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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Levon Aronian
"Shak it Off" (game of the day Jan-28-2015)
World Championship Candidates (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 9, Mar-23
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Kmoch Variation (E20)  ·  1-0



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Given 11 times; par: 74 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-03-14  Ulhumbrus: If White can play a brilliant exchange sacrifice perhaps it is better for Black to not give him the chance eg by 15...Nc4 16 Bxc4 dxc4 17 Rb5 c5. Aronian mentioned that he should have played ...c5 at some point.
Premium Chessgames Member
Jan-28-15  lost in space: What a brilliant, wonderful and complex game! Chess at its best.
Jan-28-15  fisayo123: Easily one of the best games of this years Candidates Tournament.

<What a brilliant, wonderful and complex game! Chess at its best.>

Not surprising when you consider the two players involved.

Jan-28-15  morfishine: Great Game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Say, what I've noticed with these GOTDs recently is that when <tpstar> puts a title in one of the games in his collection (ex. Shak it Off), it magically is the title of the GOTD as supplied by <cg> as well. Is that supposed to be a coincidence?
Jan-28-15  AdolfoAugusto: Maybe it is because those titles are ironic, sarcastic and fun?

We don't play cards, so we (mostly) don't rely on luck and enjoy the double meaning and maybe inference of words.

Or maybe tpstar is just the owner of cg?

I like the inside jokes they bring.

Jan-28-15  rickycota: Those titles are being put by little girls. 'Caruana Grande'? (Ariana Grande) 'Shak it off' (Shake it off - Taylor Swift). Both today and yesterday were great games but those puns just suck
Jan-28-15  ajile: <AylerKupp: Does anyone have an opinion why Aronian did not play 17...Nxc4? After 18.Rxc4 (forced, I think) 18...dxc4 19.Kf2 Bf5 Black stands slightly better according to Critter 1.6a ([-0.25], d=19) since the Pg7 will soon fall. Stockfish DD has a simiilar line and evaluation with a lower eval ([-0.12], d=26) but that’s probably because I didn’t let Critter run as long as I should have.>

Agreed I couldn't figure this out either. What's the point of loading up on c4 with knights if you don't play 17..Nxc4 (?)

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 3 32-bit : 19 ply

1. = (-0.17): 17...Nxc4 18.Rxc4 dxc4 19.Kf2 Bf5 20.Ne2 Rad8 21.Re1 Bg6 22.Nf4 Qxg7 23.Qb2 c6 24.Kg1 Qf7 25.Qe2 Bf5 26.a4 Re7

2. = (-0.04): 17...dxc4 18.Rb5 Nd5 19.Rxd5 Qxd5 20.Ne2 Bf5 21.Kf2 Rad8 22.Bg5 Rd7 23.Nf4 Qc6 24.Re1 Rxe1 25.Qxe1 Rxg7 26.Nd5 Qe6 27.Qxe6+ Bxe6 28.Ne7+ Kf7 29.Bh6 Rxg2+ 30.Kxg2 Kxe7 31.Bf4 Kd7 32.Kf2

Black is slightly better in all the lines I've seen so far.

Apr-05-15  MindCtrol9: I capture the Bishop without thinking too much.Aronian saw a ghost or something I don't understand, but capturing the Bishop and winning the exchange was a good deal.Some good players sometimes make moves not according to their rating.I don't know if they are losing interest playing or may be personal problems that make them play not how they suppose to.
Apr-05-15  M.Hassan: "Insane"
White to play 28.?
White has a Knight+3pawns for a Rook
I thought White wold want to keep g7 pawn for whatever price:

<if...Kxg7 29.Qb2+ and picks up the Rook that would be a good price for a pawn!>

29.Bd4 Bf5
30.g4 Rxe1
31.Qxe1 Rb1
32.Qe7 threatening mate on f8
33.Ne6 one more attacker to f8 square
<if...Bxe6 34.Qxe6#> Black can not do much but can give checks out of desparation:

34.Kxf1 Bd3+
and White's win is certain

Apr-05-15  devere: 28.?
White already has three pawns for the exchange, so all that is needed to win is to systematically strengthen and consolidate his advantage. 28.d5! opening lines for the bishop and queen looks attractive. If 28...Kxg7 29.Qb2+ wins a rook. If 28...Qa6 29.Bd4 works well. Black's best is probably 28...R(e)a8, but then after 29.Kg3 Kxg7 30.Bd4+ Black will soon be checkmated; and if 29...Ra2 30.Qc3 Black will slowly be strangled.
Apr-05-15  diagonalley: well, amazingly, i got the first move (only because i couldn't find anything else)... but that's all. what a stupefying postion and game... "insane" is well merited
Apr-05-15  jith1207: It says "Insane" for Move # 28.

Mamedyarov probably had noticed this sequence or planned a part of it when he moved 18. Rb5, what do you call that?


Apr-05-15  HaydenB: I saw d5 with the idea of putting the Bishop on c5, does that count :) ?
Apr-05-15  morfishine: In this position, <28.d5> is logical/normal & hardly insane. However, in this wondrous game, there's plenty of "insane" moves all throughout

As noted previously, Black commits a number of microscopic inaccuracies allowing White to win brilliantly; For example 17...dxc4 when 17...Nxc4 was superior. It was around here that Black seemed to drift; Mamedyarov knew he was practically forced to surrender an exchange what-with the Black Knights control of <c4> and the pressure down the e-file; Instead of winning the exchange in the best fashion, Black tries to side-step this by playing 17...dxc4 trying to keep a Knight on the board; I guess you really can't fault Aronian's effort to find a winning tactic. But White will give up an exchange no matter what, hence <18.Rb5>! ready to intercept the Knight at <d5>



Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I got one thing right: h6 would <eventually> be played. :)

Is it almost Monday?

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < HaydenB: I saw d5 with the idea of putting the Bishop on c5, does that count :) ? >

of course it does!

< morfishine: In this position, <28.d5> is logical/normal & hardly insane. >

strongly agree. When i viewed the position on the front page i considered d5 almost instantly and intuitively. It is the natural move in the position. I reasoned as follows:

Well, white has nothing but a huge pawn on e3. If he is to improve the position of his worst placed piece, the Be3 needs some breathing room. 28.Nxd3 just drops the B pawn after Rxd3 Qb2 Rb3. Besides, white is already down the exchange and should not trade material. After d5 white has the beautiful c5 square for the B, where it frees the Q from the defense of the b pawn and also eyes f8. A Bc5 would also shield the d pawn giving white a possible Ne6 at the very least, but if white can play h6 guarding the g7 pawn Nh5 will escort the pawn to queendom!

But the <insane> thing threw me, as i had not played thru this game previously, and still groggy from a late night of movies and chardonnay with the wife, i just thought.. "ok if white has something better (or at least more bizarre) than d5, i don't see it, and am too tired to look."

Then lo and behold, the answer was not at all insane! {insane to me is when you really have to reach deep through complex tactics to work a position of unusual character, but in this case, it was completely based on positional considerations.) Although in all fairness to CG, i certainly wouldn't want the task of having to dig through the database looking for ridiculously difficult positions to post. I'm ok with not having to work that hard this morning. LOL

Apr-05-15  morfishine: <PawnSac> Your comments can't hardly be improved upon, especially the part about being groggy from a late night; Mine though was due to watching both College Basketball games which didn't end til around midnight
Apr-05-15  5hrsolver: I am baffled. One surprising move after another. Great game
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight and three pawns for a rook.

Black threatens Qa4-Ra2 and Kxg7.

My first idea was 28.Kg1 but it looks passive.

Another option is 28.d5 to unclog the position:

A) 28... Qa4 29.Bd4

A.1) 29... Rxe1 30.Qxe1

A.1.a) 30... Bf5 31.Qe7 Qa8 32.Ne6 looks winning due to 33.Qf8+ (32... Bxe6 33.Qxe6#).

A.1.b) 30... Qd7 31.Qe6+ Qxe6 32.dxe6

A.1.b.i) 32... c3 33.e7 Ra8 (33... Kf7 34.g8=Q+ wins) 34.Bxc3 + - [N+4P vs R].

A.1.b.ii) 32... Bf5 33.g4 followed by Nxe6 or Nd5, winning.

A.1.b.iii) 32... Ra8 33.Nd5 looks winning.

A.1.b.iv) 32... c6 33.h6 Bg6 (to stop Nh5) 34.Nxg6 hxg6 35.e7 Ra8 36.Ke3 Re8 37.Bf6 and Black looks defenseless against the march of the white king to capture the remaining black pawns (37... Kf7 38.h7 wins).

A.1.c) 30... Ra2+ 31.Kg1 doens't seem to solve any problem.

A.2) 29... Ra2 30.Rxe8+ Qxe8 31.Qxa2 wins.

A.3) 29... Ra8 30.Qe3 Qd7 31.Qe6+ Qxe6 32.dxe6 looks similar to A.1.b.

B) 28... Rea8 29.Bd4 and the white pieces come into play. For example, 29... Ra2 30.Bb2 Qa4 31.Kg3 Qb3 32.Qe3 Qxb2 33.Qe6+ Kxg7 34.h6+ Kf8 (34... Kg8 35.Qe8+ Rxe8 36.Rxe8#) 35.Qe7+ Kg8 36.Re5 blocking the black queen wins.

C) 28... Kxg7 29.Qb2+ wins the rook on a3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < morfishine: Mine though was due to watching both College Basketball games which didn't end til around midnight >

my self infliction went on till about 3 am. Digging thru old videos, We watched everything from "What about Bob" to "Mary Poppins" and episodes of Star Trek Next Generation. It was a disgusting display juvenile delinquency. lmao

Apr-05-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this late middle-game position with bishops of opposite colors, white has 3 pawns plus knight for a rook, with an advanced g7 pawn that is obviously critical. White appears to control the center, while black can create threats on the open a-file (e.g. Qa4 followed by Ra2). Another key factor is the relative merits of the bishops. White's bishop is a tall pawn right now, but it can become active. Therefore, I like


I see this as a positional move with favorable tactical ramifications, one of which is to prevent 28... Kxg7?? 29.Qb2+. The biggest benefits are to open the a1 diagonal for the bishop (which also frees the rook) and the queen, to deny the black queen easy access to the king-side, and to establish an outpost on e6 - all of which improve the white position. There is not much calculation required for these observations.

Play might continue thematically with 28... Rea8 (Qa4 29.Bd4 Ra2?? 30.Rxe8+) 30.Kg3! Ra2 31.Qc3 Qa6 32.Ne6 (white can attack on the black and light squares while black has no real attack on the light) Qd6+ 33.Bf4 Qxd5 34.Qf6! and black has no good defense to 35.Qf8+.

Not planning to do more comprehensive analysis today - time for review....

Apr-05-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: I failed to consider black's counter-play on the e-file which keeps the play so very complicated.
Jul-12-15  PolgarFanGirl: "Shak It Off"
is that a spin-off of Tay Swift's "Shake It Off"? (^^)
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