Friday 9 December 2016

Armenian GM Levon Aronian won the 3rd Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis, scoring 6 points in 9 rounds. Four players - Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - tied for second place with 5 points each. Aronian had been the No 2 player in the world for a while, but recently dropped off the top-10 list. This fine victory will bring him right back into it. There were plenty of interesting games played in Saint Louis and I would like to show one of Aronian's wins:

Published 06/09/2015 | 02:30

Armenian GM Levon Aronian won the 3rd Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis, scoring 6 points in 9 rounds. Four players - Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - tied for second place with 5 points each. Aronian had been the No 2 player in the world for a while, but recently dropped off the top-10 list. This fine victory will bring him right back into it. There were plenty of interesting games played in Saint Louis and I would like to show one of Aronian's wins:

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So - Aronian

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6

3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 c5

5.d5 0-0 6.e4 d6

7.Nge2 a6 8.a4 Ba5!?

This is a very clever move - Black is threatening to play ...b5!

9.Bd2 exd5 10.cxd5 Nh5

Now one can clearly see the other idea behind 8...Ba5!? - as the d2-square is occupied, White can't play 11.g4.

11.g3 Nd7 12.Bg2 b5

13.g4?

This move is too ambitious; White should have played 13.0-0 instead.

13...b4 14.Nb1 (D)

Wesley So probably expected Black to play 14...Nhf6, but Aronian sacrificed a piece, seized the initiative and conducted his attack very energetically:

14...Qh4+!

15.Kf1 Ne5! 16.Be1?! Qf6 17.gxh5 Nxf3 18.Bf2 Bg4 19.Qc1?! Nd4 20.Nxd4 cxd4 21.e5 dxe5 22.Nd2 Rac8 23.Qb1 b3 24.Nxb3 Bb6

25.a5 Ba7

Aronian missed a clever move in 25...Rc2!!, but still retained a winning advantage.

26.Kg1 Bf5

27.Be4 Qg5+ 28.Kf1 Qf4 0-1

Sunday Independent

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