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Levon Aronian vs Fabiano Caruana
Tal Memorial (2012), Moscow RUS, rd 9, Jun-18
Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Goglidze Attack (D70)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <watwinc> No. Going into the last round Caruana had 5, Carlsen and Radjabov had 4.5, and Kramnik and others had 4. Since Carlsen won, Kramnik can't catch him.
Jun-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <master of defence: Like i said, 53...Kxd5 was the decisive blunder. 53... Qd1+ 54.Kb2 Qxd5 and black could survive>

55.Qc5+ Qxc5 56.bxc5 Kxc5 57.Kc3 wins. Black was lost long before 53...Kxd5.

Jun-18-12  Ulhumbrus: If you want to see the remaining games, here is a link to the live games on the TWIC website: http://twiclive.com/silverlive.htm
Jun-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Interesting. In the press conference Aronian is saying that Caruna should have grabbed the pawn with 19...Bxc3 and 20...Qxe4+. Aronian also said he (Aronian) was playing "rubbish" later on.
Jun-18-12  xenophon: sorry if being stupid-what happens after 40...Rc3
Jun-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <what happens after 40...Rc3>

White is winning after 41.R6f3! - there's the threat of Qe5+, and if Black exchanges rooks on f3 White's attack is also winning (with ideas of Bxe6, Qf6+, or h5), especially considering the material advantage he already has.

Jun-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Eyal: <FSR: <Eyal: It's not <that> simple, but after 38.Qe5 Qc2+ 39.Ka1 Qc1+ 40.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 41.Ka2 Rxd5 (41...b3+ 42.Bxb3) 42.Rxg6+! (42.exd5?? b3#) 42...Kf8>

No, no. Caruana has a deep trap. In your line, 41...b3+! 42.Bxb3 axb3+ 43.Kxb3 Nc5+ 44.Kb4 Nd3+ wins the queen!>

But White has 44.Ka2... Anyway, it was a rather tricky line tactically.>

D'oh! Quite right. I managed to have a <double> hallucination. I thought that 44.Qxc5 was impossible because of the bishop on d5 (no longer there). I also failed to appreciate that with Black's a- and b-pawns gone the king can now retreat to a2. My visualization is not the best.

Jun-18-12  Everett: <FSR: A fine performance by Aronian. btw, why are people playing 3.f3 these days? I thought that the Saemisch King's Indian was considered defused by the ...c5 gambit line?>

This is a Gruenfeld, not a KID

Jun-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Nice job by Aronian. I feel a little bad for Caruna--case of the nerves? This probably would have been his biggest tournament victory. Anyway, Carlsen was really tough this tournament, no losses. He knocked off McShane and deserved to win the event.
Jun-18-12  frogbert: caruana will win more big tournament victories for sure, so no need to worry on his behalf. the more strong players at the top, the better for chess, imho. :o)
Jun-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Everett: <FSR: A fine performance by Aronian. btw, why are people playing 3.f3 these days? I thought that the Saemisch King's Indian was considered defused by the ...c5 gambit line?>

This is a Gruenfeld, not a KID>

Of course. My point is that if Caruana had played 3...d6 or 3...0-0, Aronian would have been more or less forced to play 4.e4, transposing to a Saemisch King's Indian.

Jun-18-12  Ulhumbrus: The move 15 Be2!! may have been a masterly piece of preparation on the part of Aronian. GM Naiditsch is supposed to have said that he could not see its purpose. Yet it induced Caruana to make a reply which caused Caruan to fall back in development and so led to a winning positional advantage for Aronian
Jun-18-12  Calar: <FSR: Of course. My point is that if Caruana had played 3...d6 or 3...0-0, Aronian would have been more or less forced to play 4.e4, transposing to a Saemisch King's Indian.>

Still, not all players are comfortable playing King's Indian. And some simply don't like gambiting material in opening (6...c5), despite having compensation.

Jun-18-12  Shams: <FSR><Calar> But 6...c5 in the Saemisch KID is nearly universally declined by White players. Is it really true that even declined, this line is toothless for White? I thought it was still doing fine.
Jun-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <FSR> Btw, I've noticed that in the press conference Aronian mentioned that he calculated this line during the game: 38.Qe5 Qc2+ 39.Ka1 Qc1+ (interestingly, after 39...Rxd5 they both missed the quick mate 40.Rxf7+ Kg8 41.Qg7+! Nxg7 42.Rf8#) 40.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 41.Ka2 Rxd5 42.Rxg6+ Kf8 43.Qh8+ Ke7 44.Rxe6+ fxe6 45.Qf6+:


click for larger view

But at this point he wasn't sure, because even if he takes on b4 Black has Rdd1 with unpleasant mating threats. Here Caruana spotted the winning idea, in which the queen defends the a1 square: 45...Ke8 46.Qxe6+ Kf8 47.axb4 Rdd1 48.Qf6+ followed by 49.b3. But of course, it's tricky to find and also quite scary to enter such a line if you're not a computer, so Aronian's decision to play 38.axb4 instead was practically very sound.

Jun-18-12  Mudphudder: Good grief. From move 42 onward Aronian just goes on a piece eating spree!
Jun-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Shams: <FSR><Calar> But 6...c5 in the Saemisch KID is nearly universally declined by White players. Is it really true that even declined, this line is toothless for White? I thought it was still doing fine.>

Black gets a plus score with 6...c5. But it's true that if White declines with 7.Nge2 he gets an OK score - 54.6%. Opening Explorer Overall, 1.d4 scores about 56%, so 54.6% is slightly sub-par, particularly against the King's Indian. Compare Opening Explorer (White scores about 57.5% in main line KIs).

If one pursues it a little further, 7...Qa5 gives Black an even score, and 7...b6 (which seems not to have been played by as many prominent players) gives Black a plus score, though in a small number of games.

I see that Caruana has been successful on the White side of 7.Nge2. F Caruana vs M Rodshtein, 2011 Maybe he likes these positions for White and thus doesn't want to play the Black side of them.

Jun-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Incidentally, the Leko Gambit 3...e5!? 4.dxe5 Nh5 is rarely played but has given Black a large plus score. Opening Explorer I'm not sure why it's not seen more often.
Jun-19-12  Everett: <Of course. My point is that if Caruana had played 3...d6 or 3...0-0, Aronian would have been more or less forced to play 4.e4, transposing to a Saemisch King's Indian.>

Thing is, Aronian does not have to walk into the ..c5 gambit line as you suggest.

Jun-19-12  King Death: <Everett: Thing is, Aronian does not have to walk into the ..c5 gambit line as you suggest.>

That's true, 6.Bg5 is a good way to avoid the gambit in the Samisch even though 6...c5 is almost the only move played after that.

Jun-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Everett> <King Death> I see that 6.Bg5 scores significantly better than 6.Be3, and 6.Nge2 for some reason scores better than either. Opening Explorer
Jun-19-12  Shams: <FSR> Good stuff and I'll keep that Leko gambit in mind. Small quibble: <If one pursues it a little further, 7...Qa5 gives Black an even score>

Ok, and even one ply beyond that 8.Nc1 scores great for White. I don't know the line at all, but we could do this all day. :) Except for the fact that we are already down to a mere 11 games...

Opening Explorer

The picture remains favorable for White for 3-4 more ply, but 8...cxd4 9.Nb3 Qe5! (2 games) looks good. This might be the most recent word on this line, a Morozevich win from last year:

A Moiseenko vs Morozevich, 2011

Jun-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Shams: <FSR> Good stuff and I'll keep that Leko gambit in mind. Small quibble: <If one pursues it a little further, 7...Qa5 gives Black an even score> Ok, and even one ply beyond that 8.Nc1 scores great for White. I don't know the line at all, but we could do this all day. :) Except for the fact that we are already down to a mere 11 games...>

That is the problem with a small population of relevant games - one gets results like that, so win-loss statistics don't mean much.

Jun-28-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Caruana with all due respects reminds me of the names which come up in Fischer's complete games.. The names which were just ground down and crushed. On the menu on the road to iconicity.

14.. Ne5 is just scary.

May-06-17  sid299792: What about 38.Rxe6 Qc2+ 39.Ka1 Qc1+ 40.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 41.Ka2 b3+ 42.Bxb3 axb3+ 43. Kxb3 fxe6 with Q and 6P vs. 2R and 4P
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