Monthly Archives: April 2012

Rules Were Made to Be Broken

There’s a friendly (but rated) 6-game match going on between Aronian and Kramnik right now. There are no explicit anti-draw rules in place, but to help give the spectators (and sponsors) their money’s worth, if the game ends in a draw before 3 hours are up, then the two players have to play a rapid game. The results of any such rapid games aren’t used as tiebreakers.

In the first game, Kramnik lost quite easily with the white pieces. In game two, a surprise Berlin (Aronian pretty much never plays 1.e4) petered out relatively quickly – there were some interesting variations, but they’ll be confined to the annotations and not the actual game.

The first draw offer was made by Kramnik after 19…Nh4-f5:

(FEN: r5r1/pp3kpp/2pBbp2/5n2/8/2N2P1P/PPP3P1/R2R2K1 w - - 0 20)

Not much seems to be going on here, but I’m not completely sure that Aronian would’ve accepted a draw here even if there were no anti-draw measures in place. This is because he at least can quickly generate some symbolic pressure against Black’s queenside: 20.Bc5 b6 21.Bf2 Rgd8 22.a4 Ne7 23.a5 c5 24.Nb5. After 24…Nc6, though, Black seems to be holding without much trouble.

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