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Fabiano Caruana vs Wesley So
Gashimov Memorial (2015), Shamkir AZE, rd 7, Apr-24
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation (E21)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-24-15  Sokrates: Nice finish by Caruana. So has no easy tournament, although 3 wins aren't bad per se.
Apr-24-15  SirRuthless: Brilliant endgame play by Fabiano. I was especially impressed with 24.g3! Instead of going for Qxf5 allowing Qf8 and being forced into a Queenless endgame, he played the structure and that decision allowed him to keep tension until his opponent crumbled. Is Fabiano back or did he ever really leave?
Apr-24-15  haydn20: In the end, Black's N couldn't stop White's pp's AND defend his own, while White's long-range Bishop could do that to Black. This was a result of a well-played middlegame, which in turn grew from a well-played opening. Just a nice three-phase effort from Caruana.
Apr-24-15  MarkFinan: 30..Ne7 created an awful pin for black. I think it looked pretty even up until that point. Then great endgame play from white with the DSB controlling <so many> squares. Still no shame for So to lose against Caruana with the black pieces, there's only Anand, Aronian and Carlsen in world chess that you might expect to win. Once again Carlsen's at the top of the table in a super GM tournament, scary to think he's still 24 years old.
Apr-24-15  Ulhumbrus: 10...Rf6? attempts to begin a king side attack. However does Black have the advantage? Black can hardly claim any advantage. The attack is unsound then, and can be forecast to fail, leaving Black with a disadvantage and a misplaced rook.

Is 11 Ne1 necessary? 11 Nd2 attacks the N on e4 at once.

13...Ng5 continues the unjustified attack. This may increase White's advantage. Instead of this 13...Nd6 covers the c4 square.

15...Nc6 develops the QN but also obstructs the c7 pawn

17 Bb2 attacks indirectly the rook on f6 which has become now a target instead of a weapon.

18...Rh6? tries once more to continue an unsound attack. Better to retract the rook by 18...Rf8 but for the fact that White can attack g7 by Qd4. One alternative is the exchange sacrifice 18...Nxd5! 19 Bxf6 Nxf6 and Black has removed White's powerful QB and a d pawn for the exchange. Not quite sufficient compensation for the exchange but not bad either, It is better than losing the game anyway, if that is what 18...Rh6 leads to.

At the press conference Caruana said that in the position around about moves 19 or 20 White had decent compensation for a pawn. This suggests that White had a considerable positional advantage. Caruana said that 23...Ng6 was a mistake which misplaced the N.

Apr-24-15  CountryGirl: Brilliant positional judgement by Caruana. He allows black two connected passed pawns, but somehow sees that he can force king-side concessions and weaknesses with threats by queen and bishop. When he reaches the bishop vs knight endgame it is all over. The bishop with the outside passed pawns is too strong.
Apr-24-15  Clodhopper: Black can go several different ways after 23 Qd3. I like 23 ... c5. Black's two central passed pawns are his main advantage: get them moving!

Anyway, Wesley doesn't play for draws and he doesn't mope after losses - maybe a big come back tomorrow against Carlsen?

Dec-15-16  wilfredo munoz: <Ulhumbrus>, I see your point. So's 10 ... Rf6 was a little odd. Did he see his Rook-Bishop teamup (inter alia) ripping White's K-side open? I really want to know the behind-the-scenes, so to speak. But these things, given my very limited exposure to top level chess, can only overwhelm than enlighten. In addition, I was wondering what measures So would have taken had he played 13 ... Nd6 & 14 dxc5.
Dec-21-16  Jambow: No modern player reminds of Capablanca like Caruana does. He just keeps getting small advantages in a practical and pragmatic fashion until its over.

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