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Hikaru Nakamura vs Ni Hua
London Chess Classic (2009), London ENG, rd 1, Dec-08
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation (D11)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-08-09  psmith: <Marmot PFL>: Thanks, yeah, I came to that opinion too, eventually, if you work through my whole sequence of posts, though I wasn't completely confident in the final evaluation as =.
Dec-08-09  psmith: <Marmot PFL> I spent some time looking at 35. Rxh6 Rxb2 and Black's resources are surprising, I think. The position warrants careful analysis, but I don't have time for it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: Yes HeMateMe I'm saying he missed an extremely elementary forced win and I don't need Fritz to "double check" it as you say.

Honestly, as black after 39. e6 I resign. If you want to see some analysis I suggest checking out Dennis Monokroussos blog:

Dec-09-09  HeMateMe: <Parmetd> If it is that obvious, it will appear mainstream, maybe chessbase, or the uscf site, or chess dot com, or mig greengard, or chess cafe. I don't think your assessment is correct, otherwise people at the tournament would be talking about it one hour after the game ended.

does the UK tourament have a commentator, GM level, someone talking to part of the audience in a side room/theater?

Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Nakamura explained somewhat cryptically on ICC that he had, "of course", seen 39.e6 and the winning maneuver, but hallucinated that the pawn was on h5 and not h6. But I'm not sure what difference that makes anyway?
Dec-09-09  hungry hippo: after 39.e6 I'm pretty sure it's still a draw.
Dec-09-09  HeMateMe: black can move his rook onto the queening pawn file, 39. R-e2, then move his own king off the file, covering the passed pawn. Black can then shephard his b pawn home. Or, it might be safer to just attack the remaining white pawns. If black does end up with an extra pawn, it will be the ugly h pawn, dead draw.
Dec-09-09  Ulhumbrus: After 23..d4! Black's isolated d pawn becomes transformed from a target into a powerful weapon. It cannot be stopped from advancing to d3 and eventually Black regains the exchange for it. On 22..Bb5 there is no time to prevent the Black d5 pawn from advancing to d4, because White's R is attacked. An alternative to 22 fxe5 is 22 Rfe1 at once eg 22... Qd7 23 Bxf8 Rxf8 24 Rxe5
Dec-09-09  psmith: <parmetd>: Thanks for the link to Monokroussos's blog. I think the analysis there is pretty clear. (Here it is: 39.e6! Re2 (39...Rc2? is senseless here: 40.e7 Rc8 41.Rf8 ) 40.Rf8! Only now, and this wins. (40.f5 b3 41.Rf8 b2 42.e7 Kd4 43.Rb8 Rxe7 44.Rxb2 Re3+! 45.Kg4 Re4+! 46.Kh5 Ke5 47.Kxh6 Kxf5= ) 40...Kd5 (40...Kd4 41.f5 b3 42.Rb8 Re5 (42...Ke5 43.e7 ; 42...b2 43.Rxb2 Rxb2 44.f6 ) 43.f6 Rxe6 44.f7 ) 41.f5 b3 42.Rd8+ Kc6 43.Rb8 b2 44.Kf3! Re5 45.Kf4 Re2 46.e7 Rxe7 47.Rxb2 Re1 (47...Kd7 48.Rb7+ Ke8 49.Rxe7+ Kxe7 50.Ke5 Kf7 51.h4 Ke7 52.f6+ Ke8 53.Kf5 Kf7 54.h5 ) 48.Rd2 ) However, I hardly think it is "obvious" at move 39 that this will win. You also need to see that the Queen ending is won after 40...Kd5 41.f5 b3 42.Rd8+ Kc6 43.Rb8 b2 44.Kf3! Re5 45.Kf4 Rb5+ 46. Rxb5 Kxb5 47. e7 b1/Q 48. e8/Q+ Kc5 49. Qe5+ Kc6 50. Qe4+ trading into a won pawn ending. That is 11 moves away from move 39. I don't really think it is humanly unforgivable not to see that.

<HeHateMe>: your suggestions are contained in my posts above and refuted by Monokroussos's comprehensive analysis. Why don't you take a look (and that is fairly mainstream).

Dec-09-09  birthtimes: If 35.Rxh6 Rxb2 then White wins with 36.Rd6+ Ke4 37.h4 Ke3 38.h5 Bc4 39.f5 Rb8 40.e6 fxe6 41.fxe6 Rg8+ 42.Kh4 Re8 43.Re1+ Kd2 44.Re4 Bb5 45.h6 Kc3 46.Kg5! Rg8+ 47.Kf6 d2 48.Red4!
Dec-09-09  HeMateMe: <Monokroussos's blog> might be right, I would wait myself, for more seasoned commentators to weigh in. Once the white rook gets behind the passed pawn, in won't queen. In the time it takes for black to capture the passed b pawn, white will win the passed e pawn, and either the f or h pawn. Even if White ends up a pawn advantage, his king will be behind that pawn, not in front of it, and its a drawn R v. R + P endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <HeMateMe> While you give a lot of words, Monokroussos gives concrete lines. Have you looked at them? Because they are convincing.
Dec-09-09  HeMateMe: I think naka is a better player than than Mono, so I'll wait for more experienced analysts to weigh in.
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Are you kidding?
Dec-09-09  HeMateMe: Well, since you obsess over this, I checked his page. He has a MONSTER 2288 rating. I would guess the GMs at this tournament see the game a little differently than Denny. But, if Fritz or Rybka analysis was put forth, you might convince someone that Naka blew it. I think, were that the case, it would already be on a chess site somewhere, annotated at the GM level.
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Leaving aside your hilariously flawed reasoning, I already said Nakamura himself thought that 39.e6 would have won. But whatever.
Dec-09-09  psmith: <HeHateMe> " Once the white rook gets behind the passed pawn, in won't queen. In the time it takes for black to capture the passed b pawn, white will win the passed e pawn, and either the f or h pawn. Even if White ends up a pawn advantage, his king will be behind that pawn, not in front of it, and its a drawn R v. R + P endgame."

In the position at the end of Monokroussos's analysis:

click for larger view

White is indeed up a pawn but witrh his King behind his passed pawn.

BUT: White is still winning because Black's King is cut off.

Dec-09-09  psmith: <HeHateMe> Note that in the position from the previous post, even if we remove the white pawn on h2, the position is a tablebase win for White!

click for larger view

plug it in at

Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: um... first of all Dennis is rated 2331. Second, have you heard the phrase a player is 200 pts stronger when analyzing than playing? And another 200 pts if they use a computer? That effectively makes a mere 2331 player into a 2731 analyzer... so yea get over yourself. Second a computer is not necessary to confirm such simple lines as these. If you weren't aware a computer was unnecessary than you will never be convinced of anything ever. Third, many elite GMs have praised MonoKroussos Blog from Bologan to Golubev to Short to Nakamura. Fourth, Nakamura said postmortem 39. e6 was easily winning as did Yermolinsky. It is quite an obvious move so i'm not sure what your resistance against acknowledging it is.
Dec-09-09  psmith: <parmetd> I agree with you about Monokroussos's analytical abilities. (I hope you are telling <HeHateMe> to get over himself, not me.)

But I think Monokroussos himself disagrees with you about what is so obvious. As he says after his analysis of move 40, "clearly the "easy" win with 35.Rxb5+ wasn't so easy after all."

It would be foolish for Black to resign after 39. e6, since White has to play *very* precisely to prove a win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: yea I was talking to HeHateMe not you with that comment.
Dec-09-09  HeMateMe: I incorrectly described the beginning position. I meant that, the black rook will be behinnd the black king, on the e file. and black should attack the f pawn, and work on getting his king over to the kingside, not worry about taking the weaker h pawn, the h pawn can easily be defended, it its the last pawn on the board.

You may be right, i would want to see GM level analysis of this, or fritz 12 or rybka three.

There was a small article about this game on the USCF page, and no mention of how naka missed a winning line. I don't have the chess chops to prove it, but intuitively, I think your analysis is missing something for black, and the position is a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <Nakamura explained somewhat cryptically on ICC that he had, "of course", seen 39.e6 and the winning maneuver, but hallucinated that the pawn was on h5 and not h6. But I'm not sure what difference that makes anyway?>

Nakamura just updated his blog, and explains in more detail, but now the missed win he is talking about is apparently supposed to be at move 40.


click for larger view

In the following position, I used up 35 of my final 40 minutes on this key position. For some odd reason, I calculated this ending correctly, but with one problem. I thought the pawn was on h5 not h6. One might wonder what difference does that make? I had foreseen 40.e6 Rc7 41.f5 Ke5 (41...b3 42.f6 b2 43.e7 b1=Q 44.e8=Q+ Kf5 45.Qh5 with a winning position.) 42.Rf7 Rc8 43.e7 Re8 (43...b3 loses to 44.Rf8) 44.f6 b3 45.Rf8 b2 46.f7! the whole point of this line. Now, with the pawn on h6 it is winning, but what did I see? I saw 46...Rxc7 47.Re8 b1=Q 48.Rxe7 Kd6 49.f8=Q Qg1+ 50.Kh3. This position is clearly winning as Black has NO CHECKS. However, if the pawn is on h5, neither Kh3/h4 are possible as Qg4 is checkmate. 50.Kf3/f4 also lose to Qf1 as I drop the queen on f8. I am not really sure what to chalk up this hallucination to, but alas it happens.>

Very fascinating. This would have been the position after 49.f8=Q:

click for larger view

and it's true that with the pawn on h5 Black even wins.

But unfortunately (?) the whole concept seems to fail early on to 42..Kd6 anyway.

click for larger view

So THIS "missed win" may not have been a win after all. Of course, it doesn't mean that 39.e6 wouldn't have won - it seems it does, even though not elementarily. And that was what he said was winning after the game, but I guess he was thinking of 40.e6 and had his move numbers off. ("I saw the whole e6,Rf7,f5 stuff" seems to indicate he had the same line in mind that he describes on his blog)

Mar-01-10  notyetagm: 19 Bd2-a5!


Game Collection: What is the TOTAL VALUE of the square? P = M + S

Mar-08-10  notyetagm: Game Collection: ACTS: Alignments Create Threatened Squares
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