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Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Fabiano Caruana
"Let's Get It Started Ian Here" (game of the day Jan-28-2020)
GCT Croatia (2019), Zagreb CRO, rd 2, Jun-27
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation (B33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Did Fabi try to use MC's WC prep?
Jun-27-19  The17thPawn: Early posts for this game were mentioning a black advantage. At which point?
Jun-27-19  Boomie: The Bomb is a convenient place to track evals:

Jun-27-19  patzer2: Instead of 30...Nxc3 31. bxc3 ∓ (-1.07 @ 20 ply, Stockfish), better is 30...Nc5! 31. Qxd6 Ba4+ -+ (-2.38 @ 18 ply, Stockfish).
Jun-28-19  Ulhumbrus: It may be that Caruana chooses the Sicilian Lasker-Pelikan because he wants to find out whether Nepomniachtchi has found some innovation that Caruana can use later against Carlsen.
Jun-29-19  Whitehat1963: Stockfish’s six-second analysis (one move at a time) suggests that 34...Qxd5 leads to a pointless shuffle that holds the draw for black, perhaps even maintaining a slight advantage:

34...Qxd5 35. Qd2 Qb7 36. Be2 d5 37. Bd1 Qa7 38. Bc5 Qa6 39. Bd4 Bg5 40. Qe2 Qc6 41. f4 Be7 42. Qh5 Qa6 43. Bc2 Bf6 44. Qd1 Be7 45. Qh5 Bf6 ....

Jun-29-19  Whitehat1963: Meanwhile, an exchange of queens is even more advantageous for black, even though it’s a long, hard road to convert that advantage into a win: 34...Qxd5 35. Qd2 Qxd2 36. Nxd2 d5 37. Nb3 Rb8 38. Kc2 d4 39. f3 dxc3 40. Bc5 exf3 41. Bxf3 Rd8 42. Bb6 Rd7 43. Ba5 g5 44. Bc6 Ra7 45. Bxc3 Bxc3 46. Kxc3 Kg7 47. Kd2 Ra3 48. Nd4 Kf6 49. Ne2 h5 50. Ke1 h4 51. gxh4 gxh4 52. Kf2 h3 53. Bb5 h2 54. Bc6 Ra2 55. Bf3 Ra1 56. Ng3 f4 57. Nh1 Ra2+ 58. Be2 Kf5 59. Kf3 Ra3+ 60. Kg2 Ke4 61. Bc4 Rc3 62. Nf2+ Kd4 63. Be2 Ra3 64. Nh1 Ke3 65. Bc4 Rc3 66. Bd5 Rc5 67. Bb3 Rb5 68. Be6 Rb2+ 69. Kh3 f3 70. Kg3 Rg2+ 71. Kh3 Kf4 72. Bc4 Rb2 73. Bd3 Rb3 74. Bc4 Rc3 75. Bd5 Rc5 76. Bf7 Rf5 77. Bg6 Rf6 78. Bh5 Rh6 79. Kh4 Rxh5+ 80. Kxh5 Ke3 81. Ng3 Kf2 82. Kg4 Kg2
Jun-29-19  JohnBoy: 33...Rxa5 looks awfully strong. At this point, the opposite colored bishops only help black.
Jul-08-19  cormier: 0.48 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 f5 11. Bd3 Be6 12. O-O f4 13. c3 Bg7 14. Nc2 O-O 15. Qh5 h6 16. Rad1 Kh8 17. Ncb4 Nxb4 18. Nxb4 Qg5 19. Qxg5 hxg5 20. Nd5

0.43 7. Nd5 Nxd5 8. exd5 Ne7 9. c4 Ng6 10. Qa4 Bd7 11. Qb4 Qb8 12. h4 a6 13. h5 axb5 14. hxg6 fxg6 15. cxb5 Be7 16. a4 b6 17. Be3 O-O 18. Bd3 Bf5 19. Qb3 Qb7 20. Bxf5 gxf5 21. O-O-O Rac8+ 22. Kb1 Rf7

0 7. a4 a6 8. Na3 Be7 9. Bc4 O-O 10. O-O Be6 11. Re1 Nb4 12. Bg5 Rc8 13. b3 Kh8 14. Bd2 Kg8 15. Bg5

-0.18 7. Be2 a6

Jul-08-19  cormier: 0.78 15. Qd3 Qc7 16. O-O-O e4 17. Qb3 Rb8 18. f4 Nc5 19. Bxc5 Qxc5 20. Qb6 Qxb6 21. Nxb6 Rf7 22. Be2 Bf6 23. Nc4 Be7 24. h4 Bd7 25. Kd2 Bb5 26. Ne3 Bd7 27. Ra1 Rc8 28. c3 Rff8 29. g3

0.78 15. Qf3 e4 16. Qb3 Qc7 17. O-O-O Rb8 18. f4 Nc5 19. Bxc5 Qxc5 20. Qb6 Qxb6 21. Nxb6 Rf7 22. Be2 Bf6 23. Nc4 Be7 24. h4 Bd7 25. Kd2 Bb5 26. Ne3 Bd7 27. Ra1 Rc8 28. c3 Rff8 29. g3

0.60 15. Qe2 Qc7 16. f4 e4 17. Qf2 Nc5 18. Be2 Bd7 19. O-O Rb8 20. Bc3 Rff8 21. Bd4 Bf6 22. Bxf6 Rxf6 23. Nb6 Be8 24. b4 Nd7 25. Nxd7 Qxd7 26. c4 Rc8

0.59 15. h4

Jul-20-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

25...Bxc6 26.dxc6 Qxc6 27.Rxd6 Qb7 28.Bxa6 Rxa6 29.Rxa6 Qxa6 30.g4 Qd3+ 31.Qxd3 exd3 32.f3 Nb6 33.Rd1 Kg8 34.Rxd3 Nc4 35.Rd5 fxg4 36.fxg4 Ne3 37.Rb5 Nxg4 38.Bd6 Bd8 39.Bf4 Rf6 40.Bc1 Kf7 41.Rb4 Ne5 42.Rb7+ Be7 43.Bg5 Re6 44.Kc2 Nf3 45.Bxe7 Rxe7 46.Rxe7+ Kxe7 47.Kd3 Kd6 48.b4 Kc6 49.Ke4 Nh2 50.c4 Nf1 51.Kd4 Ng3 52.b5+ Kb6 53.h6 Nf5+ 54.Kd5 Nxh6 - + (-2.55) Depth: 24 dpa done

Jul-20-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 <d 20 dpa done only

1. = (0.00): 25.Ba3> Bxc6 26.dxc6 Qxc6 27.Rxd6 Qc7 28.Rxf6 Rxf6 29.Qd4 Nb6 30.h6 Rd8 31.hxg7+ Kxg7 32.Rxh7+ Kxh7 33.Qxf6 Rd1+ 34.Ka2 Rxf1 35.Qxf5+ Kg7 36.Qg5+ Kh8 37.Qf6+ Kh7 38.Qf5+ Kg7

2. - / + (-0.96): 25.Nd4 Rb8 26.Ba3 Rxh5 27.Rxh5 Qxh5 28.Re1 f4 29.gxf4 Qxd5 30.Nb3 Qc6 31.Rd1 d5 32.Rd2 h6 33.Be2 Bf5 34.Ka1 Qb7 35.Bd1 Nb6 36.Nc5 Qf7 37.Be2 d4 38.Rxd4 Bxd4 39.Qxd4 Qd5

3. - / + (-1.01): 25.Qb3 Nxb2 26.Rd2 a5 27.Ba3 Nd3 28.Bxd3 exd3 29.Qxd3 Bxc6 30.dxc6 Qxc6 31.Qd5 Rb8+ 32.Ka2 Qe8 33.Rb1 Rc8 34.c4 Rxh5 35.Rb5 a4 36.Bb2 Bxb2 37.Rdxb2 Rh2 38.Qxd6 Rxc4 39.Rxf5 Rc8 40.Rd2 Rb8 41.Qe5 Qg8+ 42.Qd5 Qc8

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: A sharp Sicilian Sveshnikov with the current preference 7. Nd5 over the old school 7. Bg5. Opening Explorer 20. 0-0-0 was quite a bold decision, with opposite-side castling into those open lines, but Nepo was ready to fight. The Stockfish analysis feature is incredibly helpful for suggestions and improvements, yet also seems a little mean with so many "?" given out. Worth noting that Black would have stood much better after 25 … Bxc6 26. dxc6 Qxc6 [-2.21] and also 29 … Bxc6 30. dxc6 a5 [-2.06], but such a complicated struggle is bound to have multiple refinements for both sides.

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White to Play and Win after 49 … Qc2.

Go Ian.

Jan-28-20  goodevans: I really don't mind it when the game is much better than the pun. Great choice for GOTD!

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