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Fabiano Caruana vs Georg Meier
"Smells Like Home Cooking" (game of the day Feb-17-2022)
GRENKE Chess Classic (2013), Baden-Baden GER, rd 1, Feb-07
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation. Blackburne Defense (C10)  ·  1-0



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Fabiano Caruana vs Georg Meier (2013) Smells Like Home Cooking
Photograph © copyright 2013 Georgios Souleidis.

Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-07-13  Captain Hindsight: Better would have been <22...Re8 23.Rc1 Re4 24.g3 Ke7 25.Bf4 Kf7 26.Nd2 Re8 27.Nc4 Kg8=>

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Feb-07-13  Ezzy: F Caruana (2757) - Geo Meier (2640)
GRENKE Chess Classic Baden Baden GER (1), 07.02.2013

1.e4 e6 <Meier only ever plays the French.> 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Be3 Nd5 8.Bd2 c5 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Qxd7 11.c4 Nb6 12.Rc1 f6< [12...cxd4 13.c5 Nc8 14.Rc4 White gets the pawn back.]> 13.0–0 cxd4 <Novelty. 1 game in the database with 13...Rc8 >14.Re1 Rc8< [14...e5? 15.Nxe5 fxe5 16.Qh5+ g6 (16...Kd8 17.Rxe5 Be7 18.c5 White's winning.) 17.Qxe5+ Kf7 18.c5 Bg7 19.Qf4+ Qf5 20.cxb6 Qxf4 21.Bxf4 Is much better for white.]> 15.Qb3 Be7 16.c5 Rxc5 17.Rxc5 Bxc5 18.Rxe6+ Kd8 <18...Kf8 and black can't develop his rook.> 19.Re1< Whites eyeing 20 Ba5 with a nasty pin on the knight if he gets the chance.> 19...Qd5 20.Qd3 Nd7 21.b4 Bb6 22.a4 a6?! <22...Re8! is more active for black according to the computer, instead of trying to hang on to his extra pawn which seems doomed eventually. [22...Re8 23.Rd1 Re4 24.a5 Bc7 25.Be3 Ne5 26.Nxe5 Qxe5 27.Kf1 Kc8 28.Bxd4 Qd5 And black's much better than the game line.]> 23.a5 Ba7? <Black should just let this pawn on d4 go , and try to get some active piece play. [23...Bc7 24.Qxd4 Qxd4 25.Nxd4]> 24.Bf4 <Blacks king is in danger from mating threats for example - 25 Qe2 -26 Qe7+ Kc8 27 Qe8+ Rxe8 28 Rxe8 MATE!! :-)> 24...Nb8< This may not be best, BUT white is technically winning anyway. None of black's pieces are working and the king is too exposed. [24...Re8?? 25.Bc7+] >25.Bxb8 Bxb8 26.Nxd4 Qd6< [26...Kc8 Puts up more resistance, but Caruana will still win the endgame. 27.Rc1+ Bc7 28.Qc3 Qd7 29.Ne6 Kb8 30.Qxc7+ Qxc7 31.Rxc7 Re8 32.Rxg7 Rxe6 33.f3 Is a technically won endgame for white.] >27.Ne6+ Ke7 28.Nc5+ Kf7 29.Qc4+ Kg6 30.g3 h5 31.Qe4+ Kh6 32.Qxb7 Qd2 33.Re7 Qd1+ 34.Kg2 h4 35.Qd7 Bd6< [35...Qxd7 36.Rxd7 Be5 37.Nxa6 2 passed pawns will prevail.] >36.Ne4 1–0

Nicely played by Caruana. Meier tried to hang on to his d4 pawn with 22...a6 and 23...Ba7 which was the wrong plan, After that, Caruana had too much initiative, and with the black king exposed, created too many threats.

Another French game for Meier to study closely (as he plays the French exclusively)

Feb-07-13  mistreaver: Hey <Ezzy>, i find your comments most interesting and valuable, i am just curious, what is your prcatical playing strength?
Feb-07-13  Eyal: Meier said after the game that he was planning 24...g5 25.Bg3 g4, but then noticed the crushing 26.Qe2! when 26...gxf3 leads to mate - 27.Qe7+ Kc8 28.Qe8+!; after 26...Qf7 the finish would be 27.Qc2! Bb8 (or Nb8) 28.Bxb8 Nxb8 29.Nxd4 Re8 30.Rd1. Note that an immediate 26.Qc2 is less strong because of 26...Bc5 (which after 26.Qe2 Qf7 27.Qc2 can be met by 28.Nxd4!).

He walked into some deep home prep - Caruana was playing at blitz speed up to move 19.

Feb-09-13  ajile: <Ezzy> Thanks for the analysis. The move that made me gag was 12..f6.

Plus I have noticed that at this level of play when one player has his king exposed in the middle of the board with heavy pieces still on his survival chances go way down.

Feb-09-13  Eyal: <ajile: The move that made me gag was 12..f6.>

Yeah, it looks bizarre at a first glance, but it's not completely stupid - the idea, apparently, is to prevent the white knight from coming to e5 as in Karjakin vs Navara, 2009 (after the "normal" 12...Be7). It worked ok for Meier in a previous game of his with Bacrot - - which I suppose Caruana studied in his preparation.

Feb-17-13  waustad: This game is mentioned in a NY Times article: The author shows restraint by not mentioning that in some sense Caruana is a New Yorker.
May-11-13  Catfriend: It it strange that the comments don't mention what seems to me an important improvement:

12..Bc5 13. Rxe6+ Qxe6 14. Re1 Qxe1+ 15. Bxe1 0-0 and this endgame looks fine for black.

What can White do? c4 is blockaded and weak, slow static play will even get White in trouble:

16. a3 Rf7 17. Ba5 Nd7 is already excellent for Black.

16. h3 (preparing a luft) Rfe8 (limiting White's pieces and taking the column) 17. Bd2 and Red8 is fine.

Best seems 16. Qd3 (though the queen is a poor blockader...) Bd6 (attacking the pawn) 17. b3 Rfd8 - still, no way Black loses this.

Feb-17-22  newzild: <Catfriend> 12...Bc5 is not a legal move.
Feb-17-22  thegoldenband: <newzild: <Catfriend> 12...Bc5 is not a legal move.> I think 15...Bc5 (etc.) was intended. How all the move numbers in that first line ended up off by three, I can but wonder.
Feb-17-22  goodevans: <36...h3+> won't save the piece. <37.Qxh3+ Kg6 38.Qxh8 Bxe7 39.Qe8+> and the bishop goes anyway.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I'm guessing Fabi cooks a mean gluten-free spag bol. During the lockdown, I remember him saying he only left his home to shop at Whole Foods.

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