Saint Louis, Game 1: Aronian Fails to Hold Opposite-Coloured Bishops Endgame

Время публикации: 22.11.2014 16:08 | Последнее обновление: 22.11.2014 16:13

While everybody is waiting eagerly for the crucial events to begin in the World Championship match in Sochi, another notable match has started in the U.S. city of Saint Louis where the best American player Hikaru Nakamura is facing Armenian super-GM Levon Aronian. As we have already announced earlier, the match consists of 4 classical games in the first four days, which will be followed by the blitz battle of 16 games in the final day. The prize fund amounts to $100.000.

The first game of the match has brought success to Nakamura. After the complicated fight in the opening and the middlegame, Aronian's quite natural decision to exchange the queens proved to be wrong.


White's position is better due to his unpleasant pressure on the f7-pawn, but had Aronian played 23...g6! (activating the f8-bishop immediately) he would have avoided the worst. After 23...Qh6?! 24.b4! Qxe3+ 25.Rxe3 Rd4 26.Bb3 Black is condemned to suffer. The best attempt to save the game would have been 26...a5! 27.Ref3 axb4 28.Rxf7 Rxf7 29.Rxf7 axb4! where, surprisingly, no discovered checks work for White. If 30.Rxb7+ Kh8 31.Rxb4 (31.axb4 Rxb4!) then Black cannot exchange the rooks but 31...Rd3 gives him good drawing chances.
The passive defence proved to be bad: 26...g6 27.Ref3 Rdd7?! 28.e5! Re7 29.e6 followed by the demolition of the Black's king side. Nakamura won 19 moves later.

See also the recording of the live relay of the game 1 on the official website. The second game of the Nakamura - Aronian match will start today at 20:00 GMT time (see the schedule).

[Event "Nakamura-Aronian m 2014"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2014.11.21"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteTitle "GM"] [BlackTitle "GM"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2797"] [ECO "D38"] [Opening "QGD"] [Variation "Ragozin variation"] [WhiteFideId "2016192"] [BlackFideId "13300474"] [EventDate "2014.11.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bd2 O-O 6. e3 Re8 7. a3 Bf8 8. Rc1 Nbd7 9. Be2 a6 10. c5 c6 11. Na4 Ne4 12. O-O Nxd2 13. Nxd2 e5 14. e4 dxe4 15. Nxe4 Qh4 16. f3 exd4 17. Bc4 Nf6 18. Nb6 Rb8 19. Nxc8 Rbxc8 20. Qxd4 Nxe4 21. fxe4 Rc7 22. Rce1 Rd8 23. Qe3 Qh6 24. b4 Qxe3+ 25. Rxe3 Rd4 26. Bb3 g6 27. Ref3 Rdd7 28. e5 Re7 29. e6 h5 30. Rf6 Kg7 31. h4 a5 32. R1f3 axb4 33. axb4 Kh7 34. Bc2 Kg7 35. exf7 Rxf7 36. Rxg6+ Kh8 37. Rfg3 Bg7 38. R3g5 Rf4 39. Rxh5+ Kg8 40. Bf5 Kf8 41. Be6 Ke8 42. g3 Rxb4 43. Kg2 Rb2+ 44. Kh3 Kd8 45. Rhg5 Bc3 46. Rg8+ Ke7 47. Bc4 Rf2 48. Rh5 1-0 


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