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David Navara vs Fabiano Caruana
Tata Steel Masters (2016), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 8, Jan-24
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation (E32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Navara is 3 to 1, with 3 draws against Caruana.

Hou is 3 to 1, with 5 draws against Navara.

Perplexing, these match ups.

Jan-24-16  1971: Did the players comment on 27...Kh6?
Jan-24-16  luzhin: The left-right combination of 50.a5 and 52.h5 is stunning: the latter stops Black playing Rg6 and thus enables the decisive march of the King to d6.
Jan-24-16  Sokrates: There were moments of grand scale in Navara's play today. True, Caruana may have missed some saving moves (if you use a computer and a lot of hindsight!), but Navara played his chances with immense energy and ingenuity. A big congrats to him - Caruana is a tough nut to crack.

That said, statements like <Pedro Fernandez: Carlsen is one thousand miles ahead Caruana. What a uncertain he is. His ending vs Giri was a total shame.> are way too exaggerated. Caruana is still second in this tournament and world no. 4 in live ratings. And still, IMHO, the only serious threat to Carlsen.

Jan-24-16  kyg16: Excellent game!!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <talwnbe4: Caruana threw away the advantage after 25. fxe5 ?! Bg4 26. e6+ Kg6 27. Be4+ Kh6!>

Really? For example, after 27...Kh6 28.Kf2 Bxe2 29. Kxe2 Rbc8 30. Rd6 Rxc3 31. Rxb6 Rfc8 32. a4 Ra3 33. e7 Rxa4 34. Bc6 Ra7 35. e8=Q Rxe8+ 36. Bxe8 Re7+ 37. Kf2 Rxe8 I see dead draw on the board. And white can try also more ambitious 30.Rd3 Rfe8 31.Bd5 with unclear position. White has plenty of compensation for an Exchange in Passed Pawn on e6 here.

Jan-24-16  SeazerCZ: IMHO it shouldn´t be seen like Caruana´s loose, but Navara´s win after excelent game. After the little bit inaccurate 27...f5 (instead of save ..Kh6) David played absolutely incredible game without mistakes. But after all of this I also think that Caruana is still the only real threat for Carlsen.
Jan-24-16  positionalgenius: Nice game, with some good tricks from Navara.
Jan-24-16  Eyal: Navara explaining the game:
Jan-24-16  talwnbe4: Honza : you're probably right, it is almost impossible for black to press through in this position.
Jan-24-16  Eyal: <Navara explaining the game:

Btw, one important point missed by Navara is that 29...Rf6 (instead of Kg5) should probably be ok for black after 30.Rd8 Bb5 (controlling e8 - the other way, 30... Re6 31. Rxb8 Rxe7 32. Rxb6+, just loses a pawn) 31.Bd5! - now he says Black is "completely dominated", but actually there's 31...Rb7!! 32. Bxb7 Kf7 and after White's e-pawn is eliminated it looks more comfortable to defend than in the game, as Black's king is considerably more active.

Jan-24-16  WDenayer: I don't understand why Caruana played 23. ... Kf7. What is this move good for? It seems he did not see the long line after 25. ... Bg4, but how is this possible?
Jan-25-16  Pulo y Gata: Fab David. That's quite a win right there!
Jan-25-16  Ulhumbrus: After 20 Rxe5 White's queen side pawn structure is shattered but White has an enormous lead in development. In order to make it count he has to open lines. This he can try to do after 20...b6 attempting to develop the queen's bishop.

On 21 c5 White gets rid of one of his weak pawns.

Instead of 22...axb6, 22...Rxb6 develops the rook but also allows White a passed c pawn

If in reply to 22...cxb6 White has nothing better than to withdraw his rook by 23 Re2, this suggests that Black is beginning to gain the upper hand.

Instead of 23...Kf7, 23...e5 advances the e pawn at once

24...e5 offers a pawn on e5 but also prepares the skewer ...Bg4. However Caruana may have overlooked something. The advance 26 e6 not only comes with tempo but also prepares e7 both attacking the rook on f8 and clearing the sixth rank so that the check Rd6+ can remove the rook on d1 out of the skewer with tempo

Jan-25-16  cfountain: Tremendous play by Navara
Jan-25-16  dunamisvpm: Navara Threatening a pawn mate on his next move against Caruana... wow! GOD Bless
Jan-25-16  dunamisvpm: On move 56
Jan-25-16  King Radio: Was just watching Navara explaining this game, which was excellent. Navara is always so amazing'd never think he ever played a good game from listening to him.
Jan-25-16  RookFile: Caruana had the better position with black but I guess he made a slip and let his advantage go.
Jan-25-16  Eyal: If Caruana played the dubious 27...f5 instead of Kh6 because he missed something concrete, this might have been in the line 28.e7 Rfe8 29.Rd6+ Kh5 (29...Kg5 30.h4+ Kh5 comes to the same thing; 29...Kf7 30.Bd5 is mate) 30.Bd3!! and White wins since he gets to keep both the advanced e-pawn and the rook, as 30...Bxe2 leads to mate with 31.Bxe2+ Kg5 32.h4#.
Jan-25-16  Jambow: I'm not sure Caruana's position was ever superior to Navara's. In the hands of an elite player dynamism is more often a bigger asset than pawn structure, David had that and space. He played exceptionally well, incrementally moving forward and his king yielded the sword where Caruana's was seeking shelter.

Kind of reminded me of when Nakamura just got out played by Eljanov and said as much. I like this game even though the guy I wanted to win lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  devere: 49...Rxg3? was a mistake. White had the advantage, but it looks as though 49...Kd8 would have held.

Then after 51.c5 Black could have tried Rg6, since after 52.c6 Rd6 53.cxd7 Rxd7 54.Rxa5 White had the wrong color Bishop for the rook pawn queening square , so there may have been drawing chances.

click for larger view

Jan-27-16  aragorn69: <devere> Exactly what i was wondering.

I can´t see a winning plan for White (albeit Black has to be cautious to not let the White king enter deep into the king side).

Navara, on video, seemed quite confident (specially for him!) he could win this, but i'm simply not so sure...

Jan-30-16  tivrfoa: best game of the tournament? congrats Navara!
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <devere>,<aragorn69> After 51...Rg6 52. c6 Rd6 <53. c7>, What do you see for Black?
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