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Magnus Carlsen vs Levon Aronian
Tata Steel Group A (2012), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 3, Jan-16
Queen's Gambit Declined: Charousek (Petrosian) Variation (D31)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-16-12  ceebo: I investigated the line given by Gypsy:
53...Rh1 54 Be7 Rh3 55 Ne5+ Kf5 56 Nd3 Rg3 57.Kc4 Rg4+ 58.Kb5 Rg3 <59.Nc1>

but I believe this last move allows Black to draw with 59...Rg7. The idea is that Black keeps on chasing the bishop: if the bishop leaves the h4-d8 diagnol then Black can win the h4 pawn; if the bishop goes to g5 then Black can sacrifice the rook for bishop and pawn and draw with his h-pawn. Example:

59...Rg7 60.Bd8 Rg8 61.Bg5 Rxg5 63.hxg5 Kxg5=


click for larger view

Instead I think a better move is <59.Nc5>. If Black tries 59...Rg7 then there is 60.Bd8 Rg8 61.Nb7! Kg4


click for larger view

Now 62.Kc4!! (not 62.Kxb4 Rxd8 63.Nxd8 Kxh4 which only draws!) and White seems to win. I'm sure there is still a lot to say about this position but the drawing idea with the perpetual bishop chase and the exchange sacrifice on g5 seems to at least have been thwarted.

A better defence by Black is 59...Rg4 but White can transpose into the previous line with 60.Bd8! Rd4 61.Bg5 Rg4 62.Be7 Rg7 63.Bd8 Rg8 64.Nb7 and again the bishop chase ends.

Jan-16-12  SuperPatzer77: <Gypsy: <al wazir: I think black could have drawn with 57...Rd1+ 58. Kc5 Rxd6+ 59. Kxd6.> 59...Kg4 60.b4 Kxh4 <61.Ne5>...


click for larger view

(a) 61...Kg3 62.Ng6...

(b) 61...Kg5 62.b5 h4 63.Nf3+...>

<Gypsy> Addition to your analysis of (b) 61...Kg5, 62. b5 Kf5 (instead of 62...h4), 63. b6 h4, 64. Nf3! h3 (forced), 65. b7 Kf4, 66. b8=Q Kxf3, 67. Qb7+! Kg3, 68. Qh1 See final position below::


click for larger view

SuperPatzer77

Jan-16-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <ceebo: I investigated the line given by Gypsy: 53...Rh1 54 Be7 Rh3 55 Ne5+ Kf5 56 Nd3 Rg3 57.Kc4 Rg4+ 58.Kb5 Rg3 <59.Nc1>

but I believe this last move allows Black to draw with 59...Rg7. The idea is that Black keeps on chasing the bishop: if the bishop leaves the h4-d8 diagnol then Black can win the h4 pawn; if the bishop goes to g5 then Black can sacrifice the rook for bishop and pawn and draw with his h-pawn. Example:

59...Rg7 60.Bd8 Rg8 61.Bg5 Rxg5 63.hxg5 Kxg5=

click for larger view

Instead I think a better move is <59.Nc5>. >

Your <59.Nc5> may very well be better than the <59.Nc1>, but the latter move still seems good enough. Starting with

<53...Rh1 54 Be7 Rh3 55 Ne5+ Kf5 56 Nd3 Rg3 57.Kc4 Rg4+ 58.Kb5 Rg3 <59.Nc1>>

and now going with

<59...Rg7>,

I was thinking of

<60.Bxb4>.

If Black still insists on trading the rook for the B and h-pawn,

<60...Rb7+ 61.Kc4 Rxb4 62.Kxb4 Kg4>,

then

<63.Nd3 Kxh4 64.Nf4...>

yields an elementary win.


click for larger view

Jan-16-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Gypsy> I've been investigating 59...Nc1 too. I think that one is a draw.

"ceebo: I investigated the line given by Gypsy:
53...Rh1 54 Be7 Rh3 55 Ne5+ Kf5 56 Nd3 Rg3 57.Kc4 Rg4+ 58.Kb5 Rg3 <59.Nc1>"

After 59...Nc1 White does not try to guard the b pawn, but goes after the h pawn with the King.

60 Rg7 Bxb4 61 Kg4 Kc4 62 Rc7+ Bc5 63 Kxh4 Kd5 and the h pawn will cost White a piece after Kh3-g2-h4-h3 etc

At least that is what Houdini gives at 32 ply.

Jan-17-12  HectorChess: Why 9.)Qd2? Why not 9.)Bd3 directly?
What's the point of losing a tempo with 9.)Qd2???
Jan-17-12  Shams: <HectorChess> Carlsen did not intend to offer a trade of LSBs when he played 9.Qd2. Instead he was keeping open the option of g2-g4 driving back Black's bishop and keeping pieces on the board. After ...h7-h5, though, there is no other way to challenge the Bf5 but with 10.Bd3. As <Ulhumbrus> noted back on page 2 of this thread, the argument is that Black's positional concession at least offsets White's loss of tempo.
Jan-17-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <tamar> Wow, I am again amazed what that "Tal's rook" can accomplish if guided by an expert hand. Given the authority behind the variation, I will not try to poke holes in its tactics. But if you could ask Mr. Houdini what he sees after

... 59.Nc1 Rg7 60.Bxb4 Kg4 61.<Be1> ... (in place of 61.Kc4)

posterity would be obliged.

(Thx!)

Jan-17-12  Gogia: just wondering if 2851 will be broken this year
Jan-17-12  ceebo: <Gypsy> there is Rd7 threatening to fork the awkwardly placed pieces on c1 and e1. There seems to be no way to save the h-pawn according to Stockfish.
Jan-17-12  amateur05: I think I understand why Kasparov was so pleased with Carlsen for his win in this game. Nothing special was done, he just emerged with a decisive advantage from the opening and slowly converted it with some inaccuracies.

This goes to show how good Kaspy's knowledge in the openings is, especially in the queen's gambit.

Garry's kids - Aronian 2:0 in the queen's gambit.

Jan-17-12  Whitehat1963: Call me crazy, but I would have played on. How does white grab the pawn without losing a piece? And even if he can, a K+B+N v. K ending is extremely difficult. I'm sure Carlsen can do it, but I say make him.
Jan-17-12  ceebo: Maybe 52...Ra6 draws? Let me throw out some computer lines:

52...Ra6 53.Ne7+ Kf7 54.Bxb4 Ra1


click for larger view

Black has lost the b-pawn but the idea is that White cannot keep hold of both the b-pawn and the h-pawn. I don't think that White can win without the b-pawn and if he instead loses the h-pawn then Black gets a passed pawn and it looks very difficult to win.

White can try something like 55.Nf5 Rh1 56.Bc5 Rh3+ 57.Kf4 Rxb3 58.Kg5


click for larger view

White will win the h-pawn but after consulting some online tablebases I don't think that the endgame of knight, bishop and h-pawn vs rook is winning if the defending king is well placed.

Alternatively, 55.Nc6 Rh1 56.Ne5+ Ke8 (only move) 57.Nf3


click for larger view

Now black can attack the pawns from b1 and h1 and White must choose which pawn he wants to give up.

Another alternative is 53.Ne5+ Kf5 54.Nc4 Kg4 55.Bxb4 Re6+ but this also seems drawn.

Jan-17-12  ceebo: 52...Ra6 53.Ne7+ Kf7 54.Bxb4 Ra1 55.Bc5 Rh1 56.b4 Ke6 57.b5 Rh3+ seems to draw as well
Jan-17-12  HectorChess: Thanks <Shams>. I agree with your point of view.
Jan-17-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  lostemperor: <Gypsy> of course!
Jan-17-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <ceebo> the 52...Ra6 line looks like a good idea if White has to give up the b Pawn. However: 52...Ra6 53. Ne7+ Kf7 54. Bxb4 Ra1 55. Nf5 intending Nd4 looks like White is going to lose the h Pawn.

I'm working on:
52..Ra6 53. Ne7+ Kf7 54. Bxb4 Ra1 55. Nf5 Rb1 56. Nd4 Rh1 57. Ba5 Rxh4


click for larger view

Jan-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "Both were out of book early in the game today. I must admit I wasn't sure what was going on in the opening but managed to find some good moves. Aronian, who is 2nd ranked in the world, tried to create activity without really succeeding.

<I had a winning position when I went for <34.exf7+>> (instead of winning the exchange with e7) and had calculated the game continuation with bishop and knight against rook until his <43.....g5!> which I had missed. I thought white should still be winning although it was a very complicated ending.

After 6 hours play he resigned and I'm in the sole lead with 2.5/3. Have had 3 long games thus far and I'm looking forward to the first free day Wednesday. But first black against Caruana tomorrow (who is shared 2nd with Aronian and Radjabov)."

Magnus Carlsen, Wijk, Jan. 16th 2012
http://www.arcticsec.no/index.php?b...

Jan-18-12  ceebo: <OhioChessFan> After 52...Ra6 53. Ne7+ Kf7 54. Bxb4 Ra1 55. Nf5 I agree that <55...Rb1> is losing since after 56.Nd4 Rh1 57.Ba5 Rxh4 58.Nf3 Rh1 59.Be1 Black must lose the pawn by playing 59...h4 in order to prevent the Rook from being trapped.

However, after 55...Rh1 56.Nd4 Rxh4 there are no such difficulties and I believe that Black can keep his h-pawn and draw.

Jan-18-12  ceebo: Another relevant line is probably 52...Ra6 53.Ne7+ Kf7 54.Bxb4 Ra1 55.Nf5 Rh1 56.Kd4 Rh3 57.Kc4 Kf6 58.Nd4 Rxh4 and now the Knight is pinned so that 59.Be7+ Kxe7 60.Nf5+ does not work.
Jan-18-12  Ulhumbrus: The move 12...a5 may be the losing mistake because it makes the position more dangerous for Black's King in every part of the board.

On the chessdom website GM Naiditsch says of the position after Carlsen has set up a pawn centre that Aronian has no counterplay at all.

This gives us an indication of the explanation for Aronian's defeat.

After White has set up his pawn centre, Aronian has, by playing the flank pawn advances ...h5 and ...a5, made it more difficult for Black to play the pawn advances ...f7-f5 or ...c7-c5 so as to attack White's centre.

Another thing is that after 15 e4 the move 15...dxe4 concedes the centre and an advantage in space to White. It is a suboptimal move according to the chessdom analysis. An alternative to 15...dxe4 is to try to hold on to the centre by eg 15...Nb6.

It is true that whatever Black does choose at move 15, by having played the flank pawn advances ...h5 and ...c5 he has made it more difficult for himself to play the pawn advances ...f7-f5 or ...c7-c5 or ....f7-f6 against White's centre.

Jan-18-12  kappertjes: <<I had a winning position when I went for <34.exf7+>> (instead of winning the exchange with e7) and had calculated the game continuation with bishop and knight against rook until his <43.....g5!> which I had missed. I thought white should still be winning although it was a very complicated ending. >

if this refers to 46. ... g5 I wonder if he means he calculated it from 34. exf all the way to 46, a 24-odd ply (if mostly forced) continuation. I remember him spending a while before 38. Bc1 but if that was mere checking of previous calculation it is impressive he could find and calculate through the Bc1 move already at 34.

All in all a lovely game and best you can hope for. I agree with this, which is what I was fearing somewhat before the game: <Penguincw: At least it wasn't boring like last time: Aronian vs Carlsen, 2011.>

Jan-18-12  frogbert: during the game i first thought he couldn't have relied on Bc1 in advance, since that option isn't there unless aronian errs with Kh8. after Kg7 instead white doesn't win a piece on f6. of course, he still could've anticipated the possibility. houdini was quite undecided between e7 and exf7+ with the latter potentially allowing more tricks, with queens still on.
Jan-18-12  Kinghunt: <Whitehat1963> One continuation would be 68...Kh1 69. b8Q Rxb8 70. Kxb8 and whatever black does next, Nf3 followed by Nh2 (or Nxh2). The black pawn can't move and the white king is free to walk on over, capture it, and then begin mating. And while mating with knight and bishop is difficult for us mortals, for Carlsen it's a piece of cake (and Aronian knew this).
Jan-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <ceebo: After 52...Ra6 53. Ne7+ Kf7 54. Bxb4 Ra1 55. Nf5 I agree that <55...Rb1> is losing since after 56.Nd4 Rh1 57.Ba5 Rxh4 58.Nf3 Rh1 59.Be1 Black must lose the pawn by playing 59...h4 in order to prevent the Rook from being trapped. However, after 55...Rh1 56.Nd4 Rxh4 there are no such difficulties and I believe that Black can keep his h-pawn and draw.>

I didn't have time to pursue that yesterday. Yes, you found the amazing zugzwangish position where Black must push h4. Maybe Rybka is better, but my Fritz10 is about worthless here.

Jan-18-12  ceebo: <OhioChessFan> I used Stockfish but I reprogrammed it so that it penalises White if he ever loses the b-pawn. Otherwise it was always too happy to go into an ending with knight, bishop and h-pawn vs rook which I don't think can be won.
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