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Levon Aronian vs Boris Gelfand
World Championship Candidates (2013), London ENG, rd 2, Mar-16
Zukertort Opening: Sicilian Invitation (A04)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Herein Aronian shows that, when in form, he is as good or better than anyone, except Carlsen, perhaps. This tournament might very well not be a run-away for Magnus.
Mar-18-13  notyetagm: Aronian vs Gelfand, 2013

A simply *fantastic* game by Aronian, when it counts the absolute most.


KNIGHT FORK (DD;DDD): 26 Be3-h6+!

TRAPPED PIECES: 30 g2-g4!!


FORCING MOVES SHOW YOU WHERE THE PIECES: 30... a6 31. g5 axb5 32. Nb8 Bxd4 33. Nxd7 Bxb2 34. Kf1 Aronian

Mar-19-13  Gerenense: To add more fire to the Reti-Zukertort-English discussion, I should say that this opening may also appear after Caro-Kann's Panov move order, in fact it is classified as this in several databases, for instance:
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Have often seen DD and DDD used before, but never in reference to chess.

Shows what I know.

Mar-22-13  Ulhumbrus: One justification for 2...Nf6 is that in the English symmetrical according to Fine < If White omits an early d4 Black can equalize by playing it himself. In other words, if White plays d4 first he gets the better of it, if Black does he equalizes> ( Fine)
Mar-22-13  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 14...Qxb3 is 14...Bd6 hindering Ne5
Jan-22-14  Dave1: Levon is the best
Mar-15-14  LIFE Master AJ: I went over this game ... at the time it was played. (A student sent me the PGN score and asked that we review it during a lesson.)

I don't think I ever posted my thoughts ... and (maybe) I did not even save my work. (I went looking for the analysis ... and never found it.)

I will post my thoughts and ideas ... later.

Mar-15-14  dfcx: 26. Bh6+
if 26...Kxh6 27 Rxc8 Bxc8 28 Bxf7+
So 26...Kg8 27 Rxc8 Bxc8 28 Nc6 forks the pawn and bishop, that's as far as I can see at this hour.
Mar-15-14  Patriot: White is up a pawn.

I'm wondering about 26.Rxc8 Bxc8 27.Bh6+

27...Kxh6 28.Nxf7+ Kg7 29.Nxd8

27...Kg8 28.Nd6 Bf6 29.Nxa7 Bd7 30.b5

Times up. I only wanted to spend 5 minutes on this tonight and took 7. It seems good.



Mar-15-14  Patriot: In the second line, I meant 28.Nc6 of course.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I got the first three moves right, and I was planning to play b5 to protect the ♘, but I didn't anticipate the ♙ maneuvers on the K-side.
Mar-15-14  patzer2: <al wazir: I got the first three moves right,...> Also got the first three moves, but was uncertain as to how to continue.

The three options I considered were 29. b5, 29. g4 and 29. Nxa2, but it was as clear as mud to me as to which of them was best.

Fritz 12 indicates 29. b5! and 29. g4! transpose to a won ending, but shows 29. Nxa2 Bb7! (29...Bd7 30. Be3! ) 30. Be3 Kf8! 31. Nb5 (+1.06 @ 26 depth) giving Black drawing chances.

Mar-15-14  morfishine: Another position from last year's Candidates Tournament.

All I can recall on this one is <26.Bh6+>

(26...Kxh6 27.Nxf7+ Kg7 28.Rxc8 Bxc8 29.Nxd8)


Mar-15-14  LIFE Master AJ: 25...Rc8??; 26.Bh6+!

This is the kind of thing I have pulled on class "C" players ...

It is hard to believe that Black could overlook such a cheap shot!

Mar-15-14  LIFE Master AJ: Maybe Black missed/under-estimated 28.Nc6! (Black winds up in a hopeless endgame. He is only one Pawn down, however, Black soon will run out of good/constructive moves.)
Mar-15-14  gofer: This is quite simple there are only two forcing moves; Rxc8 and Bh6+. Once you see the fork on f7+ then its all plain sailing from there. I don't think that the move order on these moves matters too much, but I could be wrong...

<26 Rxc8 Bxc8>
<27 Bh6+ ...>

27 ... Kg8
28 Nc6 Bf6 (Bb6 Ne7+ )
29 Nxb7

27 ... Kh8
28 Nxf7+ Kg8
29 Nxd7

27 ... Kxh6
28 Nxf7 Kg5
29 Nxd8

It looks likes black best chance is to centre his king

<27 ... Kf6>
<28 Bg5 Kxg5>
<29 Nxf7+ Kf4>

Now we come to a serious choice N v LSB or N v DSB. I am not good sure that I can clearly see the difference, but I am going to plump for taking the DSB and my three loose pawns are on dark squares...

<30 Nxd8 >


Hmmm, surely there was a better defense than that! I was pretty sure that my line was winning, but what's the point in keeping you king in the corner in an end-game?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I got the ideas of 26.Bh6+ Kxh6 27.Rxc8 Bxc8 28.Nxf7 followed by 29.Nxd8, which is sort of winning, because white is up a pawn (just needs to activate the king).
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I missed this one. The knight sac was there,but I didn't see the follow- up moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop, a knight and a pawn for the bishop pair.

The first idea that comes to mind is 26.Rxc8 Bxc8 27.Bh6+:

A) 27... Kf6 28.Bg5+ Kxg5 (else 29.Bxd8) 29.Nxf7+ Kf5 30.Nxd8 Ke4 31.Nc6 Bd7 (31... Kd5 32.Ne7+ and 33.Nxc8) 32.Nxa7 Kxd4 33.Kh2 Kc4 34.b5

A.1) 34... Bxb5 35.Nxb5 Kxb5 36.Kg3 with a won pawn ending.

A.2) 34... Kb3 35.b6 followed by b7 and b8=Q.

A.3) 34... Kc5 35.Kg3 Kb6 36.Nc6 Kxb5 37.Ne5 followed by Kf4, Ng4-f6 looks a winning ending.

B) 27... Kxh6 looks weaker than 27... Kf6 because the king is not so active.

C) 27... Kg8 28.Nc6 Bf6 (28... Bb6 29.Ne7+ Kh8 30.Nxc8 Bxd4 31.Be3 Bxb2 32.Nxa7 + - [N]) 29.Nxa7 Bd7 30.Be3 Bd8 31.b5 Bb6 32.Nc6 + - [N+2P vs B].

Mar-15-14  PJs Studio: When one considers Gelfand's resistance... Wow!!! Aronian's play is so fantastic.

Glad I don't have to play on the 64 squares against this guy in some back alley.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious: Have often seen DD and DDD used before, but never in reference to chess.>

Maybe you should consult this book:

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> Believe I picked up a copy of that near the end of my career.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I'm curious if this variation is ultimately better than the text, diverting with 26...Kf6 27 Bg5+ Kxg5 28 Nxf7+ Kf6 29 Rxc8 Bxc8 30 Nxd8.

click for larger view

You give up another pawn for an untrapped king.

<FSR> discussed this line last year but not with this 28...Kf6 variant.

Oct-13-16  Dave12: I wonder if Aronian had this game in mind Tal vs Bronstein, 1959
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