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Wesley So vs Fabiano Caruana
US Championship (2017), St Louis, MO USA, rd 3, Mar-31
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  chessdgc2: It looks like White is preparing to pressure h4, but he'll have to play b4 before playing Nf3.....or does he? If 25. Nf3 Bxb3 26. Rb4 looks ok for White, too. It seems Black has less options
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: i would play 26 f4 and walk the king. Didn't understand Rh5
Mar-31-17  BOSTER: Now e6, and white rook has enough space.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The idea behind 25...Rh5 was to provoke f4. Black will retreat the rook to h8 in the next move.
Mar-31-17  BOSTER: White took a bite.
Mar-31-17  SirRuthless: Wes is going to suffer now but I don't think it's gone just yet. Black's plan probably involves transferring the R to d3 or c3 via g3 and targeting loose pawns on the k side, that being said Fabi will have to take on some measure of risk. A draw doesn't really hurt him today but a loss would be unacceptable so he might just offer a draw if he feels pinched.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: So which is weaker, the e5 pawn or the h4 pawn? Interested in seeing what the silicon monsters will decide about White's f-pawn advance.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: Re4 or Rh5
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: he got me there ...Rg6
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: oh boy, thats too much for me today ...
Mar-31-17  SirRuthless: Looks like elusive Wesley makes another sweet escape. I am sure Fab saw the right moves as per the engines but didn't have time to make sure and as I said earlier, safety first is the smart choice. If fab screws up his rating then no candidates without a wildcard. He is not equipped to win the World Cup and chose to skip GP series this cycle. Everything hinges on him maintaining his rating.
Mar-31-17  BOSTER: Bishop c2.
Mar-31-17  BOSTER: Black will sacr the bishop,take
couple pawns, and then b6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: So found a nice escape:

click for larger view

41.g5 Bc2 and now 42.Nd4 (or 42.Ne3)

Mar-31-17  Imran Iskandar: Time trouble once again the bane of Caruana's life. A win would have regained the world no. 2 spot.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: so, it's a draw. Good, hard fought draw.
Mar-31-17  BOSTER: Black hopes to win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  joeyj: So - Caruana
Apr-01-17  Pedro Fernandez: Indeed the Caruana-Nakamura and this game are depressed.
Apr-01-17  Pedro Fernandez: << cro777>: Not much risk for Black, the risk is for White.> The Berlin and the Rossolino "son aperturas farsantes", my great <cro777>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  iking: luckily, Wesley survived a determined Caruana.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <Pedro Fernandez: The Berlin and the Rossolimo "son aperturas farsantes">

You've been always able to sniff out a phony (farsante)!

According to Wesley So, he "didn't expect much from the game and didn't get much". He wanted to avoid Caruana's excellent opening preparation and went for an endgame.

He repeated the same line of the Berlin endgame he just played against Hansen at the PRO Chess League W So vs E Hansen, 2017

Position after 13.b3

click for larger view

Here, Hansen continued straightforwardly 13...Rd8 and Wesley easily won the game (as a much stronger player).

Caruana, however, selected the best move in this position 13...h4!.

This was a key moment of the game. Wesley criticized his next two moves 14.Rfe1 (better was 14.Ne4) followed by 15.Rd3 as being too slow. After that the things went ugly for him.

Apr-01-17  JimNorCal: Why not 33. ... Rg6

White might play RxR and reconnect Black's isolated pawns.

Also, why 35. ... Kf6

Allowing white to win the pawn and undouble seems odd

Apr-01-17  JimNorCal: 42. ... Kxg5 is interesting.
If h7 then BxP so NxB is forced instead. Then Kxh6 followed by b6. All white pawns are gone and black can try to win with king and pawns versus king and knight. Looks drawn though
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Best was 30...Rg3 instead of Rg5. The idea is Rc3 attacking the c pawn and if b4 then Rc4 and white's position is coming apart.
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