[Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.01.29"] [Round "12"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B31"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2865"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. c3 {This is what we call the Classical Rossolimo. In the beginning, it was all about White expanding in the center.} Nf6 6. Re1 O-O 7. d4 d5 {Black naturally would not give the most vital part of the board without a fight.} 8. e5 Ne4 9. Be3 cxd4 10. cxd4 Qb6 11. Qe2 ({Another way to play the position was demonstrated by Kryvoruchko:} 11. Bxc6 Qxc6 12. Nfd2 Be6 13. f3 Nxd2 14. Qxd2 Rfc8 15. Nc3 Qa6 16. Ne2 Rc7 17. Nf4 Rac8 {although Black was fine at the end in Kryvoruchko,Y (2686) -Shevchenko,K (2632) Riga 2021}) 11... Bd7 12. Ba4 Rac8 13. Nc3 Nxc3 14. bxc3 Qd8 $1 {A brilliant move that defends the bishop, thus preparing the knight maneuver via a5 towards the c4-square, while creating the tactical threats of Nc6xd4! and/or Nc6xe5!} 15. Bb3 ({Perhaps} 15. Rab1 {was to be preferred, when none of the tricks seem to work.} Nxd4 ({Similar is} 15... Nxe5 16. dxe5 Bxa4 17. Rxb7) ({The other idea behind the move is to meet} 15... Na5 {with} 16. Bxd7 Qxd7 17. Qb5 $1) 16. Bxd4 Bxa4 17. Rxb7) 15... Na5 $146 {Carlsen is strictly following his plan, but this move is surprisingly a novelty.} ({ Interestingly, there is an email predecessor up to this point that went:} 15... Bf5 16. Nh4 Be6 17. Bd2 Na5 18. f4 Nc4 19. Bxc4 Rxc4 20. f5 gxf5 21. Rf1 { and it was unclear in Brundisch,V (2067)-Taksrud,V (2090) ICCF email 2019}) 16. Rac1 Nxb3 {A hefty bishop pair has been acquired…} 17. axb3 {at the expense of the improved pawn structure for White. However, one should not forget that pieces almost always have priority to pawns.} Qb6 {Carlsen is trying to discourage the c3-c4 break, thus gaining stability.} ({The immediate} 17... a5 18. c4 a4 {was also possible but unclear.}) 18. Qa2 a5 19. Qa3 (19. c4 a4 20. Rb1 dxc4 21. bxc4 Qa6 {would have been similar to the game.}) 19... Rfe8 20. c4 dxc4 21. bxc4 Qa6 {At the end of the day, Black would provoke the advance of the c-pawn and this will promise his solid control of the light squares.} 22. c5 ({However, after moves like} 22. Qa2 b5) ({Or} 22. Nd2 b5 {White would have also experienced difficulties—as an outside passer(s) would be added as an asset to Black's treasure box.}) 22... Bc6 23. Rb1 a4 {\"I went for a somewhat risky plan here, as I have to spend some time later for Qa6-a8-c8, bringing the bishop back into the game.\" (Carlsen)} ({Wrong was the hunt for pawn weaknesses in the line} 23... Bxf3 $2 24. gxf3 Qe6 25. Qb3 Qh3 26. Qxb7) 24. Rec1 {Caruana has two major problems: his two minor pieces... None of them has any prospects—the bishop being particularly bad, but the knight too, does not have any good outposts. Take all the minors away and White would do great, but how to deal with them now?} ({Perhaps} 24. Nd2 Rcd8 25. Qc3 Qa8 26. f3 { would have been a minor improvement in comparison to the game.}) 24... Rcd8 25. Nd2 Qe2 {Black spots a chance and grabs it! The queen is heading toward the kingside.} 26. f3 ({The line} 26. Re1 Qh5 27. f3 f6 {opens the black bishops in his favor.}) ({But} 26. Nf3 {seems mandatory when} Bxf3 {does not win material due to} 27. Re1) 26... Rxd4 {\"The exchange sacrifice was screaming to be played.\" (Carlsen)} 27. Bxd4 Qxd2 28. Rd1 Qf4 {For the exchange, Black already got one pawn and is about to take a second one which, combined with his strong pieces, will promise him an edge. How serious that advantage would be is the question.} 29. Qb4 {The wrong plan according to the world champion.} ({Carlsen suggested instead} 29. Qb2 $5) ({Another idea was} 29. Bb2 $5 Bxe5 30. Bxe5 Qxe5 31. Rd2 {trying to survive the middlegame. With the queens on, White may make use of the open d-file and sometimes speculate with mating threats.}) 29... e6 30. Bc3 Qxb4 {\"It's very much in my interest to exchange queens there. My bishops are so strong in the endgame that he stands no chance. \" (Carlsen) Indeed, the strength of the bishop pair increases in the endgame.} 31. Bxb4 Bxe5 32. Ba3 {For the time being, the white rooks control the open files, but their functions are purely defensive. Whereas Black can soon open a file for his rook as well while protecting all the entry squares.} Bf6 33. Kf2 Be7 34. Rb6 Rc8 35. Rd2 f6 36. f4 e5 {Creates a passer at once while opening the f-file for his rook and the e6-square for the king.} (36... Kf7 $5 { Preparing h7-h6 and g6-g5 also looked great.}) 37. fxe5 fxe5 38. Re2 Rf8+ 39. Ke1 Rf5 40. Rb1 e4 41. Rc1 Bh4+ 42. g3 Bg5 43. Rb1 Rf3 {The black pieces steadily put the situation under control.} 44. Bc1 Bf6 45. Rb6 Rf5 ({Or the alternative win} 45... Bc3+ 46. Bd2 a3) 46. Ba3 Kf7 47. Rf2 Rf3 48. Rxf3 exf3 49. Kf1 Bd4 {And Caruana resigned as the second bishop is en route to the a6-f1 diagonal. 0-} 0-1