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Fabiano Caruana vs Teimour Radjabov
Kings Tournament (2013), Bucharest ROU, rd 5, Oct-11
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack (B30)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-11-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: Ok down goes Radjabov!
Oct-11-13  Doniez: So happy for Fabiano! But, could somebody explain the ending? Did Radianov resign because of the Q+R against his Q ending ?
Oct-11-13  Doniez: I meant Radjabov...
Oct-11-13  Shams: <Doniez> Yes, White's surplus rook easily decides.
Oct-11-13  csmath: 8. Be2

[standard Rossolimo move but new in position here. Caruana plays typical positional setup in Rossolimo with e4, c4, Nc3 and Qd2 all designed to obstruct central break d5]

16. ...f5?!

[for the sake of attack black allows opening of a-file. Black has nice tactical resource Radjabov did not see:

16. ...bxa5!
17. Rxa5 d5! (opening rank for queen)
18. exd5 Bxh2
19. Kxh2 Qc7+

with equal game.]

21. Bxg6

[good practical decision - white dulls the attack of black before taking pawn by removing black night. In the next couple of moves white takes pawn on b6 and reinforces his defences aiming to keep the material advantage.]

24. ...Kh7?

[Serious error. The problem is that black rook on h4 has been cut from withdrawing and white uses that immediately.]

25. Bf2 Rxh3?!

[25. ...Rh5 is better, for example 26. Qd2 Rhf5, 26. b4 (or 26. Rd1) and white has whole pawn advantage and it is going to be very hard to stop passers. Radjabov decided to burn the bridges and seek chance in all out attack.]

28. Qxf3!

[right call, this stops any attack.]

28. ...Qe5
29. Bg3 Qxe2?

[29. ...Bxf3, 30. Raxf3 Qxe2, 31. Bxb8 is certainly more resilient as white will at least have to display some technique to convert the material advantage into a win.]

30. Qxb7

[Now black is hopelessly down material and Radjabov resigned.]

==============

The speed with which Radjabov lost this game is indicative of his recent slump. He used to be very strong in tactical game but you could not see that here at all.

This game also shows excellent assessment by Caruana. He correctly estimated that he will be able to defend himself while keeping the pawn.

Oct-11-13  Doniez: <Shams> thanks for the reply. <csmath> very impressive explanation, I got a lot from it. Your comments are always complete and instructive.
Oct-11-13  csmath: Now I know whom Fabiano reminds of.

Korchnoi!

He takes what is offered and then defends himself with ultimate precision until his opponent burns the bridges completely.

Oct-12-13  WiseWizard: Very funny that Radjabov has not learned anything about chess strategy the past couple years. He doesn't actually think about why he plays what he does, he just follows engine analysis blindly and goes to the board 'prepared'. Ha. Extremely good play from Caruana here though, he has a good understanding of timing kingside/queenside play. If your opponent disrespects and has no regard for balance by plunging right into an attack, simple, strong moves always finish him off rather nicely. Too think Radjabov was top 5 at one point...he's a fish.
Oct-12-13  WiseWizard: You can't directly assault a sound structure, I thought everyone knew this. Steinitz said this 150 years ago after studying Morphy. Sun Tzu said it before him. Carlsen wins because he knows how to maintain the balance and a sound structure for as long as possible and knows how to probe where the opponents position can potentially crack. Radjabov keeps getting beat the same way and by different players, this is the definition of a fish.
Oct-12-13  WiseWizard: This is actually pretty sinister preparation from Caruana. The Rossilimo is slowly becoming a very dangerous weapon, and this is clearly not the proper response to it. Maybe Radjabov's KID days left him thinking that when things get dire go all out on the kingside attack and hope for the best. Now you children understand why they say to play all kinds of position to broaden your chess understanding, just as Carlsen does.
Oct-12-13  dakgootje: Initially I thought white snatch a free pawn with 19. Bxb6, all the while attacking the d8-rook - so presumably without even losing a tempo.

But black has 19. ..Qh4 with some serious compensation for the pawn. Probably winning even.

However, in the game 19. Bd3 Qh4 doesn't really work due to 20. g3 and after ..Bxg3 21. hxg3 Qxg3 22. Qg2.

I suppose 20. Bxf5 doesn't work due to Qxh2 21. Kf2 Bg3 22. Ke2 Qxg2 23. Rf2 Bxf3 24. Ke1 Qg1# though I might've missed something there.

Oct-13-13  SirRuthless: Radjabov has a baby. Clearly he is distracted to play like this. There are players on FICS and ICC who would crush him into the ground right now but you couldn't say that a year ago. I hope he regains his form.
Oct-13-13  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 7...Be7, after 7...Qc7 White loses a tempo if he plays against the Taimanov system by withdrawing his KB

It may be that when choosing the moves which followed the plan of development intended to support the attack 16...f5 Radjabov saw too late at least one difficulty in the way of his attack eg the fact that White could skewer Black's rook on f5 and N on g6 by Bd3 and then play Bxg6 wrecking Black's king side pawn structure.

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