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Sergey Karjakin vs Fabiano Caruana
"Absolutely Fabiano" (game of the day Jan-22-13)
Bilbao Masters (2012)  ·  Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  0-1
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Given 9 times; par: 48 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Edmontonchessclub: Beautiful game!
Sep-26-12  Ulhumbrus: One justification for 9 Bg5 is that Black has not kept his king's bishop on e7.
Sep-26-12  master of defence: What after 35.Nxe5?
Sep-26-12  shivasuri4: <master of defence>, black replies with 35...Qxe5+.

36.Rg3 loses to the simple 36...Bxf1.

36.Kh1 Be4+ 37.Rg2 Qg3 38.Qxf7+ Kh7 39.Rf2 Nh4 wins easily for black.

Lastly, 36.Kg2 is met with 36...Nh4+ 37.Kf2 (37.Kh1 Be4+, 38.Rg2 Bxg2+ prolongs the agony) Qf4+ 38.Ke1 Qe3+ 39.Kd1 Qe2+ 40.Kc1 Qc2#.

Sep-26-12  Lupara: Greetings <shivasuri4>. I believe your analysis in the second line you give, <36.Kh1 Be4+ 37.Rg2 Qg3 38.Qxf7+ Kh7 39.Rf2 Nh4 wins easily for black> is flawed.

In particular, if Black plays 37.... Qg3 in that line, doesn't White turn the table on Black with 38.Qe8+ (not 38.Qxf7+) and then simply scoop up the Black Be4 with 39.Qxe4?

This gives White a won game.

Sep-26-12  Lupara: I must also agree with the above accolades for Fabiano Caruana's play in this game.

Truly inspired and remarkable play by Caruana.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Yeah, in the line 35.Nxe5 Qxe5+ 36.Kh1 Be4+ 37.Rg2, 37...Qg3 is a mistake; instead, 37...Nf4 or Qxd5 are clearly winning for Black.
Sep-27-12  shivasuri4: <Eyal> and <Lupara>, thanks a lot; that was instructive. Must learn not to rush the attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
Sep-27-12  pmukerji: What happens if 32. Qg2?
Sep-28-12  Lupara: Greetings <pmukerji>. In response to your inquiry as to what happens after <32. Qg2>, Black cleans house by playing 32.... Nf4.

The likely continuation is then 33.Qg3 Ne2 34.Qg2 Bd3 35.Kh1 Be4 36.Rgf1 Nd4 37.Rbe1 Bxe1 38.Rxe1 Qxe1+ 39.Nxe1 Bxg2+ 40.Kxg2 Nxb3, leaving Black with an easily won endgame.

Sep-28-12  pmukerji: Cool...interesting...thanks bud!
Oct-17-12  Moszkowski012273: Fabiano missed the much stronger 33...Nh4
Jan-22-13  rilkefan: I looked at the position after 26.g4 and thought, Huh, that was weakening, I wonder if black take on e4 and maybe pick up two pawns for the piece - nope, it's too defended.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Houdini 3 says that White is already worse after 20.a4, and busted after 23.Qd1? Ba6! (-1.40).
Jan-22-13  LoveThatJoker: Wow! What a great game from GM Caruana!

I haven't been checking the GOTDs lately, but am sure glad I set some time to check this one out.

Does anyone have a GM analysis link for this great game?

Thank you in advance,


Jan-22-13  morfishine: About as smooth as it gets
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: Compact and utterly fabulous! A very rare rendering of chess genius.
Jan-22-13  Abdel Irada: <FSR: Houdini 3 says that White is already worse after 20.a4 [sic], and busted after 23.Qd1? Ba6! (-1.40).>

Those moves are strikingly antipositional, although I do understand the motivation for 23. Qd1: to get out of the pin on the e-file. But White certainly had no time for 20. a4; for better or worse, he had to exchange on b4.

To me, though, the really ghastly move was the craven 24. Bc2?, opening the way for all of Black's spectacular exchange sacs by tying down White's forces on passive squares on the queenside. Sometimes, as those who play against the French know, you just have to bite the bullet and exchange your "good" bishop for your opponent's "bad" one. I say the foregoing with a rueful smile, having lost plenty of blitz games by making precisely the same ambitious mistake.

Once White made this succession of positional blunders, Black's first exchange sac might have come as a bit of a surprise, but the second flowed so naturally that I never blinked.

Excellent exploitation by Caruana.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <To me, though, the really ghastly move was the craven 24. Bc2?, opening the way for all of Black's spectacular exchange sacs by tying down White's forces on passive squares on the queenside. Sometimes, as those who play against the French know, you just have to bite the bullet and exchange your "good" bishop for your opponent's "bad" one.>

Not withdrawing the bishop to c2, though, allows Black not only to exchange bishops but to win the e4 pawn right after that, by doubling rooks on the e-file with Ra7-e7. Both players pointed in the post-game interview to 23.Qd1? - allowing 23...Ba6! - as the move that clearly tilted the game in Black's favor (and comp evals seem to confirm this); Caruana said that even though his position was very comfortable (something apparently already went wrong for White by this stage) he was having a hard time finding a concrete plan without this mistake. But indeed - to repeat something I've posted shortly after the game ended - it's rare to see a "bad" bishop turning into an extremely strong one so quickly as Black's LSB does here, on moves 23-24.

Jan-22-13  Garech: Powerful central play from the young star; awesome stuff - a challenger for Carlsen?


Jan-22-13  ossipossi: Well chess is not about chauvinisme, but always proud to be in that <0.001%> ;)
Jan-22-13  LoveThatJoker: <Analysis on this Game>




Jan-22-13  Tridel: This game is amazing! It reminds me of Petrosian who had great success sacrificing the exchange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: There's nothing like two bishops to roll up a game.
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