[Event "FIDE Berlin Candidates"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.03.27"]
[Round "14.1"]
[White "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C43"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2784"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "138"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[CurrentPosition "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 { A perfect forecast- a couple of days ago in our show for
the Chess.com audience with Alex Yermolinsky, I predicted the Petroff defense ;
-) Why not, this line kept Caruana save throughout the (almost) whole
tournament. } 3.d4 Nxe4 4.dxe5 { A very fighting line which keeps almost all
the pieces on board. } 4...d5 5.Nbd2 Nxd2 6.Bxd2 Be7 7.Bd3 ( { The alternative is } 7.Be2 O-O 8.O-O c5 9.Bf4 Nc6 10.Qd2 Be6 11.c3 Qd7 { with equality in
Nepomniachtchi,I (2751)-Mamedyarov,S (2809) Moscow 2018 } ) 7...c5 8.c3 Nc6 9.O-O Bg4 10.Re1 Qd7 11.h3 Bh5 $146 { And Black uncorks a novelty. This should
not have come as a surprise to Grischuk though. } ( { The other option seems
better for White after } 11...Bf5 12.Qc2 ( 12.Bxf5 Qxf5 13.b4!? ) 12...Bxd3 13.Qxd3 O-O 14.Rad1 Qe6 15.a3 a6 16.Be3 Rad8 17.b4 cxb4 18.axb4 { with
advantage for White in Vallejo Pons,F (2696)-Perez Garcia,R (2426) Lugo 2009 } ) 12.Bf4 Qe6 13.a3 { Grischuk follows Vallejo's footprints. } ( { White can also
play something like } 13.Be2 O-O 14.Qd2 Bg6 15.Rad1 ) 13...O-O 14.b4 h6! { An important move. } ( { This move rules out any tactical problems based on the
knight jump on g5: } 14...Bg6 15.bxc5 Bxc5 16.Ng5! ) 15.Bg3 { This prepares
White's next idea. } 15...b6 16.Nd4!? { Creative as usual Grichuk finds tactical
chances. At this point he was already down to 13 minutes. } ( 16.Qc2 Bg6 17.Bxg6 { would force Black to take a la Rubinstein: } 17...fxg6! { But this is very
good for him. } ) 16...Bxd1 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Raxd1 c4 19.Bc2 b5 { White got
the two-bishop advantage but Black has good pieces and his remaining bishop is
not obstructed by his own pawns. The game is even. } 20.a4 a6 ( { Interesting was } 20...a5!? 21.axb5 Nxb4 22.cxb4 axb4 { but this is for another game and
another tournament... } ) 21.f3 Bg5 ( { Caruana said that he saw } 21...Nxb4 22.cxb4 Bxb4 23.Rf1 Bc5+ 24.Bf2 Bxf2+ 25.Kxf2 b4 { but didn't consider it
seriously. } ) 22.Bf2 Bf4 { Pointing at the fact that the e5 pawn is a potential
weakness. } 23.Bc5 Rfd8 { Prepares the d5-d4 advance for the future. } 24.Bd6 Bg3 25.Re2 g5 26.Kf1 Kf7 27.Bc7 { Normally, the only creative plan that
White has is to open and seize the a-file. } ( { However, he has to be very
careful whenever he does this: } 27.Ra1 Rac8 28.axb5 axb5 29.Ra6? { might
easily backfire as the black pieces are exceptionally well placed: } 29...Ra8! 30.Rxc6 Ra1+ { will be mate. } ) 27...Re8 ( 27...Rd7 28.Bd6 ) 28.Bd6 Rac8! { A mysterious rook move. What is it doing there? } 29.Ra1 Red8 30.Bb1 Rd7 31.Ra3?! { Now the white pieces turn out to be unprepared for what follows next. } ( { Apparently both players spent a lot of time calculating the consequences of } 31.axb5 axb5 32.Ra6 Ra7 { when best seems to be to sacrifice the pawn at once
with } 33.Rxa7+ ( { Worse is } 33.Rea2 Rca8 34.Rxa7+ Rxa7 35.Rxa7+ Nxa7 { when after Na7-c6 there will be neither pawn, nor compensation for White. } ) 33...Nxa7 34.Ra2 Nc6 35.Ra6 Nxe5 36.Ra7+ Kg8 37.Bh7+ Kh8 38.Bb1 { with
compensation for a pawn thank to his more active pieces. } ) 31...d4! { Suddenly the rooks on the c- and the d- files start to make perfect sense. } 32.axb5 ( { Since } 32.cxd4 Nxd4 33.Rea2 Nc6 { would transpose into the game. } ) 32...axb5 33.cxd4 Nxd4 34.Rea2 Nc6 35.Be4 Bxe5 ( { Better than } 35...Nxe5 36.Ra7 ) 36.Bxc6 Rxd6 37.Bxb5 Rd1+ ( 37...c3 { would allow a chance to White
to organize some defense with } 38.Ra7+ Kf6 39.Ba4 ) 38.Ke2 Rg1 39.Ke3 Rb1 40.Ra7+ Kf6 { The first time-trouble is over and it is obvious who is playing
for a win. Caruana will snatch the b4 pawn, has a strong passer and chances
for mating attack. Further-on there is no chance at all the he loses the game! } 41.Bd7 Bf4+ ( { Black could have also gone for the piece with: } 41...Rd8 42.R2a6 Bf4+ 43.Ke2 Rb2+ 44.Kf1 Rxd7 45.Rxd7 c3 46.Rd1 c2 47.Re1 c1=Q 48.Rxc1 Bxc1 { and this should be winning for White. } ) 42.Ke2 Rd8 43.Rc2 Rxb4 { Very safe approach. } ( { There was an alternative- } 43...Rg1 44.Kf2 Rd1 45.Bb5 R8d2+ 46.Rxd2 Rxd2+ 47.Kf1 c3 ) 44.Bc6 c3 45.Rd7 Rc8 46.Be4 h5! { To fix
a second weakness on g2. The game is basically decided. } 47.Kd3 Rb2 48.Ke2 h4 49.Rd1 Ke5 50.Ra1 Rd8 51.Rd1 { Somewhere around here Mamedyarov agreed to a
draw with Kramnik which meant that Caruana only needed a draw to book his
London ticket. The camera showed him debating for a moment if he should do it
or not, but afterward he said: "If my position wasn't completely winning I
might offer a draw. There was no counterplay for him either. I thought it
would be a shame to not play this position, especially since it was just so
automatic." } 51...Rdb8 { The moment did not last for long. There is a message to be
delivered for the world champion as well. } 52.Ra1 Bd2 53.Ra6 Rd8 54.Rc6 Rb1 55.Kf2 ( { The other wy to prevent the king's march towards the vital g3 spot is } 55.Rc4 { but then } 55...Ra1 { followed by Rd8-b8-b1 should suffice. } ) 55...Ra1 56.Rc4 Rd4 57.Rc8 Rb4 58.Ke2 Kf4 { In order to lure the rook on the f-file. } ( { Avoiding the trap } 58...Rbb1? 59.R2xc3! Bxc3 60.Bxb1 ) 59.Kf2 { Whenever
the black king gets on g3 it is immediately game over. } ( 59.Rf8+ Kg3 ) 59...Rbb1 { Caruana is combining positional threats with mating attack. } ( { Or } 59...Be1+ 60.Ke2 Rd4 ) 60.Rf8+ Ke5 61.Bd3 ( { After } 61.Rc8 { Black has a pleasant
choice between } 61...Re1 ( { Or the more forcing } 61...Rf1+ 62.Ke2 Rfe1+ 63.Kd3 ( 63.Kf2 Be3# ) 63...Ra4 ) ) 61...Rb2 62.Ke2 Re1+ 63.Kf2 Rc1! 64.Rxb2 ( { Nothing is changed after } 64.Rxc1 Bxc1+ 65.Kf1 Bf4 ) 64...cxb2 65.Rb8 Bc3 66.Be4 Bd4+ 67.Ke2 Kf4 68.Rb4 e5 69.Rb7 Kg3 { Handshake and Caruana became
the first U.S. challenger since 1972 [if we do not count the 1996
Karpov-Kamsky match - PD]! Congrats to Fabiano for the remarkable achievement!
I would like to thank all the participants for the most interesting
Candidates' Tournament that I have followed live! } 0-1