giovedì 29 novembre 2018

The Last Day of School

Magnus Carlsen – Fabiano Caruana
World Chess Championship match; tie-break game 3 (25+10); London, November 28, 2018
Sicilian Defence B44

Just for the chronicle, here is the third and last game of the tie-break. Carlsen could obviously play for two results, whereas all Caruana had to do was to push hard for a win, just to go through a fourth game. 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bc5 6. Nc2 Nf6 7. Nc3 0-0 8. Be3 b6 9. Be2 Bb7 10. 0-0. 10. f3 may transpose into 10. ... Qe7 11. Qd2 Rfd8 12. Rd1 Rac8 13. 0-0 d5 with fine play for Black, Kozma – Fichtl, 17th Czechoslovak Chess Championship, Prague 1955. 10. ... Qe7 11. Qd2 Rfd8 12. Rfd1 Ne5 13. Bxc5 bxc5 14. f4 Ng6 15. Qe3 d6 16. Rd2 a6 17. Rad1 Qc7 18. b3 h6 19. g3 Rd7 20. Bf3 Re8 21. Qf2 Ne7 22. h3 Red8 23. Bg2 Nc6 24. g4 Qa5 25. Na4 Qc7 26. e5 dxe5 27. Nxc5 Rxd2 28. Rxd2 Rxd2 29. Qxd2 Ba8. If 29. ... exf4 then 30. Nxb7 Qxb7 31. Qd6 with a rock-solid position. 30. fxe5 Qxe5 31. Nd7 Qb2


32. Qd6! Lots of perpetual checks are haunting the board. 32. ... Nxd7 33. Qxd7 Qxc2 34. Qe8+ Kh7 35. Qxa8 Qd1+ 36. Kh2 Qd6+ 37. Kh1 Nd4 38. Qe4+ f5 39. gxf5 exf5 40. Qe3 Ne6 41. b4 Ng5? After all, one cannot blame Caruana for throwing away a draw. The text carries in itself the seed of defeat, but at least it puts a fantasy threat: ... f5-f4-f3. 42. c5 Qf6 43. c6 Ne6? 44. a4 Nc7 45. Qf4 Ne6 46. Qd6! Qa1+ 47. Kh2 Nd4 48. c7 Qc3. 48. ... Ne2 (Δ Qa1-g1 mate) is also met by 49. Qc5 and finis. 49. Qc5 Qe3 50. c8=Q f4 51. Qg4 1 : 0. Both Carlsen and Caruana have good reasons for being content with their match outcome.

Fabiano Caruana (left) and Magnus Carlsen (right). Photo: Terje Bendiksby/NTB scanpix.

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