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Fabiano Caruana vs Wesley So
Biel Chess Festival (2010), Biel SUI, rd 5, Jul-23
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: So must have initially overestimated his attacking chances in the position after 32. ... Ra1:

click for larger view

He was probably still unnerved that his attack had been fended off so readily by Caruana when he blundered with 39. ... Rxb2+?, which converted a difficult position into a totally lost position. Is it possible that when he played his 39th move, So overlooked that after 40. Kc3, he could not play 40. ... Rb7?? because of 41. Ra8+ forcing mate?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: It is interesting that these two have played once before, almost six years ago in what appears to have been the World Under-12 Championship: W So vs F Caruana, 2004
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanshin: <Peligroso Patzer> Wesley was also trying to make the time control because he spent so much time earlier on <14...Ng4>:

Move 14 for Black:

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As noted by User: Iskubadayb during live commentary, the move is a time killer. Whereas Rybka gave it as best, the calculations needed OTB made it too risky. He was right.

Premium Chessgames Member
  boz: Good point zanshin, proving that in practical play the best move is not always best.
Jul-23-10  falso contacto: bravo fabiano!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: Excellent exploitation of the extended queenside fianchetto by White. Good active piece play too. An impressive win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: After 14.Nh7, Rybka 2.3.2a 21-ply:

1. = (0.15): 14...Ng4 15.g3 Rd8 16.f3 Nxe3 17.Bxe3 cxd4 18.Bd2 f5 19.Bf4 e5 20.Bg5 hxg5 21.Nxg5

2. (0.31): 14...Nxh7 15.dxc5 Qxc5 16.Bxh7+ Kh8 17.Be4 f5 18.Qxc5 Nxc5 19.Bf3 Rd8 20.b4 Nd3 21.Rd1

Caruana played 14...Ng4 15.g3 Rd8 16.<h>3, then there is also 16...Nxe3! 17.Bxe3 cxd4 18.Bd2 f5 and Nh7 falls, or maybe better 18...b6 - fire up your Rybka 3's and 4's!

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Interesting to me was So's 16th move [diagram:black to move]

click for larger view

So, with his Ng4 in take, opted for <16...cxd4?!>, and Caruana in reply declined the knight with <17.exd4>. Why not take the knight?

It leads to a fairly forced sequence by which black recovers the knight:

17.hxg4 <white takes the knight> Ne5! <...Nxd3 in view>

18.g5 <with idea to exchange pawns on h6, making escape for N on f6; this is better than moving the bishop: 18.Be4 d3! (a mean pawn!) 19.Bb3 Bd7 with ...Bc6 in mind, removing the defender of Nh7, and black is better> Nxd3

19.Qxd3 dxe3 <discovered attack on white Q>

20.Qxe3 Kxh7 <recovering the N> [diagram:white to move]

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At this point, the best line appears to be: 21.Qe4+ Kh8 22.gxh6 Qd4 23.Qf3 Rd5 with a pretty equal game.

It seems Caruana decision to go with <17.exd4> was not bad at all.

Jul-23-10  Atking: Both players played well this game. Caruana got a small advantage from the opening and did an exploitation which remenbers me Smyslov of the great days. So was also resourceful trying to escape with counter tactics.
Jul-24-10  Don Cossacks: Fabiano played accurately in this game and was able to find the correct moves during time scramble.Bravo FC!
Jul-24-10  Nina Myers: It fails so good.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: It will be interesting to see whether Caruana (or amyone else) repeats his 10. Ng5.

The only other occurrence that I found in Opening Explorer was: V Zvjaginsev vs Krasenkow, 2004, which continued 10...Bxh2+ 11.Kxh2 Ng4+ 12.Kg1 Qxg5 13.f3 Ngf6 14.e4 Qh4 15.Qf2 Qxf2+ (per Fritz, better is: 15. ... Qh5 ) 16.Kxf2=, with a draw in 33 moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Sorry about deleting and reposting but this I found interesting, enginewise ;) I try again: 16...Nxe3

17.Bxe3 cxd4 18.Bd2 Nc5

click for larger view

Sample line:

19.Bb4 b6 20.Bxc5 (20.Rfc1 Bb7! 21.Bxc5 Qd5) 20...bxc5 21.Rac1 (21.Rfc1 Bb7! 22.Qxc5 f5) 21...Bd7! 22.Qxc5 Bb5 and Black can't complain. White improvements?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Interesting analysis, <Tabanus>. It does seem that 16. ... Nxe3! would have given Black some advantage.

With respect to the game as a whole, although Caruana's handling of the critical phase of the game (move 30 to the end) was highly creditable (and especially so given that he, like So, was apparently short of time), he seems to have gotten away with some dubious play during the early middlegame. Both 10. Ng5 (sacrificing a pawn for obscure compensation) and 14. Nh7 (putting his Knight out on a limb) seem to deserve to be annotated "?!" rather than "!?".

Both of these players have great prospects to become elite super-GMs, but to do so Caruana will probably need to acquire the discipline to eschew such dubious adventures as his 10th and 14th moves in this game, and So must learn to exploit incisively such opportunities as 16. ... Nxe3!

Jul-24-10  iamsheaf: 'So' silly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanshin: Another possibility was <16...Nxf2> followed by ...f5 to try and pick off the Knight on h7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Always fun to see the B-Knight-Q battery attacking h7. Can get you killed, in a blitz game...
Jul-27-10  chessguru1: I think Wesley's 20....b5 was a strategic mistake. Better is 20...Nd5. Not only keeping the position close, since White has two bishops, but also guarding the c7 square. Another idea is 21....Nb4. In this position, black needs a move that will give the knight better opportunities. It's a skill to switch between tactics and strategy. Can't win every game with tactics alone.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kurtrichards: <14.Nh7> I don't only a patzer but is GM So better off if he moved the simple looking 14. ... Nxh7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Fabiano Caruana - Wesley So, Biel Chess Festival 2010

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 2.2n2 mp 32-bit:

1. = (0.21): 14...Rd8 15.dxc5 Nxc5 16.Nxf6+ gxf6
2. = (0.24): 14...Ng4 15.g3 Rd8 16.f3 Ngf6
3. (0.31): 14...Nxh7 15.Bxh7+ Kh8 16.dxc5 Qxc5

<kurt> batil ako, that answers your question..engine na lang hehe.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SugarDom: Fabiano Caruana (2697) - Wesley So (2674) [D45]
Biel Chess Festival Biel SUI (5), 23.07.2010
[Houdini 1.03a x64 8_CPU (5m)]

D46: Semi-Slav: 5 e3 Nbd7 6 Bd3, Black avoids the Meran

1.d4 d5

2.c4 c6

3.Nf3 Nf6

4.Nc3 e6

5.e3 Nbd7

6.Qc2 Bd6

7.Bd3 00

8.00 dxc4

9.Bxc4 a6

[10.b3 c5 11.Ne4 Nxe4 12.Qxe4 Nf6 13.Qh4 b5 14.Be2 Bb7 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Bb2 Qe7 17.a4 Bd5 18.axb5 axb5 19.Rxa8 Rxa8 20.Bxb5 Bxb3 21.Bd3 h6 22.Nd2 Bd5 23.Bxf6 Qxf6 24.Qxf6 gxf6 Bareev,E (2714)-Ivanchuk,V (2716)/Monaco 2004/CBM 099 ext/]

[10...Bxh2+ 11.Kxh2 Ng4+ 12.Kg1 Qxg5 13.f3 Ngf6 14.e4 Qh4 15.Qf2 Qxf2+ 16.Kxf2 e5 17.Be3 exd4 18.Bxd4 c5 19.Be3 b5 20.Be2 Bb7 21.g4 h6 22.Rfd1 Rfc8 23.Rd6 Nf8 24.Rc1 c4 25.a4 Zvjaginsev,V (2654)-Krasenkow,M (2609)/Tripoli 2004/CBM 102/ (33)]

11.Nce4 <0.04> 11...Qc7

12.Nxd6 Qxd6

13.Bd3 White threatens to win material: Bd3xh7

13...h6 Black threatens to win material: h6xg5

14.Nh7 Ng4

15.g3 [15.f4 Rd8 (15...cxd4 16.Nxf8 Kxf8 17.Qe2 Nxe3 18.Bxe3 dxe3 19.Qxe3) 16.h3 cxd4 17.hxg4 Nc5=]


16.h3 [16.f3 Ngf6 17.dxc5 Nxc5 18.Nxf6+ gxf6=]

16...cxd4 <0.13> [16...Nxe3 17.Bxe3 (17.fxe3 Qxg3+ 18.-- -- 19.Qg2 Qxg2+ 20.Kxg2 f5) 17...cxd4 18.Bd2=]

17.exd4 [17.hxg4 Ne5=] 17...Ngf6=

18.Bf4 Qe7 19.Nxf6+ [19.Bc7 Re8 20.Nxf6+ Nxf6=]


20.Rfe1 b5 [20...Nd5 21.Bd2=]

click for larger view

21.Bc7 <0.29>White threatens to win material: Bc7xd8

21...Rd7 Black threatens to win material: Rd7xc7

22.Qc6 White threatens to win material: Qc6xa8

22...Ra7 Black threatens to win material: Ra7xc7

23.Bb6 White threatens to win material: Bb6xa7

23...Bb7 Black threatens to win material: Bb7xc6

24.Qc5 Ra8

25.Qxe7 Rxe7

26.a4 White threatens to win material: a4xb5

26...Nd7 <0.21>Black threatens to win material: Nd7xb6

27.Ba5 bxa4

28.Rxa4 Nb8 Black has a cramped position

29.Bb6 Bc6

30.Rb4 a5

31.Bxa5 <0.27>Deflection: b8.

31...Rea7 Black threatens to win material: Ra7xa5 [31...Rxa5 32.Rxb8+ Overloading Deflection Discovered attack]

32.Bb6 White threatens to win material: Bb6xa7


33.Rf1 Rxf1+ <0.44> [33...Bd5 34.Bc5 Nc6 35.Rb6=]

34.Kxf1 Bf3 Black has a mate threat

35.Ke1 Nc6

36.Rb5 Ne7 <0.54>

37.Kd2 Bc6 <0.77>

38.Ra5 Rb8 Black threatens to win material: Rb8xb6

39.Bc5 White threatens to win material: Bc5xe7

click for larger view

39...Rxb2+? <3.37><blundered> [39...Nd5]

40.Kc3 Rxf2

41.Bxe7 Rf3

42.Kd2 Rxg3?! instead of fighting back [42...Rf2+ 43.Ke1 Rf3 ]

43.Rc5 Bd7

44.Rc7 Be8

45.Rc8 f6? [45...f5 ]

46.Bd6 [46.Rxe8+ seems even better 46...Kf7 47.Bb5 ]

46...Rg2+ [46...Rxd3+ desperation 47.Kxd3 Kf7 ]

47.Ke3 Kf7

48.Bh7 e5

49.d5 10

Mar-08-13  JPi: Is 30...a5 a mandatory? Simply 30...Rb7 for 31...Bb5 e,g 32.BxB RxB 33.Bc4 RxR 34.BxR Nc6 (35.d5 Nd4)
Jun-06-14  Conrad93: < Great play..Fabiano will go far..I think he's a 2750+ material.>

Funny seeing this comment only four years later, when he has already broken the 2800 barrier.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: This is just a great game with solid defense, good piece activity, a king hunt and lots of correct moves too.
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