(1) Ivanchuk,Vassily (2779) - Aronian,Levon (2750) [D45]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6
The Semi Slav, one of the sharpest opening, which was developed a lot thanks to Anand.

5.e3 Nbd7


and now... the Anti-Anti Meran, do you think? No!

White chooses a calm and positional approach. Instead 7.g4! is sharp and was tried by Magnus in this tournament successfully against Anand and unsuccessfully against Aronian.

7...0-0 8.Be2 b6 9.0-0 Bb7 10.Bb2 Rc8 11.Rac1
Normally, as I know, Black puts his queen on e7, before striking in the centre. But this move order was already played by Anand against Ivanchuk.

11...c5 12.dxc5

12...bxc5 13.Rfd1 Qe7 14.g3
Strong move! Ivanchuk prepares cxd exd Nh4!

14...Rfd8 15.cxd5 exd5
A structure with hanging pawns has arisen. Hanging pawns might be weak, but they can be strong as well.. Depends on how well the player handles them.

As I told you! The knight is provoking some weaknesses.

16...Bb8 17.Bf1
Transporting the bishop to g2 or h3.

An inaccuracy, I think. Qe6, putting the queen on a typical square for this structure and preventing Bh3, kept position equal.

18.Bh3 Rc7 19.Bg2

Too early. Aronian just gives up a pawn. But to be honest his position was a bit unpleasant already. Though I think, after the best Rcc8! Black can hold the position.

20.Nf5 Qe8 21.exd4 cxd4 22.Nxd4 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 g6

Nice trick, which Black could have avoided by not playing g6. But it was very bad for Black anyway. The rest is easy for Ivanchuk.

24...Qe7 25.Nxf6+ Qxf6 26.Qe2 Rxc1 27.Rxc1 Qd6

[28.f4! would win immediately. 28...Nd7 29.Nc6 winning.]

28...Qb4 29.Rc2 f5 30.Qe2 Qb7+ 31.Nc6!

31...Re8 32.Kg1 Nf3+ 33.Qxf3 Re1+ 34.Kg2 Qb5 35.Rc4