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Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana
Tata Steel Masters (2016), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 2, Jan-17
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Apart from the obvious pawn fork on d5, White threatens Qf3 targeting the loose Bishop on g3.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Penguincw: Adams, despite a +4,-0,=3 record vs. Navara, draws him with white in 31 moves.>

I really like Adams, but I think he is starting to be "out of his depth". He can draw every game in a supertournament but he doesn't seem to win any.

Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Carlsen only wins when he's got doubled pawns.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 2 more draws in:

- Giri vs. Ding Liren in 33 moves
- Karjakin vs. van Wely in 20 moves

Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Adams is still a good player but nowhere near the player he was 10-15 years ago.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Now 25.Qxg3 Qxb2+ 26.Kd3 Qb5+ is a draw.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Carlsen messed up. 25.b3 was much stronger. Easy to say from the sidelines, of course.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Carlsen did not want to play 25 b3, but might have botched the win.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Gooooood morning everyone. Weird, weird, weird position for both sides.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Did he have a win?
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <plang: Did he have a win?>

The computers thought he was very close to a winning advantage after 25.b3. Finding it over the board would have been another thing.

Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Drawfest today, 5 draws/5 games so far. The other 2 games, I think one side has a slight advantage, but still too close to call.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher: You know, opening the game with my king in the middle of the board rarely works out for me.>

These super GMs play with different rules than those of us relegated to the aquarium.

Jan-17-16  Pedro Fernandez: Yeah <Penguincw>. This game was interesting as it got out of the common, e.g the Berlin, the Rossolino, etc., etc., you know. Greetings my friend.
Jan-17-16  Pedro Fernandez: Strange Fabi didn't play 22...Rg8, clearly stronger than the "naive" 22...Bg4, perhaps drawn anyway, though.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: There is no forced win after 25 b3 Qb4+ 26 Kd3, but the benefit is it creates a haven against continued checks. ie, 26...Qb5+ 27 Kc2 Rc8+ 28 Kb2

Caruana would probably have defended very stubbornly with 26...Bf4 27 Rfc1 Rg8 when the advantage is hovering between .80 and 1.0 for White (Komodo), which ordinarily is death against Carlsen.


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Jan-17-16  Pedro Fernandez: Maybe <Tamar>, but I think Caruana would have played on the right way for a draw, just my opinion buddy.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Pedro Fernandez -Svidler tweeted he would bet his house on Magnus converting a few moves earlier, i'd at least bet a lawn chair covered with snow...
Jan-17-16  Amulet: All I can bet is my long lost, never been used snow boots, which I took back from the mice. This never been used boots provided them shelter for at least two years.
Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: Houdini assisted sliding analysis after 25. b3: (principal variation)

25. b3 Qb4+ 26. Kd3 Bf4 27. Rhc1 Bxe3 28. Qxe3 Rg8 29. Rc4 Qa3 30. Qf2 Rd8 31. Rc7 f5 32. Rg1 Qa6+ 33. Rc4 Ke7 34. Rxg8 Rxg8 35. Qc5+ Kf6 36. exf5 Qb6 37. Qxb6+ axb6 38. Rb4 Rg3+ 39. Ke2 Kxf5 40. Rxb6 Ke4 41. Rg6 Re3+ 42. Kf2 Rh3 43. Rxh6 Kxd5 44. Kg2 Rh4 45. Kg3 Rh1 46. Rh7 b6 47. Kg2 Rh4 (+0.57)

This is headed to a sure draw. Carlsen would have had to improve, or Caruana to blunder, for this variation to have made any difference. Unlikely.

Jan-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: This is the position at the end of the variation I just posted:


click for larger view

Jan-18-16  Ulhumbrus: After 7 Qd2 Black has temporarily some central grip but White has the option of c3. The thrust 7...Nd4? merely loses time if on 8 c3 the knight has to move a third time by 8...Nxe2 to exchange itself for a knight moved once, making a loss of two tempi for development. Admittedly White has to return one of these two tempi by moving his queen again.

After 9...Ne7 White has a lead in development but it is doubtful whether this advantage is great enough to justify playing for mate with the attack 10 h4? and on a developing move such as 10...Be6! White may have lost most of his advantage

Another interesting idea is 10...b5 beginning a queen side pawn storm. The idea is this: With the move h4 White has made it less safe for his king on the king side so perhaps he is preparing to castle on the queen side. In that case why not gain time towards a queenside counter-attack? This is the reaction advised by Alekhine in the game Capablanca vs C H Alexander, 1936 (kibitz #12) and is perhaps advisable as well in the game Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1892

Jan-18-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Tiggler> Working with Komodo from your variation it found 31 Rf1 (to prevent ...f5) Qe7 32 Qxa7 Qh4 33 Rf2 Rg4 34 Qb6 Rf4 35 Rxf4 Qg3+ 36 Kc2 exf4 37 Qf6 Qg5 38 Qd4 Kf8 39 a4 Kg8 40 Kb1 f3 41 Rc1 Qf4 42 Rg1+ Kf8 43 Qc5+ and White still has the initiative, and the prospect of getting connected Qside passed pawns.


click for larger view

If there is a win, it would be keeping Queens on, I think.

Jan-19-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: It seems that Carlsen's 25th move was the crux: though I admit that if I was playing White and was hit with 24...Qb5, I suspect I'd have gone on to lose.
Jan-19-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Interestingly, this is classified as an 'Uncommon Opening' because of 1.g3 g6 followed by e4 e5. But the position that results isn't so unusual.
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