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Fabiano Caruana vs Arkadij Naiditsch
GRENKE Chess Classic (2013), Baden-Baden GER, rd 3, Feb-09
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  sbevan: < I suppose that is the difference between a Corus A and B section player.>

I believe that based on his performance in Corus this year, GM Naiditsch is in Corus A next year.

As <Maxi> writes
<maxi: If I recall correctly, Naiditsch had much more time in his clock. He got a little careless.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Marmot PFL ....I suppose that is the difference between a Corus A and B section player.>

Come again? Naiditsch is a most capable GM and a far stronger player than anyone kibitzing on this game.

Easy for us to sit amidst the comforts of home and pontificate from on high-especially those with engines-on how much better we might have played than these grandmasters.

For all the disparaging comments I have seen as to the strength of this event, relative to the elite tournaments such as Corus, sure would like to see anyone score even a half-point against this ragtag lot of mere 2650+ players.

Feb-09-13  ragtag: <perfidious: <... against this ragtag lot of mere 2650+ players.>> You talkin' to me?
Feb-09-13  Ezzy: <ragtag: <perfidious: <... against this ragtag lot of mere 2650+ players.>> You talkin' to me?>


Feb-09-13  mrbasso: 36...g5?? is a move like Bxh5?? in Wijk.
36...g6 27.Nxg6+?? Bxg6 and the rook is defended. No reason to keep the rook protected at all...
Feb-09-13  Eyal: Position after 32.Qe3:

click for larger view

The winning line that was missed by Naiditsch here, starting with <32...Qxg3>, can actually get super-tricky: <33.Rxe2 Qg6+ 34.Bd3 Qh5!> (note that the queen defends against mate on e8) - and here in the post-game discussion Caruana said he was thinking of playing <35.Ndc7>, but after short reflection added that Black is probably winning after 35...Rf8. In fact, Houdini suggests that after 36.Qe7! Black's advantage is not clear at all - e.g. Rg8 37.Rf2 Bxf4 38.Nd4. The only way for Black to get a clear winning advantage is by <35...Bxe2! 36.Bxe2> (36.Nxa8 Bxd3+ 37.Qxd3 Bxf4) <36...Qg6+! 37.Bd3 Bxf4!! 38.Qd4> (the only move with the queen that both defends Bd3 and prevents Qg1+; 38.Bxg6 Bxe3 39.Nxa8 hxg6 just leads to a lost endgame with an exchange down) <38...Qf7! 39.Nxa8> (39.Bc4 Rxc4 40.bxc4 Rf8) <39...Qxb3+ 40.Ka1 Be5> with a winning attack.

Feb-09-13  Eyal: At any rate, Black's losing mistake was 36...g5??

click for larger view

Instead, as the players agreed in the post-game discussion, the right move was 36...g6! (with the same idea of Bf8) - according to Houdini, with accurate play by both sides the position is about equal, but this could have certainly posed some practical problems for White in the acute time-trouble in which Caruana was.

Feb-09-13  mrbasso: Not only is the rook defended after 36...g6 37.Nxg6?? Bxg6+, it also comes with check. Oh well..
Feb-09-13  andrewjsacks: <perfidious> Right, again. There is nothing wrong with the strength of this event. The top four here, out of the six, are elite world players, and the other two are plenty strong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Eyal> The position from your last but one post is crazy enough if one has plenty of time to analyse-with such a shortage of time on both sides-impossible for anyone to see everything.

It impresses me how much top players can see, though against the cold light of day, plus the silicon monster, their assessments may yet turn out to be off the mark.

Feb-09-13  Pedro Fernandez: My dear friend <Eyal>,in your former diagram, after 32...Qxg3, 33.Rxe2.
Feb-09-13  Pedro Fernandez: Now, about 36...g6, you're totally right.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Eyal> At any rate, Black's losing mistake was 36...g5??>

You are probably right and so are the players and Houdini. Or at least Critter 1.6a agrees with all of you/them, giving an eval of [0.00], d=27 after 36...g6 and then either 37.Nc1 or 37.Nd4. But a difficult game to navigate by either player, particularly when short of time.

Feb-09-13  Eyal: <Pedro Fernandez: My dear friend <Eyal>,in your former diagram, after 32...Qxg3, 33.Rxe2.>


That's exactly the line I'm analyzing - 33.Rxe2 Qg6+ etc.

Feb-09-13  csmath: Totally wild Najdorf, very much in line with my games. One wrong move and you are fried. Carauna should count this a very lucky win indeed but then again luck is always on the side of stronger. Nevertheless give the black position after 28 moves to Kasparov and there would not much left of Caruana's defences. It always amazed me with what ease Gazza played Najdorf.
Feb-09-13  csmath: By the way 36. ... g5?? is absolutely horrendeous move without any sense. It almost looks like a mouse slip.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <csmath: By the way 36. ... g5?? is absolutely horrendeous move without any sense. It almost looks like a mouse slip.>

The probable explanation is that Naiditsch overlooked that on 37.Nxg6+ Bxg6+ protects the rook and wins, something he should hardly be likely to miss when not under immense nervous strain.

Feb-09-13  Eyal: It was interesting that Anand, who finished his game with Meier and was looking at the position after 21...Kh8, was certain that White is better - he said to Trent "I would just rather be white here. My hand is itching just to take on d4 and it's just VERY pleasant for white. Black's pieces look very uncoordinated, that's a very bad bishop on h6, essentially after Rxd4 I don't see what black is doing." [Note that it's important to insert 21.Bc4 Kh8 before saccing the exchange on d4, since with the king on h8 Black can't get the bishop immediately back into play with g6 & Bg7.] On the other hand, from what Naiditsch & Caruana said after the game, it was clear that both thought Black was better and White was struggling. Btw, Houdini evaluates the position as better for White but not by a very large margin - something ca. +0.40.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The exchange sacrifice by Caruana rather suggests itself, as White's position seems clearly easier to handle, and Black is more or less forced to complicate matters at any price in the ensuing play, as he will otherwise fall into a passive position.
Feb-09-13  Everett: < goldenbear: If they had had 2 hours for 30 moves followed by an adjournment, this might have been a gem instead of a farce.>

And if it was correspondence, no one would care.

Feb-09-13  talisman: kinda like this I haven't looked it up, but if he's from Brooklyn...??????
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Pedro Fernandez:> My dear friend <Eyal>,in your former diagram, after 32...Qxg3, 33.Rxe2.>

click for larger view

He is also apparently right about 32...Qxg3. After 33.Rxe2 Critter 1.6a evaluates the position at [-1.84], =26 after 33...Qg6+ 34.Bd3 Qh5 35.Ndc7 (if the rook moves then 35...Bxd5 and the queen protects against the mate on e8) 35...Bxe2 36.Bxe2 Qg6+ 37.Bd3 Bxf4 38.Bxg6 Bxe3 39.Nxa8 hxg6 40.Nac7 Bf2 41.Kc2 Bxh4

click for larger view

Now Black is the exchange and a pawn up and should win. And the moves after 33...Qg6+ all look pretty much forced.

The rest of Critter's line went like this:

42.c4 Bg3 43.Kd3 Kg8 44.Nd5 Kf7 45.Nbc7 Bf4 46.a4 Be5 47.Ke3 Bf6 48.Nb5 Ke6 49.Kf3 (49.Ke4 seems better preventing both 49...Ke5 or 49...Kf5) 49...Be5 (and now Black returns the favor; either 49...Kf5 or 49...Rc8 to get the rook over to the k-side both seem better) 50.Nbc7+ Kd7 51.Nb5 Ra6 52.Ke4

click for larger view

And Black should win after 52...Ra8 and getting its rook to the k-side to escort Black's passed g-pawns to queen.

Feb-10-13  lost in space: <<talisman:> kinda like this I haven't looked it up, but if he's from Brooklyn...?????>

No , he is born in Riga. The other one is not that interesting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It's the result I predicted but white did not annihilate black as much as I thought. Very good game; must have been very tough to play.
Feb-10-13  Juninho: why not 18..., Qa5? It looks more dangerous provoking to reach b2 square as soon as possible...?
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