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Corus 2008 live commentary with Goran Urosevic

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Mamedyarov Carlsen / Aronian – Topalov / Spoelman – Cheparinov / Peng – Caruana

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Live commentary in Italian language

Caruana was initially scheduled to play in Corus B, however two weeks
ago he was transfered to Corus C for an unknown reason. He has had a
very successful year winning many events and has always performed more
than his rating. In round one, he is set to meet the top local women player
Zhaoqin Peng, who is also holding men Grandmaster title. Again we have the situation that the higher rated player (in that case

Caruana) will have the black pieces.

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PGN Peng Caruana

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{Welcome to the Chessdom live coverage of Corus 2008! We are pleased to open
the tournament with the game between two wonderful persons and extraordinary
chess players. Fabiano Caruana is one of the most promising juniors nowadays
and his biography was the very first article on Zhaoqin Peng is
one in the handful of female players to be granted with men Grandmaster title,
after winning the 2004 European Championship. Both of them played superbly at
the ETCC, we are looking forward to an exciting game. Enjoy!} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6
{Caruana’s main opening was Nimzo-Indian, but recently he started employing
Slav defence, first at the Italian Championship.} 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Qc2 dxc4 5.
Qxc4 Bg4 {Caruana is using the opportunity to develop light-squared Bishop
before moving e-pawn.} 6. Nbd2 (6. Ne5 $5 {
is possible but not really convincing. Black is equal after} Be6 7. Qa4 Nbd7)
6… Nbd7 7. g3 e6 8. Bg2 Be7 9. O-O {This is a regular line where both sides
are aiming to complete the development before engaging into the fight. Most
likely 9…0-0 10. Qb3 (as Nb6 is anticipated) will follow…} Bh5 $1 {
Exclamation mark because this is probably well prepared sideline by Caruana.
Bh5 was seen in only one game, GM Evgeny Najer was black, while 9…0-0 has
been played exclusively.} 10. b4 ({The game Yevseev-Najer continued with} 10.
Qb3 Nb6 11. a4 a5 {The game move b2-b4 is not really an usual plan in this
kind of positions because “minority” attack is not likely to succeed and this
pawn might be object of Black’s counterplay. However, if Peng stabilizes pawn
structure on the queen side, this will be a nice space advantage for her.}) 10… Nb6 11. Qb3 Qd5 $1 {Excellent reaction! White Queen is the only
protector of b4 pawn and Caruana is trying to use this pressure for improving
pieces’ position. Queen can’t stay on d5 for long, however, because there
might be some nasty Nf3 jump-offs.} 12. Rb1 Bg6 $1 {Black is winning tempo
after tempo and is already slightly better. We could say that b4 failed as
experiment.} 13. Rb2 {Sad necessity.} Qxb3 14. Rxb3 Nfd5 {Now that Queens are
off the board, black doesn’t have to castle, thus keeping the King closer for
the incoming endgame. Nfd5 is good idea, attacking b4 and protecting Nb6 after
the future a5.} 15. a3 {
a5 is not possible as of yet, because after 16. bxa5 Rxa5 white has 17. e4.}
Bc2 16. Rb2 Ba4 {Since it’s not really possible to prevent e4, Caruana is
switching his Bishop to the queenside. Now maybe even f5 will come into
consideration, since Bishop won’t remain locked on g6. Ba4 is also controlling
important square d1.} 17. Re1 O-O {Finally a castle. He couldn’t delay it no
longer, because it is necessary to connect the Rooks and decided how to make a
pawn breach.} 18. Bf1 {Nc3-b5 and a7-a5 might be an idea…} Nc3 $1 {Jumping on
the opportunity! It is not clear how (if) white can obstruct plan with Nb5 and
a5.} 19. e3 Nb5 20. Nb3 ({
An attempt to seek compensation rather than waiting in passive position. On}
20. Nb1 a5 {Black has all the fun.}) 20… Nxa3 21. Nc5 Bb5 $1 {
Best reply! White can take the pawn back, but Black has wonderful pieces play.}
22. Bxb5 cxb5 $1 {
securing permanent outpost on c4. White is left with weak dark-squared Bishop.
} 23. Rb3 Nac4 24. Nxb7 Rfc8 ({Perhaps} 24… Rfb8 25. Nc5 a5 {was faster!?})
25. e4 Rc7 26. Nc5 a5 {
Now White has an extra tempo and might be finally able to develop Bc1.} 27. Bf4
Rcc8 28. bxa5 Rxa5 29. Nd3 {
Pawn b5 might become weak. White is close to equalizing.} Ra3 30. Rxa3 Nxa3 31.
Bd2 f6 32. Kg2 Kf7 33. Rc1 Rc4 34. Kf1 {
Position is completely equal after any of Rxc1, Bd6 or h5.} Ke8 35. Ke2 Kd7 36.
Rxc4 $6 {Uncalled for, now Black passer is more dangerous, because it can attack
opponent’s pieces while advancing over the c-file. Better was 36. g4 or h4.}
bxc4 37. Nb2 Kc6 38. Ne1 $6 {
Pawn d4 is left unprotected and Black earns important tempo!} Nb5 39. Be3 Nc3+
40. Kf3 Ba3 {White King is clumsy and Caruana is enjoying small advantage once
again. But nobody can say if it is sufficient for a win.} 41. Bc1 Kb5 (41…
Na2 42. Nc2 Nxc1 43. Nxa3 c3 44. Nd1 Na4 {Probably wasn’t enough for the win.})
42. Nc2 {The only move, but it looks like White will be holding!? The most
important fact is that d4 is protected and now White can slowly bring the King
to better position.} Bxb2 {Fabiano took a careful consideration after the time
control and decided to slightly transform the position. The ‘normal’ 42…Be7
looked pretty tame as White would have time to regroup. This way, Peng is
still facing with problems on the queenside, but the ending is roughly equal.}
43. Bxb2 Nb1 {44. Ke2 looks desirable.} 44. Ke3 {
44….Ka4!? or 44…c3 and 45…Kc4} Ka4 $1 {
Best looking! Pawn is still controlling d3.} 45. d5 $6 {This doesn’t look
right, unless Peng has it all calculated well. Caruana can chip 45…c3 in (45.
..exd5 46. Bd4!?) and only then take on d5. Interesting is 45…c3 46. Bxc3
Nxc3 47. dxe6 Nc8, can this be saved?} c3 46. Bxc3 Nxc3 47. dxe6 Nb5 {
Other possibility was Nc8, but still it is very hard to play for a win in the
situation when there are no pawns on the other side of the board, therefore no
chance to create a passer. White will now tie the e6 pawn with f4-f5.} 48. Nd4
Nc7 ({Of course not} 48… Nxd4 49. e7 Nc2+ 50. Ke2) 49. f4 Kb4 50. f5 Kc5 51.
Nf3 Nc4+ 52. Kf4 {It is interesting to see if Black can prevent White from
trading all the pawns. Perhaps something can be done with the outpost on e5.
If this happens, then f5 might have been premature.} Kd6 53. g4 Ne5 54. Nd4 g5+
55. Kg3 Kc5 56. Nc2 {Peng has to keep the Knight on the board, should the
sacrifice for the last black pawn be needed. After the Knights trade, Black is
probably winning…. Not that he doesn’t have chances like this…} Ne8 57. h4
h6 58. hxg5 hxg5 (58… fxg5 $1 {
with Nf6 looked better. Both players are probably in time trouble now.}) 59.
Ne3 Nc7 60. Kf2 Kd4 61. Nd5 Nxd5 62. exd5 Nc4 (62… Kxd5 $2 63. e7) 63. e7 Nd6
64. Ke2 Kxd5 65. Ke3 Ne8 {and Peng resigned since she will end up in zugzwang
pretty soon! Wonderful fighting spirit from the young Italian star! This
concludes today’s live coverage on Chessdom, join us again tomorrow at 13:30
CET for the 2nd round. Have a nice day all.} 0-1

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