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Vasyl Ivanchuk vs Levon Aronian
Morelia-Linares (2007), Morelia MEX, rd 7, Feb-25
Queen's Gambit Declined: Ragozin Defense (D38)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-25-07  capa5: Chucky makes the endgame look so easy. Pickup the isolated pawn, convert this into a two pawn advantage ...
Feb-25-07  Troglodyte: Lets hope that this great victory and the big break now inspires Ivanchuk to win Linares. Also, all of his fans in Linares will be cheering for him. Ivanchuk! Ivanchuk!
Feb-25-07  TennesseeStud: What the hell happened to Aronian. He was playing well, and then just missed the simple calculation that gave up his pawns..
Feb-26-07  shintaro go: Credit to Ivanchuk for squeezing out every ounce of advantage he could find and converting for the full point.
Feb-26-07  Atking: Nothing to say about Aronian. Ivanchuck played incredibly well this game.
Feb-26-07  Ashram64: who said pawn-grabber is bad chess...

that one pawn can screw you over

Feb-26-07  argishti: As an Aronian fan, i think, he played teroubly in this game. As I always said, aronian doesnt understand Ivanchuk's play. Aronian is srong, but still has weaknesses to work on.
Feb-26-07  Ulhumbrus: Aronian does nothing on the c file while Ivanchuk does something against Black's isolated d pawn and wins. However can this really be a win for White? Instead of 18...Rc2, 18...f6 gets ready for ..Kf7 and ..Ke6.
Feb-26-07  Prugno: I was watching this game live, and 17. Rc3-c1! followed by 18. Rd1 and a series of accurate moves to pinpoint the weakness on d5 was a really exciting moment. Some kibitzer even thought it was a relay error for the obvious (and inferior) 17. Rac1.

Many chess fans talk about Ivanchuk as a creative player mostly with the middlegame in mind, but (if in form) he is capable of working wonders even in the endgame. His win against Nisipeanu in Foros 2006 was another of those deceptively smooth games where the loser, also a world-class player, has to give up without even realizing where he has made a mistake.

Feb-27-07  Atking: 14.Rfc1! was deeply connected to 20.Rab1 ! GM Marin suggested 17. ...RxRc1+ 18.RxRc8 Rc8 as the best way to equalize. I'm still not completely convinced 19.RxRc8+ BxRc8 20.Nd4 Bb7 21.Bb5 Nf6 22.Bc6 BxBc6 23.NxBc6 a5 24.Ne7+ Kf8 25.Nc8 Nd7 (25. ...b5 26.Nd6 b4 27.Nb7) 26.Kf1 to d4 Pawn ending has some common points with or not with Knights. here d5 is a real weakness. Quite agree with you <Prugno> A hight class game.
Feb-28-07  dejavu: What about the Magnificent Carlsen! where he stands in this Super GM group. He's just a kid! at the top of his game. way to go MC.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 24...Rb5 25.Ba4 (25.Ba2 Rc2 26.Rd2 Rxd2 27.Nxd2 Rc5 seems equal too) Ra5 26.Bb3 Rb5 could be a draw.

30...Rc8?! should be a turning point in a position where White had only a small edge. After that move, the d pawn is too weak. It is true that White was threatening 31.Nd3 followed by 32.a4, trapping the Rook, but the simple 30...Nc5 should be a sufficient defence against this threat.

Feb-28-07  maarnold: 30...Nc5?? after 31.Bc4 the rook is once again trapped.
Feb-28-07  veigaman: Great game by chucky outplaying completly aronian. What a pitty he will not take part in the candidate match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: 17 Rc3-c1 is one of those anti-intuitive mystical moves that Ivanchuk comes up with now and then that are beyond my comprehension.

It's as if all the play was going on the c file, then Ivanchuk says I will give you a move, and shift operations over one file, and you can not take advantage in any way.

Feb-28-07  crwynn: <30...Nc5?? after 31.Bc4 the rook is once again trapped.>

Is White better after 31...dc 32.Rxd8 Rxb2?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <maarnold: 30...Nc5?? after 31.Bc4 the rook is once again trapped.> It is not so simple. Then, like <CRWynn> wisely noticed, 31...dxc4 32.Rxd8 Rxb2. Black has only one pawn for the exchange, but full compensation. Why? The main point is the queen side majority. Black threatens to create quickly two connected passed pawns. Another point is that Black threatens to win another pawn with Ra2. On the other side, I don't like at all the position of the White Knight, and White Kingside majority is not so dangerous than Black's one. On the all, in my opinion, the position would be to Black's advantage.
Mar-01-07  maarnold: I don't agree at all. after 32...Rxb2, I think 33.Rd1d2 looking to exchange rooks would ultimately lead to a solid advantage for white. If black declines the exchange and plays 33...Rb3, white can then free his knight with 34.Nc2
Mar-03-07  crwynn: < don't agree at all. after 32...Rxb2, I think 33.Rd1d2 looking to exchange rooks would ultimately lead to a solid advantage for white. If black declines the exchange and plays 33...Rb3, white can then free his knight with 34.Nc2>

Doesn't 33.R1d2 give Black a clear edge after 33...c3 34.Rxb2 cb 35.Rd1 Bd5? I don't see how to prevent Ba2 and win of the Exchange, for example 36.Rb1 Na4 37.Nd3 Ba2 38.Nxb2 Bxb1 39.Nxa4 (or 36.Nd3 Na4 37.e4 Bc4! [not 37...Ba2? 38.Nxb2!] and Black wins) and I think Black has the better of the minor-piece ending, with his outside passed pawn on the way; in any case he is not down any material.

33.R8d2 is more reasonable, but 33...Rb3 34.Nc2 Bc6 looks fine to me for Black, as he is still threatening the a-pawn (...Ba4 and ...Rc3) and I do not see how to dislodge his active pieces.

Jul-29-08  rodrigochaves: 31. d4 just lose a pawn without compesation, but what black could do?
Premium Chessgames Member
  sbevan: There's an interesting annotation on this game from Sokolov's book "Winning Chess Middlegames...", quoted in NIC magazine, 2009 Issue 2. Ivanchuck's play is termed "exquisite"
Rowson wrote the review of the book, the comments are a mixture of quotes from the book (" ") with Rowson's own comments (' ').

17. Rcc1 "a beautiful move. W keeps the Rooks on in order to target the weak isolated pawn on d5. For his part B cannot create any counterplay related to his control of the c-file"

17 Rfc8
'Sokolov doesn't comment on the idea of taking on c1 and playing ..Rc8 and I presume in that case W takes and plays Nd4 retaining some advantage, although perhaps less than in the game'

19 Bb5!
"An important tempo" 'Positional control invariably depends upon such tactical details' (Rowson?) 24 Kh2!!
"Stepping away from a check on c1 in order to double the Rooks along the d file. It is very important for W to keep all four Rooks on the board"

'30 Nc5 was more tenacious' (Rowson I believe)

From NIC Magazine 2009 Issue 2

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