GM Gelfand (2733) – GM Aronian (2750) [E00]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 b5 6.Nf3 d6 7.e4 a6 8.a4 b4 9.Bd3 g6 10.Nbd2 Bg7 11.Nc4 0–0 12.Bf4 Ne8 13.a5 Bh3 14.Ng5 Bd7 15.0–0 Bb5 16.Qd2 h6 17.Nf3 g5 18.Be3 Bxc4 19.Bxc4 Qf6 (Since the Leko – Kramnik game ended quickly, I will now do commentary on this one. This is a very interesting position, if you remove the major pieces, White would be better in the endgame because of the horrible a6 pawn for Black. In addition, White’s pawn could be on the wrong color for the Black Bishop to be effective. Therefore, Black cannot afford to get into an endgame like this. Black must keep the game in alive.)

20.Qd1 Nd7 (20…Qxb2? would be bad because of 21.e5 and Black’s pawns will fall apart.)

21.Rb1 Qe7 22.Nd2 Nef6 23.Re1 Rfe8 (White cannot really break through unless White is willing to play f4. I do not think that White is willing to commit to that.)

24.f3 Qd8 (This is a very difficult position to play because one bad break through can doom either side. Another possible factor may be the time as Aronian has about 22 minutes left and Gelfand has about 24 minutes.)

25.Ra1 g4 26.fxg4 Ne5 27.Be2 Qd7 28.g5 Nfg4 29.Bf4 hxg5 30.Bxg5 f5 (This is the type of position that Aronian likes to get into. The position looks quite chaotic and mistakes can happen. This is his strength to maximize his chances. It is a very unsual but entertaining style. In general, White is slightly better. However, Black has plenty of play and in time pressure, I am not sure if Gelfand will make all best moves.)

31.Rf1 Rf8 32.exf5 Rxf5 33.Bf4 Nf6 34.g4 Rxf4 35.Rxf4 Nf7 36.Nc4 Re8 37.Qd3 Qe7 38.Bf3 Ne5 39.Nxe5 Qxe5 40.Rf5 Qxb2 41.Rf1 b3 (What an amazing sequence as both players were in severe time pressure. White is certainly better but there is still danger.)

42.Kh1 (This is a very good move. White wants to keep the Queen on the board. This move avoids the forced exchange with Qd4+ when appropriate.)

42…Nd7 (I don’t think this is an accurate move. This allows White to play Qxa6 with no compensation.)

43.Bd1 (Gelfand missed the stronger continuation with 43.Qxa6.)

43…c4 (I am not sure why Aronian keeps on pushing Gelfand to take his pawn. One of these days, Gelfand may take him up on it 🙂 That’s a risky plan. All kidding aside, I do not understand c4. It does not really do much. It only delays White’s movement by one move.)

44.Qxc4 Nc5 (45.Qf4 may spell an end to Aronian soon. White has too much power on the Kingside and the pawn of d6 is also gone.)

45.Qf4 (White found Qf4. I do not see much chances for Aronian at this point.)

45…Ne4 46.Rf7 Bf6 (Now White can simply play Rb7 and Qh6 is coming. There is no defense against this.)

47.Rb7 Qd2 (White can comfortably trade Queens with a winning advantage.)

48.Qxd2 and Black resigns. 1-0

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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