I recently studied the game Aronian vs Caruana in the Sinquefield Cup 2016, and I was absolutely delighted ! Unlike most GM games, it made total sense to me. I understood why the pawns were moved, why the bishops and knights were developed, how both sides had isolated pawns. I understood how the pressure slowly built around these isolated pawns and counted the number of defenders and attackers each side had around these pawns. I understood how the exchange took place, I understood how the pawns had to be placed on squares on the opposite colour as the opponents bishop and most importantly I understood why it was a draw (usually I don't) !
I was taken in by the beauty of the balanced positions and the web of Defense and attack.
Imagine my surprise when I saw their post match interviews. Aronian said he was not well, and although he was ashamed of the match was happy with the draw. Caruana said he jinxed it by saying that all his matches with Aronian have been interesting the day before, and that's why their match wasn't interesting.
Is this match considered boring because they played out old lines ? As a beginner it's new to me, and I actually understood it.
That's why my question is if beginners should first learn some of these standard boring lines so they can understand all the principles involved ? And if so, please recommend some sources where I can do that ?
The game mentioned above goes as follows:
rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/3P4/8/PPP1PPPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq d3 0 1 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. e3 a6 5. Nc3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. g3 Nc6 8. Bg2 Bd6 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. O-O O-O 11. Nd4 Nxd4 12. exd4 Ba7 13. Bg5 Be6 14. Rc1 Rc8 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Bxd5 Rxc1 18. Qxc1 b5 19. Qc6 Bxd4 20. Qxf6 Bxf6 21. b3 Rd8 22. Rd1 Kf8 23. Kf1 a5 24. Bf3 Rxd1+ 25. Bxd1 Ke7 26. a4 bxa4 27. bxa4 Bc3 28. Bb3 Bb4 29. Ke2 Kf8 30. Bc4 1/2-1/2