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Alexander Grischuk vs Levon Aronian
Linares (2009), Linares ESP, rd 6, Feb-25
Semi-Slav Defense: Anti-Moscow Gambit (D44)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-25-09  Marmot PFL: Aronian varies from Grischuk vs Karjakin, 2008 with 15...0-0 instead of cb3 but never seems to stop white's initiative. Aronian does not back down from complications after 25...Qxe5, but here they seem to favor white so probably driving the queen back with 25...Ra8 was the safer option. Grischuk handles the whole game extremely well imo.
Feb-26-09  Eyal: <Aronian [...] played a novelty pawn sac with 15...0-0 instead of taking on b3 as other games had gone, including Grischuk-Karjakin, 2008 [...] Jan [Gustafsson] said that previous Grischuk game was considered something of a coffin nail to this line, and he wasn't very impressed with Aronian's attempt to revive it here. He was playing very quickly (and Grischuk very slowly, as usual) and Gustafsson said, "it's either deep preparation or coffeehouse play. With Aronian it's hard to tell; he's a good bluffer. I don't trust the Black position at all." [...]

Grischuk, a pro poker player who knows a few things about bluffing, certainly made it look Starbucks as the game went on. Black's king is extremely loose and his queen way over on h4 isn't staying home reading abstinence literature either. Grischuk gave up a pawn to get his knight over to the kingside to join his queen to powerful effect. But it looked like Black might just survive after all, losing a pawn instead of the king, when 38...Qd6?? passed up the chance to get his knight into the defense with 38...Nf6 and Black was forced to give up the exchange to a pretty combination. Aronian hung on for a while when Grischuk missed a few quick kills, but it was never in doubt.> (

Feb-27-09  shintaro go: By move 19, I would say Grischuk had a favorable position already.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HAPERSAUD: its a loss either way, even with the knight moving to the right spot, the white king will have opposition by being in front of his pawn
Mar-05-09  Ulhumbrus: In this game it is Black's weakened King side that White has finally ended up taking advantage of. To repeat a comment made elsewhere,this variation is like the Sicilian Najdorf poisoned pawn variation. It looks suicidal, but numerous attempts to get the better of it have failed.
Dec-07-10  KingG: Black could have played 20...g3 21.fxg3 Qxe4, exchanging Queens and obtaining at least an equal position. So in fact, it seems like White wasted the advantage he had from the opening. White probably went wrong when he exchanged pawns on b5.
Dec-08-10  Kinghunt: I think Aronian's 20...Rac8 was fine, but he had to play g3 at some point. Say, move 21: 21...g3 22. fxg3 Qxe4 23. Qxe4 Bxe4 and black has a perfectly playable position:

click for larger view

However, in some lines from this position, white ends up down two pawns and it would take extremely deep calculation to determine that black has compensation. Whatever the silicon beasts say, I can't blame Aronian's decision to play the safer and more natural Rfd8, accepting a small minus in exchange for ease of play.

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