Bilbao 04: Aronian catches Adams

10/11/2013 – In what was a fantastically strange game the following happened: In time pressure the Frenchman went for the throat with a kingside attack while Aronian pushed his passed b-pawn, but a wrong move allowed MVL to sacrifice a rook and get a winning attack! However he erred, Aronian survived and he won the ensuing rook vs. four pawns endgame. GM Analysis.

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Four of the best chess players in the world: the Armenian olympic champion Levon Aronian, the Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, and the Englishman Michael Adams will be the contenders at the sixth Grand Slam Chess Masters final, one of the most prestigious tournaments of the world which will be held from the 7th to the 12th of October, 2013.

The tournament will be played under a double round-robin and ruled by the revolutionary regulations that distinguishes Bilbao form the other international tournaments. With the aim of guaranteeing an entertaining game every time, the Sophia Rules and Bilbao Rules will apply. According to these rules, the players can only agree on a draw under the supervision of the arbiter and a commitee of masters; with the points of each game being scored the same as soccer - that is three points for a win, one for a tie and none for a loss.

Round 4

Round 4 – October 10, 17:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
0-1
Aronian, Levon 2795
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759
½-½
Adams, Michael 2753

Aronian's game came ahead in a wild time scramble

Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 0-1 Aronian, Levon
With the Super Finals on a rest day, Josh Friedel lends us his analysis for Bilbao:

[Event "Bilbao 2013"] [Site "Bilbao, Spain"] [Date "2013.10.10"] [Round "4"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, M."] [Black "Aronian, L."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2742"] [BlackElo "2795"] [Annotator "Friedel,Joshua"] [PlyCount "112"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. d3 h6 8. b4 d6 9. Rb1 a6 10. a4 Ne7 {This move has only been played a few times, but it looks pretty standard.} (10... Be6 11. b5 axb5 12. axb5 Ne7 {is a standard English position that has been played hundreds of times.}) 11. Ba3 {Vachier decides to take the game to new territory.} (11. b5 axb5 12. axb5 {would lead to normal play.}) 11... c6 12. c5 $5 {Vachier aims to break apart Black's center.} Re8 13. e4 {This move is always double-edged. If White is able to play d4 then he'll enjoy a nice space advantage in the center. If not, however, then the bishop on g2 will become an awful piece.} Bg4 {Aronian is fully aware of this, so he tries to prevent the move temporarily.} 14. Qb3 Nd7 {I really like Aronian's regrouping of his pieces.} 15. Nd2 (15. cxd6 Nc8 16. b5 axb5 17. axb5 Be6 18. Qb2 c5 {and I prefer black, since d4 is impossible now and the d6 pawn will be collected next move.}) 15... Nc8 16. Qc2 Bf8 17. cxd6 {This move helps Black find squares for his pieces.} (17. Nd1 $5 {was an interesting try, defending c5 and rerouting the knight to e3.}) 17... Nxd6 18. Nb3 b5 $1 { Aronian shows good understanding of the position. The weakness on c6 is not relevant, and now the bishop on a3 is completely shut out.} 19. h3 $6 {I don't really care for this move, as it forces Black to play a move he wants to play anyway.} (19. Bc1 {trying to fix his bishop looks reasonable, although it is clear Black has solved all his opening problems.}) 19... Be6 20. Rfd1 bxa4 21. Nxa4 Nb5 {It is clear Black has taken over.} 22. Bb2 Bxb3 $1 {The Bishop on e6 might be an OK piece, but control over d4 is the most important feature in the position.} 23. Qxb3 c5 24. Rbc1 Rb8 {Most precise.} (24... cxb4 25. Rc6 {gives white unnecessary counterplay.}) 25. Qa2 $6 (25. bxc5 {this move, planning an exchange sac, looks like White's best option.} Nd4 26. Qa2 Ne2+ 27. Kh2 Nxc1 28. Rxc1 {and White has reasonable counterplay here.}) 25... cxb4 26. Rc6 {It may not look like a big difference, but having Rb8 and Qa2 thrown in hugely favors Black.} Kg7 27. d4 b3 $1 {and this is why.} 28. Qb1 exd4 29. Bxd4+ Nxd4 30. Rxd4 {Black is clearly in charge now, but the position is still complex.} Qa5 $2 {This move should actually let White off the hook.} (30... Kg8 {getting the king out of both lines of fire (a1-h8 and the 7th rank) looks best to me. White can't use the pin on the d7 knight.}) 31. Rxd7 Qxa4 32. e5 $2 {White misses his chance.} (32. Rcc7 Qa2 33. Rxf7+ Kg8 34. Qd3 $1 {Probably both players thought that allowing Black to queen was curtains, but it turns out this is not so!} b2 35. Qd7 b1=Q+ 36. Kh2 {and amazingly, despite having an extra queen, Black has to allow a perpetual or get mated. For example, after} Qbb2 37. Rxf8+ Kxf8 38. Qd6+ Kg8 39. Qxg6+ Kf8 {This may look dangerous for Black, but the two queens cover all the mating squares, so a perpetual is the best White can do.} 40. Qxh6+ Kg8 41. Qh7+ Kf8 42. Qh6+ {etc.}) 32... Re7 {and now Black is winning. For now...} 33. Rdd6 {This may not be objectively best, but it is an excellent practical try.} Qa2 $4 {and once again Black goes astray, and in an even more serious way. Even for tactical monsters like Aronian such positions aren't easy to play in time pressure.} (33... b2 {This simple move is good enough. The b-pawn will decide if White does nothing, and after} 34. Rxg6+ fxg6 35. Qxg6+ Kh8 {Black has nothing to fear, since b1=Q+ is a powerful defensive resource.}) 34. Rxg6+ fxg6 35. Qxg6+ Kh8 36. Bd5 {Now Black is actually lost!} Rg7 37. Qxh6+ Rh7 38. Qe6 $2 {This lets Black off the hook.} (38. Qg6 {is winning, as the cruel machine informs us. Here are a few sample lines.} Rg7 (38... Bc5 39. Qf6+ Rg7 40. Rxc5 {and White's attack will rage on.}) (38... Bg7 {This is a logical defensive move, but after} 39. Be4 { The rook has nowhere to go!} Rxh3 (39... Rh6 40. Qf5 {and White's two threats of Rc8+ and Rxh6+ are deadly.}) 40. Kg2 $1 {and the rook is trapped, after which mate or heavy material loss is inevitable.}) 39. Qh5+ Rh7 40. Qg4 $1 { Rg7 is prevented by Rh6+.} Qb1+ 41. Kg2 Be7 42. Rg6 $1 {and Black has to sac his queen to prevent Rg8+, and that only prevent mate temporarily.}) 38... Qb1+ 39. Kg2 (39. Kh2 {is more precise, but the reason isn't obvious at first.} Rg7 {This isn't Black's only possibility, but it is perhaps the safest.} 40. Rc4 Qh7 41. Rh4 Qxh4 42. gxh4 b2 43. Be4 b1=Q 44. Bxb1 Rxb1 45. Qh6+ Kg8 46. Qe6+ Kh8 {and Black has to allow a perpetual or allow the rook on b1 to drop.}) 39... Rg7 40. Rc8 {Forced.} (40. Rc4 Qh7 {and now} 41. Rh4 {is impossible on account of} Qxh4 {and the g-pawn is pinned.}) 40... Rxc8 41. Qxc8 Rg8 $1 {and now Black is on top again, though it certainly isn't easy.} 42. Qb7 {A nice practical move.} (42. Bxg8 Qe4+ $1 (42... Kxg8 43. Qe6+ {is a perpetual.}) 43. Kh2 Kxg8 44. Qe6+ Kh8 45. Qxb3 Qxe5 {ought to be losing, though it would require precision.}) 42... Qh7 43. Qxb3 Rg5 44. Qe3 Qe7 45. f4 {Forced. Pushing these pawns can be both good and bad. On one hand, they help restrict Black's pieces, but on the other they expose White's king to harassment.} Rg7 46. f5 {This is an understandable try, though it seems to lose by force.} (46. Qb6 {might have resisted a bit longer.}) 46... Qg5 $1 47. Qxg5 Rxg5 {Now that the queens are off, king safety is no longer a factor for either side. The problem for White here is that the a-pawn will cost him his bishop, and after that the rook and bishop team should be able to stop the pawns.} 48. g4 Bg7 $1 {Black forces the pawns onto the wrong color squares. This enables Black to establish a blockade, something which one finds comforting when defending against an avalanche.} (48... a5 $2 49. Kf3 a4 50. Kf4 Rg7 51. f6 {and Black's life isn't so easy now.}) 49. e6 Bf6 50. Kg3 a5 51. h4 Rg8 52. g5 Kg7 $1 {This is the key idea. The pawns will easily be blockaded, and then Black can calmly push the a-pawn.} 53. Kf4 Rh8 54. Kg4 Rb8 55. gxf6+ Kxf6 56. e7 (56. h5 a4 57. h6 Rd8 $1 58. Ba2 Rd2 {and Black wins handily.}) 56... a4 {A highly complex battle with many twists and turns.} 0-1

Aronian is two points away in the live list from going back to 2800

Mamedyarov critized his own 4.Bf4?! after which c5! seemed to immediately equalize

Adams is still in the lead, but he now has to share it

Adams, Michael ½-½ Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
The Azeri was unable to create even the slightest complications from the opening. He had played the move 4.Bf4 befoer but it seems that Adams' reply and his follow up with a quick bishop exchange was enough to equalize. Here is the game that keeps the Englishman in the lead:

[Event "6th Final Masters"] [Site "Bilbao ESP"] [Date "2013.10.10"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D35"] [WhiteElo "2759"] [BlackElo "2753"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2013.10.07"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "6"] [EventCountry "ESP"] [EventCategory "21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bf4 c5 5. e3 cxd4 6. exd4 Be7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. a3 b6 9. Bd3 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Ba6 11. Bxa6 Nxa6 12. Rc1 Nc7 13. O-O Ncd5 14. Nxd5 Nxd5 15. Bg3 Qd7 16. Ne5 Qb7 17. h4 Rac8 18. Qf3 Bf6 19. Nc4 Qd7 20. Be5 h6 21. Qg3 Rfd8 22. Nd6 Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Kf8 24. Qd3 Kg8 25. Qg3 Kf8 26. Qd3 Kg8 27. Qg3 1/2-1/2

Standings

The tournament uses Bilbao, or Soccer, Rules for scoring.

photos and information provided by Gerardo Fernandez Llana

Joshua Friedel

Josh was born in 1986 in New Hampshire, USA and is currently living in Wisconsin. He obtained his international master title in 2005 and his grandmaster in 2008. He has participated in five US Championships, including a tie for fourth in 2008. Major Open tournament victories include: the 2003 Eastern Open, 2005 Berkeley Masters, 2008 National Open, 2009 Edmonton International, 2009 North American Open, 2010 Saint Louis Open, 2010 American Open, 2013 Chicago Open.

Josh is the current US Open Champion and is the first person qualified for the 2014 US Chess Championship.

Schedule

Round 1 – October 07, 17:00h
Aronian, Levon 2795
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
Adams, Michael 2753
½-½
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759
Round 2 – October 08, 17:00h
Adams, Michael 2753
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759 ½-½ Aronian, Levon 2795
Round 3 – October 09, 17:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
1-0
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759
Aronian, Levon 2795
½-½
Adams, Michael 2753
Round 4 – October 10, 17:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
0-1
Aronian, Levon 2795
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759
½-½
Adams, Michael 2753
Round 5 – October 11, 17:00h
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
Adams, Michael 2753
Aronian, Levon 2795
Round 6 – October 12, 17:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
Adams, Michael 2753
Aronian, Levon 2795
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

 


Topics Bilbao, Masters
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