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Levon Aronian vs Wesley So
Tata Steel Masters (2014), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 6, Jan-18
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Indian Formation (A15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-18-14  twinlark: <celsoagj: The final position was not to resign. How Aronian would win if he will not be able to promote a pawn?>

This is an easy win for any GM. White simplifies to increase his material advantage, and then uses his superior forces to wipe out Black's pawns and queen one of his own.

Jan-18-14  haydn20: I didn't watch this live so no clock. You claim Wesley was bamboozled into an English type position when he wanted a Gruenfeld. If so,then he really was outplayed. Sometimes one forgets these are human, not computer, games, and forcing your opponent to chew up time is part of the game. Still, if Black plays bxc5, I cliam White has very little if any plus.
Jan-18-14  john barleycorn: <haydn20> It was kind of a lesson. the way So denied an open sicilian (Sveshnikov) to Gelfand yesterday he was stopped from playing his Gruenfeld today. That is how I see it. C'est la vie. No need to put the flag halfmast.
Jan-18-14  devere: This opening is not much good for Black. Perhaps 19...Bc3 was the fatal error? it seems that after 19...Bf4 Black can probably hold the position.
Jan-18-14  twinlark: <devere>

<17...Bxf3> was a substandard move, while <28...Rd8> was the losing move as such.

Please read comments posted earlier on this page.

Jan-18-14  wowowee: Nice demolition by Lev(r)on! =))
Jan-18-14  cro777: Aronian's Anti-Gruenfeld system.

Levon Aronian: "This variation I worked out long ago. I can say that I invented my own recipe how to play against the Gruenfeld Defence."

Nevertheless, after 17.Rdc1

click for larger view

Wesley could have equalized by playing

17...bxc5 18.Bxc5 Bb4!

Jan-18-14  csmath: Yes, I do not see anything particular in this "system" that made So lose the game. I think he was simply outplayed in minor piece middlegame after giving away bishop pair.

However you gotta compliment Aronian for playing such a tricky move like 28. Rc4. This is cool as a cucumber preparing the capture of a minor piece. It does show the class of a player and it goes as a credit to So as well, as such a subtle work is needed to beat him.

Jan-18-14  holdem33: why would someone slug it out with aronian the BEAST? it should be 3 ??? and that is the answer!!!
Jan-18-14  Nonnus: <Wesley could have equalized by playing

17...bxc5 18.Bxc5 Bb4!>

Let's say:


What's the continuation? Both the c6 N and the a7 P are under attack.

Jan-18-14  celsoagj: twinlark: it is not an easy win. You are seeing just computer's evaluation.
Jan-18-14  cro777: <Nonnus: Let's say: 19.Be3 What's the continuation?>

If 19.Be3 then 19...Ba3

click for larger view

Jan-18-14  devere: <celsoagj: twinlark: it is not an easy win. You are seeing just computer's evaluation.>

It is a clearly won game because of the attacking power of the 2 bishops. if White's bishop on e3 was a knight his advantage would be greatly diminished.

But I agree with you on playing on a bit. Even super grandmasters like Aronian occasionally blunder. What does it cost to play on?

Jan-18-14  twinlark: <celsoagj: twinlark: it is not an easy win. You are seeing just computer's evaluation.>

Actually no. It's not difficult to see the winning strategy that comes with being a piece up in a dead won position. Even I could manage that one.

Jan-19-14  mixing24: Mr. So's defeat emanated from his black bishop on moved 19...Bc3, he should have moved the bishop to 19...Bf4 staying away from being boxed in. This way he has leverage with his bishop's diagonal line and protecting the Rb8.
Jan-19-14  devere: < twinlark: <celsoagj: twinlark: it is not an easy win. You are seeing just computer's evaluation.> Actually no. It's not difficult to see the winning strategy that comes with being a piece up in a dead won position. Even I could manage that one.>

I could manage it too, but you wouldn't resign against me except in a correspondence game. I might blunder, and so might Lev Aronian. Remember this one? Aronian vs Svidler, 2006

Jan-19-14  twinlark: <devere>

No problems. Wesley was being polite and extending the world #2 some courtesy after being so thoroughly outplayed.

I did say this was easy for GMs, and yes, even Aronian can make mistakes as can a certain World Champion who fell for a mate in 1. But GMs at that level tend to make major mistakes like that a lot less than the likes of us.

Also, I was irritated by <celsoagj>'s assumption that I was relying on a computer evaluation.

Jan-19-14  machess: So outclassed
Jan-19-14  RedShield: I see what you did there. Very clever.
Jan-19-14  whiteshark: Daniel ♔ demonstrates ...
Jan-19-14  crazyim5: What an incredible game by Aronian?! Very precise and some of the moves are really sharp and make little sense at first glance but very strong
Jan-20-14  torrefan: It was preparation more than anything else. To fully understand this game it is not enough to just look at the moves. One should also take note how fast Aronian was moving and how much time Wesley spent in the opening and middlegame. But I'm not making excuses. Aronian showed his mastery of the game here as preparation is but a part of the competition.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: So must have had a miserable experience as he kept dodging those bishops.

I liked Aronian's pawn sac 27. Ba6. (not actually much of a sac since if black declines with 27. Rc7, 28. f5 pretty much forces black to take on a3.)

Jan-24-19  Dave12: I don't understand what happened in this game, Having a really hard time finding the losing move from black. I find comfort in the fact that probably Wesley So didn't undestand what's happening as well..
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I think So's troubles began (perhaps) when he played 23...Nb4 or 27...Bxa3.

How Aronian managed to see that he would eventually bag the Black bishop, that's incredibly good calculating.

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