Kramnik vs Aronian (Russia vs Armenia) – 2012 Chess Olympiad

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2012 World Chess Olympiad, Istanbul Turkey

Round 6

Russian Federation — Armenia, Board 1

GM Vladimir Kramnik 2797 — GM Lev Aronian 2816

In the fight for first place beteen two of the real heavyweights, Russia drew first blood as former World Champion Kramnik put on a smooth performance on the white side of the exchange Slav defense. Black’s early 6…a6 is quite in keeping with Slav fashion, but his 7…g6(?!) should be replaced with 7…Bg4 developing the light square bishop. With 9.Nf3, 10.Qxd3 and 11.0-0, Kramnik maintained a slight lead in development which he turned into a queenside buildup with 12.Rfc1 and 13.Na4. With 15.Rxc5 and 16.Rac1, White doubled rooks on the open c-file. The maneuver 19.Nd2, 21.Nb3 and 22.Na5! brought tremendous force to bear on the sensitive black c6 and b7 points. The well calculated knight sacrifice 23.Nxb7!! shattered the black queenside defenses. After 24.Qxa6, White had two passed queenside pawns and the black knight on c6 was cross-pinned. The pawn advance 25.b4 was followed by the quiet killer queen move 26.Qb6!! leaving the black forces tied up in a knot. After the unstoppable 27.b5, Black slithered out with 27…Nxd4 and even emerged a piece ahead with 28…Ne2+ and 29…NxR on c1. However, Kramnik’s 31.Qc6! showed the white passed b-pawn was morth much more than the “out of play” extra black knight on c1. With 33.Qc7+! and 34.Qa7! Kramnik used his queens to usher in his passed pawn. After 35.b7 the White b-pawn promotes first and Black resigned.

[Event “Olympiad”]
[Site “1:01.54-0:00.02”]
[Date “2012.09.03”]
[Round “06”]
[White “Kramnik, Vladimir”]
[Black “Aronian, Levon”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]
[WhiteElo “2797”]
[WhiteCountry “RUS”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[BlackElo “2816”]
[BlackCountry “ARM”]
[Remark “Olympiad M 01.1”]
[PresId “1000060011”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Bf4 Nc6 6. e3 a6 7. Bd3
g6 8. h3 Bf5 9. Nf3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Bg7 11. O-O O-O 12. Rfc1 e6 13. Na4
Ne4 14. Nc5 Nxc5 15. Rxc5 Qd7 16. Rac1 Rfc8 17. a3 Bf8 18. R5c2 f6 19.
Nd2 Bd6 20. Bxd6 Qxd6 21. Nb3 Rc7 22. Na5 Rac8 23. Nxb7 Rxb7 24. Qxa6
Rbc7 25. b4 Qd7 26. Qb6 Qe8 27. b5 Nxd4 28. Rxc7 Ne2+ 29. Kh1 Nxc1 30.
Rxc8 Qxc8 31. Qc6 Qd8 32. b6 Kf7 33. Qc7+ Ke8 34. Qa7 d4 35. b7 1-0

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