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Alexander Grischuk vs Levon Aronian
World Championship Candidates (2011) (rapid), Kazan RUS, rd 1, May-09
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack. Two Knights Defense Blockade Line (D37)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-09-11  chessaddict25: what the hell happened to Aronian?
May-09-11  Yodaman: Apparently Aronian wasn't read for blitz.
May-11-11  IRONCASTLEVINAY: complete washout
May-16-11  310metaltrader: Jeez, this play looks like mine in a 5 minute game.
May-29-11  hiruka753: at 25 why black ate d5 knight? shouldn't he had to aviod the queen??
May-29-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <hiruka753: at 25 why black ate d5 knight? shouldn't he had to aviod the queen??>


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Black must lose material whatever he plays. The attacked queen has only two safe squares: b5 and a7. In either case, White will play 26.Nxf6+ Nxf6 27.Nc6, which will win the exchange.

So the real question is: why does Black prefer to give up his queen for rook+knight instead of the exchange? Here's the position after 25...Qa7 26.Nxf6+ Nxf6 27.Nc6 Qa6 28.Nxa5 Qxa5:


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In a mechanical "point count", White is the equivalent of two pawns ahead (R vs. N). But his pieces not only have more power; they also have the potential to work together well. In particular, the rooks can quickly double on the 7th or 8th rank, cooperating in an attack on Black's king.

Now look at the game position after 25...Nxd5 26.Rxc5 Rxc5 27.Nxd5 Rxd5


click for larger view

Now Black is behind the equivalent of one pawn (Q vs. R+N). More importantly, he has better chances to defend if he can coordinate his pieces. Notice, for instance, how he doubles his own rooks as the game goes on.

Another advantage of this line for Black is that much of the queen's power is wasted. She is at her best threatening targets all over the board, so that the lesser pieces have trouble keeping up. Here, most of the ensuing play will occur on just one side of the board, making it easier for the slower pieces to defend a smaller area.

This is not to say that Black can save the game position, but it gives him better chances for resistance. The technique required to win such positions can be difficult, and it's interesting to follow a successful example.

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