Thessaloniki Chess Grand Prix 2013 Round 2: Fabiano Caruana – Vassily Ivanchuk 1-0

Ivanchuk decided to defend with the deferred Ruy Lopez Steinitz to which Caruana responded by trading the pawns on e5 to clarify the structure in the center. 8.d5 instead of 8.h3 would lead to a totally different setup, reminiscent of the King’s Indian defence. Caruana exchanged the dark-squared Bishop for opponent’s Knight and after 19.Qa4 obtained a slight advantage.

Ivanchuk probed Caruana’s mood with an offer to repeat the moves, but the Italian didn’t entertain his wishes and instead sacrificed an exchange to win some pawns and structural advantages. Additional problem for Black was the passivity of his dark-squared Bishop as opposed to the dangerous jumps of White Knights. White gradually improved his pieces while Black was condemned to wait and see what will happen. At one point, Black missed the opportunity to deploy the Rook(s) on the a-file and slow/prevent the advance of white pawns. Caruana marked 44…Kf6 as a mistake after which he is probably winning. Once the pawns started rolling, there was no chance for Black to save the game.

Caruana, Fabiano (2774) – Ivanchuk, Vassily (2755)

Result: 1-0
Site: Thessaloniki
Date: 2013.05.23

[…] 1.e4 e5 2.¤f3 ¤c6 3.¥b5 a6 4.¥a4 d6 5.c3 g6 6.d4 ¥d7 7.O-O ¥g7 8.h3 h6 9.¥e3 ¤ge7 10.¤bd2 O-O 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.¥c5 ¦e8 13.¦e1 b6 14.¥a3 ¤a7 15.¥xd7 £xd7 16.¤c4 £e6 17.¤e3 ¤b5 18.¥xe7 ¦xe7 19.£a4 ¤d6 20.£c6 ¦c8 21.¦ad1 ¢h7 22.¦d2 ¤e8 23.£b7 ¤d6 24.¦xd6 cxd6 25.£xa6 ¦cc7 26.¤d5 ¦a7 27.£b5 ¦eb7 28.a4 f5 29.¤d2 ¥f6 30.£e8 ¥e7 31.c4 £g8 32.£c6 £d8 33.b3 £d7 34.£xd7 ¦xd7 35.¤xb6 ¦db7 36.¤c8 ¦a6 37.¤xe7 ¦xe7 38.¦e3 ¢g7 39.¦d3 ¦b7 40.¢f1 ¦ab6 41.¢e2 ¢f6 42.¢d1 ¢e6 43.¢c2 h5 44.f3 ¢f6 45.¢c3 ¦a6 46.¦d5 ¢g5 47.a5 ¢f4 48.b4 ¢g3 49.¤b3 ¢xg2 50.b5 ¦a8 51.¦xd6 ¢xf3 52.a6 ¦g7 53.¤c5 fxe4 54.b6 e3 55.¦f6+

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