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Levon Aronian vs Magnus Carlsen
Tata Steel Group A (2013), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 2, Jan-13
King's Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Rare Defenses (E90)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-13-13  GlennOliver: Does anyone else have the sense that, in some games, Carlsen deliberately manufactures a difficult position for himself, like a challenge to himself to see if he can then get out of it?
Jan-13-13  Jigsaw42: Beautiful way to draw a game.
Jan-13-13  cyrusmiley: 42 rf6
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Isn't black just winning a piece with 18...f4?
Jan-13-13  haydn20: Did anyone look at 18. exf5, e.g. 18...axb4 19. axb4 gxf5 20. Nf3 e4 21. Ng5...? I also think maybe MC made a mistake with the 13...Kc8 plan (too slow). My (patzer) idea was 13...Qc8 eyeing both Qside & Kside.
Jan-13-13  Rob Morrison: Could be a mistake in the score. I also don't see why black isn't winning a piece, plain and simple, with 18. . . f4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: White can play 19.Bxb6 and get two pawns for the piece, but I don't see the threatened initiative that would come with giving up the exchange.
Jan-13-13  IndigoViolet: GM Christian Bauer commentating live on Chessbomb:

<Now if 18...f4 there would follow 19.Bxb6 cxb6 20.Nxd6 when Black must move his Re8, and then 21.c4-c5 would follow in the resulting position White would have 2 pawns and some initiative for the piece, with the opponent's kingside play neutralized for a while. Carlsen isn't forced to accept the piece, but if he defends vs Bxb6 next Nxd6 instead, there is a risk that bxa5 bxa5 Nb3 will follow and give White the initiative without any material sacrifice.>

I liked Magnus's take on his difficult position as ' looked very, very dodgy.'

1. (Brit., Austral., & N.Z) nasty, offensive, unpleasant, revolting, distasteful, repellent, unsavoury, obnoxious, repulsive, objectionable, repugnant He was a bit of a dodgy character.

2. (Brit., Austral., & N.Z) risky, difficult, tricky, dangerous, delicate, uncertain, problematic(al), unreliable, dicky (Brit. informal), dicey (informal, chiefly Brit.), ticklish, chancy (informal) Predicting voting trends is a dodgy business.

3. second rate, poor, inferior, mediocre, shoddy, low-grade, low-quality, substandard, for the birds (informal), pants (slang), end-of-the-pier (Brit. informal), rubbishy, piss-poor (slang), bush-league (Austral. & N.Z. informal), half-pie (N.Z. informal) cheap hotels and dodgy food>

Jan-13-13  Refused: When watching the game, I didn't like
26.Bxf7 I felt like it simpliefied too much. Could somebody with an good engine check if there was anything better? like say 26.Nf3 or even considering or 26.Rf1 or 26.Nd4 or something.
Jan-13-13  LivBlockade:

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37. b5 Nc5; 38. Rxf5+ is interesting

Jan-13-13  Bartimaeus: <Rob Morrison: Could be a mistake in the score. I also don't see why black isn't winning a piece, plain and simple, with 18. . . f4> Black does get the bishop but he loses two Queenside pawns for it after 19. Bxb6 and after 21. c5 white gets a deadly outpost for his Knight on d6. Overall, white gets quite some space and a dangerous Knight which is probably why Carlsen didn't try to take the bishop.

With regards to the overall game, I think Aronian had built up a nice position by constraining Carlsen but seemed to lose the thread in the middlegame. Both 24. Rxe8+ and 26. Bxf7+ seem to allow needless simplification. 24. Nf3 followed by Rxe8+ and then Re1 was perhaps better, getting a tempo and looking to attack via Ng5.

Jan-14-13  gambler: @HeMateMe: Isn't black just winning a piece with 18...f4?

Indeed he is, but after 19. Bxb6 ... cxb6 and 20. Nxd6 white should have excellent compensation

@HeMateMe: White can play 19.Bxb6 and get two pawns for the piece, but I don't see the threatened initiative that would come with giving up the exchange.

White is already having a royal fork + checkmate with Nf7#, so black needs to react with Rf8. Now it is actually quite hard vor Carlsen to develop pieces while Aronian has a great grip on the center. Yes, Magnus is a piece up, but look at blacks position. What is Na6 doing? What is Ng8 doing? What is Rf8 doing? After white plays c5 and Ndc4 all of his pieces are active.

Remember the famous game 16 from Kasparov against Karpov (Kasparov Gambit in the Sicillian) with Knight on d3? Think of it the other way (Knight on d6). This Knight was an Octopus. Needless to say that in this position a tatical player like Aronian would build up so much pressure that even Carlsen could collaps. Also remember that Carlsen is a strategic player and loves to have harmonic piece coordination. He would never go into these kind of sharp variation without clear advantage. Aronian on the other hand loves "Crooked" positions.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <This Knight was an Octopus. > You don't want to face an octopus, OTB. They might fiddle with the time clock, while you are watching them move pieces with the other tentacles...
Jan-14-13  gambler: You got it!
Jan-15-13  KingV93: I would love to see Carlsen inject some new ideas into the Kings Indian, White seems to have the upper hand when it's played at the top level these days. Here he uses several different ideas in one game, most players would get crushed doing this against Aronian but Carlsen uses some tactical wizardry to pull off the draw. Amazing.
Jan-15-13  Eyal: Very nice save by Carlsen – 46.Kf3 prepares a mating net, but then 46...Re3+!! forces a draw: 47.Kxe3 Nxd5+ 48.Ke4 Nxf6+ 49.gxf6 Kg6 eliminating White’s last pawn (which makes it clear why Carlsen wanted to exchange pawns with c6 & cxd5 a few moves earlier). Aronian’s best winning chance was probably in the knight endgame resulting from 37.b5 (instead of g4) 37...Nc5 38.Rxf5+ Kxf5 39.Ng7+ Ke4 40.Nxe8 Nd3 41.Nxc7 Ne5 42.Kf2 Nxc4 43.Kg3 heading toward h4.

From Daniel King’s video on the game ( "Aronian showed his typical skill and creativity [e.g., 18.Nb5! 21.f4!], but it was matched by Carlsen’s toughness and ingenuity".

Jan-15-13  kurodo77: 23 Nf7! amazing
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <KingV93: I would love to see Carlsen inject some new ideas into the Kings Indian,>

The KID doesn't need any new ideas, it contains tons as it is.

Mar-13-13  cro777: In the Makagonov System of the King's Indian (6.h3), a slower version of the Classical Main Line, Carlsen got his typical somewhat worse position with black, but held on the draw.

"Aronian played creatively and adventurous, but I managed to save the somewhat difficult ending." (Magnus Carlsen)

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46...Re3+ Draw

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everybodychessnow: On move 37 instead of playing g4 Aronian should've played b5 to treathen the knight and after kc5 the rook can take on f5 because the other rook is hanging because on kxf5 there's kg7+
Premium Chessgames Member

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