+ Kf6 35.Qc6+ Ke7 36.Qc7+ Kf6

2. (0.35): 24...h5 25.Rab1 e5 26.Rxb4 exd4 27.Rbxd4 Rhe8 28.Bc6 Rxd4 29.exd4 Rd8 30.d5 Kf8 31.g3 Qb4 32.Ra1 Kg8 33.h3 Rb8 34.Qf4 Qxf4 35.gxf4 Ne4 36.Rxa5 Rb2 37.d6 Nxd6 38.Rd5 Nc4 39.Rxh5 Kf8 40.Rb5 Ke7 41.Rxb2 Nxb2 42.Kg2 Kd6 43.Bb5 Kc5 44.Be2

3. (0.66): 24...Rxd4 25.exd4 Rd8 26.Rac1 Kf8 27.Rc4 Ng8 28.Rdc1 Ne7 29.g3 Kg8 30.Be4 h6 31.Qh5 Qb6 32.Qe2 Qd6 33.Kg2 Rb8 34.Qd1 Rd8 35.Qc2 g6 36.Bf3 Nf5 37.Rd1 Ne7 38.Qe2

Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini

36.Bd3 Nc5 37.Bb1 g5 38.Kf1 Na4 39.Rb8 Nc5 40.Ke2 e4 41.Kd2 Kd5 42.Rd8+ Ke5 43.Re8+ Kd6 44.Rd8+ Ke5 45.Re8+ (5.90) Depth: 22/59 00:02:04 193mN

Jul-11-17  drollere: in the game, why not 27. Qc6+? white wins any blocking piece on d6, and Kf5 looks unhappy (29. e4+).
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