Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Fabiano Caruana vs Wang Hao
Kings Tournament (2013), Bucharest ROU, rd 9, Oct-15
Russian Game: Nimzowitsch Attack (C42)  ·  0-1



explore this opening
find similar games 8 more Caruana/Wang Hao games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can get computer analysis by clicking the "ENGINE" button below the game.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-15-13  csmath: 5. Nc3

[Nimzovich Attack, made popular recently again due to Svidler's win over Kramnik (2005) and Karjakin's win over Gelfand and Kramnik in Tal Memorial (2010). It allows opposite-side castling thus more aggressive white game.]

8. ...b6

[This is Wang Hao's patent tried before in game with Nakamura in Norway earlier this year.]

11. Nf5

[This Nakamura knight manouvre is not particularly beneficial to white.]

12. Ng3

[New move with intention to attack bishop from h5. Nakamura played 12. h4.]

16. ...gxh5?

[Clearly a positional error but done with intention. This is how Wang Hao plays for better or worse.]

19. Kg7?!

[Another misterious move only Wang Hao knows what for. White is now clearly with very serious advantage.]

23. ...f5

[Suicidal attack that should have been the beginning of the end for black but exactly opposite happened.]

24. Bb3?

[Caruana's misterious move that is a serious waste of time which allows black to regroup the defence of his king.]

25. Rh3

[This move makes sense but it was better to play 25. Rxd8 Rxd8, 26. Rd1 Ba6, 27. Qe1 Rd6, 28. Rxd6 cxd6, 29. Qd1 and white has clear advantage in ending due to exposed black king. Obviously g3 would stop any black plans on the queenside and black would have a hard time to save the game with his broken pawns on white squares. I would estimate this position likely lost for black.]

27. ...c5?!
28. Rh1?

[Yet another error by Caruana. It was much better to play 28. gxh5 and pawn cannot be taken since 28. ...Qxh5?? 29. Bf7 immediately decides the game.]

28. ...f3?

[Wang just wants to complicate the game as he would be in serious danger of losing if only Caruana could make at least few moves without errors.]

29. Qc4?

[The last chance to keep serious advantage: 29. gxh5 Kxh5, 30. Bf7+ Kg4, 31. Qf1 Kf5, 32. Qh3+ Ke5, 33. h5 Kd6, 34. Qg3+ Kd7, 35. Rd1 Kc8, 36. Rxd8+ Kxd8, 37. Bc4 a5, 38. b3! looks hopeless for black.]

32. Re1?!

[32. gxh5 is certainly safer with likely draw.]

37. fxg3?

[Natural but also decisive error. 37. Qg7 gxf2, 38. Re5 Qxe5, 39. Qxe5+ Kg4, 40. Qe4 Kg3, 41 Qg6 Kh2, 42. Qc2 with repetition/perpetual. This is surely not easy to calculate but this necessity is the consequence of bad 32nd move of white which set the stage for the error in 37th move.]

39. Qg7

[Hopeless, white is lost either way but this cannot help since black king easily escapes.]

42. ...Rd3?!

[42. ...f1Q is stronger. But white is lost either way.]

43. Qg2

[This is completely hopeless but the game is lost anyway.

In the sequel the game is finished with simple tactics with white paralized to the first rank.]


Absolutely horrid game by Caruana. He missed likely win and kept on missing varius natural moves until he boxed himself into "hard to find" draw which of course he could not find.

It is sad that such a fishy play by black has been rewarded with a full point. Wang Hao's opening is actually good but the followup is not. His utter disregard for the most elementary principles is actually entertaining to some degree.

Oct-15-13  hellopolgar: <Classical games: Wang Hao beat Fabiano Caruana 5 to 0, with 3 draws.>
Oct-15-13  Vincenze: 49 Qg2
Oct-15-13  SirRuthless: <csmath> Thanks for the analysis. Yes it was a strange game from both players. Fab was crushing Hao so hao went with his only counterplay if you can eve call it that with the f3 push. Why fab avoided taking the h pawn and actually played fxg3 will remain a mystery to me.

I think he will need to hone his blitz skills in order to survive some time crunches during candidates. He really needs to work on that element of his game and then he will be unstoppable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Hoping for press conference, but I suppose they finished too late.

Wonder if either player noticed the shot 27 Rd3 after 26...Rxd8

click for larger view

It is made possible by the awkward placement of the Black King and Queen, so if 27...exd3 28 Qe6+ Kg7 29 Qe7+ leads to mate.

if 27...Rxd3 28 cxd3 e3 29 fxe3 fxe3 30 Qf1 Qg7 31 Qf4 Qe7 32 Bf7+!

click for larger view

White ends up a pawn ahead because of 32...Qxf7 33 Qg5#

A similar tactic occurs after 27...Qf8 28 Bf7+! when all captures are bad, and 28...Kg7 29 Qxh5 is winning for White.

These bizarre (to our eyes) distortions of the usual realities of chess make me wonder if we are being dragged into a degree of difficulty through computer analysis that even the best players cannot cope with.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: One of the few times being up 2 pawns in a queen and pawn endgame will lose.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: The players discuss the game afterwards at
Oct-15-13  csmath: Caruana was aware that he missed likely win in 29th move but it is too late now.

After that he had nothing but draw and he missed that as well.

When I was younger and played competetive chess when somebody pulled some horrid move like 16th move of Wang Hao then I would make my business to punish that with utmost energy I had.

In this case Caruana played some very confusing chess. You could say the position is messy and one can make a mistake BUT he made not one, not two, not three but 6-7 mistakes. With so many mistakes one cannot do anything. How in the world can you allow 32. ...hxg4 to black? There were two-three different instances he could have taken that lousy h5 pawn and yet he allowed that pawn to become a battering ram for promotion.

This is absolutely horrid game by white. Black was not much better but at least he knew how to win when given a chance.

Oct-15-13  SirRuthless: <csmath> Don't be so hard on him. Perhaps he wanted to kick the door down on 2800 and he knew he was nearly winning. I watched the last 20 or so moves of the game and both players were in severe time trouble. I will re-iterate, Fab needs to get better in time pressure scenarios. That is his one weakness. His quality of play goes DOWN when time is short to a greater extent than most if not all of the top ten players. When he has time to digest a position, only carlsen is better to my eye. In short time Fab is one of the worst inside the top twenty if not THE worst. If he fixes that he will be 2860 before too long.
Oct-15-13  csmath: I was watching to around move 20. My impression was white is going to win this because black king looks destitute. So I went to work and later I got back to check whether Caruana already won.

To my amazement I saw black winning the game. I could not believe it. Then I go over the game and see numerous hard-to-explain errors by white.

Again, how do you allow 32....hxg4 to black?
How is it possible to allow that move to take place? This is such a conceptual blunder by white.

He could have taken that h5 pawn at least three times:

28. gxh5 (with serious advantage)
29. gxh5 (most likely winning move!)
32. gxh5 (the last chance with easily obtainable draw)

Every one of these moves is more than obvious.

Okay, I might be hard on him but that is because I like his seriousness and ability to defend well. He generally plays like a machine but in this game he played nothing like.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I certainly enjoyed this as a spectator more than Nisipeanu vs Radjabov, 2013, with neither player attempting anything that might make them look foolish. Hao certainly knew that he was taking chances, but wanted to lure Caruana on to a precipice.

And he succeeded. I don't think Caruana ever dreamed he would lose this game. In the postmortem, Hao thought White was lost, but Caruana showed a drawing line which checks out completely.

Hao: After (36) Qxa7, I thought White was lost.
Caruana: It can't be so bad after Qa7
Hao: (36...)g3
Caruana: I think I should at least have a draw here with (37 Qe7)
Hao: (37...)gf2 (38)Re5
Caruana: Take (38...Qxe5 39 Qxe5+) and (38...)Kg4 (39)Qe4+ Kg3 (40) Qg6+ Kh2 so I guess it is just perpetual (41 Qc2)

click for larger view

Oct-15-13  csmath: The move 12. Ng3 deserves the attention for further analysis together with 15. h4 which provoked Wang 16. gxh5? response.

This is a very fundamental straight/brute-force attack which seems very dangerous. It requires extreme precision by black.

I think this whole Karjakin-Nakamura variation of Nimzovich Attack is extremely good weapon against Petroff and I have no doubt it will be played again. Kudos to Svidler, Karjakin, Nakamura, and Caruana for bringing this old attack to theoretical forefront of Petroff killers. If only Caruana could have won this game.

Oct-15-13  csmath: <And he succeeded. I don't think Caruana ever dreamed he would lose this game.>

Yes, in postmortem he saw the win and he saw the draw. Yet, it the game he went the worst possible way and lost.

This must be very annoying to him. One good thing though - he is very collected and takes losses without anger (unlike say Kramnik). That is good.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Here's another link to their post-mortem analysis:
Oct-16-13  WiseWizard: Caruana can be excellent but there is a glaring weakness in his play that I haven't pinpointed yet. He might be a fraud protected by prep and good form but I'm not sure yet.
Oct-16-13  SirRuthless: It's lack of tactical awareness under time pressure. One look at his blitz rating compared to his classical tells the story. He struggles against tricky players in sharp positions. He is a solid positional player who flourishes when he has a grasp but struggles in speculative positions especially in short time. If he fixes that he might even be stronger than carlsen; who knows?
Oct-16-13  onigorom: The most unexplainable move to me is 31.cxb3??
After 31.Qxe4+ with 32.g5 or 32.cxb3 or Qxf3 or whatever to follow, black is completely dead.

How is this possible? I do not understand it.

Oct-16-13  csmath: Not really.
31. Qxe4+ Kf7
32. Qxf3+

[Here the danger for white was that black Qg6 attacks g4 pawn and pins the pawn on c2.]

32. ...Qf6
33. Qxf6 Kxf6
34. cxb3

and draw is quite likely.

Oct-16-13  csmath: I think Fabiano was focused too much on trying to bring queen on c4 which is why he wasted time with

24. Bb3?

and when he was able to bring

29. Qc4?

he had nothing more than a draw.

While he was constantly calculating queen intrusion he simply forgot the pawn on g4. This is psychological loss. He made a score of errors but all of his errors are connected with the single concept (focus on Qc4 and disregard for g4 pawn) so this is like a concept blunder that caused numerous errors.

He is not weak in tactics but he is indeed weaker in zeitnot compared to his overall strength.

Oct-16-13  SirRuthless: <csmath> you hit the nail on the head.
Oct-16-13  QueentakesKing: <hellopolgar> Is the score accurate? Oh boy, Caruana has a spoiler.
Oct-16-13  QueentakesKing: Just like Fischer-Tal,Fischer-Geller, Fischer-Korchnoi.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <QueentakesKing: Just like Fischer-Tal,Fischer-Geller, Fischer-Korchnoi.>

Pity someone has to rain on this parade: Fischer-Korchnoi in classical play was 2-2, with four draws, therefore hardly suggestive of Viktor the Terrible being a bÍte noire, much less on the level of what <goodbyepolgar> has mentioned regarding the matchup in this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <WiseWizard: Caruana can be excellent but there is a glaring weakness in his play that I haven't pinpointed yet....>

Once you have figured out that weakness, with your immense 'wisdom', by all means sell this knowledge to the highest bidder.

<....He might be a fraud protected by prep and good form but I'm not sure yet.>

While there appears some question in your mind-if we are to believe this risible comment-there is obviously no doubting your genius.

Mar-02-19  lakshashishu: GOTD:"A king up".
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any member Iincludinfgall Admin and Owners or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. If you think someone is an idiot, then provide evidence that their reasoning is invalid and/or idiotic, instead of just calling them an idiot. It's a subtle but important distinction, even in political discussions.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a Moderator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
The Petroff - Move by Move
by hought67
The Petroff - Move by Move
by yesthatwasasac
98_C42f_Russian Game (all but 4.Nxf7!?)
by whiteshark
Game 20
from 2012-2015 Fighting Games (Naiditsch/Balogh) by Qindarka
02_QR endgames II
by whiteshark
The Petroff - Move by Move
by pawn2knight
Volume 86, Game 4
from # Chess Evolution Volumes 51-100 by Qindarka
Game 20
from 2012-2015 Fighting Games (Naiditsch/Balogh) by rajeshupadhyay
iking's favorite games 3
by iking
The Petroff - Move by Move
by nakul1964
C42 Petrov [Black]
by chess.master
The Petroff - Move by Move
by jakaiden
positional brilliance
by JustAnotherPatzer

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us

Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC