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Vladimir Kramnik vs Levon Aronian
Tata Steel (2011), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-20
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  kudubux: In an opening line where a draw is usually the result, Kramnik's temporary 2 pawn lead melts down with 21...Bxa3. I thought somewhere earlier Kramnik may have something up his sleeve. How about 14.g4 or 14.Kf2 as alternatives?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: For the record I predicted a draw between moves 25-30. Didn't bet any bucks though as the odds were awful.
Premium Chessgames Member
  polarmis: Here's Shipov on the game:

It looks as though 19. Ke2 was worth a try, but Black might still be ok if he finds some tricky moves. Anyway, it was much more of a fight than you'd have thought when you saw the opening variation!

Jan-20-11  checkmateyourmove: This game shows the weakness of human players vision still. The computer loves not to castle in these games and usually does very well with his king in the middle of the board. Humans still prefer to get that castle in MOST of the time! I noticed anand won two important games in the WCC not castling and taking the advice of the computer in the dynamic position.
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  Ulhumbrus: Suppose that instead of 14...Rxc1+ Black tries 14...Nb3. On 15 Rc3 Rxc3 16 Ne2xc3 Bd8 defends the b6 pawn.
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  Hesam7: 19. Ke2! was the way to get an advantage:

click for larger view

<Black being two pawns down could only be compensated for by study-like play. For example, this: 19. ... Rc6 20. Nd2 Nxf4+ 21. exf4 Rc2 22. b4 Rc3 23. Ncb3 Bd3+ (23. ... Bc2? 24. Rc1) 24. Kf2 Bh4+! 25. g3 Bf6 and you end up with quite a strange situation. There are extra pawns, Black has no clear threats, but how can White untangle himself - who knows? Say what you like - bishops are a force to be reckoned with!> GM Shipov

I think White has an improvement over Shipov' line: 19. Ke2 Rc6 20. Nd2 Nxf4+ 21. exf4 Rc2 and now 22. g4! Bg6 23. Nd3:

click for larger view

and here Black does not have enough compensation imo. He can try: 23. ... Bxd3 24. Kxd3 Rxb2 25. Ra1 but White is a pawn up and has a much more active king. After 25. Ra1 Stockfish 1.9.1 evaluates the position +1.05 @ depth 30.

Feb-06-11  ReikiMaster: In <Shipov' line: 19. Ke2 Rc6 20. Nd2 Nxf4+> black might consider keeping the Knight. At the moment it seems more active than Bf4.
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