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Levon Aronian vs Ding Liren
World Championship Candidates (2018), Berlin GER, rd 1, Mar-10
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Flohr-Mikenas-Carls Variation (A18)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-10-18  goodevans: <20...Bxc3> would have led to some nice complications. A shame Ding opted for repetition.
Mar-10-18  Gregor Fenrir: Instead of <19. Rb1> White should play <19. Rb2!> After <19... Qa5 20. cxd4 Qd5 21. dxe5 Nxe5> White has a bishop for two pawns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Crazy game, and doubtless extremely nerve-wracking for both players.
Mar-10-18  Fanques Fair: I didnīt understand anything on this game. It looks like a chess game from Mars. Aronianīs g1 knight didnīt make a single move. The whole plan with Kf1 and Rh3 sounds funny to me .
Mar-10-18  JimNorCal: I guess 20. PxB is not good?
Time to put an engine to work...
Mar-10-18  CountryGirl: Ding is very tactically aware. He must have seen that no discoveries could hurt him here. A weird game on the whole. Aronian must be kicking himself that he's thrown away a perfectly good white. In this company, that's a luxury he can't really afford.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Very strange game. Like the Armenian alphabet:
Mar-10-18  goodevans: <JimNorCal: I guess 20. PxB is not good?>

After 20.cxd4 Qd5 there's nothing white can do to stop black picking up the d-pawn. That'll be three pawns for the minor and a roughly equal but unbalanced position.

20.cxd4 is, I think, perfectly playable if you don't mind being on the back foot for a while. I wouldn't play it though.

Mar-10-18  goodevans: <JimNorCal: I guess 20. PxB is not good?>

On the other hand, after <19.Rb2! Qa5> (as per <Gregor Fenrir>'s post) the capture <20.cxd4> would be much stronger as <20...Qd5> no longer wins the d-pawn.

Mar-10-18  JPi: Indeed a strange game as the whole battle was around Black Queen (Trying to mate a Queen is not an easy matter) Maybe 15.c5 was to hurry. First 15.Rh3 to protect Bd3 then the game process.
Mar-11-18  Ulhumbrus: Perhaps Aronian decided eventually that his threats were not enough to gain the advantage in the face of Black's counter-threats.
Mar-11-18  Imran Iskandar: After 20...Rb5 or 22...Rb5, Ding apparently had Bxc3, which would have been the third time he sacrificed his dark-squared bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: After 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 d5 4. e5 d4 5. ef6 dc3 6. bc3 Qf6 7. d4 b6, Stockfish is not keen on Aronian's 8. h4, giving White a slightly negative eval after this.

Here is an interesting sideline: after 8. h4, if Black plays 8... h6 then White can still play 9 Bg5. Then 9. . hxg5 would be bad for: 10. hxg5 Rxh1 11. gxf6 Rxg1 12. Qf3 c6 13. fxg7 Bxg7 . Unusual line which Black can avoid though by playing 9. ... Qf5

Mar-12-18  Mudphudder: This game reminds me of why I'm not a grandmaster (nor master for that matter). I was completely lost as to the direction of where this game was going after move 15.

Good thing it only lasted another 7 moves. HAHA

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Mudphudder>

I share the sentiment. I have not felt this clueless in a long time. I did not understand this game.

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