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Levon Aronian vs Magnus Carlsen
Linares (2009), Linares ESP, rd 1, Feb-19
Catalan Opening: Closed Variation (E06)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-19-09  THE pawn: I think that both Aronian's tactical shot 19.e4! and Carlsen's nice forteress setup were both very instructive, I kind of enjoyed this somewhat calm game.

I always found this variation of the catalan very weak for black, probably an impression coming from this game I saw years ago.

Kramnik vs Svidler, 1998

Feb-19-09  shintaro go: 19. e4 was a pretty move but it didn't trouble Carlsen at all. A draw was almost a certainty with the Catalan except if your name is Vladimir Kramnik.
Feb-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <A draw is almost a certainty with the Catalan except if your name is Vladimir Kramnik.> Or Michael Adams... (Aronian vs Adams, 2009)

Putting aside material imbalances, this game is a case of (Black's) light-square control and (White's) dark-square control neutralizing each other.

Feb-20-09  perkychesscat: I must be blind but doesn't 22 BxR 22..BxR 23 BxN win a piece for white? And if 22 BxR 23..RxB 24 Rfe1 win at least the exchange?
Feb-20-09  slomarko: white can indeed win the exchange that way but the position is similar to that of the game and he's too weak on the white squares to play for a win.

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