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Levon Aronian vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
GRENKE Chess Classic (2017), Karlsruhe GER, rd 3, Apr-17
Zukertort Opening: Sicilian Invitation (A04)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-17-17  Conrad93: 36. f5!

Future five star puzzle.

Apr-17-17  Strelets: Aronian and Vachier-Lagrave. You think the game's going to turn into a tactical slugfest, but instead we get a technical bishop endgame that is won by White with strong play. The a5 pawn will drop sooner or later and once that happens White's passed a-pawn is going to cost the bishop. Black can't exchange the bishops off because the king and pawn ending is won for White (that passed h-pawn is going to cost a ton of tempi). Outstanding technique by Aronian.
Apr-17-17  JimNorCal: I was watching online and saw 32. Be2!
The engine was not excited but I sure was! I was all, like "hey, even I could win this!" Crystal clear play from Aronian.
Apr-17-17  yesnomaybeidontknow: This is not normal and both players should be drug-tested!!
Apr-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Have doubts about the soundness of 22...b5, nonetheless, this constitutes another Aronian endgame masterpiece.
Apr-18-17  JohnBoy: Is black lost after 32.Be2 ? Not clear to me. Trade rooks and bishops and I don't see how the white K enters. Clearly the a5 & c5 pawns are liabilities, and whites dark-square pawns are somewhat mobile. But give me a continuation that allows white to pick up one of the pawns, extract the bishop (I'm thinking from a5) and keep the black king sidelined while the white king enters.
Apr-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Hi <JohnBoy>, if 32...Bxe2 33. Rxd7+ and black is chopped liver. Did I misunderstand your notation (which is not my forte, I admit)?
Apr-18-17  JimNorCal: I think JBoy refers to the position after
32. Be2 RxR
33. KxR BxB+
34. KxB

Is it winning? Dunno, didn't plug into an engine. Is it the strongest try for white? I bet it is but check it with an engine. Does white have a lot of play? Does black have lots of ways to go wrong? Well, yeah!

Apr-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <JimNorCal> I see, thanks (especially for not being too f'g cool to respond). I think black's still clearly lost in that case, because all white's pawns are on light squares and therefore immune to the DSB, whereas 3 of black's pawns are on dark squares, so their defense would tie down either the bishop or the king. Apart from that, white's king is very well placed to attack the king-side pawns through K->e4 + f5 and white can potentially create a passed pawn, which black can't possibly hope for without blowing copious puffs of hash-smoke into his opponent's face.
Apr-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: impressive. I think black was too passive in the game, retreated too much. That was a nasty surprise, when the smoke cleared.

Or, don't go into an endgame when your pawn majority cannot force a passed pawn.

Apr-19-17  JimNorCal: That's how I see it, too, CHC.
Apr-19-17  JohnBoy: Sorry <CHC>. I aint so f'n cool, just hard to write on a phone. Your assessment is not different than mine, I just see that white's job is not yet finished.
Apr-19-17  JimNorCal: FWIW my free Stockfish assesses Be2 as best and gives an eval of +1. RxR and BxB are considered weak and after
32. Be2 RxR
33. KxR BxB+
34. KxB
Stockfish prefers white at +2.8
Apr-19-17  JimNorCal: Make that eval 3.0 after running a bit longer
Apr-20-17  Conrad93: What's funny is that the engines on both Chess24 and ChessBomb assessed the position as a dead draw on move thirty two. Even Peter Leko had some trouble finding the win at first.
Apr-21-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <JohnBoy>, sorry for being paranoid, I hate texting on cellphones, too.

<Conrad93> That show's Aronian's genius, he got all his pawns on light squares and then traded light-squared bishops at the cost of a pawn to get a winning end game.

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