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Leinier Dominguez Perez vs Fabiano Caruana
FIDE Grand Prix Paris (2013), Elancourt FRA, rd 11, Oct-04
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation English Attack (B48)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-04-13  csmath: Makes you wonder could Caruana play for a win with

15. ...Qd8 [Houdini's choice]

On the face value I immediate dislike this move.

I believe no master player would like to play that although it is not entirely obvious it is bad.

Here is my reason:

16. Qa7 0-0 [forced because of Bb6 threat, 16. ...d5? is suicidal]

17. Qxb7 Bxg5
18. Bxg5 Qxg5
19. a4

I think this is as far as I would go to try to evaluate the resulting position.

Now it is not at all clear what compensation black has for a pawn and white's pawn majority on the queenside. I do not have a good sense what would be the continuation here and I am fully aware that I am down a pawn. I would find this position difficult to play as black and without engine I would evaluate it better for white. Would I like to play this as black? No.

I think Fabiano concluded the same and made a prudent choice instead of playing something that he felt is a self-destruction.

Oct-04-13  csmath: Here is a fantastic example of tactics that one would not be able to see OTB from move 15.

19. ...Nf4
20. Kb1 Nd5
21. Re2 Rb8
22. Qxd7 Rfd8
23. Qa7 Rxb5!
24. axb5?! [exd5 is better according to engine]

24. ...Nc3!
25. bxc3 Qxb5
26. Kc1 Qxe2

and here black looks better although it might not be enough and the continuation seems to be a draw as well.

Who could possibly calculate this from the move 15? I certainly could not.

Oct-04-13  Ed Frank: I don't understand this position: so why can't Dominguez take the rook?
Oct-04-13  csmath: I am not sure what position you are looking at.
Oct-04-13  Nerwal: <I don't understand this position: so why can't Dominguez take the rook?>

He can, but the resulting position is unclear; in order to win white needs to push the queenside pawns but by doing so it would create weaknesses around his king. Black can also hope to open the position for his bishops with d5. With an even score, playing against the leader who needed a win and therefore was ready to fight, and with nothing to hope for in this tournament, white made a practical/professional decision and chose to take the draw immediately rather than go for a risky gamble.

Oct-04-13  csmath: Yes, the fork you are talking about.

Well, Dominguez simply did not want to play today, that is the only explanation.

17. Nxc8 Bxc8
18. Kb1 0-0

leads to very unclear game. If white wants to win he has a chance.

The only explanation would be that Dominguez had enough of this tournament and was ready to close it. Apparently +1 or +0 did not matter to him.

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