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Levon Aronian vs Veselin Topalov
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament (2008), Nanjing CHN, rd 1, Dec-11
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation. Schallopp Defense (D12)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-11-08  Bobsterman3000: Why 8.g3 ??

Can anyone explain ??

Dec-11-08  Albertan: Here is some analysis of this game:

Aronian,Levon - Topalov,Veselin [D12]
Pearl Spring Nanjing/China (1), 11.12.2008
[Analyzed by myself and Deep Rybka]

1.d4 d5!? Usuallly Topalov is more aggressive against the Queen's Gambit chosing either the Benoni Defense or the King's Indian Defense.Here he choses to be solid against one of the strongest chess players in the World. Or possibly he is showing Kamsky that he has many defenses against the Queen's Gambit (relating to their upcoming match). 2.c4 c6!? Chosing one of the most solid continuations against the Queen's Gambit:the Slav defense. 3.Nf3 Developing the the king's knight is more popular at the highest levels of chess, (rather than playing 3.Nc3). 3...Nf6 Otherwise he falls a tempo behind in minor piece development. 4.e3 Allowing him to complete the development of his kingside,at the cost of blocking in his dark-squared bishop. [Analysis: The main continuation in this position is: 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7] 4...Bf5 The most popular move in this position, developing another minor piece. 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Bg6 [Analysis:Less popular is 6...Be4 with the most popular continuation being: 7.f3 Bg6 8.Qb3 Qc7 9.Bd2 Nbd7 10.cxd5 Nxd5] 7.Be2 Simply completing the development of his kingside minor pieces to facilitate kingside castling. [Analysis:The main line is: 7.Nxg6 hxg6 8.g3 Nbd7 9.Bg2 dxc4 10.Qe2 Be7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Qxc4 e5] 7...Nbd7 [Analysis:According to the chessbase online database, the only other move played with any frequency by the second player in this position is: 7...Bd6 ] 8.g3!? The reason he played this move is that he intends to redeploy his light-squared bishop on the h1-a8 diagonal in the near future. This move has been rarely played in top-level chess, maybe due to the fact that it means White has played 4 pawn moves of the first 8 moves in the game. 8...Bd6 Deploying his bishop as actively as possible in the position. [Analysis: According to the chessbase online database,the only other move played in this position is: 8...Be7 ] 9.0-0 [Analysis: According to the chessbase online database, the only other move played in this position has been 9.a3 ] 9...0-0 [Analysis:other moves played in this position include: 9...Qe7 ; 9...dxc4; and 9...Ne4 ] 10.Nxg6 Analysis:According to the Chessbase online database, this move is almost always played in this position by top-level players. [10.a3; 10.Bd2] 10...hxg6 The only move played in this position in the chessbase online database,following the general rule that one should recapture towards the center of the board. 11.Qc2 Preventing ...Ne4. [Deep Rybka 11.c5 Bc7 12.Qc2 e5 13.Rd1 Qe7 14.Bd2 Qe6; Analysis:According to the chessbase online database, the most often played move in this position is: 11.b3 ] 11...dxc4 Reducing some of the tension in the center and forcing Aronian's bishop off the d1-h6 diagonal. [Analysis:The move 11...Qe7 has also been tried by the second player at this stage of the game.] 12.Bxc4 c5 Topalov creates a pawn lever,threatening to give Aronian an isolated d-pawn next move with the capture 13...cxd4. [Deep Rybka:(a) >=12...Qe7 13.Bd2 Nb6 14.Bd3 e5 15.Rfe1 Rae8 16.Ne4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 f5 18.Qb3+ Rf7 19.Bd3 e4 20.Be2 Nd5=; (b) 12...b5 13.Bd3 Nb6 14.a4 a6 15.Ne4 Qc7; Analysis:The move 12...Rc8 was played in the game K.Georgieve-J.Speelman 2008 1-0] 13.dxc5 The only move played in this position in the Chessbase online database. [Deep Rybka: >=13.Qb3 cxd4 14.exd4 Nb6 15.Bd3 Qd7 16.Rd1 Rfc8=] 13...Bxc5= [Analysis:In a game in 2008, GM Boris Gelfand continued by playing 13...Nxc5 against GM Boris Avrukh.] 14.Rd1 Analysis: According to the Chessbase online database,this move is the only one which has been played in competition:It was played by Galliamova versus Cmilyte, Ivanchuk versus Gelfand, and Gelfand versus Kramnik , all in 2007. 14...Rc8 Centralizing his rook on the open c-file where it can cause problems for Aronian's queen. [Analysis:Deep Rybka:

Dec-11-08  Albertan: 14...Qe7 Gallimova played this move against Cmilyte. 15.Bd2 Rac8 16.Be2 Bb6 (Galliamova played the move 16...Ne5 against Cmilyte.) 17.Qa4 Rfd8 18.Ne4 Nxe4 19.Qxe4 Nf6 20.Qa4 Qc5 ] 15.Qb3N Winning a tempo.This move is a theoretical novelty for the position.He also takes his queen off the same file as Topalov's rook. [Analysis:According to the chessbase online database, prior to this game only the move 15.Bf1 had been played in this position:Ivanchuk-Gelfand, 2007, draw, and Kramnik-Gelfand 2007, 1-0.] 15...Qc7 The lost tempo.However, in the future, Topalov threatens to move his dark-squared bishop off the c5 square, which would create a discovered-double attack against Aronian's light-squared bishop. 16.Bf1 Intending to create a double-attack against Topalov's b-pawn next move. [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 16.Be2 Rfd8 17.e4 Bb6 18.Bg5 Qc5 19.Be3 Qc7=] 16...Be7 17.Bg2 Creating a double-attack against Topalov's b-pawn,threatening to win a tempo. [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 17.Nb5 Qb8 18.Bd2 a6 19.Nd4 Nc5 20.Qa3 Rfd8 21.Bg2 Rc7 22.Bb4 Nd5 23.Bxd5 Rxd5=] 17...Nc5 Avoiding the loss of tempo, and instead winning a tempo. 18.Qc2 The lost tempo. [Analysis:In its analysis of this position the program Deep Rybka preferred to play 18.Qc4 with a possible continuation being: 18...Qb6 19.Qe2 Rfd8 20.Rd4 Bd6 21.b4 Na6 22.Na4 Qc7 23.a3 e5 24.Rd2 e4=] 18...Rfd8 Centralizing his rook and fighting for control of the open d-file. [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 18...Rfd8 19.e4 a6 20.Bf4 e5 21.Be3 Ne6 22.Bh3 Qc4 23.Rac1 Bd6 ] 19.Bd2 Finally developing his last minor piece and preventing the exchange of rooks,which would have simplified the position. [Analysis:Deep Rybka gave a better evaluation to the move 19.e4 with a possible continuation being: 19...Rxd1+ 20.Qxd1 Qb6 21.Rb1 Rd8 22.Qe2 Nd3 23.Be3 Qb4 24.Bxa7 b6 with sufficient compensation for the pawn.] 19...Nd3!= Topalov takes the opportunity to aggressively post his knight deep in his opponent's position,preventing Aronian from playing Rac1 in the future.Deep Rybka evaluates this position as equal (=0.01) [Analysis: Deep Rybka: 19...Nd3 20.Be1 Nxe1 21.Rxd8+!? Rxd8 22.Rxe1 g5 23.h3 b5!? 24.Rc1 Qa5 25.a3 b4 26.axb4 Qxb4=] 20.Qb3 Analysis:According to the evaluation of Deep Rybka,this move gives Topalov a slight advantage. [Analysis:Deep Rybka:Better is >=20.Be1 because it creates a double-attack against Topalov's knight, forcing him to either exchange off on e1 or lose a tempo. 20...Nxe1 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Rxe1 g5 23.h3 Bb4 24.Rc1 Bxc3 25.Qb3 Qa5 26.Rxc3 b6=] 20...a6!? Topalov is willing to temporarily sacrifice a pawn, in reality he is setting a trap for Aronian. [Analysis: Deep Rybka:(a)Better is 20...Ng4 with a possible continuation being: 21.Ne4 Nf6 22.Bc3 Nxe4 23.Bxe4 Nc5 24.Qc2 Nxe4 25.Qxe4 Bf6 26.Rac1 Bxc3 27.Rxd8+ Qxd8 28.Rxc3 Rxc3 29.bxc3 b6=; (b)Another idea for Black in this position is to play 20...Qb6 with a possible continuation being: 21.Qxb6 axb6 22.Bc1 Ng4 23.Bxb7 Rb8 24.Ba6 Ndxf2 25.Rxd8+ Rxd8 26.Be2 f5=] 21.Be1 Aronian forces Topalov to tie down his rook to defend his knight, unless Topalov gives up his beautifully placed knight for Aronian's bishop. [Analysis:(a)Worse is taking the pawn: 21.Qxb7?! (?) 21...Qxb7 22.Bxb7 Rc7 23.Bxa6 Nxb2 24.Be1 Nxd1 25.Nxd1 Rc2 and White has insufficient compensation for the pawn.; (b)Analysis:Deep Rybka: 21.Be1 Nxe1 22.Rxd8+ Rxd8 23.Rxe1 b5 24.Rd1 Nd7 25.h4 Ne5=] 21...Nxe1 22.Rxd8+ Aronian decides to simply the position before recapturing his piece.This comes at the cost of allowing Topalov to seize control of the open d-file with his rook. [Analysis:Deep Rybka:The program gives an inferior evaluation to the move 22. Rxe1 ie: 22.Rxe1 b5 23.Red1 g5 24.Rac1 Qa5 25.h3 g4 26.hxg4 Nxg4 27.Bh3 Rc4 28.Bf1 Rcc8=] 22...Rxd8 23.Rxe1 b5 Reducing the mobility of Aronian's queen, and eliminating the backward b-pawn as a target. [Analysis: Deep Rybka: 23...b5 24.Rd1 Nd7 25.h4 Qa5 26.Rd2 Ne5 27.Rxd8+ Qxd8 28.Qd1 Qb6=] 24.Rd1 Aronian offers to exchange rooks,which would give him control of the open d-file after 24......Rxd1 25.Qxd1.
Dec-11-08  Albertan: 24...g5 Increasing his influence over the f4-square,perhaps this is a "waiting move". [Analysis: Deep Rybka: 24...Nd7 25.Ne2 Bf6 26.Qb4 Qc2 27.Qd2 Qc7 28.Qb4 Qc2 29.Qd2 Qc7=] 25.Ne2 Possibly intending Nd4. [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 25.h3 Rxd1+ 26.Qxd1 g6 27.Bf3 Bd6 28.a4 Bxg3!? 29.fxg3 Qxg3+ 30.Bg2 Qxe3 ] 25...Rxd1+ Further simplying his defensive task in the game. 26.Qxd1 Nd7 Topalov intends to redeploy his knight on the e5-square. [Analysis:Deep Rybka:The program gave a better evaluation to the move 26...Bd6 with a possible continuation being: 27.h3 Be5 28.Qd2 g6 29.Nd4 Qd6 30.Bf3 Nd5 31.Nb3 Qb4 32.Qxb4 Nxb4 33.a3 Nd3 34.Bb7 Bxb2 35.Bxa6 Nc1 36.Nxc1 Bxc1 37.Bxb5 Bxa3=] 27.Qc1 Aronian,having assessed the position, basically gives up any chance of winning the game by offering to further simplify the position with the exchange of queens. [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 27.a4!? b4 (27...bxa4 28.Qxa4 a5 29.Nd4 Ne5 30.Qb5 g4 31.Be4 g6=) ] 27...Qxc1+ [Analysis: Deep Rybka: 27...Qc5 28.Qxc5 Nxc5 29.Nd4 Bf6 30.Kf1 b4 31.b3 g4 32.Ke2 Be5=] 28.Nxc1 Kf8 Topalov begins to centralize his king for the upcoming endgame. [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 28...g4 29.Kf1 Nc5 30.a3 Na4 31.Nd3 Kf8 32.Bc6 Bf6 33.b3 Nc3 34.Nc5 Be7 35.Nxa6 Bxa3=] 29.Kf1 Aronian does the same. [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 29.Kf1 g4 30.Nd3 Nc5 31.Ke2 Nxd3 32.Kxd3 Bd6 33.Bb7 a5 34.Bc6 b4 35.Kc4 Ke7 36.f4 (36.Kb5 Bc7=) 36...gxf3 37.Bxf3 Kf6=] 29...Bd6 Topalov improves the mobility of his bishop. [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 29...Nc5 30.Ke2 g4 31.Nd3 Bd6 32.Nxc5 Bxc5 33.Kd3 a5=] 30.Ke2 Ke7 [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 30...g4 31.Nb3 Nc5 32.Nxc5 Bxc5 33.Kd3 Ke7 34.Kc3 Kd7 35.Be4 a5=] 31.Nd3 Recentralizing his piece,where it now contests the deployment of Topalov's knight to c5 or e5. [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 31.h3 Nc5 32.Kd2 b4 33.Nd3 Nxd3 34.Kxd3 Be5 35.Kc4 Bxb2 36.Kxb4 Bc1 37.Kc4 Kd6=] 31...Ne5 Topalov offers to exchange pieces,which would further simplify the position. [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 31...g4 32.f4 gxf3+ 33.Bxf3 Ne5 34.b3 Kd7 35.Nxe5+ Bxe5 36.Kd3 Kc7=] 32.Bb7 [Analysis: Deep Rybka: 32.h3 Kd7 33.Be4 g6 34.b3 a5 35.Ne1 g4 36.hxg4 Nxg4 37.Nf3 Nf6 38.Bb7 Bc7=] 32...Nxd3 [Analysis:Deep Rybka: 32...a5 33.h3 Nxd3 34.Kxd3 Kd7 35.b3 Bb4 36.Bf3 g6=] 33.Kxd3 a5 34.b3 a4 35.Bc6 axb3 36.axb3 b4 37.h3 f5 38.Kc4 Kf6 39.g4 g6 The players agreed to a draw. According to Deep Rybka, the position is completely equal (=0.06) 1/2-1/2
Dec-11-08  Phorqt: Hey Albert, Don't you think you're over-simplifying here just a bit?
Dec-12-08  apple pi: lol <Phorqt>
Dec-12-08  positionalgenius: nice annotations
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