Reports | April 25, 2012 17:12

Aronian-Kramnik: game 4 draw, Aronian wins rapid game

Aronian-Kramnik: game 4 draw, Aronian wins rapid game

The fourth match game Aronian-Kramnik, played today in Zurich, was a rather quick draw in another Berlin Endgame. It ended in under three hours and so the players played a rapid game as well – something that was part of the match conditions. This game was won by Levon Aronian.

For the third time in the match the game started with 1.e4, and for the second time a Berlin Endgame came on the board. Vladimir Kramnik demonstrated once more that he's the world's biggest expert in this line - he more or less outmanoeuvred Aronian with Black and had a slight edge in the final position. It remains to be seen whether the Armenian player will choose the same first move in his last white game! Below is GM Sergey Shipov's live commentary from today, translated from Russian by Colin McGourty:

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

After a small break the players also played a rapid game, with reversed colours. This one, which also started with 1.e4, was won by Aronian - commentary by ChessVibes:

PGN string

In the match between Aronian and Kramnik a total of six classical games will be played. Thursday is the final rest day, and the last two games will take place on Friday and Saturday, when ChessVibes will be in Zurich for on-the-spot coverage!

Event Aronian-Kramnik | PGN by TWIC
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.


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

Videos by Macauley Peterson

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Abbas's picture

Why Aronian insisting in defeating the Berlin defense??

Bronkenstein's picture

A matter of prestige, Vlad showed him ´how to play e4´ in game 3 and Levon probably didn´t want to admit little psychological defeat by switching back to d4 in game 4 .

Jochem's picture

I've got the impression that Aronian likes the Berlin endgame. He plays it frequently with black as well. However I don't think he will repeat it for a third time.

jussu's picture

i think it was Aronian who recently said something like "I play Berlin when I want to play for a win with Black". He certainly is an expert in this variation.

Thomas's picture

If I remember correctly, this quote is from January 2009 when Aronian beat Kamsky with the Berlin ( - an example that the Berlin can get quite dynamic and unbalanced).
In the press conference, Aronian also said that he wanted to try it with white against "the expert" (Kramnik was smiling).

Ians's picture

Nice and quick report with videos , Thank you Chessvibes ;)

stevefraser's picture

Vlad is the new Petrosian..."I've don't win much and I don't lose much.".

cmling's picture

Yes, just a world championship here and there.

noyb's picture

Very interesting match, all-in-all. Would be nice to see more like this!

vishy 's picture

These 1:1 matches are the real deal.

Sligunner's picture

"No. Aronian's persisting in his delusions."

columbo's picture

very elegant match indeed !!!

Anonymous's picture

"Elite chess players are as capricious as fashionable women. Their plans and preferences change seven times a day". I just love Shipov's commentary.

Anonymous's picture

A big failure of Aronian the "Delusional" to prove that he is ready to make the next big step. He still has some way to go before he becomes a credible world champion challenger. His taking risks and his fighting spirit is of course admirable, but he is not at the same level with Carlsen or Anand, at least not yet. Kramnik on the other hand is always a solid player and he proved that he is, due to his experience, a much more credible challenger than Aronian.

redivivo's picture

2-2 against Kramnik after four games in an exhibition match is hardly a big failure.

Anonymous's picture

Big failure might be too extreme words, but Aronian has yet to prove that he is made of champion material, he may be an outstanding "universal" player, but can he really make it to the top? So far the answer is rather disappointing for him. And besides, he is unfortunate having to compete against Carlsen for the top spot in the future.

shark's picture

are you insane? he has to prove it toy you? go watch rugby, will you? apparently chess is not cut out for you.

mdamien's picture

Aronian is gaining match experience, against a great champion. He's at least as credible a challenger to Anand as anyone else at the moment.

Paul Edgar's picture

Mr. Aronian starts 75% of his answers in the interviews with "to be honest I ..."
So, the other 25% of his comments must be lies !

Anonymous's picture

Anand vs Carlsen or Aronian or Kramnik is a world championship I would be much more excited about. Am I alone?

PeterV's picture

No, ofcourse not :-)

What's Next?'s picture

Would like to see Aronian playing 1.d4 in a game. Is he afraid to show how much better than Kramnik he is?

Latest articles