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Levon Aronian vs Alexander Grischuk
World Championship Candidates (2011) (rapid), Kazan RUS, rd 1, May-09
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Botvinnik System Reversed (A37)  ·  0-1



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Given 12 times; par: 82 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-09-11  Refused: Ouch, Nimzovich would have enjoyed that game. Superior Knight and more elastic rooks. At the end Aronian was just a sitting Duck there waiting for the hammer to go down on him.
May-09-11  Per: All the favourites will soon be gone!
May-09-11  ahmadov: There will be only one person left... And he might not be a favourite...
May-09-11  sevenseaman: All decisive games so far have been won from the Black side and all three, specifically this and Kamsky's were rather played well and with some courage.

No tell who will land up being the challenger.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Well played by Grischuk, but this was only a shadow of the Aronian we've seen in recent months.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: Black's position after move 11 is the Botvinnik Formation, a personal favorite of mine during my playing days. Naturally, I always enjoy seeing my pet opening triumph at the highest levels of the game, but Grischuk's treatment of the Botvinnik strikes me as very strange; in my time, practitioners of the Botvinnik with either Black or White kept the minors on the board for as long as possible, and the one thing they never did was swap off the good Bishop whilst retaining the poor one. 13...Rac8 was also an oddity; typical would have been something like 13...Rb8; 14.a3,a6; 15.b4,cxb4; 16.axb4,b5; 17.cxb5,axb5. Either this old dog needs to learn new tricks, or Aronian played a truly awful game.
May-09-11  IRONCASTLEVINAY: white's moves of knight on no.7 to no.9
I never seen it before.
I think It blocks the king pawn without any reason
May-09-11  BobbyFissure: Up until around the last ten moves I was thinking it was a dead draw. Shows what I know..
May-09-11  Marmot PFL: Not too fond of 21 g4 here. a3 and b4 seems more typical for the English.
May-10-11  ganstaman: <IRONCASTLEVINAY: white's moves of knight on no.7 to no.9 I never seen it before.
I think It blocks the king pawn without any reason>

If you watch the game for 2 moves longer, you will see the reason.

May-11-11  lost in space: The move sequence Nf3-Ne1-Nc2-Ne3-Nd5 is know at least since the times of Botwinnik.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: This was a "Rapid game" - does that mean 30 minutes each ?!
May-20-11  M.D. Wilson: Very disappointing outcome for Levon. He played rather nervously, I think. In a longer match, he would have crushed Grishuk. Anand will retain the Title for the foreseeable future.
May-27-11  onlinechesslessons: @kingscrusher: This was a "Rapid game" - does that mean 30 minutes each ?!

The time control was 25 minutes w/ a 5 second increment per move. I recently covered this game in a video analysis at:

Thanks to chessgames for allowing me to post here and also for compiling all of these games. Please let me know if you would like me to cover a specific topic!

May-30-11  ReikiMaster: 47...Rxg1+ 48.Rxg1 Qxe4+ also wins.
Jan-10-12  master of defence: Is a good game. I have the following line: 48. Qxh3 Nxh3 49. Kh2 Nxg1 50. Rxg1 Rxg1 51. Kxg1 Kg7 52. Kg2 Kg6 53. Kh3 Kg5 and white loses his g4-pawn and the game.
Apr-07-13  Everett: <An Englishman > I, too, play this system, quite extensively, and am also curious about Grischuk's treatment. Upon closer inspection, there are some things to notice..

With the exchange if LSBs, Aronian would be expected to play e4 at some point, yet this offers Grischuk the hook to play ..f5 later. Strangely, or not, the lack of LSBs leaves White with less counterplay if Black pawn- storms. After 17..f5, White doesn't have a LSB to free if he played <18.exf5 gxf5>, and would now have a half-open g-file leading directly to his King .It seems Aronian has to give ground.

Regarding the 13..Rac8 follow- up to the exchange of LSBs, we need to look at Aronian's possible plan of playing b4. If he does so now, Grischuk could answer <14.b4 cxb4 15.Nxb4 d5> and all of a sudden Nc3 is loose. Also, e4 could also be in the cards to free the DSB.

All in all some pretty instructive Queenside Stonewall play from Grischuk.

BTW, I haven't checked out the Kingscrusher video. Wonder if I got some things right...

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