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Levon Aronian vs Hikaru Nakamura
Tata Steel Group A (2012), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 2, Jan-15
Dutch Defense: Leningrad. Warsaw Variation (A88)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Interesting: the World-vs-Timmerman game does *not* show up in the <find similar games> feature, though it should really be near the top. Maybe World games are excluded for some reason?

They have M Plomp vs A Kamenets, 2002 with 11.d5, and then the Korchnoi-Dolmatov game which I think was a key reason behind our decision to play Qb3-a3.

Jan-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "I think it was an interesting game and I'm happy I managed to win.

[Was it an easy win?]

No it was very complicated, lots of unclear things happened, I can't really say at any moment I thought that I'm better because it was very sharp. Only at that moment when he captured on c5 and then on e6 that I already had the feeling I have a clear advantage. Maybe I'm still overly-optimistic from a practical way of looking [at it] white has a clear plan while black is just suffering with his pieces."

- GM Levon Aronian

http://www.chess.co.uk/twic/chessne...

Jan-15-12  visayanbraindoctor: Seems exactly the type of game Aronian and Naka would play.
Jan-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: This kind of positional Queen sac for Rook, minor piece and some Pawns with lasting initiative is something that reminds me old "Soviet school". Nice game!
Jan-15-12  Marmot PFL: <Strongest Force: Aronian played great but methinks Nak gave a little help...LET'S GO GIANTS!>

Impressive day for both. Never easy to win at GB in winter. I'm sure the SF fans are happy too.

Jan-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Peligroso Patzer> Thanks for the info, and I looked it up http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Naka seems to favour A88, the Leningrad main line, some of the wins are against lesser opponents, loss again Kramnik and today.

Not sure exactly how that would interpret the usage of Dutch Defence on the highest level of chess play...

Jan-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <WannaBe: <Peligroso Patzer> Thanks for the info, and I looked it up http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... Naka seems to favour A88, the Leningrad main line, some of the wins are against lesser opponents, loss again Kramnik and today.

Not sure exactly how that would interpret the usage of Dutch Defence on the highest level of chess play...>

The Dutch has, indeed, been rarely used in recent years at the highest level.

A little over half a century ago, both Botvinnik and Bronstein used it, and the Dutch was the most frequently used opening (with seven [7] outings) in their 24-game WC title match in 1951. I don't think it has been used much at the highest level (i.e., WC matches) since then, although in Game #22 of the 1958 WC Rematch, Smyslov (in a must-win situation, trailing 9-12) employed the Stonewall Dutch: Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1958. It was not part of Smyslov's usual repertoire, and, in his notes, Botvinnik criticized the choice. (I don't have the book available at the moment, but Botvinnik's essential point was that in such an important game, thorough preparation should be given preference over surprise value.) Nevertheless, Smyslov did win that game. The match ended when Botvinnik achieved a 41-move draw (in a Reti) in Game #23.

Jan-15-12  capanegra: Regardless the frequency of the Dutch in high level competition, Nakamura played the opening very well, and at move 18 the machines were giving at least equality for Black. His first mistake was probable 18…Qa5 which allowed a quick development of White's queen Bishop with the gaining of a tempo and after some exchanges cleared the queen side on White's favour due to the inspired 24.Bxb7! (obviously Aronian had already decided to trade his ♕ for ♖♗♙ at that point). Even after that, White's supremacy was not entirely clear yet and it could probably have ended in a draw with more accurate play on Black's side.

My point is: IMHO Aronian won mostly because he played a great middle game, while Naka's failure has nothing to do with his opening choice of the Dutch.

Jan-15-12  Everett: A nice addition to Soltis' book "rethinking the chess pieces." One general rule he mentions when sacrificing one's queen for a mix of material is to make sure there are enough good pieces left on the board to coordinate. Aronian starts with 5, and is able to gain greater positional and material gains by the time Nakamura manages to exchange some pieces.

As far as Nakamura's choice of opening, I certainly would be confused playing a system that hails from three places at once.

Jan-15-12  lemaire90: Fascinating game, Naka totally outplayed. Waiting for kingscrusher's or Will Stewart's video annotation of this one !
Jan-15-12  VaselineTopLove: Anand should learn from Aronian how to beat Nakamura's Dutch...
Jan-16-12  King Death: < lemaire90: Fascinating game, Naka totally outplayed...>

Do you know something that Aronian doesn't? See his comments on this game above. This wasn't as clear as you make it out to be.

Jan-16-12  Kinghunt: <Do you know something that Aronian doesn't? See his comments on this game above. This wasn't as clear as you make it out to be.>

Let's see what Aronian said: <Only at that moment when he captured on c5 and then on e6 that I already had the feeling I have a clear advantage.>

Nakamura captured on c5 on move 31. The game lasted until about move 59. That means Aronian felt he had a clear advantage for half the game. And Nakamura didn't just lose it all with a single mistake. He kept repeatedly making suboptimal moves and Aronian kept punishing him for them. So a quarter theory, a quarter unclear, then half the game where Aronian definitely understood what was going on better than Nakamura.

Jan-16-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: What a magnificent game! Truly beautiful, relentless play.
Jan-16-12  4tmac: 31...Qf6! The Queen controls the board with threat ...f4 -- good game.
Jan-16-12  Ulhumbrus: Superb piece play on the part of Aronian, following the queen sacrifice. Instead of 25...Nc3, 25...Nc5! seems much better.
Jan-17-12  positionalgenius: Beautiful game
Jan-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I am impressed with Aronian's management of the opening. After 11...c5, 12.b4, my first reaction was: "doesn't that give the c5 square to the black knight, and opens the long diagonal that is supposed to be black's strength?" Aronian shows that nothing of that matters.
Jan-18-12  Shams: <Only at that moment when he captured on c5 and then on e6 that I already had the feeling I have a clear advantage.>

Position after 31...dxc5 and 32...Qxe6:


click for larger view

Jan-18-12  sreeskamp: Hurray for Nakamura to play the Dutch on this level! A subtle hommage to the home of this tournament.
Jan-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HAPERSAUD: the dutch should never win, well done aronian
Jan-19-12  King Sacrificer: I'm really fascinated by the coolness and harmony of play by Aronian after losing his Queen.

It's like he calculated every single move until the end.

Jan-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYeE...

Mar-05-12  zakkzheng: Nice exchange sacrifice
Jan-12-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Daniel ♔ has video-annotated this game, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...
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