Caruana Scores First Win

Fabiano Caruana scored his first win today at the Tashkent Grand Prix. His opponent Boris Gelfand blundered badly in a position which was seemingly equal:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "Tashkent FIDE GP"]
[Site "Tashkent UZB"]
[Date "2014.10.28"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Caruana, F."]
[Black "Gelfand, B."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E35"]
[WhiteElo "2844"]
[BlackElo "2748"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2014.10.20"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bxf6 {
Caruana explained at the press conference that he could not remember the
theory after the principled 7.Bh4 move and decided to play it simple. A quick
look in the Megabase reveals that 7.Bxf6 is played more often.} Qxf6 8. e3 ({
As teh bishop is going to capture on c3 anyway White decided to skip the a2-a3
move. One important example of this approach is the following game} 8. a3 Bxc3+
9. Qxc3 O-O 10. e3 Bf5 11. Nf3 Nd7 12. Be2 Rfc8 13. O-O c5 $132 {Radjabov,T
(2793)-Grischuk,A (2764) London 2013}) 8... O-O 9. a3 Bf5 {The trade of the
light-squared bishop is very good for Black.} 10. Bd3 Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 Bxd3 {
Simple play.} ({Both the players saw that in the line} 11... Qg6 $2 12. Bxf5 $1
Qxg2 13. f3 Qxh1 14. O-O-O {the black queen will be trapped. For instance} g6
15. Qf2 gxf5 16. Ne2 Qxd1+ 17. Kxd1 {and White is winning as the black king is
too exposed.}) ({Caruana also mentioned the interesting} 11... Bg6 {move with
good play for Black.}) 12. Qxd3 $11 {The outcome of the opening is cheerful
for the second player. Gelfand managed to trade three light pieces and has
plenty of space for the remaining ones.} c5 $146 {[%csl Yc3,Gc5][%cal Gc7c5]
Diagram [#] A logical novelty. Boris plays on the flank where he is stronger.}
({Also good is the immediate} 12... Nd7 13. Nf3 c5 $11) ({Previously Black
preferred not to advance the pawns on the queenside} 12... Qg5 13. g3 Qg4 14.
Ne2 Nd7 {Jaracz,P (2502)-Jakubowski,K (2532) Czechia 2013}) 13. Ne2 {The
knight looks more flexible on e2 and might attack the d5 pawn in the future
from f4.} ({In case of} 13. dxc5 Rc8 14. Ne2 Rxc5 {both sides will have weak
pawns and the black knight can occupy the excellent outposts on e4 and c4.} 15.
Nd4 Nd7 {[%cal Gd7e5,Ge5c4] followed by Nd7-e5-c4.}) 13... Nd7 14. O-O Qc6 {A
flexible move. Gelfand keeps all his options on the c file.} ({If} 14... c4 15.
Qc2 b5 16. a4 {and White has some pressure on the queen's wing.}) 15. a4 Rfc8 (
{Fabiano also mentioned the move} 15... c4 {in the press conference. Since
Black had traded three sets of light pieces this is indeed a very good idea.
The attack with e3-e4 is not going to be that effective for the first player
and Black can hope to advance on the queen's flank.}) 16. Rfb1 Rc7 {Both the
sides maneuver and do all the useful moves.} 17. a5 Rac8 18. h3 Nf6 19. Ng3 Qe6
$6 {This leads to some trouble for Black.} ({It was easier not to allow the
knight to f5 with the simple} 19... g6 $11) 20. dxc5 {"Now from completely
unclear the positions becomes slightly pressing for me." Caruana} Ne4 ({At the
press conference the players briefly discussed the line} 20... Qe7 21. Qd4 ({
However} 21. a6 bxa6 22. Rxa6 Qxc5 23. Rb3 {gives White a pull in this line.})
21... Rxc5 22. Nf5 Qe6 23. g4 $5 {This was Fabiano's intention, but then Boris
can react with the sharp} Rc4 $5 24. Qxa7 Nxg4 25. hxg4 Rxg4+ 26. Ng3 h5 {with
plenty of joy and an attack. The least he can do here I suppose is perpetual.})
21. Nxe4 dxe4 22. Qd6 Qf5 23. Ra4 Rxc5 $1 {Simple and strong.} ({Black has
still some problems in case of} 23... Rd7 24. g4 Rxd6 25. gxf5 Rxc5 26. Rxb7
Rxf5 27. Rxe4 {although Black should survive after} Ra6 28. Re8+ Kh7 29. Ree7 (
29. e4 $5 {to spoil Black's regrouping seems interesting.}) 29... Raf6 30. f4
Rxa5 (30... a6) 31. Rxa7 Raf5 32. Kg2 g5 $1) 24. Rxb7 {The critical moment of
the game. Gelfand needed to chose how to force the draw. He made the wrong
choice.} Rxa5 $2 {A blunder.} ({Correct was} 24... Rxc3 25. Qf4 Qxf4 26. exf4 {
which was called "unpleasant" by Gelfand, but with active play he can force a
draw} Rc1+ ({They both saw} 26... R3c7 27. Rxc7 Rxc7 28. Rxe4 Rc5 29. Re5 $1
$16 {although this should also be holdable for Black.}) 27. Kh2 R8c2 $1 {
Activity above all! The two rooks on the second rank guarantee the half point.}
28. Rxe4 (28. Kg3 Rf1 29. Rxa7 Rfxf2) 28... Rxf2 29. Re8+ Kh7 30. Rxf7 Rcc2 $11
{[%csl Gc2,Gf2]}) 25. Rxa5 Qxa5 {[%csl Gb7,Rc8,Gd6,Yg8][%cal Gb7h7] Diagram [#]
} 26. Rxf7 $1 {This was missed by Gelfand who looked very frustrated after the
game.} Qxc3 (26... Kxf7 27. Qd7+ Kg6 28. Qxc8 {leaves Black no chances as his
king is exposed and the c pawn runs fast.}) 27. Rxa7 Kh8 ({One more nice line
was given by the two players} 27... Rf8 28. Ra8 $1 {[%csl Re4][%cal Rd6d5,
Rd5a8,Rd5e4] and Black cannot win the pawn back} Qe1+ ({Or else Black loses
another pawn} 28... Rxa8 29. Qd5+ Kf8 30. Qxa8+ Kf7 31. Qxe4) 29. Kh2 Qxf2 30.
Rxf8+ Qxf8 31. Qxf8+ Kxf8 32. Kg3 g5 33. Kg4 {as the pawn endgame is easily
won for White.}) 28. Rf7 {An extra pawn and active pieces leave no chances to
Black.} Re8 29. g4 $1 {With the threat Rf7-f8 to win the e4 pawn.} ({Caruana
avoids the line} 29. Rf8+ Rxf8 30. Qxf8+ Kh7 31. Qf5+ Kh8 32. Qxe4 Qe1+ 33. Kh2
Qxf2 {where Black will survive.}) 29... Kh7 30. Qd7 Rb8 31. Qf5+ Kg8 32. Ra7
Qb2 ({The pawn cannot be saved.} 32... Qc4 33. Rxg7+) 33. Qxe4 Rf8 34. Qd5+ Kh7
35. Rf7 {Not the kind of play we are expecting from the world's number two but
Caruana took his chance and brought the point back home.} 1-0

Sergey Karjakin moved back to 50 % after defeating Anish Giri. Nothing changes on the top- Andreikin and Nakamura remain joint leaders.

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