Anand, Vishwanathan - Aronian, Levon
Morelia Linares 2008
Yesterday Aronian faced a dangerous opponent and suffered a heavy loss. After such bitter start he is to have second Black pieces in a row - this time against the World champion Anand who is in excellent form lately. Would Levon who has already proved himself as a great tournament fighter be able to begin a comeback? The Indian is a provisional leader and sure will try to make good use of his White pieces. This result of this game may be very important to the tournament aspirations of both GMs so a tense battle is to be expected.
14.d4 Rxe1+ 15.Qxe1 Ra7 16.Be3 Re7 Aronian constantly chooses the Marshall variation.This predictability seems to facilitate the preparation of his opponents but he is well versed in these lines. Anand have never won against him in Ruy Lopez.
18... h5 After this logical move (Black pieces are well placed so the kingside fortifications are to be shattered) Anand began thinking over the position for a long period of time.
23.Bxd5 cxd5 24.Qd1 (24.Qe2 Re4) It seems that White managed to consolidate his position. Black cannot recapture his pawn back: (24.Qd1 hxg3 25.hxg3 Bxf1 26.Kxf1 Bxg3 27.Qf3) Anand's plan is simple - Bd2, Qf3 and Bf4 to exchange the dark squared Bishops. Additionally his Rook is very strong on the 'a' file. Nice tactical trick awaits Black in the line (24.Qd1 f6 25.Bd2 Re2 26.Ra8)
31.fxe3 Qxf3 32.Qc2 fxg3 33.hxg3 Qxg3+ 34.Kh1 Bf5 White resigns. Anand was still under the impression that should look for advantage in this position and as a sequence of his earlier imprecisions - 25.Ng5, 29.Nd2? - came the decisive one - 30.Nf3 Aronian creatively maintained initiative, did not hesitate to sacrifice second pawn and finally tricked his opponent, thus fully restoring his chances in the tournament.