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Fabiano Caruana vs Vladimir Kramnik
London Chess Classic (2016), London ENG, rd 3, Dec-11
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Giuoco Pianissimo (C53)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-11-16  Ulhumbrus: One justification for 9...Bg4 is that White has developed his king's bishop on c4.
Dec-11-16  dm1991: Interesting concept by Caruana with early a4-a5 to prevent easy b5 leaving Bc4 unchallenged. Kramnik reacted very dynamically with 9... b5 leaving himself with lone a6 and c7 pawns. I guess it was a fine challenge as otherwise white would have free Qb3 as d3 was defended by Bc4.

17... Be5!? is very interesting as somehow it managed to control the center throughout most of the game. Vlad showed some fine Svidler-esque defending skills using his better piece activity with taking control over c4 and restricting white pawns by a5-a4. This advance helped to install a rook on the 2nd rank which ensured an equal ending despite being a pawn down.

Dec-11-16  scormus: interesting the Italian game is now in vogue. It was always only patzers like me who played it.
Dec-12-16  dm1991: <scormus: interesting the Italian game is now in vogue. It was always only patzers like me who played it.> I don't remember when it exactly happened. I don't remember seeing it as often in 2015. Caruana himself was one of the first to try it more seriously. Here are two games against Vishy Anand Caruana vs Anand, 2015 and Vlad Kramnik Caruana vs Kramnik, 2015 from early 2015. I think the craze started after Wesley So showed there are other ways to follow up the a4 advance with Nb1-a3-c2-e3 in January this year W So vs Mamedyarov, 2016. Of course the Italian game wasn't that obscure before with the chess hipster Sergei Tiviakov sometimes trying it and of course Carlsen having fun against his client Carlsen vs Nakamura, 2011.
Dec-12-16  rine77rine64: I'd like to see in order to play that showed a black played 9 ... Bg4
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