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Hikaru Nakamura vs Viktorija Cmilyte
Gibraltar Masters (2005), Catalan Bay GIB, rd 3, Jan-27
Trompowsky Attack: Classical Defense. Big Center Variation (A45)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-16-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: (41) H Nakamura (2613) - V Cmilyte (2468) [A45]
Gibraltar Masters Caleta ESP (3), 27.01.2005

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 e6 <Better perhaps is the now standard reply 2...Ne4 as in P Wells vs Shirov, 2005 > 3.e4 h6 4.Bxf6 Qxf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Qd2 g5 7.Bc4 Bg7 8.Nge2 Nc6 9.Rd1 a6 10.a4 Bd7 11.00 Qe7 12.Qe3 Na5 13.Bd3 c5?! <Better here is 13...Nc6! 14.Bc4 Na5=, offering a draw by repetition> 14.dxc5 dxc5 15.e5 Nc6 16.Be4 Nxe5 17.Bxb7 Rb8 18.Ne4! <This odd looking move defends the Bishop with the threat of a Knight fork and creates complications that are difficult to refute OTB. The alternative 18.Bxa6! Rxb2 19.Ne4! 00 20.Qxc5 transposes to the game continuation> 18...00 19.Bxa6 Rxb2 20.Qxc5 Qxc5 21.Nxc5 Bc8 22.Bb5 Rxc2 23.Rc1 Rxc1 <23...Ra2 24.Rfd1 Kh7 25.Kf1 Rb2 26.h3 Kg6 27.Nc3 f5 28.Be2 Nc6 29.Nb5 Nb4 30.Bc4> 24.Rxc1 Rd8 25.a5 Bf8 26.Ng3 Rd5? <This not-so-obvious mistake appears to lose by force. Better perhaps was [26...Bd6!? 27.Rd1 (27.a6 Bb8 28.Kf1 Kf8 29.Ke2 Ke7 30.Nf1 Ba7 31.Ne4 Bb6 32.Nfd2 Bd7 33.Bxd7 Rxd7 34.Nc4 Nxc4=) 27...Be7 28.Rxd8+ Bxd8 29.a6 Bb6 30.Nce4 Ng6 31.Nd6 Ne7 32.Kf1 Kf8 33.Nge4 Bd4 34.Nf6 Kg7 35.Nd7 h5 36.Nb8 h4 37.a7 Bxa7 38.Nc6 Nxc6 39.Nxc8 Bxf2 40.Kxf2 Ne5 41.Be2 with a difficult but probably drawish ending> 27.Nge4! <This forced move, which Nakamura obviously saw in advance, prepares to advance the passer and win the exchange> 27...Be7 <27...f5?? 28.Nf6+ > 28.a6! Bxa6 <28...Bxc5?? 29.Nf6+ Kg7 30.Nxd5 ; 28...Rxc5?? 29.Nxc5 Bxa6 30.Bxa6 ; 28...Nd7?? 29.Nxd7 Bxd7 30.a7 Bxb5 31.a8Q+ > 29.Bxa6 f5 30.Bb7 <30.Bc8! Nf7 31.Bb7! fxe4 32.Bxd5 exd5 33.Nd7 g4 34.Rd1 Ng5 35.Ne5 h5 36.Rxd5 > 30...fxe4 31.Bxd5 exd5 32.Nb3 Kf7 33.Rc7 Kf6 34.Kf1 Bd6 35.Ra7 Nc4 36.Rh7 Bf8 37.Rd7 Bd6 38.Nd4 Ke5 39.Nc6+ Kf6 40.Ke2 h5 41.h3 Kf5 <41...h4 42.f3 Ke6 43.Rd8 exf3+ 44.gxf3 Bc7 45.Ra8 Bf4 46.Ra6 Kd6 47.Nd8+ Ke5 48.Nf7+ Kf5 49.Kd3 Be3 50.Nh6+ Kf4 51.Ng4 Bg1 52.Rf6+ Kg3 53.Rf5 Nb6 54.Rxg5 Kxh3 55.f4 Bc5 56.Ne3 Bd6 57.f5 Be7 58.Rg8 > 42.Rf7+ Kg6 43.Rb7 Kf5 44.Rb5 Ke6 45.Nd8+ Ke5 46.Nf7+ Kd4 47.Nxg5 Na3 48.Rb7! Kc3 <48...h4 49.Rh7 Nb5 50.Rxh4> 49.Rd7! <a simple pin tactic quickly brings home the point for White> 49...Nc4 50.Nf7 10

Feb-16-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Although the computers initially indicate that Nakamura's 18. Ne4! only gives White a slight advantage, it appears to be an advantage that is difficult to refute and keeps getting larger.

Aesthetically, 18. Ne4! is a stunning defensive move that protects the enprise Bishop with the threat of the Knight Fork, while also clearing a path for the advance of the dangerous a-file passer.

Following the subtle miscue 26...Rd5?, Nakamura's "forced" 27. Nge4! forces the advance of the passed pawn and a decisive win of the exchange. He could have forced the issue a bit quicker with the pretty alternative 30. Bc8!, but still appeared to have a win in the game continuation.

Black's best chances to improve appear to me to be with 2...Ne4, 13...Nc6 and perhaps 26...Bd6!? (with some drawing chances in a complex endgame).

Feb-22-05  aw1988: <patzer2> I am no computer chess expert, yet I would assume if you left Ne4 analyzing long enough the computers would realize it?
Feb-22-05  aw1988: Also, 18. Ne4 would go well in your "End Game Tactics" collection.
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