The Philippine Star

Caru­ana shows way

- By EDGAR DE CAS­TRO Chess · Party Games · Hobbies · FIDE · Switzerland · Isle of Man · Spain · India · Magnus Carlsen · Norway · Russia · United States of America · Azerbaijan · China · Fabiano Caruana · Hikaru Nakamura · Yekaterinburg

No. 2 seed Amer­i­can Fabi­ano Caru­ana posted his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive vic­tory to take the lead along with four oth­ers, af­ter the sec­ond round of the FIDE Grand Swiss tour­na­ment at the Comis Ho­tel in the Bri­tish coast Isle of Man.

Caru­ana, 27, had two points, and was tied with Alexey Shi­rov of Spain, Baskaran Ad­hiban of In­dia and the Chi­nese tan­dem of Wang Hao and Bu Xiangzhi.

World cham­pion and top fa­vorite Mag­nus Carlsen of Nor­way sal­vaged a draw against Rus­sian young­ster Alexey Sarana and shared sec­ond spot with a large group at 1.5 apiece, that in­cluded seeded play­ers Alexan­der Grischuk of Rus­sia and Hikaru Naka­mura of the USA.

The 160-player, 11-round event, is be­ing played as part of the world cham­pi­onship se­lec­tion process, in which the win­ner au­to­mat­i­cally earns a spot to the eight-player, dou­ble round Can­di­dates tour­na­ment.

So far, three of the eight play­ers have al­ready booked their tick­ets next March for Eka­ter­in­burg, Rus­sia. They are Caru­ana, as last cy­cle’s of­fi­cial chal­lenger; World Cup cham­pion Teimour Rad­jabov (Azer­bai­jan) and World Cup fi­nal­ist Ding Liren of China.

* * * * Here, a highly du­bi­ous move by Black en­ables White to launch a pow­er­ful King­side at­tack. For some time the po­si­tion is fraught with ra­zor sharp pos­si­bil­i­ties, with Black putting up a stiff re­sis­tance. At the end, Black col­lapses, but the strug­gle makes this game a pleas­ant one to fol­low. FIDE Grand Swiss 2019 W) E. Na­jer (Rus­sia) B) V. Anand (In­dia) Nimzo-In­dian De­fense

1. d4 Nf6; 2. c4 e6; 3. Nc3 Bb4; 4. e3 ....

The Ru­bin­stein Vari­a­tion, a steady but mod­est al­ter­na­tive which slightly fa­vors White.

4 .... O-O; 5. Bd2 d5; 6. Nf3 b6; 7. Rc1 Bb7; 8. cxd5 exd5; 9. Bd3 Be7; 10. O-O Nbd7; 11. Ne5 Nxe5; 12. dxe5 Nd7; 13. f4 Nc5; 14. Bb1 d4; 15. Nb5 d3; 16. Nd4 a5; 17. Qg4 g6; 18. f5 Ne4?

This move al­lows White to en­large a bridge­head for his King­side op­er­a­tions. Bet­ter is the en­gine’s 18 .... h5, and af­ter 19. Qh3 Qd5.the game is un­clear. 19. Bxd3! .... A bril­liant piece sac­ri­fice, af­ter which the po­si­tion is fraught with tac­ti­cal turns in White’s fa­vor.

19 .... Nxd2; 20. fxg6 fxg6; 21. Bxg6 Kh8; 22. Bxh7 Rxf1ch; 23. Rxf1 Bg5; 24. Nf5 Qd3; 25. Re1 Bx­e3ch; 26. Kh1 Bh6; 27. Qg6 Bxg2ch; 28. Kxg2 Qd5ch?!

An­other du­bi­ous move by the former world cham­pion... Bet­ter is 28 .... Qd3ch, which may com­pel ex­changes and re­duce the sting of White’s at­tack. E.g. 29. Kg1 Qf4 and the game still hangs in the bal­ance. 29. Kh3 Qd3ch?

Black goes astray. Cor­rect is 29 .... Qf3ch 30. Kh4 Qf4ch 31. Kh5 Qx­h2ch and the game con­tin­ues. 30. Kh4 1-0

If 30 .... Qd8ch 31. Kh5 and Black has run out of check. So­lu­tion to last week puz­zle White to play and win.

White=Kh1, Qe3, Rg1, Bd2, Nc3, Pb5, Pc2, Pf2, Ph3

Black=Kh8, Qd6, Ra8, Rf8, Nf5, Pa7, Pb6, Pc6, Ph7 Raf81. Ne4! Nxe3; 2. Bc3ch Rf6; 3. Nxd6 If 3 .... Nd5 4. Nf7 mate. 4. fxe3 1-0

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