[Event "Altibox Norway Chess"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2020.10.11"] [Round "11.2"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B22"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2828"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c3 {An interesting opening choice by Aronian.} d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. d4 Nf6 6. Na3 Nc6 7. Be3 cxd4 8. Nb5 Qd7 9. Nbxd4 {In this line White is aiming for a slight opening advantage thanks to his queenside majority.} a6 ({In a recent GM game Black did well after} 9... Nd5 10. Bd2 Bd6 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bd3 Rb8 13. Qc2 h6 14. O-O c5 15. Rad1 Qc7 16. c4 Nb4 17. Bxb4 Rxb4 18. Rfe1 O-O 19. b3 Rb6 20. Qe2 Rd8 {Van Foreest,J (2644)-Duda,J (2758) Wijk aan Zee 2020}) 10. Bd3 Bd6 11. O-O Ne7 {N "I was really happy I got a fight out of the opening." (Caruana) Black wants to preserve as many pieces as he can.} ({ Most likely both players were unaware of this game:} 11... O-O 12. Re1 Qc7 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. Qa4 Nd5 15. Qh4 h6 16. Bd2 Rb8 17. Rab1 Bf4 18. Bxf4 Nxf4 { Kartsev,A (2189)-Hoffmann,M (2424) Germany 2013}) 12. Qc2 O-O 13. Bg5 Ng6 { Black is OK with the doubled kingside pawns as long as the knight is around to shield the king.} 14. Rad1 Qc7 {"I kind of liked my position. I felt like I had a lot of potential here. I also had more time on the clock, he was hesitating a lot." (Caruana)} 15. Rfe1 Bd7 16. g3 Rfe8 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. h4 { However, Aronian is also happy with the weakened black kingside and launches an immediate attack.} Kh8 {Too ambitious. Black is downplaying the opponent's threats.} 19. Qd2 Bf8 20. h5 Ne7 {Caruana was very proud of this maneuver but missed Aronian's next move:} 21. Bc2 $1 {"I need one move basically. If I can get Re8-d8 and Qc7-c5 my position is amazing." (Caruana) Qd2-d3 is a strong threat and if f6-f5 White can simply capture the pawn with the knight.} Red8 22. Qd3 f5 {At this point Aronian thought that he was close to winning. (Caruana) And he was right!} 23. g4 {"A very surprising move." (Kramnik) "I was very happy to see this. I thought it was not a good move." (Caruana)} ({ Black was quite worried about} 23. Ng5 $1 {Rightly so! After} Be8 {Caruana mainly considered} 24. Qf3 ({The American rejected} 24. Qe3 $1 {on logical grounds as} Nd5 {is coming with tempo. Still,} 25. Ndxe6 $1 {is trong for White, for example} fxe6 ({Or} 25... Nxe3 26. Nxc7 Nxd1 27. Nxa8 Nxb2 28. Nc7 { and White is clearly better.}) 26. Qxe6 {with three pawns for the piece and a huge attack.}) ({However, it seems as both players missed the powerful} 24. Qe2 $3 {with the unstoppable threat of Nxe6! Say,} Qb6 25. Ndxe6 fxe6 26. Rxd8 Rxd8 27. Nxe6 Bf7 28. Qe5+ Kg8 29. Nxf8 $1 {and wins.}) 24... Bh6 25. Ngxe6 fxe6 26. Nxe6 Rxd1 {Black calculated this far and believed that his opponent is risking hugely and may not have enough for the piece. But} 27. Qxd1 $1 {clarifies matters as} Qd7 {loses material due to} 28. Qxd7 Bxd7 29. Nc5) ({Or} 23. Ne5 Be8 {which is weaker, as the sacrifice on e6 no longer works.}) 23... f6 $1 { "I stopped considering other moves. It was a direct, positional choice to stop Nf3-g5." (Caruana)} 24. g5 {"This feels wrong." (Caruana)} ({In case of} 24. gxf5 e5 {Black accurately calculated the lengthy lines} 25. Nxe5 ({"I thought the most interesting line was:"} 25. Rxe5 $3 fxe5 26. Ng5 {"At first I could not believe it."} Bxf5 ({Therefore Caruana intended} 26... Be8 27. f6 Ng6) ({ But there are other good defensive moves, like} 26... Bb5 {with the idea} 27. Nxb5 Rxd3 28. Nxc7 Rxd1+ 29. Bxd1 Rc8) ({Or} 26... e4 $5 27. Qxe4 Bc6 28. Qe6 Bd5 29. Nf7+ Kg8 30. Nh6+ Kg7 31. f6+ {with perpetual as Black cannot afford to be greedy:} Kxh6 $2 {loses to} 32. Qe3+ Kxh5 33. f4) 27. Qg3 {"is very good for White."}) 25... fxe5 26. f6 Bf5 27. Qg3 Bxc2 28. fxe7 Bxd1 29. exd8=Q Qxd8 {"This is what I was basically counting on." (Caruana)} 30. Qxe5+ ({In the line } 30. Ne6 Qd6 31. Ng5 Bxh5 {"It is very important that the bishop comes back in time to defend." (Caruana)}) 30... Bg7 31. Qxg7+ Kxg7 32. Ne6+ Kf6 33. Nxd8 Rxd8 {and the rook protects the bishop. (Caruana)}) ({This was, however, the last moment when Aronian could have claimed the advantage with} 24. Nh4 $1 { in order to meet} Qf4 {with} 25. Qg3 $1 Qxg3+ 26. fxg3) 24... Qf4 $1 {Now Black is safe and is playing for a win. On top of this, Aronian was very low on time.} 25. gxf6 Qg4+ 26. Kf1 Qh3+ 27. Ke2 Nd5 ({At first, Caruana thought he was winning with} 27... Bb5 28. c4 Nd5 {but then he spotted} 29. Nxe6 $3 { "which is probably winning for White." (Caruana)}) 28. Qd2 Bb5+ 29. Nxb5 Qg4 { Black was happy to see this move in advance.} 30. Qg5 {The only move.} (30. Nbd4 Nf4+ 31. Ke3 Bh6 {"felt winning (for Black)" (Caruana)}) 30... Nf4+ 31. Ke3 Ng2+ 32. Ke2 Qc4+ 33. Bd3 ({With seconds on the clock Aronian probably did not even consider} 33. Rd3 $1 Nf4+ 34. Kf1 Nxd3 35. Nbd4 $3 {but this is unclear as none of the discovered checks are decisive.}) 33... Rxd3 {A psychological shot that works well.} 34. Rxd3 ({Even with plenty of time on the clock White would not be eager to allow the countless discovered checks after} 34. Ne5 $3 {but this would have saved White! Caruana intended} Re3+ ({ Objectively it should be a draw after} 34... Nf4+ 35. Kf1 Rg3+ 36. Nxc4 Rxg5) 35. Kd2 Rxe5 36. Rxe5 axb5 (36... Nh4 {does not work due to} 37. Nd6 $1 ({Not} 37. Nd4 Qxd4+ {(Kramnik)})) 37. Qxg2 {But that is winning for White as he can defend with} Rd8+ 38. Ke1) 34... Nf4+ {Now Black is winning.} 35. Ke3 ({ White does not get enough after} 35. Qxf4 Qxf4 36. Nd6 Bxd6 37. Rd4 Qh6 38. Rxd6 Qxf6) 35... Qe4+ 36. Kd2 Qxd3+ 37. Kc1 Qxf3 38. f7 ({Caruana even noticed White's last chance:} 38. Nd6 h6 ({Not} 38... Qxh5 39. Qxf4 Bh6 40. Nf7+) 39. Nf7+ Kh7 40. Qg6+ Nxg6 41. hxg6+ Kg8 $1 (41... Kxg6 42. Ne5+)) 38... Qg4 0-1
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