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Michal Krasenkow vs Hikaru Nakamura
"Casino Royale" (game of the day Oct-21-07)
Casino de Barcelona (2007)  ·  English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Neo Catalan Declined (A14)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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Given 41 times; par: 27 [what's this?]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I can imagine Michal Krasenkow playing 21.Bxf6 quite happily. Then the sense of unease rises in him as he sees Nakamura focusing on his f2-pawn.

It has only happened to me about 200 times.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: Lets see...

White threatens Rxb6, Rxe7, Bxe7 and Bxc6 - all with a significant material gain!

Black threatens Qxf2 - losing its queen for a pawn!??!

Hmmm, so who's winning this one??? Black obviously!

<21 ... Qxf2+>

22 Kh1 Rxf6

<22 Kxf2 Bc5+>

The whole point of the queen sacrifice, draw the white king into the middle of the board. The poor king has nowhere to hide!

23 Kf1 c3+!
24 Re2 c2!
25 Qxc2 Bxe2+
26 Ke1 Bd3+
27 Kd1 Bxc2+
28 Kxc2 Rxf6

<23 Kf3 Rxf6+>
<24 Kg4 Ne5+!>

At this point, I would be quite happy as black. The king is getting cornered very nastily and Rxe5 loses to Bc8+,

25 Rxe5 Bc8+
26 Rf5 Bf5+ mating

<25 Kg5 ...>

Now at this point it gets tricky, so I am going to give up!


Nakamura makes it look easy! But it really isn't!!!!

Jun-28-15  nalinw: Got a Sunday puzzle - and almost all of it too - without seeing it before at all.

On the other hand .... Qxf2+ is the only move worth a Sunday puzzle - and once that is found the follow-up may not be quite at the same level.

Didn't get Thursday, Friday and Saturday at all - TGIM tomorrow!

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's my look at the game and the Sunday puzzle (21...?) with the Opening Explorer (OE) and Deep Fritz 14:

<1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3> By far the most popular move (and my preference) is 6. d4 as in Aronian vs Kramnik, 2015.

<6... a5> This seldom played move has scored well for Black in practice. Out of 54 games in the OE with this move, Black won 35.2% and White won 24.1%.

Most often played here (525 games in the OE) is the computer (i.e. Fritz) choice 6...c5 as in A Giri vs Anand, 2015.

<7. Nc3 c6 8. d4 Nbd7 9. Qc2 b6 10. e4 Ba6 11. Nd2> Here Fritz slightly prefers 11. e5 Ne8 12. Nd2 = as in Timman vs H Karner, 1973.

<11... c5> The game apparently enters unexplored territory, as this is the last game with this move in the OE. After 11...c5, Black is fully equal if not slightly better.

<12. exd5> Perhaps better here is Fritz's first choice 12. e5 = when the computer indicates play might continue 12...Ng4 13. Qd1 h5 14. h3 cxd4 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. hxg4 Nxe5 17. Bxd5 Nxg4 18. Ne4 Ra7 19. Qxd4 Rd7 20. Re1 Bb7 21. Bb2 Bf6 22. Nxf6+ Nxf6 23. Re5 Bxd5 24. cxd5 Rxd5 25. Rxd5 Qxd5 26. Qxb6 Ne4 27. Qd4 Qxd4 28. Bxd4 =.

<12...cxd4 13. Nb5 exd5 14. Nxd4 Rc8 15. Re1>

If 15. a4, Black secures the advantage with 15...Ne5 when play might continue 16. Nb5 Bxb5 17. axb5 Qc7 18. Bb2 dxc4 19. Bxe5 Qxe5 20. Rae1 Qg5 21. Rxe7 cxb3 22. Qd3 Rcd8 23. Ne4 Rxd3 24. Nxg5 Re8 25. Rb7 h6 26. Nxf7 a4 27. Ra7 b2 .

<15... b5 16. Bb2 Re8 17. Qd1 bxc4 18. bxc4 Qb6 19. Rb1 dxc4 20. Nc6 Rxc6> Black has won a pawn and White has no compensation for it.

<21. Bxf6?> This loses quickly to Black's stunning reply.

As <MindCtrol9> observes, White can put up more resistance with 21. Rxe7, when there's practical drawing chances against a human opponent.

However, 21. Rxe7 is not a sure-fire panacea as Fritz indicates it loses to strong play after 21... Rxe7 22. Bxf6 Nxf6 23. Rxb6 Rxb6 when play might continue 24. Qc1 h6 25. h3 Rd6 26. Nf1 Rd3 27. Ne3 c3 28. Bf1 Rdxe3 29. fxe3 Bxf1 30. Kxf1 Nd5 31. Ke2 Rxe3+ 32. Kf2 Rd3 33. Qe1 Ne3 34. Ke2 Nc2 35. Qc1 Rxg3 36. Qf4 Rg2+ 37. Kf1 Rg5 38. Qb8+ Kh7 39. Qf4 Nb4 40. a3 Nd5 41. Qe4+ g6 42. Ke2 f6 43. Qb1 Re5+ 44. Kd3 h5 45. h4 g5 46. hxg5 Rxg5 47. Kd4+ Kg7 48. Qb7+ Kh6 49. Qb1 Re5 50. Qh1 c2 51. Qf1 h4 52. Qh1 Nc7 53. Qc1+ Kh5 54. Qxc2 Ne6+ 55. Kd3 Nf4+ 56. Kc4 h3 57. Kb3 Kg5 58. Ka4 Re2 59. Qb3 h2 60. Qg3+ Kf5 61. Qh4 Ra2 62. Kb5 Nd5 63. a4 Nc3+ 64. Ka6 Ke5 65. Qh5+ f5 66. Qh8+ Kd5 67. Kxa5 Ne4 68. Qh5 Rf2 69. Qh3 Kd4 70. Kb6 Rb2+ 71. Ka7 Re2 72. Qf1 Ng3 73. Qf4+ Kd5 74. Qf3+ Ke6 75. Qb3+ Kf6 76. Qb6+ Kf7 77. Qb3+ Re6 78. Qxg3 h1=Q .

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <21... Qxf2+!!> This surprise Queen sacrifice, which I missed, begins a decisive King hunt with the minor pieces and solves today's Sunday puzzle.

My weak attempt at a Sunday solution was 21... Rxf6?, which misses the win and loses after 22. Rxb6 Rxb6 23. Nxc4 Bxc4 24. Qxd7 Bb5 25. Qc7 Rd6 26. Bf3 Bf8 27. Rxe8 Bxe8 28. Qxa5 .

<22. Kxf2 Bc5+ 23. Kf3>

If 23. Kf1, then c3+ 24. Re2 c2 25. Bxc6 cxd1=Q+ 26. Rxd1 Bxe2+ .

<23... Rxf6+ 24. Kg4 Ne5+!> This follow-up is essential. Other moves give White a level game or better.

For example if 24... Rg6+?, White holds after 25. Kh3 Rh6+ 26. Kg4 Rd8 27. Bb7 Nf6+ 28. Kf4 g5+ 29. Kf5 c3 30. Bxa6 Rxd2 31. Re2 Rxd1 32. Rxd1 Kg7 33. Rc2 =.

<25. Kg5> White's King has no escape from Black's minor piece mating web.

If 25. Kh4, then Rh6+ 26. Kg5 Rg6+ 27. Kf5 (27. Kh5 Bc8 or 27...f6 ) 27... Bc8+ 28. Ke4 Rd6 29. Kf4 Nd3+ 30. Kg5 Rxe1 31. Qf3 Rg6+ 32. Kh5 Rh6+ 33. Kg5 Be3+ 34. Qxe3 f6#.

If 25. Rxe5, then Bc8+ 26. Rf5 Bxf5+ 27. Kh4 Rh6+ 28. Kg5 Bc8 29. Nxc4 Rg6+ 30. Kf4 Rf6+ 31. Kg5 Re5+ 32. Nxe5 Be3+ 33. Kh4 Rh6+ 34. Qh5 g5#.

If 25. Kh5, then Bc8 26. Ne4 Rf5+ 27. Ng5 g6+ 28. Kh4 Rf4+ 29. g4 Bf2+ 30. Kh3 Rxg4 31. Bf1 Rg3+ 32. Kh4 Rg1#.

<25... Rg6+ 26. Kh5>

If 26. Kh4, then Be7+ 27. Kh3 Rh6+ 28. Qh5 Rxh5#.

If 26. Kf4, then Nd3+ 27. Kf3 Rf6+ 28. Kg4 Bc8+ 29. Kh4 Rxe1 30. Qxe1 Rh6+ 31. Kg5 f6#.

<26... f6 27. Rxe5 Rxe5+ 28. Kh4 Bc8 0-1>

White resigns in lieu of 29. Bd5+ Rxd5 30. g4 Rd3 31. Qf3 Bf2+ 32. Kh3 Rxg4 33. Rb8 Rg3+ 34. Kh4 Rh3#.

Jun-28-15  Shoukhath007: resigning at the right time for this amazing game same king hunt. thanks
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: <Shoukhath007: resigning at the right time for beauty>

yes, at the PERFECT time! lol Nothing white does can break black's hold on the king. For example, the desperado Qh5?! only tightens black's grip.. Rxh5+ Kxh5 Rg4! followed by g6+ and Bf8#

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <patzer2> Thanks for engine-testing 21.Rxe7 as suggested by <MindCtrol9>. Using a PGN viewer, I found Black maintains winning threats due to White's weak back rank (now that both rooks are gone) and Black's WSB. I'll say this though, I'd rather lose in 78 moves than 28 moves!

No doubt, improvements for White can be found prior to move 21. White was strategically hampered by Black's WSB and subsequent storming of <c4>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: This kind of an obscure point but I thought that white might have been better off playing 23 Bd4 first so after 23...Bxd4+ 24 Kf3 here is the position.

click for larger view

This allows white to play 27 Kh4, below, (the continuation of the text position but with one extra move) because black with the bishop on d4 instead of c5 now does not have 27...Be7+.

click for larger view

But black still wins with some work after 27...Rh6+ or 27...Bc8+.

Jun-28-15  BOSTER: My guess that white'd play the combo , sacr the rook in the pos white to play 20., to prove that there is always the potential for a discovery attack when black keeps the queen vs white rook.

click for larger view

After 20.Rxe7 ,if Rxe7 21.Nf5, and black has teturn the material , or white can play Nxg7. with good play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has an extra pawn.

White threatens 22.Rxb7 and 22.Bxe7. Also, the bishop on g2 aims at the rook on c6.

Black can attack the white king with practically all the pieces. This and the threats suggest 21... Qxf2+ 22.Kxf2 (22.Kh1 Qxf6 wins decisive material) 22... Bc5+:

A) 23.Kf1 c3+

A.1) 24.Re2 Rxf6+

A.1.a) 25.Ke1 Rxe2+ 26.Qxe2 Bxe2 27.Ne4 (27.Kxe2 Rf2+ seems to win two pieces) 27... Bd3 (27... Re6 28.Nxc5 Nxc5 29.Rb8+ Re8 30.Rxe8#) 28.Nxf6+ (28.Nxc5 Bxb1 29.Nxd7 Rd6 followed by c2 winning) 28... gxf6 - + [B+N+P vs R].

A.1.b) 25.Nf3 Bxe2+ 26.Qxe2 Rxe2 27.Kxe2 Re6+ with two extra pawns and the better ending. For example, 28.Kd1 c2+ 29.Kxc2 Re2+ and 30... Rxg2, etc.

A.2) 24.Qe2 Rxf6+ 25.Nf3 Rxe2 26.Rxe2 Re6 27.Rbe1 (27.Ng1 Bxg1 wins decisive material) 27... c2 seems to win.

B) 23.Kf3 Rxf6+ 24.Kg4 Ne5+

B.1) 25.Rxe5 Bc8+

B.1.a) 26.Kh4 Rxe5

B.1.a.i) 27.g4 Bf2+ 28.Kh3 Rh6#.

B,1.a.ii) 27.Qh5 Rf4+ 28.Qg4 (28.g4 Bf2#) 28... Be7+ 29.Kh3 Rh5#.

B.1.b) 26.Kg(h)5 Rxe5+ 27.Kh4 Be7#.

B.1.c) 26.Rf5 Bxf5+ and the white king is again in a mating net.

B.2) 25.Kh3 Rh6+ 26.Qh5 Rxh5#.

B.3) 25.Kh4 Rg6 with the threat Be7+ followed by Rh6# seems to win.

C) 23.Re3 Rxf6+ followed by Rxe3+ or Bxe3+ with rook, bishop and two pawns for the queen and attack looks winning.

D) 23.Bd4 Bxd4+ looks similar to previous lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Maroon mariner i f2 in circle arond cool c5:

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Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: cruise am wave rides am over i f2 effigy rates encircle kaputz it zip in afore mention mind again over as put in kind carry b6 angle am i f2 mister glide over c5 an ebb in f3 get fold put out at see again at enact dog in dig hive spark cage c5 old:

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then told as tool tomb ive at in
boot as boon and boosh it book in black b6

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: i f2 faces boom an boats ho bull shine line e5 check ebber shaolin warrior chief lare c5 links f6 angle g6 slide knight d7 in e5 feed it eddy am wave in route f6 at won b6 again then i f2 tee ramble gives c6 slide f6 offer tile ground d7 join e5 then where f6 monster camp around light monarch infer tile g5 aims ground again manage have off re f6 bad b6 among believe spark i f2 good padre a6 aids c5 line creeps again band to fine joust jackal ive caveat other bind e5 line emptors again beware then i f2 first cub rove and rancid pulls c6 angle f6 i drift off in pocket ramble give e5 spark f6 at monster build up as no ifs and i no buts again build then at enacts mate c5 lare circles am form e5 rooks f6 slide g6 angle f6 at enact wins am feel again good show in boats b6 angle off for won i be proof f6 aim camp am got i delve win an go often eg liege nt have oomph f6 oodles of room black at bet i alive no more am cad cutoff point ash deem in dutiful crum pivot able mishap again over learn f6 at monster glide b6 angle i f2 of i co determine overt b6 aim each i a6 i do at clink said delve spur duo duck beset on all sides again deliver then two sucker punch b6 i flubb an eg win b6 affable go build i f2 first able good dream aim deem creative gesture at ream and re bus cable wire banks i b2 at f6 think favours black at evermore i ever an i done deal aim cash duo caps again b6 i bone of contention as het f6 up in ply am route b6 won i f2 time thod carry angle black ash camp i cuffer tile ground gives overt cutoff point f6 angle fanfare to flight then as i 21...Qxf2+ chink of flight f6 bads if i culture as on demand ive get able give c5 ave follow at head choose well swoosh eg wind down i f6 empty ramble give cave at emptor glide f6 off i care came an cadence plus cascadence mark in face cable wire bus encase aced it edict in have rich cage an boot chase ja cervix a cut i curry favour ave i nip in buds lace cane bamboo sugar field pace quaver catch eg win race case ate call intricate caw ever over c5 link cayenne in pepper spray angle black at wins c5 after i f2 any glass seal wax a cut to viva in fan fab fad an fat fin shark f6 angle fib i fog for monarch eg win run light on then ropes ave then point to fy am fun in sun i fir tree silver birch b6 angle at i f2 any glass seal i fly an fee fag fence b6 to fur coat an few i fax foy am manage have focal point chap c5 lines b6 angle fu manchu teams fumble i flute call fudge at fume to fluff f6 frugals an flush out full i face at have four fountain monarch eg go f3 infer tile ground spark puff queen quoff up ground over i suffer tuff i buff vociferous again build b6 aeon flux a cut i fully am hive learn off at glib gab queen affable padre a6 follows c8 in elevate rooks slide f6 angle fob fob fang biff an good flab flung f6 fage any og hurt c5 flubb choose at bag b6 queen iffy am good bug stuff brag again effigy rates encircle at bug effront off in efface up brought over as haven flubbs cub again f6 to basic demise fab cubs boffin case c5:

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Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: thicket bush angle fluffer tile ground ive get ables again festoon am bridge ive got ramble give spark creed it edict in have check folders am chap gives feebles light caught out then ave ticket ramble give:

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: First thing I thought of was the queen sac and found soon everything up to the quiet 26...f6. I still would play the sac anyway as I see no way for the king to escape.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: I thought it was Monday when I saw the Q sac. The rest does not exactly play itself, but it's not really complicated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <JimfromProvidence>

Houdini confirms that 23.Bd4 is white's best try to extend the game. It's futile, but it avoids the immediate checkmate.

Jun-28-15  PJs Studio: This is by no means "insane". Nakamura is fantastic and it's a GREAT shot, but it's not that hard to see. The white king cannot retreat to f1 and the Bishop f6 is hanging with check forcing the white king to the fourth rank.

I've seen imsane problems here where I can't fathom where the GM came up with the moves.

But this is a great shot.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: <mjmorri: <perfidious> There is nothing wrong with the combination. However, it is quite linear with not a lot of deep side variations, and no tangled messes to unravel.>

So then it does not meet your standard for "insane" is what you're saying? Then maybe it would be acceptable for fri or sat puzzle?

< perfidious: If there is nothing wrong with the combination, then why denigrate its merits? >

Hey perf.. his disparaging clearly was directed at the chess fans on this site:

< mjmorri: My complaint lies with the Naka lovers.. >

thats where your problem is. You should stop complaining! It smells like trolling. In any event the people here are CHESS lovers, and for the most part are willing to diseminate praise equally to all the top players for creations of beauty. The tone in your comments suggest you don't like Naka, and that is certainly your prerogative, BUT...

< ..Naka lovers who try to extrapolate a few impressive looking games into a run to the world championship. >

I certainly hope you are still around here to read this. His win record to date certainly merits attention, and respect.

Naka is currently world #4 at 2814.1 , nose to nose with #2 Anand 2816.1 and #3 Topalov 2816. So far this year (2015) in the 50 classical time control games played he lost only 1, and to Anand. He is +1 =1 -0 with Topalov this year.

Classical games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Viswanathan Anand 4 to 1, with 10 draws. rapid/exhibition games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Viswanathan Anand 6 to 2, with 5 draws.

LIFETIME RECORD (2010-2015):
Classical games: Veselin Topalov beat Hikaru Nakamura 4 to 2, with 5 draws. Including rapid/exhibition games: Veselin Topalov tied Hikaru Nakamura 5 to 5, with 5 draws. Only rapid/exhibition games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Veselin Topalov 3 to 1.

He beat Topalove blindfolded! <grin> Nakamura vs Topalov 1-0 42 2011 20th Amber Tournament (Blindfold)

The two additional classical wins were at Sinquefield 2014, where Naka finished LAST in the line up. He had a horrible tournament, just like Carlsen had in Norway this year.

Classical games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Fabiano Caruana 5 to 1, with 17 draws. Including rapid/exhibition games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Fabiano Caruana 14 to 3, with 18 draws. Only rapid/exhibition games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Fabiano Caruana 9 to 2, with 1 draw.

The only loss to Caruana in classical game was also at Sinquefield 2014!

So over all.. He outplays Caruana and Anand, and is pretty much on par with Topalov. If he were to play a 6-12 game match with Topa that would sure give us a clear indicator whether or not Naka is, practically speaking, world #2 and worthy of a shot at Magnus.

< I do not see his name among those playing in the Candidates Tournament in March. >

stick around this year and watch.

< mjmorri: A rather pedestrian combination giving Naka lovers the false notion that he is some sort of chess genius on an arc toward the world championship. >

"A rather pedestrian combination"? What are you saying? ..Rxc6 and ..Qxf2 were just a walk in the park? LOL

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: I stand by my comments a while ago.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: I stand by my comments a while ago.
Jun-29-15  stst: It's late and over, just to show if I follow the right track: Since Black got both R and Q being targeted, it got to move by brute force and heavy exchange: 21....... QxP+
22.KxQ Rxb+
23.Kg1 Be5+
24.Kh1 RxR+
25.QxR c3
26.Qe8+ Nf8
27.Rb8 cxN
28.Rb1 Bd3
29.Rd1 Be2
30.h3 BxR
31.Qd8 Rf2 and Black should prevail...
Jun-29-15  stst: The B+ instead of R+ on move 22.... was one of my alternatives... White's moving out the K is weak in my humble opinion, giving Black a shorter course to win....
Premium Chessgames Member
  Cheapo by the Dozen: What makes this hard is that White is still massively ahead in material when his king gets to g4, so it is still necessary for Black to calculate accurately beyond there ... and since White can afford to sacrifice, there's a fair amount left to calculate.
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