[Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.01.22"] [Round "8"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2766"] [BlackElo "2859"] [Annotator "Rafael"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "6000+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O { This variation is Carlsen's main weapon as Black and the one he used in his last world championship match against Nepomniachtchi. Interestingly, in the match he played against Caruana in 2018, Carlsen chose the Sicilian Sveshnikov as his main weapon.} 8. a4 b4 9. a5 d6 10. c3 (10. d3 {is also a popular move.} ) 10... Rb8 11. h3 {A rare move. 11.Bc4 is the most played.} (11. Bc4 Bg4 ( 11... bxc3 12. dxc3 {and White can fight for a small advantage. Caruana-Niemann, Chess.com (rapid) 2022.}) 12. h3 Bh5 13. Bxa6 d5 $1 { [%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Black has enough counterplay. A recent game continued:} 14. exd5 Qxd5 15. d3 Bxf3 16. Qxf3 Qxf3 17. gxf3 bxc3 18. bxc3 Ra8 19. Bb7 Rxa5 20. Rxa5 Nxa5 21. Rxe5 Nxb7 22. Rxe7 Nc5 23. Rxc7 Nxd3 {and the game later ended in a draw. Moussard-Harikrishna, Chennai (Ol) 2022.}) 11... h6 {A solid, typical move, which is hardly a bad one in the Ruy Lopez. It's useful to prevent White from playing the annoying Ng5, attacking the f7-pawn in some lines.} (11... Rb5 {attacks the a5-pawn and is a critical move. A few correspondence games were played here, and White was unable to demonstrate any advantage. Certainly Caruana has some new idea to show.} 12. d4 Rxa5 13. Rxa5 Nxa5 14. dxe5 dxe5 15. Nxe5 Qxd1 (15... Nxb3 16. Nc6 $1 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qe8 17. Nxe7+ Qxe7 18. Qxb3 {This also leads to equality.}) 16. Bxd1 Rd8 {Black has nothing to fear.}) 12. d4 bxc3 13. bxc3 exd4 14. Nxd4 $1 {[%c_effect d4;square;d4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] This move is stronger than the pawn capture.} (14. cxd4 d5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 15. e5 Ne4 {And Black has no worries.}) 14... Bd7 (14... Nxd4 15. cxd4 d5 {Now there is a difference, as White can capture on d5, and Black cannot recapture. This gives more chances for an advantage.} 16. exd5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 15. Bf4 {Only now a new move is played. This is a very natural try, developing the bishop on a good square.} (15. Nd2 Re8 16. Bc2 Bf8 {With chances for both sides. Nguyen-Wojtaszek, POL-chT 2022.}) 15... Ne5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A very accurate move, preventing the natural development of the knight on d2.} (15... Re8 16. Nd2 Bf8 17. Bc4 Qc8 18. Qc2 {White finishes development and has the pieces well placed, being able to fight for the advantage.}) 16. Na3 $6 {[%c_effect a3;square;a3;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] I don't like this move. My coach told me so many times, \"A knight on the rim is dim\" that it caused a certain trauma in my childhood. Now, as an adult, I try to blame a knight in the corner for the defeat in every game I analyze.} (16. Nd2 $2 {[%c_effect d2; square;d2;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Nd3 $1 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the point of Carlsen's previous move. Black wins material.}) (16. Bg3 $1 {[%c_effect g3;square;g3;type;GreatFind; persistent;true] is my favorite move. It avoids the double attack of the black knight on d3 and prepares the pawn advance to f4. Moves with more than one objective are usually the best.} c5 (16... Re8 17. f4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square; f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]}) 17. Bxe5 (17. Nf5 Bxf5 18. exf5 c4 19. Bc2 Qc7 {Black is ok.}) 17... dxe5 18. Nf3 Qc7 19. Bc4 Bb5 20. Na3 {With a tiny advantage for White.}) 16... Re8 17. Bg3 {Caruana decides to advance the kingside pawns, but Carlsen will show a flaw in this plan.} (17. Nc4 {is very natural, but Black has two good options.} Bf8 (17... Rxb3 $5 {[%c_effect b3; square;b3;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} 18. Qxb3 Nd3 19. Bg3 Nxe1 20. Rxe1 Bf8 {with a balanced game.})) 17... Bf8 18. f4 (18. Bc2 {it is safer and better.} c5 19. Nf3 Qxa5 20. Nc4 Qc7 21. Ncxe5 dxe5 22. Rxa6 {with equality.}) 18... Nc6 19. e5 dxe5 20. fxe5 {Truth be told, White's plan looks very promising. The knight is attacked, and the bishop has an eye on the f7-pawn. But Carlsen finds a tactical way to solve all of his problems.} Nxd4 21. cxd4 Bc6 $1 {[%c_effect c6;square;c6;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is the idea. Caruana probably didn't see this move in his analysis. Now he plays a losing move.} 22. Bc2 $2 {[%c_effect c2;square;c2;type;Mistake;persistent;true] } (22. exf6 $2 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} Rxe1+ 23. Bxe1 (23. Qxe1 Rxb3 $19) 23... Rxb3 $1 {[%c_effect b3;square;b3;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} 24. Qxb3 Qxd4+ {The a1-rook falls, and White's position collapses.}) (22. Bh4 g5 23. Bf2 Nd5 {with some advantage for Black.}) (22. Rc1 Bd5 23. Bxd5 Nxd5 {Black manages to establish a good blockade and has a more comfortable position.}) (22. Qd3 $5 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3;type; Interesting;persistent;true] It's an interesting move that leads to a chaotic position, with chances for both sides, after:} Be4 23. Bxf7+ $1 {[%c_effect f7; square;f7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Kxf7 24. Rxe4 Nxe4 25. Qxe4 { White has good compensation for the exchange.}) 22... Qd5 $1 {[%c_effect d5; square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 23. Re2 Rb4 $1 {[%c_effect b4; square;b4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This move is devastating. White still cannot capture on f6, and there is no defense for the d4-pawn. The rest is easy for Carlsen.} 24. Kh2 (24. exf6 Rxe2 25. Qxe2 Qxd4+ {The a1-rook falls again.}) 24... Rxd4 25. Qb1 Ne4 {True to his style, Carlsen takes the game to a technical endgame where the conversion is simple.} (25... Rd2 $1 {[%c_effect d2;square;d2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is more brutal:} 26. Qf1 (26. Qe1 Qxg2+ $1 {[%c_effect g2;square;g2;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 27. Rxg2 Rxg2+ {With a delightful version of the windmill tactic.}) 26... Rxe2 27. Qxe2 Nh5 {and White can resign.}) 26. Bxe4 Rxe4 27. Rxe4 Qxe4 28. Qxe4 Bxe4 29. Nc4 Rb8 30. Rc1 (30. e6 {is a bit more stubborn, but the endgame is easily winning after} fxe6 31. Bxc7 Rc8 32. Nd6 Rxc7 33. Nxe4 Rc4 34. Nd2 Rd4 35. Nf3 Rd5) 30... Rb5 31. e6 fxe6 32. Bxc7 Rc5 33. Bf4 Bd5 {A surprisingly easy victory for Carlsen. 0-} 0-1