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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Levon Aronian
Linares (2009), Linares ESP, rd 13, Mar-06
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-06-09  Cacoethes: Thank you CG for the extra game :)
Mar-06-09  ajile: supp?
Mar-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <chessgames.com> Thanks for the second broadcast. =)
Mar-06-09  Cacoethes: Just in time for the dancing rook... :P
Mar-06-09  shahjinan: its already done....Ivanchuk has won:)
Mar-06-09  Hesam7: Carlsen - Radjabov ?
Mar-06-09  hedgeh0g: Chucky wins a beautiful game.
Mar-06-09  Markovic Darko: Ivanchuk win
Mar-06-09  Billy Vaughan: Go Chucky! A good win that brings him to joint 1st place with one round left.
Mar-06-09  GreenFacedPatzer: I don't understand 32 ... Nf3+.

This move seems totally unforced, and loses a knight for no compensation I can see. What was Aronian thinking? Before this move, Aronian is under a lot of pressure, but it looks a if he might have a chance to hang on. After it, black seems utterly lost. Black's mate threat in the penultimate position (after 34 ... Qb5) is blockable in several ways. Surely not worth dropping a piece for.

But surely I'm missing something deeper. Was 32... Nf3+ forced somehow?

Mar-06-09  Ipecac: <GreenFacedPatzer: ...

But surely I'm missing something deeper. Was 32... Nf3+ forced somehow?>

Knight had 2 defenders (and couldnt get more) and 3 attackers, so it was lost anyway, Aronian could only choose where to lose it

Mar-06-09  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 16..Bb8, 16...g6 begins Botvinnik's plan of bringing the Black KB to h6 in order to prepare the advance ..d4, although White may attempt to prevent it eg 17 Bf3 Qe6 18 Ng2 Ne4 and ..f5 will follow
Mar-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: < GreenFacedPatzer: I don't understand 32 ... Nf3+. This move seems totally unforced, and loses a knight for no compensation I can see. What was Aronian thinking? Before this move, Aronian is under a lot of pressure, but it looks a if he might have a chance to hang on.>

By this stage the game is already lost anyway, since the knight cannot be saved (e.g. 32...Qc7 33.f4). Aronian should have tried 31...Nxc6, though after 32.Qe6+ Kf8 33.Rxc6 Qf7 White is still much better.

31...Re8? was the final mistake in a rather horrible game by Aronian - the pawn sac on move 19 doesn't seem justified (or was it a blunder as well?), though Black's position is already somewhat uncomfortable by then; 24...Qe7? allows White a forced (though not so easy to spot) win with 25.Nf5! gxf5 26.Nxf6+ Qxf6 27.Bxe5 Rxc2 28.Bxf6 Rxd1 29.Rxc2 Bd6 30.Rc8+ Bf8 31.Be7; and a few moves later there's another forced win for White, this time rather simple, with 28.f4 - and if 28...Nd7 then 29.Nc6 with the double threat of Nxd8 and Ne7+ if the rook escapes to c8 or f8.

Mar-06-09  Billy Vaughan: The knight's pinned to the Rook. There's no way to prevent losing it, so Aronian played what he thought might maximize his chances for a swindle: after 33. Qxf3 Re1+ 34. Kg2 Qb5 Aronian threatens checkmate. Of course, Ivanchuk saw it, but who knows, even solid players like Kramnik have been known to miss mates in one.
Mar-06-09  GreenFacedPatzer: Ipecac, Eyal, Billy Vaughan:

Thanks for the explanations clearing up the situation surrounding Nf3+. It seemed likely I wasn't seeing something. This accords with my experience: whenever I think I see a GM making a serious blunder, the real mistake (if there was one) is generally several moves earlier.

Mar-06-09  braimondi: Lol... I think Ivanchuk make it personal... he only win agains Aronian
Mar-07-09  notyetagm: http://chessmind.powerblogs.com/fil...

<24...Qe7?? Incredibly, Aronian spent 14 of his 22 remaining minutes on this move, and it's a blunder! Will Ivanchuk, with 33 minutes until the time control, find the winner?

25.Nxf6+? Lucky for Aronian, Ivanchuk missed (or miscalculated) it too. Still, White is winning, just as he was before the exchange of errors. <<<[25.Nf5! gxf5 26.Nxf6+ Qxf6 27.Bxe5 Rxc2 28.Bxf6 Rxd1 29.Rxc2 Bd6 30.Rc8+ Bf8 31.Be7 The end.]>>>>

So Ivanchuk missed the instantly winning 25 ♘d4-d5!, <CLEARANCE> to open the a1-h8 diagonal for the White b2-bishop.

Mar-07-09  Aspirador: This 25.Nf5 is not so strong just because computers go from +2 to +4. White gets a winning ending after that but 25.Nxf6+ is clearly winning as well. This is another one of those occasions where a GM "blunders" just because he missed a move that would increase the evaluation from +2 to +4.
Mar-08-09  notyetagm: Ivanchuk vs Aronian, 2009

< 31.Nc6 <<<Re8?? Strangely walking into a pin.>>> This time Ivanchuk does collect the point. [31...Nxc6 32.Qe6+ ]>

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