Clear Leaders

The third round of Tata Steel Chess saw new leaders. Aleksey Dreev won third straight win to seize the lead in the Challenger's section, while Fabiano Caruana was lucky enough (and very stubborn)to flip a worse position into a win:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Tata Steel Chess- Masters"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.01.18"]
[Round "3.5"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Adams, Michael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2787"]
[BlackElo "2744"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "127"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:18:28"]
[BlackClock "0:28:49"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. e3 Bb7 6. Bd3 O-O 7. O-O d5 {
Diagram [#] The Nimtzo-Indian defense had served well the English top GM, but
this particular line had rarely occurred in his games. Here he deviates from
his early predecessor} (7... c5 8. Na4 cxd4 9. a3 Bd6 10. exd4 Bxf3 11. Qxf3
Nc6 12. Be3 e5 13. c5 exd4 14. cxd6 dxe3 15. Qxe3 Re8 {as in Arnaudov,P (2471)
-Adams,M (2720) Eilat 2012}) 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Ne5 Nbd7 10. f4 c5 11. Ne2 c4 ({
Black can also capture on d4} 11... cxd4 12. exd4 Be7 13. Be3 Ne4 14. Rc1 Ndf6
{which leads to slightly passive, but defendable position, Lysyj,I (2684)
-Efimenko,Z (2641) Bilbao 2014}) 12. Bf5 {After seven minutes of thought Adams
came with a strong novelty} g6 $146 {Diagram [#]} ({Prior to this game Black
had only tested} 12... b5 13. b3 (13. a4 $5) 13... Nb6 14. Rb1 Qd6 15. Ng3 Rfe8
{with unclear game, Gschnitzer,O (2475)-Piskov,Y (2520) Germany 1993}) {
Caruana sank into deep thought and came up with} 13. Qa4 {This looks dubious
to me. White's hopes of an advantage will be most likely connected with the
retreat} (13. Bc2) 13... gxf5 14. Qxb4 Ne4 {[%csl Ge4,Ye5][%cal Yf7f6] Diagram
[#] As a result we have a situation similar to the game Bok-L'Ami from
yesterday. The knight on e4 is the king of the board, while the one on e5 will
soon have to step back after f7-f6.} 15. a4 f6 16. Nf3 ({Black's play is very
easy after} 16. Nxd7 Qxd7 {but objectively speaking this might have been
stronger than the text move.}) 16... Nb8 $1 {[%csl Rb3,Rd3][%cal Gb8c6,Gc6a5,
Ga5b3,Rc6b4,Rb4d3] Diagram [#] The second knight is heading towards the d3 or
b3 outposts via b4 or a5 squares. The opening was huge success for Adams who
firmly took command of the game.} 17. Qe1 Nc6 18. Bd2 Kh8 {The only place
where White can show some activity is the king's flank., but Black can also
make good use of the half-open "g" file.} 19. Nh4 Qd7 20. Nc3 Rae8 {Adams
wants to keep the e4 square available for his pieces. Another idea was:} (20...
Nb4 21. Nxe4 Nd3 ({Rather than} 21... Nc2 22. Qd1 Nxa1 23. Ng3 Nb3 24. Bb4 {
when the white light pieces come into life.}) 22. Nxf6 (22. Qe2 fxe4) 22...
Rxf6 23. Qe2 Re8 {when Black will return the pawn with some advantage} 24. Bc3
Qe6) 21. Nxe4 Rxe4 22. Qd1 Rg8 {With the idea Rg8-g4.} 23. Qh5 {Caruana did
great under the circumstances and created his own play on the kingside. Still,
it should not be sufficient for full equality.} Bc8 24. Rf3 Qe8 25. Qh6 {
Places the queen in a very dangerous position.} ({The endgame deprives White
of his attacking chances.} 25. Qxe8 Rgxe8) 25... Qf7 {Adams intends Nc6-e7,
Rg8-g7(g4) and Ne7-g8 to trap the queen.} 26. b4 $1 {[%cal Rd2b4,Rb4f8,Yb4b5,
Gc1c8] Diagram [#] Caruana secures some squares for his dark-squared bishop as
otherwise Black can simply play a7-a5 in a certain moment.} (26. Rg3 Ne7 27.
Nf3 Rg4 {is good for Black.}) 26... Ne7 ({Perhaps} 26... cxb3 27. Rh3 (27. Rc1
Bd7) 27... Bd7 28. Rb1 Ne7 29. Rxb3 Rg7 {was simpler and better.}) 27. Rh3 Rg4
{Adams had an interesting idea instead:} (27... c3 $1 {with the tactical point}
28. Bxc3 $2 ({Objectively best according to the computer is} 28. Bc1 {where
the bishop is obviously badly misplaced.}) ({Black is clearly better after} 28.
Be1 Rg4 29. Nf3 Bd7 {Prepares the capture on e3.} ({But not the hasty} 29...
Rxe3 $2 30. Ng5 $1 Rxe1+ 31. Rxe1 fxg5 32. Rxc3 $18 {when all of a sudden
Black can not adequately meet the threats Rc3-c7 and Re1xe8+.}) 30. Rc1 (30.
Bf2 Be8 31. Rg3 Ng8 32. Qh3 Qe7 $17) 30... Rxe3 31. Ng5 Rxe1+ 32. Rxe1 fxg5)
28... Rg4 29. Nf3 Ng8 30. Qh5 Qxh5 31. Rxh5 Rxe3 {[%csl Yc3,Yf3][%cal Re3c3,
Re3f3] Diagram [#] and double attack against the light pieces wins one of them.
}) (27... Rg7 {was not bad neither.}) 28. Nf3 Bd7 29. Kf2 Be8 {Instead Black
was clearly better after} (29... Ng8 $1 30. Qh5 Qg7 31. Rg3 Nh6 {Diagram [#]
With the threat, say} 32. b5 Rxg3 33. hxg3 Ng4+ 34. Ke2 c3 $1 {and wins.}) 30.
Rg3 Ng8 31. Qh3 Bd7 ({Here} 31... Qg7 32. Ng1 Nh6 {is not as effective due to}
33. Ne2) 32. b5 {The idea behind the b2-b4 move is revealed. The bishop can
finally breath.} Re8 33. Ng1 $1 {[%cal Gg1e2,Ge2c3,Rd2b4,Gg3f3] Diagram [#] A
nice regroupment by White. He intends Bd2-b4 as well as Ng1-e2-c3. More
importantly- he opened the f3 square for his rook.} a5 ({If Black tries to
reroute his knight to e4 with} 33... Ne7 34. Ne2 Nc8 {then} 35. Bb4 {comes
just in time.}) ({Similar is} 33... Ra8 34. Ne2 a6) 34. bxa6 Ra8 35. Ne2 Rxa6
36. Bb4 Kg7 ({The black king migth be vulnerable as the following line shows}
36... b5 37. a5 Ne7 38. Rb1 Nc6 39. Be1 b4 40. Bxb4 Nxb4 41. Rxb4 Rxa5 42. Rxg4
fxg4 43. Qh6 $16) (36... h5 37. Nc3) ({Perhaps it was time to secure half a
point with} 36... Rxa4 37. Rxa4 Rxg3 38. Nxg3 Bxa4 39. Qxf5 $11 {Diagram [#]})
37. Nc3 h5 38. Kg1 {Opens the road for the kingside rook.} (38. Rf3 {at one
was more precise.}) 38... Nh6 $6 {After this the white rook gets back into
play and tables are turned into Caruana's favour. There was better idea:} (
38... Ne7 {Diagram [#]} 39. Bxe7 (39. Rf3 Nc6) 39... Qxe7 {When tactics seem
to work for Black} 40. Nxd5 (40. Qxh5 $2 Rxg3 41. hxg3 Qxe3+) 40... Qe4 41. Nc3
Qc2 42. e4 b5 $1 {and it seems as Black is happier thanks to his more active
queen.}) 39. Rf3 $1 {Now that the rook comes out of the prison it becomes
clear that the one on g4 is lost in the translation.} Ra8 40. Rf2 Kh7 41. Qf3 {
[%csl Yb6,Yd5,Yf5,Yh5][%cal Gf3d5,Rf2b2,Ra1b1,Rb1b6] Diagram [#] It was not
only the rook that came into the game...} Bc6 42. Rb2 h4 43. Ba3 {Black has
too many things to worry about- b6, d5, f5 and h4 pawns are too weak.} Rag8 (
43... Bxa4 44. Qxd5 $16) 44. Kh1 Ba8 45. Rg1 Qe6 46. Rb5 R4g7 47. Bc1 $1 {
[%csl Yh4][%cal Gc1d2,Gd2e1,Ge1f2] Diagram [#] The bishop looked active on a3,
but on e1 it will become and effective piece.} Rg6 48. Bd2 R8g7 49. Rb2 Nf7 50.
h3 {The weaknesses can no longer be held.} Rg3 (50... Nh6 51. Be1 $1) (50...
Rh6 51. Rgb1 $1) 51. Qh5+ Nh6 52. Qxh4 Qg8 53. Be1 R3g6 54. Qh5 {[%csl Yb6,Yd5,
Yf5,Rh6,Rh7] Diagram [#]} ({White could have taken the pawn at once, but
Caruana knows it has nowhere to go} 54. Rxb6 Rxg2 55. Rxg2 Rxg2 56. Bf2) 54...
Re7 55. Bf2 Reg7 56. Qf3 Qd8 57. Bh4 Qd6 58. Rgb1 {Diagram [#] It is amazing
how quickly Black's promising position detoriated...} Qa3 59. Be1 Qe7 60. g3
Nf7 61. Rxb6 Rh6 62. Ra6 Qe8 63. Kg2 Qc8 64. Rbb6 1-0


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