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Sergey Karjakin vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
4th FIDE Grand Prix (2009), Nalchik RUS, rd 5, Apr-19
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation (B46)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-19-09  Augalv: Commentary at:
Apr-20-09  Augalv: <The youngest participant of the tournament was unlucky to miss half a point. In the Paulsen Sicilian Sergey demonstrated an excellent novelty 8.Qg3, which gave him very strong initiative for a pawn and more than an extra hour on the clock. One has to win in such situations! However, Shakhriyar did not lose his composure and made several excellent defensive moves. The critical position occurred on the 16th move. It seems White must have a big advantage, but concrete variations do not prove it. He could transpose to a better endgame by 16.Ne4 Qg6 17.Nxd6+ Bxd6 18.Bxd6 Qxg3 19.hxg3 – the bishop pair and active White’s rooks must play its role. However, will it suffice to win? No one can be sure. After Karjakin played the most natural 16.h4, Mamedyarov found great defense. He gave up the e5-pawn and provoked useful exchanges. White’s advantage in the resulting endgame was purely symbolic.>

Apr-20-09  Atking: Thanks for the post <Augalv> I didn't find an answer to my question: Why not the natural 9.Bd3? I got the impression that Karjakin wanted a tactical melee with a tactician as a special challenge. Indeed he got only a little edge which wasn't enought. But I'm still confident about Karjakin's chance in this Tournament.
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  whiteshark: <He could transpose to a better endgame by 16.Ne4 Qg6 17.Nxd6+ Bxd6 18.Bxd6 Qxg3 19.hxg3 - the bishop pair and active White's rooks must play its role. However, will it suffice to win?>

After <19...Bb7> it's indeed hard for White to find any targets/weaknesses in the black camp, e.g. <20.g4 c5 21.f3 Bd5>

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- none of his 5 pawns have potential to become a passed pawn.

- there are neither infiltrating squares for white's rooks nor attackable pawn weaknesses.

Apr-21-09  returnoftheking: What exaxtly is the point of Qd3 in this variation (Qg3 being a novelty)?
Apr-21-09  ilklink: Why Qd3? Well, I guess Karjakin had his novelty on mind from the beginning, so he just headed to g3. But Qd3 is quite useful anyway. The Queen has to clear the way for long castling and from d3 it watches both wings.

besides, it's funny that this line of Sicilian is actually a Caro-Kann without b7 pawn.

Apr-22-09  returnoftheking: Thanks for your answer.
I think that at d3 the queen may block the f1 bishop and also give black (after a5) the Ba6 resource (getting rid of black's worst piece) Is the idea to switch the queen to g3 a novelty or just to play it there at this very move?. From what i gathered it's the first option but then I still wonder what the queen is doing on d3. At any rate there are a lot more useful moves white has to make anyway.

By the way, in the caro kan white still would have a pawn on d4. I think this centre control can make a big difference.

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