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Levon Aronian vs Viswanathan Anand
Grand Slam Chess Final (2011), Sao Paulo BRA, rd 9, Oct-10
Queen's Gambit Declined: Vienna Variation (D39)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-10-11  DrMAL: 6.Bxc4 instead of 6.Bg5 was unusual and strong (6.Qc2 also good), maybe surprising but no big deal either way. Anand played good response 6...Nxe4 but after 7.O-O also correct maybe 7...Nxc3 (8.bxc3 Be7) was slightly better. With 8.Qa5+ as in S Halkias vs Fressinet, 2010 white maintains some advantage. 9.Bg5 was thematic this or 9.Ne5 were best, creative play here. Opening serves as very instructive sharp line with good ideas for white in it, both played very accurately. Pawn sac got white big initiative and more than ample compensation.

15.Rxe5 evaluates as best by computer white gets back pawn but still has some initiative. But 15.Rad1 keeps position sharp, maybe equal but opponent is required to maintain high accuracy. As often happens with new ideas, opponent gets inaccurate from lack of preparation (and from surprise).

Houdini_20_x64: 27/64 08:55 5,921,980,110
0.00 15. ... Qe7 16.Nd5 Qf7 17.Nxf6+ Qxf6 18.b3 Qg6

Anand took different line with 15...Qe8 instead of 15...Qe7 maintaining equality but 17...Rad8 was most accurate move white started getting edge from here. More so for 20...Rg6 instead of 20...g6 in sharp position slight errors count. After third such seemingly small error 21...Qa5 instead of 21...Qe7 white's advantage was probably decisive, Aronian played fabulously here in a way that would do Fischer or anyone else proud.

Oct-10-11  chessexp: 6-1 Aronian over Anand in classical games.
Oct-10-11  M.D. Wilson: Aronian really has the wood over Vishy!
Oct-10-11  M.D. Wilson: As World Champion, Anand is more akin to Petrosian (and perhaps Spassky) than Karpov and Kasparov. He certainly hasn't dominated the tournament scene for some time.
Oct-10-11  anandrulez: Looks like Anand just can't move the woods properly vs Levon . A miniature vs Anand from Aronian - sigh ! The opening was a catastrophe , he was down a pawn right after the opening . Maybe he could have defended accurately by not wasting tempo Qe8 Qe7 ? Why not Qd7 directly ? Strange play from Vishy , he tends to fall like a pack of cards when he is playing Levon sometimes .
Oct-10-11  Gilmoy: Heh! We just saw this theme last week.

Oct 02: White hangs two on Black's WBR. Bacrot vs Mamedyarov, 2011, 1-0 without needing to see the (unplayed) forcing continuation 32.Rf6 Qxe5 33.Nxf7+ Rfxf7 34.Rxf7:

click for larger view

Oct 10: White hangs one on Black's WBR. <24..Qf5? 25.Rxe6>:

click for larger view

Weak back rank trumps all en prise!

Oct-11-11  Asap123: Vishy should thank his stars for not having Aronian to face in the WC match. It looks like Levon can give a pawn odd and still roast Vishy.
Oct-11-11  positionalgenius: Anand toasted again by Aronian!
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Beautiful play by Aronian. To be able to beat the great Vishy in this manner is astounding.
Oct-11-11  Mr. Bojangles: <M.D.¬†Wilson: As World Champion, Anand is more akin to Petrosian (and perhaps Spassky) than Karpov and Kasparov. He certainly hasn't dominated the tournament scene for some time.>

Anand compares to no one I think.

No WC went 3 years without a tournament win.

It is getting really embarrassing now.

The way Levon manhandled Anand says something about the psychology at play between the two, even Levon would be perplexed.

Having said all these Anand's strength in not in doubt. He is just one boring uninspiring performer now.

Oct-11-11  ksr: Perhaps its time for Anand , great player that he is to accept that he is on the decline .

He has completely lost the apetite for complicated, dynamic middlegames, where he was the best (after Kasparov) and plays insipid dry positions during the past 4 years , with the exception WCC matches.

Even in these balanced, simpler middlegames, which he plays nowadays he does not grind to the end like Carlsen and therefore he hardly wins.

Gelfand match would be a final test after that he can go into the sunset.

Whatever good feelings he has about the older generation holding out against the young, the performance of the older generation ( Gelfand, Ivanchuk and Anand) hardly stands scrutiny as compared to Carlsen, Aronian or Kramnik's performance in the recent years. The older generation's performance reflects occaational show of brilliance at best, and ususally lacklustre performance.

Oct-11-11  sevenseaman: With Anand's help Aronian has made it a brilliant game. Both contribute to the finishing kick.
Oct-12-11  Refused: <Mr. Bojangles: Anand losing in 25 moves? Had to believe.

Those who underestimate Gelfand may be in for a huge surprise.

The sheer quality of chess Gelfy produced on 3 separate occasions i.e Mexico 2007, World Cup win 2009 and this year's candidate win will give any chess player dead or alive a run for their money.

And in a match history is irrelevant, it is what quality and pressure one can bring to bear there and then that matters and would tell on one's opponent.

There was a silent but dangerous determination evident in Gelfand on those 3 occasions. One only need to read his interviews to see this.

We shall see...>

Easy, it was Aronian and not Gelfand who played this game against Anand.

Every player had/has their opponents, against whom they look(ed) bad. For Kasparov in the late 1990s early 2000s it was Kramnik. For Shirov it was Kasparov.
And Anand has Aronian.

This is a pure Anand thing and imho he can count himself lucky, that Aronian did not qualify. Without looking it up, I doubt Geland's score against Anand is anywhere near to Aronian's.

Oct-12-11  haydn20: In baseball slang Aronian has "ownage". A top pitcher will say of some hitter "I just can't get him out," while a top hitter will say, "I just can't see the ball right against him," (his nemesis pitcher). I've never heard a good explanation of this phenomenon in any particular case.
Oct-13-11  jhoro: In Bilbao 2008 Anand lost in exactly the same number of moves to Topalov Topalov vs Anand, 2008 , while Aronian took 75 moves Anand vs Aronian, 2008 . Anand finished dead last in Bilbao Grand Slam Chess Final (2008) . None of this stopped him from crashing Kramnik and Topalov when in mattered. I think he will be fine against Gelfand.
Oct-15-11  DrMAL: <haydn20> Interesting analogy. To me it is matter of style, Kasparov had even worse difficulty against his protege Kramnik in 2000, saying he simply could not beat him. While this seems bit suspect because of protege thing I think Kasparov was certainly playing his best to retain WC title it would be silly to think he would not want that as long as possible. Kramnik was and still is very creative player but also unusually solid so that, if one can get him inferior usually draw is all one can get for result. Kasparov has similar style and player like that does not want to be on the other end of creative attack. Romanishin had similar difficulty against Kasparov this game is good example Kasparov vs Romanishin, 1981 Kasparov had novelty 14.Ke1 game is in video My Story where Kasparov describes this point.
Oct-15-11  anandrulez: Vishy's main problem is probably psychological when he plays Aronian . He doesnt feel at ease playing Levon . 2 games where Vishy had a +1 advantage , he lost to Levon even as White . Hope Anand can work out his problems .
Oct-15-11  voyager39: I am slightly digressing from the wonderful win by Levon here to address only those who have commented that Anand is going downhill.

For these sceptics of Anand's play, or lack of it, I present to you statistics that I gleaned on the chessgames website itself. Anyone can count and verify them.

Anand has so far played 63 games in year 2011. The result is +22=36-5. The win percentage computes to 63.49%.

Carlsen has played 74 games (+28=34-11) in 2011. That's a win percentage of 61.64%.

Aronian has played 67 games (+21=38-8). That's a win percentage of 59.7%.

I see no reason to find fault with the World Champion on any account. The old man is travelling and performing every 5th day of the year and getting better overall results then his prime rivals!

Moreover, Anand's overall win percentage spanning 26 yrs (that's more then Magnus' age and 3 years less then how old Aronian is) stands at 62.8%. Aronian in 18 years of catalogued career is 61.6% and Magnus in 11 yrs of his archived career is at 60.4%.

Also let's not forget that we possibly had no automated archiving of games played by 10 year old kids back in the 1970s/80s. Anand's data presented here is compiled (most likely from only reported games) since he was 15. Carlsen's data here is from age 10 onwards and age 11 for Aronian. Like all young prodigies, Anand would also have won many games as a kid, just that they haven't got digitally recorded.

Oct-15-11  voyager39: That said, this was a wonderful and well executed victory by Aronian.

It hurt real bad that he beat my fav Anand so convincingly (yet again). Anand said later (see link in end) that "some days your head just doesn't work. I more or less missed everything"...but this again seems to happen pretty regularly for him vs Aronian only. Credit has to be given where its due and Aronian is undoubtedly a gifted and exceptional player.

Oct-15-11  DrMAL: Anand is definitely not going downhill this idea is silly he is WC with 2800 rating and his play in this game was terrific. Aronian is great player after analyzing game with computer help of course (advanced chess) I think his accuracy here was like ELO 3000 it was unusually good game for anyone, one of his very best ever.
Oct-20-11  M.D. Wilson: I've said for some time that Aronian is the most gifted player of his era; certainly up there with Spassky and Karpov in terms of pure chess talent. It's no surprise that he has the wood over Anand, who has not played enterprising chess for any sustained period, if any, since becoming WC. The psychological element is vastly important. Korchnoi crushed Tal for decades, but I think Tal was more talented. Maybe Korchnoi was always objectively stronger, even though he didn't become WC?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: This was voted the best game in Informant 113.
Jul-23-12  notyetagm:
May-28-14  echever7: <Mr. Bojangles: Anand losing in 25 moves? Had to believe....> In fact, there's a game that Anand six moves. Check out Zapata-Anand
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Here is A Zapata vs Anand, 1988, as well as another early disaster caused by carelessness, though he lasted longer: Miles vs Anand, 1990.
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