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Aronian On The High And The Contest For European Crown – Higher Chess

CBM 213: Aronian on the top and the contest for European crown

ChessBase Journal provides a window to the world {of professional} chess.  The most recent problem, CBM #213 is out. Our columnist, Nagesh Havanur appears.

2651 video games (47 annotated) from WR Masters and European Championship amongst others.  12 opening surveys, 3 opening  movies,  9  demo. lectures and several other workouts for coaching. Annotators embody Levon Aronian, Alexey Sarana,  Kirill Shevchenko, Vincent Keymer, Gukesh and Praggnanandhaa  amongst others. The icing on the cake is a characteristic on Viswanathan Anand  with 26 annotated video games.

Evaluate by Nagesh Havanur

Aronian shines

Ever since Aronian  settled within the USA, he has discovered a life perfect for his artistic spirit. As he doesn’t attempt to win each chess match, he’s free from the anxiousness of ending on the high. It’s one of many the reason why he carried out so effectively within the current WR Masters  Event and beat each Nepomniachtchi and Gukesh within the tie-break video games to complete first. On this problem he annotates his video games with Anish Giri and  Praggnanandhaa.

CBM 213: Aronian on the top and the contest for European crown

Levon Aronian within the first spherical in opposition to Praggnanandhaa | Photograph: Lennart Ootes

Levon has disarming modesty, “I at all times prefer to be taught from younger gamers” as he put it elsewhere on this problem. He’s additionally interested in what his opponent thought through the recreation and readily shares his personal concepts with the latter:

Aronian-Praggnaandhaa, WR Masters 2023 (obtain)

This a part of the DVD additionally has a video commentary by Pragg on his recreation with Giri. There may be additionally a video interview with  Gukesh on his recreation with Pragg. Gukesh was unbeaten in the primary occasion, and he misplaced just one recreation to Aronian within the tie-break simply because it was approaching a draw:

(source: Chessbase India)

(supply: Chessbase India)


Aronian-Gukesh, (Ending) WR Masters 2023 (obtain)

On account of this recreation Gukesh got here second within the match. Nepo’s thoughts gave the impression to be elsewhere (the forthcoming world championship match that he subsequently misplaced) all through the match.  But he managed to complete third on this occasion which was  organized to provide him observe for the title bout that awaited him.

Sarana scores

The European Particular person Championship was a colourful occasion that drew as many as 484 gamers from the continent:

As is understood, this robust occasion was received by Alexey Sarana who got here forward of Kirill Shevchenko and Daniel Dardha on tie-break after that they had all completed with 8.5 out of 11 factors.

CBM 213: Aronian on the top and the contest for European crown

Sarana and Shevchenko within the final spherical and so they agreed to a fast draw.

On this problem Sarana annotates his recreation with Anton Korobov:

Sarana-Korobov, European Championship 2023 (obtain)

A tragic determine on this Championship was Anton Korobov.

CBM 213: Aronian on the top and the contest for European crown

He started with a rating of 4/4 after which slowed down a bit till he misplaced this recreation to Sarana. He was nonetheless among the many leaders till the final spherical when he met  Daniel Dardha.

CBM 213: Aronian on the top and the contest for European crown

Avoiding a draw in any respect prices Korobov overreached himself and misplaced. To his credit score his younger opponent saved cool below stress and seized the chance to win:

Korobov-Dardha, European Championship 2023 (obtain)

Battle, politics, and chess

One recreation that deserves consideration is the  7th  spherical encounter between Mikhail Kobalia (Russia) and  Kirill Shevchenko (Romania):

CBM 213: Aronian on the top and the contest for European crown

Photograph: “Chess Information with out Censorship”

And thereby hangs a story. In response to Kobalia he arrived one or two minutes earlier than the sport and didn’t discover his opponent on the desk. The arbiter instructed him his opponent was already there and strolling round someplace close by. Shevchenko got here to the board solely after his opponent had made the primary transfer. When Kobalia provided a handshake Shevchenko declined the identical. The offended GM known as the arbiter and made an indignant protest. The arbiter tried to mollify Kobalia, to no avail. The sport continued and Kobalia was outplayed, resulting in a putting end. Right here is the ultimate section of the sport:

Kobalia-Shevchenko, European Championship 2023 (obtain)

Kobalia couldn’t settle for defeat and made an official criticism to the Appeals Committee. Shevchenko was known as for an evidence for his conduct earlier than the sport. On the finish of the day the results of the sport stood. Kobalia gave vent to his ire on Fb however acquired little help.

The 2 grandmasters had not recognized one another and so it was hardly on account of private animus. The actual cause needed to do  with the general public positions each had taken. In equity to Kobalia he had signed the enchantment  by 44 Russian GMs to cease the Ukraine conflict. He was additionally appalled by the conflict. When it started, he wrote feelingly, “Battle is dying, destruction, struggling… and there aren’t any winners and losers in it, the losers are all… no phrases to explain my emotions… it is a nightmare… which occurs right here and now…”

Nonetheless, thereafter he has been a spokesman for the Russian Chess Federation to demand lifting the ban on the group and he has additionally been instrumental in acquiring membership of the Asian Chess Federation for the Russian chess physique. As for Shevchenko, he was energetic supporting his motherland, Ukraine  until he was pressured to to migrate to Romania after a sequence of bombings on his native metropolis.

By means of postscript, I’ll add that Alexey Sarana, the winner of this Championship occurs to be an outspoken critic of the Ukraine conflict and he has left Russia  and settled in Serbia.

A Vishy Anand Particular

This problem additionally carries a particular characteristic on Anand with twenty-six annotated video games. The opponents embody world champions, Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen, to not point out GMs like Aronian, Timman and Ivanchuk, amongst others. I did miss a number of memorable encounters like his win over Kasparov within the ninth spherical of the World Championship 1995:

Anand-Kasparov, PCA World Championship (9) 1995 (obtain)

There are greater than 4200 video games of Anand within the Huge Base alone. They’re price a glance.

 Opening movies and surveys

There are 3 opening movies on this problem:

The primary provides  an introduction to a uncommon line within the King’s Indian by younger Leon Mendonca:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 Bg4!? (E91)

The second presents  evaluation  of  a line within the Open Catalan  by Mihail Marin.

1.d4 Nf6 2. C4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 c5 6. 0-0 Nc6 7.Ne5 (E04)

The third is a presentation on a  line in vogue within the London System by Christian Bauer

1.d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3.Bf4 c5 4. e3 Nc6 5. Nbd2 Nh5 (D02)

Take your choose.

What’s extra, there are as many as 12  opening surveys starting from  the  Caro-Kann to the King’s Indian. Amongst them I’d single out the analyses on the Rubinstein Variation of the 4 Knights Protection and a line for Black within the Carlsbad System.

An outdated line within the 4 Knights

The Rubinstein Variation within the 4 Knights  typically results in large slugfest within the middlegame.  On that rating gamers with White used to keep away from this variation prior to now. Now a brand new line  is being revived together with the older line 5.Ba4. This line, 5.Bc4 is examined by Martin Lorenzini on this problem. Newcomers unfamiliar with present principle and praxis could marvel why White can’t play the easy 5. Nxe5 and 6.f4 and get away with it. So right here is that outdated line present in books, however seldom seen over the board:

A queen sacrifice within the 4 Knights (obtain)

The Carlsbad System countered

The opposite opening survey  that I discovered fascinating was the writing by Lars Schandorff on  a brand new line for Black within the Carlsbad System. As is understood, this method has at all times been a formidable weapon for gamers with White ever since Botvinnik used it with success. The problem earlier than Black is tips on how to neutralize White’s initiative. Lars Schandorff comes up with 9…Ne8!? a paradoxical retreat seen means again in Spielmann-Reti, Berlin 1928. In recent times Carlsen has additionally performed it on account of a need to experiment. Here’s a mannequin recreation by two Chinese language grandmasters  and I’ve saved the evaluation easy in order that novices may also comply with:

Lu, Shanglei –Li Di, Xinghua 2022 (obtain)

Moreover opening surveys, this problem has customary options on ways, technique, and the endgame. Right here I’d single out Karsten Müller’s demo. lecture on king and pawn endings. He’s lucid and it’s a deal with to be taught the ultimate section of the sport from him.

Final, however not least, now we have Jan Markos’ demo lecture on the subject,  “How one can play misplaced positions ”.  Sensible recommendation for the match participant.

Summing up

The principle database of the difficulty has 2651 video games of which forty-seven are deeply annotated. There may be a lot else on this DVD that deserves to be explored. Aside from the gamers I’ve already talked about, the commentators embody Ruslan Ponomariov, Jan Duda, Andrey Espipenko and Vincent Keymer amongst others.

It could be famous that there are extra annotated video games within the opening and coaching sections of this problem.

Effectively, observe makes good.


  1. Here’s a hyperlink to the official website of the European Particular person Championship: https://eicc2023.com/
  2. There are a number of different attention-grabbing video games from the European Championship on this problem.  
    Right here I’d point out simply two of them, Guliyev-Kollars and Nesterov-Gurel. The primary recreation is lengthy, and the mayhem begins after 35 strikes. The second recreation additionally takes an astonishing course, and  I used to be stunned to be taught that the primary 20 strikes have a precedent in an earlier recreation, Kramnik-Van wely, Tilburg 1998.
  3. GM Kobalia’s model of his encounter with Kirill Shevchenko is right here: https://www.fb.com/mikhail.kobali
  4. The Russian chess website, “Chess  Information with out Censorship” took a special view: https://twitter.com/Chess__News/standing/1636301147701903361



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