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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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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!

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Knowing that it was a puzzle, I thought Rxd5 was kind of obvious (what else?). I came up with this variant that wins the queen, so if there was a forced mate I missed it:

31. Rc4 Rd5 32. Qe2 Qb6 33. Rh4 Re5 34. Qd3 Bg2 35. Rd4 d5 36. Qd2 Re4 37. Rxd5 exd5 38. Qxd5 Qe6 39. Qb7+ Ke8 40. Bxe6

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Remember this one, so no credit for me, but quite a remarkable game--even now, it does not always seem obvious which player is attacking and when.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Having looked at the game line, I didn't anticipate the best defense 38...Qc7 but I'm pretty sure I would have found 39. Qf5 with the threat of Qh7 winning the queen or else Qd7# if the black queen leaves d7 uncovered.
Mar-22-18  stst: Two strokes, done
37.RxP PxR
38.QxP and no defense to the Q on d, or the diag from the B
Premium Chessgames Member
  wtpy: Like an Englishman remembered this position as well. Maybe a bit too soon to use as POTD.
Mar-22-18  saturn2: 37 Rxd5 opens the d file for the queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: What <An Englishman> and <wtpy> said.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Of course this was immediately solved as I knew it. I knew the first move and the game so I didn't bother calculating too much, I left that to Karjakin. That was a nice finish so he was then able to challenge Carlsen who was lucky not to lose the World Championship.

Hopefully had I had this position I might have been trying to make Rxd5 work as the Black K is quite exposed...But I bow to Karjakin. A great win in this case!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: But for Caruana it was a tragedy if that is not too strong a term for a chess game result...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: And Anand wasn't far off the "money" either.
Mar-22-18  WorstPlayerEver: Candidates.
Mar-22-18  sfm: I can recall how many times I have seen this game since I saw it real-time back then. Many, but I am getting older. The solution was some sac here, hmmm. Maybe Qxb4, but then again, it is not Monday. Hmmm. Hmmm.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Didn't recall having seen this game before. Out of frustration from looking at other options, I picked 37. Rxd5!! for my Thursday puzzle solution.

However, the best I could come up with for a follow-up after 37...exd5 38. Qxd5 Qc7 was 39. Qxh5 ± to +- (+2.32 @ 23 ply, Stockfish 9).

This of course is not as strong as White's stunning game move 39. Qf5! +- (+6.36 @ 37 ply, Stockfish 9) with the immediate skewer threat 40. Qh7+ +-.

P.S.: Black's decisive mistake appears to 36...Re4? allowing 37. Rxd5! ± to +- (+1.89 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 9). Instead, <tpstar>'s suggestion 36...Be4 = (0.00 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 9) looks good.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: too fresh to forget
Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: Have 37.R:d5 ed5 38.Q:d5 Qc7 39.Qf5
(With a discreet threat of Qh7+ )
39...Qc6 40.Qh7+ Ke8 41.Bd5 Qc8 42.B:e4
on 39...Qc8 40.Qh7+ Ke8 41.Ba4+ Qc6 42.B:c6#
Mar-22-18  Mayankk: I remembered this sac as had seen this game recently.

However I had 39.Qxh5 instead of 39.Qf5. The threat of Qh7+ remains but not sure if it still wins in all variations.

Mar-22-18  Mayankk: Ah - saw patzer2ís answer after I posted. 39. Qxh5 wins but is not as effective as Qf5. The subtle improvement is beyond my limited cognitive abilities :)

I guess I will still give myself 4/4 for the week...

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Melts rd5us doorus minds votes vides pd5us dugout vints vowus vimus lunks qd5us duffus visage qc7us clunghug its finishoff 39.Qf5 visage offer founts its hiveslung 39.Qxh5 visage offer huntus 1 2 it ok haves overs its finishoff 39...Rf7 visage ehsever flunghug lunks its civvylung 39...Qc6 visage ehsever cuffons vowus vimus 0 ousts conts vints lunkus bf7us flunghug foots 40...Qe5 foods eggers budus mates 8 haves foots 40...Qb6 foods buffons vowus vimus 5 6 ousts conts vints haves melts junior bands jobus vides fiery faces cupus gnaws wangs pangs wagus nagus agous hoofs downs oinks viktor vides dutch hdqus queen it's vasts hatus wents it's vasts viavs flavs thaws niles whiten vents hints hates vides winus vowus vimus wheat:

rd5us dugout vints
vowus vimus haves melts metus:

merth tremulous vents runts junior bands jobus vides fiery faces cupus pangs gnaws wangs nagus wagus agous hoofs downs oinks viktor kidus vides dives hdqus queen it's vasts hatus wents vowus vimus lunks its divelug 37.Rxd5 exd5 38.Qxd5 Qc7 39.Qf5 visage offer flungs hunts honks dutch douche hudus hound hodus hunks rd5us dugout doorus duffus vints vowus vimus duglug dockon guvnub lunks dowrys vides doyens fends found definate vides ideus dints deeps deers dessicate vints its hiveslung 39.Qxh5 visage offer hunts 1 2 it ok haves overs its finishoff 39...Rf7 visage ehsever cuffons vowus vimus 0 ousts conts vints pours 40.Bxf7 Qe5 foots ebbers budus mates 8 haves foots 40...Qb6 foods buffons vowus vimus 5 6 ousts conts vints flocks cuffs coffs clucks conks corks flunks vints vowus vimus concs hotus hobble hoods boots vints losts bouts vints vowus vimus butty tubby trouble cover hoods flood duffs found hound flush hoofs huffs clubs cobus bluff huffs hobus block bucks umsus gives getus hides dutch einus haves melts rd5us dugout.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 38...f5 39. Qd7+ Kf6 40. Rd6+ Qxd6 41. Qxd6+ Kg7. Now what?
Mar-22-18  landshark: <Mayankk> Like you and <patzer2> my deviation from the game was 39. Qxh5 - I'd like to see how this gives Black better chances because it threatens the same skewer on h7 and also prevents ... Rf7. Anyone out there have analysis?
Premium Chessgames Member
  pdxjjb: I only recently returned to following chess and was not familiar with the game. Have to say, while it's a great game, I didn't like this as a puzzle. I couldn't see where to go after 38 Qxd5. After I gave up, gave it to SF9. The main line starting with 38 ... Rd4 only leaves white up a pawn plus a positional advantage. Even if I had correctly calculated all that (not likely for me), I wouldn't have thought it was the answer and would have just kept looking.
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