Grand Prix, Tashkent, Rd. 2: Caruana Spares Jobava

Время публикации: 23.10.2014 00:20 | Последнее обновление: 23.10.2014 04:09

Only one game out of 6 has been decisive in the 2nd round of the FIDE Grand Prix tournament which is taking place in Tashkent: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave has scored his second convincing victory in a row, this time against Rustam Kasimdzhanov. However, the most interesting encounter of the round was the one between Baadur Jobava and the holder of the 2nd rating in the world Fabiano Caruana.

Baadur in his usual fighting spirits (photo:

The Georgian GM is famous for his very creative approach towards openings which often works well against weaker opponents but "doesn't always bring good results" (according to Nakamura) against the top GMs. This time, Jobava tried "the reversed Philidor" (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Be2!?) but got into a trouble already after his 9th move.


9.0–0? The necessary 9.b5 would lead to a position with mutual chances, as in T.Avdeenko - Keosidi, Krasnoyarsk 2009.
9...b5! 10.Qxb5 axb4 11.exd5. Here the most precise is 11...Ne7!, for example: 12.cxb4 Ba6 13.Qa4 e4 14.Nd4 Bxd3!? with big, probably decisive advantage for Black. However, Caruana chose 11...Na5?! 12.cxb4 Bd7 13.Qxa5 Rxa5 14.bxa5 Nxd5 15.Ne4

15...Qa8 (maybe 15...Re8!? had to be preferred) 16.d4!, and White managed to survive the worst due to massive simplifications. The game soon transposed into an endgame which would be drawn quite easily had the white bishop not been pinned in an unpleasant way.

27.Rd2?! A dubious idea. FIrst, White could play just 27.Kh1, intending to get rid of the pin by Ra1. The second reasonable alternative was 27. f4!? (stopping e6-e5 first), for example: 27...Qc6 (otherwise 28.Kh1 followed by Ra1) 28.Be5 Qc5+ 29.Kh1 Rxd1 30.Rxd1 g5 31.h3 gxf4 32.Bxf4 e5, and here the simplest is probably 33.Bxe5 Qxe5 34.Rf1 with a fortress.
27...e5! 28.Rfd1 Qb5 29.h3 Kf7 30.Rd5 Qe2 31.Kh2 Qc4 32.Kh1 h5!

The e5-pawn is poisoned: 33.Rxe5? Rxd6! 34.Rxd6 Qc1+ 35.Kh2 Qf4+. Meanwhile, Black has a plan of exposing the white king by g7-g5-g4, although White can still probably hold by very accurate play.
33. Kg1 Qb3 34. R1d3 Qb6+ 35. Kh1 Qc6 36. Rd1 g5 37. R5d3 Qc4 38. Rd5 g4 39. fxg4 hxg4 40. hxg4 e4 41. Rf5+ Kg6 42. Rdd5 Rh8+ 43. Kg1 Qc1+ 44. Kf2.

And here the amnesty came: 44...Ra8? which allowed Jobava to hold by the precise 45.Bc5!, etc.
Caruana has missed 44...Rh1! with the threats of Qe1# and Qg1+; the only way to continue resistance is 45.Rg5+ Qxg5 46.Rxg5+ Kxg5.

Now, if 47.Ke3 then 47...Re1+ 48.Kd2 Ra1! 49.Ke3 Ra4 50.Bc5 Kxg4, and 51.Bd4 loses due to 51...Rxd4! (not 51...Kf5? 52.g4+) 52.Kxd4 Kf4 - zugzwang! So, White has to play 47.Kg3, but after 47...Rf1! he will eventually lose both the g-pawns and the game, gradually. (Annotated by GMs M.Golubev and A.Deviatkin)

 [Event "Tashkent FIDE GP 2014"] [Site "Tashkent UZB"] [Date "2014.10.22"] [Round "2.5"] [White "Jobava, Baadur"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2717"] [BlackElo "2844"] [ECO "C44"] [Opening "Inverted Hanham"] [EventDate "2014.10.21"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Be2 Nf6 4. d3 d5 5. Nbd2 Bc5 6. c3 a5 7. Qa4 O-O 8. b4 Bd6 9. O-O b5 10. Qxb5 axb4 11. exd5 Na5 12. cxb4 Bd7 13. Qxa5 Rxa5 14. bxa5 Nxd5 15. Ne4 Qa8 16. d4 exd4 17. Nxd6 cxd6 18. Nxd4 Qxa5 19. Bf3 Rb8 20. a4 Qc3 21. Ba3 Qxd4 22. Rad1 Qxa4 23. Bxd6 Rd8 24. Bxd5 Bg4 25. f3 Be6 26. Bxe6 fxe6 27. Rd2 e5 28. Rfd1 Qb5 29. h3 Kf7 30. Rd5 Qe2 31. Kh2 Qc4 32. Kh1 h5 33. Kg1 Qb3 34. R1d3 Qb6+ 35. Kh1 Qc6 36. Rd1 g5 37. R5d3 Qc4 38. Rd5 g4 39. fxg4 hxg4 40. hxg4 e4 41. Rf5+ Kg6 42. Rdd5 Rh8+ 43. Kg1 Qc1+ 44. Kf2 Ra8 45. Bc5 Ra6 46. Kg3 Qe1+ 47. Kh3 Qc3+ 48. Kh2 Qh8+ 49. Rh5 Qb8+ 50. Kh3 Qf4 51. Rdf5 Qc1 52. Bf8 Re6 53. Kh2 Qc7+ 54. g3 Qc2+ 55. Kh3 Qc1 56. Kg2 Re8 57. Rh6+ Qxh6 58. Bxh6 Kxh6 59. Kf2 e3+ 1/2-1/2

Photos by Julia Manakova (

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