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Fabiano Caruana vs Teimour Radjabov
Gashimov Memorial (2014), Shamkir AZE, rd 8, Apr-28
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Gligoric-Taimanov System (E92)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: A sad day for the kings Indian defence ...
Apr-28-14  SirRuthless: I don't think it was so bad for the KID... I mean, Radjabov said himself in the time pressure he played for more with 31.Kh7 when he had Qg7 and after exchanging Qs it should be a routine draw because whites N is cut off. This was a loss that really didn't need to happen but when you give yourself 20 seconds to make 6 moves till time control, it is the natural result.
Apr-28-14  Marmot PFL: I also was surprised that white won this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I like Caruana's combo starting with 19. Bxe7. It was a speculative exchange sac that paid off when Black fell into a black hole that sucked up all of his time. In my experience the fianchettoed bishop is almost never worth the rook.
Apr-28-14  OneArmedScissor: I don't have a chess engine in front of me, but <40. ...Rf8> looks like the losing move, no?

I think the black rook has to stay on the 7th rank and the black queen needs to go to g7 (maybe after playing a check on a1 first?) to attack the passed c pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I think if black plays 40...Qg7 (with or without an interpolated check on a1), white can protect just protect the pawn with 41. Rc5, after which 42. Nd5 and 43. Nb6 look pretty tough. At move 40 black is lost; the passed pawn is just too strong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: A fascinating game. I would probably have guessed right on considerably less than half the moves.
Apr-28-14  abuzic: <47.c8Q>
White was not in a hurry to promote, after <47...Bxc8 48.Rxc8 Rxc8 49.Qxc8 Qd5 50.Ne3 Qd3?> after 50...Qd6 there is still work to be done to convert to win.

47.Nd2 would be winning immediately

Premium Chessgames Member
  mike1: the result does not have anything to Do with the opening (or the exchange sac) and I think that black is much better after 29...Rb8.
Apr-28-14  Lupara: <mike1> How is Black "much better" after White responds to your recommended move 29... Rb8 with 30.Qxb8+? Is this some deep Rook sacrifice on Black's part that I am not seeing?
Apr-28-14  csmath: 16. ...d5
[Natural move, black has to make that break and this is the time. So far Radjabov play as expected.]

18. Bc5!
[Fabiano is prepared.]

click for larger view

18. ...e4

[18. ...d4 19. Ne4 Be6 20. 0-0 Rf7 leads to asymmetric complex game.]

19. Bxe7
[I have to assume that this is a preparation. Natural 19. Rc1 dxc4 20. 0-0 e3! 21. Bxd3 Qd3 leads to active black game but his pawns are also more vulnerable. Bishop pair should be adequate compensation.]

22. ...Bf5

click for larger view

We see the main result after exchange sacrifice is extremely dangerous pawn passing unit coupled with unsafe black king. Black will have to be careful as his main task is to control white passers. Radjabov decides to give exchange back for that:

23. Ne3 Rad8
24. Nb3 Be6
25. Qc1 h5
26. Nc5 Rd4
27. Qc3 Rxc4?!
[Radjabov has already decided so we can only judge his consistent plan.]

28. Qb2!
[28. Nxc4? Bxc4 29. Nd7 Bxf1 30. Nxf8 Bd3 and suddenly white loses a piece. Clearly Caruana sees that and reinforces f2.]

28. ...Rxc5
[rook is lost so this is now unfavorable exchange sacrifice.]

29. bxc5 Bxa2

click for larger view

The character of position has changed. White has a dangerous passer and more secure king meaning some advantage but far away from winning still.

38. ...a6?!
[Pointless move that accomplishes nothing but gives white a tempo. 38. ...Rc7 was clearly necessary.]

40. ...Rf8?
[Losing move. 40. ...Qa1 41. Kg2 Qg7 and white has to prove that his passer is anything more than a trade for black e4 pawn.]

41. Qd1

click for larger view

and here black is lost as threat of 42. Rd8 cannot be reasonably stopped. For example 41. ...Rf7 42. Rd8! Rxc7 43. Rxc8 and black loses.

Black could not find any satisfactory defense and he duly lost. ===================

Good opening for both, Caruana played very active game but the main reason for the loss is just one bad move of Radjabov before the time control. It happens.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Good day for Exchange sacrifices.
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