Image of Hans Niemann courtesy of Lennart Ootes
Hans Niemann beats Levon Aronian in 21 moves
Featured is the game between Hans Niemann and Levon Aronian from Day 3 of the Julius Baer Generation Cup 2022. It's rare to observe a Grandmaster, let alone a Super Grandmaster, resign after only 21 moves, but that's exactly what happened in this rapid game of 15 minutes with a 10-second increment. Practically speaking however, Aronian was lost after his 14th move. The opening was a sharp Sicilian Defense, Najdorf variation with Aronian opting to fianchetto his king bishop. Niemann's play was exceptional in the eyes of the computer, with some moves being described by Aronian after the game as "strange". What moves was Aronian maybe thinking of exactly? There was only one move I couldn't quite make sense of. As a close to the video, I share a "Tale of the Tape".
Hans Niemann vs Levon Aronian | Julius Baer Generation Cup, 2022
Below are 3 positions I draw attention to in the video
Question 1 of 3: What is the reasoning behind Be2?
Question 2 of 3: What is black's best reply to b3?
Hint: Identify the weakness of the last move
Question 3 of 3: What is a strong move for black?
Hint: Space invader pawns are especially valuable
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