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Fabiano Caruana vs Anish Giri
World Championship Candidates (2020/21), Yekaterinburg RUS, rd 12, Apr-24
Sicilian Defense: Four Knights Variation (B45)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-24-21  W Westerlund: I don't feel unhappy that Caruana is out, it is now between Giri and Nepo - one of them will make very difficult to Carlsen this year. It would be nice if it would be Nepo but Giri is okay too and he is perhaps even stronger, although there is something in the game against Ding Liren yesterday that I absolutely do not understand, instead of going for g5 etc., Liren could have played Bxf3, Qxf3, Qxf3 gxf3 Bxc5 bxc5 Rxd3 - all forced, and perhaps White can keep this endgame, although it looks really very ugly. So yesterday Giri could have been out. Instead the variation came with Ng5 and h4 and Ne4! and then Ding took on c5 and it was over. I find it bizarre.
Apr-24-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Fabiano on burning his breeches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-j...
Apr-24-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Caruana won't be sleeping too well.

46.Qxg2 Qxe3+ 47.Qf2? Rh1+ loses a Queen.

46.Qxg2 Qxe3+ 47.Kf1 Qc1+ 48.Kf2 Qxb1

Losing a piece.

Apr-24-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I thought white was mistaken in opening the c file. the black Rooks came crashing in.
Apr-25-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: A totally, absolutely unnecessary defeat for Caruana. Nobody can win a Candidates tourney without effort, this is crystal clear, but a super high quality player like him should be in the race until the very last moves of the event. Disappointing, even if Giri prepares and plays very well (that is the actual truth).
Apr-25-21  DouglasGomes: From a statistical point of view, It was virtually necessary for Caruana to win with the win the white pieces. It is easy to overestimate Black's counterplay in the opening exit, but Caruana got a promising position out of the opening. It is just that the whole b4-b5 was not very good. An improvement is 17. b3

17.b3 Ne5 18.Bh5 g6 19.Ne2 Kh8 20.Bf3 Bf6 21.a4 Bg7 22. Nd4


click for larger view

18. Bh5 is a computerish but very clever move, it pressures f7 and allows the knight on Nc3 to maneuver to d4, where it can go to f3 (where it challenges the e5 knight) or f5.

18... Qb6 is possible (sort of offering a pawn). But now after 19. Ne2, White has the idea of going Nd4, playing Bxe5 and Nxe6, to land a piece on f7 with very serious consequences. Which means Black has to start making concessions, like for example, 19... c5 (ugly), 19... g6 (the move the position asked for), 19... Ng6 (sacking a pawn for no serious compensation).

20. Bf3 Taking this bishop the e5 knight is a ghastly positional mistake.

21. a4 fights for b5 square and solidifies White's structure on the queenside.

21... Bg7 is a kind of waiting move, slight improvement. But Black is lacking active ideas. I hope more creative kibitzers will try to correct me!

White has kingside play in the end position and Black's hanging pawns are still somewhat weak.

Apr-25-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  sandtime: 41...Ra1 great.
Apr-25-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: If 46.Rg3 then:

46.Rg3 Qc1+ 47.Kxg2 Qh1#

46.Rg3 Qc1+ 47.Qf1 Qxf1+ 48.Kxf1 Rh1+
49.Kxg2 Rxb1 -+

Apr-25-21  LameJokes:

46.Rg3 Qc1 47.Qf1 Rh1 48.Kh1 Qf1 49.Kh2 Qc1

Apr-25-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Noticed that the position at moves 40 and 42 for black is identical.

First of all he tries 40...Ra2, hoping for 41 Qxa2?, seeing 41...Qh4+ 42.Kg1 Qxe1+ 43.Kh2 Qxe4.


click for larger view

White ignores that with 41 Rb1, forcing 41...Ra8. White follows with 42 Re1 and black finally makes white pay for 40 Be4 with 42...f5.


click for larger view

Apr-25-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Pozich after 35... Ra4


click for larger view

Now 36. Qc7 is not hard to find, but instead Caruana just gives up the a3 pawn without any compensation and loses the game.

The synchronicity with what happened during the Wang vs Nepo game is striking... but... who cares anyway lol

Apr-25-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <WorstPlayerEver> After 36. Qc7 Rxa3 Black threatens <37...Rxf3> and one has to calculate some tricky tactics around <37. h4> which looks like not an easy decision while under such pressure. So I wouldn't exactly call this <not hard to find>.
Apr-25-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: <beatgigant>

36. Qc7 Rxa3 37. h4 Rxf3 38. gxf3 and then?
If Black plays 38... Qe2, then White has 39. Qc8+ Kh7 40. Qf5+ with repetition.

What kind of pressure? C'mon... don't be silly. And really, I don't care, just giving my opinion. I don't have any iron in this fire lol

Apr-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <Ulhumbrus: 6 a3? moves a pawn in the opening. However Caruana must have prepared something that involves this move.>

It's a sideline but not ridiculous. Anand got an edge against Giri in 2019: Anand vs A Giri, 2019

Judging from the clocks, maybe White messed up something - he spent 7 minutes on Be2 and 8 minutes on f4, suggesting they were somehow part of preparation but 15 minutes for move 12 means that he was for sure out of prep at this point. He did get a tactical position which would presumably be what he was looking for.

Pretty neat game by Anish. 36.Qf2 is a poor move according to engines but it is indeed a tricky position where White has 8 minutes left. You need to make sure that your king is safe after 36..Rxa3 37.h4 which seems a difficult task, there are ideas like 37..Ng6 38.h5 Nh4. Always ..Qb5 hitting f1 has to be calculated in as well. It is not like ..Qc7 saves the a3-pawn anyway so why volunteer to compromise your king safety.

Apr-26-21  JustAnotherMaster: Fabi must have something great prepared.....for another opening....
Apr-26-21  alkabiades: Can someone explain 14...Nd7? It seems like in the next move black is going to lose a pawn on d6 (15.bxd6). Why white did not play that move?
Apr-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Ulhumbrus: 6 a3? moves a pawn in the opening.

So does 1.e4 ;)

Apr-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <alkabiades: Can someone explain 14...Nd7? It seems like in the next move black is going to lose a pawn on d6 (15.bxd6). Why white did not play that move?>

There is always the Qb6+ followed by Qxb2 resource for Black. Problem is in some cases it loses to moves like Rb1 and/or Bh6. But after 15.Bxd6 Bxd6 16.Qxd6 Qb6+ 17.Kh1 Qxb2 is fine for Black.

Apr-26-21  jussu: <Troller: <alkabiades: Can someone explain 14...Nd7? It seems like in the next move black is going to lose a pawn on d6 (15.bxd6). Why white did not play that move?>

There is always the Qb6+ followed by Qxb2 resource for Black. Problem is in some cases it loses to moves like Rb1 and/or Bh6. But after 15.Bxd6 Bxd6 16.Qxd6 Qb6+ 17.Kh1 Qxb2 is fine for Black.>

Was about to say this. What puzzles me more is how 15. Rad1 helps, but I figure it might be something like 15... Qb6+ 16. Kh1 Qxb2 17. Rb1 Qxa3 (Nc3 is still protected in this line and 17... Qxc2 18. Rfc1 traps the queen) 18. Nd5 with 19. Nxe7+ and the knight is not trapped there because c6 cannot be covered. But I might be talking rubbish; it's ages since I actually played this game :)

Apr-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <jussu [...]it's ages since I actually played this game :)>

For a several years now I'm seeking for some magical potion that helps me quitting chess. How did you manage to do it?

Apr-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <jussu> Your line is correct, the Nd5-e7 idea was also mentioned in the commentary. Perhaps also 16.Be3 Qxb2 17.Bd4 is very uncomfortable for Black, Rb1 is still a huge threat here.
Apr-26-21  jussu: <For a several years now I'm seeking for some magical potion that helps me quitting chess. How did you manage to do it?>

Don't play too well. All it took for me was one tourney where I was ruthlessly butchered by three teenage girls in a row, hinting that I was really getting too old for this sport. But I think I'm now thinking about coming back for more pain :D

Apr-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <jussu: <For a several years now I'm seeking for some magical potion that helps me quitting chess. How did you manage to do it?>

Don't play too well. All it took for me was one tourney where I was ruthlessly butchered by three teenage girls in a row, hinting that I was really getting too old for this sport. But I think I'm now thinking about coming back for more pain :D>

If I remember correctly, it was 2007 or 2008, the penultimate round of a rapid tourney, where I had slim, but existing chances to get the top spot. Against a teenage girl the opening went 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.Bf4 e6 4.e3 c5 5.Nbd2 Nc6 6.c3 Be7 7.Bd3 Nh5 8.dxc5 Nxf4 9.exf4 Bxc5


click for larger view

and here she caught me totally, completely off-guard with 10.Ne5!? - I cannot remember what were the exact moves later on (I continued with 10...a6, that is not good, I believe), but she tormented me with a kingside pawn invasion so heavily that I thought I am playing against a reincarnation of Alekhine. My LSB was imprisoned forever on the queenside, my queen became extremely passive, and generally, it was all the horrors for an eternity. In a mutual time trouble I found the way to simplify into a difficult, but equalish-looking endgame (maybe a KRNPPPPvKRBPP, where I had the bishop, but I am not dead certain), that I somehow managed to hold.

I cannot remember what was her name. Her attack was one of the most devastating ones I have ever got in my face, and I have zero idea how I survived it.

Now that I remember to this story, I cannot imagine anything that could be more beautiful than chess. I'm afraid I will never have the ability to quit it!

Apr-26-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Well, I got the Monday puzzle. That is what counts.
May-04-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <WorstPlayerEver> First, I agree that 36. Qc7 is a better defense.

But, you claimed that it was <not hard to find>. The line leads to complications with White destroying his own kingside while Black picks up 2 pawns for the exchange, and it's very understandable why White would be reluctant to enter this.

After 36. Qc7 Rxa3 37. h4 Rxf3 38. gxf3, White would have to see your perpetual check line after 38...Qe2 39. Qc8+, also would have to consider what to do if Black plays 38...g6 to prevent the perpetual check (engine claims slight advantage to Black after 39. Qc2), and also what to do if Black simply takes the pawn with 38...gxh4 (engine claims White can hold with 39. Rb1).

Maybe you're a much stronger player than me, but this is not what I'd call <easy to find>.

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