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Magnus Carlsen vs Hikaru Nakamura
London Chess Classic (2009), London ENG, rd 4, Dec-12
Slav Defense: Czech Variation. Bled Attack (D17)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-12-09  veigaman: <oliphaunt> qxb7 seems more natural, may be magnus thought that naka had prepared sth and he avoided it. However, i dont have the level to ensure that it was right or wrong:)
Dec-12-09  Knight13: <<The Rocket> all of these excuses when magnus doesnt win>

All of these excuses when Nakamura loses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  messachess: Carlsen was outplayed in this one. He's best when he can inhibit his opponents moves, induce minute inaccuracies aided by time pressure, and then Squeeze out a win. It's the 'claustrophobic' style of chess as opposed to styles like Naka displayed here: the 'open air' style.
Dec-12-09  Poisonpawns: Great job Hikaru!To get these position against Magnus Kasparov isnt easy these days.
Dec-12-09  Oliphaunt: <veigaman> Black's idea after 14.Qxb7 Nab4 is to go for the repetition after ...Rb8 Qxa7 Ra8 and so forth. To avoid it white has to play 15.Bxd5.

14.Qxb7 Nab4 15.Bxd5 cxd5 and here 16.Bg5 appears to be the best move (getting rid of the pesky knight) 16...Bxg5 17.Qxb4 Rb8 with a more or less equal game; black will probably get the pawn back.

This could be why Carlsen avoided 14.Qxb7.

Dec-12-09  veigaman: <oliphaunt> i see it, but may be magnus move favour nakamura style.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <14.Qxb7 Nab4 15.Bxd5 cxd5 and here 16.Bg5 appears to be the best move (getting rid of the pesky knight) 16...Bxg5 17.Qxb4 Rb8 with a more or less equal game; black will probably get the pawn back.>

Actually, White probably remains a pawn up after 18.Qc5! attacking a7 as in Kasparov vs NN, 1998. Of course Black can play better than Kasparov's opponent in this game, but it's not so clear if he has full compensation for the pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: From Carlsen's blog: <I got a promising position in a very complex early middle game. Then I chose to trade off several minor pieces too early due to overestimating my position after the simplifications.> (
Dec-12-09  ycbaywtb: does anybody know if a pawn move giving luft could have saved Hikaru from perpetual check in the end, or if he ever had time to make a move, such as g6 or h6?

i don't see h6 working, maybe g6, but when if ever would that have been ok to play?

great game by both players

Dec-12-09  DiscoJew: What's going on here Herr Carslen?

<ILikeFruits> in Norwegian,

Hva gjřr...

Naka Naka Naka!

I mean, I was rooting for both parties here. Both are playing hot obviously, with Carlsen's 2900-ish play pounding the world's best including the World Blitz championship(!), and the 2800 rating. Kasparov is teaching the guy!!!

and Nakamura dominates the blitz tourney AND Carlsen.

So the stage was of course very well set. Magnus Carlsen, perhaps the most feared player on earth when playing white the white pieces created a Queen pawn game. Nakamura plays a very standard Czech variation Slav, and found a nice post for his Knight in a semi simplified position and soon created a strong light squared stonewall..

So Magnus tried but could not break down Naka's staunch defence. I can't wait to see these two players again, white the little guy, Hikaru Nakamura taking on the beast, white the white pieces. As much as I like Carlsen as a player, and even though I got into a 3 + hour convo white Naka that ended in a one hour argument over a girl, I am rooting for Hikaru here!!


Dec-12-09  TheMacMan: on move 38. black should have played cxd5 and easily won, but naka had to rush this move due to time, and played exd5, i bet carlsen was pretty happy he missed the win
Dec-13-09  DiscoJew:
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: God save the Queen (1. d4 d5), the fascist regime (2. c4 c6)/They made you a moron (3. Nf3 Nf6), potential H-bomb (4. Nc3 dxc4)/God save the Queen (5. a4 Bf5), she ain't no human being (6. Nh4 Bc8)/There is no future (7. e3 e5) in England's dreaming (8. Bxc4 exd4)/Don't be told what you want (9. exd4 Be7) and don't be told what you need (10. 0-0 0-0)/There's no future (11. Re1 Nd5), no future (12. Nf3 Be6), no future for you (13. Qb3 Na6)/God save the Queen [last book move], we mean it man (14. Bd2 Nab4)/We love our Queen (15. Ne4 Bf5), God saves (16. Ne5 a5)/God save the Queen (17. Nc5 Bxc5), 'cause tourists are money (18. dxc5 Qc7)/And our figurehead (19. Bxb4 Nxb4) is not what she seems (20. Qf3 Be6)/Oh God save history (21. Bxe6 fxe6), God save your mad parade (22. Qb3 Qe7)/Oh Lord God have mercy (23. Nf3 Nd5), all crimes are paid (24. Rac1 Rf4)/When there's no future (25. Ne5 Raf8), how can there be sin? (26. Nd3 Rd4)/We're the flowers in the dustbin (27. Rc4 Rxc4)/We're the poison in your human machine (28. Qxc4 Qf6)/We're the future (29. g3 Rd8), your future (30. Kg2 Qf5)/God save the Queen (31. Nc1 Rf8), we mean it man (32. Qe2 Nc7)/We love our Queen (33. Nd3 Rd8), God saves (34. Ne5 Rd5)/God save the Queen (35. Kg1 Rxc5), we mean it man (36. Nc4 Qf8)/And there is no future (37. Rd1 Rd5) in England's dreaming (38. Rxd5 exd5)/No future [38 ... Nxd5? 39. Qxe6+ Qf7 40. Qc8+ Qf8 41. Qxb7 ], no future (39. Qe5 dxc4), no future for you (40. Qxc7 Qb4)/No future (41. Qc8+ Kf7), no future (42. Qf5+ Ke7), no future for me (43. Qe5+ Kf7)/No future (44. Qf5+ Ke7), no future (45. Qe5+ Kf7), no future for you (1/2-1/2) - The Sex Pistols + Fritz 7, "God Save the Queen"

There you go - an error-free game per Fritz 7. =)

<missed the win> Disagree. One Pawn up in QN vs QN is very far away from a clear winning line. Black may have been *better* but not yet *winning*. Down to their last minute, they were both relieved to make the time control.

Dec-13-09  The Rocket: Btw if a computer like rybka doesnt recommend qxb7 its probably a bad move.

computers never disregard free pawns unless theres something bad in return.

Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <32.Qe2
MC:"A really bad move. 32.Re2 is much better. Then the attacks with 32...Qf3+ 33.Kg1 Rf4 don't work because I have 34.gxf4 Nxf4 35.Qe4."

Actually Carlsen is very lucky he didn't play this line, as Nakamura would have played 32...Ne3+!! in a shot, and won immediately!

click for larger view


Dec-13-09  Oliphaunt: I don't get all this "Naka dominated Carlsen bla bla bla". He did not for sure. Magnus obtained strong positions in their blitz encounters. Had it not been for that huge blunder, things would have turned out very differently.
Dec-13-09  Mr. Bojangles: < Had it not been for that huge blunder, things would have turned out very differently.>

Had it not been for that huge blunder, he wouldn't have been dominated by Hikaru Nakamura.

But for that huge blunder, his a55 was dominated by Hikaru Nakamura.

Dec-13-09  Oliphaunt: One single blunder does not determine if player A dominates player B or not. Especially if the player who did blunder played very well apart from that.

Let's say I play Kasparov in 3 games in which I'm on the defensive from move 10 and onwards. In each of the games I'm completly lost after a while. But then Kasparov makes a gross blunder (unbelievable) and I move on to win those games. In that case I would NOT say that I dominated Kasparov.

For a player to dominate another (in my view at least) he has to have the upper hand for the most part of the game.

Dec-13-09  Mr. Bojangles: It is the final result that matters not the journey.

If Kasparov keeps losing to u, then what is the relevance or significance of his being better?

A thousand blunders is < one blunder, if that one blunder results in a loss.

Dec-13-09  timhortons: <Had it not been for that huge blunder, things would have turned out very differently.>

thats it! more practice for your boy!

Dec-13-09  awfulhangover: On ICC, commentator Andrew Martin said that 14.Bxd5 was far better than 14.Bd2

He's probably right. Magnus was close to losing this game. But Naka is far stronger than many seem to admit. He's among the top, and without a strong trainer. Cool guy.

Dec-13-09  Mr. Bojangles: <without a strong trainer>

True. I shudder to think how strong Naka and Chairman So would be when they get proper funding and a top class trainer. The sky's the limit for them...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Btw if a computer like rybka doesnt recommend qxb7 its probably a bad move. computers never disregard free pawns unless theres something bad in return.>

It's far from being that simple. This move isn't Rybka's <top> recommendation – it gets slightly lower evaluation than some other moves – but it isn't shown to be clearly <bad> either; there's no clear "refutation". Of course Black gets some compensation for the pawn (bishop pair, good piece activity – one doesn't need an engine to see that), but the question is, again, if it's enough. Rybka may be under-valuing the long-term significance of the pawn compared with some more short-term advantages of other lines.

<On ICC, commentator Andrew Martin said that 14.Bxd5 was far better than 14.Bd2>

That's the Qxb7 idea as well, only in what seems to be a more accurate move order (the one which was indeed played by Kasparov in that blitz game) - 14.Bxd5 cxd5 15.Qxb7 Nb4 16.Bg5 Bxg5 17.Qxb4; 14.Qxb7 first allows 14...Nab4 15.Bxd5 <Rb8> 16.Qxa7 cxd5, with the double threat of Nc2 to win an exchange and Ra8 with a "perpetual" on the white queen.

At any rate, according to Ian Rogers' report from the press conference (, Carlsen wasn't thinking along these lines at all – rather, he was considering 14.Qxb7 Nab4 15.Ne5 Rb8 16.Qxa7 Ra8 17.Qb7 Rb8 18.Qxc6 – and came to the (correct) conclusion that it's refuted by 18...Nxc3! 19.Nxf7 Bxf7 20.Bxf7+ Rxf7 21.Qxc3 Rc8.

Dec-29-09  The Rocket: I for one would not take
the pawn, it simply feels wrong in terms long term strategy... you dont see a clear trap for white in any line but it simply makes the position unclear in a way you dont want when you already have a nice edge, of course not a winning advantage but one you can work on without being greedy and grab a pawn.
Feb-02-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: DO *NOT* INTERCEPT YOUR OWN LINES PIECES!

Carlsen vs Nakamura, 2009 32 Re1-e2?? cuts off White c4-queen from f1-sq, 32 ... Nd5-e3!!

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32 Re1-e2?? leaves behind the f1-square for 32 ... Nd5-e3+!!
from Weakening your own position: LEFT BEHIND by notyetagm
32 Re1-e2?? cuts off White c4-queen from f1-sq, 32 ... Nd5-e3!!

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