martedì 24 aprile 2018

Short story

Ray Robson – Fabiano Caruana
62th U.S. Chess Championship; Saint Louis, April 23, 2018
Russian Defence C42

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 0-0 8. Qd2 Nd7 9. 0-0-0 c6 10. Kb1 d5 11. c4 Nb6 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Bc4 Bf5!? A prepared novelty, implying a Pawn sacrifice. The old try was 13. ... Be6 14. Rhe1 Bb4 15. c3 Be7 16. Bb3 Qa5 17. Nd4 Bd7 18. Bc2 Rfe8 19. Nb3 Qc7 20. Bc5 Bxc5 21. Nxc5 Rxe1 22. Rxe1 Re8 23. Rxe8+ Bxe8 24. Qe2 Kf8 25. g3 Nf6 26. Qe3 b6 ½ : ½ Vachier-Lagrave – Giri, 6th Chess World Cup, Baku 2015, tie-break game 2 (25+10). 14. Bxd5 cxd5 15. Qxd5 Qc8 16. Nd4 Bg6 17. Ka1 Re8 18. Rhe1 Bf6. Black enjoys a powerful Bishop pair and three open files as a compensation for the Pawn. 19. c3 Re5. Black could recover his Pawn with 19. ... Be4, but Caruana prefers to bet on his dynamic assets – and not to open the g-file. 20. Qb3 a6 21. Bf4 Rxe1 22. Rxe1 Qd7 23. Be5 Re8 24. f4 Bd8 25. a4 h6 26. Rd1 Qg4 27. Rd2 b5!? Caruana wants to strip the White King naked, so he sacrifices another Pawn (his second one) on purely intuitive grounds, in order to open files. 28. axb5 axb5 29. Qd1? Robson believes his opponent on his word! The text makes no sense, as it gives Black an overwhelming initiative free. The critical line seems to be 29. Qxb5(!) f6 30. Bd6 Qc8! 31. f5 (31. Qc6 Bc7!! 32. f5 Bf7) 31. ... Re1+ 32. Ka2 Be8 33. Qb8 Bf7+ 34. Nb3 Qd7 with very unclear play, but plenty of compensation for Black. 29. ... Qd7! (Δ ... Qd7-a7+) 30. f5? The second mistake in a row means surrender. However, after 30. Nc2! Qc8(!) Black would have kept both the initiative and the attack.


30. ... Bg5! And the curtain falls. 31. Rd3 Bxf5 32. Nxf5 Qxf5 33. Bg3. If 33. Bd4 then 33. ... b4! (Δ ... b4-b3) 34. cxb4 Ra8+ 35. Kb1 Rd8 and finis. If, instead, 33. Bc7 then 33. ... Rc8 winning easily. 33. ... Ra8+ 34. Kb1 Rd8 35. Kc2 b4 36. cxb4 Rc8+ 37. Kb3 Qe6+ 38. Rd5 Rd8 39. Kc4 Qc6+ 0 : 1.

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