[Event "Tata Steel Chess Masters 2023"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2023.01.20"] [Round "6"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Gukesh, D..."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2766"] [BlackElo "2725"] [Annotator "Rafael Leitao"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2023.??.??"] [TimeControl "6000+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 {The Ragozin Defense always makes its appearance in elite tournaments.} 5. Qa4+ {This was my favorite move when I faced the Ragozin. The idea is to bring the black knight to c6, where it is well known that it is not well placed, in front of the c-pawn, in positions with this structure.} Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Qc2 (7. a3 {One of the great treasures of my chess career was the chance I had to play and analyze with World Champion Anatoly Karpov over two afternoons in 2006. On one of them, we were analyzing this position and he asked me why not play 7.a3 right away, an idea I used three years later. I won that game, even if not because of the opening. Leitao-Lafuente, Mar del Plata 2009.}) 7... Ne7 {As I wrote before, Black's knight is not well on c6 and making sense of this piece is critical for Black. Many try this by setting up the e5-break, either with 7...Re8 or capturing on c4 and then removing the bishop to d6. Others ignore this problem for the time being and develop the queenside with 7...b6. 7...Ne7 is a bit more difficult to explain, but I think the idea is to also play with b6, but having the option to capture with the knight on d5 or simply not leave the knight unprotected on c6. If that doesn't sound very convincing, it's because I really don't understand this move well enough.} (7... Re8) (7... dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bd6) 8. Bd2 b6 9. a3 Bxc3 10. Bxc3 Ba6 $6 {[%c_effect a6;square;a6;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true] This move is superficial and it's strange that Gukesh gets in trouble so quickly in one of the most important lines of the Ragozin—something went terribly wrong in his preparation.} (10... a5 { is more interesting because Black might try to play …a4 at some point.} 11. cxd5 (11. b3 Ba6 12. Nd2 a4 $5 {[%c_effect a4;square;a4;type;Interesting; persistent;true] was Sevian-Bok, FIDE World Cup 2021.}) 11... exd5 12. Bd3 Ba6 {with a slight advantage for White in Iniyan-Pichot, Tashkent 2022.}) 11. b3 Rc8 12. Rd1 {A new move.} (12. Bd3 {also gives an advantage to White and was played in Grachev-Bluebaum, Moscow 2016.}) 12... c5 $2 {[%c_effect c5;square; c5;type;Mistake;persistent;true] Opening that diagonal for the white bishop with the knight still on f6 is almost suicide.} (12... Ne4 {is a better option. } 13. Bb2 c5 14. Bd3 f5) 13. dxc5 Rxc5 $6 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type; Inaccuracy;persistent;true]} (13... Ne4 $1 {[%c_effect e4;square;e4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] Is a better chance to complicate the game.} 14. cxd5 (14. Ba1 $5 {[%c_effect a1;square;a1;type;Interesting;persistent;true] Maybe this simple move is the best option.} Nxc5 15. Qb1 {With a clear advantage due to the bishop pair and Black's awkward pieces.}) 14... Nxc3 15. Bxa6 Nxd1 16. Bxc8 Nxe3 $1 {[%c_effect e3;square;e3;type;GreatFind;persistent;true]} 17. fxe3 Qxc8 18. d6 Nf5 19. c6 Nxd6 20. O-O {And White has some advantage due to the passed c6-pawn, but it's not so much.}) 14. Qb2 $1 {[%c_effect b2;square;b2; type;GreatFind;persistent;true] After this accurate move, Black is completely lost. White has many tactical themes with the diagonals, pins, and the exposed rook on c5.} Qc8 (14... Ne8 {This is the option not to lose material, but it's a move you play while tears come out of your eyes.}) 15. Bxf6 gxf6 16. Qxf6 Ng6 17. h4 $1 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] Caruana not only has an extra pawn, but he also has a strong attack on the dark squares.} dxc4 18. h5 Rf5 19. Qc3 Ne7 20. bxc4 {White has many tempting moves and Caruana's choice is good enough, but not the most incisive.} (20. Rh4 $5 { [%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;Interesting;persistent;true]} f6 {Forced, as 21. Rg4+ was threatened.} 21. e4 Rc5 22. b4 $1 {[%c_effect b4;square;b4;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} Rc7 23. Rg4+ Kh8 24. Rf4 {With a dream position. A nice line follows:} e5 25. Nxe5 $1 {[%c_effect e5;square;e5;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} fxe5 26. Qxe5+ Kg8 27. Rxf8+ Kxf8 28. Qf6+ Kg8 29. h6 Nc6 30. Rd5 Rf7 {Black defends with only moves, but now comes a beautiful finish.} 31. Bxc4 $3 {[%c_effect c4;square;c4;type;Brilliant;persistent;true]} Rxf6 (31... Bxc4 32. Rg5+ Kf8 33. Qh8+ Ke7 34. Qxc8 {winning the queen.}) 32. Rd8# { The most beautiful mates are those in which all pieces participate, as is the case here.}) (20. e4 {is probably the simplest way to win.} Rf4 21. Qe5 (21. Qe3 {is also good.} Qc7 22. g3 Rg4 23. Bh3 Rg7 24. h6 Rg6 25. Nh4 {winning the exchange.}) 21... Rg4 22. Rh4 $1 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;GreatFind; persistent;true]} Rg7 (22... Rxh4 23. Qg5+ Kh8 24. Qf6+ Kg8 25. Nxh4 {Followed by h6 and mate.}) 23. Qf6 Qc7 24. Ne5 {With total domination. Black can resign with a clear conscience.}) 20... f6 21. Be2 Rc5 22. Nd2 {White is a pawn up with an attack and better structure, so there's not much to complain about.} Bb7 23. Rh4 $1 {[%c_effect h4;square;h4;type;GreatFind;persistent;true] The typical rook maneuver we've seen before in the analysis.} e5 24. Ne4 Bxe4 25. Rxe4 Qe6 (25... Rd8 {is more stubborn.}) 26. Qd2 Ra5 $6 {[%c_effect a5;square; a5;type;Inaccuracy;persistent;true] The final mistake.} (26... f5 27. Rh4 Ra5) 27. Rg4+ Kf7 (27... Kh8 28. Qd7) 28. h6 $1 {[%c_effect h6;square;h6;type; GreatFind;persistent;true]} Ng6 29. c5 $1 {[%c_effect c5;square;c5;type; GreatFind;persistent;true] A nice move, with the idea of bringing the white bishop to life and taking the rook out of the a7-pawn's defense.} Rxc5 30. Qd7+ Qxd7 (30... Ne7 31. Rg7#) 31. Rxd7+ Kg8 32. Rxa7 Rc1+ 33. Kd2 Rh1 34. Rb4 Rxh6 35. Rxb6 Rh2 36. Rbb7 {The a-pawn will soon decide the game, for instance:} ( 36. Rbb7 Rd8+ 37. Rd7 Rxd7+ 38. Rxd7 Rxg2 39. a4 {And nothing can stop this pawn from reaching the eighth rank.}) 1-0
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