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Arkadij Naiditsch vs Levon Aronian
Tata Steel Masters (2014), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-17
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation (C67)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Given 12 times; par: 89 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-17-14  chesssalamander: Fabulous endgame play from Aronian! Go Levon!
Jan-17-14  notyetagm: Naiditsch vs Aronian, 2014

<chesssalamander: Fabulous endgame play from Aronian! Go Levon!>

When Aronian is in form, he is the best player in the world, IMHO.

Jan-17-14  mrbasso: White shouldn't have lost this is all I can say. It started to go downhill with 43.Rc5.
Jan-17-14  fgh: Naiditsch's "technique" in this game is best left without comment.
Jan-17-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: How did White possibly manage to lose that endgame??
Jan-18-14  asiduodiego: Interesting endgame. This game highlights the importance of an active king in the endgame, and demonstrating the key to win endgames in opposite color bishop: the principle of two weaknesses.

Black's king was able to provide support to his passed pawn, with his bishop defending succesfully against white's passed pawn. On the other hand, white's bishop was overloaded, defending the promotion square of black's c-pawn and protecting white's a-pawn, a task which proved impossible, because white's rook was unable to make itself active, reduced in the end to passive defence, and the white king lost into a futile expedition on the kingside. Black took the pawn a-pawn, concentrated his forces in his passed c-pawn, and won this difficult endgame.

Great game by Aronian, showing great endgame skills.

Jan-18-14  Wavy: I also thought that this game is a draw. Arkadi should have offered a draw early in the endgame.
Jan-18-14  SirRuthless: There is no way in hell that Aronian would take a draw offer from Arkadij in any position in this game given the latter's form so far in this event. He had no risk and could play on forever like his endgame with Nakamura and like Carlsen so often does to opponents.
Jan-18-14  Ulhumbrus: If 10 Re1+ leads to no more than an ending in which Black has the bishop pair, one alternative to it is 10 Nxc6 bxc6 11 Qf3
Jan-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Is 43. Re8 winning for white?

Black may think that:
43...Rd5 44. Rxa8 45. Rxg5+ Kxg5?? 46. c1=Q+
but
43...Rd5 44. Rxa8 Rxg5+ 45. hxg5! c1=Q+ 46. Rb8+ ... 47. a8=Q covering the h1 square from checkmate.

So it seems
43...Bd5 re-establishing the checkmate threat
44. Re7 blocking it while simultaneously attack two pawns.

Jan-24-14  Refused: <ajk68: Is 43. Re8 winning for white? Black may think that:
43...Rd5 44. Rxa8 45. Rxg5+ Kxg5?? 46. c1=Q+
but
43...Rd5 44. Rxa8 Rxg5+ 45. hxg5! c1=Q+ 46. Rb8+ ... 47. a8=Q covering the h1 square from checkmate.

So it seems
43...Bd5 re-establishing the checkmate threat
44. Re7 blocking it while simultaneously attack two pawns.>

And white being unable to capture either on h7 or c7. as 44...h6 moves the pawn from the seventh and kicks the bishop of from g5 at the same time. 45.Bf4 (or c1) c5 and all pawns are safe.
Note the Bishop can't capture anything.
If the bishop snatches the pawn on h6 white will hack it off with Rxh6+ and c1Q+. If the Bishop moved to f4 and captured on d6 the promotion square c1 is yet again unguarded.

Naiditsch was not lost at this point though. The position was very unpleasent, but the final nail in White's coffin might have been 44.Rf5 with the follow up plan Rf3-f2 etc.

Feb-05-14  freeman8201: Does any person play the berlin like. This too?
Jul-28-14  Xeroxx: Active king.

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