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Alexey Shirov vs Levon Aronian
Candidates Match: Aronian - Shirov (2007), Elista RUS, rd 2, Jun-12
Spanish Game: Closed. Pilnik Variation (C90)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-12-07  euripides: On the nineteenth move people were looking at Bb3. But then if 19...Qd3 20.Bxe6 fxe6 21.Qf3 cxb4 the a6 pawn is defended so White has to settle for 22.cxb4, leaving the c file open and Black in control of it. 19.Nge4 provokes Nbd7 to contest the e4 square and that allows White to play axb4 in the game, giving White some counterplay.

Would 26...Rxc3 and Qc4 give Black winning chances ? Of course Aronian ony needed a draw to qualify.

Jun-16-07  Ulhumbrus: 8d3 is passive and gives Black liberties which a White pawn d4 would deprive Black of (eg the ability to play ...Be6 with his QN on c6 or the ability to play the pawn advance ...d5 with less of a threat on his e5 pawn). 14 b4 takes acion on the Q side where Black has an advantage in space, after which 14..a5 in reply may gain Black the advantage.

An alternative to 15...d5 is 15...a5. After 15...d5 Black gains an advantage in space, but also leaves the c5 and e5 pawns defended less.

An alternative to 17...Rc8 is 17...a5 eg 17..a5 18 bxc5 Bxc5 19 d4

One alternative to 18 Nd2 is 18 bxc5 Bxc5 19 d4. One justification for this is that on 17...a5 instead of 17...Rac8 White has 18 bxc5 Bxc5 19 d4. However Black's b5 pawn is not so weak with the Black a pawn still on a6.

Aronian showed himself to be the stronger player in the match. If Shirov had his chances, he did not manage to make the most of them. Now attention will shift to Mexico City.

Jun-17-07  euripides: <Ul> If Black plays a5 at either point White should consider a4 - I haven't analysed it but it looks promising.
Jun-17-07  euripides: <Ul> If Black plays 17...a5 at White should consider 18.a4 - I haven't analysed it but it looks promising.
Jun-17-07  euripides: I can't kill my earlier post, but 15...a5 16.a4? doesn't work because the a pawn is pinned after 16...axb4.
Jun-19-07  Ulhumbrus: 8d3 is passive and gives Black liberties which a White pawn d4 would deprive Black of (eg the ability to play ...Be6 with his QN on c6 or the ability to play the pawn advance ...d5 with less of a threat on his e5 pawn). 14 b4 takes action on the Q side where Black has an advantage in space, after which 14..a5 in reply may gain Black the advantage. An alternative to 15...d5 is 15...a5. After 15...d5 Black gains an advantage in space, but also leaves the c5 and e5 pawns defended less.

An alternative to 17...Rc8 is 17...a5 eg 17..a5 18 bxc5 Bxc5 19 d4

One alternative to 18 Nd2 is 18 bxc5 Bxc5 19 d4. One justification for this is that on 17...a5 instead of 17...Rac8 White has 18 bxc5 Bxc5 19 d4. However Black's b5 pawn is not so weak with the Black a pawn still on a6.

Aronian showed himself to be the stronger player in the match. If Shirov had his chances, he did not manage to make the most of them. Now attention will shift to Mexico City. I have sent this again because of a possible typing mistake in the last message.

Jun-19-07  euripides: <An alternative to 17...Rc8 is 17...a5 eg 17..a5 18 bxc5 Bxc5 19 d4> What did you find after <17...a5> 18.a4 ?
Jun-19-07  Ulhumbrus: <euripides> Whereas a Black capture of the White b-pawn on b4 by ...cxb4 or by ...axb4 does little in addition to capturing the b4 pawn, the capture axb5 attacks the N on c6. If White can answer the advance ...a5 advantageously with a4, this suggests preparing ...a5 by the move ..Reb8 defending the b5 pawn.

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