From one prodigy to another. Magnus Carlsen stroke back in the Arctic Chess challenge: the Norwegian wunderkind won against his father Henrik in round 6 and then beat Ukrainian GM Vladimir Burmakin in round 7: he now shares third place on 5.5/7 with many other GMs, while his compatriot GM Kjetil A. Lie is in sole lead with 6.5 points. Official site: http://www.arcticchess.org/engindex.htm.
Before leaving for holidays (again :-) – I will be back to you on Sunday 19) I annotate here the victory by Caruana against young Dutch GM Daniel Stellwagen in Vlissingen.
Caruana,F. - Stellwagen,D. [B54], Vlissingen 8.8.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 d6
5...Qc7 is more common in top level games.
An aggressive move. 6.Be3 leads to a well known variation: 6...Nf6 7.Bc4 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.0–0–0 Qc7 10.Bb3 0–0 etc.
6...Nf6 is the main alternative
7.Be3 Nge7 8.Nb3 b5 9.f4 Bb7 10.Qd2
Probably not the best. 10.Qf3 was Shirov's choice against Kasparov (in Novgorod) and J. Polgar (in Buenos Aires) in 1994.; 10.Qe2 has also been played.
10...Na5 11.Nxa5 Qxa5 12.Bg2 b4
A new (and accurate) move, according to my old database. 12...d5?! was played in the game Ponomariov-Bacrot, Enghien les Bains 1999, which continued 13.Qf2 dxe4 14.f5?! (14.0–0–0 Qc7 15.Bb6 Qc4 16.f5 and White is better) 14...Nd5 15.fxe6 0–0–0 16.0–0 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Qb4 and a draw was agreed on move 39.
13.Ne2 h5 14.h3 Ng6
Black is playing the most accurate moves.
15.0–0 hxg4 16.hxg4 Nh4 17.Bh1 Rc8 looks promising for Black.
16.0–0–0 is an interesting alternative: 16...Qxa2 is not possible because of 17.Qxb4 followed by Nc3.
Forcing the following exchanges.
17.f5 Nf4 18.Nxf4 Bxg5 19.Qxd6
19.a3 exf4 20.Qxb4 Qxb4+ 21.axb4 Bf6 22.c3 Kd7 looks good for Black.
And not 19...Bxf4?! 20.Bh4 f6 21.Bf2 with a slight edge for White.
20.0–0 Rd8 21.Qc5 Qxc5 22.Bxc5 Rc8 23.Bxb4 Rxc2 24.Rf2 Rxf2
24...Rc4 25.Bd6 Bxe4 26.b3 (26.Re2 Kd7) 26...Rc6 27.Bxf4 (27.Rd1!? Bxg2 28.Kxg2 f6 29.Re2+ Kf7 30.Re7+ Kg8 31.Rc7 Rxc7 32.Bxc7 Kh7=) 27...Bxg2 28.Re1+ Kf8 29.Kxg2 Bxf4 30.Rxf4 Rhh6 was safer for Black and a draw looked unavoidable.
25.Kxf2 Rh6 26.Bc3 Rc6?!
First inaccuracy: 26...Rb6 was more precise, e.g.: 27.Rd1 (27.Bxg7? f6 and White's bishop is trapped) 27...g6 28.Bf3 Bh4+ 29.Kg2 Be7 intending ...g5 with chances for both sides.
The immediate 27.e5 was inaccurate: after 27...Bh4+ 28.Kg1 f3! 29.Bxf3 Rxc3! 30.Bxb7 Rxh3 31.Bxa6 Re3 Black would have excellent drawing chances.
Second inaccuracy, probably the decisive one. Now 28.e5 is very strong. A better choicewas 27...Rc5 and now after 28.a3 a5 Black can fight for a full equality, e.g.: 29.Bxg7?! (29.Bf3 Bh4+ 30.Ke2 Ba6+ 31.Kd2 g6 32.e5 a4 33.fxg6 fxg6 34.Be4 Kf7 35.Kc2 Bc8=) 29...f6 30.Bf3 Rc2+ 31.Kg1 Ke7 with a dangerous initiative.
28.e5 Bh4+ 29.Kf1!?
A smart move, although 29.Kg1 was strong as well, e.g.: 29...Rb6 (29...f3 30.Bxf3 Rxc3 31.Bxb7 Rc2 32.f6 Bf2+ 33.Kh1 Bb6 34.Bxa6 Rxb2 35.a4 and White is much better) 30.f6 f3 31.Ba5 f2+ 32.Kf1 Bxg2+ 33.Kxg2 Rb8 34.b3 with excellent winning chances.
Desperation. Now after 29...f3 30.Bxf3 Rxc3 31.Bxb7 Black has to play 31...Rc7 , but 32.fxg6! fxg6 33.Be4 is almost decisive in White's favor. 29...Rb6 looks to be Black's better chance, but after 30.Bxb7 Rxb7 31.fxg6 fxg6 32.Rd6 g5 (what else? 32...f3 33.Rxa6 Rd7 34.Rd6 Rxd6 35.exd6 Kd7 36.Be5 g5 37.a4 g4 38.hxg4 hxg4 39.a5+-) 33.Rxa6 f3 34.Re6+ Kd8 35.Rd6+ White should win, e.g.: 35...Ke8 (35...Rd7 36.a4 Rxd6 37.exd6 Kd7 38.Be5 g4 39.hxg4 hxg4 40.a5+-) 36.a4 g4 37.hxg4 hxg4 38.Rh6 Bg5 39.Rh8+ Kd7 40.Rg8 Bc1 41.a5 Ke6 42.a6 Rh7 43.Bd4+-
30.bxc3 f3 31.Bh1 gxf5?
Losing on the spot. 31...g5 was more stubborn, although after 32.c4! Be4 33.f6 Bg3 34.Rd4 Bc6 35.a3! a5 (35...Bxe5? 36.Rd3 Bb2 (36...g4? 37.Re3; 36...Bxf6? 37.Rd6) 37.Bxf3 Bd7 38.Bd5+-) 36.a4! White must win.
32...Bd8 was slightly better, but after 33.Kf2! Bb6 34.Bxf3 White wins anyway, e.g.: 34...f6!? (34...Bxd4+ 35.cxd4 Bc8 36.Bxh5+-) 35.Bxh5+ Ke7 36.Kg3 Bc7 (36...Bxd4 37.cxd4 Bd5 38.a3 Ke6 39.Kf4+-).
Simple and brilliant.
33...Bxf3 34.Rxf4 Bg3 35.Rxf3 Bxe5 36.c4 h4 37.Ra3 1–0
Black is going to lose another pawn, so he resigned. A deserved and impressive win by Caruana against the young (20 y.o.) Dutch rising star.