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Alireza Firouzja vs Fabiano Caruana
Tata Steel Masters (2021), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 11, Jan-29
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Giuoco Pianissimo (C53)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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  Black Vampire: Has anybody thought about 18...♘xg2! ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Black Vampire: Has anybody thought about 18...♘xg2! ?>

Everyone with an engine (or with access to a broadcast featuring an engine) has.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: The Tata Steel commentators liked the Knight sacrifice a lot. Personally, thought that maybe Black would do even better to play 18...c6 and then 19...Nxg2 because in some variations the Bb6 can move to c7 with check.
Jan-29-21  Caissanist: 49..Qf5!!, what a beautiful defensive shot. Caruana gives as more "practical" 41.Rd3, to trade rooks and presumably minimize the chance of saving tactical resources like that one: .
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: I think it's perfectly understandable that both players missed 18...Nxg2. That certainly wasn't on my radar either, until the commentators pointed it out. I was surprised, however, that Fabi didn't play 31...Kh8. The move he played instead, 31...g6 seems to give white a lot of counterplay.
Jan-30-21  Pedro Fernandez: <Caruana forgives Firouzja three times!>

The first thing I would tell you is, that IMO, Frouzja playing 1.e4 vs Fabiano, is a srategic error.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4
(<wise decision as Caruana is really dangerous in the Spaniard Aperture>) 3...Bc5

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4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.O-O h 67.Re1 OO 8.Nbd2 Bb6 9.a4 a5!?(Fabi prefers avoid white rook pawn advance) 10.Nb5 Ng4 (<threatening white f2-pawn>) 11.Re2 Ne7 12.d4 Ng6 13.Nf1 d5 14.exd5 exd4 15.h3 Nf6 16.Nxd4 Nxd5 17.Re1 Ndf4 18.Be3 c6 19.Bc4? (<19.Be2>)

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19...Bc7? (<Caruana didn't see the tactical move 19...Nxg2! 20.Kxg2 Qh4 threatening h3-pawn but also the bishop or knight on the fourth rank after 21...c5, recupering the piece, wining g2-pawn and an exposed white king; so very hard to save the game>) 20.Ng3? (<20.Nf3>)

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20...Nd5? (<20...Nxg2! 21.Kxg2 Qh4 and the black couple of bishops, g6-knight and queen over the white kingside, it seems too strong>) 21.Bd2 Qd6 22.Bb3 Bd7 23.Nf3 Rfe8 24.Qc2 Ngf4 25.Rad1 Rxe1+26.Rxe1 Qf6 27.Nd4 Rd8 28.Re4 Qg6 29.Bxd5 Nxd5 30.Ngf5 Qf6 31.Rg4?

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31...g6? (<Caruana's last vagueness. 31...Kh8 was a lot better to have some chance to win) 32.Nxh6+ Kf8 33.Re4 Nf4?!

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(<33.g5 is the right move. In an effort to take the initiative but it's too late>), bad move by Caruana. Thereafter Firouzja took the initiative, and it was Fabi who had to play precise to get the draw.

Feb-01-21  Christoforus Polacco: I am not entirely convinced by the variant of the computer with the sacrifice of the horse in the 18th move (but in the 19th it is even necessary). Although it looks nice and I like such tricks in the game. The rook's end, resulting from the best movements of both sides according to the machine, is a bit ambiguous for me.

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