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Aronian, Levon (2774) - Hou, Yifan (2649) [D37]
GRENKE Chess Classic, Baden-Baden (6) 2017

Notes by Boris Schipkov

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7
The Queen's Gambit Declined.
5. Qc2
A rare continuation. Usually White plays 5. Bg5 or 5.Bf4.
5...dxc4
The alternatives are 5...c6, 5...Be7 and 5...Bb4.
6. e4 c5 7. Bxc4
7. dxc5 is also playable.









   
7...a6?!
A novelty, but 7...cxd4 looks more precise, 8. Nxd4 Ne5 (8...Bc5 9. Nb3 (9. Nf3!?) 9...Bb6 (9...Bd6) 10. O-O (10. Bf4) 10...O-O 11. Be2 Qc7 12. Bg5 Ne5! 13. Bxf6 gxf6=, with equality in Giri, A - Anand, V, Moscow 2016) 9. Bb5+ Bd7 10. O-O a6 11. Bxd7+ Nfxd7 12. Qe2 Rc8 13. f4 Nc4, with counterplay in Schwerteck, M - Klaus, D, Tuebingen 2007.
8. d5! Nb6 9. Be2!
In the case of 9. dxe6 Nxc4 10. exf7+ Kxf7 11. Qb3 b5 12. a4 Bd6 13. axb5 Ke7 14. Rxa6 Bxa6 15. Qxc4 Bb7 16. e5 Bxf3 17. exf6+ Kd7 18. gxf3 Qxf6 19. Ne4 Qxf3 20. O-O= the position is equal.
9...exd5 10. e5!
White sacrifices a pawn.









   
10...Ne4
After 10...Ng8 11. O-O Ne7 12. a4 Be6 13. Ng5 White has good compensation for the pawn.
11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. Qxe4 Qd5 13. Qf4 Be7 14. O-O O-O 15. Rd1 Qe6
The first player has a small advantage.
16. Ng5 Qf5








   
17. Bf3?!
17. Ne4! is better, 17...Qxf4 18. Bxf4 Be6 19. Be3 Rfc8 20. Rac1 Bxa2 21. Bxc5 Bxc5 22. Nxc5 Bd5, with a small edge to White.
17...Qxf4 18. Bxf4 Nc4 19. b3 Bxg5 20. Bxg5 Nxe5 21. Be4








   
21...Re8
21...c4!? deserves attention, 22. f4 Nc6 23. bxc4 Re8 24. Bd5 Rb8 25. Rab1 Bg4 26. Rd2 Be6, with counterplay.
22. f3 h6 23. Bh4 c4!
Black tries to trade pawns on the queenside to draw.
24. bxc4
Or 24. Bg3 Nd7 25. bxc4 Nf6 26. Bd3 Be6, with counterplay.
24...Nxc4 25. Rac1








   
25...Be6?
A mistake. 25...Ne3! is stronger. 26. Re1 Nf5 (or 26...f5 27. Bd3 f4=) 27. Rxc8 Raxc8 28. Bxf5 Rxe1+ 29. Bxe1 Rc1 30. Kf1 Ra1 31. Be4 Rxa2 32. Bxb7 a5=, with equality in the endgame.
26. Bxb7 Ra7 27. Be4 a5 28. Rd4 Ne5?!
28...Rc8 is more stubborn, 29. Bg3 Rd7 30. Rxd7 Bxd7, with a small edge to White.









   
29. Bg3!
A nice idea. White indends to trade the black knight and attacks the weak pawns on a5 and e5.
29...f6 30. a3 Rd7?!
After 30...Bb3 31. a4 or 30...a4 31. Bxe5 fxe5 32. Rb4 Bb3 33. Kf2 Rd7 White has a clear advantage in the ending.
31. Bxe5! fxe5 32. Rxd7 Bxd7








   
33. Rc7!
White grabs a pawn.
33...Bb5 34. Rc5 Rb8 35. Rxe5 a4 36. h4 Kf7 37. Rc5 Be8 38. Bc2 Rb2?!
Here 38...Ra8 is more stubborn, 39. Kf2 Ke6 40. g4 Kd6 41. Rc4.
39. Rc4








   
39...Ra2
White wins the second pawn and the game.
40. Bxa4 Ra1+ 41. Kh2 Bxa4 42. Rxa4
Black resigned. 1-0










Move
   

Aronian, Levon (2774) - Hou, Yifan (2649) [D37]
GRENKE Chess Classic/Baden-Baden (6) 2017

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Qc2 dxc4 6. e4 c5 7. Bxc4 a6 8. d5 Nb6 9. Be2 exd5 10. e5 Ne4 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. Qxe4 Qd5 13. Qf4 Be7 14. O-O O-O 15. Rd1 Qe6 16. Ng5 Qf5 17. Bf3 Qxf4 18. Bxf4 Nc4 19. b3 Bxg5 20. Bxg5 Nxe5 21. Be4 Re8 22. f3 h6 23. Bh4 c4 24. bxc4 Nxc4 25. Rac1 Be6 26. Bxb7 Ra7 27. Be4 a5 28. Rd4 Ne5 29. Bg3 f6 30. a3 Rd7 31. Bxe5 fxe5 32. Rxd7 Bxd7 33. Rc7 Bb5 34. Rc5 Rb8 35. Rxe5 a4 36. h4 Kf7 37. Rc5 Be8 38. Bc2 Rb2 39. Rc4 Ra2 40. Bxa4 Ra1+ 41. Kh2 Bxa4 42. Rxa4 1-0


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© 2017 Boris Schipkov