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Fabiano Caruana vs Varuzhan Eduardovich Akobian
US Championship (2018), St Louis, MO USA, rd 7, Apr-25
French Defense: Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-25-18  Lupara: It seems playing the French Defense against Caruana is a bit of a risk. Caruana use to play the black side of French when he was younger (relatively speaking) but recently he seems to only use it for blitz games.
Apr-25-18  kingfu: Akobian mostly plays The French against e4. And some Pircs. I think right now Caruana is playing the best Chess. Magnus better watch his tookus in November.

However, Caruana & Carlsen have played over 50 games. Are there any Opening surprises left between them?

Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: As usual, space and initiative are preeminent factors. Caruana is also a brilliant tactician.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: In case anybody else was wondering why not 18..bxa2?!

1) +2.37 (22 ply) 19.Nxc6 a1=Q+ 20.Kd2 Qxb2 21.Rb1 Qa3 22.Ne5 Qe7 23.Nxd7 Bxd7 24.Qxf6 Qxf6 25.Rxf6 h5

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: That final combination was straight out of Tal. Fabi has definitely been born again hard!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: massive home prep?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: What about 8 ...a6 instead of b6?
Apr-25-18  Lupara: Peculiar thing about Caruana's wins against Lenderman in Round 2 and Akobian in Round 7 is both of them are French Defense specialists. Ouch!

<HeHateMe> I don't think it's massive home prep as much as Caruana's better understanding of the resulting positions. Nonetheless, Caruana has a reputation for being well prepared and his move 10. O-O-O appears to be rare and is being reported to be a TN.

If it was massive home prep, Caruana would have quickly found 17. Ne4, which seems to give White a huge advantage, not that the retreat 17. Ne2 is wrong or bad.

Apr-25-18  John Abraham: someone really needs to crush Caruana's Petrov once and for all. enough is enough, now its just getting annoying. how dare he misuse a classical drawing weapon as a winning possibility. fate and karma will eventually catch up with him.
Apr-25-18  Zibbit: French might not be the best choice against Caruana judging from this tournament! Quick analysis:
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Does indeed look like another Tal masterpiece. Had I the Black pieces, would have played 27...a1/Q and accepted my fate.
Apr-29-18  Jambow: <John Abraham> ;0]

As far as experts vs French Ivanchuk is like 45 and 5 or 9 to 1 which makes him the guy to learn from in my opinion... Brutal but Caruana does French toast himself.

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