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Fabiano Caruana vs Boris Gelfand
Tata Steel Masters (2014), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-11
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-11-14  Dave1: White plays the Najdorf and castles to the King side with a very strong attack on black's K. Boris is considered a PRO in this opening but not used to this line. Fabiano showes a great opening preparation
Jan-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: Ouch 30 moves at this level with overwhelming pressure against the king. Nice one Fabiano.
Jan-11-14  mbvklc: Pretty cool game by Caruana, even if Gelfand failed to manage his clock properly and get into heavy time troule later in the game.
Jan-11-14  Dave1: 8...h4 and later on black gets into trouble. Reminds me a game of Carlsen-Nakamura. Can someone find it please, thanks
Jan-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: doesn't 30...qxg5+ work?
Jan-11-14  Nezhmetdinov: 28...Nd7?? Oh dear! The position must be lost anyway but that move looks like one of mine.
Jan-11-14  Whitehat1963: What happens if 29. Nxd6?
Jan-11-14  parisattack: <Dave1: 8...h4 and later on black gets into trouble. Reminds me a game of Carlsen-Nakamura. Can someone find it please, thanks>

Carlsen vs Nakamura, 2013

The famous 'Nakamura Knight' game from Tata last year.

Gelfand goes astray quickly in one of his great specialties, the Najdorf. Chess is indeed a mystery! 17. ...Nh7 looks odd.

Jan-11-14  pajaste: Ah, Gelfand used a variation, 8...h5 in which Caruana had lost twice just last year. Looks like he's been studying this.
Jan-11-14  shivasuri4: <ketchuplover: doesn't 30...qxg5+ work?> That seems to be the only defense against immediate mate. The game might continue 31.Rxg5 Rxg5 32.Kf2 Ndf6 33.Rg1 Rxf3+ 34.Kxf3 Rxg1 35.Bxh7 Nxh7 36.Qxd6, where White retains a strong edge.

<Whitehat1963: What happens if 29. Nxd6?> That drops the knight after 29...Qb6+.

Jan-11-14  SChesshevsky: <pajaste: Ah, Gelfand used a variation, 8...h5 in which Caruana had lost twice just last year. Looks like he's been studying this.>

In one of the earlier games I think Caruana looked for play on the backward d-pawn which didn't work out.

Here White's protected advanced d-pawn looks a subtle advantage binding black.

By chance, I was just pondering that point yesterday in

Pilnik vs Fischer, 1959

where I thought Pilnik might have been better around move 19 or so with the d-pawn bind.

Jan-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I don't understand this game at all. For starters, why did Gelfand allow 24.Bxg6, and why didn't Caruana play it?
Jan-13-14  SChesshevsky: <keypusher: I don't understand this game at all. For starters, why did Gelfand allow 24.Bxg6, and why didn't Caruana play it?>

I didn't calculate it all out but it looks like its worth the black pawn to trade rooks after 24. Bxg6 Nxg6 25. Rxg6+ Rg7. If White exchanges on g7 there's no immediate good check on the Black King but White's is exposed and the Black King looks safe enough maybe on h8 as Black should have plenty of time to mobilize the remaining Rook and Queen.

If White defends the advanced R with the Q black develops the Q on the nice h-4 diagonal or plays ...Re7 looking like it defuses all White's attacking chances and maybe even offering counterplay against the weak f or c pawns.

I'm guessing Caruana probably figured or even saw the win on weak h7 without opening up the Kside immediately.

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