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Levon Aronian vs Sergey Karjakin
World Championship Candidates (2018), Berlin GER, rd 11, Mar-23
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Catalan Defense Accepted (A13)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-23-18  Nietzowitsch: Lemon Erronian strikes again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Never would have had the courage to allow White to plant an advanced passed pawn at d6.
Mar-23-18  dehanne: Sergey might steal Christmas after all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: 42.Bc3??

Incredible. What can Aronian's reasoning have been behind that move? He just handed Karjakin his a-pawn with no compensation whatsoever. What was wrong with simply playing 42.a5, moving the pawn out of immediate danger? He just gave the pawn up for free!

And this was shortly after the time control, so he wasn't in zeitnot.

Quite simply: UNBELIEVABLE.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Leaveme Alonian played on unto death.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: Aronian plays sometimes like a human.
Mar-23-18  DansChessLounge: In the press conference Aronian didn't really have an answer to why he gave up his a-pawn without any compensation. I hope he mentally recovers from this brutal tournament. For a video recap of the game check out my Youtube channel -->
Mar-23-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4
42.a5 Kxd6 43.Bb4+ Kc7 44.Be7 e4 45.Bd6+ Kb7 46.fxe4 Re3 47.Qb2+ Kc8 48.Qh8+ Kb7 49.Qb2+ Kc8 = (0.00) Depth: 24 dpa

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Aronian I think was already somewhat demoralized. He is one of the great players but things have gone wrong for him. I feel for him.
Mar-24-18  Troller: I watched the game, and it was clear from Aronian's body language that he felt he was already worse. I think Karjakin sensed a weakness and started pushing from around move 28.

As for 42.Bc3, of course a5 gives up the d-pawn instead. Engine evals give 0.00 after this, but once Black plays ..e4 the position becomes a mess. Not so easy over the board, and probably less so if you think you are losing.

Mar-24-18  Ulhumbrus: After 18...c4 if White's advantage in space counts for no more than any other positional asset White's overall positional advantage seems only slight. In that case this suggests that the attack 19 h4? has an aim that is out of proportion to White's advantage and will fail. Better is Nd6 playing to occupy the d file.

However if the value of White'a advantage in space is greater than that and does justify playing for mate one alternative to 18 h4 is 18 g4 followed by g5 and then the sacrifice Nf6+ as in the game Petrosian vs Larsen, 1960

20 Rd4 seems inconsistent. 20 h5 continues the plan of the pawn attack g4 and g5. Perhaps Aronian wants to control the d file before starting the attack but in that case it may be better to play Rd4 before h4.

21 b3? advances a pawn against Black's queen side pawn majority and if it opens the c file in addition this will hinder more White's king side attack

24 f6 prepares to obstruct White's bishop by ...e5 as in the game Spassky vs Karpov, 1974

33 g4 suggests that Aronian has chosen a random target.

One can only guess the reasons for what appears to be Aronian's poorer playing form in this game. One example of a reason is that he was unlucky and his plans did not succeed.

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Lemon Erronian strikes again.
from Lemon Erronian strikes again. by Nietzowitsch

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