Zurich: Aronian Could Do It, Caruana Wanted to Do It, Nakamura Did It (PHOTOS)

Время публикации: 15.02.2015 02:51 | Последнее обновление: 15.02.2015 02:51

The first round has been played in Zurich. The tournament began with 2 draws and one decisive game.

The winner of the blitz, Levon Aronian, missed a chance for the successful start. He sacrificed a piece to Sergey Karjakin on move 22 and then had a choice of either delivering the perpetual or continuing the attack. After long hesitation, Levon decided not to take the risks. The engines, however, do not agree with him: after 25.Ng3! Bc5 26.Qh6+ Kg8 27.Nh5 White would have regained the piece, obtaining the advantage.

Viswanathan Anand was exerting slight pressure towards Vladimir Kramnik's solid position throughout the game, but as soon as the rooks disappeared from the board he offered a draw. The ending is equal indeed, but Anand's decision surprised some people - for instance, GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic who was watching the game in the press center.

The most interesting battle of the starting round was Caruana - Nakamura. In a better position, the Italian GM decided to win in the most convincing manner, which led to the unexpected and dramatic outcome.

The game began with quite a fashionable line of the Najdorf variation. The first one to go into tactics was Nakamura (17...a4), probably to avoid the potential long-term positional pressure by White in case of calm play. Caruana responded well and got some advantage, but his 31th move 31.Ne7+ was inaccurate. Instead, 31.Nd6! Bxd5 32.Rxd5 Rxc2 33.Bd1! Rd2 (33...Rc3 34.Ra1 is also better for White) 34.Rxc5 Rxd6 35.Rxe5 would have given him an extra pawn, although the win would have been a difficult task if possible whatsoever.

From then on, Fabiano could have simplified the position a couple of times, with a likely draw. Instead, he continued to complicate the matters just to mess it up a few moves later, while his opponent was precise.


35.Nxe5? 35.Nxf7! is better: 35...Nc5! (35...Bxf7? 36.Nxe5 Rc7 37.Rxc7 Rxf7 38.Nxf7) 36.Rb5 Bxf7 37.Rxa5 Rxa5 38.Nxa5 Ne6 with an extra pawn for White, although he has almost no chance for converting it because Black's pieces are very active.
35...Nc5 36.Re7 (if 36.Rb1 then 36...Bc7 is unpleasant) 36...Kf8! 37.Nc6?! The computer's suggestion is already to give up an exchange; moreover, White has several ways to do that, but only 37.Rxe6! Nxe6 38.Ndxf7! is sound. Probably it would have led to a draw; however, Caruana was already in time trouble, which isn't a good assistance in finding study-like subtleties.
37...Nb3! 38.e5 Bb6 39.Rb7? The final error. White could get away with the minimum material deficit by 39.Rxe6! fxe6 (if 39...Rxf2 then 40.Rf6! Rxf3+ 41.Kg2; or 39...Bxf2+ 40.Kh1 fxe6 41.Nb4 is okay for White) 40.Nd4! Bxd4 41.Bxa8 Bxf2+ 42.Kg2! Bd4+, although Black would have tortured his opponent for a long time.
39...Bxf2+ 40.Kg2. This leads to mate, but 40.Kh1 Bxg3 is also totally hopeless. 40...Bc5+ 41.Kh1 Raa2. 0-1

'Caruana wanted to win right away instead of going to some technical endgame like 4 vs 3. Magnus would have done that with pleasure, but Fabiano wanted to win forcefully, and it kind of didn't work in his favour', Hikaru explained.

The games of the first round can be replayed below.

[Event "4th Zurich CC Classical"] [Site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2015.02.14"] [Round "1"] [White "Caruana,F"] [Black "Nakamura,Hi"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2811"] [BlackElo "2776"] [EventDate "2015.02.14"] [ECO "B90"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nde2 h5 8. g3 Nbd7 9. Bg5 Be7 10. a4 Nc5 11. Bg2 Be6 12. a5 b5 13. axb6 Qxb6 14. b3 O-O 15. O-O a5 16. Qd2 Rfc8 17. Rfd1 a4 18. bxa4 Bc4 19. a5 Qd8 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. Qxd6 Qxd6 22. Rxd6 Nb7 23. Rd2 Rxa5 24. Rb1 Nc5 25. Nd5 Bd8 26. h4 Ra3 27. Nec3 Rca8 28. Rdd1 Ba5 29. Nb5 Ra2 30. Bf3 g6 31. Ne7+ Kg7 32. Nc6 Na4 33. Nd6 Be6 34. Rb7 Rxc2 35. Nxe5 Nc5 36. Re7 Kf8 37. Nc6 Nb3 38. e5 Bb6 39. Rb7 Bxf2+ 40. Kg2 Bc5+ 41. Kh1 Raa2 0-1[Event "4th Zurich CC Classical"] [Site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2015.02.14"] [Round "1"] [White "Anand,V"] [Black "Kramnik,V"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2797"] [BlackElo "2783"] [EventDate "2015.02.14"] [ECO "D36"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 Be7 7. e3 Nbd7 8. Nf3 Nh5 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. O-O-O Nb6 11. Ne5 Nf6 12. Bd3 Ng4 13. Nf3 Be6 14. Kb1 O-O-O 15. h3 Nf6 16. Nd2 Kb8 17. Nb3 Ne8 18. Nc5 Nd6 19. f3 f5 20. g4 Bc8 21. Rde1 Rhf8 22. Qh2 Qc7 23. Rhf1 Rde8 24. b3 g6 25. Bc2 Re7 26. Rf2 Rfe8 27. Rfe2 Nd7 28. Nd3 Nf7 29. Qxc7+ Kxc7 30. gxf5 gxf5 31. Nf4 Nf6 32. h4 Nh8 33. Kc1 Ng6 34. Ng2 Nh5 35. Rg1 a5 36. Kd2 Rg7 37. Ne1 h6 38. Reg2 Reg8 39. Ne2 Kd6 40. a3 b6 41. b4 axb4 42. axb4 Ne7 43. Rxg7 Rxg7 44. Rxg7 Nxg7 45. Nf4 c5 46. bxc5+ bxc5 47. dxc5+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "4th Zurich CC Classical"] [Site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2015.02.14"] [Round "1"] [White "Aronian,L"] [Black "Karjakin,Sergey"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2777"] [BlackElo "2760"] [EventDate "2015.02.14"] [ECO "D47"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 Bb7 9. e4 b4 10. Na4 c5 11. e5 Nd5 12. dxc5 Nxc5 13. Nxc5 Bxc5 14. O-O Be7 15. Qe2 Qb6 16. Ng5 h6 17. Ne4 Rd8 18. Qf3 Ba6 19. Rd1 O-O 20. Qg3 Kh8 21. Qh3 Kg8 22. Bxh6 gxh6 23. Qxh6 f5 24. Qg6+ Kh8 25. Qh6+ Kg8 26. Qg6+ Kh8 27. Qh6+ 1/2-1/2 

Let us remind you that a winner of a game in the classical part of the Zurich Chess Challenge gets 2 points, while a draw means 1 point. Thus, Nakamura is the sole leader after the 1st round with 2 points out of 2.
Zurich Chess Challange: the crosstable, results, schedule, etc.


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