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Boris Gelfand vs Levon Aronian
Tal Memorial (2009), Moscow RUS, rd 6, Nov-11
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Wade Variation Larsen Variation (D47)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-11-09  Rachit: Looks like it took quite some time for Aronion to sink in that its a goner...
Nov-11-09  17.Bxg7: That 24..Rf5?! and 25..Nf6? moves from Aronian shows the kind of play Aronian is capable to do when he is in good form. Sounds contradictory, but almost in every tournament Aronian plays, even at his best, he always has phantom games like this :(
Nov-11-09  japz12: 17.Nd6!! It triggered the attack.
Nov-11-09  SamAtoms1980: As a fellow Jew, I am pleased that Gelfand managed to win his first decisive game.
Nov-11-09  Eyal: Until 24.Nc4 they were actually repeating a couple of previous games - Vaganian vs L E Johannessen, 2003 and Vaganian-Klimov 2003 (not in this database); in the latter Black played 24...Bb5, which might be the best move. Instead, Aronian's 24...Rf5? simply leads to the loss of a pawn after 25.Qg3 with the double threat of Ne5 and Bxh6.

Then, several moves later, 28...Qe7? should have allowed Gelfand to finish the game more quickly with 29.Ne3! and now either 29...Rh5 30.Qxg7+! Qxg7 31.Bxg7 Kxg7 32.Rxc6 with two pawns up, or 29...Be8 30.Nxf5 exf5 31.Qg5 and White ends with a rook + 2 or 3 pawns and positional advantage for the two minor pieces (e.g. 31...Rd6 32.Rfe1 Qd7 33.Bxg7 Qxg7 34.Qxf5, or 31...Kf8 32.Rfe1 gxh6 33.Qxh6+ Qg7 34.Qh4). It must have been an off-day for Aronian, who is usually such a tactical wizard.

41...Rb1 (better was Rc5) is very nicely refuted by 42.g4! (not 42.Rxa5? Rb2+ and the white king would be trapped in perpetual check, e.g. 43.Kg3 Be4), since 42...Rb2+ 43.Kg3 Rxa2 44.g5+ Kg6 45.Ng2 obliges Black to give up the exchange by 45...Rxg2 so as not to get mated by 46.Nh4+ Kh5 47.Rh7#. A couple of moves later, 44...Rb2+ Ke3 would also entangle the black king in a mating net (Rf7#).

In the final position, Black resigns because after 66...Kd6 67.Rh1 (or 67.b4) he's in zugzwang - the king has to move and relinquish the opposition, letting the white king cross over to the 5th rank, either to e5 (supporting the h-pawn) or to c5 (supporting the b-pawn).

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think black wins the same way with Rh5, forcing black to decide on whether to block the passed b pawn, or defend against the passed h pawn.
Nov-11-09  JohnBoy: <SamAtoms> - I find your comment offensive and obnoxious.
Nov-11-09  luzhin: JohnBoy, SamAtoms' comment was certainly gratuitous and irrelevant; but as a matter of interest, if it had been Aronian who had won his first game and someone had kibitzed:'As an Armenian, I am pleased that Aronian has won his first decisive game', would you have found that 'offensive and obnoxious'? I wouldn't.
Nov-11-09  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 19...f6 is 19...f5 eg 20 Bd2 a5
Nov-11-09  laskersteinitz: I see no problem whatsoever with SamAtoms' comment. Note: I am not Jewish or Armenian.
Nov-11-09  ajile: <SamAtoms1980: As a fellow Jew, I am pleased that Gelfand managed to win his first decisive game.>

As a fellow homo sapien I'm also pleased that Gelfand managed to win his first decisive game.

Nov-11-09  ycbaywtb: as a fellow chess player, i am pleased that Gelfand won a fine game (not sure why someone would bother being offended that he won a game, very strange) <<<<< JohnBoy: - I find your comment offensive and obnoxious.>>>>>
Nov-11-09  tonsillolith: <JohnBoy> I see your avatar is that of a yin yang, which is a symbol of Asian origin. I need to know whether you have Asian heritage so I can properly decide whether or not I should get offended.
Nov-11-09  Shams: Since Jews have had hands down the most disproportionate success in chess, I took <SamAtoms1980>'s comment as either silly and obtuse or as deadpan irony-- like the Jewish-American tv actor Brad Garrett joking in his award acceptance speech a few years back that Jews were finally breaking through the glass ceiling in Hollywood. In either case, one must make some effort to be offended at the comment.
Nov-11-09  znnnk: isn't Aronian jewish as well?
Nov-11-09  shintaro go: This effectively ruins Aronians chance to win the tournament.
Nov-12-09  think: At first I thought 42. ... Rb2+ 43. Kg3 Rxa2 was possible, but then I saw 44. g5+ Kg6 45. Ng2, which looks like it wins the exchange due to the threat of Nh4+ and Rh7#. Is this line accurate?
Nov-12-09  kurtrichards: 25. ... Nf6. Anything wrong if Aronian moved 25. ... Kh7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Gelfand seems to be strangely underrated here. Gelfand is a very VERY strong player - maybe not world champion material, but always dangerous for any top player, especially when he is in the mood. IMO his scores are determined by the mood he is in, and that may vary a good deal.
Nov-12-09  arsen387: according to Rybka during the live broadcast of the game 15...Nc3 instead of O-O would give Aronian a tiny edge
Nov-12-09  spotkicker: 15...Nc3 16.bxc3 Qxd3 17.cxb4 Bxb4 18.Nf3 Qxd1 19.Rxd1 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Rd8 21.Rxd8 Kxd8 I think if black did it he wouldn't have so many problem for his defense.
Nov-12-09  spotkicker: After 15..Nc3 16.bxc3 Qxd3 17.cxb4 Bxb4 18.Nf3 Qxd1 19.Rxd1 black should play 19...Bc3 even! 20.Rb1 Bxf3 21.gxf3 Bxe5 22.Rb7 but I don't think white has enough attack instead of lost pawn. But there is a problem. 22.Ba3!! and black king is the middle of the board and White's attack. So 19...Bxf3 20.gxf3 is safer for black than 19...Bc3.
Nov-12-09  Eyal: <25. ... Nf6. Anything wrong if Aronian moved 25. ... Kh7?> As I've mentioned in my previous post, it loses to 26.Ne5. That's why 24...Rf5? was a mistake, 25.Qg3 creating a double threat.

<An alternative to 19...f6 is 19...f5 eg 20 Bd2 a5> It's an alternative - but probably not a good one, since then Black cannot contest White's center and dislodge the powerful knight from d6, which is the point of f6. Btw, 19...f6 has been played in all of the 11 games in this line included in CG database, and 24/26 in chessbase database (the remaining 2 feature Qb6).

Nov-13-09  KamikazeAttack: Aronian played solidly in Tal until this game. He dipped for some reason and paid the price.
Nov-18-09  Plato: <Sokrates: Gelfand seems to be strangely underrated here. Gelfand is a very VERY strong player - maybe not world champion material, but always dangerous for any top player, especially when he is in the mood. IMO his scores are determined by the mood he is in, and that may vary a good deal.>

Again, <Sokrates>, I couldn't have said it better myself!

Although I did say:

Vladimir Kramnik

<Plato: < He is a very underrated player (by the fans) and is not at all easy to beat.>

I agree. Gelfand has been a top 10 player for about 20 years now!>

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