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Fabiano Caruana vs Viswanathan Anand
World Championship Candidates (2016), Moscow RUS, rd 10, Mar-23
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Ulhumbrus> Unless you are a premium member, be careful to attach too much credibility in the site analysis. They run Stockfish 6 at very low ply, in the mid 20s at the most, and at that depth you can't have much confidence in Stockfish 6's analysis. Having said that, I also look at Stockfish 6's analysis at the site but only to get an idea about the position, not to reach any definitive conclusions.

But did you mean 22...Ne4? If so, you're right, Stockfish 6 preferred 22...Rad8 23.Rde1 Bd3. And it certainly makes sense to activate Black's worst placed piece. 22...Ne4 was not among Stockfish 6's top 3 moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <MissScarlett> I don't know. Are you any good at it?

And rest assured that my remark was meant in jest; I just couldn't resist. In a way, hermaphrodism is analogous to being bisexual and, as Woody Allan once remarked, being bisexual automatically doubles your chances for a date.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Absentee> My wife sure didn't.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <GiuocoPianoMan> To <latvalatvian> the only thing that matters is whether you use a chess engine or not. Because chess engines are evil, you see.

But he is correct, Anand has been great and continues to be so. His 3 wins in this tournament against top opposition, particularly Anand vs Svidler, 2016, show that. With 4 rounds still to go he is only point out of first place and it's not inconceivable that he could still win the tournament, particularly since he has White against Karjakin next round. He will need help against Caruana though, since Caruana has the lead in the first tie breaker, the results of the games for those who end in a tie for first.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Good Game.

Baxh6 was a positional piece to get a won ending! I knew that. :)

Anand more or less had to sac the exchange. It was only a question of when.

click for larger view

I' ve got a line where Fabiano sacs the exchange.

25...Rb8 26.Bd5 Nd6 27.Rxc4 Nxc4 28.Bxf7+ and Bxc4 (white threatens Nd7 mate. Yes? something has to go.)

final position.

click for larger view

Given the times (if they are correct) I would have played on till move 40.

There is one triple 'T' (a Time Trouble Trap) in the position.

33...Rxf1 34.Kf1.

With the King on f1, the Knight on c4 opens the door ro Bishop fork tricks Bd3+ and the c2 Knight also has a check on e3. You will only get one shot at this so go for it.


I have honestly played more blatant traps than that over the board and succeeded. You are reading the posts of a man who has no shame. No move is too low for me to stoop to play.

34...Bc6 stops Rd7 and in answer to my favourite fruit 'the lemon' (one has to live in hope in these positions if you are playing on.)

35.Rc8 Bb5.

Remember the King is on f1 so the Knight is pinned and 36. Rxc7 holding the Knight fails due to Bxc4+ Rxc4 and Ne3+ One can never say that would never have happened. I've seen much worse.

Now some doubters may say they have never seen a trick this. Then let me tell you this...

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Chessboards on fire off the coast of Skegness. I've seen checkmates that glitter in the dark. All those moments will be lost in tears in the rain."

Mar-23-16  Ulhumbrus: <AylerKupp> Yes, I meant 22...Rad8 in place of 22...Ne4
Mar-23-16  Ulhumbrus: If 18 Bxh6 is possible it means that White's centre has become a weapon instead of a target, in this case a fortress instead of a battering ram or a charging brigade. Doubtless Anand will examine this game. If Black's knights in the position before 18 Bxh6 count as a liability instead of an asset, and if Black's extra pawn is not being made to count, White has then a positional advantage which is overwhelming enough to justify an immediate combination.
Mar-23-16  Fanques Fair: During the game I wondered why 15...Nxg3 was possible ? If 16- Nxc6, Bxc2, 17-Nxd8, simply Raxd8 wins the exchange for Black, as White has his 2 rooks atacked by minor pieces. Or 16-Qd2, Ne4. But then I saw 16-e4 ! , Nxf1, 17- Rxf1, and then wherever Black moves his bishop, he seems to be in trouble, even the exchange up. If 17-...Be6, there is the fork d5. Or if 17-...Bh7, White has 18-Nxf7 ! , with probably a winning position.

Quite interesting lines.

Mar-23-16  Karposian: <not not: Karposian, you and Sally, are great help explaining me things each live game; can you shortly explain why Anand resign? I dont get it at all, there is no mate looming or nothing; just few words? thank you>

I'm sorry, but I didn't see your question before now. Right after Anand had resigned, I went out to buy some groceries. But I saw that <devere> answered your question. And yes, as <devere> said, Black is going to lose his queenside pawns, so his position is hopeless.

Still, I think many players would have played on a little bit before resigning. But the old tiger, he'd had enough, apparently.

Anyway, a fine game by Caruana who once again showed his strength, especially when playing White. He is much stronger, relatively speaking, with the white pieces than with Black.

Mar-23-16  not not: Anand "Stop harassing me or I hit you with Nxg3"

Caruana "Common then, do it! Put your threat in action"

and then Anand chicken out with 15... Nd6; it left me with bad taste in my mouth, to be honest;

don't make threats to do something, if you have no courage to do it!

Mar-23-16  Ulhumbrus: Caruana said in a short interview that 12 Qc2 had surprised Anand and that it was very tough to answer over the board. He said that Rustan Kasimdzhanov had found the innovation the day before. said that 22...Ne4 was Anand's mistake and that Anand could have fought better after 22...c6 or 22...Rad8. Here is the link:

White's main positional threat in the opening is to turn his centre into a weapon by the advance e4, as he manages to do in the game. After 12 Qc2 White threatens to obstruct Black's rook by Bf4 followed by Ne5 and then to play e4. Thus what White is threatening is not a combination but an entire plan. 12 Qc2 preempts the move ...Bf5 supporting a blockade on e4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Interesting. No doubt 15... Ng3 was the only move for Black to challenge the White position. Curious.
Mar-23-16  ajile: In this opening the ..Nc6 looks very awkward when opposed by the fianchettoed Bg2. Especially if Black's dark squared bishop abandons the q-side and goes to the b1-h7 diagonal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Not Not,

That is trouble with GM games. The unclear to some resignation.

If it was to me I'd make them all play on till mate else they don't get their appearance fee.

You would get some nice Help Mates by those wanting go home early.

In this game the Bishop and Knight cannot hold the Queenside pawns. Any attempt to do so will most likely result in dropped piece because of the lack of safe square the Bishop and Knight can settle on without then getting undermined.

So if you skip across to...

Morphy vs H Richardson, 1859

...we will see a similar ending and meet a chap who was rather good at wrapping it all up won games v players who forgot to resign.

Mar-23-16  Ulhumbrus: Caruana said that Anand's mistake was ...Ne4. I thought when sending my previous message that this meant 22...Ne4 but the chess24 computer evaluations suggest that 13...Ne4 is not the best and that 13...Nh5 or 13...Nd5 are better. I am not sure which ...Ne4 was said by Caruana to be Anand's mistake at various points in the interview. Perhaps both of them.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: imho Caruana out-prepared Anand and then outplayed him.
Mar-23-16  ndg2: Terrific prep by Caru, but it was also played somewhat without energy by Vishy. Even the early resignation tells about that.

This is what the younger player hoped for: that the old guard gets tired in the last third and let sink their shields. Even Giri can still hope since he plays now against mostly the older guys and / or bottom dwellers.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: otoh Anand was perhaps relaxed after his success against Aronian.
Mar-23-16  SetNoEscapeOn: 22. f6! very strong move, showing that Fabiano was completely in tune with the position. Besides the threats to the king, psychologically it's uncomfortable to have such a visitor in your house. Might be the moment he won the game.
Mar-23-16  kdogphs: A favorite White opening of mine. I love the English in general! This was a great game, very instinctive moves by Caruana.
Giri's next opponent is Hikaru! He has MORE WINS than Giri does now! Giri I may add has not WON A Single Game! As to Anand.... I would be surprised if he finishes better than he is now! I expected him to lose! He will probably win an event here or there, but is well on the downside of his career. Nothing wrong with that as it is expected as humans age! LONG LIVE MAGNUS! Who also as CHAMP has good and bad events! This particular event seems like it could go down to the very LAST ROUND! With 4 Rounds left... it is "Mathematically" possible for TOPALOV to still WIN! HOT STREAKS COME AND GO? C'mon there VESELIN get on a STREAK! Is everybody else CHEATING? Then there is the 2 hour delay...Is that FIDE saying that everyone is cheating????
Mar-23-16  SandyJames: I was watching the game and reading comments here. It was so exciting when sally simpson said - whack h6! I wanted to preserve that moment.

Mar-24-16  dynamica: After move 6.O-O better 6........Re8

Kingside Flanchetto A-29.
English Opening Four Knight:
1.e4 e5
2.Nc3 Nc6
3.Nf3 Nf6

Mar-24-16  Moszkowski012273: Yeah 15...Nd6 was way to passive.
Mar-24-16  1971: As soon as they said Qc2 was a near novelty I knew Caruana would win. Especially in this position where Black has to solve concrete problems right away.

As Carlsen (and Karjakin earlier in the tournament) showed, getting Vishy out of prep early dramatically improves your chances of winning. Bxh6 sac was a totally confident, dominant decision. Not to get too dramatic but before the game I was wondering if Caruana had it in him to ascend and seize the moment. And he did, in great style. His confidence must be very high right now.

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