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Levon Aronian vs Magnus Carlsen
"Category 22 Hurricane" (game of the day Sep-03-2008)
Grand Slam Chess Final (2008), Bilbao ESP, rd 1, Sep-02
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Spielmann Defense (A32)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-02-08  crwynn: To me it is hard to understand 28.Qc6 - was this the pawn-grab of despair, or what? It seems to me 28.Qd4 is the first move to look at, maybe Black can liquidate by 28...Qe1 29.Kg2 Qe2 30.Qf6 Qg4 31.Qf7 Qg7 32.Qe8, and get another queen ending with a passed a-pawn, but this time Black's king looks kinda exposed.

Of course the point of 28.Qd4 is that 28...Qe5 hangs a7, and 28...e5 29.Qe4 is looking a bit mateish.

Possibly 28...Rg8 could be okay, just offering up f6 to trade rooks, but Black's king is still more exposed than in the game.

Sep-03-08  arsen387: very nice game by Carlsen. I hope Aronian will bounce back in the next round
Sep-03-08  metatron2: <why give black the b2 pawn? it doesn't make too much sense.>

Come on <slo>, if I didn't know you just _adore_ material sacrifice in compensation for initiative and optimal posts for the pieces, I could almost believe that it was your original evaluation while Aronian actually played 15. Be3, but as it is, I think you're just saying that in retrospect.

Apart from initiative, it just seemed like white could regain the pawn back if he wanted to, for example with 20. Bc6 & Ra5. Only deeper inspection shows that in such cases black gets the initiative. I am sure you just saw all that right on the spot, and combined with:

< as soon as Aronian moved i said: this is a mistake> and <no i got the feeling it won't work as soon as Aronian played it.>

I think someone should notify Danailov about his mistake of inviting Aronian to Bilbao instead of you ;)

Sep-03-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I think Carlsen advanced the art of defense to another level in this game, pending thorough evaluation by the silicon monsters. Aronian's sacrifice looked sound to me (and perhaps Rybka will find an improvement in White's play).

But even if the computers prove that White could have improved, Carlsen did exactly what a good defender has to do; he presented Aronian with one position after another in which White had to pick among several seemingly good enough moves. This is extremely difficult to do with that old devil clock ticking.

Sep-03-08  FHBradley: Magnus really is världens bästa Carlsen. Extremely impressive for a Norwegian, IMO.
Sep-03-08  Open Defence: would love to workshop this game
Sep-03-08  Orlin Burov: Världens bästa,yes.
Congrats MC!
Sep-03-08  Hortensius: This one deserves to be in the "notable games" collection of Carlsen...
Sep-03-08  rogge: It will be, if enough people put the game in a game collection :)
Sep-03-08  acirce: <Hard to say what happened, but it appears Aronian just ran out of ideas once he had obtained a positional bind.>

Yes. I thought Carlsen was about to get crushed, but at closer inspection it wasn't ever that bad. On ICC, "everyone" wanted 17.Nc4, the computer addicts as well as the GM's, but the question is how much White gets after Black gives the exchange as in <whiteshark>'s line.

Sep-03-08  Open Defence: actually "The Levon Daylights" would be a better pun
Sep-03-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Or <The Levon Helm> ...?
Sep-03-08  Alphastar: The middlegame (2 knights versus 2 bishops) reminded me of this great game: Psakhis vs Speelman, 1987
Sep-03-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Alphastar> Thanks - a great game between great players. To my shame, I've agreed draws in positions like the one Speelman reached, solely out of fear of Bishops.

Episcophobia, I think it's called.

Sep-03-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A funny game-first,it looked like white had a large advantage in space and momentum. Then the exchanges followed and black had a passed pawn in a tough queen ending (the volume of pawns opn both side being so important for black-one pawn vs nothing is a dead dog draw.) Finally,black abandons the passed pawn to go right for the throat-a mating attack.
Sep-03-08  ajile: I kept asking myself what's White's plan? Seemed to have some pressure then Black ends up with his nice a pawn on the q-side. Plus the whole 7.Nc2 idea seemed strange. This piece seems misplaced on this square.
Sep-03-08  DarthStapler: I swear I will eat my own hat if Carlsen never becomes world champion
Sep-03-08  twinlark: <Darth>

When would that become obvious?

Sep-03-08  DarthStapler: When he dies or drops off the top 100
Sep-04-08  notyetagm: <metatron2: <notyetagm> Aronian didn't blunder, he was simply outplayed by Carlsen's amazing ability to concurrently combine the most accurate defense with a strong attack. How many players in the world could actually hold the position resulted from the opening against Aronian? Not more then a handful I would say, but to win it?!>

Is this the greatest game that Carlsen has won to date?

Sep-04-08  notyetagm: <kevin86: A funny game-first,it looked like white had a large advantage in space and momentum. Then the exchanges followed and black had a passed pawn in a tough queen ending (the volume of pawns opn both side being so important for black-one pawn vs nothing is a dead dog draw.) Finally,black abandons the passed pawn to go right for the throat-a mating attack.>

Yes, Carlsen's <FLEXIBILITY OF THOUGHT> is astonishing.

He gives up one plan as soon as a stronger plan becomes obvious to him, while patzers like me tend to stick with one plan until the bitter end.

Sep-04-08  notyetagm: <whiteshark: Labs output after <17.Nc4!>:>

Yes, all the annotators point out that Aronian missed the *much* stronger continuation 17 ♘a3-c4!.

Sep-04-08  mrbasso: This game seems here a bit overestimated to me.
Carlsen snapped a pawn, luckily for him Aronian played several second best moves and he won. 29.Ra4 looks like an easy draw for white to me, or did I miss something?
Sep-20-08  Black Pawn: As "whiteshark" points out, 17.Nc4, may be a stronger move in the position after black's 16th move. The idea is to give a trap to the rook and win an Exchange, after the continuation 17...Rxe2, 18.Qd1 Ba6 19.Qxe2.
Feb-19-10  Mulyahnto: <mrbasso: This game seems here a bit overestimated to me. Carlsen snapped a pawn, luckily for him Aronian played several second best moves and he won. 29.Ra4 looks like an easy draw for white to me, or did I miss something?> Wouldn't you say that interposing 29. Qc2+ as played is at least equally good or better than the immediate 29.Ra4?, as it follows: 29.Ra4 Qe1+ 30.Kg2 Rd1
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