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Mark Taimanov Mark Taimanov,
grandmaster


Aronian, Levon (2518) - Rozentalis, Eduardas (2586)
FIDE World championship,
Las Vegas, 1999

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Bg4 3. Bg2 c6 4. O-O Nd7 5. d3 Ngf6 6. Nbd2 e5 7. e4 dxe4 8. dxe4 Bc5 9. h3

Diagram 1

Partners begin with a well developed variation of the Reti opening, where dynamical resources of both sides are not high, due to early relaxation at the center.

9...Bxf3

The alternative - 9...Bh5 - is less popular.

10. Bxf3

10. Qxf3 seems to be more natural, but this difference is not essential.

10...O-O 11. a4 a5 12. Nc4 Qe7 13. Kg2 Rfd8 14. Qe2 Nf8 15. c3 h6

Diagram 2

This preventive move was not necessary, it only weakens the black king's position.

16. h4 Qc7 17. Ne3 Qb6 18. Nc4 Qc7 19. Ne3 Qb6

Prelude to peaceful talks?

Diagram 3

20. Qc4!

The maneuver, that does credit to Aronian's insight. He detected a vulnerable point at the Black's camp - the pawn f7 , avoided repetition and concentrated on the using of this weakeness.

20...Ne6 21. Ng4! Nxg4 22. Bxg4 Rd6 23. b3 Rad8?!

This stereotyped move appeares to be the main reason of further Black's problems. If Rozentalis had penetrated deep into the position, he would have understood, that it's time to undertake some prophylactic actions against the growing initiative of White. With that end in view, Rozentalis could play 23...Kh8 . Now, in the case of 24. f4 exf4 25. Bxf4 Nxf4 26. Rxf4 Black has the reply 26...Rd2+ , and if 27. Kh3 , then 27...Bg1! 28. Be2 (or 28. Bh5 ) 28...f6 with mutual chances. Now the picture is completely different.

Diagram 4

24. f4! exf4 25. Bxf4 Nxf4 26. Rxf4 Rd2+ 27. Kh3 Bd6

Diagram 5

Here 27...Bg1 doesn't save because of 28. Bh5 , and the pawn f7 is undefendable. If 27...Rf8 , then simply 28. Raf1 Rf2 29. Bh5 .

28. Rxf7

The idea of the move 20. Qc4 is fully realized!

28...Kh8

Diagram 6

29.e5!

Very important resource to develop initiative. White pieces gain a high dynamic force!

29...Bxe5 30. Raf1 Bd6

30...R2d5 lost after 31. Rf8+ Rxf8 32. Rxf8+ Kh7 33. Qe4+ g6 34. Bh5!

Diagram 7

31. Rxg7!

White's attack becomes irresistable. If 31...Kxg7 , then 32. Rf7+ Kh8 33. Qe4 .

31...Qe3 32. Bh5 Rf2

Or 32...Kxg7 33. Qf7+ Kh8 34. Qf6+ .

33. Rxf2 Qxf2 34. Rg6 Qf5+ 35. Kg2 Qxh5 36. Qd4+ Qe5 37. Rxd6! Qxd4 38. Qxd4 Re8 39. Rd6 1:0

Diagram 8

Black had to give up one more pawn.

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