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Levon Aronian vs Fabiano Caruana
Olympiad (2008), Dresden GER, rd 1, Nov-13
Semi-Slav Defense: Anti-Moscow Gambit (D44)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-14-08  syracrophy: 31...d4?? was the decisive mistake that loses to 32.♗g5!! when Caruana missed the mate on d8 after ...dxe4
Nov-14-08  shintaro go: Caruana's hit a rough patch as of late, losing again, this time to a sub 2500 player in the second round.
Nov-14-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <19..Rd5!> offers an exchange to close the center: 20.Nxd5 exd5 and Black has counterplay on both wings: Rg8, Qc2, Bc8, b4, etc. Aronian ignores it with a Nostradamus-like GM idea: <20.Qe3!> envisioning Qb6!

<21.Bf3> reinforces g2, and <22.b4!> counter-offers a pawn, which looks poisoned: 23..Nxb3? 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.Nxd5 and Black's N has no good retreat, e.g. 25..Na5 26.Nxe7 Kxe7 27.Qb6. Trading Knights 25..cxd5 26.Qxb3 produces a pin-and-triple on Black's weak d-pawn, which recovers White's gambit pawn.

<24.Ne4> He'd rather have the a7-diagonal than the Rook!

<28.Bg5!> offering 28..Bc5. The refutation must be a flabbergast, possibly 29.e6! f6 30.Qg3!! or similar nonsense ...

<29.f4!> amazingly daring to open his own Q-K to the Bc5 skewer -- <29..Qg6> and Black still must settle the e6-threat first! <30.R4d2> protects g2, and Black never had a good answer for Qb6.

Nov-15-08  Strongest Force: Embarrassing; however, it can happen to anyone.
Nov-15-08  Davolni: <syracrophy: 31...d4?? was the decisive mistake that loses to 32.g5!! when Caruana missed the mate on d8 after ...dxe4>

I don't think anybody here missed anything or made any obvious mitakes/blunders.

I'm sure by the time Caruana played 31...d4, he already knew he was lost, it was more of a desperation move, rather than a decisive mistake.

Nov-15-08  hedgeh0g: Well it looks pretty decisive to me...
Nov-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Caruana's 30...c5? was already a blunder, since 31...Kxe7 also loses outright to 32.Qxc5+, e.g. 32...Ke8 33.Qc7 Qc6 34.Rc2 Qxc7 35.Rxc7 Ba6 36.Rxd5. But it seems that his position actually becomes hopeless a move earlier, after 29...Qg6 - he could have played simply 29...Bc5 instead, regaining the exchange (on move 28, Bc5 fails to 29.Rxd5!, but after 29.f4 the queen on e3 would be captured with a check).

<Gilmoy: 22.b4! counter-offers a pawn, which looks poisoned: 23..Nxb3? 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.Nxd5 and Black's N has no good retreat, e.g. 25..Na5 26.Nxe7 Kxe7 27.Qb6. Trading Knights produces a pin-and-triple on Black's weak d-pawn, which recovers White's gambit pawn.>

In case of 23...Nxb3 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.Nxd5 Black has no reason to play 25...Na5?? - after 25...cxd5 26.Qxb3 White does regain the pawn, but Black's position should be pretty much ok after, e.g., 26...0-0. On the other hand, after 24.Nxd5 cxd5 (or exd5) 25.Qxb3 White gains a lot of material; Black can win back an exchange with 25...Bc5 - the rook cannot move because of Qxg3 - but White is still a piece up.

Nov-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I'm looking at the final position and thinking black can still try 32...f6. If 33.exf6+, dxe3 and the black king will escape via Kf7, Ke6, Kf5, right? However, I think White can play 33.Qe2 and has a winning endgame after 33...fxg5 34.Qxb5+ Qc6 35. Qxc6+ Bxc6 36.hxg5
Nov-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Fusilli: I'm looking at the final position and thinking black can still try 32...f6. If dxe3 and the black king will escape via Kf7, Ke6, Kf5, right? However, I think White can play 33.Qe2 and has a winning endgame after 33...fxg5 34.Qxb5+ Qc6 35. Qxc6+ Bxc6 36.hxg5>

Yeah, the last line is easily winning for White, but so is 33.exf6+ and in a prettier way - 33...dxe3 (33...Qe4 34.Qxe4+ Bxe4 35.Re1 winning the bishop) 34.Rd8+ Kf7 35.R8d7+ Ke6 36.g4! hxg4 37.Re7+ Kf5 38.Re5#

Nov-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Eyal> Watch out... against 36...g4 black has Qb1+... then 37.Rd1 Rxd8! 38.Rxb1 hxg4, and black lives, and looks pretty healthy, actually.
Nov-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Fusilli> No, there's a white rook on d1 (I said 35.R8d7+, not R1d7+; btw, 35...Kf8 loses to 36.Rxb7 Qe8 37.Bh6+).
Nov-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Eyal: <Fusilli> No, there's a white rook on d1> You are right! I didn't read it carefully. Good winning moves.
Nov-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <Eyal: In case of 23...Nxb3 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.Nxd5 Black has no reason to play 25...Na5??>

It's Black's only try to hold the extra pawn. It fails, but they both had to calculate it (which they did). Obviously, 25..Nc5 just hangs.

<... after 25...cxd5 26.Qxb3 White does regain the pawn, but Black's position should be pretty much ok ...>

Looks OK if Black wants a draw (he could offer it as he plays 25..cxd5). But Caruana was pressing for winning chances, so trading off all center tension, returning the pawn, and castling away his g-threat must be counterproductive.

In this light, <22.b4> was a subtle draw offer from Aronian! It worked because Caruana thought he was winning, and couldn't bear to settle for it.

Jan-19-09  notyetagm: 32 ?


click for larger view

Is Black really threatening to play 32 ... d4x♕e3, opening the d-file for the doubled White d2-,d1-rooks to reach the d8-square next to the Black e8-king?

32 ♗e7-g5! 1-0


click for larger view

Black cannot play 32 ... d4x♕e3?? as this would release the <PIN> on the d-file, allowing a <ROOK AND BISHOP MATE> on d8.

(VAR) 32 ... d4x♕e3?? 33 ♖d2-d1#


click for larger view


click for larger view

Jan-14-14  Dave1: Levon is a baest. No way to surprise him in this kind of games.
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