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Fabiano Caruana vs Hikaru Nakamura
Altibox Norway (2017), Stavanger NOR, rd 9, Jun-16
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Poisoned Pawn Variation (B97)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-17-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Caruana said afterward that to play the Poison Pawn, you had to study every possible move, no matter how unlikely, and that is how he knew the position had a miracle save with ...Rf8
Jun-17-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: < tamar: Caruana said afterward that to play the Poison Pawn, you had to study every possible move, no matter how unlikely, and that is how he knew the position had a miracle save with ...Rf8>

Rf8 was pretty amazing. It looks like the rook is lost but he had that super-slick hiding place waiting for him. You could trick your opponent into wasting a lot of time and moves trying to trap the rook if you have that move prepared.

Jun-17-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: What distinguishes Caruana from the other top players is his thoroughness. He had been nearly 100% certain that Black would choose 17...Rh7 or 17...Rg8, but found time to study 17...Nc6, the move Nakamura chose.

So he studied that possibility not only up to where he won a piece, but past that to 22...Rxh2 23 Rxe7 Rh1+ 24 Bf1 Rf8


click for larger view

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE7...

Jun-17-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <tamar> maybe I didn't pay close enough attention - but listen from here...

<NS - starts, FC comments how amazed he is at Nak's calculational powers "He deserves a draw">

https://youtu.be/oE7z-O_pwfc?t=347

<FC- "The thing is that you know about the possibility, but you don't know how difficult it is."

...

NS - "(Referring to Nak, amazed to see White with move and piece up, but Black has drawing chances) ... the guy's a genius."

FC - "... I prepared this... I mentioned Nc6 as an interesting option, and basically my notes say that nobody will ever go for this. ... but then he went for this ... but Ng8 was a very unwelcome surprise">

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE7...

.

Jun-17-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Tamar> That was an interesting video, with Nigel Short, no less. Having watched it didn't change my mind about Caruana being one of the greatest tacticians, rather I think there are some common misunderstandings about what a great tactician is. It's not necessarily the person who calculates most quickly like a computer but rather the player who best uses:

1) his knowledge of the game to come out on top in tactical skirmishes (nobody said a tactician had to be an ignoramus mainly driven by off-the-cuff inspirations),

2) his knowledge of the other player (C was constantly talking about his analysis of how far Nak had seen ahead),

3) his imagination (whether in preparations or during the game).

There are certainly other factors, too, like not losing your head when all about you are losing theirs, but I think the ones I mentioned are more important than most closely mimicking Stockfish, which strikes me as a rather degrading objective for humans.

Jun-17-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <zanzibar, CHC> thanks for the comments. Caruana is very modest in the video. He realizes that the engines show 7 ways to draw after 8 Qd3, but in a way,knowing that and still studying the variations with such curiosity is a remarkable talent.

Nakamura perhaps did not study 8 Qd3 as thoroughly, and Caruana openly wondered during the interview whether he had seen some of the variations only in passing and was struggling to recall them, since it seemed impossible for a human to go so far down an engine path without study.

Jun-17-17  Sally Simpson: Hi C.H.C.

" but I think the ones I mentioned are more important than most closely mimicking Stockfish, which strikes me as a rather degrading objective for humans."

Agree 100% with that and the whole post.

---

It does appear there was some opening shadow boxing going on.

Here


click for larger view

in Caruana vs Nakamura, 2016 Nakamura played 7...h6 and walked into a minefield.

This time he opted for 7...Qb6 a position he has never had as Black and Caruana has never had as White.

Here


click for larger view

Nakamura as White a few months ago in Nakamura vs I Nepomniachtchi, 2017 played 8.h3 and won.

Nakamura may have picked up an improvement from after game analysis for Black and was perhaps wondering did White have an improvement on his own play as White v Nepo.

But Caruana slip out 8.Qd3 and had Nakamura hoping around the minefield again till he trod on one.

Jun-17-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Sally Simpson: Hi C.H.C. " but I think the ones I mentioned are more important than most closely mimicking Stockfish, which strikes me as a rather degrading objective for humans."

Agree 100% with that and the whole post. >

I suppose a lot of people think improving at chess is a waste of time, but it's strange to see that attitude endorsed on the website.

Jun-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <keypusher: <Sally Simpson: Hi C.H.C. " but I think the ones I mentioned are more important than most closely mimicking Stockfish, which strikes me as a rather degrading objective for humans."

Agree 100% with that and the whole post. >

<I suppose a lot of people think improving at chess is a waste of time, but it's strange to see that attitude endorsed on the website.>

This doesn't imply improving?:
<It's not necessarily the person who calculates most quickly like a computer but rather the player who best uses:

1) his knowledge of the game to come out on top in tactical skirmishes (nobody said a tactician had to be an ignoramus mainly driven by off-the-cuff inspirations),

2) his knowledge of the other player (C was constantly talking about his analysis of how far Nak had seen ahead)>

Jun-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <zanzibar> I think he is saying Naka deserved a draw and maybe even more... if he had calculated everything on his own and not chosen 22...Ng8

<FC - "... I prepared this... I mentioned Nc6 as an interesting option, and basically my notes say that nobody will ever go for this. ... but then he went for this ... but Ng8 was a very unwelcome surprise">

I think he is saying "but Ng8 was a very welcome surprise."

Welcome to Fabio because it loses badly, and welcome also because it told him that Nakamura neither knew the variation, nor was producing a tour de force of over the board calculation that would be of genius level.

Jun-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Sally Simpson> Thanks, I didn't know the history behind that game.

<But Caruana slip out 8.Qd3 and had Nakamura hoping around the minefield again till he trod on one.">

Excellent metaphor. That's how I used to feel when I used to blitz with IMs in the park: Now what trap am I going to fall into?

Sometimes friends would tell me: You can learn all about it by reading this chess book (and that one, and that one), but Keypusher's right (coincidentally it seems, since he obviously didn't read what I wrote) that I have never had (or found) the time for an infinite amount of book preparation. Unfortunately, I have to work for a living and my job leads me to study other infinitely time-consuming fields (like foreign languages and literature).

In chess, I admit I have a dilettante attitude, in the etymological sense of delighting in it without mastering the craft, just as I enjoy great musicians without devoting myself to endless hours of practice.

Jun-18-17  Sally Simpson: Hi ChessHigherCat,

It was just my take on what was possibly going on in the opening.

Here.


click for larger view

my 8.h3 should of course be 8.a3 and yes people have played Qxb2 here and resigned after 8...Qxb2 9.Na4.

(If Caruana had lost that one he would have been lambasted for setting opening traps and showing no respect.)

"I have to work for a living and my job leads me to study other infinitely time-consuming fields (like foreign languages and literature)."

The bright side is you can buy and read foreign chess books without waiting for them to get translated....and hiked up in price.

Not too sure what K.P. means, maybe he picked up on the mention of Stockfish and ' closely mimicking Stockfish' thinking you cannot improve unless you use a computer.

Yes a computer can help but it makes me wonder how everyone (including me) improved before chess computers were invented. The pre-computer age produced some brilliant chess players (me not included.)

Jun-18-17  Saniyat24: Never seen a position like it happened in this game after White's 28th move. A remarkable game, at the highest level...!!
Jun-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: <The pre-computer age produced some brilliant chess players (me not included).>

Consider us lucky; without the masters of the past engines wouldn't be so strong as they are now.

Jun-18-17  Sally Simpson: Hi W.P.E.

The old great masters kept chess in the public eye and popular, add in all the editors of chess magazines, the newspaper column writers.

The 1,000's of unknown organisers and unpaid controllers who help run tournaments and of course the unpaid posts of all those who kept chess clubs running. (in my experience it has always been down to one or two dedicated individuals in every club.)

Without all those the creating and building of a chess machine for the general public may not have been a viable financial idea and the progress they have made today may never happened.

And whilst here, do not forget the person who introduced you to chess and the great debt you owe them (yes I know sometimes we curse ever knowing the game...but we love it really.)

Jun-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Sally Simpson: Hi W.P.E.

<The 1,000's of unknown organisers and unpaid controllers who help run tournaments and of course the unpaid posts of all those who kept chess clubs running.

Without all those the creating and building of a chess machine for the general public may not have been a viable financial idea and the progress they have made today may never happened.>

Going back to your earlier post (sorry for the delay but i just staggered off a 7-hour flight), I actually managed to trap somebody once with that poison pawn variation Na4, but really strong players usually have an antidote to the poison in the more sophisticated variations.

About financing, I'm glad you mentioned it because I'm curious how they managed to attract all these superstars to this tournament. I remember hearing that Norway had the world's highest per capital income (and lots of fish, if not of the chess-playing variety, unless you count sharks like MC). Did they offer huge prizes and all expenses paid trips for everyone? The only player I really missed there was Ivanchuk, and Shirov. They are some great tacticians (hear-ye, hear-ye, i did not say that they are both the greatest tactician who ever lived :-) Shirov was never anywhere near 2800 but would he really get shellacked by these guys? He always struck me as invincible.

Jun-18-17  Sally Simpson: Hi C.H.C.

Of course I'm not privy to the details but 'invited' usually entails one or two of the following, bed and board, travel expenses, an appearance fee. Often all three.

Shirov could be invited to these things and his appearance would be quire refreshing but his under 2700 grade is not what the organisers/sponsors want.

Ivanchuk! The great chess inigma.

You have heard of Schrödinger's cat. What about Bill Hartston's cat.

He says cats don't play chess because they don't want to.

I sometimes think if Ivanchuk wanted to he could be World Champion, he just does not want too.

----

I've had a thought. (I'm dangerous when I start thinking.)

Carlsen has figured out the only way he can breach the elusive 2900 barrier is to share his grade amongst other players by dropping points, there are now 6 players in the 2800+ club.

He needs these guys to get higher grades and then...and only then..will he go back to his winning ways feeding off their inflated grades to reach 2900.

Rather cunning.

Jun-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Hi <Sally>

I hadn't heard of Schrödinger's cat: "a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor (e.g. Geiger counter) detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying, the flask is shattered, releasing the poison [pawn?], which kills the cat"(courtesy of Wiki).

Quite the morbid thought experiment, I shudder to think what else S. fantasized about in his spare time :-)

I agree that cats don't want to play chess but I bet they're thoroughly capable of modifying positions left on the board overnight.

I forgot to mention Topalov as missing from the tournament, too. He's certainly one of the all-time greats and very much alive and kicking. I hesitate to use absolute superlatives, but undoubtedly the game played with the greatest degree of circumprecision ever was the Shear-off Top-a-love match, which ended in a tie.

Jun-19-17  Sally Simpson: Hi C.H.C.

The line up here worked out OK in the end. It's as if the players got together and said; 'if we don't spark this off soon we will slay the goose that lays the golden egg' (the sponsors).

Jun-21-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Sally Simpson: Oistrakh was naff, the greatest violinist was Yehudi Menuhin. ;)>

If you're wondering why it took me so long to reply, I'm just coming out of my coma. Spoken like a man who's never heard this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZC... (Prokofiev was a very good chessplayer by the way), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc0..., or this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfm....

Anyway, they're both great, including as a duo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJh....

Bach Double Violin Concerto - Yehudi Menuhin And David Oistrakh.

Jun-24-17  Everett: <CHC> I was mistaken, you did not say best currently, you said <one of the greatest tacticians <of all time.>> This, in my subjective eyes (much like your subjective opinion) is even more audacious. I disagree with this as well.

Be well Cheshire 🐱!

Jun-24-17  Sally Simpson: Hi C.H.C.

The Yehudi Menuhin comment.

My post before that I used the George Bernard Shaw quote hinting that no matter what anyone posts there will always be someone on here to disagree.

You then happen slip in that Oistrakh was a great violinist. I just had to disagree.

The fact I know diddly-squat about any violinist makes it perfect. With a lot of Kibitzers here the least they know the more intense their opinion.

Go Yehudi!!

Jun-24-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <CHC> <I was mistaken, you did not say best currently, you said <one of the greatest tacticians <of all time.>> This, in my subjective eyes (much like your subjective opinion) is even more audacious. I disagree with this as well.>

You took weeks to come up with that??? Don't you understand the difference between <"the best"> (1 single person out of billions) and <"one of the best"> (an unlimited quantity)? Look, he's one of the 10 best players alive by most estimates and a 2800 player, which he couldn't possibly be unless he were a great tactician. The general consensus is that all these guys could beat the past players if for no other reason than their superior knowledge. How could he not be one of the greatest tacticians of all times? You make a big point of how he's not fast in blitz but so what, that has nothing to do with being a tactician.

Jun-24-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Sally Simpson: Hi C.H.C. You then happen to slip in that Oistrakh was a great violinist. I just had to disagree.>

Seriously? I thought you were just joking and saying that you liked Yehudi Menuhin better. I didn't really think you were saying that Oistrakh is a bad violinist, but then I'm not familiar with the term "naff". Did you check out those links? Generally, de gustibus non disputandum est (or as some smart-asses say, de gustibus ā son goût :-), but if you really think he's bad you deserve to have your poetic license revoked. I appeal to popular opinion. Can this guy fiddle or what: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upm...

Jun-25-17  Sally Simpson: Hi C.H.C.

I was joking, it was joke disagreement.

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