Zurich Game 4 Drawn: Aronian Wins Rapid

  • SonofPearl
  • on 4/25/12, 10:12 AM.

Kramnik v Aronian 2012 Zurich Chess Challenge.jpg

The real world Berlin Wall yielded to external pressure many years ago, but its chess equivalent continues to frustrate the best players in the world.

Lev Aronian took on Vladimir Kramnik in his favourite Berlin Defence in game 4 of their 6-game match today, and emphatically failed to make any progress.  The game ended in a draw after 25 moves, but the silver lining for fans was that since the game had lasted less than 3 hours, under the match rules a bonus rapid game was played.

The rapid game proved far more entertaining, with Aronian winning with the black pieces. Unfortunately for the Armenian, the rapid game victory won't count towards the match score, but it may give him a little psychological boost with just two regular games left in the match.


 Name   Nat  Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts
 Levon Aronian ARM 2820 1 ½ 0 ½ . .  2
 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2801 0 ½ 1 ½ . .  2


Tomorrow (Thursday) is a rest day, so game five takes place on Friday when Kramnik will have the white pieces for the last time.

The time control in operation is 40 moves in 120 minutes, followed by 20 moves in 60 minutes, and then 15 minutes plus a 30 second increment to finish.  All games start at 15:00 local time (13:00 UTC) except the final game which is 2 hours earlier. Full schedule here.  The main sponsor is IGC (International Gemological Laboratories). 

Chess.com is covering all the games LIVE!
For full details look here.

The official website also has live commentary in a mixture of English and German from two Swiss players, GM Yannick Pelletier and IM Werner Hug.

7557 reads 21 comments
8 votes


  • 5 years ago



    (means "Go Russia" in Russian)

  • 5 years ago


    GO ARONIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 5 years ago


    I'm in complete agreement with rodolfoaamaro. I find the extra step to get to the news section just more of an annoyance and the frontpage no longer holds any value. Before I would log in every day I would glance and see what was new. Granted it's a small little click but it's also an after thought now and occasionally causes me to miss news.

    All in favor of putting the News section back on the frontpage say "I"

  • 5 years ago


    Why Chess.com doesn't show the "news section" in the first page anymore? It was one of the main reasons I used to enter in this website. Now there is not a single link for the news...

  • 5 years ago


    i have a better line against kramnik's 1...e5, and that is 2. f4!!! aronian should go for it! the anti berlin attack!

  • 5 years ago


    Crazy games!! Super excited for the next ones :-)

  • 5 years ago


     These guys are playing serious, no-holds-barred chess, and I salute them!  The first ever match between 2800+ players is living up to the billing - of course, with no title or qualifcation at stake, they are under less pressure.

  • 5 years ago


    the rapid games are not rated, it was 100% for the spectators and they played like it! a blast to watch!

    Aronian was funny in the interview after the classical game. Said something like "I am still learning the Ruy Lopez and the berlin, but I am being taught by the best." theu got a chuckle out of it.

  • 5 years ago


    I expected today a draw with the Berlin Wall.

    On Friday I expect a good fighting game by both players and if it ends on a draw, then on Saturday I expect another quick draw with the Berlin Wall and then the rapid game win by Aronian. 

  • 5 years ago


    I wonder if the Berlin will lead to re-surging interest in the four knights defense:  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4Nc3. At least there is a full game ahead.

    This begs the question:  why not just play the 4Ns directly (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5)? One advantage of the Ruy Lopez Berlin move order is that it avoids the three knights line with an early fianchetto:  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6, which has been recommended in Dangerous Weapons 1e4 e5.

  • 5 years ago


    The berlin wall remains unbreakable! Smile

  • 5 years ago


    @_vxd_mAte Yes! it is REALLY dangerous for "Berlin".Of course- Tarrasch was great MASTER,but , i think-berlin is good only today (without Fischer,Tal,Keres).Your line is ,of course, MORE aggressive than 4.0-0 ?! Interesting is  variation by Janowsky 4.0-0 Ne4 5.d4 Nd6 6.de!? Nb5 7.a4-but Your variation is better!( important detail-Rf1 is BETTER then Re1 ! -we can play Be3 against Bc5-and if Bc5 takes Be3-fe!!-and  simple atack via f file).

  • 5 years ago


    Good games. I would try something unusual before Kramnik can play the Berlin defense, however a lot of lines can transpose or are maybe slightly more analyzed. And perhaps not, maybe simply the Bc4 instead of Bb5.

  • 5 years ago


    Difficult to break Kramnik's Berlin wall

  • 5 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    Liked Aronian's enterprising play in the rapid, unfortunate he did not have anything to play for advantage today against Kramnik's Berlin.

  • 5 years ago

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

    I think the rapid games are not rated since it's a friendly match & the color is determined by the color in the classical time control game. So, theoretically, one of them could have gotten all Blacks, which would have been unfair.

  • 5 years ago


    @ RuralRob - I was wondering that too.  I can't see why not, since the regular games in the match are rated.

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