Publisher: Chessbase, 2009, DVD
He is not only the man of the hour: Levon Aronian has been hurrying from one success to the next for months now. At the FIDE Grand Prix in Jermuk he only attained the second place, but for the Armenian this was tantamount to the overall victory in the Grand Prix series. And at the recently finished Grand Slam Final in Bilbao, Aronian demonstrated impressive dominance, deciding the tournament in his favour with a round to spare. In the meantime, Aronian has advanced to number three of the world ranking list. By contrast, the third top event of this issue was open to the very end: at the Chess Festival in Biel, the young French player Maxime Vachier-Lagrave achieved his first very great tournament success.
GM Karsten Müller gets you in the mood for this issue with selected star games, showing among others the decisive moments of Morozevich versus Vachier-Lagrave from Biel. Out of the altogether 12 opening articles of the DVD, he gives a preview of GM Kuzmin's "Weapon against the Petroff" and GM Marin's repertoire suggestion (Alekhine Defence with 4...g6). Also, the popular opening trap of Rainer Knaak - this time from the classical Sicilian - is set up for you.
A comprehensive review of the tournament proceedings of the past two months is provided by GM Dorian Rogozenco in his introductory video. From the tournament in San Sebastian, he presents the final phase of Movsesian-Ponomariov - representative for a great number of games in this issue, which towards the end took a dramatic turn. From the FIDE Grand-Prix in Jermuk, Rogozenco explains Ivanchuk's impressive winning procedure versus Alekseev. In conclusion, he presents Aronian's novely versus Grischuk which significantly contributed to the Armenian's victory in Bilbao.
Grand Slam Final in Bilbao
Not only in chess are tournaments sometimes won by players or teams who hadn't even qualified to participate. This is what happened at the Grand Slam Final in Bilbao. Last year's winner Topalov had the chance to defend his title, but after his last-minute cancellation Levon Aronian filled in. Yet this did not impair the quality of the tournament in any way. Despite the small field of four players, the spectators were treated to fascinating chess in almost every round. After his initial defeat versus Grischuk, Aronian got going and won no fewer than four games in a row, which made him the winner with one round to go.
Against the indisposed Alexei Shirov, Aronian scored a victory with the black pieces in the Marshall Attack in only 29 moves. Shirov had not found a way to take the sharpness out of the position or to exchange threat potential, and by the advance of the black h-pawn was put under mounting pressure. In the board position alongside, Shirov made the final mistake with 29.Qf3. After Aronian's 29...Qg6 it was already over, since the white queen has to return to d1, and the subsequent 30...hxg3 spells the collapse of White's king position. In the path-breaking fourth round versus Alexander Grischuk, who had got off to a fulminating start, Levon Aronian introduced a new piece sacrifice in the 4…a6 Slav as early as on move 10, which obviously knocked his opponent off his stride. Grischuk invested a lot of time, returned the piece a few moves later and with little time left could not hold the resulting passive position. On the DVD you find all 12 games from Bilbao, most of them with annotations.
FIDE Grand Prix in Jermuk
Following his victory in the Rumanian town of Bazna, Ivanchuk now also won this top tournament in Jermuk, Armenia. No question, his shape and Elo curve are heading steeply upward again. Levon Aronian will be able to cope with the fact that at his Grand Prix home match he was not granted to end up at the very top (again). His two defeats versus Kasimdzhanov and Eljanov in the middle of the tournament finally proved too much. In return, the second place in Jermuk secured Aronian the victory in the Grand Prix overall ranking.
And much more!!