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Hikaru Nakamura vs Krishnan Sasikiran
Sigeman & Co (2005), Malmo SWE, rd 7, Apr-22
King Pawn Game: Parham Attack (C20)  ·  0-1


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Hikaru Nakamura vs Krishnan Sasikiran (2005)
Nakamura (left) checks out the demonstration board as Sasikiran ponders the situation. Photo by Sigeman & Co.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-27-05  iron maiden: What's the current verdict on Sasi's opening play in this one? Could he have gotten anything out of the first few moves better than a fairly level position?
Apr-27-05  RisingChamp: Qh5 isnt so bad that black can expect any advantage-after all it does develop a piece with a threat and the subsequent Bc4 forces unnatural g6 or Qe7 blocking the bishop.
Apr-27-05  Abaduba: When will Naka start playing real openings? He's going to need to play better than this if he wants to get invited to the same tournaments as Sasi, Carlsen, etc.
Apr-27-05  RisingChamp: What is a real opening?Besides as has been pointed out tons of times he could have won an exchange on move 23 as well as being an hour up.He used that hour to try and blitz his opponent off the board and ended up getting a bad position.I think organisers will be glad to see new openings than the same old NID QID ad infinitum
Apr-27-05  WorldChampeen: I'll bet Sasikiran was surprised at the opening, 3...g6 does not seem natural as Rising Champ said, I said at first, I did not think it is strong, but looking at it; it does start to harrass the Queen, the major piece that is out there.

Qe7 would be my move dreading a possible mate and getting on top of things; but it seems a more text defensive move is 3. ...Qf3 (and that does look strong) or even 3. ...Nh6. which would work with the Bishop at g7 if it came down to that.

People's observations are correct though; Naka got a strong position. I believe I have played something like g6 and then 4. Qf3 Qf6 to offer an exchange of Queens and develop the Knight as well.

And in the game, 15. ...Bf6 instead of 15...Qe7.

Apr-27-05  WorldChampeen: Is the game lost already at this point in the game to play 65. Nxc5 instead of Nc1?
Apr-27-05  mack: <What's the current verdict on Sasi's opening play in this one? Could he have gotten anything out of the first few moves better than a fairly level position?>

The pawn sac 2...Nf6 seems to gain time and space.

Apr-27-05  Karpova: <RisingChamp: Besides as has been pointed out tons of times he could have won an exchange on move 23>

would you please give the line?

Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Yermolinsky said Sasikiran should have played 4..f5 to "make it more interesting". Doesn't look bad either.
Apr-27-05  percyblakeney: The exchange winning move was 23. e5 (dxe5 24. Bc5 Rd6).
Apr-27-05  Karpova: <percyblakeney>

thank you. i think black's position doesn't look too bad after getting a pawn for the exchange since white's most active piece (note that he avoids trading it off), his bishop, is gone.

Apr-27-05  RisingChamp: <Acirce>I am not in the best tactical form of my life so could you show me what happens after 4..f5!? 5 exf5 Nd4(If this isnt the idea all this is way over my head)6 Qe4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: On that I guess the idea is 6..d6 threatening to capture on f5 with bishop or pawn, and Black must be better. Yermo thought Naka would play "something like 5.d3 Nf6 6.Ne2 Bc5 7.Nbc3 d6 with an ugly but playable game for White".

There is some discussion on

Apr-27-05  RisingChamp: Acirce of course it prepares that but doesnt it allow fxg6 or am I missing something?
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <RisingChamp> Then comes ..Bf5 anyway, White has nothing. Bf7+ or Qd5 lead nowhere so he can resign. In fact Fritz gives 7..Nf6 as even better, not that it matters.
Apr-27-05  RisingChamp: Oh yes it was an optical illusion I forgot that the bishop would be defended by the d4 knight and there white can indeed resign,f5 is not at all a bad idea.
Apr-27-05  Karpova: <patzer2>

<his weak opening choice here was a significant contributing factor IMHO to his defeat.>

that's true since nakamura couldn't have played his dubious pawn sacrifice 43.c5? if he hadn't played 2.qh5.

it's also true that 2.qh5 probably doesn't give away much more than the opening advantage which is already enough to condemn this move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <What's the current verdict on Sasi's opening play in this one?> Nakamura has great natural talent, but 2. Qh5 is only good for surprise value. Black equalizes after his second move, taking away White's first move advantage. This game was Nakamura's only loss in this tournament, and his weak opening choice here was a significant contributing factor IMHO to his defeat.
Apr-27-05  Karpova: it's indeed true that i wrote an answer to <patzer2>'s post before he posted it. that's impressive, isn't it?
Apr-27-05  RisingChamp: Despite the fact that he could have won an exchange on move 23 and had an extra hour on the clock patzer2? Get real.
Apr-27-05  Karpova: <RisingChamp>

Nakamura probably saw that he could have <won> the exchange but decided against it since black would have had compensation. material is not everything...

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Nakamura may well someday be world chamnpion. His tactical abilities are probably unsurpassed by any active super GM, except perhaps for Anand. However, I think he sometimes relies too much on talent and tactics and tries to get away with unsound positional moves in trying to confuse his opponents. Two examples in this game are IMHO 2. Qh5?! (better is 2. Nf3) and 13. Bb3?! (better is 13. Bxe6 fxe6 14. 0-0-0 ).

Of course more often than not, such confusion has worked in Nakamura's favor, at least in winning the U.S. Championship. But in top international play, Nakamura may wish to be a bit more careful in taking risks with such "novel" play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Karpova> Sorry for reposting my previous post after your reply. I was about to make a change before I saw your post, but decided against it after reading your's.
Apr-27-05  JustAFish: I was watching the game when Nakamura played 55 Kb3. I was wondering why the simple 55. Nd5 threatening both the c7 and f6 pawns wasn't made. I think Hikaru would have had a pretty good game then.
Apr-27-05  Dick Brain: I don't know if 2. Qh5 is all that much worse than 2. Nf3. There are so many early draws with the Petroff and Berlin defenses that it might be just as well to experiment.
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