Chess PGN Game Match played Bartel, Mateusz vs Caruana, Fabiano- in Moscow Aeroflot op-A 11th, Open: Queen’s pawn game

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Chess PGN Game Match played Bartel, Mateusz vs Caruana, Fabiano- in Moscow Aeroflot op-A 11th, Open: Queen's pawn game

Match between Bartel, Mateusz and Caruana, Fabiano

Event: Moscow Aeroflot op-A 11th

Variation: Queen’s pawn game

Pgn File:

[Event “Moscow Aeroflot op-A 11th”]
[Site “Moscow”]
[Date “2012.02.13”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Bartel, Mateusz”]
[Black “Caruana, Fabiano”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “2658”]
[BlackElo “2736”]
[ECO “D11”]
[Annotator “Bartel,M”]
[EventDate “2012.02.07”]
[PlyCount “43”]
[EventType “swiss”]
[EventRounds “9”]
[EventCountry “RUS”]
[Source “ChessBase”]
[SourceDate “2012.03.16”]

{ In round 6 I managed to beat GM Sasikiran. In that game I was very lucky
– my opponent overplayed me, but in time trouble he spoiled his win and
eventually lost. I was on a very pleasant +3, but to win the tournament
that would not be sufficient. However, I didn’t expect to go to +4 as
easily as I did in the following game – first I was still shaking after the
game vs. Krishnan, secondly my opponent was Fabiano Caruana… }

1. d4 d5 { This came as a surprise, as I expected the Grünfeld. } 2. c4 c6
3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 { I had only decided that in the event of the Slav I
should play e3. } 4… Bg4 5. Nc3 e6 6. h3 Bh5 (6… Bxf3 { was probably
too calm for my opponent. }) 7. Qb3 Qc7 ( { The alternative is } 7… Qb6)
8. Nh4 $146 { It’s funny, but I was sure that we are still in a very
popular line and Nh4 is one of White’s options. The truth is different –
Nh4 has been played only once in the past! I didn’t know that, so I could
play quickly and probably my opponent, who surely knew the theory much
better than I did, was a bit afraid of my “preparation”. The line I thought
we are in is: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5.Nc3 e6 6.Qb3 Qb6 7.Nh4.
So, it’s similar but different. The idea of Nh4 also exists with the queen
on c7, so later on we – in fact – will enter some more known positions, but
at this moment, we are a bit out of theory. } 8… Nbd7 ( { It was possible
to play } 8… g5 9. g4 gxh4 10. gxh5 { , but I think it’s not something
you are dreaming about when playing Black. }) 9. Bd2 { According to my
database – it’s a novelty, although very soon we will be again in a
position which has appeared in the past. White’s idea is simple – not to
play g4 as long a possible. In the game White gained a lot from delaying
(and in fact avoiding) g4. } 9… Nb6 $6 { A strange move. Engines, of
course, will say that this is not that bad, but I see absolutely now reason
to place knight on such a bad pleace. } ( { I think that } 9… Be7 { was
very much in the style of the line, as after } 10. g4 (10. Rc1 $2 Ne4)
10… Bg6 11. Nxg6 hxg6 12. Bg2 { we have a quite typical position. There
are some players who prefer White, some who think that Black is absolutely
fine. }) 10. cxd5 { A key moment of the game from the psychological point
of view. There is no point hiding the fact that I offered a draw here. As I
mentioned before, I was still a bit shocked after the game vs. Sasikiran,
so a draw would make me a bit calmer. In fact a draw offer was very
tempting in itself – nowadays you can’t make a quick draw, as it’s usually
forbidden. So, I thought that if an opponent accept the offer it’s ok – I
was in fact a bit tired, as I had played Moscow Open before Aeroflot, and a
quick game would allow me to save some precious energy. But, Fabiano, after
thinking for about 20 minutes, decided to reject my offer. I must say I
wasn’t disappointed – I already had much better time (some 40 minutes up),
my position was – in my opinion – slightly better and solid. So, ok – let’s
play! } 10… exd5 $6 { I think after this move Black is worse – it’s
obvious that the knight on b6 is misplaced. } (10… Nbxd5 { was better,
but after } 11. g4 Bg6 12. Bg2 { I still prefer White. Anyway, I think this
was better than what Fabiano did. }) 11. Rc1 { This ooks a bit strange, but
White can exert some unpleasant pressure exploiting the fact that queen is
not feeling very comfortable on c7 and has no other good square. } 11…
Bg6 { Probably you must play this, as in the event of …Be7 or …Bd6
White can play Nf5. } 12. Nxg6 hxg6 { This position is a big success for
White – I had won the pair of bishops without playing g4. Now the plan is
very easy – push e4, open the centre and press. } 13. Bd3 Be7 14. O-O { I
spent some time over this move as I was afraid of some direct attack. }
14… Kf8 $2 { Many spectators were very surprised by this move. Of course,
this time it absolutely does not work, but the whole idea is not so
unfamilar – Black didn’t want to put the king on the a2-g8 diagonal and
wanted to keep the rook on the h-file. } ( { At the beginning I was
considering } 14… Ng4 { , but it’s pointless as after } 15. f4 Nf6 16. a4
a5 17. e4 { White is better. }) ( { Then I calculated } 14… g5 15. e4 g4
{ , but it’s bad for many reasons: } 16. Nxd5 ( { I saw only } 16. e5 gxh3
17. g3 { and White should be better }) 16… Nbxd5 17. exd5 gxh3 18. g3 {
with a big plus for White. }) ( { The most natural – and the best – was }
14… O-O { but anyway after } 15. e4 dxe4 16. Nxe4 Nfd5 { (this is
probably the most logical, to avoid problems with the g6-pawn) } 17. Rfe1 {
White is better. }) 15. a4 { If White can force Black to play …a5 and
Black weren’t able to play …Bb4 – then a4 is a must-play continuation. }
15… a5 16. e4 dxe4 17. Nxe4 { So, after 17 moves White is visibly better.
Not only the white king is safer than the black one, not only White is
better developed and controls the centre, but also – there are some
tactical problems in Black’s position. Anyway, I couldn’t have expected
that the game would finish in 5 moves! } 17… Rh5 { The rook on h5 would
be great – it prevents d5 (what actually could be some kind of threat after
Nxf6) and also defends the a5-pawn. The problem is that the rook is very
unsafe there. } 18. Rfe1 { A calm move – the rook was the only piece which
hadn’t entered the action yet, so – when there was no direct attack – it’s
a good move. } 18… Nxe4 $2 { The losing move. Black was already in a
difficult situation, though not lost. } ( { Both after } 18… Nfd5 19. Be2
Rh8 20. Bf3 { and after }) (18… Rd8 19. Ng3 Rhd5 20. Ne2 { White would be
significantly better, but the game would be in progress. Especially the
second option seems to be pretty stubborn, as only a5 is a weak spot in
Black’s position. Ok, Black is probably paralysed, but it’s not easy to
find a decisive plan. }) 19. Bxe4 { Now the 5th rank is too short for the
black rook. } 19… Bd6 { After this move my opponent… offered a draw.
Well, the position is so much better for White, that I simply couldn’t
agree and, moreover, White has a trick after which he wins material. } ( {
After } 19… Rd8 20. Bf3 Rf5 21. g4 Rxf3 ( { after } 21… Rfd5 { engines
suggest that even } 22. Re2 { (and only later Bxd5) is completely winning }
) 22. Qxf3 { and there is no hope for Black. }) 20. Qf3 $1 { I spend some
minutes, as I didn’t see this move immediately. At the beginning I wanted
to put one of my rooks on f3, but as after both Rc3 (because of …Bb4) and
Re3 (because of …Bf4) there is nothing, I started to look for some other
moves. I even started to analyse the move… g3 to take f4 under control
and prepare Re3-f3… Luckily, I finally realised that Qf3 is not simply
attacking on g6, but also on c6. } 20… Nxa4 ( { The “normal” } 20… Kg8
{ was better, but there is a more or less engine-like defence: } 21. Bxc6
bxc6 22. Rxc6 Rf5 23. Qe4 Bh2+ { (move order of last 3 black move could be
also another) } 24. Kh1 Qb7 25. Rxb6 Qxe4 26. Rxe4 Rxf2 27. Kxh2 Rxd2 28.
Rb7 { and White is only pawn up in a rook endgame, so Black still would
have some (slight) chances for a draw. }) 21. Bxg6 { Not it’s totally over.
The next move of Black does not help. } 21… Rh8 $2 (21… Rd5 22. Bf5 $5
(22. Bc2 Nb6 23. Re4 $18) 22… Kg8 23. Qxd5 cxd5 24. Rxc7 Bxc7 25. Re7 Bb6
26. b3 Nb2 27. Bc3 $18) 22. Bg5 { and due to many threats, especially
putting some pieces on e7 (after f6 there is a good idea to use the
e8-square by playing Re2-Rce1), Black resigned. I think it was one of the
worst games in Fabiano’s career, so I was a bit lucky to meet him when he
was playing below his normal, very high, standard. } 1-0

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