Chess

Great Tigran’s heir

24 June 2017

9:00 AM

24 June 2017

9:00 AM

Tigran Petrosian is the great chess hero of Armenia. World champion from 1963-1969, his best games exhibit a profundity which few other champions have matched. Sadly he passed away in his fifties, in 1984, but his legacy lives on in Levon Aronian, who has emerged victorious from Stavanger. Scores from Norway (out of 9) were Aronian 6; Nakamura and Kramnik 5; Caruana, So and Giri 4½; Vachier-Lagrave, Anand and Carlsen 4; Karjakin 3½.
 
Aronian-Kramnik: Stavanger 2017
(diagram 1)
 
Here Black should play 19 … Qg5. 19 … Qg4 20 g3 Now White has weaknesses along the h1-a8 diagonal but his central pressure more than outweighs this. 20 … fxe5 21 Qxe5 Rcd8 This is far too passive and now Black is lost. He had to try 21 … Kh8, meeting 22 f4 with 22 … Nd7 with chances to resist. 22 f4 Rf6 23 Rc3 Rh6 24 Be2 Surprisingly, Aronian misses 24 Nf5 winning at once. 24 … Qh3 25 Qg5 Qxh4 26 gxh4 Rg6 Kramnik is wriggling desperately but it doesn’t help him. 27 Rd1 Bd5 28 f5 Rxg5+ 29 hxg5 Kf8 30 fxe6 Bxe6 31 Bc4 Bf5 32 Re3 g6 33 Re7 Rd7 34 Rde1 Black resigns
 
Kramnik-Carlsen: Stavanger 2017
(diagram 2)
 
Here Carlsen can keep the white kingside attack in check by means of 25 … Bxf2+ 26 Kh2 Qc3. 25 … Qxf2+ 26 Kh2 Bd8 The only chance was, once again, to exchange queens with 26 … Ne5 27 Nxe5 Qxf6 28 Bxf6 dxe5 although after 29 Nh5, White is much better. 27 Qxd6 Nh4 28 Nxh4 Bxh4 29 Nh5 Now the attack is overwhelming. 29 … Bxh3 30 Rg1 Bg5 31 Bf6 Bg4 32 Bxg5 Bxh5 33 Qh6 Rxe4 34 Qxh5 Qf5 35 Qh6 b3 36 Bf6 Qf4+ 37 Qxf4 Rxf4 38 d6 Rxf6 39 Rd1 Rh6+ 40 Kg1 Black resigns
 
Carlsen-Karjakin: Stavanger 2017
(diagram 3)
 
Carlsen was actually lucky to win even one game. Black should now continue 40 … Nxd5 with a clear advantage. 40 … Qg5 41 Qc3 Bd6 This loses at once. 41 … Qxd5+ 42 Kh2 is also bad but Black should retract his previous move with 41 … Qg7 with approximate equality. 42 Rh8+ Ng8 43 Re4 Qg7 44 Rxg8+ Black resigns After 44 … Qxg8 45 Qf6 followed by Rg4 White wins easily.

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