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Hikaru Nakamura vs Fabiano Caruana
Sinquefield Cup (2014), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 5, Aug-31
Slav Defense: Breyer Variation (D11)  ·  0-1


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Hikaru Nakamura vs Fabiano Caruana (2014)

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-01-14  1971: Caruana chose a very efficient plan/regrouping for move 20-25.
Sep-01-14  Lupara: <bavaria> Philosophy was one of my minors in college, so I had to read a lot of Kant. That's after I left the Army.

I was stationed in what was then called West Germany for the last 14 months of my active service. I loved every moment of my time in Germany. Great people. Great country.

Sep-01-14  ChessYouGood: Nakamura has no clue in the opening, shuffles pawns to finally guarantee a stray b one, the bad bishop and feckless passivity as Caruana fastens the lid.
Sep-01-14  gokusano: After 5 rounds, it is clear as broad daylight that Carlsen is the biggest threat to Caruana and not the other way around.
Sep-01-14  gokusano: You keep on saying insane play, but the insane keeps on winning. I wanna go insane so I can beat those Elo maniac.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <zanzibar> Black could end the game here with 44...Bh4!>

Yes, the commentators pointed that out. And 44...R8c3 works just as well. After 45.Qe2 or 45.Qd2 (the only moves that do not lose the queen) 45...R3c2 46.Qd3 (or any other queen move) 46...Bh4 and once again Black wins the queen for rook plus bishop.

I think that 44...R8c3 is easier to see than 44...Bh4 since it's a natural move to infiltrate White's position without involving a sacrifice but to someone like Caruana it probably doesn't make much difference. And the game was already won anyway so it really didn't make much difference.

Sep-01-14  Ulhumbrus: Ashley said that after White's exchange of his knight for Black's white squared bishop Black had one minor piece more which could attack the black squares. This suggests that after 12...e5 White is advised to play dxe5 in order to reduce the number of black square targets for Black. In that case the recapture ...Nxe5 attacks then the white KB on d3 as well as the f3 pawn. This suggests 12 Be2 instead of 12 Bd3.
Sep-01-14  Ulhumbrus: One alternative to 15 Nb1 is the pawn sacrifice 15 e4 eg 15 e4 de 16 Nxe4 ed 17 Bf4 with the bishop pair and a lead in development in return for a pawn.
Sep-01-14  1971: In the past Caruana would be dominant with white but lose often with the black pieces defending 1. d4. Here he plays the Slav and wins. I said it way back that once Caruana drops the Gruenfeld he is going to dominate and here he is. The best bet is to play 1. d4 against him as it's unlikely he is fully prepared in the Slav since he just dropped the Gruenfeld. Of course, he could've had it under wraps this whole time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sycophante: <1971> According to and, it seems Caruana has been pretty even with either the Grunfeld or the Slav as Black. Could you be a bit more specific? I'm curious about this matter. I observed that he used to play the Dutch variation of the Slav for a while, without much success, and finally dropped it for other variations.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <AylerKupp> I'd like to agree with you, since 44...R8c3 is a move I'd be likely to play myself.

But it gives White a draw after 45.Qe2 R3c2 46.Qxe6!

click for larger view

where I think Black's exposed king is likely to checked endlessly by the queen (with an pawn-grabbing interlude here and there).

This is why 44...Bh4 is such a great move, it exploits the trapped queen and gets it off the board.

Doing a Q for 2R with an exposed king is something I'm normally too scared to do - look how long it took Caruana to get the king safely ensconced in a fortress.

I'd mess up somewhere along the line.

Sep-02-14  SirRuthless: Yes, the fact that Nakamura blitzed f5 with 20 minutes on the clock to Fab's 2 or whatever it was at the time is a mystery to me. He should have gone Qg6+! first Then after the forced Ke7 then f5! putting the question to black. If ex black risks losing to some cheapo forks under time pressure and will never be able to find a fortress with correct play from both sides. If Bxd4 then black is losing , The only good move at that point is Rf8 holding the bishop and losing coordination with rooks and the initiative with a worse position. If Nak finds Qg6 + then f5! he probably draws. Still, deserved to lose anyway due to poor middle-game play and the questionable opening.Fab should have found Bh4+ to seal the game but no one is perfect after all even if the scores say otherwise.
Sep-02-14  vkk: Good win for Caruana, his first win in classical against Naka...

Now only if Naka can get his first classical win on Carlsen this week.

Sep-02-14  Lil Swine: im laughing at that smug look on Caruana's face
Sep-02-14  Hoozits: If you look closely, you can see me in the background with my black shirt and my wife's nose right next to me. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: All I see is Joe 90.
Sep-03-14  Hoozits: Joe 90?
Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: <Hoozits: Joe 90?>

Maybe this?

Sep-04-14  ChessYouGood: Great picture: looks like Nakamura is wondering whether there is a B tournament he could enter next year.
Sep-04-14  Mr. Bojangles: Caruana has that "ok you big mouth, let's see what you got" look.
Sep-05-14  Hoozits: Ah, I think I see it now.
Sep-07-14  Ulhumbrus: One objection to 10 cxd5 was suggested by a comment from Ashley. He said that after Nxg6 Black would have three minor pieces able to attack black squares to White's two. The capture 10 cxd5 clears the square c6 for Black's N from which to attack the black square d4.

This suggests 10 Nxg6 hxg6 11 c5.

Sep-07-14  Marmot PFL: 4 Nbd2 is only white's 6th most common choice. It won't game many fans from this game, where white finds nothing better than 15 Nb1 and 17 Nc3 to put the horse where it belonged all along.
Sep-08-14  kia0708: brilliant win
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <gokusano: After 5 rounds, it is clear as broad daylight that Carlsen is the biggest threat to Caruana and not the other way around.>

Another prediction gone awry. Happens to the best of us...

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