sabato 28 aprile 2018

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Fabiano Caruana – Hikaru Nakamura
62th U.S. Chess Championship; Saint Louis, April 27, 2018
Spanish Game C65

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 0-0 6. 0-0 Re8 7. Nbd2 a6 8. Bxc6 dxc6 9. Nc4 Bd6!? Varying from 9. ... Bg4 10. h3 Bh5 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. g4 Bg6 14. Ncxe5 Rad8 15. Nxg6 Qxg6 16. Qe2 h5 17. Nh4 Qg5 18. Ng2 hxg4 19. hxg4 Bb6 20. Rae1 Rd6 21. b4 a5 22. a3 c5 23. b5 c4 24. d4 Qxb5 25. e5 Rh6 26. Qf3 Qb3 27. g5 Rg6 28. Qg3 Qxa3 29. Nf4+− Caruana – Nakamura, Speed Chess Championship (5’+2” per move), Chess.com, November 2, 2017, match game 7. Strange to say, then Caruana managed to lose the game! 10. Bg5 b5 11. Ne3 Qe7 12. Nh4 Qe6 13. Nhf5 Bf8 14. f4 Nd7 15. Ng3 f6 16. f5 Qf7 17. Bh4 Bb7 18. Qe2 Rad8 19. Nh1 Nc5 20. Rfd1 Rd6 21. Nf2 Red8 22. Rd2 a5 23. g4 g5 24. Bg3 Ba6 25. Rad1 b4 26. c4 b3 27. a3 R6d7 28. Qe1 Nb7 29. Nh1 Nc5 30. Qe2 Rd4 31. Be1 R8d6 32. Nf2 Qd7 33. Kg2 Qd8 34. h3 Rd7 35. Nf1 Na4 36. Nh2 Bc5 37. Nf3 R4d6 38. Rc1 Bxf2 39. Qxf2 c5 40. Qe2 Rxd3 41. Rxd3 Rxd3 42. Bxa5 Bb7 43. Kf2 Qd7 44. Re1 Rd6. Does anyone have any idea how one (with White) may have ended up in such a zugzwanged position? 45. Rc1? Nothing easier than not to find a decent move in such a situation. Perhaps Caruana wasn’t too enthusiastic about neither 45. Kg3 Rd3(!) nor 45. h4 h6(!), and maybe with good reasons, but the text loses right off. 45. ... Qc6! 46. Re1


46. ... Rd8? Nakamura strangely misses 46. ... Qxe4! 47. Qxe4 Bxe4 48. Rxe4 Nxb2 (Δ ... Nb2-d1+) 49. Ke2 when Black wins back the piece by 49. ... Nxc4! 50. Bc3 (50. Rxc4 b2−+) 50. ... b2 51. Bxb2 Nxb2 remaining with two Pawns to the good: if now 52. Nd2 then 52. ... Rd3! 53. Nc4 Rxh3! 54. Nxb2 Rh2+ eventually forcing a Rook ending three Pawns up. 47. h4!? h6? 47. ... Qxe4! was still terribly strong: 48. Qxe4 Bxe4 49. Rxe4 Nxb2 50. Ke2 gxh4! 51. Bxc7 (51. Bc3 Nd1−+) 51. ... Nxc4! could lead to a very asymmetrical pseudo-ending (Queen against Rook, Bishop and Knight) where, however, the passed h-Pawn should make the difference in Black’s favour. 48. hxg5 hxg5 49. Kg3 Rd7 50. Qh2 Rh7 51. Qd2 Rd7 52. Qh2 Rh7 53. Qd2 ½ : ½.

Fabiano Caruana (seated) and Hikaru Nakamura (standing) shaking hands. Photo: Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (@STLChessClub).

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