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Fabiano Caruana vs Veselin Topalov
"St. Louis Blues" (game of the day May-18-2015)
Sinquefield Cup (2014), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 6, Sep-02
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation (B46)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 13 OF 13 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-03-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: Topalov explained that he had envisaged 24.Bxe6 fxe6 25.Rf3+ Kg7 26.Qh5 Rdf8 and missed that Caruana then has the killing 27.Rf6!! This shows how the apparently quiet moves 22.Bc3 and 23.Re3 were key to the final attack. Utterly brilliant.
Sep-03-14  anandrulez: Looking back , I agree with Carlsen's assessment of Topalov's play as "Terrible" Fabiano might have seen Bxe6 idea @ 22 Bc3 move or even before . Bc3 was required to stop Bf6 possibility . White's Queen gets trapped in that line .

Structurally Bxe6 is a very natural move to play because of the constricted pieces. With Re3 he should have had the consolidated idea of playing Bxe6 if Topalov's doesn't defend it . And he didn't !

After that FabiCar went ito a deep thought and just followed his intuition . It was a great game . But Topalov really lacked ideas . He was playing like a sub par player all through the game . But thats one thing I like about Topalov he is really graceful to allow opponents to write masterpieces :-) As much he plays them as well - due credit to him .

Sep-03-14  jussu: Oh my, 12. Na4. I understand it's established theory, but what can possibly be the point? Meeting ...c5 with c4, I suppose, but is a4 really the place for this horse to sit?
Sep-03-14  bennythejets: wow...remind me fischer...
Sep-03-14  Ulhumbrus: 6 Nxc6?! moves the knight a third time to exchange it for a N moved but once and strengthens Black's centre into the bargain. It seems most inadvisable unless Black's centre can be made to become a target instead of a weapon.

In the position after 9...Be7 Black is behind in development but has central pawn superiority. White can hardly claim an advantage. Yet he plays an attacking move 10 e5? This attack is unsound then and can be forecast to fail.

12 Qg4? persists in an unsound attack. This increases Black's advantage.

11...Kf8 avoids disturbing the king side pawns but also loses the right to castle. One alternative is 11...g6 getting ready to castle on the queen side. Another interesting alternative is a piece sacrifice: 11...Nxe5 12 Rxe5 Bf6 13 Re1 e5

Instead of 12...Qa5 12...Qc7 places pressure on the e5 pawn

13...h5? disturbs the king side pawns without necessity and is inconsistent. Having given up the right to castle lo less to avoid making this concession, he now makes it.

14...g5? may be a losing mistake. He thinks that he can take over the initiative on the king side.

It is possible that Topalov's plan was based on an oversight and when Topalov saw what he had overlooked it was too late.

Now how does one answer such an attack? Caruana's subsequent play offers some indications of an answer.

17 Qg4 occupies a square left undefended by the pawn storm, the square g4.

19 c4 attacks Black's centre and so transforms it from a weapon into a target.

The American commentators ( Ashley, Seirawan, Shahade) praised the moves 21 h3, 22 Bc3 and 23 Re3 which gain time towards the attack by preparing it and refusing to be drawn into making premature haste

24 Bxe6! begins the attack, the bishop acting in concert with the queen.

One ingredient completes the recipe, as the American commentators ( Ashley, Seirawan, Shahade)indicated: masterly conduct of the attack on the part of Caruana who finds continually the best move each time and does not spoil the attack with any mistakes.

Sep-03-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: OK, you guys laughed at me when I asked about 13.Re2 (sulk, sulk), but here's a whole article pretty much talking about the same move with Caruana's second, GM Vladimir Chuchelov, who actually suggested it.

<Much of the game was won at home. Caruana's second, GM Vladimir Chuchelov, prepared the move 13. Re2:

"How else to get the bishop to d2?" said Chuchelov.

Although the idea looks simple, Chuchelov said that the computers don't have it as a top recommendation.

Caruana must also know the ideas well -- he used the same opening from the opposite side against GM Dragan Solak at the 2014 Olympiad.>

http://www.chess.com/news/caruana-d...

Sep-03-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <jussu> I'm a patzer, but I'm in agreement with you, the knight on a4 looks misplaced.

Here are some <CG> Opening Explorer stats, it's a fairly recent idea, I think, without much play:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.O-O Nf6 9.Re1 Be7 10.e5 Nd7 11.Qg4 Kf8

12.Na4 3 ( 33% / 33% / 33% )

(12.Qe2 D Solak vs Caruana, 2014)

12...h4 2 ( 50% /50 % )

M Leon Hoyos vs Granda Zuniga, 2007 (13.Qf4 ... 0-1)

E Safarli vs K Shanava, 2014 (13.Qe2 ... 1-0)

12...c5 J Benjamin vs G Zaichik, 2003 (13.c4 ... =)

Sep-03-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Ulhumbrus: 6 Nxc6?! moves the knight a third time to exchange it for a N moved but once and strengthens Black's centre into the bargain.....>

You might do well to read the following kibitz: <csmath: 6. Nxc6 [Caruana is very well informed on theory here, he is going for a dangerous sideline in Taimanov.]>

Black's fifth move became far less popular for a time because of what you term 6.Nxc6?!

<....It seems most inadvisable unless Black's centre can be made to become a target instead of a weapon.....>

That is the intent, or to establish the wedge with e5, as took place in the game.

<In the position after 9...Be7 Black is behind in development but has central pawn superiority. White can hardly claim an advantage. Yet he plays an attacking move 10 e5? This attack is unsound then and can be forecast to fail.>

Some substantiation--concrete analysis rather than your trademark abstract reasoning--would be most welcome.

Sep-03-14  Pulo y Gata: <Perf> Ah, the things we have deal with. lol!
Sep-03-14  Pulo y Gata: <Perf> Ah, the things we have to deal with. lol!
Sep-03-14  Pulo y Gata: <Perf> Ah, the things we have <to> deal with. lol!

Like typing on a mobile phone hahaha!

Sep-04-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <------world's worst typist.
Sep-04-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Analysis for this game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqU....
Sep-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: "What a great game by Caruana! Logical strong moves and a beautiful finish. Could it be that we finally see somebody who could be a match for Carlsen- or even somebody who is stronger?!" - from GM Naiditsch's annotations to this game: http://pogonina.com/index.php?optio...
Sep-14-14  RubinSteinitz: A question comes to my mind after finding out that it was Caruana's second who come up with the novelty 13. ♖e3! in this game. How many players drag around seconds? And how many do they each have? Anyone know?

f

May-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Hehe, I like this pun. I'm a fan of the St. Louis Blues (probably my 2nd favourite NHL team), so yeah. Too bad they got eliminated in the first round for the 3rd year in a row...
May-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Great game that highlights, if nothing else, the danger of pushing the h-pawn from the Black side of a Sicilian. Reminds me of this catastrophe: Carlsen vs Nakamura, 2013

*****

May-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White's attack would give anyone the blooz
May-18-15  Rookiepawn: <perfidious

Some substantiation--concrete analysis rather than your trademark abstract reasoning--would be most welcome.>

Consultants of all kinds will hate you, you want to ruin a whole industry!

May-18-15  Karposian: <Natalia Pogonina: Could it be that we finally see somebody who could be a match for Carlsen- or even somebody who is stronger?!>

I will give you a short answer: no.

May-18-15  A.T PhoneHome: Now that we have hindsight next to us, we can safely say that Caruana is no threat to Carlsen.

Of course Mr. Naiditsch couldn't have known this back then.

I've always thought that Cold War hardened many players. My point is that, today there is no government official telling you that it is in your best interests to win the games you play.

Just my two cents on why only Carlsen is so mentally ready.

May-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: A great game by Caruana and, of course, a fantastic performance by him in the 2014 Sinquefield Cup. But one needs to be careful to make long-range conclusions based on a single performance which, as expected, was an aberration (in the good sense), like Fischer's demolition of Taimanov and Larsen in 1971 by 6-0 scores. Caruana's rating jumped from 2801 in Sep-2014 to 2844 in Oct-2014 but since then has dropped down to 2803 in May-2015, a drop of 41 points and almost back where he started in Sep-2014.

Carlsen on the other hand reached his peak rating of 2882 in May-2014, dropped 20 points to 2862 in Dec-2014 and has reached 2876 in May-2015, just 8 points below his peak rating. So Carlsen has been more consistent than Caruana, with one good performance after another. I think that Caruana needs to show a similar consistency before he can be considered a serious threat to Carlsen.

Of course, <Karposian> said the same thing much more succinctly than I.

May-18-15  pinoy king: No we can conclude that Caruana is simply stronger than Carlsen based on this performance. Carlsen can't play this good, Caruana can but not often.
May-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: After 10...Nd7:


click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

<[+0.34] d=22 11.Qg4 g6> 12.Bh6 Rb8 13.Nd1 Rb4 14.f4 Nc5 15.Qh3 Nxd3 16.cxd3 Rg8 17.Re2 Bb7 18.Nf2 c5 19.b3 a5 20.Rae1 c4 21.dxc4 dxc4 22.Rd1

May-19-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Great game but two minutes in the penalty box for whoever submitted this pun
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