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descriptionAronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012 EmptyAronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012

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http://www.chess.co.uk/twic/chessnews/events/aronian-kramnik-match-in-zuerich-2012

descriptionAronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012 EmptyRe: Aronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012

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Round one:

Code:

[Event "Zurich Chess challenge Kramnik vs Aroni"]
[Site "Zurich"]
[Date "2012.04.21"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D43"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2820"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 Nd7 8. Bd3
  dxc4 9. Bxc4 g6 10. O-O Bg7 11. Re1 O-O 12. e4 e5 13. d5 {0.11/0} Rd8 {0.04/0}
  (13... Nb6 14. Bb3 Bd7 15. h3 Rac8 16. Qe2 Rfe8 17. Rad1 Bf8 18. a3 h5 19. Rd3
  Bh6 20. Red1 cxd5 21. Bxd5 Rc7 22. Nd2 Qe7 23. Nc4 Nxc4 24. Bxc4 Bc6 25. Bd5
  Kh7 26. Bxc6 bxc6 27. Na4 {1/2-1/2 (101) Leko,P (2734)-Gelfand,B (2739) Miskolc
  2010}) 14. Re3 {-0.13/0 This move was first played by WGM Valentina Gunina earlier
  this year, with a successful result. It has to be uplifting to her to have a
  player of Kramnik's calibre, and level of preparation, giving it his own stamp
  of approval.} b5 {-0.15/0} 15. dxc6 {-0.06/0} bxc4 {-0.12/0} 16. Nd5 {-0.56/0}
  Qe6 {-0.45/0} (16... Qd6 17. cxd7 Bxd7 18. Nd2 Bb5 19. Qc2 Rab8 20. Rc3 Qa6
  21. a4 Bf8 22. Nf1 Bc5 23. Qc1 Bc6 24. Nf6+ Kg7 25. Ng4 g5 26. Rxc4 Rd1 27.
  Qxd1 Qxc4 28. Qf3 Qxe4 29. Rc1 Qg6 30. Qc3 Qe4 31. Qxe5+ Qxe5 32. Nxe5 Bxf2+
  33. Kxf2 Rxb2+ 34. Ke3 Bxg2 35. Ng3 Bd5 36. Nh5+ Kf8 37. Rd1 Be6 38. Rd8+ {1-0
  (38) Gunina,V (2511)-Muzychuk,A (2583) Gaziantep 2012}) 17. cxd7 {-0.40/0} Rxd7
  {-0.21/0 Even though Kramnik is the one who chose to go down this path, and
  one cannot believe Re3 was played by accident, the fact is that he was consuming
  a lot of time on his clock while Aronian was playing quite quickly.} 18. Qa4
  {-0.41/0} Bb7 {-0.50/0 Played immediately by Levon.} 19. Qxc4 {-0.67/0} Bxd5
  {-0.31/0} 20. exd5 {-0.52/0} Qxd5 {-0.34/0} 21. Qxd5 {-0.46/0} Rxd5 {-0. 50/0}
  22. Rae1 {-0.46/0} Re8 {-0.31/0 The general consensus among masters and grandmasters
  watching the game was that Kramnik was undoubtedly worse, but would eventually
  hold.} 23. g4 {-0.30/0 A surprising decision to some, but the idea is to contain
  Black's progress, and make ...f5 less attractive.} Kh7 {-0. 33/0} ({After the
  immediate} 23... f5 {White plays} 24. Nh4 {and after} fxg4 25. Nxg6 {should
  be fine. The attempt to box in the knight with} Bf6 {does not work as it escapes
  with} 26. Nf4) 24. g5 {-0.39/0 Again a decision that caught many by surprise.
  It is true that White's knight will finally gain some activity, but the question
  is whether this will outweigh the long-term weaknesses in his pawns.} hxg5 {-0.50/0
  Aronian wasted very little time on this decision.} 25. Nxg5+ {-0.24/0} Kg8 {-0.39/0}
  26. f4 $2 {-1.18/0 This is a mistake. Perhaps White was anxious to end his agony,
  and thought to achieve quick parity and shake hands. Instead he is much worse
  now.} Rb8 $1 {-1.17/0} ( 26... Bh6 {looks attractive, but isn't as strong as
  the game. White removes the rook from the pin with} 27. R3e2 {and will then
  have Ne4, threatening Nf6+. }) 27. fxe5 {-0.64/0} Rxb2 {-1.22/0} 28. Nf3 {-1.26/0
  White is understandably concerned with Rdd2 and seeing Black double his rooks
  on the second rank.} Rxa2 {-0.90/0} 29. e6 {-1.04/0} fxe6 {-2.22/0 Things are
  now looking very grim. The bishop is now completely free, and the a-pawn is
  a very real threat.} 30. Rxe6 {-1.84/0} Rf5 {-2.16/0} 31. Nh4 {-2.18/0} Rf4
  {-1.80/0} 32. R6e4 {-2.16/0} (32. Nxg6 $2 Bd4+ 33. Kh1 Rff2 {is the end.}) 32...
  Rf6 {-1.53/0} 33. Rg4 {-1.71/0} Kf7 {-1.59/0} 34. Rc1 {-1.82/0} Bh6 {-1.55/0}
  35. Rc7+ {-1.97/0} Ke8 {-1.70/0} 36. Re4+ {-1.82/0} Kd8 {-2.00/0} 37. Rh7 {-2.15/0}
  Bf8 {-2.03/0} 38. Rd4+ {-1. 29/0} Kc8 {-1.39/0} 39. Rc4+ {-1.68/0} Kb8 {-1.89/0}
  40. Rd7 $2 {-5.88/0} ({ Even without the game's blunder, Black is most likely
  won. The combination of sprinting a-pawn with two rooks and bishop against Whites
  exposed king should decide it. A sample line might be} 40. Rc1 a5 41. Ng2 (41.
  Rb1+ Ka8 42. Rc1 Bd6 {with the idea Bb8 to cover the mate threats.}) 41... a4
  42. Ne3 a3 $19) 40... g5 $19 41. Ng6 Bd6 {The knight is lost since White must
  also protect against the threat Bxh2+ Kh1 and Rf1 mate.} 0-1

descriptionAronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012 EmptyRe: Aronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012

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Round two:

Code:

[Event "Zurich Chess challenge Kramnik vs Aroni"]
[Site "Zurich"]
[Date "2012.04.22"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2820"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]

1. e4 {60 This is actually the biggest opening surprise of them all as Aronian
  is a noted 1.d4 player. He explained that it was to try to surprise Kramnik,
  an opponent whose preparation is so refined.} e5 {60} 2. Nf3 {0} Nc6 {0} 3.
  Bb5 {0} Nf6 {0 Kramnik explained in the post-game conference that he considered
  deviating from his pet Berlin, but decided to see what Aronian had prepared,
  betting on his opponent's inexperience to weigh in his favor.} 4. O-O {0} Nxe4
  {60} 5. d4 {0} Nd6 {0} 6. Bxc6 {0} dxc6 {0} 7. dxe5 {60} Nf5 {0} 8. Qxd8+ {0}
  Kxd8 {0} 9. Nc3 {0} Be6 {180 This is the first deviation. Although the development
  to e6 is nothing odd, this particular move-order plans to bring it back to c8
  a few moves later. Owing to the nature of the endgame, he feels that the idea,
  while exotic looking, has a good basis of logic behind it.} 10. Rd1+ {0} Ke8
  {0} 11. Ng5 {60} Bc8 {0.21/0 0} 12. h3 {0.14/0 180} Be7 {0.14/0 60 Here 84 of
  the 85 games on record continued with Nf3, but Aronian has a very different
  idea.} 13. Bf4 {0.03/0 120 A theoretical novelty, but apparently not the result
  of any deep preparation. Considering the unusual Be6-c8 played by Kramnik, this
  is no surprise.} Nh4 {0.07/0 420 A deep thought, and a good reaction. Vladimir
  felt that as a result of his unorthodox choice, he had succeeded in tripping
  Levon and now stood at least equal.} 14. e6 {-0.02/0 1380 } f6 {0.00/0 1020}
  15. Nf7 {0.15/0 0} Rg8 {0.08/0 60} 16. Bxc7 {0.00/0 0} Bxe6 {0.04/0 0} 17. Nd6+
  {0.04/0 0} Bxd6 {0.00/0 120} 18. Bxd6 {0.06/0 240} Kf7 {0. 09/0 60} 19. f3 {0.15/0
  0} Nf5 $6 {0.11/0 240 Here Kramnik played this rather quickly and offered a
  draw. In hindsight, he agrees with Aronian's choice to decline as he felt this
  was a very poor move that did not suit the position. There is a certain irony
  that the engines place it as best or top two best.} 20. Bc5 {0.16/0 60} b6 {0.14/0
  420} 21. Bf2 {0.15/0 0} Rgd8 {0.18/0 420} 22. a4 {0.31/0 60} Ne7 {0.16/0 540}
  23. a5 {0.21/0 120} c5 {0.28/0 360 In spite of it all, the position is equal.}
  24. Nb5 {0.31/0 480} ({There was considerable debate on the engine choice of}
  24. g4 $5 {After examining it with the commentators IM Werner Zug and GM Yannick
  Pelletier, the players conceded it was an option though it was merely a fork
  in the road, and not a deal-changer. Aronian pointed out that he would reject
  a move such as 24. g4 purely on principle, and the only way for it to enter
  his list of candidates would be after analysing the position very deeply.})
  24... Nc6 {0.30/0 360} 25. Rxd8 { 0.00/0 840} Rxd8 {0.00/0 0} 26. axb6 {0.02/0
  0} axb6 {0.01/0 0} 27. Ra6 {0.00/ 0 60} Rd1+ {0.00/0 540} 28. Kh2 {0.00/0 0}
  Rd2 {0.00/0 60} 29. Rxb6 {0.00/0 0 By now, there was the question of whether
  they would be shaking hands soon and play a rapid game, as there was 20-25 minutes
  left before the three-hour rule kicked in, or whether the spectators would be
  deprived of the option. The players eventually played three hours and *five*
  minutes, and did not play a rapid, but the Armenian said that the choice was
  not related to the possible rapid game, but because he was under the impression
  he still had the better chances. Kramnik joked that he was probably not enthusiastic
  either of the idea of playing a rapid game with Black, since the colors would
  be reversed. This actually brings up a psychological question. By winning the
  first game as Black, and having put a bit of pressure as White, however little,
  would he want to risk his mental edge by possibly losing a rapid, and facing
  a refreshed Kramnik in game three?} Rxc2 {0.00/0 120} 30. Nd6+ {0.00/0 720}
  Ke7 { 0.00/0 60} 31. Ne4 {0.00/0 60} Nd4 {0.00/0 420} 32. Rb7+ {0.00/0 60} Kf8
  {0.00/ 0 120} 33. Rc7 {0.00/0 60} Rxb2 {0.00/0 180} 34. Rxc5 {0.00/0 0} Nf5
  {0.00/0 120} 35. Ng3 {-0.02/0 420} Rxf2 {-0.03/0 25} 36. Nxf5 {-0.02/0 0} Bxf5
  {5} 37. Rxf5 {0} Ra2 {4} 1/2-1/2

descriptionAronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012 EmptyRe: Aronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012

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Analysis of game one – provided by Andrew Martin

descriptionAronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012 EmptyRe: Aronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012

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Round three:

Code:

[Event "Zurich Chess challenge Kramnik vs Aroni"]
[Site "Zurich"]
[Date "2012.04.24"]
[Round "3.3"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C47"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2820"]
[Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]

1. e4 {60 There
  is a certain irony when a valid comment is to state that both players of the
  match chose 1.e4 as a surprise weapon. After Aronian's 1.e4 in game two, Kramnik
  also chooses to employ it. True, Kramnik has played it before, but the last
  time he did so in a classic game was against Adams in the 2006 Dortmund SuperGM
  tournament. They drew.} e5 {60} 2. Nf3 {0} Nc6 {0 This is already the first
  decision, though Kramnik had assuredly planned this in advance. Against the
  more typical 3.Bb5, Aronian usually plays his pet Marshall Gambit, his primary
  choice to neutralize his opponent with black. Unless Kramnik wishes to draw,
  or somehow try to outbook one the world's foremost theoretician's in the line,
  he needs another plan.} 3. Nc3 {0} Nf6 {0} 4. d4 $1 {0 The exclamation is because
  there is no way Aronian could have expected this unless he has a crystal ball.
  For one thing, Kramnik has never played any form of Scotch Defense with black
  or white in his career. The opening motto of the match seems to be "expect the
  unexpected".} exd4 {120 Aronian's only foray in this line dates back to 2003,
  when he was 19 years old and rated 2581.} 5. Nxd4 {0} Bc5 {240} (5... Bb4 6.
  Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 { Transposes to one of the main lines of the Scotch game. Aronian
  wants none of that. As he said after the game - he was playing for a win! This
  is a great advantage of the 'friendly' matches, as they allow players to really
  play for both results.}) 6. Be3 {60} Bb6 {0.00/0 60} 7. Qd2 {0.27/0 120 "Expect
  the unexpected" indeed! This variation has only been played twice by players
  even rated 2500, and only one is worth mentioning.} O-O {0.29/0 420} 8. O-O-O
  {0.29/ 0 0} Re8 {0.35/0 0} 9. f3 {0.39/0 60} d5 {0.42/0 120 as Kramnik says,
  this is the only way of justifying Black's previous play. In some way, the Queen
  sacrifice that follows is somewhat forced.} (9... d6 10. g4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Be6
  12. Rg1 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 c5 14. Qd2 Qa5 15. a3 a6 16. g5 Nd7 17. f4 b5 18. f5 Bc4
  19. g6 fxg6 20. Bxc4+ bxc4 21. fxg6 h6 22. Qxd6 Ne5 23. Rd5 Qd8 24. Qxc5 Qh4
  25. Rdd1 Rac8 26. Qa7 Qxh2 27. Nd5 c3 28. bxc3 Qh4 29. Rdf1 Kh8 30. Qd4 Nc6
  { 1/2-1/2 (30) Reefat,B (2430)-Hebden,M (2550) Dhaka 1995 CBM 048 [King, D]})
  10. exd5 {0.38/0 480} Nxd5 {0.27/0 60} 11. Bg5 {0.41/0 0} Nxc3 {0.52/0 120}
  12. Bxd8 {0.53/0 480} Nxd1 $1 {1.21/0 60} (12... Bxd4 13. Re1 Nxa2+ 14. Kb1
  Rxd8 15. Kxa2 Be6+ 16. Rxe6 $1 fxe6 {is clearly better for White.}) 13. Bxc7
  {0.76/ 0 660} (13. Bh4 Nxd4 14. Qxd1 Nf5 15. Bg5 h6 {Black has enough compensation
  for the queen.}) 13... Bxc7 {0.66/0 420} 14. Nxc6 {0.59/0 60 White is up a significant
  amount of material, but Black has a great deal of counterplay. First, he has
  the pair of bishops, which gives him a strong hold on some dark squares. Also,
  Black's pieces will swing into the game very quickly.} Ne3 {0. 54/0 1020} 15.
  Bb5 $1 {0.52/0 1380 Kramnik spent a lot of time on this move. Going back is
  simply not an option!} (15. Nd4 $6 Bf4 {already leaves white in huge problems.
  Consider the following two mover:} 16. Bb5 {(actually best)} Nf1 $1 {And Black
  regains more than he sacrificed for the queen.}) 15... bxc6 {1. 14/0 1080} (15...
  Bf5 $6 16. Nd4 Bf4 17. Bxe8 Nxg2 18. Qxf4 Nxf4 19. Bxf7+ Kxf7 20. Nxf5 {This
  is not so easy to win, but : "if I wanted to hold, I would've played 5... Bb4"
  - Aronian}) (15... a6 16. Ba4 Nc4 $5 {Wait for the next CBM issue for full annotations
  in all these crazy variations.}) 16. Bxc6 {0.86/0 0} Nc4 {1.26/0 540} 17. Qd4
  {0.95/0 900} (17. Qb4 $5 {Kramnik mentioned during the postmortem that this
  was possibly better.}) 17... Be6 {0.49/0 120} 18. Bxa8 {1.50/0 0} Bb6 $1 {0.98/0
  0 The problem of having an extra queen is that when it gets attacked you really
  have to move it. Black is building up slowly by using the Queen as a punching
  bag.} 19. Qd3 {1.67/0 1260} (19. Qe4 {trying to hold on to the Bishop, simply
  doesn't work.} Be3+ 20. Kd1 (20. Kb1 $4 Nd2+ $19) 20... Nxb2+ (20... Rd8+ $5
  21. Ke1 Bb6 {Aronian thought that he was winning in this position. Much more
  analysis is needed.}) 21. Ke1 Bd7 {And Black is at least ok in every line.})
  19... Rxa8 {1.06/0 900} 20. Re1 {0.64/0 0 Of course, every amateur will tell
  you that three pieces are worth more than a queen. However, in this specific
  instance, White also has two pawns, one of them passed! The struggle is far
  from over.} Rd8 {1.93/0 60} 21. Qe4 {1.07/0 0} g5 { 1.51/0 600 This is a strange
  move. Black seems to weaken unnecessarily.} 22. c3 {2.14/0 120} (22. b3 Bc5
  23. Qb7 Ba3+ 24. Kb1 Nd2+ 25. Ka1 {and Black cannot make any progress.}) 22...
  Bc5 {1.72/0 274} 23. Re2 {1.61/0 240} h6 {1.93/0 93} 24. g3 {1.61/0 237 The
  pieces are controlled for now, and now f4-f5 is coming into the fray.} a5 {1.33/0
  212} 25. f4 {1.61/0 82} a4 {1.61/0 206} 26. f5 {2. 14/0 320} Bd5 {1.89/0 4}
  27. Qd3 $1 {1.87/0 6 Forced, but sufficient. There are no good discoveries since
  the rook is under attack, but as Kramnik proves, even if it was protected, there
  is nothing to fear.} (27. Qg4 $2 a3 28. b3 Ne3 $1 {and the tables have turned.})
  27... Bb6 {4.51/0 179} 28. b3 $1 {4.55/0 93} axb3 {3.34/0 36} 29. axb3 {4.28/0
  3} Na5 {3.17/0 13} 30. Re8+ {2.34/0 195 A very human decision. Kramnik eliminates
  some pieces and lets his pawns decide the issue.} (30. Qb5 $1 {is a surprising
  resource easily found by computers. However the Grandmasters were in time pressure
  and it is not so easy to calculate.} Nxb3+ 31. Kc2 Bc5 32. Re5 $18 {The bishop
  is trapped which means that the knight is doomed. Black has no more counterplay.})
  30... Rxe8 {2.39/0 3} 31. Qxd5 {2.19/0 1 In many ways, the smoke has cleared.
  Black's material is very reduced, so there is no possibility of creating serious
  threats against the king. Without these threats, the pawns will simply roll
  forward.} Rd8 {2. 13/0 93} 32. Qb5 {2.18/0 31} Rd6 {3.16/0 37} 33. Kc2 {2.86/0
  63} (33. Qe5 $1 { was more accurate to prevent a little maneouvre from black,
  Bd8-f6, which grants him some coordination.}) 33... Kg7 {4.01/0 37} (33... Bd8
  $1 {Aronian was down to his last few minutes here, and this backwards move is
  again, hard to find. White should still be winning in this position with accurate
  play, but the idea is to put the B on the a1-h8 diagonal, which combined with
  a N on c6 might potentially create threats against the king.} 34. Qb8 $1) 34.
  b4 {3. 70/0 17} Nb7 {3.26/0 0} 35. c4 {3.84/0 43 Now it's all over, Black has
  no coordination, and there is little hope to sacrifice one piece for both pawns.}
  Rf6 {4.05/0 4} 36. g4 {4.60/0 55} Nd8 {3.78/0 3} 37. c5 {4.06/0 11} Bc7 {6.48/
  0 1} 38. Qd7 {7.18/0 9} Nc6 {9.13/0 1} 39. b5 {11.01/0 27} Na7 {17.01/0 1} 40.
  Qxc7 {299.82/0 35} Nxb5 {16.26/0 1} 41. Qe5 {3621} (41. Qd7 $1 {Traps the knight,
  but White no longer has to be very accurate, just minorly careful.}) 41... Na7
  {3601} 42. Kd3 {0 The king marches in, and the knight cannot help unpin the
  rook. A very exciting game in which Aronian was maybe too optimistic throughout
  the entire game, as can be seen in some of the comments. They did provide quite
  the spectacle!} 1-0

descriptionAronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012 EmptyRe: Aronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012

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Video report on Game 3 by Daniel King

descriptionAronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012 EmptyRe: Aronian-Kramnik Match in Zuerich 2012

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Round four:

Code:

[Event "Zurich Chess challenge - Rapid game"]
[Site "Zurich"]
[Date "2012.04.25"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C77"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2820"]
[Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]

1. e4 {5700} e5 {5700} 2. Nf3 {0} Nc6
  {0} 3. Bb5 {0} a6 {0} 4. Ba4 {0} Nf6 {0} 5. d3 {0 In yesterday's round many
  commentators pointed out that Kramnik was afraid to test Aronian's Marshall.
  It seems that Kramnik isn't willing to go into it even in a rapid game!} b5
  {0} 6. Bb3 {0} Bc5 {0} 7. c3 {0} d6 {-0.01/0 0} 8. Bg5 {-0.29/0 0 Already a
  new move. The position resembles an Archangel, but some key differences are
  on the board. First, White has very little hope of playing for a quick d4. His
  bishop on g5 seems misplaced, but it binds some of Black's ideas and it is pretty
  annoying as there is no easy way to break the pin.} h6 {-0.14/0 0} 9. Bh4 {-0.10/0
  0} Bb6 {0.04/0 120} 10. Nbd2 {-0.08/0 0} Rb8 {0.00/0 120} 11. Qe2 {-0.08/0 60
  White is probably delaying Castling as much as possible in hopes that Black
  castles first, making a g5-h5 push less likely.} a5 {0.29/0 60} 12. a4 {0.18/0
  60} b4 {0.29/0 0} 13. O-O {0.07/0 120} g5 $5 {0.04/0 59 Done anyways! Both sides
  are out for blood now. Black has a lot of space but considerable weaknesses.
  Will his pawn pushes be rewarded or punished?} 14. Bg3 {0.08/0 0} O-O {0.06/0
  11} (14... Nh5 15. Nc4 Ba7 16. Ne3 bxc3 17. Bd5 Ne7 18. Nxe5 $5 {Would've been
  fun.}) 15. Nc4 {0.00/0 184} Ba7 { 0.00/0 72} 16. Nfd2 {-0.16/0 25 Preventing
  the previously mentioned Nh5 idea.} h5 $1 {0.00/0 79 Going for even more space!
  Black is not worried about the weaknesses left behind - he is banking on his
  piece activity and space advantage to restrict White.} 17. h3 {0.00/0 14} h4
  {-0.05/0 47} 18. Bh2 {0.00/ 0 88} Kg7 {0.23/0 53} 19. Kh1 {0.00/0 42} Rh8 {0.23/0
  1 Already Levon prepares malicious threats. g4/h3 is in the air.} 20. d4 $5
  {-0.12/0 50 And the game goes wild! Kramnik valiantly tries to free himself
  from the binding pawns. If he succeeds in opening up the game too much, even
  at the cost of a few pawns, he will have a wonderful initiative against his
  opponent's weakened king.} bxc3 {-0.11/0 50} 21. bxc3 {-0.11/0 3} exd4 {-0.11/0
  76} 22. e5 {-0.24/0 23 The point} dxc3 $1 {0.00/0 27 Levon doesn't want to concede
  any intiative, and sacrifices a knight. For it, he will get some king safety,
  strong pawns and well coordinated pieces.} (22... dxe5 23. Nxe5 Re8 24. Rae1
  $1 {is a significant initiative.}) 23. exf6+ {0.00/0 227} Qxf6 {-0.66/0 0} 24.
  f4 $5 { -1.49/0 0 This move might be too optimistic. But interesting! Objectively
  I'm sure it's just bad though.} (24. Ne4 Qe7 25. Bd1 (25. Bc2 $5 d5 26. Rae1
  dxe4 27. Bxe4 $13) 25... d5 26. Nxc3 Qxe2 27. Bxe2 dxc4 28. Bxc4 $11 {Would've
  been a very sad continuation considering how promising the game was going.})
  24... cxd2 {-0.08/0 0} 25. fxg5 {-0.26/0 0} Qe6 {0.00/0 0} 26. Qd1 $2 {-2.59/0
  270} ( 26. Ne5 {is brought to you by the magic of computers.} Rxb3 27. Rxf7+
  Kg8 28. Rf6 dxe5 29. Rxe6 Bxe6 30. Qxd2 {Black's king is exposed, yes, but I'm
  not entirely sure White has sufficient compensation for the sacrificed material.
  I've a feeling the Queen will be overwhelmed. However it's much better than
  the game continuation.}) 26... Rxb3 $1 $19 {-2.54/0 0} 27. Qxb3 {-2.62/0 6}
  Ba6 {-2.61/0 0 Nicely calculated. Black gets the exchange back, and forces the
  trade of queens.} 28. Qf3 $2 {-4.96/0 149 Objectively bad, but the other moves
  lost without resistance.} (28. Nxd2 Qxb3 29. Nxb3 Bxf1 30. Rxf1 Rb8 {is a completely
  hopeless endgame for White.}) 28... Bxc4 $19 {-7.24/0 9} 29. Qxc6 { -10.06/0
  0} Bd4 {-7.47/0 6} (29... Bxf1 30. Rxf1 Qe2 {was possible, the text is just
  more exact.}) 30. Bg1 {-8.26/0 19} (30. Rad1 Bxf1 31. Rxf1 Qe2 {is really over,
  as White doesn't have Qc3+ anymore.}) 30... Bxa1 {-9.22/0 65} 31. Rxa1 {-8.51/0
  0} Re8 $1 {-7.50/0 21} 32. g6 {-14.10/0 106} Qf6 $1 {-20.62/0 145 } 33. Qxc4
  {-19.99/0 32} Re1 {-18.38/0 0} 34. Kh2 {-299.86/0 0} Rxa1 {2} 35. Bd4 {0} Rh1+
  {0 A nice finishing tactic. Levon played a superb game, without fear.} 0-1

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Game three commentary by Andrew Martin

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Game four commentary by Andrew Martin

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Round five:

Code:

[Event "Zurich Chess challenge Kramnik vs Aronia"]
[Site "Zurich"]
[Date "2012.04.27"]
[Round "5.5"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D43"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2820"]

1. Nf3 {60} d5 {60} 2. d4 {0} Nf6 {0} 3. c4 {0} c6 {0} 4. Nc3 {0} e6 {0} 5. Bg5
{60} h6 {0} 6. Bxf6 {0} Qxf6 {0} 7. e3 {0} Nd7 {0} 8. Be2 {0} Qd8 {120} 9. O-O
{120} Be7 {0} 10. Qc2 {120} O-O {420} 11. a3 {120} b6 {300} 12. Rfd1 {720} Bb7
{360} 13. Rac1 {60} Qb8 {420} 14. cxd5 {780} cxd5 {240} 15. Qa4 {60} Nf6 {240}
16. Ba6 {180} Bxa6 {60} 17. Qxa6 {0} Qc8 {0} 18. Qxc8 {720} Rfxc8 {60} 19. Ne5
{0} Bd6 {180} 20. Nd3 {540} Ne8 {120} 21. Kf1 {240} Kf8 {120} 22. Ke2 {60} Ke7
{60} 23. h3 {300} Rc4 {480} 24. b3 {180} Rcc8 {60} 25. a4 {420} Ba3 {120} 26.
Rc2 {0} Rc7 {60} 27. Ra1 {120} Bd6 {60} 28. Kd2 {120} a5 {180} 29. Rcc1 {180}
Rac8 {60} 30. f3 {0} f5 {660} 31. g4 {120} g6 {60} 32. Ne2 {120} Rxc1 {60} 33.
Nexc1 {60} Nf6 {360} 34. Ne2 {0} Nh7 {0} 35. Ne5 {180} Ng5 {720} 36. Nf4 {794}
Bb4+ {180} 37. Kd1 {12} Rc3 {120} 38. Rc1 {271} Rxe3 {0} 39. Rc7+ {132} Kd8 {60
} 40. Rg7 {125} Kc8 {0} 41. Rg8+ {1426} Kb7 {180} 42. Rg7+ {60} Kc8 {0} 43.
Rg8+ {180} Kb7 {0} 1/2-1/2

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Round six:

Code:

[Event "Zurich Chess challenge Kramnik vs Aroni"]
[Site "Zurich"]
[Date "2012.04.27"]
[Round "6.6"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2820"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5.
  Nbd2 d6 6. c3 O-O 7. O-O Ne7 8. h3 Ng6 
  9. Re1 c6 10. Ba4 Re8 11. d4 Bb6 12. Bc2
  h6 {0.00/0} 13. a4 {-0.03/0} Be6 {0.00/0} 14. Nf1 {0.04/0} exd4
  {0.15/0} 15. Nxd4 {0.00/0} Bd7 {0.00/0} 16. f4 {-0.15/0} d5 {0.19/0} 
  17. e5 {0.29/0} Ne4 {0.24/0} 18. Bxe4 {0.12/0} dxe4 {0.24/0}
  19. a5 {0.00/0} Bxa5 {0.00/0} 20. Ng3 {0.04/0} Bb6 {0.00/0}
  21. Kh2 {0.00/0} c5 {0.16/0} 22. Ndf5 {0.24/0} Bxf5 {0.24/0}
  23. Nxf5 {0.17/0} Qxd1 {0.16/0} 24. Rxd1 {0.13/0} Rad8 {0.17/0}
  25. Be3 {0.00/0} Rd3 {0.11/0} 26. Re1 {0.00/0} f6 {0.00/0} 27.
  exf6 {0.00/0} gxf6 {0.00/0} 28. Nxh6+ {0.00/0} Kf8 {0.15/0} 29.
  Ra4 {0.33/0} Rd5 {0.31/0} 30. c4 {0.00/0} Rd3 {0.00/0} 31. b4
  {-0.18/0} Rxe3 $1 {-0.17/0} (31... cxb4 32. Bxb6 axb6 33. Rxb4 Nxf4
  34. Rxb6 Kg7 35. Ng4 Rd2 36. Ne3 Rh8 37. h4 {leaves White with an advantage.})
  (31... Nh4 32. Ng4 {does so too.}) 32. Rxe3 {-0.21/0} cxb4 {-0.15/0} 33.
  Rg3 $5 {-1.41/0 Seeking counterplay.} e3 $2 {-0.24/0 Missing a chance
  to win the match.} ({Fritz 13 and all engines in the Let's Check cloud were
  yelling for} 33... Ne7 $1 {and now} 34. Rxb4 Bc7 35. Rg4 (35. Rxb7 $2
  Bxf4 {is deadly.}) 35... e3 {and White is in deep trouble.}) 34. Rxg6 {0.00/0} 
  e2 {0.00/0} 35. Ra1 {-0.24/0} Bf2 {0.13/0} 36. Rg8+ {-0.15/0}
  ({In Let's Check Rybka and Houdini were proposing} 36. g4 e1=Q 37. Rxf6+
  Kg7 38. Rxe1 Rxe1 (38... Bxe1 39. g5 Re2+ (39... b3 
  40. Rf7+ Kg6 41. Rf6+ {is a perpetual.}) 40. Kh1 Bc3 41. Rf7+
  Kg6 42. Rxb7 {and Black can no longer win.})) ({Fritz 13 preferred}
  36. Rxf6+ {first.}) 36... Ke7 {-0.25/0} 37. Rg7+ {-0.33/0} Kd6 {-0.21/0}
  38. Rxb7 {-0.16/0} e1=Q {-0.18/0} 39. Rxe1 {-0.33/0} Bxe1 {-0.13/0}
  40. Nf5+ {-0.29/0} Kc5 {0.00/0} 41. Rb5+ {0.00/0} Kc6 {0.00/0}
  42. Nd4+ Kc7 43. Rc5+ ({Aronian has found an amazing resource,
  as we could see on Kramnik's face in the live stream.} 43. Rc5+ Kb6 (43... Kd8
  44. Rd5+ Ke7 45. Nf5+ Kf8 46. Rb5 {is in fact good for White.}) 44. Rb5+
  Kc7 45. Rc5+ {and draw by perpetual.}) 1/2-1/2

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Videos from Zurich Chess Challenge
http://kramnikaronian.com/index.php

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Game six commentary by IM Andrew Martin

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