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Levon Aronian vs David Howell
Gibraltar Masters (2019), Catalan Bay GIB, rd 10, Jan-31
Caro-Kann Defense: Exchange Variation (B13)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: So this is the game Aronian blundered his Bishop on move 11.

I see he tried a trap on 14.Nd5 to win a knight back (if NXN). Has he tried any other traps here to get back in the game?

It must have been horrible for him to keep playing on. Thats not easy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: This clip shows Nakamura playing nearby Aronian, having been completely distracted on how Aronian could lose the piece so early. He cannot believe what happened so he stands to look on how Aronian blundered.

Feb-01-19  Xeroxx: Does this mean Aronian is gonna retire too?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Xeroxx: Does this mean Aronian is gonna retire too?> No, but the usual suspects no doubt howelled that he should.
Feb-01-19  Otoy: <jith1207: ....

It must have been horrible for him to keep playing on. Thats not easy.>

When you are in losing position, that's the time to look for all plausible retorts. That what chess is, to stretch one's mental faculties, leaving no stone unturned, there must be a whisker of brilliancy that only a trained mind could see.

After all as an adage goes,"Don't say die", maybe on the next move the opponent may blunder his queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: Aronian didn't 'blunder' his Bishop on move 11. It was a deliberate sacrifice (11.c4) but most ill-judged. Howell's 7...f6! was a novelty and an extremely strong one. That undoubtedly unsettled his formidable opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Edwin Meijer: That Hikaru clip is seriously funny :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Nakamura reacts to Aronian - Howell (on YouTube):
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: <luzhin>: that makes sense, after going through evaluations myself.

But I don't get why Aronian played Qc2 on move 7 before playing either Nf3 or Ne2, if for example he intends to follow up with c4. That doesn't make sense because I am struggling to find a motive behind that.

If anything, that move seems to have gone out of line before 7...f6

Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: Jith1207, the point of 7.Qc2 is to prevent 7...Bf5 (Black would like to exchange light-squared Bishops).
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Yes, that makes sense. Thank you.
Feb-02-19  Albanius: 11..e4 Aronian may have intended
12 cxd5 exd3
13 Qc3 but after
14 Qxh8 exf1/Q+
15 Kxf1 W is two pieces down
The double threat both Bh6 and dxc6 can be met by 15..Ne5 eg
16 Bh6 Nd7
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Edwin Meijer: That Hikaru clip is seriously funny :-)> YES, this is already to be called a classic of facial expressions. Thanks <jith1207> for providing the link!
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