Round 6: Levon Aronian - Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½
Final Standing: Kramnik 3, Aronian 3

Final report: The Zurich Chess Challenge between the numbers 2 and 3 of the World ranking, Levon Aronian (Armenia) and Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), ended in a 3:3 tie. In the final game the two players again showed a brilliant fight. Aronian took the initiative but later on again overestimated his chances. With the mistake 31 b4 he allowed Kramnik a very promising exchange sacrifice. However, when on move 33 Kramnik pushed his e-pawn (instead of 33...Ne7!), this natural move already spoiled his chances since the resourceful Armenian found a surprising perpetual check in the ensuing endgame. Despite missing this opportunity, Kramnik showed himself very satisfied with the course of the match and the content of the games. His opponent Aronian was also happy with the outcome, and the experience gained in this match with the former World champion will be very valuable in his own future quests for the World championship title.


Round 5: Vladimir Kramnik – Levon Aronian ½ - ½
Standings: Aronian 2½, Kramnik 2½

Here we go for the last couple of games! Kramnik is white and will certainly try to push.


Artist Freiesleben makes Chess Posh:
«For me Kramnik and Aronian are rock stars ...»

More about Bertrand Freiesleben’s thougts on chess and portrait sculpture in «Artist Freiesleben makes Chess Posh» (pdf), his Homepage. (includes sculptures from Kramnik, Aronian, Kortchnoi, Dieter Hallervorden..., Video) and at YouTube


Round 4: Levon Aronian - Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½
Standings: Aronian 2, Kramnik 2

Many people were wondering how Aronian would react to his loss in the third game. Would he feel the need to recover and play solidly, or would he try and strike back immediately?


Round 3: Vladimir Kramnik – Levon Aronian 1:0.
Standings: Aronian 1½, Kramnik 1½

To lose the first game of the match as white came as a big blow for Kramnik. But in his second white game, he showed how great a champion he can be!


Masterclass with Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian

To get a chess lesson from the two Top Players just visit the «Videos/ZCC» - page.
Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian talk about their plans, strategies and tactics in a game and give valuable insights in how to act appropriately in difficult situations.
Either of them explains one of his games, that is:
«V. Kramnik - J. Nunn» (Bundesliga 1994) and
«L. Aronian - A. Volokitin» (24th EU Cup 2008).

GM Yannick Pelletier and IM Werner Hug translate this highly interesting video into German.


Round 2: Levon Aronian - Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½
Standings: Aronian 1½, Kramnik ½

In the second round, Levon Aronian surprised Vladimir Kramnik with 1. e2-e4.
The Ex-World Champion defended with the Berlin Wall of the Spanish Opening. He seemed to equalize quite easily but with his 19th move he brought himself into a difficult situation. Aronian declined his draw offer and Kramnik had to find several accurate moves in order to finally reach a drawn position. After the surprising defeat in the first round, Kramnik finds slowly back to his strength.


Round 1: Vladimir Kramnik - Levon Aronian 0:1.
Standings: Aronian 1, Kramnik 0

The first game between Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian ended surprisingly with an impressive victory of the seven years younger Aronian. Ex World-Champion Kramnik tried an unsound opening and had to fight for a draw early on. Confidentially and quickly, Aronian put his adversary under pressure and on move 40 Kramnik made his decisive mistake, which exposed his king to a mating attack.

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