How to Complicate a Position and Win?

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The FIDE World Cup 2017 in Tbilisi featured 128 players in a series of knockout matches. Levon Aronian won the tournament, defeating Ding Liren in the final with the score 4-2. And on his way to the finals, Aronian defeated some strong players including Hou Yifan, Vassily Ivanchuk and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (MVL).
Levon Aronian FIDE World Cup 2017 winner

Levon Aronian with his trophy! (Photo by Anastasia Karlovich, from the official site)

Today we’re going to see his game played against MVL, in the semifinal of the tournament. Therefore, it was necessary for Aronian to win that game to go to the finals. And this context was an important factor for what happened in the game – creating complications to win the game. And that’s exactly what we’re going to learn today – how to complicate the position for your opponent and win the game?

World Champion Magnus Carlsen also participated in this tournament, and it was asked if this was to try to eliminate future challengers. Carlsen was knocked out anyway in Round 3 by Bu Xiangzhi.

The Anti-Grunfled variation was played and Aronian sacrificed his knight in order to gain some positional advantage, complicating the position for MVL, and he won the game eventually with aggressive play.

Our guest coach IM Mateusz Kolosowski has prepared a video lesson for you, in which he analyzed this high-quality chess game in a very neat manner. You can watch the video below:

You can download the PGN of this game below:

Apart from the knight sacrifice at move 15.Bc4, what do you think was the key moment in the game? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

Author information


Mateusz Kolosowski is an International Master from Poland. He has a FIDE standard rating of 2448 and a blitz rating of 2511.
IM Mateusz KolosowskiHe repeatedly competed in the finals of the Polish Junior Championships in various age categories. In 2010, in Karpacz, he won the title of runner-up of Poland. In the same year he represented the national colors of the Junior European Championships held in Batumi, taking the 5th place!


If you want to learn more about how to play aggressive and attack your opponent, I recommend that you study the course “Crushing the King”, which I’ve created along with our guest coach CM Tryfon Gavriel.

P.S. Did you enjoy this game? Do you think that such must-win situations is an important factor to play aggressively?
how to analyze chess games

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