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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Fabiano Caruana
Dortmund Sparkassen (2012), Dortmund GER, rd 2, Jul-14
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack (B30)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-14-12  BUNA: After
31. Qxc4 Qxc4
32. Bxc4 Rxc4
33. Ta8+ Bf8
there's a beautiful reply.
34. Ne6!! (fxe6 35. Bh6 Kf7 38. Rf8#)

Haven't seen that motif before.

Jul-14-12  JoergWalter: <BUNA> get it patented.
Jul-14-12  Marmot PFL: Caruana must have been in time trouble or he would have found 31...Qb7 32 Q moves Nxd2 and 33...Nxb3
Jul-14-12  Eyal: Yeah, 30.Ng5 was a very nice tactical idea by Pono (btw, the move threatens Ne6!); Caruana's 30...Nb3 was actually a good reply, but after 31.Qxc4 it should have been followed by <31...Qb7!> (rather than 31...Nxd2?) which leads to a draw: 32.Qa6 (otherwise Black plays Nxd2 and then captures the c3 pawn) 32...Qxa6 33.Bxa6 Ra8 34.Be3 (or 34.Be1 Nc1 35.Ra3 Nc7 36.Bd2 Nd3 37.c4 Nxf2 38.Kxf2 Bxd4+ and Rxa6) 34...Bh6! 35.h4 Nxe3 36.fxe3 Nc1 37.Ra3 (37.Rc2? Rxa6 38.Rxc1 f6) 37...Bxg5 38.hxg5 Ne2+ 39.Kf2 Nxc3.
Jul-14-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <BUNA: *** Haven't seen that motif [referring to <34. Ne6!!> in the variation with <31. ... Qxc4>] before.>

It is very elegant the way the N on g5 sacrifices itself with tempo to clear the path for the B (under attack on d2) to go to h6.

It's not really at-all the same motif, but the hypothetical <34. Ne6!!> in this game somehow reminds me of Anand's <34. ... Ne3!!> here: Kramnik vs Anand, 2008.

Jul-15-12  notyetagm: Ponomariov vs Caruana, 2012

http://whychess.org/en/node/2238

<Ruslan Ponomariov’s win against Fabiano Caruana was an impressive achievement. The Ukrainian first played a slow closed Sicilian, gradually upping the pressure until his opponent was in deep time trouble. Then he switched key and launched his knight Tal-style towards the black king (30.Ng5!?). That perhaps didn’t seem to threaten anything in particular, until 31.Qxc4!!


click for larger view

The exclamation marks aren’t for the objective strength of the move, but it contained a brilliant idea and was a nightmare for Caruana to face with no time for thought. <<<The brilliant idea was: 31…Qxc4 32.Bxc4 Rxc4 33.Ra8+ Bf8 34.Ne6!! fxe6 35.Bh6 and it’s mate!>>>


click for larger view

Caruana went astray with 31…Nxd2? 32.Qxd5 Nxf1 33.Nxf7! when White is threatening all kinds of smothered and back-rank mates. Caruana continued 33…e6 (33…Qc4 is better but still hopeless) 34.Qxe6 Rf8 35.Ne5+ Kh8 36.Kxf1 – and the Italian resigned as he was simply three pawns down. The spoilsport computer points out 31…Qb7! in the diagram position could have avoided all that pain – Black has enough pressure on the queenside pawns to draw – but the move in the game was by no means the trivial blunder you might assume from just glancing at the computer evaluations.>

Jul-16-12  PYCJacobson: <BUNA: After
31. Qxc4 Qxc4
32. Bxc4 Rxc4
33. Ta8+ Bf8
there's a beautiful reply.
34. Ne6!! (fxe6 35. Bh6 Kf7 38. Rf8#) >

but what about 34...h5?

Jul-16-12  Eyal: <31.Qxc4 Qxc4 32.Bxc4 Rxc4 33.Ra8+ Bf8 34.Ne6!! (fxe6 35.Bh6 Kf7 38.Rf8#)

but what about 34...h5?>

34...h5 35.Rxf8+ Kh7 36.Rxf7+ Kh8 (36...Kg8 37.Rg7+ Kh8 38.Bh6 to be followed with Ng5 & Nf7+) 37.Bh6 (threatening Bg7+ and mate) Rc8 38.c4, and if the black knight retreats then Rxe7; White is completely winning here.

Btw, another sideline worth mentioning is 32...Nxd2 (instead of Rxc4) 33.Bxd5 e6 34.Nxe6! with big advantage to White.

Jul-16-12  kasputine: <PYCJacobson>
After 34. Ne6!! h5
White continues with
35. Rxf8+ Kh7
36. Rxf7 Kh8
37. Bh6 ... (threatening Rg7, Ng5, Nf7 mate)
37. ... Rc8
38. Ng5 etc. with a crushing advantage.
Jul-16-12  Pedro Fernandez: < Eyal: Yeah, 30.Ng5 was a very nice tactical idea by Pono (btw, the move threatens Ne6!); Caruana's 30...Nb3 was actually a good reply, but after 31.Qxc4 it should have been followed by <31...Qb7!> (rather than 31...Nxd2?) which leads to a draw: 32.Qa6 (otherwise Black plays Nxd2 and then captures the c3 pawn) 32...Qxa6 33.Bxa6 Ra8 34.Be3 (or 34.Be1 Nc1 35.Ra3 Nc7 36.Bd2 Nd3 37.c4 Nxf2 38.Kxf2 Bxd4+ and Rxa6) 34...Bh6! 35.h4 Nxe3 36.fxe3 Nc1 37.Ra3 (37.Rc2? Rxa6 38.Rxc1 f6) 37...Bxg5 38.hxg5 Ne2+ 39.Kf2 Nxc3.> Or maybe (if I'm not missing something; no machines) 32.Qd3 Nxd2 33.Qxd2 Nxc3 34.Ba6 Qb1+ 35.Kh2 Nxa2 36.Bxc8 must be a draw.
Jul-16-12  iking: 31. ? a nice Saturday puzzle
Jul-16-12  notyetagm: 31 ♕e2xc4!!, <TACTICAL SHOT OF THE YEAR>, so far.

Fantastic tactical play by Ponomariov.

Mar-29-13  notyetagm: Ponomariov vs Caruana, 2012

Stupendous <TACTICAL PLAY> by Ponomariov.

Nov-24-14  tranquilsimplicity: <notyetagm> Indeed it was. Absolutely deep and elegant!#
Nov-24-14  tranquilsimplicity: <notyetagm> And forgive me for quoting from 'The Chess Drum' in a recent discussion. I don't want to go into details. However, your magazine is a much needed publication. And I also used your article on the history of Chess 3 years ago whilst introducing Chess to children. Excellent work Sir!#

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