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Ivan Cheparinov vs Fabiano Caruana
Cap d'Agde (2008) (rapid), Cap d'Agde FRA, rd 2, Oct-26
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Milner-Barry Variation (E33)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-31-08  PolishPentium: Your friendly neighbourhood putz PP heartily recommends here that "Chepi" first lock things in by playing d6 a move earlier, on his 37th move, rather than on the 38th. This has the added benefit of forcing the Rook at a8 to move, whereupon after the revised moves 38 Bxc5 bxc5 White can play Rxa7. Even if he retains the original move order, PP can not figure out for the life of himself why Chepi resolutely refuses to take the a7 pawn until it is too late to be beneficial. Personally, i think with more aggressive play he could have won this. Any contrasting opinions...?
Jun-27-11  Shams: Position after black's <10...Nd7-b8>:

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Here Cheparinov essayed <11.Nd2> and Caruana struck out with <12...c6>. I wish I had known of this plan earlier. Tonight I had the diagrammed position (as Black) against the Seattle's Peter Lessler (~2100), the game continuing 11.0-0 a5?! (slowing down a queenside break that can never be stopped-- I must admit I gave almost no consideration to ...c7-c6 which I thought could only strengthen White's LSB) <12.b3 Nbd7 13.Bb2 (?!)>:

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And now what? Black can spend three moves to play ...f5 but I didn't see anything else. And perhaps I was feeling a bit any case this was not the time to kick with <13...b5? 14.cb Nxd5 15.Qd2 N5b6> where black has staved off immediate tactical disaster but his position is awful. I deservedly lost a long game, having forgotten the first rule of the Hippocratic Oath...

Jun-27-11  Shams: More adventurous types can gambit a pawn with 8...e5!? as in this classic miniature: K Makarczyk vs Sliwa, 1952
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Shams> In the 1980s, I played 4....Nc6 a few times, but don't remember a lot of theory on this.

While unfamiliar with the line played in this game, in my opinion, Black can't let his opponent get settled in here, else he risks drifting into a passive position where he's conceded the bishop pair for free.

This conclusion would likely lead me along the lines of the idea ....c7-c6 to open the c-file.

Playing for ....f7-f5 probably accomplishes little, as White's fianchetto (same as in the King's Indian) makes his king a less tasty target; moreover, f2-f4 is an idea Black must reckon with, where the monstrous DSB has no opposite number and it is again easy for Black to be reduced to passivity. This type of strategically passive position is, while objectively slightly better for White, unpleasant to defend in practice.

Jun-27-11  Shams: <perfidious> Thanks, your thoughts are a big help. I actually get into these positions via the Tango move order so 2...Nc6 is what I'm kind of wedded to, at least for now.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Shams> I've been playing the Tango in blitz, and like it a lot, but unfortunately I'm not that wild about these Zurich Nimzo lines. I'd much rather see White play 3.Nc3.
Jun-27-11  Shams: <FSR> Agreed, the dark square center after 3.Nc3 e5 gives black very easy play. I don't even mind 3.Nf3 e6 4.a3 since black reaches a funky not-quite-King's Indian with lots of scope for creative play, at least if your name is Victor Bologan: Sasikiran vs Bologan, 1999
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Shams> Do you have Richard Palliser's book "tango!"? He's very big on the 8...e5!? gambit, which he thinks it's foolhardy for White to accept.
Jun-28-11  Shams: <FSR> Yes, he gives the Sliwa game as a virtual refutation. I need to find a trainer and learn how to play such positions, but as it stands I am loath to offer the e-pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Shams: <FSR> Agreed, the dark square center after 3.Nc3 e5 gives black very easy play.>

In the only game I've ever had in this opening, Orlov blasted me off the board at the 1991 World Open blitz event.

Today, 3.Nf3 it would be.

Does anyone else remember a game Michael Rohde annotated against Orlov for Chess Life, in which he also played 3.Nc3 and got a terrible position?

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