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Fabiano Caruana vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Dortmund Sparkassen (2016), Dortmund GER, rd 1, Jul-09
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-09-16  fisayo123: MVL has won the last 7 of the last 8 decisive games. He's now living up to all the potential his fans saw in him.

Caruana's pragmatisim is always to be appreciated, but he has to accept he has serious problems against the Najdorf. Plays it to positional when he should play sharper and plays too sharp when he should build slower. Always looks for too much control. The Najdorf is not about control.

Jul-10-16  AugCos: i wonder why not 17.Bd6 ?
Jul-10-16  john barleycorn: 12.h4 has 9 games here. +2 won by white and 7 by black. Seems a bit slow.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Great performance by MVL. Caruana seemed to be lost on ideas for his attacking wing, whereas MVL served poisenous subtleties all the way.
Jul-10-16  Moszkowski012273: 17.Bd6... was correct.
Jul-10-16  ColdSong: With this game Maxime is more than 2800 for the first time.Hats off...
Jul-11-16  Chizoad: I too paused at move 17 for white and wondered why 17.Bxd6 wasn't played. I think the fear is that after 17...Bxd6 18.Rxd6 Qc7 white is going to have to fortify his defenses against black's immediately building attack on the white king. If white is careful he might come out a pawn ahead but if he makes a misstep in a perilous position he loses the game.

I would have shrugged my shoulders, played 17.Bxd6, and hunkered down. I'm also not a GM :D

Jul-11-16  Bravehorse: Seems like after 17. Bxd6 white is already lost here positionally. 17... Bxd6 18. Rxd6 Qc7 with the idea of f6 is hard to deal with according to the computer
Jul-12-16  Marmot PFL: Might have been a good day for Caruana to play 1 d4. MVL is about +21% in the database on the black side of the Sicilian.
Jul-15-16  messachess: Bravehorse:I don't see the point f6 after Qc7. It looks like giving the pawn back with g6 avoids problems. There has to be play on c file with b4, then a bunch of deflections with black's bishops to harass the white Q defending c2. So, it puts White on the defensive.
Jul-16-16  Atking: <Bravehorse> 17.Bxd6 BxB 18.RxB Qc7 it depends of what White plays here but Black has good compensation for the pawn on Queen side as rightly noted <messachess> 19.Qd2 b4 as 20.Nd5 BxN else 19.Rd2 Ne5 for Nc4 then Nxb2. In the game Caruana though in term d6 should be weak but indeed d5 is weak as well. 22...Nb6 ~ 23.Nc6 Nxd5 is at least equal. White position became critical when pawns in front of the King move on. After 28...Nxd5! Black starts to think about to win it especially if White is in time pressure. One mistake and there is no come back. This game could be among Smyslov vs Fischer 1959 and may other great games "A classical win with Najdorf defence" Nb6-Nfd7 is a good setup on this line and shows a latent threats on Queen side.
Jul-26-16  NoraNora: 17. Qg3! was much better than 17. Nd5?!

16... Rc8 is the strange move. The loss of time.

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