[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2020.10.08"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E36"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2828"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 {A principled line in the Nimzo-Indian defense which has been tested at world championship matches.} O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 d5 7. Bg5 dxc4 8. Qxc4 b6 9. Rd1 Ba6 10. Qa4 h6 11. Bh4 Qd7 {Black's lead in development is translated into a seemingly equal endgame.} ({No doubt both players studied in-depth the following sharp blitz game:} 11... Bb7 12. Nf3 Nbd7 13. Ne5 Qe8 14. Nxd7 Qxd7 15. Qxd7 Nxd7 16. f3 f5 17. e3 Bd5 18. b4 c5 19. dxc5 bxc5 20. Bb5 Ne5 21. Bg3 a6 22. Be2 Nd7 23. e4 fxe4 24. fxe4 Bc6 25. Rd6 Ba4 26. Bc4 Kh8 27. Bxe6 Nf6 28. bxc5 Nxe4 29. Bd5 Nxg3 30. hxg3 Rac8 { which White eventually won, Mamedyarov,S (2764)-Alekseenko,K (2696) chess.com 2020}) 12. Qc2 Qc6 13. Qxc6 Nxc6 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. e3 Bxf1 16. Kxf1 Na5 17. Nf3 Nc4 {N} ({In an earlier game Black was holding after} 17... Rac8 18. Ke2 c5 19. dxc5 bxc5 20. Rd7 Nc4 21. Rc1 Nxb2 22. Rc2 Na4 23. Rxa7 Ra8 24. Rxa8 Rxa8 25. Nd2 Nb6 26. Rb2 Ra6 {Wang,H (2763)-Radjabov,T (2765) chess.com 2020}) 18. Rb1 { Carlsen thought that the arising position is unpleasant for Caruana and played the most obvious, logical moves.} ({Kramnik and Polgar suggested instead the curious idea} 18. Ke2 Nxb2 19. Rb1 {The knight is locked and White can regain the pawn after} Na4 ({However} 19... Nc4 $1 20. Rhc1 Nd6 21. Rxc7 Rfc8 22. Rd7 ({Not} 22. Rbc1 Rxc7 23. Rxc7 Nb5 {which wins a pawn for Black.}) 22... Rd8 { holds for Black.}) 20. Rhc1 a6 21. Rxc7 b5 22. Nd2 {"Might be unpleasant for Black" (Kramnik) "This is unpleasant for sure." (Carlsen)}) (18. Rc1 Nxb2 19. Rc6 b5 20. Nd2 {(Carlsen)}) 18... c5 19. Ke2 Rfc8 20. Rhc1 Nd6 {After this Caruana's position becomes really unpleasant.} ({Carlsen was expecting instead } 20... cxd4 21. Nxd4 {but thought that it is still unpleasant for Caruana as there is good chance that the rooks are traded and in the pure knight endgame it will be still difficult for Black to draw. If we prolong the line a bit though:} Kf8 22. Rc2 Nd6 23. Rbc1 Rxc2+ 24. Rxc2 Ke7 $1 25. Rc7+ Kd8 {we see that with just one rook on the board White can do little damage to the opponent's position.}) 21. dxc5 bxc5 22. Rc2 {The many weaknesses leave Black in a passive position. It is evident that Carlsen will be the first one to start the captures and most likely win a pawn in a hypothetical rook endgame.} Kf8 23. Nd2 c4 24. Rbc1 Rab8 25. Kf3 c3 ({After} 25... Rd8 $5 {The world champion intended} 26. Nxc4 Nxc4 27. Rxc4 Rxb2 28. Rc8 Ke7 (28... Ke8 {leads to the same.}) 29. Rxd8 Kxd8 {And then} 30. Rc4 {"Going for the h6 pawn." (Carlsen) Still, this might have been Black's best chance as rook endgames often provide good drawing chances for the defender.} ({Or} 30. Rc5 {Kramnik.}) ) ({At the post-mortem Polgar and Kramnik discussed the following line with the world champion:} 25... f5 26. Nxc4 Rxc4 27. Rxc4 Nxc4 28. Rxc4 Rxb2 29. Rc7 a5 30. Ra7 Ra2 31. Rxa5 {Carlsen then thought about pushing the pawn all the way to the seventh rank:} Kg7 32. Ra8 Kf6 33. a4 Kg7 34. a5 Kf6 35. a6 Kg7 36. a7 Kf6 {Then White's plan was to bring the king to h5:} 37. Kg3 Kg7 ({If} 37... Ra4 {(Kramnik) then went} 38. f4 $1 Ra2 39. Kh4 Kg7 40. h3 Kh7 41. g4 fxg4 42. hxg4 f5 ({Not} 42... Kg7 43. e4 {followed by e4-e5 and f4-f5-f6 with a win.}) 43. gxf5 exf5 {Then at some point White will go for the f-pawn. If he can do this, he will be winning.}) 38. Kh4 {followed by h2-h3 and g2-g4. Later White can further expand with the advance of the e- and the f-pawns.}) ({On the other hand, activity is not possible as after} 25... Rc5 26. b4 {White defends his weakness then.}) 26. bxc3 Rc5 {Now White quickly consolidates.} ({The last chance was} 26... Nc4 {(Carlsen said he was "shocked" Caruana didn't go for this.)} 27. Nxc4 Rxc4 {although there too} 28. Rd1 Ke7 29. Rd4 Rbc8 30. Rxc4 Rxc4 31. Rb2 Ra4 32. Rb3 {(Carlsen) is problematic for Black.}) 27. c4 f5 28. Ke2 {The king is transferred for the defense.} Ke7 29. Kd3 Kd7 30. Rc3 Rc6 ({ The most resilient was:} 30... Ke7 31. Rb3 {although there too White should convert his extra pawn.}) 31. c5 Ne8 32. Nf3 Ra6 ({Or} 32... f6 33. Nd4 { with a decisive edge.}) 33. Ne5+ Ke7 34. Ke2 Nf6 35. R1c2 Nd5 36. Rd3 Rc8 37. Rb3 Rc7 38. Rc4 Ra5 39. Nd3 {White consolidated and the win is only a question of time. a3-a4 and Rb3-b5 are on the agenda, therefore Caruana tries the desperate...} e5 40. Nxe5 Raxc5 41. Rxc5 Rxc5 42. Rb7+ Ke6 43. Nxf7 {...but that does not promise Black enough as Carlsen quickly consolidates again:} Ra5 44. Nd8+ Kd6 45. Rb3 Ra6 46. Nf7+ Kc5 47. Ne5 h5 48. Kd2 h4 49. Nd3+ Kc4 50. Kc2 Rd6 51. Nf4 1-0
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