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Levon Aronian vs Kevin Spraggett
Gibraltar Masters (2005), Catalan Bay GIB, rd 3, Jan-27
Benoni Defense: Fianchetto Variation (A62)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Aronian's 16. e5! sets a little trap which snares Spraggett's Queen after 16...bxc3?! 17. e6!

Unfortunately for Spraggett, the alternatives look even worse. For example, Black's prospects look bleak after 16...dxe5!? 17.Nxe5 Bxe5 18.Bxe5 Ba6 19.d6 Bxf1 20.Kxf1 Qe6 (20...bxc3 21.dxc7 Qxd1+ 22.Rxd1 Nxc7 23.Bxc7 cxb2 24.Bd5+ Kg7 25.Be5+ Kh6 26.Bxa8 Rxa8 27.Bxb2 ) 21.Qb3 bxc3 22.Qxe6+ Nxe6 23.Bxa8 cxb2 24.Rb1 Nf6 25.Bg2 .

On the surface with two pawns a Rook and a Knight as compensation, Black's Queen sacrifice doesn't look like such a bad idea. However, after 40. ♔f2!, Aronian manages to weave a clever mating net with his small advantage:

40.♔f2 ♖e6

[40...Re7 41.Qd7! Kf6 42.Qg4 Rg7 43.Qg5+ Kf7 44.Bb3+ Kf8 45.Ke3 Nb5 46.Bc2 Kf7 47.Bd3 Nbc7 48.Bc4+ Kf8 49.Kd2 Nb5 50.Qg2 Nd4 51.Bxa6 ]

41.♗b3 ♖f6+ 42.♔g3 ♔h6?

[42...Kf8!? 43.Qd7 a5 44.Kg2 Rf4 45.Qh7 Rf6 46.Qh8+ Ke7 47.Qg8 Rf8 48.Qh7+ Kf6 49.Qd7 a4 50.Ba2 ]

43.♕d7! d5

[43...Rf5 44.Bg8 Ng7 (44...a5 45.Qh7#) 45.Qxc7 ]

44.♗xd5 g5 45.♗e4! gxh4+ 46.♔g4 and
Black resigned after this move.

[46.Kh3 Kg5 (46...Rg6 47.Qf7 Rg3+ 48.Kxh4 Rh3+ 49.Kxh3 Kg5 50.Qf5+ Kh6 51.Qg6#) 47.Qg4+ Kh6 48.Qg8 a5 49.Qh7+ Kg5 50.Qxh4#]

Play could continue 46...♖g6+ 47.♔h3 ♘f6

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I think I'll chancge my assessment of 16. e5! bxc3!? (to interesting and not a dubious move) 17. e6!, as sacrificing the Queen may well be Black's best practical defense after 16. e5!
Feb-27-05  DanielBryant: There's no way Spraggett wouldn't have seen the queen trap.
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Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
16. e5! bxc3 17. e6 traps the Queen for a small advantage
from Trapped Queen by patzer2
from Chess Explained - The Modern Benoni by jakaiden

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