Fabiano Caruana ahead of Magnus Carlsen when it comes to innovation
Leonard Barden
The Guardian, Friday 3 October 2014 14.42 EDT

Unleashing an opening bomb is hard in modern chess, where aspiring amateurs have the same access as grandmasters to giant databases. But some GMs keep ahead of the pack, and the world No2, Fabiano Caruana, who has become the player of the moment even in front of the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, has a big reputation as an innovator.

Caruana, 22, has a full time analyst/coach, Vladimir Chuchelov. The ex-Soviet turned Belgian, 45, is only an average GM but is a specialist in generating ideas which the top computers underrate and which Caruana remembers well. One of his Sinquefield Cup victories came when he produced an unlikely pawn advance at move 14 which Chuchelov had found some months previously. Computers dislike it at first, but approve after deeper analysis.

Another, less known, Caruana bomb occurred at the European Club Cup in Bilbao where the Italian arrived straight off the plane from St Louis as his team faced the English amateurs Grantham Sharks and their top board Peter Roberson, 25, who recently gained the international master title.

The opening 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 b6 3 g3 Bb7 4 Bg2 g6 5 d4 Bg7 6 0-0 0-0, three fianchettoed bishops and no central pawn clashes, looked like shadow boxing until Caruana’s 7 d5!? showed that even in this routine position he was well prepared. Opening databases show that the unusual pawn push has by far the best results of any move here. Moreover, it had been previously played by the elite GMs Étienne Bacrot, Alex Grischuk, and Vassily Ivanchuk, an excellent pedigree.

Full article here.

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