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Sergey Karjakin vs Fabiano Caruana
World Championship Candidates (2016), Moscow RUS, rd 14, Mar-28
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Neo-Modern Variation (B67)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 26 OF 26 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-30-16  donjova: <you need a win with black, so you don't study Fischer's poison pawn variation, or Kasparov's pet Najdorf lines>

Exactly. :)

First of all, Caruana isn't the Sicilian player, while Karjakin played e4 (and was facing the Sicilians) most of his career. It wouldn't make sense for Caruana to enter the lines which are mainstream these days - Karjakin surely knows them better. He had to choose something which is at least slightly offbeat, so he chose Classical Sicilian (note how he also avoided Sveshnikov, which is very sharp but probably too forcing and therefore may easily end in a draw) to which Karjakin replied with Richter-Rauzer attack.

Even if Caruana chose the Najdorf, usual reply these days is 6.h3, so you can't enter the lines played by Fischer or Kasparov.

I don't think either player wanted to enter the Poisoned Pawn. It's too heavily analyzed, with too much forcing draw lines. Caruana certainly didn't want that. Neither did Karjakin, he had to leave some possibility to play for a win in case things go badly in Svidler - Anand.

Mar-30-16  not not: donjova, long castle or not, this opening that opening or not, what I dont get understand is Fabiano's pawn play

so often you go through Capa notes, and he pushes weak pawn vs 2 down the board commenting "to get rid of weakness before endgame comes"

I know Fabiano was looking for "middle game glory"; but if he kept his b pawn on b5 without pushing into enemy half, and just march this weak h pawn down the board for exchange, he would have great endgame chances:

2 groups of compact pawn: chain on a6-b5, and three monster pawns in center; white would be left with 2 weak pawns: one on e file, the other one on the kingside

one of these 2 weak pawns would fall sonner or later under "siege of two bishops"; is Li Chao treatment of black pawn structure any good? pushing to b4 to get permanent endgame weakness and keeping h pawn to have another?

it feels so wrong, so against Lasker's and Capablanca's pawn play

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Apparently Caruana offered draw after 36...Re4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: How hard it is to erase <mamoni>'s posts?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <The historic Manhattan Chess Club essentially went bankrupt several years ago- a long complicated story.>

Does the Marshall have landmark status? I am assuming it does, the building, just west of 5th Ave on 10 street must be worth $10M as a condo property. I don't think yearly membership fees can generate that much money...

Mar-31-16  Troller: <alexmagnus: Apparently Caruana offered draw after 36...Re4.>

Interesting - do you have a source? Also, presumably he would have offered it only after realizing he was losing, so was this before 37.Rxd5 or somewhere after?

I remember Nepom expected a draw offer from Karjakin at some point after 37.Rxd5, that is indeed also an often seen scenario. It is a bit more awkward to offer the draw in a losing position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <Interesting - do you have a source?>

I cannot find any link on the Internet, but there was an interview with Karjakin on Russian TV where Karjakin said it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: < It is a bit more awkward to offer the draw in a losing position.>

Thing is, if there were no Rxd5, it actully would be Black who is better :D. So, Caruana with his draw offer more or less showed Karjakin there is something fishy here :)

Mar-31-16  donjova: <alexmagnus: Thing is, if there were no Rxd5, it actully would be Black who is better :D. So, Caruana with his draw offer more or less showed Karjakin there is something fishy here :)>

Which is why this story sounds a bit dubious to me. :)

I mean, Caruana has nothing to gain with a draw. At that point, Svidler and Anand have already drawn their game. Even if Caruana played Re4 and then saw the refutation, he could at least still hope that Karjakin will miss Rxd5.

Not saying that it's impossible Caruana offered a draw, though. People do silly things all the time. :)

Mar-31-16  meta meta: Leikin loppu!
Mar-31-16  activechess55: In a must win situation, the middle game position achieved by black does not seem suitable for win. Black king is exposed along seventh rank and black has to guard against white queen's entry all the time. Black can not open the centre either. This suggest playing end game was better option for black. Although it's not clear whether he can force exchange of queens.
Mar-31-16  sonia91: <Troller><donjova>

<In a hopeless position Caruana offered you a draw. Was that ethical?>

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: GM <Niclas Huschenbeth> has analysed this game in another fine video: Enjoy!
Apr-01-16  The Kings Domain: Good display of skill by Karjakin. If he plays this way consistently in November he may be the next world champion.
Apr-01-16  Stockfish.64bit: After move 39 Q.f5 caruana made worst move ever for player 2700 rate. He played R.f8-f7 even 1600 player rate cant move that. He simply had to put Quin c7-c6 then the game was draw. He is o low player or the game I sold out. I believe the 1 st one.....🙏
Apr-01-16  Captain Hindsight: Better would have been <36...Be4 37.Rxb4 Qc7> and position is complicated but Black is not worse.
Apr-01-16  DrGridlock: <Stockfish> Your erudite analysis has swayed my opinion. Fabiano Caruano is indeed a low player. Probably doesn't even possess the same chess skill level as you do.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: 39.Qf5 Qc6 40.Qh7+ Ke8 41.Qa7 threatening Bb3-a4 is a nice win. No doubt there are others.
Apr-01-16  znsprdx: When does Carlsen ever win like this?

Remember sadly it was Anand who outplayed Carlsen in Game 11 of their last WCC 2014

the Berlin was NOT busted

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <znsprdx>. <When does Carlsen ever win like this?>

You mean, by making a bunch of waiting moves until his opponent blunders? To hear some kibitzers, that's the only way Carlsen <ever> wins.

If instead you mean sacrificing a rook at the end, this comes to mind, though Aronian didn't take it.

Carlsen vs Aronian, 2015

If you mean <by sacrificial attack against Caruana>, there's these.

Carlsen vs Caruana, 2014

Caruana vs Carlsen, 2015

<Remember sadly it was Anand who outplayed Carlsen in Game 14 of the 2014 WCC>

No, I don't remember that.

Carlsen vs Anand, 2014

<The Berlin was NOT busted>

It never will be. The Carlsen-Caruana Berlin game above is pretty good, though.

Apr-02-16  not not: Fabiano could "swallow small fish" and bit Topalov twice - he has got no-one to blame but himself
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <alexmagnus: Apparently Caruana offered draw after 36...Re4

I cannot find any link on the Internet, but there was an interview with Karjakin on Russian TV where Karjakin said it.

Thing is, if there were no Rxd5, it actually would be Black who is better :D. So, Caruana with his draw offer more or less showed Karjakin there is something fishy here :)>

Which means, really, that it would have been completely absurd for Caruana to offer a draw at this point. In chess24, Colin McGourty mentioned (in the comments here - an interview where Karjakin says that Caruana offered the draw "two moves before resigning" (39...Rf7?) - this sounds much more reasonable.

[the interview - ]

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Many thanks, <keypusher> for collecting dry evidence against the many unsubstantiated comments, which now and then occur here.
Nov-11-16  vasja: 32....Bb5!
Premium Chessgames Member

[Fritz 10]: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. 0-0-0 Bd7 9. f4 h6 10. Bh4 b5 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. f5 Qb6 Opening Explorer 13. fxe6 fxe6 14. Nxc6 Qxc6 15. Bd3 h5 16. Kb1 b4 17. Ne2 Qc5 [Last book move] 18. Rhf1 Bh6 19. Qe1 a5 20. b3 [20. Nf4!? Bxf4 21. Rxf4 ] Rg8 [20 ... Ke7 21. g3 a4 22. Bc4 ] 21. g3 Ke7 22. Bc4 Be3 [22 ... h4 23. Nf4 =] 23. Rf3 [23. Nf4 ] Rg4 [23 ... a4 24. Qf1 =] 24. Qf1 [24. a4!? ] Rf8 [=] 25. Nf4 Bxf4 26. Rxf4 a4 27. bxa4 Bxa4 28. Qd3 [28. Bb3 Bc6 29. Qd3 Rfg8 ] Bc6 [28 ... Rfg8!? 29. Rxg4 Rxg4 ] 29. Bb3 [=] Rg5 30. e5 Rxe5 31. Rc4 Rd5 32. Qe2 Qb6 33. Rh4 Re5 34. Qd3 Bg2 35. Rd4 d5 36. Qd2 Re4 [36 ... Be4 is the best option Black has 37. Rxb4 Qc6 =] 37. Rxd5 [ ] exd5 38. Qxd5 [38. Qxg2? Rd8 ] Qc7?? [Shortens the misery 38 ... Rd4 39. Qxd4 Qxd4 40. Rxd4 Rb8 ] 39. Qf5 [ ] Rf7 [39 ... Qc6 cannot change destiny 40. Qh7+ Ke8 41. Qxh5+ Ke7 42. Bd5 ] 40. Bxf7 Qe5 [40 ... Re5 41. Qh7 Qxc2+ 42. Qxc2 Be4 ] 41. Rd7+ Kf8 42. Rd8+ 1-0.

The World Championship Candidates (2016) was an exciting and competitive event to determine the next Challenger against World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Aronian and Caruana were the favorites based on recent results, while some chess fans were hoping for someone besides Anand to avoid WC match fatigue as it would have been their third installment. At the time, Nakamura felt he was the only one who could upend Carlsen, but he was a serious contender here. Topalov, Karjakin, Svidler and Giri rounded out the field of eight, and all displayed outstanding fighting spirit.

Karjakin and Caruana were tied for First going into this last-round showdown, except Caruana had to win as everyone knew Karjakin had better tiebreaks. Therefore Caruana may have taken more chances with Black than otherwise, against someone with monster results against the Classical Sicilian Repertoire Explorer: Sergey Karjakin (white) and perhaps he unwittingly followed a line which scored well for White Opening Explorer . Black generated a fair amount of middlegame play, yet White aimed for a fortress set-up (20. b3 & 21. g3) denying any entry points. The key moment was 37. Rxd5!! (no punctuation from Mean Fritz) which was a daring and risky choice in time pressure given so much at stake, with 39. Qf5 being the real quietus threatening 40. Qh7+ Skewering the Qc7. Then 39 ... Rf7 40. Bxf7 regained the Rook (40 ... Kxf7? 41. Qh7+) and White closed it out. Solve the easy Mate puzzle at the end.

Karjakin won First with 8.5/14, followed by Anand and Caruana at 2-3 with 7.5/14, then a four-way tie for 4-7 between Giri, Aronian, Svidler and Nakamura with even scores. An off-form Topalov finished Eighth at minus 5 with no wins.

Good luck in the next cycle!

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