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Fabiano Caruana vs Tomi Nyback
European Team Championship (2013), Warsaw POL, rd 1, Nov-08
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-13-13  tonsillolith: This game reminds me of Botvinnik's remark about improving on 2-3 move combinations. Caruana continually squeezes the most out of the position by justifying his moves tactically with small combinations.

<25. e5> and the pawn doesn't strictly have enough defenders, but the pin against Black's queen defends against the immediate capture. Then <28. Qg6> further defends the e5 pawn against capture. One thing I noticed was that White delayed positioning the knight until <33. Nc4>, when I was seriously craving it for over 5 moves.

After <38. e7 Kf7>, oh no! What does White do? While Black can't immediately capture the e-pawn without losing the valuable g-pawn, there aren't any safe squares where White can advance his pieces. But wait! <39. Ne5!> exploits a square tactically and allows White to keep the initiative.

Again, after <47...Rf8> it looks like White is going to have to take a move to do some defending, but no, he has <48. Rc8> which allows him to counter Black's threat with tempo.

Lastly, <58. Qc8+> gives White the one necessary tempo to position the queen at b8, simultaneously protecting the valuable a8 square and the dark-squared diagonal to White's king. Game over.

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