Zurich Challenge G4: Draw, Aronian wins rapid game

4/25/2012 – The fourth game of the Zurich Chess Challenge, another Berlin Defense, ended in a draw before the prescribed minimum of 30 moves or three hours. In such cases Swiss law – well, the match rules – prescribe that a rapid game be played, which is not rated or counted in the final score. This exciting game was won by Levon Aronian with the black pieces. Round four report with analysis.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

Zurich Chess Challenge: Kramnik vs. Aronian

The Zurich Chess Club announces a six-game chess match between Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and Levon Aronian (Armenia) from 21 to 28 April 2012. The numbers two and three of the world ranking will meet in the time-honored Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville at Paradeplatz, the venue of many a famous chess event in the past. Kramnik and Aronian are the winners of the two most prestigious tournaments of the last months. While the 36-year-old Kramnik gained a convincing victory at the London Chess Classic in December, the 29-year-old Aronian won the famous tournament in Wijk aan Zee with an outstanding score.

Game four

[Event "Zurich Chess Challenge Kramnik vs Aroni"] [Site "Zurich"] [Date "2012.04.25"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2820"] [BlackElo "2801"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] 1. e4 {60} e5 {60} 2. Nf3 {0} Nc6 {0} 3. Bb5 {0} Nf6 {0} 4. O-O {0} Nxe4 {0} 5. d4 {0} Nd6 {0 Kramnik relies again on the Berlin Defense, and why not?} 6. Bxc6 {0} dxc6 {0} 7. dxe5 {0} Nf5 {0} 8. Qxd8+ {60} Kxd8 {0} 9. h3 {0} Ke8 {0} 10. Nc3 {0} h5 {60} 11. Bg5 {0} Be6 {0} 12. b3 {0} (12. a3 {was Vachier-Lagraeve's choice against Nielsen last year, and it netted him a victory.}) (12. Rad1 Be7 13. b3 {transposes to the game, but its a more common way of reaching the position.}) 12... Be7 {240} 13. Rad1 {0.15/0 0} h4 {0.48/0 60} 14. Rfe1 {0.10/ 0 60 a novelty, but hardly something earth-shattering. Hou Yifan tried Rd3 against Ni Hua, but that game also went the drawn ways quickly.} Rd8 {0.24/0 240} 15. Rxd8+ {0.36/0 180} Kxd8 {0.32/0 60 This position was reached rather quickly. Black already has solved a lot of problems - he exchanged one pair of rooks, he got his pawn all the way to h4 which allows his rook in the game quickly and White hasn't made much progress. True, White now has a solid grasp over g5, and cannot possibly be worse, but his chances or winning are also slim. Here we were all expecting a rapid game to start up soon.} 16. Ne4 {0.08/ 0 0} b6 {0.07/0 300} 17. Bf4 {0.00/0 300} Kc8 {0.00/0 480} 18. Neg5 {0.00/0 420 } Bxg5 {0.00/0 180} 19. Bxg5 {-0.13/0 60} Bd5 {-0.04/0 0 Opposite colored bishops are now on the board, and white has to retreat his knight in a rather awkward way.} 20. Nh2 {-0.04/0 60} c5 {-0.10/0 240} 21. Rd1 {-0.18/0 300} Bc6 { 0.00/0 240} 22. c3 {-0.03/0 60} a5 {-0.09/0 180} 23. Ng4 {-0.08/0 180} Bd7 {-0. 10/0 300} 24. f3 {240} a4 {180} 25. Kf2 {120 Neither side has very realistic hopes of winning this position. Black has slightly more activity but there is just not too much he can do with that. On to the rapid!} 1/2-1/2


Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian discuss the game at the board, then ...


... proceed to the press conference with IM Werner Hug and GM Yannick Pelletier

The rapid game

[Event "Zurich Chess challenge - Rapid game"] [Site "Zurich"] [Date "2012.04.25"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2801"] [BlackElo "2820"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] 1. e4 {5700} e5 {5700} 2. Nf3 {0} Nc6 {0} 3. Bb5 {0} a6 {0} 4. Ba4 {0} Nf6 {0} 5. d3 {0 In yesterday's round many commentators pointed out that Kramnik was afraid to test Aronian's Marshall. It seems that Kramnik isn't willing to go into it even in a rapid game!} b5 {0} 6. Bb3 {0} Bc5 {0} 7. c3 {0} d6 {-0.01/0 0} 8. Bg5 {-0.29/0 0 Already a new move. The position resembles an Archangel, but some key differences are on the board. First, White has very little hope of playing for a quick d4. His bishop on g5 seems misplaced, but it binds some of Black's ideas and it is pretty annoying as there is no easy way to break the pin.} h6 {-0.14/0 0} 9. Bh4 {-0.10/0 0} Bb6 {0.04/0 120} 10. Nbd2 {-0.08/0 0} Rb8 {0.00/0 120} 11. Qe2 {-0.08/0 60 White is probably delaying Castling as much as possible in hopes that Black castles first, making a g5-h5 push less likely.} a5 {0.29/0 60} 12. a4 {0.18/0 60} b4 {0.29/0 0} 13. O-O {0.07/0 120} g5 $5 {0.04/0 59 Done anyways! Both sides are out for blood now. Black has a lot of space but considerable weaknesses. Will his pawn pushes be rewarded or punished?} 14. Bg3 {0.08/0 0} O-O {0.06/0 11} (14... Nh5 15. Nc4 Ba7 16. Ne3 bxc3 17. Bd5 Ne7 18. Nxe5 $5 {Would've been fun.}) 15. Nc4 {0.00/0 184} Ba7 { 0.00/0 72} 16. Nfd2 {-0.16/0 25 Preventing the previously mentioned Nh5 idea.} h5 $1 {0.00/0 79 Going for even more space! Black is not worried about the weaknesses left behind - he is banking on his piece activity and space advantage to restrict White.} 17. h3 {0.00/0 14} h4 {-0.05/0 47} 18. Bh2 {0.00/ 0 88} Kg7 {0.23/0 53} 19. Kh1 {0.00/0 42} Rh8 {0.23/0 1 Already Levon prepares malicious threats. g4/h3 is in the air.} 20. d4 $5 {-0.12/0 50 And the game goes wild! Kramnik valiantly tries to free himself from the binding pawns. If he succeeds in opening up the game too much, even at the cost of a few pawns, he will have a wonderful initiative against his opponent's weakened king.} bxc3 {-0.11/0 50} 21. bxc3 {-0.11/0 3} exd4 {-0.11/0 76} 22. e5 {-0.24/0 23 The point} dxc3 $1 {0.00/0 27 Levon doesn't want to concede any intiative, and sacrifices a knight. For it, he will get some king safety, strong pawns and well coordinated pieces.} (22... dxe5 23. Nxe5 Re8 24. Rae1 $1 {is a significant initiative.}) 23. exf6+ {0.00/0 227} Qxf6 {-0.66/0 0} 24. f4 $5 { -1.49/0 0 This move might be too optimistic. But interesting! Objectively I'm sure it's just bad though.} (24. Ne4 Qe7 25. Bd1 (25. Bc2 $5 d5 26. Rae1 dxe4 27. Bxe4 $13) 25... d5 26. Nxc3 Qxe2 27. Bxe2 dxc4 28. Bxc4 $11 {Would've been a very sad continuation considering how promising the game was going.}) 24... cxd2 {-0.08/0 0} 25. fxg5 {-0.26/0 0} Qe6 {0.00/0 0} 26. Qd1 $2 {-2.59/0 270} ( 26. Ne5 {is brought to you by the magic of computers.} Rxb3 27. Rxf7+ Kg8 28. Rf6 dxe5 29. Rxe6 Bxe6 30. Qxd2 {Black's king is exposed, yes, but I'm not entirely sure White has sufficient compensation for the sacrificed material. I've a feeling the Queen will be overwhelmed. However it's much better than the game continuation.}) 26... Rxb3 $1 $19 {-2.54/0 0} 27. Qxb3 {-2.62/0 6} Ba6 {-2.61/0 0 Nicely calculated. Black gets the exchange back, and forces the trade of queens.} 28. Qf3 $2 {-4.96/0 149 Objectively bad, but the other moves lost without resistance.} (28. Nxd2 Qxb3 29. Nxb3 Bxf1 30. Rxf1 Rb8 {is a completely hopeless endgame for White.}) 28... Bxc4 $19 {-7.24/0 9} 29. Qxc6 { -10.06/0 0} Bd4 {-7.47/0 6} (29... Bxf1 30. Rxf1 Qe2 {was possible, the text is just more exact.}) 30. Bg1 {-8.26/0 19} (30. Rad1 Bxf1 31. Rxf1 Qe2 {is really over, as White doesn't have Qc3+ anymore.}) 30... Bxa1 {-9.22/0 65} 31. Rxa1 {-8.51/0 0} Re8 $1 {-7.50/0 21} 32. g6 {-14.10/0 106} Qf6 $1 {-20.62/0 145 } 33. Qxc4 {-19.99/0 32} Re1 {-18.38/0 0} 34. Kh2 {-299.86/0 0} Rxa1 {2} 35. Bd4 {0} Rh1+ {0 A nice finishing tactic. Levon played a superb game, without fear.} 0-1

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site, and naturally on Playchess. In addition there was a video broadcast with commentary and images from the playing hall. If you missed it you can follow the entire four hours of action and the press conference in this video stream:

Score

Players
Rating
1
2
3
4
5
6
Total
Perf.
+/–
Levon Aronian
2820
1
½
0
½
   
2.0
2801
–1
Vladimir Kramnik  
2801
0
½
1
½
   
2.0
2820
+1

Remaining schedule

  Thursday April 26 Rest day
Round 5 Friday April 27 15:00h CEST
Round 6 Saturday April 28 13:00h CEST

Round three commentary on Playchess by GM Daniel King

Round four and three commentary by Andrew Martin


Links

The games are being 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 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register