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Viswanathan Anand vs Levon Aronian
Chess Classic Mainz (rapid) (2009) (rapid), Mainz GER, rd 1, Jul-31
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation. Pin Defense (D12)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-31-09  percyblakeney: Around move 20-25 Anand was pressing for the win and was well ahead on the clock but then something went very wrong somehow and Aronian keeps doing well against Anand.
Jul-31-09  laskersteinitz: What's the deal with Black exchanging his two bishops for White's knights? I thought bishops were better than knights.
Jul-31-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eisenheim: anand seemed to try to trap the rook in his own camp and use the bishops to slice into it. aronian avoided the trap and the horse gallanted around gobbling up pawns. laskerstein - of course it all depends on the situation whether bishops or knights are better. generally, in an open position towards the latter part of the game, the bishop pair can dominate - in a closed position the horse may have the advantage. in this game, anand never found good places for the bishops, and the knights took control of the board.
Aug-01-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Looked like white's two weak pawns were a bigger liability than white having the Bishop pair. In trying to save one pawn, he lost them both.
Aug-01-09  EdgeFor15: This is huge game by black, I think. In my opinion Qb3 and Qf3 are somewhat waste of time in these sort of positions. In this game white plays both Qf3 and Qb3. The humble Qe2 is possibly the strongest queen move in the opening. 16... Bxc3 is quite a move. Black gives up his remaining bishop even without provocation (a3).
Aug-01-09  Hovik2009: Levon keeps beating the world champion in a cake-walk, specially with black pieces, so if it was the old days he had the right to call for a match to take the title, which rightfully belongs to him anyway!

(PS: behold, me and Levon are back again!)

Aug-01-09  jmboutiere: 6.Qf3 +0.33 (rybka 3)
10.cxd5 0.22
10.Qe2 0.18
10.Rb1 0.20
10Qd1 0.22
12.Qb3 0.24
16.Bf1 +0.09
17. ...Qa4 +0.24 19.Bc5 +0.08
26.f3 0.41
26.Re1 - 0.24 Ncd6 - 0.04
27.Bd3 - 0.04 27.Ba3 - 0.63 28.Bf1-0.77
29.Bc1 -1.05
31.b4 -1 , 31.Rad1 - 1.55
36.g4 - 1.31 , 41.Bg2 -1.27 41.h4 -2.53
Aug-01-09  percyblakeney: <26.f3 0.41
26.Re1 - 0.24>

That's where Anand started to go wrong.

Aug-01-09  jmboutiere: I think 4....Bg4 was a surprise for Anand
Aug-01-09  donehung: wow levon rips apart the world champ with his knights
Aug-01-09  Ulhumbrus: After 17 bxc3 Qd5! Black plays to place his Knights on d5 and c4 eg 18 g3 Qd7 19 Bg2 Nd5 20 a4 Nc4. One question is whether White can upset this plan by the pawn sacrifice d5 eg 17 bxc3 Qd5 18 g3 Qd7 19 d5 Nxd5 20 c4
Aug-02-09  ryumico93: Qxf4 is mot good
Aug-04-09  Ulhumbrus: <percyblakeney: <26.f3 0.41 26.Re1 - 0.24>

That's where Anand started to go wrong.>

If this is correct, it suggests an interesting question: Why is it right for White to part with one of his bishops for a Black knight?

On 26 Re1 White can hardly avoid it as 26..Ncd6 attacks the bishop which defends the b pawn.

After 23...Rc2 Black does have one compensation for the two bishops: a Rook on the seventh rank. If other things are equal, this is equal in value to a pawn , or the difference between two bishops and two knights, so that White has then in fact no overall advantage.

If after 26 f3 Nxc5 27 dxc5 Black can gain little with his Rook, he has then little compensation for White's having a superior minor piece.

So the justification for conceding one of the bishops for a knight is that (1) It is difficult to avoid anyway and (2) It devalues Black's compensation for White's bishops, his Rook on the second rank.

The computer can be instructive if one tries to find reasons for its recommendations.

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