Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Chessgames premium membership fee will increase to $39 per year effective June 15, 2023. Enroll Now!

Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana
Gashimov Memorial (2014), Shamkir AZE, rd 10, Apr-30
Indian Game: Przepiorka Variation (A49)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 13 times; par: 67 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 123 more Carlsen/Caruana games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: To flip the board (so black is on the bottom) press the "I" key on your keyboard.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-30-14  1971: People like to refer to Carlsen as an endgame player but these type of middlegames are just as frequent as his endgame grinds. Caruana's 1. d4 defenses remain a problem, he loses with black way too much out of the opening for a top player, he has to tighten up with black.
Apr-30-14  csmath: It is interesting to add that Magnus has been absolutely meticulous in final execution of the game but Caruana did not test it completely.

Here is position after 31. e4:

click for larger view

Caruana played 31. ...fxe4 and lost. The other interesting option was:

31. ...Bh6
32. Qb1!
[Amazingly powerful move - if black opens a file with fxe4 then white gets diagonal.]

32. ...fxe4
33. Rd1

click for larger view

and now no matter black tries it is white that conducts attack. Would Magnus found powerful 31. Qb1! I don't know but this game he played well so I tend to believe he could.

Apr-30-14  csmath: <People like to refer to Carlsen as an endgame player but these type of middlegames are just as frequent as his endgame grinds.>

Good point. Magnus plays excellent endgames but it is the complex middlegame where he excels and where his intuitive grasp of position is the best in the world. While Caruana is amazing calculator himself he could not outcalculate Magnus in this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <You have to know a lot and be able to use it>

I knew a working girl on Houston Street who said the same thing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Charting Carlsen's Queen brilliant career


somehow each move important, controlling events from afar, and only coming off the back rank when Caruana's army had been weakened.

Apr-30-14  floberg2011: Carlsen missed several "best moves" but still made a "good move" in certain positions.

Example 36 b4 wins but [36 Nxb7 (1/38) means out of 38 moves Houdini considers this the best 3.50 ]

43 Nb5 5.56 [ 43 Kh1 (1/41) 7.10]

Caruana made several mistakes, as already posted (20...f5? , 25...h5)

As Kasparov remarked years ago, "It is absolutely impossible for a human to out calculate the computer".


May-01-14  morfishine: Caruana needed to try <20...Nxc3> and play for activity after 21.Qxc3 d4


May-01-14  Chris321: Caruana has beaten himself here,Carlsen didn't have to.Carlsen just nodged him gently on to do what he(Caruana) must do.Well Napolian said it right"Never interupt your enemies when they are about to make a mistake"...was also the mayor theme in this game by the looks of it!...haha
May-01-14  csmath: Indeed 20. ...f5? was an error, I missed that.

After 20. Nd2 the position is

click for larger view

Obvious alternative to 20. ...f5? is 20. ...Nd6 and I think the reason why Caruana did not go that way is that after

21. cxd6 Qxd6

exposing black queen on a file with rook is really not a good idea. After

22. Nc4 there is no good square apart from d8 for the queen.

But the ever fearless engine finds

21. ...Qd7
22. h4 f5
with compensation for pawn:

click for larger view

More importantly this is not so inhuman at all and it looks rather intuitive as a matter of fact.

May-01-14  csmath: Now in this venue it seems that neither 16. h3 nor 20. Nd2 were great moves by Carlsen.

Position before 20. Nd2 was:

click for larger view

Here white has a powerful move

20. c4

and after obvious

20. ...d4
21. Nxe4 dxe3
22. fxe3 Bf5

click for larger view

white needs to keep e5-pawn blocked and black might have to exchange light-square bishop for example:

23. Nfd2 Bxe4
24. Bxe4! f5
25. Bxc6 bxc6
26. Nf1! f4
27. Qb1 Qxc5
28. Qe4

keeping the extra pawn with reduced material good chances to play for a win because of the queenside pawn majority.

It is actually harder to find better continuation instead of 16. h3 so I cannot honestly label that as ?! as I do not see anything better.

This is indeed one very complex middlegame.

May-01-14  csmath: Strange, original, complex, and very rich game for analysis.

I'd like to see these two playing for World Championship.

May-01-14  Spingilegna: <csmath:"I'd like to see these two playing for World Championship.">

The way Fabiano played yesterday, makes me think that he already is on the way of preparing himself for that.

It makes me think he was trying to test Magnus, knowing that he could have paid this with a loss.


May-01-14  Garech: What a great clash of talent given the tournament standings going into the final round! No doubt Fabiano was heartbroken, but kudos to him for giving it his all. Magnus, as always, was like a machine.

There was an interesting moment at move 14: instead of ...h6 the option is there for Bxe2!? but, in actual fact, this is a blunder because it allows white a powerful exchange sacrifice in 15.Rxd5!

click for larger view

black does not have to accept, of course, but if he does the game is taken into exactly the kind of territory (eventually) where Carlsen excels - a favourable endgame. In all lines white has the advantage from the beginning in any case, and it's an instructive example of the power of a stronger centre vs. material advantage. I did a shootout on Fritz 12 which led to the following line after a couple of hours:

15...Nxd5 16.Bxd5 Nd8 17.Qc2 Bh5 18.f3 h6 19.Nh3 e4 20.fxe4 g5 21.Nf2 Nc6 22.Rf1 Kh7 23.Nd3 Bg6

click for larger view

as indicated, white is dominating, despite the material disadvantage - the evaluation is at +2.00

Forty moves later and white has a crushing endgame advantage. Pretty impressive that both players could instinctively evaluate 14...Bxe2 as a bad move, especially because it was a long-term positional exchange sacrifice.

Great game!


May-01-14  Bolgoljubov: This is mathematically interesting:

At move 21...dxe4 the pawns are split into two islands.

On the king side the ratio is 5 to 4, (not bad) but on the queen side it is 3 to 1 (awful).

I think there is something decisive about that, but I am not sure.

May-03-14  Eyal: During the live chess24 commentary (, Svidler joined Trent & Gustafsson around move 20, and it's very interesting to hear his perspective on the position, starting from about 3:06:00 (particularly the idea of a piece sac - 22.b4 f4 23.Qc1!? - to neutralize Black's play). At some stage, the commentators are becoming more and more convinced that Black has good counterplay after 27…Qg5, completely missing Carlsen's idea of 28.e4 - 29.Rd3.
May-03-14  kappertjes: <Eyal: During the live chess24 commentary (, Svidler joined Trent & Gustafsson around move 20, and it's very interesting to hear his perspective on the position>

Yes Svidler's commentary on chess24 was great. I don't know who runs the site but I am really grateful.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting to hear Svidler's take on the opening as well. He seemed quite impressed by the psychological aspect of MC's c3, which he considered was to give Caruana an option to draw whilst knowing Caruana would not go for it.

That bit of Svidler's commentary seemed to me a little insight into how the elite of the elite interpret opening choices. An ongoing play on preparation, expectation, current needs and emotions.

May-03-14  haydn20: <<kapperjes> Anyway, I thought it was interesting to hear Svidler's take on the opening as well. He seemed quite impressed by the psychological aspect of MC's c3, which he considered was to give Caruana an option to draw whilst knowing Caruana would not go for it.

That bit of Svidler's commentary seemed to me a little insight into how the elite of the elite interpret opening choices. An ongoing play on preparation, expectation, current needs and emotions.> Nicely put & thanks!

May-03-14  PJs Studio: 5...d5?? I've played these systems before and I'm of the opinion black MUST NOT DO THIS! The c pawn is hanging because g3 and Bg2 has been played. PLUS, the Bishop on g7 is not available to support the c5 square. Caruana HAD to play 5...cxd5 and play from the static position that white has given him. (Double so since whites opening has gained him no appreciable advantage otherwise.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The possibility first noted by Svidler provides an interesting transpositional manoeuvre: if Caruana had indeed played the objectively stronger 5....cxd4 6.cxd4 d5, he would have arrived at a line normally seen in which White plays c4 c6, then cxd5 cxd5. The trouble from Black's point of view is that this has a strong drawing tendency with minimal winning chances for him, so was unsuitable for the tournament situation.
May-04-14  Ulhumbrus: <csmath...13. Ng5

Astonishing as might seem white has easily won opening battle. Something went wrong in Caruana's calculations. Not only he has not yet returned pawn but this pawn is now support for knight Ne6... >

It seems worth noting the differences between this game and the Catalan opening as in the Catalan opening Black cannot hold on to the c pawn as permanently, nor can he play his N to d3

One major difference consists of the time Caruana loses for development on moves such as 9...a4, 14...h6 and 15...Kh7. White does not find it necessary to play these moves in the Catalan opening.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: #Shamkir2014, R10 game for all the marbles: GM Carlsen vs. GM Caruana. Notes by GM Naiditsch:
May-10-14  swarb: As in most Carlsen games, when he does not have a clear attack on the king, he mainly aims to create a passed pawn. This is his favorite strategy. He uses it 90% of the time against strong opponents. In this game against Caruana, it is the c file pawn that Carlsen sets up to be a passed pawn. And very early on, right after black allows Carlsen's d pawn to capture black's pawn and move there, Carlsen plants a bishop to protect his c file leading pawn, 8. Be3 (even if it is placed in front of his own e pawn). Grandmasters would rarely do this, but Carlsen does because he is of course really trying to play the game in such a way that he wins through his passed pawn. The rest of the game is about him managing to hold on to his flanks while pushing this pawn through. I think all grandmasters who want to challenge Carlsen, Anand included, should use their incredibly fertile minds to think of ways of ambushing Carlsen when he tries this "passed pawn" stratagem. Perhaps invent a "Passing pawn Gambit" or some such opening. Nowadays, there are seldom any games played by Carlsen where he is not looking for the passed pawn or not won a game with a passed pawn. Carlsen is obviously an incomparable master in seeing very early on which one of his eight pawns will be the THE passed pawn! :)
May-10-14  PJs Studio: Good point perfidious and I had thought that was his reasoning. But, I had to point out to my chess playing brothers that it is ...oh so weak.
May-11-14  swarb: Perfidious is correct. 5 .. cxd4 would have been a better way to play Carlsen as it would have not allowed him an unopposed pawn. Carlsen is at his lethal best when he finds a combination that allows him an unopposed pawn. That said, Caruana is tactically brilliant in general, and comes up with great combinations, and if I am not wrong, he is the one who gives Carlsen the best run for his money. Whether he loses or wins against Carlsen, the games are always tactically interesting.
Jun-24-14  Ulhumbrus: <Natalia Pogonina: #Shamkir2014, R10 game for all the marbles: GM Carlsen vs. GM Caruana. Notes by GM Naiditsch:>

From that webpage here is Naiditsch's remark on 20...f5: <20...f5? <Caruana is missing an excellent chance. After 20...Nxd6 21.cxd6 Qd7 Black's position is looking solid, but maybe White could still be slightly better.; But after 20...d4! White could already be the one who's in trouble! 21.N2xe4 dxe3 22.fxe3 White is 2 pawns up, but Black's play is very direct and dangerous. 22...f5 23.Nd2 Qg5 24.Nf1 e4 and I think Black has full compensation for the lost material. The control over the dark squares, an attack on the kingside as well as the "dead" white bishop on g2 give Black excellent chances.>>

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 14)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Game 19
from Move by Move - Carlsen (Lakdawala) by Qindarka
[Indian Game: Przepiorka Variation]
from Carlsen's Unusual Openings by theidiot117
Final win in the Azeri tournament!
from Carlsen games by Mudphudder
Magnus Smokes a champion
from NotIanMckellen's favorite games by NotIanMckellen
Fighting Chess with Magnus Carlsen
by jakaiden
Mis favoritos.
by hanwubai
The bad king-rook
from HiperKing Magnus by Gottschalk
great games
by knkang
rodmalone's favorite games carlsen
by rodmalone
studiare scacchi con Magnus Carlsen
by mariofrisini
Volume 114, Game 4
from # Chess Evolution Volumes. 101-150 by Qindarka
Fighting Chess with Magnus Carlsen
by alip
Good, Ugly Moves
from Magnus Carlsen 60 Memorable Games by magnuspx

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC