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Levon Aronian vs Andrei Istratescu
European Team Championship (2009), Novi Sad SRB, rd 2, Oct-23
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-23-09  zealouspawn: aronian is a magician for winning this game after move 26.
Oct-23-09  MindBoggle: Amazing endgame play by Levon.
Oct-23-09  Everett: Everything is nearly forced after move 26, so I do not think this is more than solid chess playing by white. Of course it takes a GM of Aronian's ability to recognize it.

White's play along the 7th rank comes much more quickly and easily compared to black's.

Black could consider 26..Rxa2 first, though white still has a much more active set of rooks. Black's idea of protecting the b-pawn from the front does not prevent white from dominating the 7th. White greatly benefits from being able to use the f3 square for the rook, a move that cannot be mirrored by black. A rook on f3 for white protects f2 while attacking f7. That's simply superior placement.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Everything is nearly forced after move 26>

Not quite - Black's collapse seems to occur on moves 35-36. First, 35...Rgd6 should be better than Rg4 - it might be counter-intuitive to give up the g7 pawn with White's rooks on the 7th, but the black rook would be much better placed and it's not easy to see how White makes progress after 36.Rxg7+ Kh6. Then, 36...Rf2 is definitely a mistake, allowing the tactics of 37.Rg6! (37...Rxg6 38.fxg6+, winning the rook on f2); moves like 36...Rd8 or Kg8 should have been better.

39...Kh7 instead of Rxf5, on the other hand, is also losing by force, though it might have put somewhat more of a challenge for White - 40.Kh4 Rxh2+ 41.Kg5 Rh3 42.g4! etc.

Oct-23-09  Everett: Thank you <Eyal>, for the endgame lesson!
Oct-24-09  notyetagm: 36 ... ♖d2-f2?

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37 ♖c6-g6!

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<Eyal: ... Then, 36...Rf2 is definitely a mistake, allowing the tactics of <<< 37.Rg6! (37...Rxg6 38.fxg6+, winning the rook on f2);>>> moves like 36...Rd8 or Kg8 should have been better.>

37 ... ♖g4x♖g6?? 38 f5x♖g6+

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Oct-24-09  notyetagm: For another example of the tactical idea underlying Aronian's brilliant 37 ♖c6-g6!, in my Game Collection: If only I could move my pawn *DIAGONALLY*, consider the following:

Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1889

18 ?

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18 ♕f3-g3!

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18 ... ♕h4x♕g3 19 h2x♕g3 <trapped piece>

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Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
37 Rc6-g6! Aronian brilliantly hangs rook off of White f5-pawn
from If only I could move my pawn *DIAGONALLY* by notyetagm
36 ... Rf2-d2? undefended Black f2-rook allows 37 Rc6-g6! +-
from There are -ALWAYS- threats to undefended pieces by trh6upsz
Aronian takes *both* Black rooks: 38 f5xRg6+ CHECK, 39 Rf7xRf2
from A FORCING MOVE lets you make *two* moves in a ro by notyetagm
7th heaven and more
from 95_Neglected {RR} endgames by whiteshark

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