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Levon Aronian vs Anish Giri
"Turn it Up to Levon" (game of the day Oct-07-2016)
Tal Memorial (2016), Moscow RUS, rd 6, Oct-02
English Opening: King's English Variation. General (A20)  ·  1-0



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Given 12 times; par: 59 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-07-16  Lighthorse: Thank you for posting that, <Abdel Irada>. I totally missed <34. ...Re8, White plays 35. Ne7+, Kf8 36. Nc8! and the pawn queens.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: < Check It Out: <offramp: Can someone please explain the game's title?> It's from a famous scene in This Is Spinal Tap:

Thank you. I know that film and I should have known it!

Oct-07-16  morfishine: <Check It Out: <offramp: Can someone please explain the game's title?>

It's from a famous scene in This Is Spinal Tap...> First nobody remembers anything from Spinal Tap so "famous" is an overstatement; Second, Aronian's first name, Levon, is pronounced 'Lu - Vonn (as you would pronounce lu in the word luck followed by Vonn as in Vonn Miller). So this doesn't sound anything like the number eleven at all, nor does it sound anything like 'Leave-on' or any other convoluted twisting of sounds; and finally, there is no reference tying this obscure term to this game of chess, the site, the opening, the players or any particular circumstances surrounding this event

In other words, this game title fails completely

It doesn't even qualify as poor word play

Its simply nothing


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <morfishine> it is wonderful to see you alive and kicking!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <First nobody remembers anything from Spinal Tap so "famous" is an overstatement;>

It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Oct-07-16  WorstPlayerEver: Listen, not that it is any relevant nor of any importancy: I'm not going to google what Spinal Tap is. Ha.
Oct-07-16  rogge: My favourite game of the year so far, just great.
Oct-07-16  N0B0DY: <N0B0DY> remembers everything from Spinal Tap thus it is "famous".
Oct-07-16  morfishine: <offramp> Good to hear from you, and yes I am intact having survived this recent hurricane. Sorry I did not respond to your previous inquiry. Very inconsiderate on my part

You are my favorite poster; what with your devastating wit and crushing sarcasm, there's nothing that even approaches your posts for enjoyable reading


Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <morfishine>

<In 2002, This Is Spinal Tap was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry.>

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Oct-07-16  FairyPromotion: The queen infiltrating the opponents back rank is an Aronian trademark. Here are some of his previous games featuring this theme:

Aronian vs Morozevich, 2006

Aronian vs Leko, 2009

Aronian vs Karjakin, 2012

Oct-07-16  ibnyamin:   Abdel Irada: ∞ 

<Isilimela: @HeHateMe. Yes you look at the final position and think so what's the problem? Black can give up his rook and fight on for a draw. Altogether missing the sting in the tail!>

Not so easy. Where do you *put* the rook? 

If you move it on the rank, with say 34. ...Re8, White plays 35. Ne7+, Kf8 36. Nc8! and the pawn queens.

If you try to attack the pawn from behind, with 34. ...Rd1+ 35. Kg2, Rb1, White has 36. Nb4! and again the pawn queens.

Unless I'm missing a defense, I'd say there is quite a sting in that tail.

Black can force the b7 pawn from the board with 34 ... Rb8
35 Nxb8 Nc5
36 Nc6 Nxb7
37 Nxa7

However, the resulting endgame is hopeless for black.

Oct-07-16  sfm: <offramp: morfishine, it is wonderful to see you alive and kicking!!> Agree!
Oct-08-16  Rookiepawn: Just a patzer question:

click for larger view

Is it so bad to let that poor b7 pawn fall and try f5 just for the fun of refusing to play on the Q side?

Oct-08-16  thegoodanarchist: <saffuna: <First nobody remembers anything from Spinal Tap so "famous" is an overstatement;> It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.>

4 beers, IIRC

Oct-08-16  Abdel Irada: ∞

<amateur05: The best black can do is 34 ... Rb8 35. Nxb8 Nc5 36. Nc6 Nxb7 37. Nxa7 and it's hard to see how this can be saved for black with two pawns down.>

Thank you. I noticed that defense after posting (when I was trying to go to sleep, in fact), but you beat me to the punch in posting it.

Oct-08-16  morfishine: <Check It Out> I don't smoke lol
Oct-10-16  ozu: I give the title "Two Thumbs Up!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <ozu> Thanks.

<morfishine> You dodged the point by being literal.


According to Stockfish on my phone, after 23...f5 white doesn't take the b-pawn. Instead, he builds up an irresistible attack with two knights for a rook and a dominating position:

23...f5 24.Qb3+ Kh8 25.Ne6 Re8 26.Ng5 h6 27.Nf7+ Kh7 28.Rc5 Nd7 29.Rcd5 Re7 30.Rxd7 Rxd7 31.Nxe5 Rxd1+ 32.Qxd1 c5 33.Nd7 Ra8 34.Qd3 [+5.2]

click for larger view

Oct-18-16  whiteshark: for whatever it's worth, this game is from round <6> not rd 5 (as the pgn shows)
Oct-26-16  Dave12: as usual Aronian learned from the best
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969
Dec-18-16  Conrad93: <First nobody remembers anything from Spinal Tap so "famous" is an overstatement>

Are you okay there, buddy? Spinal Tap is most definitely 'famous'. The movie gets quoted often. The quote "up to eleven" even has its own Wikipedia page.

Dec-18-16  Conrad93: Spinal Tap's IMDB page goes to 11 rather than the usual 10. Pretty funny.
Premium Chessgames Member

[Fritz 10]: 1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. 0-0 Nb6 7. d3 Be7 8. Be3 0-0 [Last book move Opening Explorer ] 9. Nbd2 Be6 10. Rc1 Qd7 11. a3 Bh3 12. Bxh3 Qxh3 13. b4 Bd6 [13 ... a6 14. Bxb6 cxb6 15. Nc4 =] 14. Qb3 [ ] Ne7 15. d4 exd4 16. Bxd4 Nc6 17. Ne4 Nxd4 18. Nxd4 Qd7 [18 ... Be5!? is an interesting alternative 19. Rfd1 Qg4 ] 19. Rfd1 [ ] Be5 20. Nc6 Qe8 [20 ... Qg4 21. f3 Qh5 22. Na5 ] 21. Na5 Rb8 22. Nc5 Qc8 23. Qf3 c6 24. b5 Bb2 25. bxc6 Bxc1 26. Rxc1 Qc7 [26 ... bxc6!? 27. Ncx6 Re8 28. Nxb8 Qxb8 ] 27. cxb7 [ ] Na4? [27 ... Rfe8 ] 28. Ncb3 Qe7 29. Nd4 Qg5 30. Qf4 Qxa5 31. Qxb8! [Decoy: b8] Rxb8 32. Rc8+ Qd8 33. Rxd8+ Rxd8 34. Nc6 1-0.

Aronian has been near the very top for years, so there is still time for him to put it all together and make a run for the WC title. This tribute to Tal is a perfect mix of strategy and tactics, starting with a versatile position out of the opening phase. Most games in this English line have Nc3 instead of Nbd2, thus the combination of 8. Be3 and 9. Nbd2 created a less common set-up. After 18. Nxd4:

click for larger view

White has nicely centralized Knights with lots of potential for play, while Black's pieces can't really do anything. Next he pounds b7 to induce weaknesses (21. Na5, 22. Nc5, 23. Qf3, 24. b5), then an exchange sacrifice for a Pawn which later leads to a pretty Queen sacrifice. White to Play and Win after 30 ... Qxa5:

click for larger view

The main line at the end winds up in a NP ending with White up two Pawns so Black resigned.

Sep-19-17  ZackyMuhammad: 34...♖ b8 35. ♘ xb8 35...♘ c5 threatening 36...♘ xb7 Why Giri resign?
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