It’s all over. And everyone already knows that the Armenian GM Levon Aronian was the great champion of the World Chess Cup 2017. Incidentally, this was no surprise to our Chess Academy team. You don’t believe? Well, look:
1. In our special pre-Cup report we made a quick comment about the stars of the tournament. And of all top players, including World Champion Magnus Carlsen, guess who had the picture on the cover of the report? Let’s face it: “But it’s worth mentioning the great phase of Aronian, who won the Grand Chess Tour in Saint Louis yesterday and is already the biggest winner among top GM’s this year. If in 1967 the Danish Bent Larsen received the first chess Oscar due to his incredible performance that year, Aronian, if he wins this Cup, without a doubt, would deserve an Oscar as well.
“Bring an Oscar to that man”
2. And finally, in our report on the semifinals, despite the 3 × 1 retrospective for Ding Liren, we sentenced: “However, the writing staff ofAcademy believes in the title of the Armenian.”
Without further ado: let’s take a quick look at what this historic final between Aronian and Ding Liren was like.
But before we start talking about the “first part” of the final, it is worth highlighting the venue of the event – the headquarters of the Biltmore Hotel in the center of Tbilisi. If inside the hall was a prime of luxury and grandeur, on the outside it is more weird than the openings of Hungarian GM Richard Rapport.
… and exotic.
Coming back to what really matters: It’s hard to imagine a tournament more exhausting than the World Cup. The sufferings of a month of chess, passing through various rhythms and infatuated tiebreakers, usually presents a final in which both competitors are exhausted. And this time it was no different.
It was not unusual for either side to gain some advantage, or even a good advantage, but it was impossible to convert the point. Colors? Advantage of playing white? Forget: this was just a detail.
But the quality of the games was not bat. Actually, quite the opposite – since the games were top notch. Aronian must have beem disappointed since he was pressing most of the time.
If the first game of the match lacked emotion, in the second, Aronian, playing black, came close to victory. At one point, according to insensitive machines, he was 3.49 points ahead. But for us humans, too humans sometimes, there is a long and winding road to the end. Morpheus would say to the young Neo: “There is a great difference between knowing the way and walking the path.” Therefore, from the comfort of our homes, and symbiotically connected to our stockfishs, komodos or houdinis, it is easy. But, be careful … The Matrix tricks …
“Blue or red pill? What is it going to be?”
And if the third game repeated a draw without major emotions as happened in the first one, the fourth brought the same emotion of the second. And again black (Aronian) came close to winning. The Armenian even won a pawn in the endgame, but it was not enough against the defense of the chinese.
Four draws in the normal time control. Another World Cup being decided on penalties, or in the rapid games tiebreaker, where those who miss last …
The Last Blow
And since we’re talking about Rocky and the Matrix, there’s always that expectation of an end where, after several blows to both sides, the protagonist manages to hit the final blow (did you see why Rocky’s movies are so good?). But this time, it was not like that … Sometimes the ending happens more like Chuck Norris: running over everything and everyone. Carnage.
Recently actor Chuck Norris survived two heart attacks.
But the two heart attacks did not survive Chuck Norris …
In the first game of the tiebreaker, playing with the white pieces, Aronian went “with two feet in the chest” of Ding Liren. The Armenian “shot” his pieces in his best style: Rae1-Bb1-Qd3-h4-h5 . What was seen later was a bunch of knights jumping into black’s position and an attack worthy of any explosive film of the 80’s.
And in the second match game the story was not different. Needing to win, Ding Liren took risks with the move 14.g4 and made very clear his – worst – intentions. But in the middle of the crossfire, flying shots, knights, bishops and rooks everywhere – Aronian’s counterattack ended up standing out.
This Is The End
In final considerations, it is important to highlight the figure of Ding Liren – who will also be in the Candidates and has been strengthening the theory that in the medium / long term there will be a Chinese World Champion. The young Wei Yi, 18, who was disqualified by Ding Liren, is already number 18 in the world …
Next time … will the result be the same?
And it’s always important to stress: Aronian’s victory in this World Cup came to crown the most colorful – and now more victorious – chess this year. Undoubtedly, with the title and the consequent qualification for the Candidates Tournament, the Aamenian takes the place of favorite to fight against Magnus Carlsen – although, before that, it is necessary to win the Candidates (and that is a long path …).
What’s more, while you may have some disagreement with Aronian being the next world title challenger, one thing is indisputable: from the top players no one is more fashionable than him. In a World Cup where we had a “bermudagate”, we learned that it is possible to be fashionable and still play among the rules.
What a man!
And not only that: Imagine now those pants with shoes like this:
The style may be from Chuck Norris, but the shoes are from Fred Astaire …
Asked about these shoes, Aronian explained that it was a gift from Arianne, his bride. And he added, “I like to use the gifts she gives me.” Everything is explained. By the way, no bride: wife. The marriage between the two happened on September 30th!
Aronian and Arianne
Long live the new World Cup Champion!
Written by Rafael Leitão Chess Academy on 09/30/2017
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