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Fabiano Caruana vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Sinquefield Cup (2016), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 5, Aug-09
Sicilian Defense: Prins Variation (B54)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: French fries kill more people than sharks, yet nobody's afraid of French fries (Sharkopedia).

In the first half (5 rounds) of the Sinquefield Cup, MVL played the Sicilan in every game with the black pieces.

In this game Caruana tried (and was close to succeed) to steamroll Maxime’s Sicilian with 5.f3 (the Prins Variation).

As Sergey Kasparov suggested in his book, "if you are looking for a way to <outwit sharks in the Open Sicilian> then the concept is simple: surprise your opponent with 5.f3 and steamroll his Sicilian!" Besides, it eliminates to study Najdorf.

The main line of the Prins variation is 5…e5, as MVL played against Grischuk at the World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk last year, but as a true Sicilian shark, against Caruana he chose 5…Nc6 transposing into a Two Knights variation with 6.f3 (from Anti-Sicilian to Open Sicilian).

Nevertheless, <Caruana managed to outwit him> in the opening and middlegame but eventually let him escape.

Maxime Vachier Lagrave: "The game could have gone either way, certainly didn't go my way at some point."

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Caruana: "My best move was 20.Kf1 safeguarding the king and securing an opening advantage."

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Aug-10-16  Ulhumbrus: After 21 Re1 it may seem at first sight that Black is ahead in development as White has given up the right to castle, and that therefore Black is advised to open lines by 21...e4.

However it will take White only one move - Kg2 - to connect his rooks and complete his development while it will take Black two moves to connect his rooks and develop his queen's rook.

So it is actually White who is ahead in development so that it becomes inadvisable for Black to open lines and so 21...Qf7 or 21...Qh5 becomes better.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: My name is Prins, and I am funky.

MVL was very brave allowing the h file to be opened up with all of the heavy pieces still around.

36. Rxa6 bxa6 37. Rb2 might have given more chances to convert the endgame.

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