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Alexander Morozevich vs Fabiano Caruana
Tal Memorial (2013), Moscow RUS, rd 8, Jun-22
Four Knights Game: Scotch Variation. Accepted (C47)  ·  0-1



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Given 3 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-22-13  Mudphudder: So why didn't white play 25.Rg8+ followed by 26.Re1+ and then Rgxe8...wouldn't this now be dominating for white?
Jun-22-13  fisayo123: Again no draws between these two.
Jun-22-13  Kola: I wish Caruana wins his next game to make it to 2800. He needs consistency, especially against weaker players. Otherwise he's a pretty strong player.
Jun-22-13  luzhin: 37...c4! was clever but after 38.bxc4 Rb8 Black's rook and two bishops can't actually do better than a perpetual. Moro's 38.g5?? was, however, fatal: the c-pawn touches down.
Jun-22-13  FairyPromotion: In the post mortem Caruana pointed out that his final move is Kd5, and not Ke5. While both moves are winning, our silicon friends think that Kd5 is considerably better, as it allows black to promote the c pawn (41. Bg6 c1=Q is the computer line), while against Ke5 white can play 41. Nc5 (preventing c1=Q, as 42. Nd3+ wins for black) Bxc5 42. Kd2, picking up the pawn next. Black still wins easily after 42... Rc8, 43. Kxc2 Bf8+, but Houdini evaluations are in favor of Kd5, by <8.78> vs <4.12>.
Jun-22-13  Lupara: Greetings <FairyPromotion>. I submitted a correction request to CG earlier today regarding Caruana's real move, 40... Kd5.

Eventually, CG will make the correction.

Jun-28-13  tonsillolith: Could someone explain the advantage White gets out of this opening, say around move 8 or 10? I have a hard time seeing what White gets in compensation for what appears to me to be a superior pawn center for Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <tonsillolith>: While Black has the better centre, and play in the open b-file, he has pawn weaknesses which could tell in the long run.

For all that, though, this line was not often played for most of the twentieth century because, same as most everything other than the Spanish, it went by the wayside, as it was felt to offer White few chances of advantage; though Ljubojevic was known to have a go in the 1970s, his advocacy never spurred on others to try it. Only after Garry Kasparov revived the Scotch in the 1990s did it became common again.

On seeing your post and playing through the opening, 10.h3 surprised me, as 10.Bg5 is far more common, with a variation often essayed in the 1990s running on 10.....c6 11.Na4-even I tried it in a game from this DB, and 1.e4 is not my favourite opening move by any stretch. Opening Explorer

Jun-28-13  Nerwal: <Could someone explain the advantage White gets out of this opening, say around move 8 or 10? I have a hard time seeing what White gets in compensation for what appears to me to be a superior pawn center for Black.>

Theoretically, white has the advantage of having two pawns islands vs three for black. Also white can count on good piece play and can centralize the rooks on the open files.

Still after games like Alekhine vs Lasker, 1914 and P Romanovsky vs Capablanca, 1925 it got considered completely harmless. When Kasparov revived the Scotch he based his play on completely different ideas (namely the Mieses variation and 4... ♗c5 5. ♘xc6 ♕f6 6. ♕d2 dxc6 7. ♘c3 ♗e6 8. ♘a4, where black's pawn weaknesses are much more serious). But of course overall the Scotch enjoyed a revival and so did this variation. In recent years it has come into fashion. Not being an expert, I won't say whether it's pure surprise value (the "hit and run" strategy in openings has become more or less the norm nowadays) or whether real new ideas have been found.

Oct-18-15  RKnight: <Mudphudder: So why didn't white play 25.Rg8+ followed by 26.Re1+ and then Rgxe8..> Actually a variant of your suggestion: 25 Rg8+ Ke7, 26 Re1+ Re6, 27 Rxe8 Kxe8 28 Ng7+ forking seems to win for white. If 26...Be6, 27 Rxe8 Kxe8, 28 f5 also seems to win by attacking the pinned B. Hence, Morozevich should have stuck to what appears to be his original plan.
Sep-12-17  Saniyat24: wow...Mayhem in Moscow...what positions these two players reached...both of them are two of my favorite current chess players...I hope one day Caruana would fight to become World Champion...

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