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Baadur Jobava vs Sergey Karjakin
"The Italian Job" (game of the day Apr-26-2013)
Russian Team Championship (2013), Loo RUS, rd 2, Apr-08
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit (C53)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Bishoprick: Absolutely beautiful game. And yes, the Italian Game is much under-appreciated, although Kasparov played it on occasion with good results.
Apr-09-13  JohnBoy: <perf> - lmao. Could not have said it better myself.
Apr-09-13  positionalgenius: Karjakin's play is very bad here. I am suprised how quickly he drifts into a bad position. Is there any commentary available for this game?
Apr-10-13  chessguru1: Baadur defeated the number 5 in the world without moving his queen!
Apr-10-13  Refused: <perfidious: <hchrist: Karjakin is nothing more than a computer boy. If you take him out of his home prepared variations, his strength is nothing more than 2650.> Assuming this to be so, that pathetic rating of 2650 would make Karjakin just another fish, whom you would doubtless destroy.>

Only if he may keep his computer.

Apr-10-13  ColdSong: Anyway, bravo Mr Jobava.
Apr-10-13  xanadu: I do not use computers for analyzing, but 11...f6 does not look good to me. Black has lower development, then perhaps must wait by playing Be6.
Apr-10-13  RookFile: 11.... Bxd2 12. Qxd2 Bg4

Black is going to have some work to do, because maybe white can move the f3 knight and organize f4 and f5.

But, I might have played this way with the black pieces.

Apr-11-13  Refused: <xanadu: I do not use computers for analyzing, but 11...f6 does not look good to me. Black has lower development, then perhaps must wait by playing Be6.>

Hum from white's pawn structure it looks a bit like French-Defense to me. There f7-f6 is pretty much a standard move to attack white's e4-d5 center. Maybe Karjakin had a similar thought.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Jobava the Mate.
Apr-11-13  xanadu: Then, perhaps the variation 8...Bb4+ played by Karjakin leads towards a lower position than the usual 8...Bb6.
Apr-12-13  amuralid: <hchrist: Karjakin is nothing more than a computer boy. If you take him out of his home prepared variations, his strength is nothing more than 2650.>

Like the game, Karjakin vs Kramnik, 2010, where he plays a sacrifice over the board against one of the best prepared players of all time?

Maybe he is human and occasionally has a bad game? He has shown a fantastic level of chess over the last two years where he was rebuilding his game. Its only a matter of time before his rating jumps even higher. He is only 23 now. Give him time.

Apr-13-13  Eyal: From Dennis Monokroussos's blog:

<I don't believe Jobava's approach will set the world on fire any more than Kramnik's 10.h3 in the Scotch Four Knights, but what they do - and what Carlsen often does as well - is to create positions with at least three critical characteristics. First, they are new. By this I mean a type of position that is new in some respect - it's not just some micro-change in the context of a very well-understood position-type. Sometimes a novelty is finding a new finesse on move 22 that may gain a tempo in a race between two very well-known plans. This is not that. 5.d4 is ancient but utterly devoid of danger in the main lines to those in the know, and being in the know can be accomplished these days in about 10-15 minutes. But Jobava doesn't beat the dead horse that is 6.cxd4, but instead chooses the rarer 6.e5 and then, after 6...d5, the really rare 7.Be2. Ironically, Jobava was one of the few to previously try it, and he lost both times, in 2012, to other 2700-rated players (Malakhov [Jobava vs V Malakhov, 2012 ] and Kamsky [Jobava vs Kamsky, 2012 ]).

In those games Black played 8...Bb6 rather than giving check on b4, and through move 11 they followed another high-level game, a Vallejo Pons-Ponomariov contest from 2011 [ ]. Like Jobava's 2012 games Black won this one too, but here it was Jobava who innovated with 12.Rc1. And this, my friends and readers, presents a really new position! Who is better? What plans should be chosen? How, if at all, should the pawn tension between White's e- and Black's f-pawns be resolved? Do Black's bishops matter? Do the c-file and White's mini-plan of Nb3-c5 cause Black serious difficulties?

Karjakin is a great player, and on balance a stronger one than Jobava. But part of Karjakin's great strength is his diligence, his very professional level of preparation. This has been characteristic of his play for a long time, and his decision several years ago to work especially with Garry Kasparov's former "permanent" trainer Yuri Dokhoian has only solidified that tendency in Karjakin. Jobava, on the other hand, prefers the road less traveled. I don't mean by this that he is any less diligent in working on his openings than Karjakin, but rather that his openings are less traveled in general than Karjakin's. This gives him a double advantage, when he succeeds. First, he will know his lines better, simply because they are his. But to return to the initial comment starting this discussion, they are new positions, which means that Karjakin's greater general breadth and depth of chess understanding (I'm assuming that characterization is true - please join me there if only for the sake of the argument) isn't so relevant. So, there's newness.>

Apr-13-13  Eyal: (Continued)

<Second, the positions are not readily resolved. This is pretty clear by implication in the foregoing discussion, but it's worth stating explicitly. Maybe White has absolutely nothing from a "God's-eye view" in this line, even as late as 12.Rc1, but so what? I've seen my share of super-GM post-mortems where a player will say something like "Yes, and here Black does this, this and this; trades off the bishops and the position is simply drawn." Such statements are sometimes made practically right out of the opening, and yet the thing is that they are frequently on the money with those assessments. (It's not necessarily that we would manage to hold the position against them, but it's fair for them to assume that a player of comparable technical skill could do so.) In fact, even I've made such statements on occasion in a few positions I've taken myself to understand extremely well, and it's quite possible that you have too, and with justification.

But getting back to the Jobava-Karjakin game, no such story is possible, at least not yet. This goes hand-in-glove with the "newness" point. If Jobava's Giuoco line catches on a bit then we'll have super-GMs and correspondence chess mavens working things out to death, and then we'll see the press conferences where Anand or Kramnik or whoever it is playing Black says "Yes, this is the important factor in the position, and by trading this, covering that square and maneuvering this and that to here and there White has nothing." But for now, it's far from obvious what the play-killing plan is, and that's what makes it work.

Third, the opponent has real problems to solve. This isn't Chess960, where we're all just trying to figure out what to do even if there aren't any particular problems just yet. Nor is it simply a vague position where one isn't sure how to clarify the position, but isn't in any trouble as a result. Karjakin had real problems to solve right out of the opening. Jobava soon enjoyed a serious advantage, which he rapidly parlayed into a crushing attack.

That was a bit of a ramble, I suppose, but it's worth thinking about openings along the aforementioned lines. Many amateurs - and many pros too, for that matter - work on their openings with an eye to either murdering their opponents in the main lines or (more often in amateurdom) seeking some tricky, get-rich-quick sideline. The first approach goes back to opening encyclopedias going back at least as far as Bilguier, and is surely the preferred method of Generation Space Bar (i.e., of those who prompt Houdini or their favorite engine to execute its most highly-evaluated move by pressing the space bar on their keyboard). The trappy approach surely has an even older pedigree, though I'm sure its results overall are considerably worse. There are still other approaches, but I think it's worth taking this Jobava/Kramnik/Carlsen approach very seriously as a major third way.> (

Apr-14-13  amuralid: Good link <Eyal>. Thanks!
Apr-15-13  xanadu: Thanks <Eyal> for copying the post. Jobava has deeeply study this position and played it before! I like more 8...Bb6 then the move of Karjakin here (8...Bb4+) because it keeps the pressure on d4. Easy to say after the game...
Apr-26-13  The Last Straw: Black's rook had an interesting path to h4!

The doubled pawns were probably why black lost.

Apr-26-13  FairyPromotion: Seeing Giuoco Piano at this level is a treat in itself, but to see white win in such a brilliant fashion is priceless. I was so excited when following this game live, especially after seeing the beautiful finish with the knight running wild in blacks territory. Nice to see it as GOTD!

<chessguru1: Baadur defeated the number 5 in the world without moving his queen!> lol :D

Apr-26-13  kevin86: Jobava well done!
Apr-26-13  Fanques Fair: 23-..., hxg6 seems a little optimistic ... Qxg6 is more resilient, isnĀ“t it ?
Apr-26-13  hedgeh0g: <Fanques Fair> 23...Qxg6 24.Nf7+ Kg8 25.Rxc7 with the idea of Qc1! looks strong to me.

Perhaps Karjakin played what was objectively the best recapture, although his position already looked very difficult.

Apr-26-13  bischopper: what does it take become a chess player?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I wouldn't know.
Apr-27-13  nolanryan: sublime game
Feb-27-16  SimplicityRichard: <Eyal> A brilliant link; still relevant 3 years on.#
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