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GM Caruana - GM Jobava annotated by GM Balogh

User Rating: / 8
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 26 June 2014
By GM Csaba Balogh, Hungary
Best FIDE rating: 2672

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A nice attacking game by Fabiano Caruana, who intuitively sacrificed two pawns for longterm compensation.

View the game or check out the "text + diagrams" version below.

Caruana,Fabiano (2840) - Jobava,Baadur (2688) [C10]
World Rapid Ch 2014 Dubai UAE (5.2), 16.06.2014
[Balogh Csaba]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nc6 Jobava has tricky rare lines, which are especially dangerous in rapid games, where his opponents do not have enough time to work out the right plans. However in this game, Caruana manages to find a very unpleasant reply...
4.Nf3 Nf6
White has a wide choice here and Caruana continues with a rare move.
5.Bd3 [5.e5 is the main, when Black continues with 5...Ne4 6.Bd3 Bb4 with hundreds of games.]
5...Bb4 6.Bg5

6...dxe4 Jobava deviates from his own blitz game. [He played 6...Ne7 before but after 7.Bxf6 gxf6 8.00 c6 9.Ne2! Ng6 10.c4! White was better in Fressinet-Jobava, Beijing 2012.]
7.Bxe4 Ne7
Black unpins his queen and would like to install his knight to d5. [Black had an option to gain the bishop pair with 7...h6 because 8.Bh4 runs into g5, but White gets an advantage after 8.Bxf6! Qxf6 9.00 Despite Black having two bishops, the one on c8 is very passive, while on the other hand the e4 bishop is doing an excellent job. 9...00 If White wants to he can get rid of the two bishops with 10.Nb5 Ba5 11.c3! followed by the Na3c4 plan! The e4 bishop continues dominating.]
8.Bd3 Ned5

9.00! The first intuitive sacrifice. I must say that it is a very tempting one, especially because the alternatives were pinning himself with Qd2 or retreating passively with Bd2. White has an obvious lead in development and all his minor pieces are standing perfectly. A pawn in the opening should be worth one more tempo.
9...Nxc3 [Black would miss the dark squared bishop if he goes for the pawn with 9...Bxc3 10.bxc3 Nxc3 11.Qe1! (White must be careful not to fall for 11.Qd2? Nce4! when Black manages to simplify the position. 12.Bxe4 Nxe4 13.Bxd8 Nxd2 14.Nxd2 Kxd8) 11...Ncd5 12.c4 followed by Rd1 with more than enough compensation.]
10.bxc3 Bxc3 11.Rb1
One more piece occupies an active position. White intends to play Rb3, sending back the bishop and later the rook might participate in a very strong kingside attack along the 3rd rank .
11...h6 12.Bh4 White maintains the pin and keeps all his active pieces on board.
12...c6! A clever move. Black prepares to take on d4 in case of Rb3, which was not possible right away because at the end White would have won the queen withBb5+. [12...00 is strongly met by 13.Rb3! Ba5 (13...Bxd4?? loses to 14.Nxd4 Qxd4 15.Bh7+!+) 14.Qc1! This is very strong, because Black has no more hope to unpin his queen. g5 will always be taken now. Ne5g4 is threatening, Black is in trouble. For instance: 14...b6 15.Be4 Rb8 16.Ne5! Qxd4 17.Bxf6 Qxe4 18.Rg3+ and finally the rook plays an important role in the attack.]
13.Rb3!? Here comes the second intuitive sacrifice. This kind of moves comes again by feeling. White could first have defended his pawn with Be2 and only then Rb3, also with very strong compensation, but still, one does not want to make a passive retreating move when the opponent is trailing in development.
Black had no choice, but now White gained new hopes for counterplay to quickly activate his rooks on the d-file. [13...Ba5 could have been met by 14.Ne5! Qxd4 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Nxf7! Kxf7 17.Bg6++]
Caruana wants to occupy the d-file with tempo.
14...Bb6 15.Rd3 Qe7

This is what White was aiming for. All his pieces are attacking. The c8 bishop is still stuck and it also locks the rook to the corner. Black also has serious problems with his king. He cannot keep it in the center for long, but castling is not better either.
16...g5 Jobava understandably wanted to leave this pin. [Despite the bad circumstances, Black could have solved his situation by 16...Qc5! 17.Qe2 Bc7! and it looks like White has nothing better than 18.Rfd1 but now we can reach a drawish endgame after 18...b5! 19.Bb3 Qxe5! 20.Qxe5 Bxe5 21.Rd8+ Ke7 22.Rxh8 Bb7 23.Rxa8 Bxa8 Black has two pawns for the exchange, he should not face any difficulties.; 16...00? was wrong in view of 17.Ng4! and 17...g5 loses to 18.Nxh6+ Kg7 19.Bxg5+]
17.Bg3 Ne4 Black welcomes all kinds of simplifications. To get rid of the g3 bishop is a special achievement, but he still did not solve the problems of his c8 bishop and his king. [17...00 could have strongly been met by 18.Kh1! unpinning the f-pawn to be able to launch a very dangerous attack with f4 next.]
18.Qe2 Nxg3 19.hxg3 Bc7

Black is still two pawns up, but there is no doubt that he felt very bad in the current position. It is hard to find a move for him.
[The problem was 20...00? would have dropped material after 21.Rd7! Bxd7 22.Rxd7 Qf6 23.Rxc7+; The only move was 20...Bxe5 21.Qxe5 00 temporarily solving the problems around the king, but it is still unclear how Black could bring his c8 and a8 pieces to the game. Black will face serious difficulties after 22.g4!? with the idea of Rh3, sometimes switching the rook to the attack.]
21.Ng4 Qg7 [21...Qf5 runs into 22.Qd2!+ with the big threat on d8 and 00 loses to Nxh6.; On 21...Qe7 22.Qe1! is very strong, to switch the queen to the a1h8 diagonal. It is verydifficult to defend. An attempt to use the c8 bishop with 22...e5? loses to 23.Nxe5! 00 (23...Bxe5 24.Rd8+ Qxd8 25.Qxe5+ Be6 26.Qxh8++) 24.Nxf7! Qxe1+ 25.Rxe1 Rxf7 26.Re7+]
The game is objectively over here. Even the machines admit that the compensation is getting too strong now. The king cannot find a shelter...
Black tries to cover the f6 square to be able to castle kingside. 

[22...00 does not help in view of 23.Rf6!+; 22...Ke7 cannot lead to anything good after 23.Qe3+; 22...h5 23.Nf6+ Kf8 White has different wins, but the easiest is probably 24.Qe3 Threatening Qc5+. 24...Qg6 (24...b6 25.Qe4+) 25.Bd3 Qh6 26.Qc5+ Kg7 27.Qe7+ Creating too many threats. Qxc7 or Ne8 followed by mate on f7.]
Another sacrifice which screams to be played. The king will be mated soon in the middle of the board...
23...Kxd8 24.Nf6!
A silent move to lock the queen. It is just terrible to look at the black pieces, they can only watch how the 4 white pieces haunt the exposed king in the middle of the board.
[24...Ke7 25.Qe5 Rd8 loses to 26.Qc5+ Rd6 27.Ne4! and on 27...Qd4 the key is: 28.Rxf7+! Kxf7 29.Nxd6++ and the queen falls.]
25.Qd2+ Kc7
[25...Ke7 26.Qb4+ also leads to mate in few moves.]
[Black resigned in view of the mates in few moves. 26.Qf4+ Kb6 27.Rb3+ Ka5 (27...Kc5 28.Qe5+ Kxc4 29.Qc3#) 28.Qd2+ Ka4 29.Qb4#]  


More annotated games, tactics & endgame puzzles, surprise section/study can be found in the weekly Chess Evolution "Top GM Secrets" bulletin. 25 pages total.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 June 2014 )
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