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Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana
"Two Car Collision" (game of the day Jan-31-2015)
Sinquefield Cup (2014), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 3, Aug-29
Bishop's Opening: Berlin Defense (C24)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-31-15  Garech: Fantatsic play from Fabiano after the error from Carlsen, great game!


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: This was GOTD on Sep-18-14, with the sublime pun, <Car Wars>. Why the inferior rehash?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: <Car Wars>. Why the inferior rehash?"

The original 'Car Wars' got my vote for best pun of the year. But the person whose job it is to add these puns was jealous of 'Car Wars' because he never thought of it so changed it.

It's petty and it's silly but that is how it goes.

On a pedantic note neither Magnus or Fabiano own a car but that should not detract from the original pun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Changing a pun.

Quite silly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I thought "Car Wars" was lame. Obvious, obvious, obvious.
Jan-31-15  paavoh: <Not easy, especially for people who don't have English as their first language>

Yes, I can attest to this. My native language is >99.9% WYSIWYG for pronunciation. Any personal attempts to infer logical rules for English pronunciation usually fail. Seems to me, English must be LEARNED.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I analysed this game a while ago and Carlsen's sacrifice was not bad, if not leading to a winning advantage. It was, like a more recent game of his I saw, in the spirit of Tal, which belies the sterotype some of him as being only a "quiet" positional player (as if such things as tactics and positional ideas could be separated).

I forget where he went wrong but Caruana, while not lost, defended and counterattacked. This adds another interesting game to Carlsen's and Caruand's store of games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: What was the meaning of the pun except that we have 'Car' lsen and 'Car' uana - or was there no other "layer"? A movie or a song, or just the sad and common event of a car crash?
Jan-31-15  MindCtrol9: English is not easy not even for the English speakers.They have to ask for the spelling of some names and words as well.I speak Spanish which is my native language, and I don't have to to anybody how to write any word or name because I know how.English is not easy as I thought it was.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: < paavoh: <Not easy, especially for people who don't have English as their first language> Yes, I can attest to this. My native language is >99.9% WYSIWYG for pronunciation. Any personal attempts to infer logical rules for English pronunciation usually fail. Seems to me, English must be LEARNED.>

Actually the 'rules' (which are constantly broken in ALL countries) do in fact follow pretty logically consistent patterns.

Every language is difficult if you haven't learned it which is what children do. We speak our languages by and large without thinking. But one example is the 'wh' it was originally pronounced as an 'f' (if you ever here Chaucer as he spoke it ca 1300-1400 on CD or record you will see how it has developed.

Other ones are the 'ough' sounds. But if you try to make them more 'logical' a lot of problems arise in distinguishing them...

I know this as once I had a book (for a job) to teach a Chinese boy English, and it emphasized the need for people (not only foreign people but children learning to improve their reading-writing skills) to pronounce words well. Pronunciation is what I tried to concentrate on. The book showed how quite consistent English pronunciation. Of course, like all languages there are millions of dialects and "slang" words.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I found the same when I tried to learn Spanish!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: All languages are difficult to learn especially when one is older. I am no linguist at all but I know something of the theory of languages and obviously my own language. Pronunciation is hard for sure.

In the end the Chinese boy and I spent most of our time playing chess games. I told him to just keep on speaking English as much as he could.

Of course, most (European) Kiwis don't bother learning other languages so we are increasingly getting more and more people here misunderstanding each other in all senses of the term...the demographic has changed here very much. (Many of the older Chinese here, for example, can hardly speak more than one or two words of English, but that varies also. But there are Spanish speakers, people from the many Balkan countries, Polynesian, Indian (and the many different languages there), German, Dutch,Afrikaans, Ethiopian, Iraqian, Iranian, Kurds, Russians, Estonians....the list goes on and the varieties of languages and ethnicities are increasing.

Much as many places in the world.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I recall now, I think Caruana was unwise to play 14. ... Nc5. Perhaps he didn't consider Bxf7, which is annoying if it is not clear. Better to have avoided that (in objective terms)...
Nov-26-15  Imran Iskandar: It would be a completely different game if Carlsen played Nh4+, instead of Nxe5++.
Dec-19-15  Paragua: I consider this to be the best game for 2014. Carlsen fight till d end but cannot withstand caruana's initiative for brilliant attack
Apr-27-16  Tuzmor: Magnus played a spectacular but risky opening against Caruana who managed to defend accurately leaving Magnus in a difficult position after all the fireworks were done.

31. Nh2 is actually the most brilliant move of the game because it's a statement, not a mere blunder. With Nh2 Magnus says: "I can't see how white can stop black from slowly but surely improve his position and eventually win."

Of course Magnus saw that the correct move was Qh2, but he saw deeper than that. He saw that after Qh2 there is no way to draw the game. And that is something.

Houdini 3 Pro x64 at depth 24 played the position from move 31 and slowly but surely achieved a win with the black pieces.

Magnus, it seems, is not without a sense of humor when faced with a lost position.

Jul-09-17  Whitehat1963: Excellent display of the Opening of the Day via transposition.
Mar-28-18  csmath: This was definitely interesting choice of the opening against opponent who was in exceptional form during the event. It is a sign of confidence in the year Magnus was reigning supreme but not in this tournament. Caruana had often big problems with Magnus usually commanding initiative.

11. Bg3?
Up to this move the game is even. There was no reason to remove binding even though expecting g5. Nc4 would prepare d2 for the other knight if needed.]

13. h3!?
[Yet another speculative move preparing action on f7 as it happened in the game but just weakening white castling. The following was possible if afraid of g5:

13. Bh4 (it would require admiting mistake in 11th move) g5, 14. Bg3 Nxg3 15. fxg3 h5 16. Kh1 h4? (...f6 is stronger) 17. Nxg4!]

There is really no good advices for white for the rest of the game. This is one of those games that just ends up being bad no matter what you do. However white is totally lost after

31. Nh2?
[31. Qh2 Qe8 and the pawn on d7 is doomed but there is still a whole game to play to convert material advantage.]

and black finds the simplest way even though engine says 34. Bg1! is faster.

Mar-28-18  csmath: To me this is one more proof that Carlsen used to treat Caruana as an inferior player even though Caruana is not at all that much weaker.

I am sure this will have to change in the coming match since Caruana is not only older now but he will be better prepared than ever. Fishy openings are not going to be smart choice in a short match.

Mar-28-18  Christoforus Polacco: I like funny move 27...Rd8. If 28.e7 R:d6 29.e8Q+ Kh7 and white loses one pawn changed into the Queen ;)))
Mar-29-18  searchforbobby1: So what is the score of Caruana against Carlsen in slow games. Please don't count the blitz/rapid games. Thanks for responding.
Mar-29-18  rogge: Hi, there's a link to all Carlsen-Caruana games above the kibitzing on this page.
Aug-23-18  WorstPlayerEver: I don't think 31. Nh2 was a blunder. The endgame was simply lost and Carlsen spared himself the trouble:

31. Qh2 Qe8 32. g4 Rd7 33. Re1 Rxe7 34. Rxe7 Qxe7

Now Black threatens Qe4

click for larger view

A. White exchanges Queens, but the B vs N endgame is instructively simple:

35. Qe5 Qxe5 36. Nxe5 Bc7 37. Nd3 Kg6 38. Kg2 Kf6 39. c4 g6 40. a3 h5 41. Kh3 Bd6 42. c5 Be7 43. b4 Kg5 44. Kg3 hxg4 45. Nf2 Kf5 46. Nxg4 Ke4 47. Nf2+ Kd4 48. Kf3 Kc3

click for larger view

B. White tries to avoid Queen exchange, for instance:

35. Qc2+ g6 36. Qh2 Qe4 37. Qg3 Kg7 38. Kh2 Kf7 39. Kh3 Ke6

click for larger view

In an open position, with a pawn less (to defend the King=side), the Nf3 is no match for Bb6. The last diagram shows why.

Aug-23-18  WorstPlayerEver: Another example which shows e4 is defenseless for White:

C. 35. Qf4 Bc7 36. Qc4 Qe3 37. Qf7 Qe4

click for larger view

Again White has to exchange Queens (38. Qf5+); otherwise:

38. Qxc7 Qxf3+ 39. Kh2 Qf2+ 40. Kh3 Qxb2 41. Qe5 Qc2

click for larger view

Again, it shows how important the e4 square is.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: What an excellent game by Fabi! He successfully managed to severely outcalculate Justin, to send him into oblivion. The only thing I miss is the immediate retirement of the wonderkid after this hilarious and devastating fiasco.
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