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Levon Aronian vs Peter Leko
"Levon a High Note" (game of the day Jun-02-2009)
4th FIDE Grand Prix (2009), Nalchik RUS, rd 13, Apr-29
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal. Gligoric System Bronstein Variation (E55)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-12-09  wharfrat: <Set No Escape On> There's a big difference between this game and Topalov's win over Aronian (which I thoroughly enjoyed, btw). Topalov's Exchange sacrifices were prepared at home and checked beforehand by his computers and his team of seconds. Aronian's was conceived over-the-board.
Jun-02-09  whatthefat: A wonderful pun given the circumstances under which this very interesting game was played. Congratulations to <bennytschet>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: At is a discussion of the phrase "leave on a high note."

Also at is a script from an old Seinfeld T.V. episode entitled the "burning" where Jerry and George discuss the meaning and importance of "leaving on a high note."

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I've added 34. Re5! to my "positional sacrifices" collection. This is indeed a wonderful beginning to the "high note" Aronian reached in ending this game with two decisive passed pawns.
Jun-02-09  furrer: <patzer2> That antonio guy is very funny!
Jun-02-09  likestofork: 54) Qg8+. That'll do donkey. That'll do.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <whatthefat: A wonderful pun given the circumstances under which this very interesting game was played. *** >

To elaborate for any one not familiar with the background, those circumstances were that this was a last-round encounter between the two players tied for the lead (with everyone else at least a full point behind, thus a draw would have guaranteed these players a two-way shared first place; nevertheless, both players chose to "go for broke" in this game.).

This was hardly Leko's first last-round disappointment, and not even the first time this particular opponent had dealt him a crucial last-round loss: Leko vs Aronian, 2006

Jun-02-09  randomsac: I remember seeing this game in the voting booth. It's nice seeing one of the games I backed win. Congrats <bennytschet>.
Jun-02-09  WhiteRook48: beautiful forced win
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <furrer> Yes, Antonio at my first link in my post above was amusing, but his disucssion was both entertaining and educational. Surprisingly, other than some slang definitions at the "Urban Dictionary" this was the only site I could easily find on google that attempted to offer a definition of the phrase "leaving on a high note."
Jun-02-09  lzromeu: Leko is winnning until the midle of the game, when the bishop pair shows your force in an open game and pass 2 pawns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Speaking of the meaning of "leaving or ending on a high note," Mariah Carey probably has about the highest and one of the broadest vocal range of any popular singer. Her song Emotions, which can be heard at, ends on about the highest note I've ever heard.

An interesting discussion of whether Mariah Carey has the highest or broadest vocal range can be found at, which indicates that in 2003 Mariah made the Guiness Book of World Records for the highest note ever recorded by a singer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: After 55 ♕g8+ ♕xg8 56 ♗xg8+ ♔xg8 57 d7 and the two connectors will end this one soonest.


Jun-02-09  superstoned: Love the way that bishop pair moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Well, according to, Mariah has been eclipsed by Brazilian and italian female singer Georgia Brown for the Guiness world record in reaching high notes and vocal range. A display of her vocal range can be viewed and heard at the G8 note she hits is worth the listen.
Jun-02-09  just a kid: Levon on a prayer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here at is an interesting short accapella selection by Georgia Brown in which she sings all fourty voices on different channels of a gospel song.
Jun-02-09  njchess: Tough game for Leko. Leko totally missed 21. ... N(6)d4. Then he proceeds to move his powerful light squared bishop off the long diagonal with 24. ... Bc4? (perhaps he was thinking he could play Ne2...) and only to move it back two moves later! Ugh.

He must have known he was floundering when he was forced to play the ugly 25. ... Ng6 (again the result of 24. ... Bc4). 33. ... Nc3? is the last mistake. From there, White just eliminates the opposition and marches the pawns.

Jun-02-09  SirChrislov: <patzer2>
hey, those voices were beautiful. haven't heard something like that in a long time. thanks, I really needed that.

I've always appreciated a beautiful female singing voice. My favorite is Laura Pausini, she's Italian, sings in 5 languages,

Jun-02-09  belgradegambit: He shall be Levon.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <SirChrislov> Thanks for sharing the entertaining Laura Pausini video. I had never heard her before, but I really enjoyed her and Blunt's duet in English and Italian.
Dec-11-10  notyetagm:
Jun-25-12  lemaire90: Wow, fascinating game.
Feb-21-13  chesssalamander: Love this game! It is this sort of enterprising, creative agressive chess that is the reason I am rooting for Levon in the Candidates!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Levon's exchange sac is simply sublime!! Fantastic!
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