Zuerich Chess Challenge 2012 (1)
Aronian impresses with black win against Kramnik in Game 1
Mark Crowther - Saturday 21st April 2012
Aronian and Kramnik discussed the game for some time after it finished. Photo © | http://www.livestream.com/kramnikaronian
Levon Aronian defeated Vladimir Kramnik in a fine first game of the Zuerich Chess Challenge a six game match. Kramnik is an expert on both sides of the Moscow Variation of the Slav Defence and he had seen the game Gunina-Muzychuk that this game followed but he hadn't looked at it with a computer. For his part Aronian had expected the more aggressive 6.Bh4. Aronian said "When Vladimir went for 14.Re3 and then I started wondering what happens after 14...b5. I was lucky that the position was slightly better for black." Kramnik spent half an hour trying to find a reply after 16...Qe6 time he could have done with later on. After that Kramnik had to "to choose between several slightly worse positions." Aronian kept setting Kramnik problems and avoided exchanging into a technical ending (of which he wasn't that confident) and was rewarded with a decisive blunder by Kramnik with 40.Rd7? when 40...g5! won a piece. Aronian said that his main motivation in Zuerich was to learn what is needed to play on a very high level in a match against a top opponent such as Kramnik. For his part Kramnik said he hadn't "prepared that much". Game 2 Sunday 22nd April 2pm BST.
Kramnik,Vladimir - Aronian,Levon [D43]
Zurich Chess Challenge Zurich SUI (1), 21.04.2012
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3 Nd7 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 g6 10.0-0 Bg7 11.Re1 0-0 12.e4 e5 13.d5 Rd8!?
going boldly into complications.
[13...Nb6 was a draw in Leko,P (2734)-Gelfand,B (2739)Miskolc HUN 2010.]
[14.h3 has been played in a couple of games.]
14...b5 15.dxc6 bxc4 16.Nd5 Qe6!
Kramnik had seen Gunina's win against Muzychuk in a decisive final round game in the European women's championship which won her the title. But hadn't looked at it in detail. After the game both players agreed this position is slightly better for black.
[16...Qd6 17.cxd7 Bxd7 18.Nd2 Bb5 19.Qc2 Rab8 20.Rc3 Qa6 21.a4 Bf8 22.Nf1 Bc5 23.Qc1 Bc6 24.Nf6+ Kg7 25.Ng4 g5 26.Rxc4 Rd1 27.Qxd1 Qxc4 28.Qf3 Qxe4 29.Rc1 Qg6 30.Qc3 Qe4 31.Qxe5+ Qxe5 32.Nxe5 Bxf2+ 33.Kxf2 Rxb2+ 34.Ke3 Bxg2 35.Ng3 Bd5 36.Nh5+ Kf8 37.Rd1 Be6 38.Rd8+ 1-0 Gunina,V (2511)-Muzychuk,A (2583)/Gaziantep TUR 2012/The Week in Chess 906]
Kramnik thinking after 16...Qe6. Photo © http://www.livestream.com/kramnikaronian
17.cxd7 Rxd7 18.Qa4 Bb7 19.Qxc4 Bxd5
[may be more accurate but Aronian was concentrating on getting an ending with the queens off which he thought was favourable to him.]
20.exd5 Qxd5 21.Qxd5 Rxd5 22.Rae1 Re8 23.g4!?
White certainly has to be careful not to be pushed off the board but g4 is very commital.
[23...f5 is key with complex play which looks to favour black but maybe leads to simplification. 24.Nh4 (24.gxf5 gxf5 25.Nh4 e4) 24...Rd4 (24...fxg4 25.Nxg6 Kf7 26.Nh4 Bf6 27.Ng2 Rd2) ]
Kramnik is trying to simplify down.
24...hxg5 25.Nxg5+ Kg8 26.f4?!
Again alternatives don't appeal but this is very risky.
[26.b4; 26.Ra3; 26.Rb3]
[27.b3 exf4 28.Re8+ Rxe8 29.Rxe8+ Bf8 30.Nf3 and black is much better as well.]
Concedes more ground in a terribly difficult position.
[28.a3 is possible Kramnik didn't like this move either.]
28...Rxa2 29.e6 fxe6 30.Rxe6 Rf5
A tough defensive try.
As is so typical of Aronian's style he keeps things complicated and asks difficult questions of his opponent.
[31...Bd4+ 32.Kh1 Rff2 33.Rxg6+ Kf7 34.Rg2 and this ending isn't so easy to win for black if at all.]
[32...Rff2 33.Rg4 Rxh2 34.Nxg6 a5; 32...Ra4 could also have been played but Aronian didn't want a technical ending which he wasn't 100% sure of. This seems to win however.]
33.Rg4 Kf7 34.Rc1 Bh6 35.Rc7+ Ke8 36.Re4+ Kd8 37.Rh7 Bf8 38.Rd4+ Kc8 39.Rc4+ Kb8
Black's king can no longer be checked and Kramnik has to find a move.
Kramnik makes time control but this loses a knight straight away.
[40.Rc1 should lose in the long run too but the game would have continued.]
Kramnik thought for some time here (15 minutes but most of it was trying to work out where he had gone wrong earlier) but there is no saving the position.
41.Ng6 Bd6 0-1
Aronian and Kramnik at the press conference. Photo © http://www.livestream.com/kramnikaronian
|Aronian-Kramnik Match Zuerich|
|Kramnik, Vladimir||-||Aronian, Levon||0-1||41||D43||Anti-Meran Gambit|
|Aronian-Kramnik Match Zuerich (SUI), 02-07 viii 2012|
View the games on this Page