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Fabiano Caruana vs Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen Invitational (2020) (rapid), chess24.com INT, rd 3, Apr-22
Alekhine Defense: Four Pawns Attack. Fianchetto Variation (B03)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-22-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Some comments on the opening based on John Cox’s <Starting Out: Alekhine’s Defence>, which has a brief discussion of Magnus’s 5….g6.

6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 Be6 is the wrinkle that is supposed to make this playable since if c4-c5 the knight can go to d5. After 8.Nf3 0-0 Black is threatening the pawn on c4. 9.Qb3 a5 and if 10.a4 then …Na6 followed by …Nb4 — having squares for <all> your pieces is a big accomplishment in this defense. 9.Qb3 a5 10.Ng5 a4 11.Nxe6 ab and 9.d5 Bf5 are also supposed to be OK.

9.b3 is not very promising — besides Magnus’s move, 9….c5 10.dxc5 N6d7! is supposed to be good, since if 11.cxd6 exd6 12.Qxd6, then 12….Nxe5! 13.Qxd8 Nxf3+ 14.gxf3 Rxd8 seems more than OK for Black despite the pawn minus.

11.Ne4 aiming at c5 looks good to me, but SF disagrees. Instead 11.Be2 f6 12.exf6 should keep a small advantage. Fabi’s exchange sacrifice never looked too convincing.

Apr-23-20  Ulhumbrus: 7...Be6 obstructs the e pawn although Carlsen may have prepared it. One alternative is 7...0-0 at once and to borrow the words of Nimzowitsch on the game Vidmar vs Tartakower, 1929 in Nimzowitsch's book of the Carlsbad 1929 tournament <Black takes deadly aim at the White centre by ...Bg4 and ...Na6 and gets ready for ...c5> although in the game Vidmar actually avoided the attack by playing 10 d5! before Black could play 10...c5.
Aug-25-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < Ulhumbrus: 7...Be6 obstructs the e pawn although Carlsen may have prepared it. One alternative is 7...0-0 at once and to borrow the words of Nimzowitsch on the game Vidmar vs Tartakower, 1929 in Nimzowitsch's book of the Carlsbad 1929 tournament <Black takes deadly aim at the White centre by ...Bg4 and ...Na6 and gets ready for ...c5> although in the game Vidmar actually avoided the attack by playing 10 d5! before Black could play 10...c5.>

Are you aware that in Vidmar vs Tartakower, 1929 they're playing a completely different opening? Put the words of Nimzowitsch back where they belong.

As per my previous post, the point of ...Be6 to give the knight support on d5. Because 7....0-0 fails to do this, it can be taken advantage of by pushing the c-pawn:

8.c5 N6d7 (8...dxc5 9.dxc5 Qxd1+ 10.Rxd1 N6d7 loses immediately to 11.Nd5) 9.h4! (viz. P Piscopo vs V Pesotskyi, 2010).

SF's main line runs 9.h4 h5 10.Nf3 dxc5 11.dxc5 b6

(Black's basic problems are no space and an inability to meaningfully challenge White's center -- ...f6 generally just loses immediately to e5-e6, for example. )

12.Qc2 Nxc5 13.Rd1 Qe8 14.Bxc5 bxc5 15.Nd5 and White wins.

Since Nd5 is such a problem, Black might consider 11....e6, but then SF comes up with the agreeably hackish 12.g4 hxg4 13.Nd4 and Black's kingside is going to collapse.

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