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Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana
Carlsen - Caruana World Championship Match (2018), London ENG, rd 2, Nov-10
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack. Main Line Old Main Line (D37)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-10-18  zanzibar: BTW- When Caruana finally gets his chance to answer, he hedges on the depth of his preparation, but does say that he <"had more than one option"> and <"wasn't too concerned"> about the 17.Nxf7 variation.

A good poker face, or just being honest? Or maybe a bit of both!

Nov-10-18  zanzibar: (I still think 17.Nxf7 would have made a better chess game, even if the outcome would have been the same).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Nov-10-18  RookFile: Good game by Caruana, he played it like Capa would have.
Nov-11-18  Jambow: <Penguincw> & <zanzibar> thanks so much for the video links, much appreciated.
Nov-11-18  Fanques Fair: 27-c4 was an inaccuracy. 27-Rb4! should lead to a dynamic balanced position, for example : ..., Ke8, 28-Rc4, Kd7? 29- Rc7+ , Kxd6, 30- Rxf7 and White might even be better. Better might be 28-Rc4, g5 29-Rc7 , a6 ?!, trying to get rid of the weakness in b7 with the following b5. Any way, once White´s rook is in the seventh, nothing bad can happen to him.
Nov-11-18  ILoveJanG: Go Fabi!!!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  pietah: I was watching live commentary on . Very interesting comments. They assume that Caruana is glad to make a draw so easily with black. Het might be, but they assume that Magnus should score with the white pieces. But more likeley Magnus will score with black. What do you think?
Premium Chessgames Member
  4tmac: 17.Nxf7 Kxf7 18.Bxd6 Rxd6 19.Bh5+ Kg8 20.e4 Bd7!= & there are other options for Black ... Fabi is gaining experience & losing nervousness
Nov-11-18  Saniyat24: Old is Gold....!
Nov-11-18  Raul Montanari: Caruana had a completely different face, at the press conference after this game. He really had that poker face.

I'm very fond of human factor in chess, so I liked Magnus being surprisingly sincere in admitting he was forced to be cautious, and maybe even a little more. When Carlsen is not playing the bad boy he acts and speaks like the intelligent and interesting young man he is.

Nov-11-18  ajile: <4tmac: 17.Nxf7 Kxf7 18.Bxd6 Rxd6 19.Bh5+ Kg8 20.e4 Bd7!= & there are other options for Black ... Fabi is gaining experience & losing nervousness>

Yes indeed there were more options as in any variation. The point is White could have played this line with very little risk and put immense pressure on Black to find the right defensive moves.

Nov-11-18  Christoforus Polacco: Magnus is fantastic player but he is not Mikhail Tal. So... Analysis of both first games is much more interesting because of unused opportunities than real game:)
Nov-11-18  nok: <When Carlsen is not playing the bad boy he acts and speaks like the intelligent and interesting young man he is.> Or isn't.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Fabiano plays the rare 10...Rd8. The guess is that he was prepared after the normal 11.Nd2 to play the sacrificial line 11...d4!?

click for larger view

What innovation has Team Fabi come up with? Magnus did not want to find out and bailed with 11.Be2. A good practical decision, I think. Only three games reached the position above. For those games click here: Opening Explorer

Nov-11-18  Christoforus Polacco: I am still thinking about move 37.Rg6 Ke8. And later not 38.f4? but 38.Kg3 or 38.h3 to wait for Black. What Houdini says ? ;)
Nov-11-18  Atking: To understand that game one should not keep his mind to many (too much) computer's suggestions but rather to realize the psychological approach of Magnus Carlsen of the overall match. He isn't trying to win the first games (In a tournament he should have won the first one.) but rather to see what is Caruana7s deep opening preparation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: In the press conferece, Magnus pointed out the parallel between this game and Game 21 (Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1978) of the 1978 WC match, where Karpov played the novelty 10...Re8 (instead of 10...Rd8 here), and <Korchnoi actually thought for a long time and almost refuted the move over the board. [...] The difference now is that I'm facing not only the analytical team of Fabiano himself and his helpers, but also his computer help. That makes the situation quite a bit different.>
Nov-11-18  Atking: <Calli) Your suggestion 11...d4!? is interesting On 12.Nb3 what is your idea? I guess that with ...e5 previously played (at move 11) the same setup (For if with Bg3 or Bg5) dxe3 NxQ exf2+ will be then possible.

I inquired myself about the pragmatic Be2 but not at move 11 but at move 10. 10...Ne4 11.0-0 NxN 12.bxN To compare to the actual game Ra1 could go to b1 without losing a tempo and Rf1 to d1 is more harmonious. On the other hand Black Rd8 isn't played and Black castle looks more solid.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Atking> see Ivkov vs V Musil, 1967 for an example
Nov-12-18  Atking: <Calli> Thanks for the game but I do not understand why it ends draw at move 20.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Atking> I don't understand that game either. (Evidently Caruana understands it!) I just gave it as an example of the sacrifice on B4 and the tactical complications that MC avoided.
Nov-13-18  jabinjikanza: Perfect caruana.good Game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Darnit <sceptic>. And then they disallowed the try.
Mar-30-19  rcs784: Caruana repeated this same line against Aronian only a month later in London:

Aronian vs Caruana, 2018.

Up until move 26, that encounter followed a 2011 game Janosi,E (Elo 2042) vs. Koehler,J (Elo 1966), drawn in 50 moves (not in's database). Caruana's 26...e4 was the first new move; Koehler played 26...Qd2 instead. I'm impressed that both Fabi and Lev seem to have been intimately familiar with this earlier game, despite it having been played well below master level.

Incidentally, the whole idea of 10...Rd8 followed by 11...d4 seems to have originated with Anatoly Lutikov, who held then-World Champion Petrosian to a draw with it in the 1966 Soviet Team Championship:

Petrosian vs Lutikov, 1966

Petrosian, clearly caught out of preparation, ducked the bishop sacrifice with 14. Ke2, but the resulting position was completely equal, and a draw was agreed just 8 moves later.

Perhaps, if this system holds up and becomes mainstream theory, it should be dubbed the "Lutikov Variaton." Or should it be the "Caruana Variation"?

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