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Levon Aronian vs Luke McShane
Tal Memorial (2012)  ·  Slav Defense: Chameleon Variation (D15)  ·  0-1
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Given 4 times; par: 66 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <solskytz> Yes, I'm using an engine - though in this specific variation I don't think you really need it to see that Black is much better... but if it helps, after 15.Nd2 0-0 16.f3 Nxd4+ 17.Kf2 Nf5 18.Nxc4 bxc4 19.Bxc4 Qb6 the silicon beast evaluates the position at about -5 - that is, the equivalent of a rook advantage to Black (e3 is caving in - defending it with the queen doesn't help, because Black has Bc5 as a follow-up to Nxe3). Not much better is 19.Qxd8 Rxd8 20.Bxc4 Rd2+ 21.Be2 Bc5.
Jun-10-12  solskytz: <Eyal>

I'm not using one - just using my head which is more fun... but thanks for presenting the relevant analysis as this is the way one learns (me, I mean).

As I said before, I generally 'don't see' that I'm worse when I'm up material and believe I can defend against an attack... how many games I lost this way? Fifty seven million last time I counted... and still going strong!!

Now let's see again.. minus 5 to my variation? That's kind of embarrassing...

It's very kind of you to dedicate time to me as my experience shows that arguing against a minus 5 computer evaluation is generally worse than useless...

however what's the bright continuation after 15. Nd2 0-0 16. f3 Nxd4+ 17. Kf2 Nf5 18. Nxc4 bxc4 19. Bxc4 Qb6 20. Qe2?

I just don't see it!

Many thanks again!!

Solskytz

Jun-10-12  solskytz: Oh... didn't read you to the end - that Bc5 really looks like a crusher...

(you hear the screeching sound of breaks... Solskytz's car is making a desperate attempt at a U-turn!!)

Jun-10-12  solskytz: tried everything! And couldn't beat it...

How do you like this variation?

20. Qe2 Nxe3 21. Bc7

But alas, 21...Qc5

22. Bd6!!

and again - Qxd6... can't take on e3 with the Queen because of the pin, can't take with the King because of Bc5 mate

Ouch!!!!

- - - - - -

An interesting, infinite game... always curious in its endless intricacies, plays and counter plays...

Jun-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <solskytz> But anyway, 15.Nd2 is probably not such a good idea from the start. As you mentioned, though, there are other alternatives worth checking, such as 15.Ne5 - overall, the position is too complex to analyze "in full". But looking at various lines both throughout the game and now I'm just getting the overall impression that the position is mightily uncomfortable for White, certainly in a practical game. Aronian himself, btw, said in the press conference after the game that once McShane played 14...Nc6 he pretty much realized that he was screwed (not exactly in those words, but this was the substance...), and all the complicated calculations that he made throughout the rest of the game just kept confirming this impression.
Jun-10-12  Fanques Fair: Eyal, it seems it refutes the whole variation, which is quite surprising; bythge way,do you have the link to the press conference ?
Jun-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Press Conference starts from about 18:45:00 in the video feed of the round: http://video.russiachess.org/view/1...
Jun-10-12  solskytz: <Eyal> Uncomfortable... you are right :-]

But life isn't always comfortable, you know :-] we are the exchange up. The exchange!! I mean, it must account for something...

Some people overrate the exchange. I am first in the list!!

When I was a kid and just learned to play, I couldn't care less about losing any pieces at all - except for my rooks and my queen (also the king, maybe..)

Now that I'm old and mature, this childhood trait still jumps out from time to time...

- - - - - -

nah... Aronian admitted that after ...Nc6 he thought that white had the advantage... and how many games he won when he was inferior? A million!

But I could see what a gentle guy he was. He saw what a great moment it was for the 2700+ 'amateur' from England, and let the kid have his win with a full heart!

Aronian is a great player and a fantastic human being.

- - - - - -

And me? Well, I have the utmost respect for Aronian and for every player with a rating 500 points below his own...

but I never take anybody's calculations for granted, as this doesn't lead to learning and improving. I always need to see things for myself. Who knows? Maybe it will help me one day to get rid of my rooks obsession... or to properly value an attack also when it's my king (I always think that it's easier to defend my own king than my adversary's king!)

<Fanques Fair>

So what? The whole 15. Nd2 is refuted? Or only 15. Nd2 0-0 16. f3?

But if I can't play 16. f3, then why 15. Nd2 at all?

Or maybe I need to prepare f3 before playing it?

Too many question marks, too late an hour...

solskytz is still not convinced!!

Guess you can't please everybody :-] I'm a tough client

Jun-10-12  Oxnard: Tremendous game!
Jun-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <Biff The Understudy: <veerar: McShane's win, is reminiscent of Tahl himself.A fitting game in the Tahl Memorial,2012.> Not sure I would have loved Tal the way I do if he had worked for Goldman Sachs. Oh well, it was a beautiful win anyway.>

I am tired of waiting for the combuniss eutopia. I'll go with McShane and Goldman Sachs from now on.

Jun-10-12  weisyschwarz: 35.Qh2. Yuck! Looks like a move I would play.
Jun-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Jimfromprovidence: I think 20 Bxf6 deserves a look. There's an immediate mate threat so black must play 20...Bxf6, which white follows with 21.Qxg4+. if black replies either 21...Kh7 or 21...Bg7, white can go with either 22 Ra2 or Ra7.>

As <Fanques Fair> already mentioned, 22.Ra7 seems problematic because of 22...Qb6 which attacks the rook, and White probably has nothing better than to give back the exchange in an inferior position, e.g. 23.Rxb7 Qxb7 24.Be2 Qa6!; 22.Ra2 e5! is also very unpleasant.

However, Houdini evaluates 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Qxg4+ Kh<8> <22.Ra3> as giving more-or-less equality to White; it took me a while to understand what's the difference, but I think I got it now.

With the rook on a3, White can meet 22...e5 (btw, 22...Rg8?? loses on the spot to 23.Qh5, attacking h6 & b5) with 23.Rh3!. With the rook on a2 this doesn't work because of 23...Bc8 (now the importance of putting the king on h8 rather than h7 becomes apparent - the white queen can't escape to e4 with check); but with the rook on a3 there's 23...Bc8 24.Qh5 Bxh3 25.Rxb3! Bd7 (25...cxb3 26.Qxh6+ Kg8 27.Bd3 and mate) 26.dxe5. And if after 23.Rh3 Black tries 23...exd4 there's 24.Qf4! which pretty much forces 24...Bg7 (24...Kh7 loses again to 25.Rxb3! with the idea of allowing a check on d3 in case of cxb3) and then White can play 25.Nxd4 and if Black wants to win the pawn he'll have to allow a queen exchange.

In conclusion: an immediate 19...h5, defending the g4 pawn, was probably more accurate than 19...Nb3...

Jun-11-12  jaseemalikt: Is this going to be one of McShane's notable games?
Jun-11-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <jaseemalikt> definitely.
Jun-11-12  izimbra: Black's sacrifice was good. White's best line thereafter was perhaps: <16.Nc2 Be7 17.f3>. It doesn't win, but it gives white an even game.
Jun-11-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Luke obviously used The Force. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LTs...
Jun-11-12  kia0708: Interesting.

<Aronian himself, btw, said in the press conference after the game that once McShane played 14...Nc6 he pretty much realized that he was screwed (not exactly in those words, but this was the substance...), and all the complicated calculations that he made throughout the rest of the game just kept confirming this impression.>

Jun-11-12  Clodhopper: No matter what happens the rest of the tournament, with this one game Luke vindicated the popular acclaim that earned him his spot.
Jun-11-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: Suppose that we assume, as we appear to have been given considerable reason to assume, that the exchange sacrifice is sound.

Suppose that we assume moreover that after 10...Bb7 Black's king's bishop is going to be of greater value than white's queen's rook because of the threat of the check ...Bb4+ following the move ...e6.

This suggests that it is profitable for White to offer his queen's rook for Black's king's bishop.

This suggests that instead of 11 Ra1 a better alternative is 11 Ra3 eg 11 Ra3 e6 12 e3 or even 11 Ra3 e6 12 Rc3

Jun-11-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Eyal> <However, Houdini evaluates 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Qxg4+ Kh<8> <22.Ra3> as giving more-or-less equality to White;>

I did not see the Rh3 angle at all, so that was a real good find.

Overall I liked 20 Bxf6 because it prevents 20...h5 and allows white a small material advantage to compensate for his poor position if he decides to give back the exchange at some point.

One also has to consider the response to 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Qxg4+ Kh8 22.Ra3 Be7, even though it allows 23 Qh5 or Qf4 (used below).


click for larger view

Maybe white can get a perpetual out of this line.

Jun-12-12  kia0708: This game shattered my trust in computer analysis.
Jun-12-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <This game shattered my trust in computer analysis.>

Why? The engines liked Black's position from the start, and liked it more and more as the game went on.

Jun-12-12  Whitehat1963: What a McShame.
Jun-12-12  vanytchouck: What would be the name of this game ?

"use the force, Luke" ?

"Golden Sac " or "Golden Exchange Sac" ?

May-16-13  qqdos: Christiansen; Marin; Matanovic; Speelman; and Ribli were all impressed with Luke's play in this game, which has been awarded Best Game of volume 115 of Chess Informant - see vol.116. Star moves: 21...Bd6! and 24...Qb6! Congratulations Luke!
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