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Levon Aronian vs Vasyl Ivanchuk
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament (2008), Nanjing CHN, rd 2, Dec-12
Zukertort Opening: Sicilian Invitation (A04)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-12-08  Eyal: A disastrous loss for Ivanchuk - he seems to have completely lost the thread of the game at a certain stage. 17...b5 might look "active", but Ivanchuk didn't have any good follow-up, and in the next few moves he completely mis-maneuvers his pieces, especially the knights; by moves 23-24 Black's position already seems to be falling apart.

27...Qxb4 instead of 27...dxc5 would lose the exchange to 28.Qxb4 Rxb4 29.Na6 Rb7 (29...Rb5 30.Nc7) 30.Nc7 R-moves 31.Nxa8 Rxa8 32.Bd5.

Aronian's 29.Qf4! nicely shifts the initiative from the Q-side to the K-side, taking advantage of the way several black pieces are misplaced at the edge of the board. 28...Qb7/b5 instead of Qa5 would prevent the rook penetration on d7, but White still has a crushing attack after, e.g., 28...Qb7 29.Qf4 e6 30.Nd5! to be followed by Nf6+ or 28...Qb5 29.Nd3 (attacking Na3, which can't withdraw to b5 now) Qa6 30.Qf4 e6 31.Ne5 Rb7 32.Nd7, again aiming for Nf6+.

Dec-12-08  euripides: From move 6 to 14 Aronian does more retreating than advancing, and builds a strong position in the process. His treatment of Ivanchuk here reminds me of Petrosian's rope-a-dope approach to Korchnoi:

Petrosian vs Korchnoi, 1971

Dec-12-08  Udit Narayan: Aronian completely wiped Chucky off the board with his prophylactic maneuvers!!!
Dec-12-08  Ezzy: Aronian,L (2757) - Ivanchuk,V (2786) [B36]
Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (2), 12.12.2008

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.e4 Nf6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Nc2 Bg7 8.Be2 Nd7 9.Bd2 a5 10.0–0 Nc5 11.Qc1< Not just to allow 12 Rd1 but it also protects the b2 pawn after the inevitable Nd5 >11...h5 12.Rd1 Bd7 13.Ne1 Nd4< With the idea 14...Nxe4 15 Nxe4?? Nxe2+> 14.Bf1 0–0 15.Bg5 Bc6 16.Nd5 Re8 17.f3 b5 < Ivanchuk will regret this play on the queenside, because Aronian starts to tear his queenside position to pieces> 18.Be3 Nce6 19.Qd2< Also I don' think there's anything wrong with taking the b5 pawn. [19.cxb5 Bxb5 20.Bxb5 Nxb5 21.Qc4 Rb8 22.a4 Nbc7 23.Bb6 Rb7 24.Bxa5]> 19...bxc4 20.Bxc4 Rb8< threatening 21...Rxb2 if 22 Qxb2 Nxf3+> 21.Kh1 Nb5 22.Rac1 Nc5?< black starts to lose the tactical battle now after> 23.b4! axb4 24.Nxb4 Qb6 <24...Bd7 25.Bxc5 dxc5 26.Na6 The bishop on d7 is also attacked by Q+R>25.Ned3 <Threatening 26 Nxc5 dxc5 27 Bxc5 and black can't play Qxc5 because of 28 Bxf7+ with the loss of his queen.> 25...Na3 26.Bb3< The winning threats continue with 27 Rxc5 dxc5 28 Bxc5 Qb7 29 Nxc6 Qxc6 30 Bxa3 Winning.> 26...Ba8 27.Nxc5 dxc5 <27...Qxb4 28.Qxb4 Rxb4 29.Na6 Rb7 30.Nc7 Rc8 31.Nxa8 Rxa8 32.Bd5 And Aronian is still tieing Ivanchuk up in knots.> 28.Bxc5 Qa5 <28...Qb5 29.Nd3 Qa6 30.Qf4 e6 31.Ne5 Rb7 32.Nd7 Nb5 33.Nf6+ Bxf6 34.Qxf6 White is dominating the board and has a won position.> 29.Qf4 e6 30.Rd7 Rf8 31.Rxf7 Rxf7 32.Qxb8+ Kh7 33.Bxe6 1–0

It's not often you see Ivanchuk getting a mauling as bad as this. 23 b4! this move is basically winning. All the tactics favour Aronian, and Ivanchuk's position collapses. Fantastic play by Aronian.

Ivanchuk will kick a few lamposts after this. Should have lost his first game against Svidler. Horrific start to the tournament. Has the pressure of the last few weeks got to him

Dec-12-08  Marmot PFL: <Ezzy> 17...b5 is thematic in this opening and almost needs to be played to undermine Nd5 and give black some counterplay. <[19.cxb5 Bxb5 20.Bxb5 Nxb5 21.Qc4 Rb8 22.a4 Nbc7 23.Bb6 Rb7 24.Bxa5> This looks OK for black after 24...Qb8 with pressure on the b file and long diagonal to compensate for the pawn. Aronain's line is better but black seemed all right until he placed the knights on b5 and c5, not sure what his plan was there but allowing b4 was very bad. Then when black gets his pieces tied up on the queen side white makes a short sweet finish on the kind side.
Dec-12-08  Poisonpawns: <Marmot pfl17...b5 is thematic in this opening and almost needs to be played to undermine Nd5 and give black some counterplay.> True usually but here,Black has mixed up plans.b5 is played in conjunction with a e6,d5 advance.Ivanchuk has the Knight on e6 in the way of the e6 advance because he gets caught up in holding the d4 square.Then he tries to re-organize his knights for the d6-d5 advance but it was too slow and Aronian crushed him.With his Knights where they were I vanchuk had a great oppurtunity for the adv. 17..Ncb3!18.axb3 Nxb3 19.Qc2 Nxa1 20.Rxa1 Bxd5 21.cxd5 Qb6+ 22.Kh1 Qxb2 23.Qxb2 Bxb2 24.Rb1 Bc3! White will not be able to handle the outside passed pawns.I think Ivanchuk saw this possibility and rejected it because it is not a usual theme in this variation,so he didnt look far enough to see that it was good.Instead he tried to find a familiar theme,but it just took to much time to implement.One word for ivanchuk today.PREPARATION lol

Dec-12-08  euripides: <Poison> <17..Ncb318.axb3 Nxb3 19.Qc2 Nxa1 20.Rxa1 Bxd5> Interesting, but 21.exd5 would prevent the formation of the twin passed pawns e.g. as in your line 21... Qb6+ 22.Kh1 Qxb2 23.Qxb2 Bxb2 24.Rb1 Bc3 24.Nc2. Earlier, 19.Qe3 looks worth considering e.g. 19..Nxa1 20.Rxa1 Bxd5 21.exd5 Bxb2 22.Rb1.
Dec-13-08  notyetagm: <Udit Narayan: Aronian completely wiped Chucky off the board with his prophylactic maneuvers!!!>

Tremendous play by Aronian.

Dec-13-08  notyetagm: <Ezzy: ... It's not often you see Ivanchuk getting a mauling as bad as this. 23 b4! this move is basically winning. All the tactics favour Aronian, and Ivanchuk's position collapses. <<<Fantastic play by Aronian.>>>>


Dec-13-08  Poisonpawns: <euripedes> Black is clearly better in all lines after 17...Ncb3
Dec-13-08  Eyal: <euripides: [17...Ncb3 18.axb3 Nxb3] 19.Qe3 looks worth considering e.g. 19..Nxa1 20.Rxa1 Bxd5 21.exd5 Bxb2 22.Rb1.> Yeah, this definitely looks bad for Black. It would be better to play 20...Bxb2 immediately, so that the b7 pawn remains protected, but after 21.Rb1 followed by Nb6 White should probably still have the advantage.
Dec-13-08  Poisonpawns: The video
Dec-13-08  notyetagm: 31 ?

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31 ♖d7xf7! <overworked>

click for larger view

Dec-13-08  Poisonpawns: <Eyal& Euripedes>
17..Ncb3!very doubled edged and better than the game cont. i.e 17..Ncb3 18.axb3 nxb3 19.Qe3 Nxa1 20.Nxa1 Bxb2 immediately 21.Rd1 a4
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: I'd expect there was something better than 13..Nd4.
Dec-16-08  notyetagm: <RYBKA 3 AQUARIUM> analysis of Aronian-Ivanchuk Pearl Springs 2008:
Dec-17-08  DwayneMeller: Great game.
Jan-17-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: Aronian's Best Games

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