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Levon Aronian vs Anish Giri
FIDE Grand Prix Mallorca (2017), Palma de Mallorca ESP, rd 4, Nov-19
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Indian Formation (A15)  ·  1-0



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sac: 21.Qd1 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-19-17  luzhin: After 24...Qd6! Black seems to be better. But Giri must have completely missed, in the game variation, the killer move 27.d6!! Indeed, if White didn't have that, then Black would be winning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Giri seems to turns to putty whenever he plays Aronian.

search "aronian v giri"

It's one of those bete noire tales I reckon...

Nov-19-17  NBZ: Wow, that is quite some finish. Agree with <luzhin> about 24. ... Qd6, but it's a tough move to make, since it allows for the sac Rxg7. I suspect when Giri played Bf6 he thought he was quite safe in doing so; it's hard to see a move like 27. d6! in advance.
Nov-20-17  Fanques Fair: 24-... Qd6, 25- Qh7, Bf6, 26- Ke2 !! seems to guarantee White the ongoing continuation of the attack. For example : 26...Ke7, 27-Bg5!, Bxg5 , 28-Rxg5, Qf6, 29-Rg6!, Qh8, 31-d6+!, Kd7 32-Qxf7+ , Kc6, 33-Rb1+, Ka6, 34-d7!, Rxd7, 35-Rgb6+,axb6, 36-Qxb6 # is a very serious threat.
Nov-20-17  Fanques Fair: Another line is : 24...Qd6 25. Qh7 Bf6 26. Bg5 Bb7 27. Bxf6 Qxf6 28. Rg8+ Ke7 29. Rg6 Qh8 30. Re6+ Kd7 31. Qxf7+ Kc8 32. d6 Rd7 33. Re8+ Rd8 34.Qc7#
Nov-20-17  Fanques Fair: It´s not at all easy to refute Aronian´s sacrifice. In reality, Black's minor pieces are stuck on the queenside behind a barier of pawns, while his king is unconfortable .
Nov-20-17  Ulhumbrus: 8 h4? begins an unsound attack but it is up to Black to find a way to take advantage of it. As the move weakens the g3 pawn this suggests an advance of Black's f pawn by ...f5 and ...f4 as in the game Bogoljubov vs Nimzowitsch, 1927

9...Nxc3? both loses time for development and strengthens White's centre and may enable White to escape the consequences of the move h4.

The move 17...e5 comes too late to open the game. White closes the centre by 18 d5.

Nov-20-17  Pasker: WoW what a game by Aronian? If he can see all the way to the final move d6!! he is definitely deserve to be the next world champion. Magnus be careful.
Nov-20-17  luzhin: I think the reason Black failed to anticipate 27.d6!! is that it is not a check. In King-hunts, these are the most difficult moves to see in advance.
Nov-20-17  BOSTER: After 24...Qd6 the game is equal, even the queen is not the best blockading piece.
Nov-20-17  Fanques Fair: I don´t think that after 24 ... Qd6 the game is equal. White seems winning. After 25-Qh7, Bf6 is forced. And now both 26-Bg5 and 26-Ke2 are hard to meet.
Nov-20-17  amateur05: According to the computer white is still winning after 24...Qd6 25. Rxg7 Kxg7 26. Qg5+
Nov-21-17  kramnov: that's the problem if you ride on Levon's trick
Nov-21-17  onigorom: I don't understand some of the above comments. Even if you have 24..Qd6: Guys, just look at the position. No human would pick Black here. Black has no counter play whatsoever. White has time to build the attack and even if it fails to mate, he can march his g pawn or gain some material back. Aronian's attack sacrifice is sound in all aspects IMO. (However, I didn t check with the computer and I am only around 2100 or bit less ELO, so take it with a grain of salt.)
Nov-21-17  drleper: <Ulhumbrus: 8 h4? begins an unsound attack but it is up to Black to find a way to take advantage of it. As the move weakens the g3 pawn this suggests an advance of Black's f pawn by ...f5 and ...f4 as in the game Bogoljubov vs Nimzowitsch, 1927>

I'm not sure it's an inherently unsound idea, and interestingly enough, all three of Stockfish's top move 8 choices for black restrain white's h pawn (8...h5/Nf6/Bg4; some of the lines are more complicated than that, but still). 8...h5 looks sensible to me, but I can understand someone not wanting to weaken their kingside structure.

As for 8...f5, I think the situation is quite a bit different to Bogoljubov vs Nimzowitsch, 1927. Here are both positions after h4 had been played:

click for larger view

click for larger view

In the 1927 game both players had already castled kingside, whereas in Aronian-Giri white has gone full caveman and wants to break open the h file before move 10. 8...f5? seems very cooperative and runs straight into 9.h5, giving white exactly what he wants. In this case, even if black were able to play f4, white would probably just take it and open the g file too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: The game analysis is too shallow to see 21. Qd1 as the best move...sacrificing the piece for an open line and an attack.

At a slightly deeper level:
1) +2.74 (34 ply) 21.Qd1 gxh4 22.Rxh4 Rd8 23.Qg4 Qd6 24.Ke2 Qg6 25.fxg6 Bxg4+ 26.Rxg4 Rd6 27.gxf7+ Kxf7 28.Rh4 Rh8 29.Rxh8 Bxh8 30.Bh3 Nb7 31.Be6+ Rxe6 32.dxe6+ Kxe6 33.Rh1 Bf6 34.Kf3 Nd8 35.Rh6 Ke7 36.Rh7+ Nf7 37.g4 Ke6 38.Be3 Be7 39.Rg7 Nd6 40.g5 Nb5 41.Bd2 Nd6 42.Rh7 Nb5 43.Rh1

2) +1.68 (33 ply) 21.Nf3 f6 22.Bc1 Bd7 23.Qe2 Rac8 24.Nh2 Qd6 25.Kf1 Rfd8 26.Ng4 Nb7 27.a4 Nc5 28.Ba3 Kf7 29.a5 b5 30.Nh6+ Kf8 31.Bb4 Be8 32.Ng4 a6 33.Bf3 Bf7 34.Rh7 Rc7 35.Nh6 Bg8 36.Nxg8 Kxg8 37.Qh2 Re7 38.Qh5 Rdd7 39.Ra2 Kf8 40.Qg6

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: nothing as fun as watching Lev carve up a position!
Nov-21-17  drleper: Alex Yermolinsky has some thoughts on 8.h4! here

<Surrendering the g5-square is unpleasant: 8...h5 9. Bg2 Nc6 10. Ng5 Nc7 and now White can even try 11. Bxc6!?

8...h6 on the other hand, gives White a tempo 9. Qc1 Kh7 10. h5 g5 11. Bg2 and how does Black protect his c5-pawn now?

8...Bg4!? 9. Bg2 Nc6 10. Qa4 Nf6 may be Black's best option. At least, he's well mobilized, as seen from a sample line 11. Be3 Rc8! 12. Bxc5 Bxf3 13. Bxf3 Ne5>

Nov-22-17  Mudphudder: Win or lose, I always love seeing Giri get a result other than a draw.
Nov-22-17  crwynn: A lot of us criticize Giri, and I used to as well, but I'm starting to admire him for his willingness to allow and accept every sacrifice he feels is objectively unsound.

But I admire from a safe distance, due to games like this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Pasker: WoW what a game by Aronian? If he can see all the way to the final move d6!! he is definitely deserve to be the next world champion. Magnus be careful.>

It is unlikely he saw all those moves. His sacrifice was ingenious but unsound. He's beaten Carlsen with a nice sacrifice once but that wasn't clear either. He has a chance against Carlsen but Karjakin did well and probably deserved to win the last match. He certainly held Carlsen.

But he still has to qualify to play Carlsen. If he does it will be an interesting match.

Jan-17-18  morfishine: Ugly game by Black, but thats just the way it goes sometimes (pretty often for me at Chess960 lol)


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