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Levon Aronian vs Teimour Radjabov
Grand Slam Chess Final (2008), Bilbao ESP, rd 10, Sep-13
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Indian Formation (A15)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-13-08  Ulhumbrus: 44...Qd3 forks the White Rooks. On 45 Rbe1 Rxb3!! 44 Rxe8+ Kc7 Black threatens 44...Rxh3+ as well as 44...Rb2+
Sep-13-08  Libar: Name of this game: "The bigest mistake of Aronian".
Sep-13-08  Lutwidge: Wow, amazingly funky game.

Stylistically, I like Radjabov better and better.

Sep-13-08  outplayer: 45.Rbe1!! wins for white. After 45...Rb3 46.Re8 Kc7 47.Qh7! Kb6 48.c5! White takes the b3 rook and those threats are gone.
Sep-13-08  outplayer: 48.c5 dc5 49.Bb3 Rf2 50.Kg1 Bd4 51.Ne3 Qh7 52.Kf2 Qh3 53.Be6 c4 Black still has threats. It was an amazing position for Radjabov.
Sep-13-08  aragorn69: <Ulhumbrus> Actually, the combination is even more complex and my engine (Fritz 6...) doesn't see it until it's far too late. Here is the main line: 45.Rbe1 Rxb3 46.Rxe8 Kc7 47.Qh7+ Kb6 48.c5+ (forced win of even more material!) Ka7!? 49.Bxb3 Rf2+ 50.Kg1 Qf3 51.Qxb7+! (desperation, but quite tricky) Kxb7 52.Nxd6+ Ka7 53.R1e7+ Bxe7 54.Rxe7+ Ka6 and the Black king escapes, by the skin of the teeth... I doubt any of them saw that, but Radjabov's trap was pretty deep! ;-))
Sep-13-08  mrbasso: Simply bad luck this time for the Armenian. The natural 43.Nf5 is bad, 43.Bh7 wins. Pretty hard move for a last round game.
Sep-13-08  unsound: <aragorn> I don't understand why black would play 48...Ka7 in your line; just dxc5 prevents white playing an awkward d6 later, if he avoids the trap and plays 49.Ne3 instead of taking the rook on b3 (as engines insist he should).
Sep-13-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: Actually it looks like a draw after 45.Rbe1!Rxb3!46.Rxe8+ Kc7 47.Qh7+ Kb6 48.Ne3! Rb2+ 49.Ng2 Rff2 50.Qxd3 Rxg2+ and perpetual with the rooks. The interpolation of 48.c5+ dxc5 changes nothing. Amazing how often Radjabov swindles wins from these grotty King's Indian type positions --a tribute to his tactical ingenuity.
Sep-13-08  Everett: A la Bronstein in the 40's and 50's

The KID will never die. Even Kramnik cannot beat Radjabov in classical time controls.

Kramnik vs Radjabov, 2007
Kramnik vs Radjabov, 2008

Sep-13-08  notyetagm: Black to play: 49 ... ?


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49 ... ♖f3-f2! <remove the guard> 0-1


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Radjabov's 49 ... ♖f3-f2! wins on the spot, by <REMOVAL OF THE GUARD>: the Black f2-rook <PINS> the White g2-rook to the White h2-king, taking away the ability of the White g2-rook to <DEFEND> the <LOOSE> g1-mating square.

Once again we see the simply *ferocious* power of the <QUEEN AND ROOK BATTERY ALONG THE 8TH RANK> working against an enemy king. The Black d1-queen and Black a1-rook make *both* the g1- and h1-squares 2-2 <LOOSE> near the White h2-king and Radjabov's 49 ... ♖f3-f2! exploits the <LOOSENESS> of the g1-square by removing one of its defenders (White g2-rook) by <PINNING>.

Sep-13-08  notyetagm: White to play: 43 ?


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Here Aronian (White) played 43 ♘g3-f5, overlooking the winning move 43 ♗g8-h7! .

(VAR) 43 ♗g8-h7!


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<mrbasso: Simply bad luck this time for the Armenian. The natural 43.Nf5 is bad, 43.Bh7 wins. Pretty hard move for a last round game.>

From Chess Today 2868:

<43. Nf5 This is very tempting, but it gives Black counter play. Correct was 43.Bh7! , as recommended by Max Notkin.>

Sep-13-08  notyetagm: <luzhin: ... Amazing how often Radjabov swindles wins from these grotty King's Indian type positions --a tribute to his tactical ingenuity.>

I was going to make the exact same comment. Radjabov seems to win shockingly often from these objectively lost King's Indian-type positions.

But the point is that these positions are very rich, both strategically and tactically, giving White chances to go astray even when he has a winning position.

This game is a case in point. I do not understand what in the *world* was going through Aronian's head to make him play 45 ♖e2-b2?? instead of the obvious and good 45 ♖b1-e1.

White to play: 45 ?


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45 ♖e2-b2??


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Chess Today 2868:

<45.Reb2??

The move 45.Rbe1 looks so natural and obvious that it's hard to understand why Aronian avoided it. Still, even then Black would have a lot of play:>

(VAR) 45 ♖b1-e1


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This game just shows you how difficult chess really is, if a tactical genius like Aronian can make a move like 45 ♖e2-b2?? when not in severe time trouble.

Sep-14-08  znprdx: znprdx: <notyetagm:... if a tactical genius like Aronian can make a move like 45 Re2-b2?? when not in severe time trouble....> I'm a bit surprised at all the criticism ...Precisely because he was working on a complex web of sequences he probably 'saw' (fast forwarded) his 1st rank rook on d1 thus permitting the decoy move of the second rank rook to b2 allowing for control of the h4-d8 diagonal and the 7th rank in combination with the powerful f5 knight and quiet g8 bishop. However ironically the actual misjudgment may have been Qxh6 ... it seems that there may be a missed brilliancy lurking with 42.c5 !? (stopping the king escape via b6) perhaps with the knight going to e4 in some lines. Also the more I look, the more I like the instinctive 45.Rx[N]e8 + Looks like a <Chessgames> Sunday puzzle. Anybody want to help follow up on either idea?
Sep-14-08  Ulhumbrus: On 45 Rbe1 Rxd3 46 Rxe8+ Kc7 47 Qh7+ Kb6 48 c5+ dxc5 49 Bxb3 Rf2+ 50 Kg1 Bd4 51 Ne3 (outplayer) an alternative to 51...Qxh7 is 51...Qd2! threatening 52...Qxd1+ 53 Nf1 Qxf1 mate and 52 ...Rg2+ 53 Kh1 Rh2+ 54 Kg1 Qg2 mate

On 45 Rbe1 Rxd3 46 Rxe8+ Kc7 47 Qh7+ Kb6 48 c5+ dxc5 49 Ne3 one alternative to 49...Rb2+ ( luzhin) is 49...Bd4 eg 50 Qxd3 Rxd3 51 Nd1 Rxh3+ 52 Kg2 Rdg3+ 53 Kf1 Rh1+ 54 Ke2 Rh2+ 55 Kf1 Rf3+ 56 Nf2 Rfxf2 mate

Sep-14-08  parmetd: pretty interesting game... a bit harsh on Aronian but I know you guys are looking with Rybka and going 'oh what a dumb gm!' sorry but I think this is a pretty nice stylistic game.
Sep-15-08  notyetagm: <parmetd: pretty interesting game... a bit harsh on Aronian but I know you guys are looking with Rybka and going 'oh what a dumb gm!' sorry but I think this is a pretty nice stylistic game.>

45 ♖e2-b2?? is the annotation given in Chess Today by the GM annotating the game, not me and Rybka.

Sep-15-08  arsen387: Aronian completely outplayed Radjabov and then threw it all away with 45.Reb2?. Instead 45.Rbe1 should win for Aronian. A painful loss for Levon as he took 3rd in the end while after any other result in this game he would be the 2nd.
Sep-15-08  ahmadov: Good game by Radjabov... Actually, what makes me happy is that it was not another draw between these two guys...
Sep-15-08  notyetagm: <ahmadov: Good game by Radjabov...>

It wasn't really a good game by Radjabov at all. 43 ♗g8-h7! was winning for White, as was the obvious 45 ♖b1-e1. Aronian's 45 ♖e2-b2?? is just inexplicable.

Sep-16-08  ahmadov: <It wasn't really a good game by Radjabov at all.> <It wasn't really a good game by Radjabov at all. 43 g8-h7! was winning for White, as was the obvious 45 b1-e1. Aronian's 45 e2-b2?? is just inexplicable.>

Your own post on this page says:
<45.Reb2??
The move 45.Rbe1 looks so natural and obvious that it's hard to understand why Aronian avoided it. Still, even then Black would have a lot of play>
45.Re1 doesn't mean Radja would be lost, even though it is clear that Aronian made a blunder in the game... You always need to play a good game to win against a player like Aronian, don't you... Or maybe Radjabov also thinks like you, who knows...

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