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Levon Aronian vs Alexey Shirov
Candidates Match: Aronian - Shirov (2007), Elista RUS, rd 2, Jun-08
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Central Variation. McDonnell Defense (D20)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-08-07  Karpova: First Shirov defended very well and tenaciously but 49...Rb8 was not so good. After 50...Rxb4 51.Rd4 the pin should be deadly and Aronian got a winning advantage. But he blew it... 61.Kc6 would have been better
Jun-08-07  luzhin: 61.Kc6! must be the right move
Jun-08-07  togaed: What if black plays the same combination? 61Kc6 Bxa6...
Jun-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Could the final position be called a "Shirov's Drawing Position"?

68 ♔g7 ♔g5 69 ♖f8 ♖b6 70 f7 ♖g6+ and draws by perpetual check

Jun-08-07  Karpova: <togaed>
61.Kc6 Bxa6 62.Kb6 and black loses the bishop
Jun-08-07  togaed: Thanks, <Karpova>.
Jun-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I have another idea: how about 61 ♖xc4+ followed by ♔e7. Can the rook stop both pawns?
Jun-08-07  Karpova: <kevin86>
61.Rxc4+ Kxc4 62.Ke7 Rxf5 and then 63.Ra5 is always possible - at least a draw for black
Jun-08-07  Marmot PFL: 61.Kc6 does win, but if black avoids 59...Rc5? and plays Ra1 instead white does not have this tempo move. I am not sure what white does then as Rxc4 Kxc4 Kxf7 lines only seem to draw after Kc5.
Jun-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Yes,I goofed-how about 63 f6 instead of e7?

BRW,after Rxf5 in the goofed variation-a7 Ra5 a8=Q drawn

Jun-08-07  Karpova: Aronian will have a nice rest day... Thinking about 61.f6? throwing away the win despite having 45 min left!
Jun-08-07  virginmind: Karpova: aronian is supposedly tensed/stressed, coming after an exhausting match victory over wonder magnus, and now everybody expecting him to qualify to mexico...its hard.
Jun-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: From the position after 63.Ke7, Black needs to play eight consecutive “only” moves to draw. Aronian agreed to the draw after Shirov found the first five of them: 63. ... Ra7+! 64.Kf8 Kd3! 65.Rh4 Ke3! 66.Rh7 Kf4! 67.Rxf7 Ra6! 68.Kg7 1/2 - 1/2 (If White has continued to try for the win, Black would have held the draw as follows: 68...Kg5! 69.Rb7 Rxf6! 70.Rb5+ Rf5!=).
Jun-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: After spending a little time looking at the ending, I am inclined to agree with those who suggest 61.Kc6! probably would have been winning for White. If Black gives up the exchange with 61. … Rxa6, the position after 62.Nxa6 Bxa6 is a tablebase win for White. Other moves also seem insufficient: 61. … Ra1 (61...Bxa6 62.Kb6 ) 62.Kb6 Bxa6 (62...Bf1 63.Rxf1 Rxf1 64.a7 ) 63.Nxa6 Rd1 64.Kc5 Ra1 65.Nc7 Kd3 66.f6 Rc1+ 67.Kd6 Re1 68.Rh4 Rf1 69.Ke7 Rc1 70.Kxf7 Rxc7+ 71.Kg8
Jun-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: These fighters sure know how to get a lot of struggle out of a QGA. Modern time limits exhaust the players making for generally sloppy endgames. Aronian must have thought what he played won easily or he would have looked deeper; likewise Shirov. But then the odd perpetual is a surprise. It only works with the f-pawn. An e-♙ would let White's ♔ escape to h7 winning, while with a g-♙ the sequence .Rg8 Kh5 .g7 Rh6 even mates!
Jun-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <But then the odd perpetual is a surprise. It only works with the f-pawn.>

Although the perpetual check would not work with a center pawn, the following position with White to move is still drawn:


click for larger view

Play could proceed as follows: 1.Re8 Rb6 2.e7 Rf6+ 3.Kg7 Rg6+ 4.Kh7 Kf6!= 5.Ra8 [5.Kh8 Kf7=; 5.Rf8+ Kxe7 6.Kxg6 Kxf8=] 5...Rg7+ 6.Kh8 Rxe7 ½–½

Jun-08-07  Ulhumbrus: After 19...Be6 Shirov has the more powerful minor piece, and may be able to win the ending with best play.

21..Rb8? is inexact. 21...Rc4 prepares both ...c5 and ..Rb8. After 21...Rb8 22 f4 cuts the Rg4 off.

22...Bf5?! loses a tempo towards the move ...Bc4 defending the a6 pawn against White's threat of the manoeuvre Nc3-a4-c5 attacking the a6 pawn and so tying a Black Rook to its defence.

Jun-08-07  acirce: <Watching Aronian-Shirov live on the Skype with Garry now. He was quite impressed with Aronian and the whole Rd1-d4 thing. Around move 50 Garry reeled off the entire winning line that Aronian then followed. When Shirov played 59..Rc5 he immediately said it was a blunder and that Kd6-Kc6 was an easy win. But then Aronian played 61.f6 and all that respect went away pretty quickly! He couldn't believe his eyes. "Typical Aronian!" Great game, great fight, and then rushes when he has plenty of time and blows a win in the endgame. He's done this at least three times this year I can think of. Including against Shirov at Corus! Incredible.

Yep, just drawn. Garry said Aronian must have missed 67..Ra6. Fast and flawless technical play by Shirov to draw once he got his chance. Another wild game in this match. Fantastic fighting chess, despite the cruel flaws and time trouble.

Posted by: Mig at June 8, 2007 12:47>

http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt...

Jun-08-07  dehanne: <Around move 50 Garry reeled off the entire winning line that Aronian then followed.> Yeh, right...
Jun-08-07  Atking: <Ulhumbrus: After 19...Be6 Shirov has the more powerful minor piece, and may be able to win the ending with best play. 21..Rb8? is inexact. 21...Rc4 prepares both ...c5 and ..Rb8. After 21...Rb8 22 f4 cuts the Rg4 off.> You seem to love Bishops more they need... I think Shirov didn't play 21. ...Rc4 because he want this square for the Bishop (xa6) (As the game shows White's a5 could be one main actor of the fight). 21. ...Rc4 22.Na4 Rb8 25.Nc5 is not as bad for White 25. ...Bf5 (Or more simply 25. ...Rxb4 26.RxR RxR 27.Nxa6) 26.Rb2 R8xb4 27.Re2+ and 28.Nxa6.
Jun-09-07  Ezzy: <Around move 50 Garry reeled off the entire winning line that Aronian then followed> It must be a lot easier to look at a position when your mind is fresh and without pressure. Aronian had been in a tough battle for hours under the extreme pressure of a candidates match.

I'm not saying he shouldn't have found the win, but for Kasparov to say <"Aronian played 61.f6 and all that respect went away pretty quickly!"> is a bit crass.

Kasparov couldn't 'reel' off the moves for the draw against Topalov under the pressure of his last ever competitive game.

These candidates are a pressure cooker for the players, and after hours of playing, the mind starts to tire. This is why lots of players start to make errors in the endgame.

But I admit, All players have their weaknesses, and Aronian's does seem to be his endgame play after 4 or 5 hours of play. Perhaps this is what the term - 'a player holding his form' means. Aronian has trouble 'holding his form.'

Jun-09-07  khursh: Compare this game with this one Aronian vs P Smirnov, 2004 Aronian had a win there but went to "easy win" 34.Rd8 which was the draw line.
Jun-09-07  Ulhumbrus: <Atking: <Ulhumbrus: After 19...Be6 Shirov has the more powerful minor piece, and may be able to win the ending with best play. 21..Rb8? is inexact. 21...Rc4 prepares both ...c5 and ..Rb8. After 21...Rb8 22 f4 cuts the Rg4 off.> You seem to love Bishops more they need... I think Shirov didn't play 21. ...Rc4 because he want this square for the Bishop (xa6) (As the game shows White's a5 could be one main actor of the fight). 21. ...Rc4 22.Na4 Rb8 25.Nc5 is not as bad for White 25. ...Bf5 (Or more simply 25. ...Rxb4 26.RxR RxR 27.Nxa6) 26.Rb2 R8xb4 27.Re2+ and 28.Nxa6.> On 21...Rc4 22 Na4 Rb8 23 Nc5 R4xb4 24 Rxb4 Rxb4 25 Nxa6 Ra4 26 Nxc7+ Ke7 Black seems to have the advantage in the ending. On 21...Rc4 22 Na4 Rb8 23 Nc5 Bf5 may be better still after 24 Rb2 Rc4xb4 25 Re2+ Kd8 26 Rxb4 Rxb4 27 Nxa6 Rb5.
Jun-15-07  Atking: <On 21...Rc4 22 Na4 Rb8 23 Nc5 R4xb4 24 Rxb4 Rxb4 25 Nxa6 Ra4 26 Nxc7+ Ke7 Black seems to have the advantage in the ending.> Looks very drawish to me after 27.NxBe6. A passed pawn yes still far but all 3 pawns are disconnected. <On 21...Rc4 22 Na4 Rb8 23 Nc5 Bf5 may be better still after 24 Rb2 Rc4xb4 25 Re2+ Kd8 26 Rxb4 Rxb4 27 Nxa6 Rb5.> As far I can see 25...Kd8 isn't possible with a Rd1 still there. No computer <Ulhumbrus> I appreciate your try to defend your idea by yourself.

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