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Magnus Carlsen vs Levon Aronian
"Bilbao Baggins" (game of the day Sep-09-2008)
Grand Slam Chess Final (2008), Bilbao ESP, rd 6, Sep-08
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Wade Variation (D47)  ·  1-0



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Given 39 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

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Apr-24-15  newzild: A question to the <Chessgames> staff: do you check each days' puzzle solution with a computer programme?

I failed to solve today's puzzle as after the obvious 24. Rxb4 I couldn't find a convincing continuation against 24...exd4.

Aronian's 24...axb4? looks like a blunder to me.

Apr-24-15  morfishine: With the DSB attacked, White must either capture something or move the piece

Figured <27.Rxb4> was best after looking at the only other candidate: 27.Bb6

Aronian played the natural or automatic 27...axb4, but as <gofer> mentioned, Black's best chance to hold is 27...exd4

I couldn't find anything immediately decisive after 28.Rbxd4 Rxd4 9.Rxd4, but what about <29.exd4>

click for larger view

White has all the play here with a passed d-pawn, open e-file & the immediate threat 30.Qa3+

This is probably why Aronian went with 27...axb4, not that it mattered much


Apr-24-15  goodevans: The challenge for the POTD is to find the best move. There is clearly a single move that meets that criterion even though <27.Rxb4 exd4> leads to only a small advantage. In this respect today's puzzle is a better POTD than some where several moves lead to a winning advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Goodevans> True, the challenge is to find the best move. And 27. Rxb4 is surely the best move. But this is what CG says about the puzzles:

<What kind of move am I looking for?

The goal is to find the best move, or sequence of moves, in the given position.

You do not always have to find a checkmate! Just find the best move.

Usually, this move will lead to a superior position, either by a forced sequence of moves which leads to checkmate, or (more commonly) wins substantial material.

By "substantial material" we mean usually winning at least the exchange (i.e. trading a knight or a bishop for a rook). More commonly the winning move will net a whole piece (bishop/knight/rook) and sometimes will win the queen. Occasionally, the material will be only a single pawn--this usually happens in endgame situations where the extra pawn will surely decide the game.

The first move is not always the most difficult move to see. Sometimes, the initial move in the sequence is somewhat obvious, but the real solution to the position lies in the follow-up moves. In order to solve our puzzles, you must see enough moves to demonstrate that the initial move is correct. Simply guessing the first move, without understanding why it works, is not solving the puzzle.

Sometimes we will present a position where the player who is to move is in a nearly hopeless situation. In these positions you are expected to look for a way to draw the game instead of win it. We don't tell you that you are looking for a draw; you are expected to figure this out by the nature of the position.>

Today's POTD wins a pawn against best play, but not in an endgame situation and there is no guarantee that White will win.

That's why - for me - it doesn't feel like a CG puzzle, according to the criteria that CG have set for the POTD.

Apr-24-15  pensiveyaks: but isn't 27....exd4 a much better defence for Aronian than the text move 27... axb4 ?
Apr-24-15  Ratt Boy: <Once>: "Today's POTD wins a pawn against best play, but not in an endgame situation and there is no guarantee that White will win."

Well, it's pretty much a guarantee that White will win, because White is Carlsen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 27.Rxb4 axb4 28.Bc5+ K (move) was pretty obvious to spot, but that's how far I got.
Apr-24-15  Chess Dad: Black's move 27 is a significant blunder according to Stockfish. The evaluation jumps from +1 or so to +6 as a result of 27... axb4.

But that doesn't mean that 27. Rxb4 wasn't the best move. It was, and the difference between that and the 2nd best move (Bb2) is about 1.8 pawns at depth 30.

I also didn't see anything much after 27... exd4 28. Rbxd4.

But then again, neither did Carlsen.

Apr-24-15  Chess Dad: <Gofer: 1) What do our silicon friends say to white's advantage after <27 Rxb4! exd4>?>

Stockfish thinks white is up about 1.2 pawns at this point.

<2) Should play continue with <28 Rbxd4 Rxd4 29 Rxd4> or <28 Rbxd4 Rxd4 29 exd4> or something completely different???>>

Stockfish says "retreat." 28. Rbb1 is the recommended move.

Apr-24-15  BOSTER: Are< young American GM> really strong <tacticians>? This is the picture from the game Holt vs Robson , US Champ 2015.

click for larger view

White to play 12. after Robson 's 11...cxd4 attacking the knight c3. Here Holt the great lover of the <h push> timidly played 12.Nce4. But if he boldly played 12.exd7 , black would not have time to play 12...dxc3. To be cont.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <BOSTER: Are< young American GM> really strong <tacticians>? This is the picture from the game Holt vs Robson , US Champ 2015.>

Why are you posting that here?

<To be cont.>

Somewhere else, please.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For my Friday solution, I visualized 27. Rxb4!! axb4 (27... exd4 28. Rbxd4 ) 28. Bc5+ Ke6 (diagram below)

click for larger view

However, I missed the surprise crushing follow-up 29. Ra1! Rd6 (not 29... b3 30. Ra6+ Kd7 31. Qc6#) 30. Bxd6 Kxd6 31. Qc6+ .

Of course after 27...exd4 28. Rbxd4 (+ 0.87 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 14) Black is still in the game.

Earlier, instead of 25...h5, Fritz indicates Black could have kept it level with 25... e5 26. Bb6 Rd6 27. Rxd6 Qxd6 28. Bxa5 Bxa5 29. Rxa5 Rb8 = (0.07 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

Apr-24-15  BOSTER: < Keypusher: Why are you posting that here?>. I guess we have different understanding of the
meaning " Post is off-topic".
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <BOSTER: < Keypusher: Why are you posting that here?>. I guess we have different understanding of the meaning " Post is off-topic".>

Evidently. But only mine is correct.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Similar to yesterday- a lesser (but more important ) piece is exchanged for a bigger one and the adverse game collapses- this time a little slower.
Apr-24-15  BOSTER: < Keypusher : But only mine is correct>. Maybe you are right after you got < :Please try to keep the discussion here rellevant to the 2015 Gashimov..>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Mag b4 one all on see have game at bag b4 rook river tickles a vow away inter glide light back bone trek across and b4 if ive time gives a win for duty ramble give a good un mink coat over blacks again mind game fang tooth rook heads above flurry it ok ave moggy rates encircle sod em and gomorrah rooks at d8 out of frame can d4 play best after rook up holy inter light glides away am plug a kind frame koinus agree light ahead by a point manage live inter catch and mow b4 down kind tow by wit was tubs and spoons but sub par game shred it ok ave maybe crevice ogle e5 and light gains a plus rat race a8 recall bunts herd a word scathe enter glide sac b4 rend sure at b7 and d4 dumb c5 good call jovial foster b7 a good home thod ja loom different strokes d8 castigated it ok ave find mind jangle b7 a loof ah scrub one off buy tubby moment d7 bat d4 and could carry on to wit wave i ogle winch cave vantage off re you came light have trusts b7 and d4 dips carnage carnival mops up bank rank to joust h8 off and lag again d6 up on time rover tickle gave lucky streak critter d8 nice call inter glide cubb engage boot a boon took treasure trove babooshka cub hole again low hock back bash cover rook sac b4 lid quad grip ok ave two bishops and a queen infer tile ground as boot ie it was ave would quad bind delve aim camp i cutoff point at fly b4 fluffs at cad d4 efface off at ear i dutiful bind am dug call duo dips beset rook at dab hand an believe at aim bind act nearly am lid d4 plate rut each at effect rim bless act ever green at aid locket pocket rocket ave a boon flight an dug b4 i be lesson to by gone conclusion a line alive no more bus i drive lane dream acts enter fought off d4 tempt d8 down aim quad grip ok etc creams couple pieces act tries carafe pour on scorn d6 a key square lanes dipoff eg monarch eg win centre ground often eg liege nt a done deal as he 22.Rxb4 josh around aorta hud d4 do bash over ignoble mission d8 change on ever dash over batch im balloned it ok ave he roam go at flash hang on a hook manage ave lash on a hoopla vet.
Apr-24-15  mel gibson: I agree with the many posts:

Yes 27.... PxB is a move which almost draws the game. According to DR4 64 bit - white is ahead by less than a pawn.

Therefore Aronian made a big mistake.

Apr-24-15  bmcniece: Ok, well Rxb4 is pretty obvious and the best move, so we still have to say the puzzle is relevant. Besides the exd4 line, which id still rather have white to be honest because all the pressure is on black to play perfectly did anybody see the not so obvious 29.e4!? (or possibly 29.e4?!)29.Ra1 was a tough move to find, switching rook files in the middle of the board during tactics are hard to catch
Apr-24-15  Ratt Boy: I wanna read ChrisOwen's next novel.
Apr-24-15  morfishine: <But to all> Thats the point: To find the best moves for both sides, which is why I enjoy <jimfromprovidence>'s post so much, as well as many others. Use one's mind to find all sorts of variations


Apr-25-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: I had the same problems as everybody else with the alternate defense.
Jun-13-16  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini d 28

1. = (0.00): 24...e5 25.Bb6 Rd6 26.Rxd6 Qxd6 27.Bxa5 Bxa5 28.Rxa5 Qb4 29.Rxe5+ Kd6 30.Rd5+ Nxd5 31.Qxd5+ Ke7 32.Qe5+ Kf8 33.Qb8+ Ke7 34.Qc7+ Kf6 35.Qc6+ Ke7 36.Qc7+ Kf6

2. (0.35): 24...h5 25.Rab1 e5 26.Rxb4 exd4 27.Rbxd4 Rhe8 28.Bc6 Rxd4 29.exd4 Rd8 30.d5 Kf8 31.g3 Qb4 32.Ra1 Kg8 33.h3 Rb8 34.Qf4 Qxf4 35.gxf4 Ne4 36.Rxa5 Rb2 37.d6 Nxd6 38.Rd5 Nc4 39.Rxh5 Kf8 40.Rb5 Ke7 41.Rxb2 Nxb2 42.Kg2 Kd6 43.Bb5 Kc5 44.Be2

3. (0.66): 24...Rxd4 25.exd4 Rd8 26.Rac1 Kf8 27.Rc4 Ng8 28.Rdc1 Ne7 29.g3 Kg8 30.Be4 h6 31.Qh5 Qb6 32.Qe2 Qd6 33.Kg2 Rb8 34.Qd1 Rd8 35.Qc2 g6 36.Bf3 Nf5 37.Rd1 Ne7 38.Qe2

Jun-13-16  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini

36.Bd3 Nc5 37.Bb1 g5 38.Kf1 Na4 39.Rb8 Nc5 40.Ke2 e4 41.Kd2 Kd5 42.Rd8+ Ke5 43.Re8+ Kd6 44.Rd8+ Ke5 45.Re8+ (5.90) Depth: 22/59 00:02:04 193mN

Jul-11-17  drollere: in the game, why not 27. Qc6+? white wins any blocking piece on d6, and Kf5 looks unhappy (29. e4+).
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