4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 GM Naiditsch: another Gruenfeld. In the first game sascha managed to surpzie Levon with this choise, but managed to make a draw only after 7 hours of play and big portion of luck. Lets see what this time Levon prepared on Sascha new main opening!
6... O-O 7. e4 a6 8. Be2 b5 GM Naiditsch: Aronian is choosing this time a completly different line with 5.Qb3. Peter Svidler is a big expert in Gruenfeld and played lately many games on this position... but I am sure that Levon prepared something very inetesting...Levon almost killes from the opening every second game:)
9. Qb3 c5 10. dxc5 Be6 11. Qc2 Nbd7 12. Be3 Rc8 13. Rd1 b4 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. exd5 Nxc5 16. O-O IM Gozzoli: Aronian Grischuk they are following the very fashionable line analysing deeply in first issue of Chess Evolution
16... a5 17. Bc4 IM Gozzoli: Bc4 is a novelty for me. 17.Rfe1 was the theoritical move from the game Tomashevsky-Le Quang Moscow 2011 (deeply analysed in Chess Evolution). GM Naiditsch: Grischuck might be afraid Aronian also secretly bought Chess Evolution? GM Naiditsch: just recheked, novelty by Aronian! 17.Bc4!! as aspected Levon is comming up with a new idea..
17... Qd6 GM Naiditsch: Sasha is playing Qd6...hmm in our book we proposed Nce4 as an interesting idea...
18. Bd4 Ncd7 19. Qe2 GM Naiditsch: super complicated position! but it seems that white do a bit better... white's idea is easy: Rfe1, h3, b3 to consilidate and make a use out of a bishop pair, so black needs to do something quickly. Nh5 is maybe an option? to exchange black squered bishop is quite important for black... IM Gozzoli: Grischuk is almost 1h behind in the clock and a slighly worse position because of the weakness of thef backward pawn on e7 and of the queenside's pawns structure which favorite the white's bishops. Today's games are reaching you thanks to Chess friends games server and Chess Evolution.
19... Ng4 GM Naiditsch: It is going to be another difficult day for Grischuk... IM Gozzoli: As Arkadij expected, Grischuk allows the black squares bishops exchange. But looks like Aronian stands better after some normal moves like Rfe1. The weaknesses of the e7 c6 and b5 squares are very annoying for blacks..
20. Rfe1 Rfe8 Note: Yesterday's mythical opening of the day by GM Danielsen was the Accelerated Dragon, today he offers free GM lecture on the Polar Bear initiative
21. Ba6 Ra8 22. Bb5 Bxd4 23. Rxd4 Ngf6 IM Gozzoli: Aronian is slowly improving the position of his pieces. Now after Bb7 followed by Bc6 and a very nasty pin over the Nd7, White will have a very pleasant position. The main problem for Grischuk is that his knights don't have outpost and a very passive position...
24. h3 Rab8 25. Ba4 Red8 IM Gozzoli: White can consider invading the c file by Rc1 with the unpleasant idea Rc6 and Blacks will have to find a good square for his queen... Grischuk offers the e7 pawn in order to exchange queens and releave the pressure
26. Qxe7 Aronian took the pawn. Now Grischuk will concentrate his force in winning the d5 pawn. But white keep an avdantage because their pieces are more active after the openning of the position
26... Nb6 27. Bd1 Rbc8 IM Gozzoli: The problem for Grischuk is that most of the endings with R+B against R+N with pawns on both wings are clearly better for White because the knight will not find good outpost while the Bishop can stand on the a2-g8 diagonal for exemple, which, combined with the appearance of a white rook on the 7th rank, will create very annoying threats against f7 and/or a5
28. Qa7 IM Gozzoli: Qa7?! a very strange move to me. Why not simple allowing the queens exchange and play the ending with a good advantage without any risks ?!
28... Ra8 29. Qb7 IM Gozzoli: the computer offers that the active ...Nc4 has a better alternative for Grischuk. Indeed it attacks the b2 pawn and in case of the advance of this pawn then the black knights could have a nice outpost in c3 and it also threats ...Rd7 trapping the white queen so it forces 29.Nd2 Nxb2 30.Qxa5 Rc1 and finally Blacks activate their forces
29... Rdc8 30. Qe7 Qxe7 IM Gozzoli: so finaly we have this ending. White stand better but still a lot of pieces on the board and the so desired ending R+B against R+N is still far away. Black can hold the position but has to be very precise, especially in time trouble!
31. Rxe7 Nfxd5 32. Rb7 Rc7 33. Rxc7 Nxc7 34. Bb3 a4 35. Bc2 Ncd5 IM Gozzoli: Grischuk has found a way to activate his rook by a5-c5. Time control is close and his position looks safe!
36. Be4 Ra5 37. Ne5 IM Gozzoli: now 37..a3 looks to force the draw!
37... Rc5 38. Bxd5 Rxd5 39. Rxb4 Rxe5 40. Rxb6 Re1+ 41. Kh2 Re2 42. Kg3 IM Gozzoli: Grischuk voluntary transposes in a rook ending with a pawn down! Indeed the activity of the Black rook combined with the a4 pawn which cramp the white pawns should be enough to draw...
42... a3 43. bxa3 Rxa2 44. Rb3 Kg7 45. f4 h5 46. h4 f6 47. Kf3 g5 48. hxg5 fxg5 IM Gozzoli: Grischuk played the last moves quite quickly and confidently. Indeed the position looks drawish since black has an active rook who can switch from a2 to g2 in order to attack a3-g3. In case of Grischuk plays 49...g4, if the white king goes to the queenside then blacks can simply goes Kf6-f5 and push h5-h4, eliminating white pawns and then sacrifice the rook against the a pawn and push the g pawn. I must say that I am absolutely not an ending specialist but if I were black I would have defend like this..
49. g3 Kf6 50. Ke4 gxf4 51. Kxf4 Ra1 52. Ke4 Ke6 53. Re3 Ra2 54. Kd4+ Kd6 55. Kc4 Rh2 IM Gozzoli: now it's an obvious draw. Black threats to push h5-h4 and I don't see anyway for white to avoid it.
56. Kb5 Kc7 57. Re7+ Kb8 58. Rh7 Rg2 59. Kb6 Rb2+ And the players agreed to a draw. Another psychological victory for Grischuk who suffered a lot and finally hold once again! So what will happen tomorrow?! Lasker or Semi-Slav?! I hope the second one to have some blood over the board! Stay tuned for a video analysis here and more news, thanks for following with us GM Naiditsch and IM Gozzoli on ChessBomb.com and Chessdom.com! ½-½