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Levon Aronian vs Peter Svidler
Alekhine Memorial (2013), Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS, rd 4, Apr-24
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Modern Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-24-13  shivasuri4: Startling collapse from Svidler starting with the dubious 31...b5. He had very little time to work with at the ending, and that proved fatal.
Apr-24-13  Fanques Fair: After the strange looking move 17- Bh4 , I wonder why does not Black answer with 17-..., f4 , 18- Qc1, h6 , threatening to win the bishop . It´s true that Aronian could well have planned to sacrifice it with 19-g3, g5 , 20- Bxg5 , hxg5 , 21- Nxg5, with a knight infiltrating at e6, but after 21-..., Qd6 , 22- Ne6 , Rf7 , 23- Bg4 , Nf6 , 24- Bf5 (otherwise Nxe4) , Nxd5 ! , 25- Bg6 (if Nxg7, 25-... Kxg7) ,Qxe6 , 26- Bxf7 + , Qxf7 , 27- exd5 , Qxd5 and Black is winning ...
Apr-24-13  Nerwal: 17... f4 18. ♕d3 Δ d6 and ♗e7
Apr-24-13  Fanques Fair: Ok, I agree that 18-Qd3 is stronger, but after 18-..., Qd6, the threat to the bishop is still on the air, and I don´t see any easy solution for White in this position.
Apr-24-13  Nerwal: 18. ♕d3 ♕d6 19. ♘d2 Δ ♘c4 and f3
Apr-24-13  Fanques Fair: Ok , 19- Nd2 is very strong. But Black can play 19-...,Bf6, 20-Nc4, Qe7 21-d6, Qd8 22- Bxf6, Nxf6 23-Bf3, g5 !
Apr-24-13  Shams: <Fanques Fair> In that line what about 23.f3 followed by attacking the queenside? Your idea was interesting but it might be at strategic cross-purposes. Black is closing lines where he should be opening them, in order to play against a piece that he then allows to be traded off.
Apr-24-13  Fanques Fair: It maybe strategically different from Black´s initial idea, but after 23-f3 White´s bishop is bad and Black´s is good. Black would have the potential threat of a pawn-break at the king side with g5-g4 , while White´s advanced passed d-pawn would be his compensation, but it would be easily blocked ... at least I see counterplay for Black in this line, while in the game Black´s e and f pawns turned into weaknesses ...
Apr-25-13  Shams: <Fanques Fair> I don't think White's bishop is bad at all in that line. It will soon play to b3 or a4 and gain plenty of activity. Perhaps you're right though and Black should have gone for this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: black's rook out on e4 is really misplaced, hemmed in by pawns.
May-06-13  Ulhumbrus: 24 Bxd7 concedes the bishop pair and is not a choice to make lightly.

In the position after 26 c4 Black's worst placed piece is his bishop. This suggests that Black is advised to find a good square for it unless he can gain advantage from an immediate attack. This suggests 26...Bc8 getting ready to bring the bishop to d7 from where the bishop can support the advance ...b5

30...a6 not only weakens the b6 pawn but also ties the bishop to the defence of the a6 pawn, preventing the bishop from going to d7. After this move the manoeuvre ..Rg7-g4-d4 begins to look like a mistake.

Before choosing the move 32...b5? Svidler may have calculated the sequence 33 cxb5 Bxd5 skewering White's rook on b3 and the pawn on a2. Unfortunately for Svidler the b5 pawn is pinned by White's rook on the b file to the bishop on b7, so that it does not really threaten to capture the c4 pawn at all. For this reason Aronian does not have to take the b5 pawn but can withdraw his took to b2 threatening cxb5 after which the recapture ...Nxd5 will not arrive with tempo by attacking White's rook

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