April 21, 2012 14:30

Aronian wins first game in Zurich

Aronian wins first game in Zurich

Levon Aronian has won the first game in his 6-game match against Vladimir Kramnik. Grabbing a lead with the black pieces, the Armenian couldn't have had a better start in Zurich. The second game will be played on Sunday.

Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian during the opening ceremony | Photo courtesy of the official website

Event Aronian-Kramnik
Dates April 21-28, 2012
Location Zurich, Switzerland
System 6-game match

Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik

Rate of play 40 moves in 120 minutes, 20 moves in 60 minutes and, for the remainder of the game, 15 minutes plus an increment of 30 seconds per move
Bonus As a bonus for the audience, Kramnik and Aronian will play an additional rapid game if the main game on any given day is drawn in under three hours

Live commentary

Sergey Shipov is a highly acclaimed Russian grandmaster, coach, author and commentator. His Russian annotations at Crestbook are being translated by Colin McGourty, who did this many times before on his own site Chess in Translation. More information on the match can be found here. Below is Shipov's commentary of game 1.

[Commentary by GM Sergey Shipov - original in Russian at Crestbook]


PGN string

Video commentary


Saturday, 21 April: 15:00  Round 1
Sunday, 22 April: 15:00  Round 2
Monday, 23 April: Rest Day
Tuesday, 24 April: 15:00  Round 3
Wednesday, 25 April: 15:00  Round 4
Thursday, 26 April: Rest Day
Friday, 27 April: 15:00  Round 5
Saturday, 28 April: 13:00  Round 6




Colin McGourty's picture
Author: Colin McGourty


Daniel's picture

Nice coverage!

RealityCheck's picture

Great commentary. Serge Shipov is ( "Aronian's a wonderful attacker, who can find fighting resources that even escape the electronic eye...") our Howard Cosell.

Hernan's picture

Nice! Great commentary! Very instructive!

Takis's picture

Great commentary, GM Shipov! Thanks so much!

Bob's picture

Yes, very entertaining work by GM Shipov! Thanks!

A technical question: can the board be made to self-reload, rather than manual refresh?

Chip's picture

Thank you both. Nice game and enjoyable commentary.

grakkel santos's picture

Hats off to Mr. Shipov for guiding me understand the nuances of this 1st game of the match; I can't recall 'playing' move by move with complete absorption of what is given than going through this game! It made me feel that chess should be played by concept first then whatever happens, win or lose, one played it the 'manner', not necessarily the 'right way'. This game has given me hindsight about: 1)how difficult d4 opening is, 2) The concept on attack and counter-attack, and 3) importance of solid pawn formation.

Aronian seems to be at the peak of his chess career at this point! It was just one inaccuracy on the part of Vladimir but move after move, the impact of such was clearly instituted by Levon, grounding Kramnik's position from active to passive to resignation phase.

RuralRob's picture

Is this tournament FIDE rated? I've seen comments saying that it is not (due to its being a "friendly match"), but the players' live ratings are being updated.

MiniMe's picture

The 2800 club narrows down to two.

redivivo's picture

The funny thing with the press conference was that it turned out that Kramnik was the only one of the two to know of the game with which Gunina won the European Championship last month. As had been pointed out in analysis immediately after that game Muzychuk had the advantage but missed playing 16. ... Qe6. Kramnik said that he hadn't even looked at the position with an engine but trusted (the 300 points lower rated) Gunina's preparation. Aronian didn't know of the game but had no problems finding Qe6 and from then on Kramnik was just outplayed.

Brian Smith's picture

I followed both Shipov and Naiditsch's commentary and Shipovs was MUCH more informative. And he wasn't contantly hawking a certain weekly newsletter...

adriano's picture

It was superb game of Aronian, Kramnik has no chance playing with him and Carlsen.
The real match for the crown is Aronian - Carlsen.
Anand is weak as Kramnik, he should play with Gelfand for the title - the best player of the wrong side of the age=

syzygy's picture

'Anand is weak as Kramnik, he should play with Gelfand for the title - the best player of the wrong side of the age='

'as weak as'?! Fourth by rating (not long ago first) and world champion?! By what token is he 'weak'?!

Anonymous's picture

By Aronian and Carlsen, Anand and Kramnik are weak, or not so strong, ect. Ect . There is no need to be big expert to see that. The real champion should be the winner of Aronian - Carlsen match.

MiniMe's picture

Anand probably can beat Carlsen, Carlsen most likely will beat Aronian, and Aronian has good chances of beating Anand.

Thomas's picture

Amazing conclusions based on a single game which happens to support adriano's preconceived opinions or prejudices about Kramnik. At other occasions, he did have his chances against both Aronian and Carlsen.

cmling's picture

Excellent commentary by GM Shipov!
And it is nice to see two perfect gentlemen playing.

Jeff Hall's picture

Yes, I do not care who wins the WC match, Aronian and Carlsen are clearly the world's two strongest players.

MiniMe's picture

Carlsen is the strongest, Aronian or Anand - second place.

inversion table's picture

) Earlier this year I got a call from my cousin back east who
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This is going to keep the table steady when
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in the ankle locks.

Anonymous's picture


PP (nl)'s picture

Great game!

One more win for Aronian and he should be about equal to Carlsen on the live ratings I assume?

Rocky's picture

"Women weaken legs!"
That;s the reason of Kramnik and Topalov poor quality games.

bhabatosh's picture

Ya ya ... Aronian is super strong, best in the world .. bla bla.. ... did not he play Candidates ?? for WC you have to beat everyone in candidates and then play for Championship. And the other guy simply scared to loose so stepped away from the challenge. And these guys are referred as best players !! Well you like them that is a separate story , we all have our personal preferences. Thinking Anand/kramnik weaker is complete non-sense. let's not forget it is a friendly game and there is nothing at stake. When there is something at stake then nerve comes to picture and lots of other thing . That's is exactly where someone is judged as best . And the name of such game is World Championship.

Anonymous's picture

You should look at your man's performance in the German league.

adriano's picture

You are wrong Kramnik had never won candidates to play in World Championship. In 1999 the winner was Alex Shirov.

redivivo's picture

There were no Candidates in the cycle where Anand won the title in 2007 either, the last 40 years Kasparov alone won both Candidates and title match in the cycle where he won the title, and that was 30 years ago.

Anonymous's picture

you are wrong. Shirov beat Kramnik, but after that the loser played with Kasparov. Imagine nowadays Anand play with Grishtuk, not with Gelfand.

Mher Aghajanyan's picture

thanks ,very nice coverage !!

The Devil's picture

A big thanks to Sergey Shipov for the commentary
A bigger thanks to Colin McGourty for translating the commentary!
A biggest thanks to Aronian and Kramnik for playing such an awesome match!

Rocky's picture

~~~~~~▄ ▐▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀​▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▌
~~~▄▄██▌ ▌ Chess/computers
▄▄▄▌▐██▌.▌ Destination: Trash can/End

Zeblakob's picture

ohhh very nice ..

b3wins's picture

There seems to be a typo in the comment to White's 32nd move. The correct version should be: "The key variation is 32. Nxg6? Bd4+ 33. Kh1 Rff2 and Black wins too easily." Instead, the move 33...Rf3 isn't as immediate.

Overall, excellent commentary and translation!

Colin McGourty's picture

Thanks! Changed it.

I simply wanted to thank you a lot more for your amazing website you have
developed here. It's full of helpfultips for those who are actually interested in this specific subject, mainly this post.

Geekchess's picture

Just to add my thanks for an excellent lucid commentary. As a weak player it's a rare privilege to feel so involved when going through a top game (nice web player too). Thanks to all concerned!!

Peter Grahn's picture

I think Ivanchuck has the ability to beat both Aronian and Carlsen when he is in best form!!

redivivo's picture

It doesn't happen that often though: "Classical games: Magnus Carlsen beat Vassily Ivanchuk 8 to 2, with 13 draws"


gentlekowloon's picture

Excellent analysis, GM Shipov!

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