Aronian – Topalov LIVE!

Morelia Linares 2008 live commentary with GM Vladimir Dimitrov

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Veselin Topalov – Levon Aronian, Morelia 2008 – annotated

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Aronian Topalov LIVE!

Corus 2008 live commentary with Milena Stefanova

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Mamedyarov Carlsen / Aronian – Topalov / Spoelman – Cheparinov / Peng – Caruana

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Aronian and Topalov have to arrange past issues, as they finished tied first (with Radjabov) in the 2006 edition of Corus. This time they have the
chance to resolve the stalemate situation in the first round of the

competition. Sparks are expected! Both are playing sharp chess and
always aiming for the win no matter with black or white.

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PGN Aronian Topalov

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{Hello! I will have the honor to comment the game Aronian Topalov from Corus 2008. The last year winners meet in the first round. Will they go for the victory or they will preffer to conserve their energy for the long competition? We are about to find out, games start at 13:30 CET }

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. Nf3 Nc6 {{With his third move Topalov chose a sharp KID with which he shows intentions for an aggresive game. Last year the two players started with a calm English opening, that finished draw. The Grunfeld variation shows that Topalov does not want to play in the fiachetto variant of the KID} 8. Bf4 O-O 9. e3 {A popular move for white is (9.O-O) } h6 {Other possible moves are 9…Be6 or 9…Bg4, but it is probably just a different move order} 10. h4 Bg4 11. Rc1 {Topalov’s choice of a rare variation sent Aronian into deep though. After this move we are out of theory and beautiful chess starts! Aronian avoided ( 11.Qb3 ) and (11.O-O), probably sensing that this is still home preparation for Topalov. Interesting plan in this position includes the moves Qc8,Rd8,Nb4} e5 {Topalov is trying to open up the center for aggressive play} 12.dxe5 Qe7 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.Qxd5 {the pawn on e5 is doomed, . White is aiming at strenghtening the position as much as possible while black prepares to take the pawn. A possible win of a figure is (14…Bf3 15.Bf3 g5 16.hg5 hg5 ), but it is not recommendable since it gives nice opportunities for counterplay of Aronian on the h file and possible attack. Topalov has to choose between difficult position with material advantage and looking for other stable options} Nb4 {Black did not like the position with figure for pawn. A more stable idea is to use the late castle of Aronian. With active moves and by placing pieces on more stronger positions black can take an advantage} 15.Qc4 Be6 16.Qc7 Nd3 {Looks like Aronian is also looking for sharp lines! White rarely sacrifices a castle for active play! The idea of Aronian is to press Topalov and reach an endgame where his King in the center will not be a problem. If 17.Kd2 Qb4+ best is 18.Qc3 and Aronian will be close to getting the desired endgame} 17. Kd2 Qb4 18. Qc3 Qxc3 19. Rxc3 Nxf2 {White is losing an exchange here. The question is if there is compensation.Probably a better continuation was 19.bc3 Nc1 20.Kc1. The idea of Aronian is to escape the “pawn islands”, which would form after a take on c3. Topalov definitely looks better.} 20.Nd4 Nxh1 {Aronian did not have to lose the pawn on f2. After a g5 move by Topalov (now or even later) the pawn structure on the kingside will break} 21. Bxh1 {The black bishop on g7 is not very strong at the moment, but there is a solution with Rfc8, Bf8,Bb4.} Rfd8 22.Rc7 $5 {(21.Bb7 Rab8 22.Be4 Rb2+) it is not nice to let the opponent so close, the retreat of the black rook to the second rank does not look good. As a reply white will step on the 7th rank} Rac8 {Probably better was 22…Rd7 23.Rd7 Bd7. in this line we see that the Aronian’s move Rc7 wasn’t so strong. White’s plan is not to exchange rooks, so he will take b7. Topalov will get an open “c” file.} 23. Rxb7 Bxa2 24. Rxa7 {Topalov could have been more precise here. Pawns on the queenside will disappear and winning a game with an exchange up only on the kingside is a difficult task. We are going to witness an interesting and instructive endgame!} Be6 25.Rb7 {It is time for planning. Here Topalov has to decide if a draw is enough or he will look for a way to victory} Bf5 26. Bf3 Rc2+ 27.Ke1 Rc1+ 28.Kf2 Be6 29.g4 Bc8 {Time starts to press the players. Topalov doe not seem to have a plan, however, the position is not dangerous for him because it is rather static.} 30. Rb8 Rf8 31.h5 g5 32.Bg3 {The position is a dead draw. After move 40 they will probably shake hands and save energy for later rounds. Tomorrow Topalov plays with Ivanchuk and Aronian with Gelfand} Ra1 33.Rb6 Re8 34.Be2 Be5 35.Be5 Re5 36.Rh6 Re4 37.Bf3 Re5 38.Rc6 Be6 39.Ne6 fe6 40.Be2 Rb1 41.Rb6 Rd5 {In that position white has some chances to push for the victory, but still looks drawish. After 42.Bc4 Rd2+ the pawn on b2 will disappear and white will use their “h” pawn.} 42.Bc4 Rd2+ 43.Kf3 Rbb2 44.Re6 {Topalov will have to concentrate because he is falling into a difficult position. (44…Kh7) and (44…Rf2+) look very dangerous. After 44…Kh7 will follow 45.Rg6 Rf2+ 46.Ke4 and advantage for white. On the check from f2 will follow 45.Ke4 Rb4 46.Kd3 and again advantage for white} Rbc2 45.Rg6+ {Interesting opportunity for a draw with the king going to h8 i.e. a quare with opposite color to the bishop} Kh8 46.Be6 {46…Rd6 47.Ke4 Rc5!} Rc6 47.Ke4 Rd8 48.Kf5 Rc5+ 49.Kf6 Rf8+ 50.Ke7 Rf3 51. Bf5 {(51…Rc7+ 52.Kf6 Rc6 53.Kg5 Rg6+ 54.Kg6 Re3= ) as we mentioned before, the black king on h8 is giving a draw to Topalov. Here black could sacrifice a rook for the “g” pawn} Re5+ 52.Kf7 Rff5+ 53.gf5 Rf5+ 54.Ke6 {Topalov chose another possibility for a draw by going into a Rook endgame. That is the advantage of being an exchange up, you can always sacrifice it and enter in the final position with equal material or maybe some advantage. In that case it is an easy draw. Or is it?} Ra5 55.e4 {The rook endgame looked attractive, however, maybe not so effective. Black does not have a way to stop white in their plan to push the “e” pawn. The king on h8 may not save the situation as we expected. It will be lacking activity, which is crucial in Rook endgames.} Kh7 56.e5 Ra1 57.Rg5 Kh6 58.Rg2 Kh5 59.Kf6 Rf1+ 60.Ke7 {a theoretical win for white, as the black king is kept away from the action}Ra1 61.e6 Kh6 62.Kf7 {Instructive endgame by Aronian who took advantage of a series of weak moves by Topalov and grabbed the victory.} 1-0

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