Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Levon Aronian vs Hikaru Nakamura
FIDE World Team Championship (2013), Antalya TUR, rd 3, Nov-28
Queen's Gambit Declined: Lasker Defense (D56)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 7 times; par: 73 [what's this?]

Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 138 more Aronian/Nakamura games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can get computer analysis by clicking the "ENGINE" button below the game.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-28-13  fisayo123: A fairly convincing win by Levon.
Nov-28-13  dumbgai: It's tough to create winning chances against the solid Lasker.
Nov-28-13  csmath: 14. Bc2!

[Crazy move but completely warranted. Bishop is controlling a4 square so that rook can go to c5. He also planned Bb3 with tactics on g6 and f7. Very original and creative play by Aronian.]

After 18 moves it is white that has developed and black has obvious problems with defending king against 4 pieces poised for attack.

19. Re5!?

[Yet another original play by Aronian.]

20. h4!

[Clearly Aronian has no peaceful intentions.]

20. ...Rad8
21. h5!

[No time for withdrawals. 21. Qb4 Bc8 is not the alternative Aronian wants to pursue.]

23. hxg6! Bxf3?!

[I think Nakamura is absolutely amazed by Aronian's audacity so he misses opportunity to exchange queens immediately: 23. ...Nd7, 24. Ra5 Qxc3, 25. bxc3 Bxf3, 26. gxf3 fxg6 looks like more pleasant defensive alternative with complex ending.]

26. gxf7?!

[26. Rd1 fxg6, 27. Qd4 looks stronger as white queen threatens a7 rank after f4 while d4 pawn is goner either way. Black queen cannot remove itself from the bind.]

26. ...d4?!

[Another imprecision and missed opportunity. Alternative: 26. ...Kxf7, 27. Qc7 Kg8, 28. Re7 Rc8!, 29. Qe5 Qxe5. 30. Rxe5 Rc2 and black has good chances for a draw due to activity of his rook on second rank.]

Nakamura loses pawn with some chances in the ending but ...

40. ...Rh8?

[40. Kxd5 Rxh4, 41. Re2 would be lost without pawns on the queenside but with them it is more resilient. Nevertheless I would consider this close to lost. Nakamura's move makes it sure.]

41. ...Re8?!

[The position is already lost anyway.
41. ...Rg8, 42. Kf5 Rg1, 43. Rxh4 b5, 44. f7! Ke7, 45. Rh7! and black loses queenside pawns or d/f promotes.]

42. Rxh4

with king and rook ideally placed for promotion of f-pawn while black rook and king are completely disharmonious.


Nakamura fancies himself as a challenger to Carlsen. Do you think this endgame would stand up to Carlsen scrutiny?

Original and creative play by Aronian reaching superior ending. Poor play by Nakamura in difficult ending folding much quicker than it should have been.

Nov-28-13  hellopolgar: Nakamura will have to figure out Aronian first before he has a shot at Carlsen.
Nov-28-13  csmath: Agree.

Aronian is now THE leader as far as tactical game is concerned. This I count Topalov and Nakamura and perhaps even MVL. At this point he is likely the best tactical player as he has ability to play very, very creative which he has done in this game. Moreover he is generally not a bad ending player which obviously helps. Perhaps not to the likes of Carlsen and Kramnik but surely close.

The other three have to go first through him to get to Carlsen.

Nov-28-13  dumbgai: Naka wants to challenge Carlsen? First he'll have to out-qualify Aronian:

Classical games: Levon Aronian beat Hikaru Nakamura 7 to 4, with 7 draws.

And even if he gets past that hurdle:

Classical games: Magnus Carlsen beat Hikaru Nakamura 7 to 0, with 15 draws.

To call Naka an underdog would be a major understatement.

Nov-28-13  csmath: In his tweet Nakamura pointed out another alternative (Houdini) for 26th move.

26. ...Rc8
27. Rf5 Rxc3
28. Rxf6 Rxe3
29. fxe3 Kxf6
30. Rd1 Ke6
31. Kg2 Rxf7
32. Rh1

and while black is not out of the woods yet due to difficulties in defending h-pawn obviously he has better chance to hold the draw than what was played in the game. It is the best to give h-pawn and activate rook on the second rank 32. ... Rc7, in my view.

Of course it is much easier to see that in analysis than in the game as ending is certainly not obvious.

However one ought to give a credit to Aronian who played absolutely wonderful game.

Nov-28-13  asiduodiego: Excellent game by Levon. I've never liked this variant for Black in the Queen's Gambit with the exchange of the dark squared bishops and the f-knight for the c-knight: it looks solid, but it takes a while to activate the "bad bishop" blocked by the pawn on e6. Aronian showed his attacking skills, got Naka in trouble, and drove him to a lousy endgame a pawn down, and inactive rooks. Hikaru went downhill from there.

Congratulations to Levon!. Great tactical victory against a great tactical player such as Nakamura.

Nov-28-13  dehanne: Nakamura wants to defeat Sauron, yet he cannot even take down Saruman.
Nov-28-13  superstoned: Well, he beat Kramnik yesterday. (Morgoth?)
Nov-28-13  hudapri: after 17...Qc5 what's the continuation after 18. Qxg6 ?
Nov-28-13  hudapri: Just Qxh6, Qg6 followed by Bxf7?
Nov-28-13  Marmot PFL: Lasker D is not really Nakamura's style, Dutch or King's Indian suit him better.
Nov-28-13  WiseWizard: Levon is excellent at maintaining the initiative.
Nov-29-13  patzer2: <hudapri: after 17...Qc5 what's the continuation after 18. Qxg6 ?>

If 17...Qxc5, then 18. Qxg6+ Kh8 19. Qxh6+ Kg8 (diagram below).

click for larger view

Here 20. e4! wins easily due to the mate threat created by the coming 21. Ng5 .

P.S.: Looks like Nakamura got caught in Aronian's opening prep.

Nov-29-13  lakers4sho: Nakamura prematurely cleared the center when he was underdeveloped, it was only natural that Lev went for an attack on the bare black kingside.
Nov-29-13  hudapri: <patzer2> ty, i never see the quiet ones :)
Nov-29-13  Sokrates: Many thanks, <csmath>, for sharing your good analysis of the game.
Nov-29-13  Captain Hindsight: Better would have been <40... Kd5!> with good prospects to achieve a draw. <41.Rxh4 Re2>
Nov-29-13  laertes: Thanks to <csmath>. Your analysis is super helpful for trying to understand these games.
Nov-29-13  SirRuthless: Nakamura was definitely caught in Aronian's opening prep. He was down to 20 minutes around move 22/ Aronian had more time on his clock than than he started with due to increment by move 20. It was that bad. That being said he played a defensive system he didn't really understand and deserved to lose. Aronian played well and always kept the pressure on. By the way Nakamura's losses to Aronian and Carlsen number 14. I think 11 of them are with the black pieces. He is usually good with the black pieces so make of that what you will.
Nov-29-13  Wyatt Gwyon: I understand that the Lasker Defense has once again become topical, but still a strange choice from Naka.
Dec-02-13  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 10...Nxc3 is 10...f5 with a Stonewall formation

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
QGD Lasker Defense (D56) 1-0 Alternative 10...f5 Stonewall Def
from yEG Rookie Plus Endings Rock Fredthebear by fredthebear
QGD Lasker Defense (D56) 1-0 Alternative 10...f5 Stonewall Def
from Game collection: GDQ by fredthebear
96d_The Unbearable Lightness of rook endgames 4
by whiteshark
A game full of finesse
from BAJones' Favourite Games by BAJones
Trendy Opening Lines Quite Handy !! part 2
cheerios6969's favorite games
by cheerios6969
d4 : QGD : Lasker Variation
by ISeth
Rook ending- #2 beats #3 QGD
from Endgames by alligator
Game 30
from 2012-2015 Positional Games (Naiditsch/Balogh) by Qindarka
variante Lasker Ce4
from defensa Tartakower ortodoxa by viniloangel
the agony of choice --> R
from 01 Neglected {RR} endgames II by whiteshark
A fairly convincing win by Levon.
from Positional Master Pieces by FLAWLESSWIN64
Interesting Opening Lines
by EruditeEgress
Volume 92, Game 3
from # Chess Evolution Volumes 51-100 by Qindarka
QGD Lasker Defense (D56) 1-0 Alternative 10...f5 Stonewall Def
from A Players Announced to Fredthebear's Audience by Patca63
Game 30
from 2012-2015 Positional Games (Naiditsch/Balogh) by rajeshupadhyay

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC