Mark Taimanov annotates the game
Aronian, Levon (2518) - Rozentalis, Eduardas (2586)
FIDE World championship, 1999

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Bg4 3. Bg2 c6 4. 0-0 Nd7 5. d3 Ngf6 6. Nbd2 e5 7. e4 de4 8. de4 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.


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

10. Bf3

10. Qf3 seems to be more natural, but this difference is not essential.

10...0-0 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! Ng4 22. Bg4 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 ef4 25. Bf4 Nf4 26. Rf4 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! ef4 25. Bf4 Nf4 26. Rf4 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. Rf7

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


Diagram 6


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

29...Be5 30. Raf1 Bd6

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

Diagram 7

31. Rg7!

White's attack becomes irresistable. If 31...Kg7 , then 32. Rf7 Kh8 33. Qe4 .

31...Qe3 32. Bh5 Rf2

Or 32...Kg7 33. Qf7 Kh8 34. Qf6 .

33. Rf2 Qf2 34. Rg6 Qf5 35. Kg2 Qh5 36. Qd4 Qe5 37. Rd6! Qd4 38. Qd4 Re8 39. Rd6

Diagram 8

Black resigned. He had to give up one more pawn.

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