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Boris Gelfand vs Levon Aronian
World Championship Tournament (2007), Mexico City MEX, rd 5, Sep-18
Catalan Opening: General (E00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-18-07  Softpaw: <Ishaan: What happens after, if 20...Qxb2 is played?>

Susan Polgar opines:'

<20...Qxb2? would be bad because of 21.e5 and Black's pawns will fall apart>

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Why not 15. Nxd6 ? Why not 20....Qxb2, and if 21. e5, then 21...Bxe5 ?

Why not 33...Rh5 ? If 34. Bxe5, then 34...Ne3. If 34. Nf3, then 34...Nxf3+ 35. Bxf3 Bd4+ 36. Kg2/Kh1 Rxh2#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Black was justly punished for his doubtful third move.

-- Dr. Tarrasch's Ghost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: Here is a quick analysis if Black played 20. ... Qxb2: 21. e5! Qc3 22. Rc1 Qa3 23. Qc2 f5 24. Ra1 Qc3 25. Qe2 g4 26. Nh4 Rf7 27. Ng6 b3 28. Ra3 Qc2 .... with strong advantage to White

Someone with a stronger engine could give a more accurate line but this seems to show the ideas which both Gelfand and Aronian saw. Perhaps that is why Aronian instead played 20. ... Nd7 thus negating the impact of e5

Sep-18-07  orio24: Gelfand is old dinosaur who refuses to die out, and bulldozes his way forward.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: What Black played seems like a mis-played Benoni. And the comment from the Ghost of Dr. Tarrasch seems apropos--by move 15, White has an advantage in <Space>, and in <Time> (White has greater development of pieces), which lead to an advantage in <Force>.
Sep-19-07  scholes: very bad game from aronian , he simply gets bad position from opening then instead of forcing gelfand to find better moves to win , he tries some cheap tactical tricks to lose the game .You cannot win wcc without good opening preparatiom
Sep-19-07  Avarus: <scholes> I have to disagree, I thought black was ok after 19.Bxc4. 19..Qf6?! was probably dubious, as <softpaw>'s post explains, b2 is not to be taken and otherwise, 19..Qf6 is just clumsy. Something like 19..Nd7, with maybe ..f5 and ..Nef6 looks better.
Sep-19-07  ahmadov: Black's moves from 32 to 34 looks quite strange to me...
Sep-19-07  Ezzy: Gelfand (2733) - Aronian (2759) [E00]
FIDE World Championship Tournament 0:26:33–0:40:33 (5), 18.09.2007 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 b5 6.Nf3 d6 7.e4 <A novelty which put Aronian in deep thinking mode.> 7...a6 <Taking the 'e' pawn seems to give Aronian a cramped position where his king has difficulty castling into safety. White has lots of space and has nasty threats along the 'e' file [7...Nxe4 8.Bxb5+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Nxd7 10.Qe2 Qe7 11.0–0 Nef6 12.Qa6 With 13 Re1 looming and 14 Nh4-f5. Not worth going into these lines.]> 8.a4 b4 9.Bd3 g6 10.Nbd2 Bg7 11.Nc4 <already the knight on a nice square menacingly pointing at d6.> 11...0–0 12.Bf4 Ne8 <Now the knight has to take up the square where the rook belongs>. 13.a5 Bh3 <Some kibitzers were joking that Aronian should play 13...Bh8 and all his pieces would be on the back rank in the Fischer random starting position.> 14.Ng5 Bd7 15.0–0 Bb5< With the idea 16...Bxc4 17...Bxb2> 16.Qd2 h6 17.Nf3 g5 <This or 17...Bxc4 as the pressure on d6 is keeping black tied down>. 18.Be3 Bxc4 19.Bxc4 Qf6 20.Qd1 Nd7< [20...Qxb2? 21.e5 and Aronian's pawn structure is collapsing]> 21.Rb1 Qe7 22.Nd2 Nef6 23.Re1 Rfe8 24.f3 Qd8 25.Ra1 g4 26.fxg4 Ne5 27.Be2 Qd7 28.g5< Perhaps this is the start of Aronians problems, opening up the position which will favour whites bishop pair> Nfg4 29.Bf4 hxg5 30.Bxg5 f5 <The idea being 31...Nf7 winning the b2 pawn, but Gelfand doesn't give him time.> 31.Rf1 Rf8< Some commentators think 31...c4 was better, but It doesn't look like it in this variation. Although it would have kept things massively complicated to sort out over the board. [31...c4 32.exf5 Qa7+ 33.Kg2 Qd4 34.Bf4 Nf6 35.Bxe5 Rxe5 36.Rf4 Qxb2 37.Bxc4 Bh6 38.Rb1 Qa3 39.Bb3 the queen is trapped after 40 Nc4 so... 39...Qxa5 40.Nc4 Qb5 41.Nxe5 dxe5 42.d6+ Kg7 43.Rc4 and it's looking good for white.]> 32.exf5 Rxf5 33.Bf4 Nf6 <Aronian decides to give up the exchange because the alternatives don't look very healthy [33...Rf6 34.h3 Nh6 35.Ne4 Rff8 36.Qd2 Nhf7 37.Bxe5 Bxe5 38.Bg4 Qe7 39.Be6 white looks very good.; 33...Rf7 34.Ne4 Nf6 35.Ng5 Re7 36.Ne6 white looks very good.]> 34.g4 Rxf4 35.Rxf4 Nf7 <I think Aronian was worried about taking the pawn on d5 because of [35...Nxd5 36.Qb3 Qe6 37.Rf5 Threatening 38 Nf3, but 37...Nc7 holds black's position better than the game continuation 35...Nf7?]> 36.Nc4 <Threatening the 37 Nb6 fork.> 36...Re8 37.Qd3<Better was 37 Qf1! and Aronian can't play 37...Nxd5 eg [37.Qf1 (With threats of 38 Nb6 winning the a6 pawn.) 37...Nxd5 38.Rxf7 Qxf7 39.Qxf7+ Kxf7 40.Nxd6+ and white wins; 37.Nb6? Qe7 38.Bxa6 Qe3+ 39.Rf2 Ng5 40.Bf1 Nfe4 41.Qe2 Bd4 42.Qxe3 Bxe3 43.Kg2 Bxf2 44.a6 c4 45.Nxc4 and this is how complicated it can get. Unbelievable complexity.]> 37...Qe7 38.Bf3?! <Allows black to release the pressure with exchanges.and get some counterplay 38 Bf1 or 38 Rf2 was better.> 38...Ne5 39.Nxe5 Qxe5 40.Rf5 Qxb2 41.Rf1 b3? <[41...Ne4! 42.Bxe4 Qd4+ 43.Qxd4 Bxd4+ 44.Kg2 Rxe4 and the game goes on.]> 42.Kh1 Nd7 43.Bd1< [43.Qxa6 and white will be rounding up all the pawns, but 43 Bd1 does the job.]> 43...c4 44.Qxc4 Nc5 45.Qf4 Ne4 46.Rf7 Bf6 47.Rb7 Qd2 48.Qxd2 1-0 <and after 48...Nxd2 49.Rxf6 Re1+ 50.Kg2 Rxd1 51.Rxd6 the end!>
Sep-19-07  Ezzy: Well this has to be one of the most complex game of the tournament so far. What a game!!

Fantastic play by Boris Gelfand. He put Aronian under pressure from the word ‘go’ and positionally outplayed his younger opponent with elegant style. Aronian tried at every moment to complicate the game, but Gelfand was unfazed and had a clear picture of what was happening. Aronian’s tenacity gave him chances to probably save the game, but it was never going to be easy, and Gelfand eventually ground him down.

This was extremely impressive from Gelfand, a real class act. Aronian made no glaring errors, but Gelfand detected the not so obvious mistakes and played magnificent chess from start to finish.

Well, well, well, who knows what will happen next. This guys going to be a tough nut to crack. The excitement and tension just goes on and on.

This is a Gelfand masterpiece!!

Sep-19-07  khursh: I think that two best games at this momenta Are two Aronian lost games: Aronian-Anand and Gelfand-Aronian. In both games winners prepared novelty and trapped Aronian. This is the problem of Aronian's image, I think almost everyone in this tournament prepared something against him. So Aronian should be ready for a openning novelty from Kramnik too.
Sep-19-07  talisman: gelfand:competitor.wrote fide a letter saying stop messing w/ the format he's trying to prepare to win.i like the underdog who doesn't get much press.
Sep-19-07  pawnofdoom: I really didn't expect Gelfand to win this, and neither did all those predictors on the chess sites. They all predicted to have Gelfand and Grischuk at least place, and they were wrong! I dont understand why Aronian didn't take the pawn on move 20 and developed a knight instead
Sep-19-07  KamikazeAttack: <They all predicted to have Gelfand and Grischuk at least place, and they were wrong! >

How many times have we seen GMs lead a tournament only to finish near the bottom? Chuck's was a recent case.

No one is wrong yet! I say u wait until the end of the tournament.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Has anyone seen any analysis of 26....Nxe4?
Sep-19-07  hovik2003: <Ezzy>
Nicely done, very pointed and sharp commentary for a complex game. About Aronian I think he hurried on combination starting 18...Bxc4 to get the white b pawn(If indeed that was in his mind). I wonder what could have been Gelfand's answer to preparatory 18...Nd7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Great game by Gelfand for his first, well-deserved win in the tournament. His play seems very accurate during the concluding phase. (42. ♔h1! seems like a hard move to have found OTB, for example.)

Typically resourceful to the end, Aronian’s 46. ... ♗f6!? was a final, desperate attempt to save the game through tactical tricks. (When your position is already totally lost, you might as well try something like this, although there would have been more of a chance for a swindle if Gelfand had been in time pressure.) Boris did not fall for the trick and his 47.♖b7! maintained a winning advantage ( ).

The win would not have been thrown away, but would have become much more difficult if Gelfand had taken the seemingly en prise Bishop: 47.♖xf6? After 47. ... ♕xf6 48.♕xf6 ♘xf6, White maintains good winning chances with 49.♗xb3± (but he must not play 49.♖xf6?? because after 49. ... ♖e1+ 50.♔g2 b2! 51.♗c2 ♖e2+ 52.♖f2 ♖xc2 53.♖xc2 b1=♕ BLACK WINS).

Sep-19-07  King mega: Hey, what was 47...Qd2 for?
Sep-19-07  michiganling: Thanks for the analysis <Ezzy>, as usual you did a fantastic job.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <King mega: Hey, what was 47...Qd2 for?>

It was totally inadequate, of course, but did Black have anything better? (The only reasonable alternative seems to have been immediate resignation.)

In what must have been a desperate frame of mind (at least with respect to his prospects for the game in progress) Aronian probably seized on the thought that after the exchange on d2 (48. ♕xd2 ♘xd2), his d2-Knight and f6-Bishop between them would defend the b-pawn and control its two remaining squares to promotion. Unfortunately for Aronian, the further continuation given above by <chessic eric> stifles all of Black's counterplay.

Sep-19-07  Resignation Trap: Here's a photo at the start of the game . As I stated elsewhere, I wonder if Aronian has been drinking Mexican water. If so, that may explain a few things about his performance. He should have brought a few cases of mineral water from Jermuk: Http:// .
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Goodness gracious. What a massacre... What happened here?!?!
Mar-18-08  Bobsterman3000: I think Fritz calls this a "helpmate."

Aronian picked Gelfand's favorite line, it seems...

Sep-14-12  waustad: I thought that my solution to why Aronian didn't grab the pawn at move 20 included a premature e5 push, but the comments <ezzy> posted indicate that I was too slow with it, as I'd interpolated Ra2 Q-moves first.
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