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Fabiano Caruana vs Arkadij Naiditsch
GRENKE Chess Classic (2018), Baden-Baden GER, rd 4, Apr-04
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-04-18  ChessHigherCat: I'd like to see the postmorten. When I left black had an extra pawn and I didn't see an immediate attack but SF gave white +2.6 so I knew there must be something abreast (besides my chicken breast)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <chancho> I agree. Caruana seems to be growing stronger by the day, while Carlsen is no longer as invulnerable as he was.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Almost sounds like Alekhine vs Capablanca, doesn't it?
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <ChessHigherCat: I'd like to see the postmorten. When I left black had an extra pawn and I didn't see an immediate attack but SF gave white +2.6 so I knew there must be something abreast (besides my chicken breast)>

you can go to chess24 and scroll back..

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <excessive Sitzfleisch> A question of mind over matter
Apr-04-18  ChessHigherCat: Thanks <moro>!
Apr-04-18  sudoplatov: After the game, the commentators were looking at earlier positions to see how Black drifted into a loss. I didn't get to see the last part of the game. A quick look at the computer (on chess24) indicates that 34...Qxa4 wasn't good; White got a 1.34 pawn advantage. Then after 35.Qxb7 the computer thinks 35...Qa2 is bad, down 2.56 as opposed to 35...Qe8 which was only 1.45 down. I guess that 34...Qxa4 was the decisive mistake.
Apr-04-18  morfishine: Seems almost silly how Naiditsch lost this. The resistance was almost feeble.

I imagine he replied at the end "Wow, I didn't see that"

You're a GM, you're supposed to see that!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Dom> Ive been having that same thought.
Apr-04-18  sudoplatov: I think once Caruana noticed that as long as he could keep Naiditsch from checking on e4, the game was won. Thus lots of moves would be refuted by seeing if ...Qe4+ were possible.
Apr-04-18  The17thPawn: Is 42...Qc6+ woegg a try to get blacks queen to g6 next move?
Apr-04-18  The17thPawn: worth a try. sorry for typo.
Apr-04-18  starry2013: Looked like he just went pawn grabbing and overstretched, with his knight out of position it looks a bit silly.
Apr-04-18  starry2013: Mateo: <The way Caruana was able to mix things in this seemingly simple position is really impressive.>

Was it Naiditsch who was mixing things?

Apr-04-18  Lupara: Looking at this game, it certainly appears as though Caruana was trying to <"mix things"> as Naiditsch attempted a Queen trade to further simplify the game at move 30. ... Qe5 and a Knight trade at move 33. ... Qe1.

Instead, Caruana persisted in hunting Naiditsch into a blunder and was rewarded when Naiditch pawn grabbed with 34. ... Qxa4? A definite mistake.

Apr-04-18  Fanques Fair: 34-...Qd3 and it should be drawn ... it seems Black was too hungry ...
Apr-04-18  devere: 34...Qd7 35. Qe5 Qc6+ 36. Kg1 Qg6 was needed to hold equality, and that wasn't at all easy to see. 34...Qd3 35.Qe5 would have been even worse than 34...Qxa4.

This is the sort of game Carlsen often wins; making something out of nothing in the endgame. It is an impressive win for Caruana.

Apr-04-18  RookFile: Carlsen is still out there taking his lumps. He won't be out of practice in defending his championship. For that reason, the champ still has to be the favorite.
Apr-04-18  luzhin: Caruana had to be precise right to the very end. 41.Qe5 looks like the quickest win--until you see Naiditsch's last ditch swindle 41...Qxf2+ 42.Kxf2 Nd3+ and Black wins!
Apr-05-18  laskerdog: The 17thpawn; well Arkadij lose a knight, but it will be very hard for Fab to score even though SF est. +4; Qc6+43.Kg3Qg644.Qe5+Kh745.Qxb2
Apr-05-18  cormier: 1) =0.00 (49 ply) 34...Qd7 35.Kh2 Nxa4 36.Ne7+ Kh8 37.Nf5 f6 38.Nxh6 Kg7 39.Nf5+ Kf8 40.Qb4+ Kg8 41.Qg4 Kf8 42.Qb4+

60.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 9

Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: I look at the position at move 27 and say "Material's equal, sure White's knight is better positioned and can't be driven from the square by a pawn, but that shouldn't be particularly dangerous. It would take an awful blunder for Black to lose."

The fact White goes on to win is why chess is a slightly terrifying experience for me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: <sleepyirv:...It would take an awful blunder for Black to lose.

The fact White goes on to win is why chess is a slightly terrifying experience for me.>

At the GM level 34...Qxa4 was an awful blunder.

Apr-05-18  Nf8: <At the GM level 34...Qxa4 was an awful blunder>

I would much rather talk of a great finish by Caruana than an awful blunder by Naiditsch, since the win after that is actually very difficult to see. Especially <36.Ne3!!> (only winning move, according to the engines) is a great move - with something very counter-intuitive about it, retreating the knight from such a great looking square as f5. Defensively, it severely limits the possibilities of the two black pieces - preventing a queen check on d5 and activation of the knight via d1/d3/c4 (because of Qe4+). It also prepares Nd5 as an attacking option in case Black plays 36...Na4 (when Nd1/d3 are no longer threats) and prepares attacking possibilities for the queen with Qe4+, as noted, and also like what actually happened in the game.

Apr-05-18  The17thPawn: <laskerdog> - Thanks I was fixated on King protection and missed the knight capture. But as you stated White still has work to do in this line. However, I doubt Caruana would find the two pawn advantage as difficult to convert as I do.
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