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Levon Aronian vs Fabiano Caruana
"Lev's Labor's Lost" (game of the day May-02-2019)
World Championship Candidates (2018), Berlin GER, rd 7, Mar-18
Queen's Gambit Declined: Vienna Variation (D39)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <chessic eric: <ChessHigherCat: i don't think Rxh6 is a threat because of g8_>Q RxQ BxR KxB QxR> Aha, this check on g8 rather than d3 is what I missed, thank you.>

This very hour and second were marked on the Mayan calendar 6666 years ago as the first time I would ever be right about anything

Premium Chessgames Member
  Badadamtude: Did Aronian lose on time?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Wow, great game, see you guys later
Mar-18-18  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 32 Bc4+ the computer gives a draw after 32 Qh4 exf4 33 Bc4+ Kh7 34 Bd3+ etc. If Aronian wanted to avoid a draw at any price he paid for it by losing the game.
Mar-18-18  chessic eric: Well chess fans, it turns out that throwing your entire kingside up the board is losing. We are truly in the 21st and not the 19th century.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: 37...Qf8 is a class move to see coming in time trouble. Caruana is looking good for London in November.

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24.hxg6 fxg6 25.Qg4 Qd5 (apparently the fans choice) 26.Rc5 was OK for White. Aronian wanted more (perhaps he felt he had to) and now will get nothing but a mauling in the press.

Mar-18-18  Fanques Fair: Itīs sad to see Aronian trying an unsound attack out of despair. He didnīt need to sacrifice 2 pawn on the opening and then going for a crazy attack. He could have played more calmly and tried to outplay Caruana. Tricks are unlikely to work out against Fabiano. He is very stable and does not become too nervous at crucial moments.
Mar-18-18  RookFile: Brave opening play by Caruana. It's easy to get crushed playing something like this as black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <fanques fair >< <Caruana >is very stable and does not become too nervous at crucial moments.>

I guess you slept through the last Candidates tournament.

Mar-18-18  anjumskhan: Extraordinary win !!!
Mar-18-18  DansChessLounge: Aronian played so aggressively because of his poor standing in the tournament. He threw everything but the kitchen sink at Caruana. For a video recap of the game check out my Youtube channel -->
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: White's attacking plan beginning with 16.g4 looks a mite dodgy.
Mar-18-18  Nf8: Aronian kind of confused move order and missed a drawing opportunity as late as move 32 with 32. Qh4! (instead of Bc4+) and now the pattern of the perpetual after 32...exf4 33. Bc4+ Kh7 34. Bd3+ Kg8 35. Bc4+ is relatively easy to see, but the trickier part to spot is 32... e4 33. h7+ Kxg7 34. Rg3+ Kh8 35. Rg8+! Rxg8 36. hxg8Q+ Kxg8 37. Bc4+ Kg7 38. Qg5+ (taking advantage of the black rook being pinned along the h4-d8 diagonal) 38...Kh7 39. Qg8+ Kh6 40. Qg5+ etc.

As Aronian noted at the press conference, Black had to be precise until the very end with 37...Qf8!; 37... Qd6?? 38. Rh7+! and Black is suddenly losing (38...Kxg8 39. Qg4+ Rg6 40. Rg7+).

Mar-19-18  Toribio3: Caruana is under-rated player and at the same a counter-puncher. He lets you attack him but in the end, he will kill you in cold blood!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: HI NF8,

Aronian missed that perpetual on purpose to prove me wrong. he loves proving me wrong.

I said way back on move 19 his attack was surely worth a perpetual based on a pure gut feeling in OTB play.

His 17th piece (his clock) let him (and me down) I never watched it at the live site but he did seem to spend ages on obvious moves and even longer on uncertain doddering self doubt moves (that Rf3).

Such imaginative talent in a turmoil. Still think he has a role to play as King Maker for this event. He will pull off a couple of good wins in the 2nd half. Only trouble is you can predict against who.

Mar-20-18  Justin796: I give aronian credit for attacking, there are way too many draws in competitive chess...defending is easier than attacking anyway...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: < We are truly in the 21st and not the 19th century.>

So we are. I wonder what happened to the 'lost' decade of the 20th century?

Mar-24-18  Muttley101: <Justin796: I give aronian credit for attacking, there are way too many draws in competitive chess...defending is easier than attacking anyway...>

"defending is easier than attacking anyway..."

Um, no. Not always. Whilst attacking can involve commitment and burning your bridges and require precision and creativity to deliver the coup de grace, it can be psychologically very hard to keep finding moves that stave off threat after threat and so get exhausted by the pressure. There are many examples of games lost where the defending side finally makes a mistake and losing after defending for a long time.

Mar-26-18  cormier: Stockfish 8

Depth: 26

0.00 16. Ned2 Nc5 17. Bb1 Rd8 18. a3 Qa6 19. Qxa6 Nxa6 20. b4 Bd7 21. Be4 Bb5 22. Rfd1 d3 23. Bxb7 Rab8 24. Be4 Ba4 25. Rf1 Bb5 26. Rfd1

-0.41 16. Ng3 Nc5

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Good pun. Well done.
May-02-19  actinia: this is exactly the kind of game like when a human puts everything in an attack against a computer, the computer calmly defends and the attacker is just busted. seems Aronian could have known better
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: It is better to have Lev'd and lost than never to have Lev'd.
May-02-19  Kirth Gersen: This is an easy game to annotate by result; his attack looks wrong and computers agree so clearly he was desperate, trying too hard and so on. In fact the game was very unclear, and after he played 29.Nxf7+ the correct outcome was a draw. He was in bad time-trouble by then, though, and couldn't calculate through the mess.

It wasn't so much that he asked too much of the position, but he asked too much of himself. This isn't the first time I've seen Aronian play a mad-looking sacrificial attack and go down in flames, giving a false impression that he simply lost his mind, when in fact his idea was at least borderline-sound and he just couldn't navigate the complications. With Black against Mamedyarov he did this once too.

It's funny how often this story repeats with specifically the attacking move g4 (or ...g5). It always looks crazy, the kibitzers always tut-tut and objectively it's not that good, but it's always trickier than it looks and even strong defenders tend to lose their way.

May-02-19  Kirth Gersen: Nobody has said it yet so I should add: definitely the best pun-of-the-day we've seen for awhile.
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