csmath: There is some discussion here between 16. d6 and 16. f5 [as played by Aronian].
Honestly Aronian's choice looks more dangerous for black to me as black dark squares bishop looks awfully misplaced. The usual opinion about Aronian being unprepared seems rather faulty cliche given the well prepared opening he played here.
[here alternative is 17. Qd6 which violates positional priciple but seems a more peaceful choice for black:
18. Bc4 Rfb8, 19. Rb3 Re8, 20. Qh6 Qe5 and black will be defending his position for some time to come]
[this move has been on books since 1992]
[18. ...Qd6!? is again more peaceful alternative]
19. ... Bc8?!
[my analysis shows that 19. ...Qe4 leads to a draw by perpetual or equal ending but it optically looks as if white is going to have strong advantage in the endgame. This is what MVL probably feared.]
[all of this is played in 2000 in the game Flumbort-Amrein won by Flumbort. This game is not in this database.]
[This is Aronian's improvement and now black is in serious trouble as there is no escaping from difficult ending. Flumbort played 21. Qf4 and won the game as well.]
[here Aronian conceived nice combination 26....Be7, 27. Rxg6+! hxg6, 28. Bxe7 Re8, 29. Bxc5 with serious advantage for white.]
[MVL loses the thread of the game in difficult defence and makes a decisive error.]
[this throws away the winning game. After 29. d6! with threat Bd5 black loses a-pawn anyway in a hopeless position, for example:
29. d6! Rxb3, 30. axb3 Kf8, 31. Bd5 Rc6, 32. Rxa7 Ke8, 33. Bb7 Rb8, 34. Bc6! Bxc6, 35. Re7 Kf8 36. Rxe5 Rxb3, 37. Re7 and black is lost.]
[there is hardly anything better but this is not a move that can be considered good.]
[what an awful waste of tempo in a position where every tempo counts. 33. ...f6! equalizes instantly as king approaches passer through f7 without any fear.]
[this is clearly a blunder as there is no stopping pawn now without a loss of material. 34. ...Re4! and the pawn is stopped since 35. d7 Rxe7, 36. d8Q Rxa7
and white cannot do absolutely anything.]
[last attempt on tactical tricks]
[precise execution. Promotion would be a grave blunder: 37. d8Q?? Rxd8, 38. Bxd8 Bd4+ and draw.]
[of course 37. ...Bd4 loses to 38. Ke2]
This game goes to show how little is played nowadays. 20 moves is just the theory and the rest of the game is with quite a few errors in 14 moves when the game is decided. Another 8 moves in hopeless position and the game is over.
Nevertheless this game is theoretically important, not as much as what is played but what could have been played.