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Hikaru Nakamura vs Fabiano Caruana
FIDE Grand Prix Paris (2013), Elancourt FRA, rd 6, Sep-29
Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Goglidze Attack (D70)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Material imbalance ♕♘:♖♙, nuff said
Sep-29-13  shmu12: caruana must resign and end this abusement
Sep-29-13  Ulhumbrus: 32 Kc2! answers Black's main threat, that of ...Bc3. The greater part of White's work is done, but it's not over until it is over. White must continue to battle all the way until the end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <PinnedPiece: *** One can't help thinking Naka needs practice playing with <whelming> force.>

The use of a form of the verb “to whelm” (sans the prefix “over—“) is elegant. The only other such usage that immediately comes to mind is in the following brilliant passage from the concluding lines of Chapter 52 of <Moby Dick>:

<“But in pursuit of those far mysteries we dream of, or in tormented chase of that demon phantom that, some time or other, swims before all human hearts; while chasing such over this round globe, they either lead us on in barren mazes or midway leave us whelmed.”>

If Caruana was planning to play for a draw today (i.e., to lead Nakamura into 'barren mazes'), it appears he instead quite abruptly found his own position 'whelmed'.

Sep-29-13  tim butler: Its over.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Caruana knew the Grischuk Mamedyarov game, but confused himself by thinking about the h pawn recapture.

After 14...fxg6 15 g4 is the main theory, which Nakamura expected to occur.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Hesam7: <tamar: Nakamura played in the 2010 Tal Memorial, where the Grischuk game was played. Perhaps he feels that Caruana, who did not, may have not studied this draw too deeply.>

This would have been a good excuse 50 years ago not today. Caruana simply has not done his homework and he is going to lose quickly as a result.> <from page 2>

That comment (‘simply has not done his homework’) seems unfair. I am sure Caruana has done a lot of home preparation, but no one can be prepared for every variation that might occur. Lapses of memory can also afflict even super-GMs from time to time during the stress of a high-tension game.

It seems to me that Caruana is more to be faulted for poor analysis at the board. The recapture with the h-pawn (... hxg6) is normal <except> when an open line is needed across the 7th rank to defend h7 (e.g., after <14. ... fxg6 15. Bxd4 Bxd4 16. Qh6 e5>). It is this oversight at the board by Caruana that seems shocking to me.

Sep-29-13  Nina Myers: Va bene!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: USA! USA! USA! Oh, I'm sorry--has that become passé? Apologies all around.
Sep-29-13  chessdgc2: Don't you dare say you're sorry for cheering the USA at any time or place
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Peligroso Patzer> One comment from Caruana at the conference puzzled me. When Alina asked him if he thought 14...fxg6 was playable, he said, "it's very dangerous, but maybe it's playable"

While I agree he misanalysed the position at the board, missing 15 Bxd4, his preparation was the cause, thinking that 14...fxg6 was very dangerous.

Sep-29-13  chessdgc2: tamar: Wow! I can certainly c y that's puzzling...for a player of his caliber, it's especially puzzling!
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <chessdgc2> It's surprising, but looking at a draw in 2010 was probably not at the top of the list on Caruana's workload.

I think this was just a case of one guy Nakamura knowing the variation cold, as he had witnessed the game in person, and knew the threats.

Sep-29-13  Marmot PFL: I missed the games today but it seems the only real mistake was taking g6 with the h pawn instead of fg6. I know in the Grunfeld that it's often an important decision but 14...hg6 looks good - until thoroughly analyzed.
Sep-29-13  csmath: The opening has been on books for some time already.

The white attack setup (first 9 moves) is played by Mamedyarov and Svidler just to mention two of the Grunfeld/anti-Grunfend specialists.

The move 10. h4 was first played by Grischuk against Mamedyarov in 2010 as noted previously and the game was drawn). By the way h4 is a standard attack idea in many Grunfeld lines.

This year Evgeny Postny (strong Israeli GM) has played this twice and won both times against lesser opponents. They both responded correctly (as opposed to Caruana) with

14. hxg6 fxg6
15. g4 e5

and this is now known theoretical line.
Obviously Caruana did not know that and blundered with

14. ...hxg6?

after which the game was simply lost.
The move enables threat of 15. Bxd4 Bxd4, 16. Qh6 or as in the game, in both cases lost.

There is more to the theory. For example returning pawn with

14. hxg6 fxg6
15. g4 e5
16. Qh2 h6?!

leads to a strong attack as white is able to double rooks on h-file (Rd2-Rh2) and close black position with g5. This leads to a very difficult position for black.


16. ...Bf6

seems to equalize the game. This should all be known to Caruana. I am not entirely convinced that the whole variation is safe for black but I would like to see that played on the top level.

Fabiano missed this theoretical boat completely and has fallen here for a relatively cheap opening trick.

Sep-29-13  JustAFish: <USA! USA! USA! Oh, I'm sorry--has that become passé? Apologies all around.>

It depends on how much of a boor you are when doing it. In a chess forum, it's fine. :-)

Whatever the case, Caruana is, if anything, a USA player as well, given that he was born and raised in the US, and moved to Europe with his family to be closer to coaches and more high-level tournaments only after he was a GM.

Sep-29-13  SirRuthless: <JustAFish> Funny how when Fab is winning and breaking 2800 or whatever he is Italian but when he loses a bad game he is All American. The commentators are guilty of doing this as well.
Sep-29-13  Marmot PFL: <Fabiano missed this theoretical boat completely and has fallen here for a relatively cheap opening trick.>

If black is not up on Grunfeld theory he can lose very quickly. One reason I took up the Nimzo, not as much memory required and most (not all) positions can be handled with good strategic understanding.

Sep-29-13  schweigzwang: <waustad: <Talisman>It looks good for the Indians to go through. Maybe the tigers will finally lose a few to them. They last won it all a year and a half before I was born. I keep hoping.>

What's this? Tribe talk at Well let's play What If ...

What If ... they got Tommy Hamilton to do live chess commentary?

Sep-29-13  pawnexpress: To all you bickering about remembering variations, this is the death of chess. That's why grandmasters are getting younger. They just have to memorize variations. Chess960 will be the future. A chess960 grandmaster will be much more difficult to achieve. Guaranteed, there will be only a few teenage grandmasters.
Sep-29-13  Marmot PFL: With the Tigers bullpen they could lose to anyone, and Cabrera is still pretty banged up.
Sep-30-13  patzer2: <tamar: <Peligroso Patzer> One comment from Caruana at the conference puzzled me. When Alina asked him if he thought 14...fxg6 was playable, he said, "it's very dangerous, but maybe it's playable"

While I agree he misanalysed the position at the board, missing 15 Bxd4, his preparation was the cause, thinking that 14...fxg6 was very dangerous.>

That's surprising as 14...hxg6?? is busted immediately by 15. Bxd6!

Indeed, 14...fxg6 is the only move that doesn't lose immediately to White's next reply.

For one thing, after 14...fxg6 the reply 15. Bxd4? is no longer good for White since 15...d4 16. Qh6? e5! 17. Nge2 Qg7 18. Qg5 Be6 leaves Black a solid pawn up and in fine shape.

Of course I suppose 14...fxg6 would have played into "theory" and Nakumara's prepared 15. g4, which I admit looks unclear and hard to assess.

I would think playing into "theory" and your opponent's preparations is better than making an immediate losing move. Yet with Nakamura being a former 960 Chess World Champion, I suppose the prospect of getting into a complicated and unclear position (especially in the opening) with him was not pleasant..

Oct-04-13  KingchecksQueen: The worst game of FC that I had played so far.
He was caught unprepared and unfamiliar with the opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pulo y Gata: I'm curious as to why the attention has shifted from 9...f5 to 9...Qd6, has there been a published reputation of the former or a notable game that casts doubt to its viability?
Oct-27-13  SugarDom: Another mental black moment there by our good friend. It does no good to his "refutation" as a writer.
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