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Sergey Karjakin vs Levon Aronian
Grand Slam Chess Final (2012), Sao Paulo BRA, rd 6, Oct-08
Spanish Game: Marshall Attack. Modern Main Line (C89)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Hesam7: I think <21 gf4> needs very close examination (I am not entirely sure if <20...Bf4> was indeed home preparation or not, if anyone followed the game live please let me know). There is a long forced sequence: <21...Nf4 22 Bd1 Nd3 23 f4 Bg4 24 Qg3> 24 Qf1 Bd1 25 Qd3 leads to the same position <24...Bd1 25 Qd3 Re8 26 Qg3 f5!> the only move that keeps Black in the game <27 d5! cd5 28 Nf1 Bf3 29 Ne3 Be4 30 h4! Re6 31 Qf2 Rh6 32 Bd2 Qh4 33 Qh4 Rh4 34 Rf1>

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I don't think Black is in such a great shape here, only White can play for a win.

Oct-09-12  capanegra: <Hesam7> Aronian said that the 20…Bf4 variation was designed by him with his trainer Sarguisian more than three years ago, and until this game it was literally "in the freezer". Alas, Karjakin refused the Greek gift and the game quickly turned into a drawish ending. Had he accepted the sacrifice, the continuation would surely have been more lively.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Hesam7: <capanegra: <Hesam7> Aronian said that the 20...Bf4 variation was designed by him with his trainer Sarguisian more than three years ago, and until this game it was literally "in the freezer". Alas, Karjakin refused the Greek gift and the game quickly turned into a drawish ending. Had he accepted the sacrifice, the continuation would surely have been more lively.>

Thanks, that is very puzzling because from what I see Aronian's home preparation is basically bad.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Hesam7: One thing that I might have missed is the following line: <21 gf4 Nf4 22 Bd1 Nd3 23 f4 Bg4 24 Qg3 Bd1 25 Qd3 Re8 26 Qg3 Bc2>

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But this still leads to endgames which White can only win, for example: <27 f5 Qd1 28 Nf1 g6 29 b3 Bd3>

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And here 30 Qf4 is engine's recommendation but White can opt for a knock out blow: <30 Bd2! Qa1 31 Qd3 Qa2 32 d5!!>

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Here finally the engine "sees" that Black is lost ...

Nov-07-12  RockyMountainHigh: "Long analysis, wrong analysis." Here is a point you may have missed. If 21 gxf4 simply f5! White is paralyzed and the Black rook enters the game powerfully via e8 or f6. Let me know if you like the White position after f5!
Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: neither of you is quite correct... 21... f5?? loses so many ways Qf2 or Nf1 is probably simplest.

21... Nxf4 22. Bd1 Nd3 23. f4 Bg4 24. Qg3 Bxd1 25. Qxd3 Re8 26. Qg3 and now f5! Its unclear is white can even hold onto a draw here. But your computer should choke a bit of a white advantage (maybe .35?) which of course being up a whole piece.... it should say +3 or +4 which means at the end of this discussion... Aronian's prep was certainly not bad. In fact, it was scary enough that Karjakin took the simple path to equality via 21. Bxd5 instead of entering this scary line.

But okay, you found this beautiful line.... but you didn't understand it very well clearly. After 27. d5 cxd5 28. Nf1 28... Re6 is much stronger than Bf3

Nov-07-12  RockyMountainHigh: 21...Nxf4 22 Bd1 Nd3 23 f4 Bg4 24 Qg3 Bxd1 25 Qxd3 Re8 26 Qg3 f5 27 Nf1 and White is basically just up a piece. Since the immediate f5 doesn't seem to work this Bishop sacrifice just looks busted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: 27. Nf1 is a good try but white is definitely not out of the wood works. You still have to answer to 27... Re6
Nov-07-12  RockyMountainHigh: Actually nvm Black can and must force a draw in that line.
Nov-07-12  RockyMountainHigh: 23 +0.00 27.... Re6 28.Qf2 Re2 29.Ng3 Qg4 30.Qf1 h5 31.Qxd1 Rg2+ 32.Kxg2 Qxd1 33.h4 g5 34.fxg5 f4 35.Ne4 Qg4+ 36.Kf2 Qxh4+ 37.Ke2 Qg4+ 38.Kf2 Qh4+ 39.Ke2 (14.39)

Draw by repetition

Nov-07-12  RockyMountainHigh: Very interesting game, reads like a proof that Marshall main line is a draw
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In Hou-Leko at Tata today, White played 25.a3 instead, though the outcome was also a draw.
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