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Magnus Carlsen vs Levon Aronian
Sinquefield Cup (2017), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 9, Aug-11
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-11-17  fisayo123: 24. Rae1! 31. Qb5! Some really precise and strong moves on display.
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessdgc2: Chessgames.com: Thank you so much for the Cast! I dearly appreciate you providing this for us and there's no doubt that all these guys do too :). Yes, we look forward to the next one!
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Well, the position was lost against Carlsen because he's a chess ninja but I doubt that it would have been such a simple and automatic win for any of us, unless there are some strong GMs in the crowd.
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: As always, CG, thank you very much for the live broadcasts.
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessdgc2: ChessHigherCat: No Sir, I am not a GM and I could have won fairly easily with White in the end position. When AronIan played ...f5, I knew Carlson had him. He had to keep his pawns where they were, but this too, loses :). Aronian had to find a way to take Carlsen's two pawns and he was unable to do it
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <chessdgc2:> I'm not talking about the final position which is obviously lost, I mean from the time when everybody was saying that Aronian should obviously resign, around move 32.
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Appaz: The tournament situation and Magnus' erratic behavior lately was probably the reason why Aronian played on a little longer than normally.
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Robyn Hode: Erratic behaviour? When? Where? Aronian played on because of the position on the board and his place in the standings.
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Reisswolf: I think this should count as one of Magnus' best games. Beating Aronian on demand, especially in a tournament in which Aronian is playing well, is a magnificent achievement. Impressive indeed!
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Appaz: <Robyn Hode: Erratic behaviour? When? Where? Aronian played on because of the position on the board and his place in the standings.>

Playing on in an end game with a piece less is probably no according to "the position on the board", but as you saw from my post, I agree on the standings part.

Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Half a point off first, and had Magnus not blundered in the MVL game, he might have won it.

Look, not winning in four tournaments is not the end of the world. Carlsen should not let it linger in his mind.

Other great players have gone for a long spell without winning.

It's seen as an issue in Carlsen's case by the fans, because it's never been seen... until now.

But he be will back.

When that will be only time will tell.

He's definitely not finished though.

Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Well Vishy did come in second on tie breakers. Good job by the former world champion.
Aug-12-17  Ulhumbrus: It may be that after 15...Nh5 followed by ...Nf4 ( otherwise why did Black play his queen to g6?) Black has at least a draw. If so, Aronian may have avoided it because he thought that Carlsen would be able to defend it and gain a draw. If this is so it suggests that Aronian tried too hard to win.
Aug-12-17  tonsillolith: When watching White's play in this game, I couldn't help but think of Capablanca's advice, when defending an attack, to use the minimal effective dose of pieces to thwart the danger.

During most of Aronian's onslaught, I would have been comfortable only with many more pieces of my own on the kingside! But, for example, the e5-g4-e3-g2 maneuver always put the knight in the right place.

I kept thinking, surely Aronian is about to bust a sac on Carlsen's kingside! Eventually he did, but it wasn't enough. Aronian's play was great in this game, but not great enough.

I totally support a Carlsen-Aronian match next WC cycle.

Aug-12-17  Conrad93: Aronian's biggest mistake was not playing 15...Nh5. It would have offered more resistance. You can't allow even microscopic slip ups against a player like Carlsen.
Aug-12-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Conrad93: Aronian's biggest mistake was not playing 15...Nh5. It would have offered more resistance. You can't allow even microscopic slip ups against a player like Carlsen.>

Good point, I guess Aronian wanted to recycle the knight on the queenside with Nd7/c5 but 15...Nh5 would have been a million times better. All of a sudden black has the initiative.

Aug-13-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Jan with a great review of this "heavyweight battle." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ar...
Aug-13-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: < tamar: Jan with a great review of this "heavyweight battle." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ar...

Very good review but that guy dismisses 15....Nh5 because he says the knight would just be traded off on f4 with BxN RxB and black would still have the doubled pawns. But what about Bxf4 exf4? Then black would get rid of the doubled pawns and get a bishop for a knight. It's true exf4 closes the f-file but black could still get a strong kingside attack with a rook lift.

Aug-13-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <ChessHigherCat:...Very good review but that guy dismisses 15....Nh5 because he says the knight would just be traded off on f4 with BxN RxB and black would still have the doubled pawns. But what about Bxf4 exf4? Then black would get rid of the doubled pawns and get a bishop for a knight. It's true exf4 closes the f-file but black could still get a strong kingside attack with a rook lift.>

It is not true to say he dismisses 15...Nh5, just that he thinks that the rook capture after 16 Be3 Nf4 17 Bxf4 Rxf4 is the only logical continuation.

I decided to investigate the 17...exf4 capture, for the reasons you indicate. If Black can keep the position closed, the f4 pawn can lead to an advantage on the Kside, and the heavy pieces can lift behind a pawn rush.

I set Stockfish for 33 depth, and it showed that White can open the position, and get a substantial edge.

15...Nh5 16 Be3 Nf4 17 Bxf4 exf4


click for larger view

Aug-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: 18 d4 Rb5 19 d5 Nd8 20 cxb4 Rxb4 21 Rc1 Nf7 22 e5


click for larger view

22...exd5 23 exd6 Bxd6 24 Qxd5 Rb5 25 Qc6 Ng5 26 Nxg5 Rxg5 27 Qf3 h6 28 Rcd1 +0.81/33


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Aronian may well have gotten something similar in his preparation, as Black cannot really keep the position closed once his e5 pawn is not there.

Aug-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Hi <Tamar>. Thanks a lot for the detailed analysis. Does +0.81 mean that white has an advantage of 4/5 of a pawn after move 28? I think black looks okay in your final diagram. I'd try Bc5 with the idea of Rg3 and white is totally demolished (unfortunately white has a move in-between though :-)
Aug-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Hi <CHC> The 0.81/33 means that White is almost winning, but still has to cope with temporary piece activity by Black.

28...Bc5 with the idea of 29...Rg3 doesn't work because of 29 Ne5, but the toughest defence makes use of the same idea.

28...Bb4 29 Qb3 Rxg2+ 30 Kh1 Rg3! 31 fxg3 Qc6+ 32 Kg1 Bc5+ 33 Ne3 disc + Kh8 34 Qd5 Bxe3+ 35 Kh1


click for larger view

With advantage to White, but technical difficulties as they say. But to shoot for a position where you have to play like a wizard just to get a probable loss is not a recommendation for 15...exf4

Aug-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Thanks again <Tamar>. At first I thought Bxe3+ looses the Q, but then it dawned on me if 34. ...Bxe3+, 35. Rxe3 then Qxe5+ 36. Rxe5 and dxe3.

<But to shoot for a position where you have to play like a wizard just to get a probable loss is not a recommendation for 15...exf4>

That's true, but I guess the big question is whether 15...Rxf4 or Aronian's 15...Nd7 fare any better.

Aug-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Correction: *loses* the Queen. I jenerly hef purfekt shpelink bot eye mayk zee ocashonal miztayk
Aug-14-17  Mirovsk: What started Aronian's fissure was 14. ..Qg6 ...his Queen stayed useless there until another defensive movement to 22. ..h6... and than that Queen was in the game again only with 33. ..g5 .....meanwhile the battle was on the very queen side, where while Carlsen was moving all his pieces, Aronian's Queen and Rook stayed put... from move 14 to move 33 Carlsen's Queen had 4 moves, the most efficient piece on board...it's interesting that when 25.Qc6! the Queen was placed behind Aronian's attacking line...


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when Aronian's Queen was back in the game (move 33) it was too late.

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