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Levon Aronian vs Peter Svidler
Morelia-Linares (2006), Morelia MEX, rd 5, Feb-23
Gruenfeld Defense: General (D80)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I really don't understand what Svidler had in mind with 30..f5 and 33...b4+. Before these moves he appeared to have a slightly worse endgame with good prospects for a draw. These were tremendous concessions to make with little upside. I just don't understand what his thinking was.
Feb-24-06  Hesam7: <tamar, patzer2>

I was mistaken. I checked it with Fruit and after 37. Kc5 White is won. I think Black can save himself with 35... Bd5!, I will post Fruit's evaluation later today.

Feb-24-06  Mameluk: There were more ways to win. I analysed Yasser´s playchess idea which was after B ´anywhere else than e8´ first go King to b6 and c7 and only then Bg8, and it wins easily too. Idea again e6 and Bf7, after Kf8-Bh7 and winning sacrifice on g6, only if black moves his bishop on a4-b5 squares, white cannot play Bg8 for Kf8 defends. But he can put black into zugzwang again- after Bb5-Bb3 and after Ba4-Bc4. And after black leaves the best diagonal or plays Be8- then Bg8 wins. Beautiful endgame, that´s why I like chess. <Hesam 7> I am not sure what 35... Bd5 should mean, as white can play Bb3 and Kc5 in next move again. So 30... f5 was definitely the decisive mistake, 37... Be8 was not the moment of the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <mang00neg: back after a long afk and as I told you <gypsy>, not looking back! ~_^> Hats off -- you definitely bet on the right horse! :-)

What is with all this stuff about Aronian being a cheap tactician? He played this like Karpov would! He definitely left an impression of being much more comfortable with the position than Svidler.

13...Nd7 looks preferable to 13...Nc6;
16...Rac8 or 16...h6 was almost certainly preferable to 16...Rhc8 17.g4!

Feb-24-06  euripides: Aronian comes across as a man at peace with himself in a way that is unusual for a world-class chessplayer of his age; most of them seem more driven. And in this game he always seemed at peace with the position whereas Svidler never seemed happy. Perhaps <gypsy>'s Karpov comparison reflects this.
Feb-24-06  LancelotduLac: <Gypsy> <euripides> I agree completely. The idea of Aronian being a cheap tactician came when Aronian joked in an interview that some of his friends call him a cheap tactician. This was modesty, of course, but <truthhurts> took him seriously and has stated definitively since then that Aronian plays for cheap tricks (as if you could get to 2750 playing for cheapos) and that he is strategically weak compared to other top GMs ... He went as far as to say that Aronian can't beat any top GMs unless they blunder in time pressure and that strategically he is not even 2700 strength. Ridiculous, to put it mildly.

In fact the day after he made those groundless accusations, Aronian "answered" with this fine Capablanca-esque win over Svidler, #3 in the world.

Basically <truthhurts> has been hostile to Aronian ever since he knocked out his beloved Bacrot in the World Cup, placed higher than him at Corus, and is doing much better than him now at Linares. This is because <th> stated repeatedly that Bacrot is better than Aronian at classical chess. Aronian's record against top 50 players is stellar: he has plus scores against 20 of them and minus scores against only four (compare to Bacrot's plus score against 13 and minus score against 19).

Feb-24-06  Hesam7: After 35. Kxb4:

click for larger view

The move 35... Bd5! appears to hold it for Black. Here is Fruit's analysis:

35... Bd5! 36. Bb3 Bf3 37. Kc5 Bh5 38. Bg8 Kf8 39. Bd5 Ke7 40. Bb3 Bg4 41. Bg8 Bf3 42. Bh7 Bh5 43. Kb4 Kf7 44. Kb5 Ke7 45. Kc5 Kd7 46. Bg8 Ke7 47. e6 Bf3 48. Bh7 Kxe6 49. Bxg6 Bg4 50. Kd4 Bf3 51. Bh7 Bh5 52. Kc5 Bg4 53. Bg8 Ke7 54. Kd4 Kf8 55. Bd5 Kg7 56. Ke5 Kg6 (eval: +2.23)

Depth: <42>
31550M nodes
1230K nodes/sec

The fact that it did not found a win for white in that depth suggests that the above position is drawn.

Feb-24-06  Hesam7: I was checking and it seems that 36...Bc6?? was the blunder. Looks like that 36... Bc8! would have led to a draw too. The defensive resources for Black are amazing (even if these moves lose in the end the winning line should be very lengthy).
Feb-25-06  patzer2: <Hesam7> I wonder what Fruit shows after <35... Bd5! 36. Bb3 Bf3 37. Kc5 Bh5 38. Bg8 Kf8> 39. Bh7! Kg7 40. e6!

Here's one quick possibility, playing it out move-by-move on infinite analysis with Fritz 8 at a mere 21 to 23 depth:

<35... Bd5 36. Bb3 Bf3 37. Kc5 Bh5 38. Bg8 Kf8> 39. Bh7! Kg7 40. e6! Bd1 41. Kb4 Bh5 42. Kb5 Kf8 43. Kc5 Ke7 44. Kd5 Bf3+ 45. Ke5 Bh5 46. Bg8 Bf3 47. Bf7 Bh5 48. Kd4 Kd6 49. Kc3 Ke7 50. Kc4 Kd6 51. Kd4 Bf3 52. Bxg6 Kxe6 53. Bh7 Bh5 54. Kc5 Bg4 55. Bg8+ Ke7 56. Kd5 Kf8 57. Be6 Kg7 58. Ke5 Kg6 59. Bd7 Bh3 60. Be8+ Kg7 61. Bh5 Bg2 62. Kxf5 (+31.66 @ 23 depth).

Feb-25-06  Mameluk: <hesam7> Even in your crazy computer line, there is easy but beautiful way to win in the end. 57. Be6-Bh3 and now attention kids, very educational! 58. Bc8!!-Bg4 59. Bd7!-Bh3 60. Be8 Kg7 61. Bh5. This is the key win of the endgame probably.
Feb-25-06  patzer2: <Mameluk> You're correct that at the end of <Hesam7>'s Fruit line that 57. Be6 Bh3 58. Bc8!! wins.

<Hesam7>, could you input the final position at the end of the long analysis into Fruit to see it it changes the assessment? I tried it with Fritz 8 and it quickly gave the winning 57. Be6 Bh3 58. Bc8!! @ 20 depth a +9.72 evaluation.

Fruit is one of the strongest programs available, so I'm surprised it's having trouble accurately assessing the strength of its own analysis.

P.S. For some reason Fruit's trouble here made me think of the Fruit Loops breakfast cereal, which has a fun drawing and coloring site for kids at Might be worth sharing with my grandchildren.

Feb-25-06  John Abraham: <patzer2> Thanks for the link :-)


Feb-25-06  Hesam7: After:

35... Bd5! 36. Bb3 Bf3 37. Kc5 Bh5 38. Bg8 Kf8 39. Bh7

click for larger view

Fruit still does not find a clear cut win for White. Here is its analysis:

39... Ke7 40. Kc6 Ke6 41. Bg8 Ke7 42. e6 Bf3 43. Kc5 Bb7 44. Bf7 Be4 45. Kd4 Bf3 46. Bxg6 Kxe6 47. Bh7 Bh5 48. Kc5 Bg4 49. Bg8 Ke7 50. Kd4 Kf8 51. Be6 Kg7 52. Ke5 Kg6 53. Bd7 Bh3 54. Be8 Kg7 55. Ba4 Kf7 56. Bb3 Kg7 57. Be6 Kg6 58. Bd7 Bg4 59. Be8 Kg7 60. g6 Bh3 (eval: +2.31 @ depth 36)

Also you should note that the last moves in the engine lines are not the best. One usually finds improvements in the end of the line.

Feb-25-06  patzer2: Hesam 7> I wonder if Fruit is having difficulty calculating this particular ending. After < 39... Ke7 40. Kc6 Ke6 41. Bg8 Ke7 42. e6 Bf3> 43. Kc7! (not Fruit's 43. Kc5?!), White is back on the winning track.

In this line, after 43. Kc7! Bd1
44. Bf7 Bh5 45. Kc8 Be2 46. Bxg6 Ba6+ 47. Kc7 Kxe6 48. Kd8 Bb5 49. Bh7 Be2 50. Ke8 Bf3 51. Bg8+ Kd6 52. Bf7 (+18.22 @ 23 depth, Fritz 8) Black is busted.

Feb-25-06  patzer2: <John Abraham> You're welcome. Just curious, do you know any other current actors or actresses interested in Chess. Bogart, Schwarzenegger and yourself are the only one's who come to mind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <patzer2> Do you know or have you heard of English film star Belinda Lee. She was a keen amateur. For more info on her see and

For other famous people (not only actors) see

Feb-25-06  Hesam7: <patzer2> White is winning in your line and after playing some of the moves Fruits evaluation also jumped. I think there should be some sort of bug in the program. Anyway I still want to defend Black! How about this try:

35... Bd5! 36. Bb3 Bb7 37. Kc5 Bc8

click for larger view

Feb-26-06  patzer2: <Benzol> Thanks for the information on famous people who played chess.
Feb-26-06  patzer2: <Hesam 7> You may be on to something with <35... Bd5! 36. Bb3 Bb7 37. Kc5 Bc8>. It's a tough nut to crack, but I'm working on it.

Anyone else want to tackle this one. It's a fascinating position, and may indicate a crtical draw was missed with 35...Bd5! to refute the conclusion of at least one strong GM analyst claiming a win for White after Black's 30th move.

Feb-26-06  patzer2: <Hesam 7> The winning move for White in the position after <35... Bd5!? 36. Bb3! Bb7 37. Kc5! Bc8> is 38. Bc4!!

After 38. Bc4!! Black has two replies that put up strong resistance (38...Bb7 and 38...Bd7), but they both lose to 39. Bg8!:

click for larger view

[Position after 35... Bd5! 36. Bb3 Bb7 37. Kc5 Bc8 38. Bc4!! (diagram above, analysis below):]

(1) 38...Bb7 39. Bg8! Bf3 40. e6! Bd1 41. Bf7 Bh5 42. Kd5 Bf3+ 43. Kd4 Bg4 (43... Be2 44. Bxg6 ) (43... Bh5 44. Ke5 ) 44. Bxg6 Kxe6 45. Bh7! Bh5 46. Kc5! Bd1 47. Bg8+ Ke7 48. Kd4 Kd6 49. g6 Ke7 50. Ke5 Kf8 51. Bf7 Kg7 (51... Bh5 52. Kf6 ) 52. Kxf5 (+14.25 @ 21 depth, Fritz 8).

(2) 38... Bd7 39. Bg8! Ba4 40. e6! Bd1 41. Bf7 Bf3 42. Kd4 (transposing to the line above's 43. Kd4 ).

Feb-26-06  Hesam7: <patzer2> 38. Bc4! is a nice find. It appears that the bishop ending is lost anyway. If so then Svidler's main mistake was 30... f5.
Feb-26-06  patzer2: <Hesam7> Thanks! It's really Fritz 8 with some trial and error in forcing the program's second, third and fourth choices on infinite analysis.
Feb-27-06  alexandrovm: I've never seen this line before and I find it interesting, as white and as black. The endgame comes very fast, white is ahead in development and tempo (looking at the position in move 11), I'll study this line of the Grunfeld for future practice.
Mar-14-06  Veselin Anderson: Excellent finish! Bravo Aronian!
Jun-04-17  ZackyMuhammad: Trap for bishop.
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