Aronian, Caruana, and Ajax

Время публикации: 17.01.2015 01:35 | Последнее обновление: 24.01.2015 10:15

Magnus has finally caught his fire

The world champion's life is coming to normal: after his yesterday's victory over Levon Aronian in Rotterdam, he beat Fabiano Caruana and is being tied for the 2nd place with 4/6 with Wesley So and Radoslaw Wojtaszek. Shortly after the today's game, he left for Amsterdam to watch the Dutch football championship match AFC Ajax - FC Groningen, where he's got a VIP reservation.

The gap between Carlsen and the sole leader Vassily Ivanchuk is now only half-a-point, while tomorrow Magnus will be White against Hou Yifan: 'Many women players play very tactically. Yifan Hou is one of them', he said today in his comment for Norwegian TV.

The crucial (as it seems for the moment) Ivanchuk - Carlsen game will occur in the 10th round which will take place in The Hague.

Crosstable, results, pairings and the other information about the main Tata Steel Tournament

In his previous six classical games played vs Caruana with the black pieces, Carlsen had tried as many as five different replies to 1.e4. This time, he opted for the Sicilian Defence with 2...Nc6. Fabiano, however, deviated from 3.d4 in favour of more positional 3.Bb5, even though he had been close to the win in the Dragon in Saint Louis.

After the opening, a calm positional game could be expected, but Magnus changed the course by choosing a double-edged attacking plan at the cost of leaving his queen's side unsecured.


11...Nh5!? (11...a5) 12.b4 f5!?.

The play was balanced for many moves although the Norwegian was ahead on time. The most exciting things began on the 21th move.

Instead of 21.Nh2, 21.Rfe1!? was interesting, with the idea of Kf1-e2 if needed, although Black's dynamic resources seem to be sufficient for equality.
The natural move by Caruana was met with 21...f3! 22.Nxg4 Qg6, which, however, was hardly a surprise for the Italian. Most likely, Caruana was heading for the endgame which occurred after 23.Qe7! fxg2 24.Rfb1 Qxg4 25.Qg5 Qe2 26.Qe3 Qg4 27.Qg5 Qxg5 (27...Qe2 is a draw by repetition) 28.Bxg5 Nf4.

The best winning chance is sometimes to lure an opponent into playing for a win himself. Caruana's liking for positional exchange sacrificed is not a secret, and we cannot exclude that Carlsen was having exactly this in mind while going to this position. Had White played 29.Kh2! Black should probably agree to the repetition: 29...Bf6 30.Bh6 Bg7 31.Bg5, but Caruana decided to keep the position alive...
29.Bxf4? exf4 30.Kxg2 f3+! 31.Kf1? The lesser evil is 31.Kh3, but White wants to keep the king in the center. Indeed, in case of 31...Bxa1 32.Rxa1 the king comes to e3, and all three outcomes are possible.
31...Rf4! It appears that Black isn't obliged to accept the sacrifice. Now the white king is suddenly under a deadly attack: Black intends to play 32...Rh4, and if 33.Ke1 then the very bishop decides the outcome by 33...Bh6.
32.c3 Rd8! 33.d4. This isn't the most tenacious, but White's position is already lost - the same mating motiff is possible after 33.Rd1, as the rook occupies the square for the king to escape.
33...Bh6. The most cruel way is 33...Bxd4! suggested by engines: 34.cxd4 Rh4 35.Ke1 (35.Kg1 Kh8) 35...Rxd4, and White can only postpone the checkmate by a couple of checks. Carlsen's move is also sufficient.
34. Ke1 Rxe4+ 35.Kd1 c5! Distraction - if now 36.Nxc5 then 36...Re2 wins, as Rb1-b2 is not possible anymore.
36.Kc2 cxd4. Apart from the extra pawn, Black has a deadly initiative, so the outcome is clear.
37.Kd3 Re2 38.c4 Rxf2?! An inaccuracy which went unnoticed by Caruana who was short of time. 38...Rd2+ would finish White off the same way as in the game.
39.Rd1?! 39.Rb2! is more tenacious although it would have hardly changed anything.
39...Re2. White resigned. 0-1. (Annotated by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

All the games of the 6th round can be viewed below.

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.16"] [Round "6"] [White "Caruana,F"] [Black "Carlsen,M"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2820"] [BlackElo "2862"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] [ECO "B31"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d3 Bg7 6. h3 Nf6 7. Nc3 b6 8. Be3 e5 9. O-O O-O 10. a3 Qe7 11. Qb1 Nh5 12. b4 f5 13. bxc5 f4 14. Bd2 bxc5 15. Qb3+ Be6 16. Qa4 Rac8 17. Qa5 g5 18. Na4 g4 19. hxg4 Bxg4 20. Qxc5 Qf6 21. Nh2 f3 22. Nxg4 Qg6 23. Qe7 fxg2 24. Rfb1 Qxg4 25. Qg5 Qe2 26. Qe3 Qg4 27. Qg5 Qxg5 28. Bxg5 Nf4 29. Bxf4 exf4 30. Kxg2 f3+ 31. Kf1 Rf4 32. c3 Rd8 33. d4 Bh6 34. Ke1 Rxe4+ 35. Kd1 c5 36. Kc2 cxd4 37. Kd3 Re2 38. c4 Rxf2 39. Rd1 Re2 0-1 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.16"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Van Wely, Loek"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2667"] [BlackElo "2797"] [ECO "A45"] [Opening "Trompovsky attack (Ruth, Opovcensky opening)"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 d5 3. Nd2 Nbd7 4. Ngf3 e6 5. e3 c5 6. c3 Qb6 7. Rb1 g6 8. Ne5 Bg7 9. f4 Ng8 10. Nb3 cxd4 11. exd4 Nh6 12. Bxh6 Bxh6 13. Qf3 a5 14. h4 a4 15. Nd2 a3 16. b4 Nxe5 17. fxe5 Bd7 18. g4 Ba4 19. g5 Bf8 20. Bd3 Rc8 21. Rf1 Be7 22. Qxf7+ Kd7 23. Nb3 Bxb3 24. Rxb3 Rhf8 25. Qxh7 Rh8 26. Qxg6 Rcg8 27. Qf7 Rf8 28. Qg7 Rfg8 29. Qf7 Rf8 30. Qg7 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.16"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Jobava, Baadur"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2727"] [BlackElo "2762"] [ECO "C53"] [Opening "Giuoco Piano"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. O-O Ba7 7. Bd5 Nxd5 8. exd5 Ne7 9. Nxe5 d6 10. Nf3 Nxd5 11. Bg5 f6 12. Re1+ Kf7 13. Qb3 Be6 14. c4 fxg5 15. cxd5 Bd7 16. Nc3 g4 17. Nd2 Rf8 18. Nce4 Kg8 19. Rac1 b5 20. Qc3 Bb6 21. a4 bxa4 22. Nc4 Ba7 23. Na5 Qh4 24. Rc2 Rf7 25. Qxc7 Bb5 26. Qxd6 Bxd3 27. g3 Qh5 28. Rc7 Re8 29. Rxa7 Rxa7 30. Nc6 Rf7 31. Qb4 Ref8 32. Ne7+ Kh8 33. f4 gxf3 34. Nf2 Be2 35. d6 Qb5 36. Qd4 Qd7 37. Rc1 Rf6 38. Rc6 Bb5 39. Rb6 Qe6 0-1 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.16"] [Round "6.3"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Saric, Ivan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2715"] [BlackElo "2666"] [ECO "D11"] [Opening "QGD Slav"] [Variation "4.e3"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. h3 Bh5 6. Nc3 e6 7. g4 Bg6 8. Ne5 Nbd7 9. Nxg6 hxg6 10. Bd2 Bb4 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. e4 Nxc3 13. bxc3 Ba5 14. Bg2 c5 15. Rb1 b6 16. O-O O-O 17. f4 Rc8 18. Rc1 cxd4 19. cxd4 Bxd2 20. Qxd2 Qe7 21. e5 Qa3 22. Kh2 Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Rd8 24. Rc3 Qa5 25. Rc2 Qxd2 26. Rxd2 Kf8 27. Kg3 b5 28. Bc6 b4 29. d5 Nb8 30. Bb7 exd5 31. Rxd5 Rxd5 32. Bxd5 Nd7 33. Kf3 g5 34. fxg5 Nxe5+ 35. Ke4 Ng6 36. Bc4 a5 37. Kd4 a4 38. Kc5 b3 39. axb3 axb3 40. Bxb3 Nf4 41. h4 Ng2 42. h5 Ne3 43. Kd4 Nxg4 44. Bc2 g6 45. hxg6 fxg6 46. Bxg6 Kg7 47. Bf5 Nh6 48. Be6 Kg6 49. gxh6 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.16"] [Round "6.5"] [White "Hou Yifan"] [Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2673"] [BlackElo "2744"] [ECO "B20"] [Opening "Sicilian"] [Variation "Keres variation (2.Ne2)"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 c5 2. Ne2 Nf6 3. Nbc3 d6 4. g3 Nc6 5. Bg2 g6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Nxd4 8. Qxd4 Bg7 9. e5 Nd7 10. Qa4 O-O 11. exd6 Nb6 12. Qf4 Qxd6 13. Qxd6 exd6 14. O-O Nc4 15. Nd5 Bxb2 16. Bxb2 Nxb2 17. Rfb1 Na4 18. Nc7 Rb8 19. Na6 Ra8 20. Bxb7 Bxb7 21. Rxb7 Rfc8 22. Re1 Nc5 23. Nxc5 Rxc5 24. Ree7 Rf5 25. Rbc7 a5 26. Kg2 Rb8 27. a3 Rbb5 28. f4 h5 29. Kf3 Kg7 30. Ke3 Rb1 31. Kf3 Rf1+ 32. Kg2 Rd1 33. Kf3 Rf1+ 34. Kg2 Rd1 35. Kf3 Rf1+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.16"] [Round "6.6"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2734"] [BlackElo "2784"] [ECO "B48"] [Opening "Sicilian"] [Variation "Taimanov variation"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qf3 Ne5 8. Qg3 h5 9. O-O-O h4 10. Qh3 b5 11. f4 Nc4 12. Bxc4 Qxc4 13. f5 Bb7 14. Rhf1 Rc8 15. fxe6 dxe6 16. Rxf7 Kxf7 17. b3 Ba3+ 18. Kb1 Qxc3 19. Qxe6+ Kf8 20. Rf1+ Nf6 21. Rxf6+ gxf6 22. Qxf6+ Kg8 23. Qg6+ Kf8 24. Qf6+ Kg8 25. Qg6+ Kf8 26. Qf6+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.16"] [Round "6.7"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Ding Liren"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2732"] [ECO "B12"] [Opening "Caro-Kann"] [Variation "advance variation"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O c5 7. c4 Nbc6 8. dxc5 d4 9. Qb3 Qd7 10. Rd1 Ng6 11. Nc3 f6 12. exf6 gxf6 13. Nd5 Kf7 14. g4 Bxg4 15. Ng5+ fxg5 16. Bxg4 Nce5 17. Bxg5 Bxc5 18. Nf6 Qc6 19. Bh5 Kg7 20. Qg3 Raf8 21. Re1 Rxf6 22. Rxe5 Rf7 23. Bxg6 hxg6 24. Bf4 Be7 25. Re2 Qxc4 26. Rae1 d3 27. Re4 Qd5 28. Rxe6 Bf6 29. Rd6 Qf5 30. Re5 Qh3 31. Ree6 Qxg3+ 32. hxg3 Rh5 33. b3 Ra5 34. a4 g5 35. Be3 b6 36. Rxd3 Rc7 37. Kg2 Be7 38. Kf3 Kf7 39. Re4 Bf6 40. Kg4 Re7 41. Rxe7+ Bxe7 42. Bd2 Re5 43. Rd7 Kg6 44. Rxa7 Bc5 45. f4 1-0 


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