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Wesley So vs Levon Aronian
"Levon on a Jet Plane" (game of the day Oct-16-2015)
Sinquefield Cup (2015), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 4, Aug-26
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Kmoch Variation (E20)  ·  0-1



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Given 14 times; par: 35 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-05-15  epistle: dont rub salt to the wound. they are still humans as of now after all.
Mar-17-16  Conrad93: Damn, Aronian in form is a freaking beast.
Oct-02-16  Ultra: Wow. Quite the attack.
Oct-02-16  YouRang: Insane Sunday 16...?

click for larger view

I thought that <16...Qf6> was almost the obvious choice. I can't save both the Q and the Nh5, so I should at least save the Q such that it contributes to an attack, and what better than hitting the backward f-pawn that is also being hit by Ne5?

I did see that after <17.gxh5 Nxf3>,

click for larger view

...white can't play 18.Bxf3 (18...Qxf3+ 19.Kg1 Bh3 ).

However, in the event of <18.Bf2>, I wasn't clear how to proceed, thinking perhaps grab another pawn with <18...Qxb2>, but I'm not seeing any knockout.

Oct-02-16  diagonalley: "insane"(?)... yep... pretty much!
Oct-02-16  Pinkerton: "Levon on a Jet Plane"
I don't know when I'll be back again.
Babe, I hate to go.

Does the pun mean Levon hasn't been this good since he played this game? Because the song is about a breakup.

I suggest "Levon No Stone Unturned". That would say more about this game.

Oct-02-16  Nina Myers: Another bad day at the Messiah's office.
Oct-02-16  Granny O Doul: Turn off Levon.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <nimrod moron: Another bad day at the Messiah's office.>

As you have quoted at your page, from someone who actually possessed wisdom and wit:

<Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose>

Poor baby, reduced to slings and arrows at every turn in the face of an elite player. Your obsession is made only too clear by a certain game collection: there are but few hereabouts who would actually devote precious time and energy to such a creation.

Oct-02-16  scholes: 13 moves after puzzle, black remains down tow pieces. Too tough for anyone below 2000?. Guess that is Sundays for
Oct-02-16  Nina Myers: <perfidious> I would like to say I appreciate your <open-minded, independent and enthusiastic engagement> for my work.

Your texts are <full of love>. And you also devoted so much of <your precious time and energy>.

Please do continue <doing god's work>, too.

Oct-02-16  Pulo y Gata: Levon let die
Oct-02-16  RandomVisitor: 13.g4 has to be questionable - I would play 13.0-0.

After 18.Bf2

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-0.88/34 18...Qxb2 19.Bxf3 Qxa1 20.Kg2 f5 21.Nd2 Qxd1 22.Rxd1 fxe4 23.Nxe4 Bh3+ 24.Kg3 Bf5 25.Nf4 Bxe4 26.Bxe4 Bd8 27.Bxc5 dxc5 28.Ne6 Rb8 29.Bxh7+ Kxh7 30.Nxf8+ Kh6 31.Ne6 c4 32.Nxd8 Rxd8 33.Rd4 a5 34.Rxc4 Rxd5 35.Rc6+ Kh7 36.Rb6 Rxh5 37.Rb8 g6 38.h4 Rd5 39.Kf4 Kh6 40.Rh8+ Kg7 41.Rb8 Rc5 42.Kg4 Rf5 43.Ra8 Kf6 44.Rb8 Re5

<-0.74/34 18...Bg4 19.h3> Bxh5 20.Nd2 Nd4 21.e5 Qxe5 22.Bxd4 cxd4 23.Nc4 Qf6+ 24.Kg1 Bd8 25.Qf1 Rc8 26.Ng3 Bg6 27.Qxf6 Bxf6 28.Nxd6 Rc2 29.h4 d3 30.h5 Bd4+ 31.Kh2 Bxh5 32.Nxh5 Be5+ 33.Kh3 Bxd6 34.Rad1 d2 35.Bf1 Re8 36.Bxa6 Rxb2 37.Kg2 Re5 38.Bd3 Rxd5 39.Bxh7+ Kf8 40.Bb1 Ke7 41.Kf3 g6 42.Nf4 Bxf4 43.Kxf4 Rb3

Oct-02-16  patzer2: I agree with <YouRang>'s comment on today's (16...?) Sunday puzzle. Unless I have a favorable combination involving a Queen sacrifice, if you force me to lose my Queen or my Knight I'll save the Queen.

Two truly "insane options" are sacrificing the Queen with 16...Nxg4? 17. Bxh4 Ne3+ 18. Nxd1 Rxd1 (-2.36 @ 20 depth, Deep Fritz 15) or giving up the Knight under far less favorable circumstances with 16...Ng3+? 17. Bxg3 Qf6 18. Bxe5 Qxe5 19. Nd2 (-2.26 @ 22 depth, Deep Fritz 15).

So if I'm making the "sane" choice of saving the Queen, where's the best place to move her? As <YouRang> indicates, <16...Qf6> is the <obvious choice.>

The real difficulty after 16...Qf6, as it is with most of our Sunday puzzles, is in finding the best follow-up moves. I suspect even Aronian struggled with the complex follow-up in this game, especially in picking 18...Bg4.

The computers indicate that after 18...Bg4, instead of 19. Qc1 allowing 19...Nd5 (-2.49 @ 26 depth, Houdini 4), White can put up more resistance with 19. Nd2 Nd4 20. e5 Qxe5 21. Bxd4 cxd4 22. Nf3 Qxh5 23. Ng3 Qg6 (-0.92 @ 28 depth, Komodo 10).

At lower search levels, the computers' initial preference is 18...Qxb2 when my move-by-move look with the computer indicates play might go 18... Qxb2 19. Bxf3 Qxa1 20. Kg2 f5 21. Nd2 Qxd1 22. Rxd1 fxe4 23. Nxe4 Bh3+ 24. Kg3 Bf5 (-0.83 @ 27 depth, Stockfish 6).

I'm not sure whether 18...Bf4 or 18...Qxb2 is the better choice. It may just be a matter of preference. One thing for sure is Aronian's decision to play 18...Bf4 and keep pressure on the weakly protected King, and forego gabbing material with 18...Qxb2, certainly worked out well for him in this game.

P.S.: In searching for an improvement for White, I'd start with the opening where So appears to have lost the advantage of the first move after the apparent novelty 8. a4?! Instead of 8. a4?!, White is probably better off with the computer choice 8. Ng3 = to (0.23 @ 38 depth, Stockfish 6) as in S Shankland vs Lenderman, 2016 or K Grigoryan vs M Ly, 2016.

In looking at the 4. f3 variation of the Nimzo Indian defense in this game, I found <whiteshark>'s Game Collection: 98_E20_Nimzo-Indian w/ 4.f3 particularly helpful. My own preference in facing the Nimzo-Indian as White is 4. Qc2, which So himself tried as a possible improvement (i.e. over 4. f3) in W So vs Nakamura, 2016.

Oct-02-16  patzer2: <RV> Good suggested improvement with 13. 0-0 (instead of 13. g4). What does Komodo 10.1 give as an assessment?

Stockfish 7 @ 28 depth gives 13. 0-0 b4 (-0.59) while Komodo 9.4 @ 27 depth assesses 13. 0-0 b4 14. Nb1 Bb6 = (-0.05).

Oct-02-16  patzer2: Perhaps today's puzzle should have been (15...?) where the brilliant piece sacrifice 15...Ne5! as highlighted by <whiteshark> is much more difficult to spot than the follow-up 16. Be1 Qf6 to .
Oct-02-16  RandomVisitor: After 12...b5

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0.00/29 13.0-0 b4 14.Nb1 Bc7 15.g4 Nhf6 16.Bf4 a5 17.Nd2 Nb6 18.Rc1 Re8 19.Rf2 h5 20.g5 Nfd7 21.Ng3 g6 22.h4 Ba6 23.Bf1 c4 24.Qc2 Rc8 25.Qd1 Ra8

-0.25/29 13.axb5 axb5 14.0-0 b4 15.Na4 Ba6 16.b3 Bb5 17.Nb2 Bb6 18.Nc4 Rxa1 19.Qxa1 Bc7 20.g4 Nhf6 21.Qc1 Nb6 22.Bg5 h6 23.Bh4 Ba6 24.Qc2 Nxc4 25.bxc4 Qe7 26.Ng3 Bc8 27.Ne2 Bb6 28.Re1 Bd7 29.Ng3 Qe5 30.Nf5 Bxf5 31.exf5

Final look after 18.Bf2

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-0.76/36 18...Qxb2 19.Bxf3 Qxa1 20.Kg2 f5 21.Nd2 Qxd1 22.Rxd1 fxe4 23.Nxe4 Bh3+ 24.Kg3 Bf5 25.Nf4 Bxe4 26.Bxe4 Bd8 27.Bg1 Bf6 28.Ne6 Be5+ 29.Kg2 Rf6 30.Bd3 b3 31.Bf2 Rb8 32.Rb1 b2 33.Bg3 Bxg3 34.hxg3 Rb4 35.a5 h6 36.Bxa6 Rf5 37.Nf4 c4 38.Bxc4 Rxc4 39.Rxb2 Ra4 40.Rb6 Ra2+ 41.Kf3 Ra3+ 42.Kf2 Rxa5 43.Rxd6 Rf8 44.Rd7 Kh7 45.d6 Ra2+ 46.Kf3 Rb2

<-0.75/36 18...Bg4 19.h3> Bxh5 20.Nd2 Nd4 21.e5 Qxe5 22.Bxd4 cxd4 23.Nc4 Qf6+ 24.Kg1 Bd8 25.Qf1 Rc8 26.Ng3 Bg6 27.h4 d3 28.Qxf6 Bxf6 29.Nxd6 Rc2 30.h5 Bd4+ 31.Kh2 Bxh5 32.Nxh5 Be5+ 33.Kh3 Bxd6 34.Rad1 d2 35.Bf1 Re8 36.Bxa6 Re3+ 37.Kg2 Rxb2 38.Bb5 Re5 39.Bd3 h6 40.Kf3 Bc5 41.Kg2 Rxd5 42.Bc4 Rf5 43.a5 g6 44.Ng3 Rf2+

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Both sides keep full material with the exception of one pawn.

White threatens Bxh4 and gxh5.

The first idea that comes to mind is 16... Nxg4 but after 17.Bxh4 Ne3+ 18.Kf2 Nxd1+ 19.Rxd1 Black doesn't have enough compensation for the knight.

A better option is 16... Qf6:

A) 17.gxh5

A.1) 17... Bh3

A.1.a) 18.Bxh3 Qxf3+ 19.Kg1 (19.Bf2 Qxh3+ 20.Ke(g)1 Nf3#) 19... Qxh3 and Black has chances based on Bb6-c4 and f5-fxe4 while White has many problems to reorganize the pieces (20.Bf2 Nf3#; 20.Nf4 Qe3+; 20.Bg3 Bb6).

A.1.b) 18.Ng1 and Black's attack seems to vanish.

A.2) 17... Nxf3

A.2.a) 18.Bxf3 Qxf3+ 19.Kg1 (19.Bf2 Qxh1+ - + [R+B+P vs 2N]) 19... Bh3 followed by 20... Qg2# or 20... Qf1#.

A.2.b) 18.Bf2 Bg4 threatening Nd4, Qxb2 and Bxh5 seems to provide reasonable compensation.

B) 17.Ng3 Nf4 and Black is much better.

I don't have time for more.

Oct-02-16  RandomVisitor: After 16.gxh5 f5!

click for larger view


-1.42/36 17.h3 fxe4 18.f4 Qxh5 19.Be3 Nc4 20.Qb3 Qxd5 21.Kg1 Nxe3 22.Qxe3 Bb7 23.Nd2 Rae8 24.Rc1 Bc7 25.Kh2 Qd3 26.Nc4 d5 27.Rhd1 dxc4 28.Qxc5 Qxe2 29.Qxc7 Rf7 30.Qxc4 Qe3 31.Qxb4 Qxf4+ 32.Kh1 e3 33.Qxf4 Bxg2+ 34.Kxg2 Rxf4 35.Re1 Rxa4 36.Re2 Ra5 37.Rce1 Rae5 38.Kf3 Rf8+ 39.Kg3 Rg5+ 40.Kh2 h6 41.Rxe3 Rf2+ 42.Kh1 Rxb2 43.Re8+ Kh7 44.R1e2 Rb3 45.R8e3 Rxe3

-1.46/36 17.f4 fxe4 18.h3 Qxh5 19.Be3 Nc4 20.Qb3 Qxd5 21.Kg1 Nxe3 22.Qxe3 Bb7 23.Nd2 Rae8 24.Rc1 Bc7 25.h4 Qe6 26.h5 Qf6 27.Nxe4 Qe7 28.Qb3+ d5 29.N4g3 c4 30.Qf3 Rf7 31.Rh2 Qf6 32.Kh1 Qxb2 33.Rxc4 dxc4 34.Qxb7 Qb1+ 35.Ng1 Rb8 36.Qxa6 Qd3 37.N3e2 b3 38.Rh3 Qd6 39.Qxc4 b2 40.Nc3 b1Q 41.Nxb1 Rxb1 42.Qe4

Oct-02-16  RandomVisitor: After 13.g4, 13...b4 is best met by 14.gxh5

click for larger view


-0.57/35 13...Qh4+ 14.Kf1 b4 15.Nb1 Ne5 16.Be1 Qf6 17.gxh5 Nxf3 18.Bf2 Qxb2 19.Bxf3 Qxa1 20.Kg2 f5 21.Nd2 Qxd1 22.Rxd1 fxe4 23.Nxe4 Bc7 24.Bg3 Bh3+ 25.Kxh3 Rxf3 26.Nf4 Re3 27.Nd2 Rc8 28.Kg4 h6 29.Rc1 b3 30.Bf2 b2 31.Rb1 Ra3 32.Rxb2 Rxa4 33.Rc2 Rb8 34.Kf3 Rf8 35.Nc4 Rb4 36.Kg4 Rf6 37.Ne6 Bb8

-0.26/35 13...Nhf6 14.axb5 axb5 15.Ng3 Ne5 16.0-0 Bd7 17.Kh1 Bb6 18.Nf5 Rxa1 19.Qxa1 Bxf5 20.gxf5 b4 21.Ne2 Qa8 22.Qd1 Re8 23.Bg5 Nfd7 24.Nc1 f6 25.Bd2 Nc4 26.b3 Nxd2 27.Qxd2 Qa1 28.Na2 Qe5 29.f4 Qd4 30.Qc2 Re7 31.Bf3 Qe3 32.Bg2 Bd8 33.Nc1 Qc3 34.Qe2 c4 35.Qxc4 Qxc4 36.bxc4

Oct-02-16  dashjon: I need a Valium after this
Oct-02-16  TheFocus: I was going to try and solve this, but decided to have a baloney sammich instead.
Oct-03-16  Moszkowski012273: 18...Bg4 wasn't that great. 27.Be4... was even worse.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <dashjon: I need a Valium after this>

Dang if Ah don't mahself!

Aug-28-19  torrefan: Looking back at the past for inspiration and a repeat performance.
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