[Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.01.16"] [Round "3"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Van Foreest, Jorden"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2766"] [BlackElo "2681"] [Annotator "rafael"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "6000+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {The Petroff Defense seems too boring for a player with as fun a style as Van Foreest, but he has new ideas to play it more dynamically. The truth is that the old prejudices that players of my generation have against the Petroff, the Berlin, the London System, must be put aside, as the newer generation shows nearly every day. Well, maybe not in the case of the Berlin.} 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Be6 $5 {[%c_effect e6;square; e6;type;Interesting;persistent;true] I have to admit I've never seen this move before. In fact, it's only been played a handful of times, at least compared to the vast amount of theory that goes into the Petroff Defense. This move is only Black's tenth most popular choice. Van Foreest once again lives up to his fame as an explorer of little-known paths.} 7. O-O f5 {It's important to note that the theory in this position is composed almost exclusively of correspondence games. Of course, the pawn advance creates some weaknesses in Black's camp, and pawn structure will be the main strategic theme of this game. But the knight is reinforced in his position on e4 and he has no intention of leaving, not even if attacked.} 8. Qe2 {Played after a long thought, indicating that even Caruana can be surprised in the opening.} Be7 9. Ne5 { A natural move for a human, but a theoretical novelty, which in this case implicitly means that it is not the most recommended move by the machine.} (9. c4 c6 10. Nc3 O-O {This is a critical position and has been tested in several correspondence games.}) 9... Nd7 {The Dutch GM was clearly still in his preparation, judging by the speed with which he executed this move.} 10. Nxd7 ( 10. Bf4 {is also possible.}) 10... Qxd7 11. f3 O-O $1 {[%c_effect g8;square;g8; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] It's always a joy when we don't have to retreat a piece attacked by a pawn.} 12. Bf4 (12. fxe4 $2 {[%c_effect e4; square;e4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Accepting the gift is a mistake.} fxe4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Black should play for an attack and not to try to win the bishop.} (12... dxe4 $2 {[%c_effect e4; square;e4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] This move is tempting, but now White achieves an advantage.} 13. Bb5 c6 (13... Qxd4+ 14. Kh1 (14. Be3 Qxb2 15. Nd2 { is also better for White.}) 14... c6 15. c3 $1 {[%c_effect c3;square;c3;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] With a material advantage.}) 14. d5 $1 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] An easy move to miss. Now the bishop escapes and White is better.} Qxd5 15. Nc3 Qd4+ 16. Be3 Qb4 17. a3 $1 { [%c_effect a3;square;a3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qxb2 18. Bc4 {With a clear advantage.}) 13. Rxf8+ Rxf8 14. Bb5 $6 {[%c_effect b5;square;b5;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (14. Bxe4 {is the best defensive chance, although Black is better.} dxe4 15. Be3) 14... c6 15. Ba4 Bg4 16. Qe1 Bd6 {The attack is decisive, with ideas of …Qc7 or …Qf5-h5. Remember that to evaluate sacrifices we must understand what the pieces are doing on the board, not outside it.}) 12... Bf6 13. c3 {Finally White threatens to take the knight for real.} g5 {A double-edged pawn advance.} (13... Ng5 $6 {[%c_effect g5;square; g5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] is not a good retreat.} 14. Nd2 Rae8 (14... Nf7 $2 {[%c_effect f7;square;f7;type;Mistake;persistent;true]} 15. Bxc7 $1 { [%c_effect c7;square;c7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] wins a pawn.}) 15. Bxg5 $1 {[%c_effect g5;square;g5;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Bxg5 16. f4 Bf6 17. Nf3 {The knight heads to e5 and White has a clear positional advantage.}) ( 13... Nd6 {is also perfectly possible.} 14. Be5 f4 $5 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4; type;Interesting;persistent;true] Black has nothing to fear, for instance:} ( 14... Rae8 15. f4 Ne4 {is rougly equal.}) 15. Bxf4 Bxd4+ 16. cxd4 Rxf4) 14. Be5 Nd6 (14... Bxe5 {leads to a complicated game after} 15. dxe5 Nc5 16. Bc2 Qg7) 15. f4 $1 {[%c_effect f4;square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] A good move. Caruana wants to prevent Black from playing f4.} (15. Nd2 f4 $1 {[%c_effect f4; square;f4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This move is strategically good because it frees up the f5-square for the bishop or knight. The tactical justification can be seen after} 16. Bxf6 $6 {[%c_effect f6;square;f6;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} Rxf6 17. Qe5 Qg7 $1 {[%c_effect g7;square;g7;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] defending the rook and the pawn.}) 15... g4 $2 { [%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;Mistake;persistent;true] The \"pawn advance\" theme is important in this game. Van Foreest played two dangerous but acceptable advances, taking a pawn to f5 and another to g5. This, his third, is a mistake. \"One is good, two is enough, three is too many.\" The problem is that now the capture on e5 is compromised: White recaptures with the f-pawn and a hole opens on f4.} (15... Bxe5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] is the right way to keep the game balanced.} 16. fxe5 (16. dxe5 Ne4) (16. Qxe5 g4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]}) 16... Ne4 {Black's pawn structure on the kingside is safe, with no clear weakness. The game is even.}) 16. Na3 Rae8 (16... Bxe5 17. fxe5 Ne4 18. Rf4 {This shows the problem with Black's 15th move. White prepares to double the rooks on the f-file and play Nc2-e3.}) 17. Nc2 {White has a comfortable advantage, precisely because Black cannot capture on e5. Without this capture there is no clear plan, while White can, among other things, play Ne3 and then h3, opening up the kingside.} Bd8 {A difficult move to make and an admission that the position is not good. Black wants to eliminate the possibility of exchanging the bishops and start his advance on the queenside, as we will see. The fact is that White's position is more comfortable, thanks to the better pawn structure. The problem with advancing pawns is this: they are the only piece in chess that cannot go back.} 18. Rad1 (18. Ne3 $1 { [%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] is more accurate, with the idea of playing h3, opening the kingside. For example:} c6 19. h3 $1 { [%c_effect h3;square;h3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} h5 (19... gxh3 20. Qf3 ) 20. hxg4 {Now both captures are bad for Black.} hxg4 (20... fxg4 21. Bg6 Bf7 22. Qd3 {With a strong attack.}) 21. Kf2 $1 {[%c_effect f2;square;f2;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] Followed by Rh1.}) 18... c6 19. Ne3 b5 {Probably played to avoid a plan with c3-c4.} 20. a4 (20. h3 $1 {[%c_effect h3;square;h3; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Again this move is very unpleasant for Black.} gxh3 (20... h5 21. hxg4 hxg4 (21... fxg4 22. Bg6) 22. Kf2) 21. Qf3 $1 { [%c_effect f3;square;f3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] With a much better position.}) 20... bxa4 21. Qc2 (21. Ra1 {is also good.}) 21... h5 22. Kh1 { A mysterious move, which I don't quite understand.} (22. Qxa4) (22. Ra1) 22... a3 $5 {[%c_effect a3;square;a3;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} 23. bxa3 Nc4 24. Bxc4 dxc4 25. Kg1 {The king goes back to g1. This move is easier to understand. Caruana is preventing the h4-h3 advance before performing any operation to capture the c4-pawn.} h4 $2 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;Mistake; persistent;true] A blunder. The game is basically over after this move.} (25... Bd5 {is the best chance, although Black won't have a happy life after:} 26. Nxd5 $5 {[%c_effect d5;square;d5;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} cxd5 (26... Qxd5 {is also possible, with a similar evaluation after} 27. Rb1) 27. Rb1 { White definitely has a positional advantage, but the game is not over yet.}) 26. Nxg4 $1 {[%c_effect g4;square;g4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The g-pawn falls and Black's position is ruined.} Bd5 (26... fxg4 27. Qg6+ { ends in mate.}) 27. Ne3 Be4 28. Qe2 Bd3 29. Rxd3 $1 {[%c_effect d3;square;d3; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] This is a move that the World Champion Tigran Petrosian would play with his eyes closed.} (29. Qh5 $6 {[%c_effect h5;square; h5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} Qh7 30. Qxh7+ $6 {[%c_effect h7;square;h7; type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} Kxh7 31. Rf2 Ba5 {Black has compensation for the pawn.}) 29... cxd3 30. Qxd3 {White has a decisive advantage. He has two pawns for the exchange, but in addition, there is an immortal bishop on e5, a well-placed knight and a much superior pawn structure.} Re6 31. Rb1 (31. Nxf5 $2 {[%c_effect f5;square;f5;type;Mistake;persistent;true] It's never late to spoil a winning position.} Qh7 {The knight is lost.}) 31... Rg6 {31...Bf6 or 31...Bb6 are more stubborn.} (31... Bf6) (31... Bb6) 32. Rb8 $1 {[%c_effect b8; square;b8;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} Qf7 33. c4 (33. Qxf5 {is easily winning after} Qxf5 34. Nxf5 Rxf5 35. Rxd8+ Rf8 36. Rxf8+ Kxf8 37. Kf2) 33... c5 {Trying to get some counterplay, but Caruana gives no chances.} 34. dxc5 Be7 35. Rb7 Qe6 36. Rc7 $1 {[%c_effect c7;square;c7;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] } Rc8 37. Rxc8+ Qxc8 38. Qd5+ Kf8 39. Bd6 {The rest is simple.} Qe6 40. Qxe6 Rxe6 41. Nxf5 Bxd6 42. cxd6 Re1+ 43. Kf2 Rc1 44. Ke3 Ke8 (44... Rxc4 45. d7) 45. Kd4 Rc2 46. c5 {The avalanche of pawns starts to advance and Black decides to resign.} (46. c5 Rxg2 47. c6 Rxh2 48. Ng7+ Kf7 49. c7 Rc2 50. d7) 1-0