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Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana
World Rapid Championship (2014) (rapid), Dubai UAE, rd 10, Jun-17
Philidor Defense: General (C41)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: It's a Carlsen-Caruana game, so I must've seen it before!

Nope, it's a rapid game.

For some reason, this game reminded me of Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2007.

Video Analysis of this game:

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: What happens after 30...Qxb5 ? If 31. Qc8+, then 31...Qe8. If 31. a7, then 31...Qxc6 32. axb8=Q+ Bxb8 33. Rxc6 Kg7.

White has ♖ vs. ♗ + a passed ♙. Not a straightforward win.

Sep-04-15  schachfuchs: huh, I got 29.Rc1 g6(or h6) 30.a6 and saw that the N is immune. Is that enough for full score?
Sep-04-15  dfcx: Black is about to take the white knight.

Both sides have weak back ranks. White can take advantage of the passed pawn.

29.Rc1 g6 30.a6!

A. 30...Qxb5 31.a7 Qxc6 32.axb8=Q+ Bxb8 33.Rxc6

click for larger view

B. 30...Qa2 31.a7 Rf8 white is better.

click for larger view

Sep-04-15  dfcx: <al wazir: What happens after 30...Qxb5 ? If 31. Qc8+, then 31...Qe8. If 31. a7, then 31...Qxc6 32. axb8=Q+ Bxb8 33. Rxc6 Kg7. White has ♖ vs. ♗ + a passed ♙. Not a straightforward win.>

34.Rc8 and the black d pawn is lost.

34...Ba7 35.Rc7 Bb6 (Bd4/Bb8 36.Rd7) 36.Rb7 Bc5 37.Rb5

34...Be5 35.Rc5

34...Bf4/Bd6 35.Rd8

Sep-04-15  CJC: <al wazir: What happens after 30...Qxb5 ?> 31. Qxb5 and the queen cannot be retaken because of the immediate mate on c8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black keeps it even for 24 moves and then make one not-so-obvious inaccuracy with 25...Qxb2?, allowing 26. Qxb7 (+1.22 @ 22 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

Instead, Black can hold it level with 25... Qd5! as play might continue 26. b4 Qc4 27. g3 Qxb4 28. Qxb7 Qxa4 29. Qd5 Qa8 = (0.00 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

The quiet surprise 29. Rc1! is the winning move that solves our Friday puzzle. It is also the only move to maintain a clear White advantage.

This subtle move (i.e. 29. Rc1!) indirectly defends the Knight due to Black's weak back rank. In turn, the indirectly defended Knight facilitates the decisive advance of the a-pawn.

A trap to avoid is 29. f4?? when Black turns the tables and wins after 29...Qxb5 30. Qxb5 Bd4+! 31. Kh1 Rxb5 .

Sep-04-15  stacase:     Doubling up the Queen and Rook on the C column and then pushing the Pawn seemed to be the obvious plan to follow.    
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight for a bishop.

Black threatens 29... Qxb5.

The first idea that comes to mind is 29.Rc1, mobilizing the rook with tempo:

A) 29... Qxb5 30.Qxb5 wins (30... Rxb5 31.Rc8#).

B) 29... Rxb5 30.Qc(e)8#.

C) 29... g6 30.a6

C.1) 30... Qxb5 31.Qxb5 Rxb5 32.a7 Ra5 33.Rc8+ Kg7 34.a8=Q Rxa8 (or 34... Ra1+ 35.Qxa1 Bxa1 36.Rd8 d4 37.Kf1) 35.Rxa8 with the exchange for a pawn and the better ending.

C.2) 30... Rxb5 31.a7 wins the exchange for a pawn.

C.3) 30... Kg7 31.a7 wins the exchange for a pawn at least.

D) 29... Qb5 30.a6

D.1) 30... Qxb5 as A.

D.2) 30... Qf8 31.a7 Ra8 32.Qxd5 wins a pawn with a much better position.

Sep-04-15  CJC: Oops ... sorry Al Wazir ... I was one turn too soon. Never mind about my dumb commment. :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <dfcx: <If 31. Qc8 Qe8 31. a7 Qxc6 32. axb8=Q+ Bxb8 33. Rxc6 Kg7<<>>> 34.Rc8 and the black d pawn is lost.> Thanks.

Even up an exchange I would have a struggle to win, but then I'm not Carlsen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissalove: An easier and quicker way to win is 29.a6 which threatens the deadly 30.a7 If black tries 29......Qxb5 then 30.Qxb5 Rxb5 31.a7! Ra5 32.Rc1 followed by Rc8+ and promotion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: That looks quite drawish to me after black takes the promoted Queen
Sep-04-15  abuzic: 29.a6 loses to 29...Qxb5 30.Qxb5 Rxb5 31.a7 <31.Rc1 Rb8> 31...Ra5 32.Rc1 Bc7; probably Carlsen saw this
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissalove: omg yes! 32....Bc7 is a killer.
Sep-04-15  gofer: You gotta love back rank weaknesses on both sides!!!!

This makes this POTD far more tricky than a usual Friday!

I looked at 29 Rc1 h7, but couldn't really see too much from there. So instead I am going for the rather nice positional move that puts Nb5 on an excellent square threatening lots and protecting even more. Black's DSB becomes a by-stander, unable to attack anything except Pa5...

<29 Na7 ...>

There are lots of replies available, but I think black has to contend white's superiority next to its rook.

<29 ... Qb7>
<30 Rc1!>

Now the rook threatens the back rank mate, once Qb3 that retreated all the way back to b7 and is too far away from c1 to cause any mischief! So Na7 is now immune, due to Qc8+ mating. Black must relieve the back rank pressure!

30 ... Kf7
31 Qxb7 Rxb7
32 Nc6! winning

<30 ... h7>
<31 Qxb7 Rxb7>
<32 Nc6!>

click for larger view


Hmmm, not even close so is my plan absolutely flawed or does it have some merit???

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Watch this game w/ a too funny commentator:
Sep-04-15  saturn2: I considered Rc1 the best move, though I did not see the next move a6.

Before I was thinking about finding a way to eliminate by exchange the heavy pieces Q,R from the board. Without them the win for white should have been way easier.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: If 30...Qxb5, then strongest is <dfcx>'s 31. a7! when play might continue 31... Qb2 32. axb8=Q+ Bxb8 33. Rd1 Kg7 34. Qxd5 (+2.41 @ 27 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

Second best and weaker is 30...Qxb5 31. Qxb5!? Rxb5 32. a7 Ra5 33. Rc8+ Kg7 34. a8=Q Rxa8 35. Rxa8 Kf6 36. g3 (+1.45 @ 27 depth, Deep Fritz 14)

Sep-04-15  diagonalley: too hard for <diagonalley> :-(
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I got something similar to the C2 line of <agb2002>.

29 Rc1 h6 30 a6 Rxb5 31 a7 Ra5 32 a8Q+ Rxa8 33 Qxa8+ Kh7.

click for larger view

Not sure what to do next; trade queens maybe?

Sep-04-15  wooden nickel: <A passed pawn is a criminal which should be kept under lock and key! -Nimzowitsch> At the first glance, Black seems to be doing fine, it's very instructive to see how White transforms small advantages into a win. White's weak looking knight turns out to be strong! Does anybody know why 29... g6 is better than 29... h6? ... at any rate it doesn't seem to play a role in this game. <Jimfromprovidence: I got something similar to the C2 line of agb2002 29 Rc1 h6 30 a6 Rxb5 31 a7 Ra5 32 a8Q+ Rxa8 33 Qxa8+ Kh7.> That's what I had in mind.
Sep-04-15  docbenway: While watching this game on YouTube a while back I saw 29.a6 before Rc1 was played and still believe it is stronger than the move played. The rook can't take and if the Q does then they are exchanged and the pawn does to a7 and black's rook to a5 is answered by rook to b1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It was amusing that white had to stop to leave a flight square for the king to avoid black checkmating him! The game ends in a crowning!
Sep-04-15  johnnyb3: <docbenway> In your line the rook just takes the pawn. (Also see <abuzic>'s refutation above of the similar attempt 29.a6 Qxb5 30.Qxb5 Rxb5 31.a7 Ra5 32.Rc1.)
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