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Levon Aronian vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
"Easy-Peasy Levon in Tbilisi" (game of the day Dec-01-2017)
World Cup (2017) (rapid), Tbilisi GEO, rd 6, Sep-21
Indian Game: Anti-Grünfeld. Alekhine Variation (D70)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The key move was probably Aronian's 22.Rhe1 -- having sacrificed a Knight, seemingly to open the h-file and go for a gonzo attack on the kingside, he suddenly switches back to play in the centre.

Black's Queen is embarrassed, and as 26.Qh5 shows, the kingside remains vulnerable. A beautiful win.

Sep-21-17  flightsquare: Kasparov made a snide remark that Aronian is lacking some mental toughness to contend for world championship. While there was certainly some prep here I think this game shows him to be as tough as anyone. A perfect way to come back after MVL tortured him in the previous game. These guys are amazing!
Sep-21-17  builttospill: <<flightsquare> Kasparov made a snide remark that Aronian is lacking some mental toughness to contend for world championship >

As much as I love Kasparov he couldn't be more wrong about this. Aronian hates losing as much as a guy like Carlsen, but he keeps his emotions in check.

Sep-21-17  JPi: Maxime played too much with the fire under other circumstances 21...Ndf8 may have been his choice. Neverthess both are great fighters (Especially knowing the others potential candidates So and Ding Liren at the same time accepted to play a draw in 10 moves).
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: Aronian? Come on, guys, you can't fool me--I know Tal played White.

Incidentally, if the database is up to date, the actual novelty is 12...Nh7. If true, that means that *Tal* found the Knight sacrifice over the board.

Sep-21-17  starry2013: JPi, I think So and Ding played more long games this tournament than these two.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Yes. A great game indeed!
Sep-21-17  luzhin: MVL's idea was that after the retreat 15.Nge2, White's Bishop would be impeded. But 15.Bc4!! changes everything.
Sep-22-17  Panalo: Aronian may soon become world chess champion with his style of play.
Sep-22-17  Whitehat1963: Aronian is far too inconsistent in big games to ever become world champion. I don't think he'll ever even get a chance to play in a championship match.
Sep-26-17  tonsillolith: <Aronian is far too inconsistent in big games to ever become world champion. I don't think he'll ever even get a chance to play in a championship match>

Aronian and MVL have stood out over all the rest in 2017 performances. With the exception of Aronian's couple-year funk some time ago, both of these dudes have been consistently climbing in strength. And they both show a voracious will to win.

I predict one of these dudes challenges Carlsen next.

Oct-03-17  Whitehat1963: I have no idea who will or even can qualify to play Carlsen, but I don’t think Aronian’s chances are significantly better than those of, say, Caruana, So, Nakamura, Mamedyarov, Karjakin, Giri, Grischuk, even the now more mortal Anand and Kramnik. I’m not disparaging Aronian as much as I’m saying it’s a crowded field, and neither Aronian nor anyone else, to me, has distinguished himself enough to believe he will definitely be the challenger.
Dec-01-17  schnarre: ...Aronian is certainly a capable player. We'll simply have to see how the future unfolds!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White's heavy pieces control things.

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