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Fabiano Caruana vs Vladimir Malakhov
World Cup (2013) (rapid), Tromso NOR, rd 3, Aug-19
Scotch Game: Potter Variation (C45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Black can't get a linear mate when white has an extra blocking piece.
Aug-19-13  notyetagm: Caruana vs V Malakhov, 2013

<HeMateMe: Black can't get a <<<linear mate>>> when white has an extra blocking piece.>


Aug-19-13  notyetagm: Caruana vs V Malakhov, 2013

Game Collection: MATING PATTERNS: LINEAR/CORRIDOR MATES 59 ... Rf2-b2+ starts a linear mate that even a beginner can see

Aug-19-13  SirRuthless: Extra blocking piece? A blindfolded 10 year old can execute this mate. There are no blocking pieces like notyetagm says.. 59...Rf2-b2+ initiates it. No way for the white king to get help or help himself. Caruana should count his lucky stars.
Aug-19-13  Marmot PFL: Even so, black is still winning until move 61.
Aug-19-13  SirRuthless: If the black king tries to get to the 7th rank to get protection from the a6R then simply Qxe6# So I guess there was ONE interposing move which actually just gets white mated in 5 instead of 7...
Aug-19-13  Everett: Wow, sad for <Malakhov>. A great player, but a bit unlucky here.
Aug-19-13  notyetagm: notyetagm: <Everett: Wow, sad for <Malakhov>. A great player, but a bit unlucky here.>

He choked. Happens all the time in sports.

The pressure becomes unbearable and you do something unbelievably stupid, like Bill Buckner letting the ball go between his legs in the 1986 World Series.

Malakhov just did the chess equivalent of what Bill Buckner did, overlooking a <FORCED MATE WITH CHECKS(!)> that even a beginner would see.

Aug-19-13  Everett: Relax. Like you said, it happens.
Aug-19-13  notyetagm: <Everett: Relax. Like you said, it happens.>

Choking like this makes you appreciate the greatness of clutch performers like Michael Jordan even more.

It's human nature to collapse under pressure like this.

Aug-19-13  Everett: Well, Jordan was allowed to completely shove his defenders away before taking his shots. This helps.
Aug-19-13  notyetagm: <Everett: Well, Jordan was allowed to completely shove his defenders away before taking his shots. This helps.>


Aug-19-13  notyetagm: Caruana vs V Malakhov, 2013

<SirRuthless: If the black king tries to get to the 7th rank to get protection from the a6R then simply Qxe6#>

Yes, that is exactly what Malakhov must have missed. Now I understand his <BLUNDER>.

Malakhov playing Black was afraid that if he tried the <LINEAR MATE> beginning with 59 ... ♖f2-b2+! the White king could reach the seventh rank and then White could use his a6-rook to <INTERPOSE/SHIELD> his king. That is, he was afraid that White could <DEFEND BY INTERPOSING/INTERPOSE TO DEFEND>.

62 ... ♕c1-e1+

click for larger view

But as <SirRuthless> points out above, the only possible <INTERPOSITION> by White is 63 ♖a6-e6 and Black just takes it with mate.

63 ♖a6-e6 ♕e1x♖a6#

click for larger view

click for larger view

Malakhov was probably down to his increment and did not have enough time to realize this point, that <DEFENDING BY INTERPOSING/INTERPOSING TO DEFEND> is simply meet by ... ♕x♖#. This <INTERPOSING> defense would work if the White king coulf get to the d7-square and then <INTERPOSE> with the a6-rook on the d6-sq, but the White king cannot reach the seventh rank until he also reaches the e-file and hence must <INTERPOSE> on the <PROTECTED> square e6-sq as shown above.

As Khan said to Kirk, "Time is a luxury you do not have, Admiral."

Aug-19-13  Hesam7: After 57...Qc4! Black has mate in 4, he misses that but is still winning until 61...Qd4?? after which the position is drawn. However 63 Rd6?? hands the game to Black, but Malakhov makes the final mistake with 63...Rc4?? after which White is winning.
Aug-19-13  Everett: <As Khan said to Kirk, "Time is a luxury you do not have, Admiral.">

Not if you go <by the book>, of course. Love that movie.

Aug-19-13  notyetagm: <Everett: <As Khan said to Kirk, <<<"Time is a luxury you do not have, Admiral.">>>>

Not if you go <by the book>, of course. Love that movie.>

Gee, I am glad someone got my "Wrath of Khan" reference.


Premium Chessgames Member
  norami: This is about as bad as it gets. Marching the King back with the Queen and Rook on an open board is a mating technique someone who learned chess that very day ought to be able to figure out.
Aug-20-13  Overgod: Well, I just gave in the exact position Malakhov had vs. Caruana into Houdini 3, and I am happy to say that I was able to mate Houdini without any problems.


Houdini actually resigned several times; but I continued just for the giggles.

Poor Malakhov. This is almost as bad as Kramnik's mate-in-one miss vs Deep Fritz.

Aug-20-13  paramount: OOOWOWOWOWOW

that hurts man!! OMG Poor Malakhov, poor kid!!

53...g2!! sure the winning.

I even stupefied that Malakov is a 2700 rating.

Whats happened with the GM today??? I know somebody would say it was a time trouble, match burden, etc, etc, but guys, you are a GM, take a deep breath and be calm, no need to lose your serenity.

Its like a childish blunder.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "I was very lucky today", Fabiano Caruano said while commenting on his first game against Vladimir Malakhov. The Russian had an absolutely winning position and could have chosen many different ways to defeat his opponent. After Black's 61st move the evaluation fell to equal and a few moves later it was already winning for Fabiano. After such an upset it wasn't easy for Vladimir Malakhov to calm down and Fabiano didn't have any problems in the second game.

Tournament report

Aug-22-13  dumbgai: 59...Rb2+ is a mating pattern that even patzers know.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <dumbgai: 59...Rb2+ is a mating pattern that even patzers know.>

Of course. But we learn that with no other pieces on board, and not with a pawn helping at the end. I am guessing Malakhov either "saw" the white king reaching d7 instead of e7, or (most likely) didn't realize his pawn on f7 was there to help with the mate, a miss that <notyetagm> described in exquisite detail earlier.

Aug-24-13  chessguru1: i can't believe malakhov missed the basic queen and rook mating pattern in this game....dude forgot that doing it from behind is always good..
May-16-16  ndg2: Starting with 56.a8Q black missed not one but several forced mates. When mate wasn't possible anymore, black still would have won through material advantage applying a skewer of king and queen.

1. Mate after 56.a8Q

click for larger view

Here the fastest way would have been 56..Qd4+ 57.Ka2 (not the most tenacious, Kb1 holds on longer) and then Qc4+. After 58.Ka1 (other moves lead to mate equally fast) we have Rf1+ 59.Rb1 Qc3+ 60.Ka2 Rf2+ 61.Rb2 Qxb2#

2. Mate after 57...Rf2+
OK, so black missed 57...Qc4+, but it's still mate as others have pointed out after 58.Ka3 Qa1+ 59.Kb4 through the simple corridor mate pattern 59...Rb2+ 60.Kc5 Qc1+ 61.Kd6 Rd2+ 62.Ke7 Qe1+ 63.Re6 Qxe6#

click for larger view

3. Win through material advantage
So black missed out 59...Rb2+, but he still is winning after 59...Rf2+ 60.Kb5 Qe5+ 61.Kb6 (best, 61.Kc6 leads to mate after Rc4+ e.g. 62.Kd7 Rd4+ 63.Kc8 Qe8+ 64.Kc7 Rc4+ 65.Kb6 Qe3+ 66.Ka5 Qa3+ 67.Kb6 Qc5#) and then 61...Rf6+ 62.Ka7. Black wins the white queen through a skewer via 62...Rxa6+ 63.Kxa6 Qa1+

click for larger view

I feel no pity with Malakhov, he should have trained mate patterns and other tactical motives more.

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