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Levon Aronian vs Viswanathan Anand
"Nerves of Steel" (game of the day Jan-16-13)
Tata Steel (2013)  ·  Semi-Slav Defense: Meran Variation (D47)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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Given 23 times; par: 27 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-15-14  LIFE Master AJ: I posted the CB analysis ... jic anyone was interested in that.
Mar-22-14  Conrad93: What is wrong with 19...Qh4?
Mar-22-14  shivasuri4: <Conrad93>, 19...Qh4 leads to 20.Qh7+, liquidating to a roughly equal position.
Mar-22-14  Conrad93: How is it even roughly equal?

Black has two very strong bishops eyeing the kingside.

Mar-22-14  N0B0DY: ... is here to learn.
Mar-22-14  shivasuri4: <Conrad93>, yes, but Black would also then be down an exchange. The two bishops compensate to a fair extent, but I doubt they would give Black a significant advantage, if at all.
Apr-05-14  Subham Jain: Why Aronian not play 13.Bb5 or 13.Nb5
Why Anand play 15..Bc5
Apr-06-14  EGarrett: After 16...Nde5, black is hanging two pieces AND an exchange, and taking ANY of them will cause an immediate collapse for white.

I've heard of poisoned pawns, but a poisoned Knight, Bishop and Rook, all in the same position...is just insane.

May-08-14  Going4Draw: No one seemed to discuss this, but why didn't white take bishop on move 16?
May-08-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Going4Draw>, see below, from three pages or so back in the kibitzing:

<Eyal....after 16.dxc5 Nxc5 17.Qe2 Nxd3 18.Qxg4 Qd4+ 19.Kh1, 19...Nf2+?? (instead of Kxh7) is clearly a blunder. It's true that 16.dxc5 Nxc5 is relatively better for White than the game continuation, which loses by force, but Black still has the advantage there.>

Without poring over all eleven pages of comments, I am sure there is more on this in the foregoing.

May-09-14  Going4Draw: <perfidious>, thanks for the quick reply.

My head was spinning, trying to look for a tactical shot that could create a major advantage. I forgot these are grandmasters that are happy enough with only a small positional advantage. After 16.dxc5 and a few minor major pieces off the board later, black's white bishop, knight, and queen is still pointing towards enemy camp.

May-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: Aronian - Anand was rated #1 on the ChessPro's hit list of the best games played in 2013: http://pogonina.com/index.php?optio...
May-15-14  mate4cast10: I don't see immediate mate after 24.Kd5
Jul-22-14  Vinod S U: Brilliant game by anand, in this game aronian's first mistake was on 13th move Nxh7,, probably his last.In the post game interview anand had said that critical variation for white was Bxh7..!! and he didnt care for that as he had the counter play with cxd4,& also the strong bishop on B7
Jul-31-14  yiotta: Well, as Tal said, "They can only take one at a time". Wonderful game.
Oct-19-14  honeypot: <MarkFinan> <It's 22nd century stuff!?!> As per Kramnik - Anand has already played 23rd century Chess in the game against Toplaov

Anand vs Topalov, 2005

Both games are pure genius.

Oct-19-14  honeypot: <Natalia Pogonina> Where is the doubt? This WAS the best game played in 2013. The jury had an easy choice going by the fact that this one got 326 points and the #2 got just 179.
Dec-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkFinan:


click for larger view

Qd3? was the losing move here, and even though I have the benefit of an engine and the game was already lost, I didn't need the engine to see that Rf3 was the only move. Kinda irrelevant I guess, because when you're playing at anything above 1900ish level there's no coming back from this anyway, but Qd3 is still pretty weird.

Jan-15-15  jrofrano: jrofrano: This game was the number four game of 2013: http://lifezugzwang.com/10-games-fr...
Jan-15-15  FairyPromotion: <jrofrano: jrofrano:>

Lol, were you quoting yourself? :-P

Anyway, I wanted to say that the list in the link is someone's personal picks. In all the larger polls I've seen this was the clear #1.

Jan-16-15  jrofrano: <FairyPromotion> Do you have a link to the polls that you are referring to?
Jan-23-15  FairyPromotion: <jrofrano> The largest poll I've seen is the one done by the panel of experts of ChessPro, as mentioned in: http://pogonina.com/index.php?optio.... It got almost twice as many votes as the second place. If you can read cyrillic, here is the detailed voting of the panel members: http://www.chesspro.ru/hitparad/gam...

There were two different polls in this site, one for the Game of the Year under the Caissar Awards of Chessgames, and another for the Top Games of the Year, hosted annually by User: tpstar.

There were polls in other chess sites at the begining of 2014, but I can't find the links at the moment.

P.S.: I would agree that consensus on this game being the best is partly because of the name of Anand. At the time there was constant criticism of him not being a worthy World Champion, and even of him not being among the absolute elite. This game against his "nightmare opponent" came as a thunderbolt, and it was hailed as Game of the Year the day it was played (mid January). 2013 ended up being one of the greatest years in chess history with many immortal worthy games like M Vachier-Lagrave vs Ding Liren, 2013, Kamsky vs Mamedyarov, 2013, Ding Liren vs Aronian, 2013, V Gunina vs Ju Wenjun, 2013, among others, however the quality of this game itself is not to be questioned!

Jan-31-15  thegoodanarchist: This was deep stuff
Apr-04-15  saintdufus: In the annotations posted by LIFE Master AJ above, mention is made of the move 13 alternative 13.Bxh7+.

Anand indicated that in his pre-game preparation he had found plenty of compensation after this move; but Wesley So nevertheless tried it against GM Sam Sevian at the 2015 U.S. Championship a few days ago.

Twelve moves later So was lost, so maybe Anand's judgment was correct.

Apr-11-15  thegoodanarchist: Anand played much like Tal. On move 16 he sees that he has two pieces en prise, and so decides to put one more in that position! LOL
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