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Hikaru Nakamura vs Magnus Carlsen
Corus Group A (2010), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-21
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Bayreuth Variation (C77)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-21-10  whatthefat: <Eyal>

It's true, Black's options are slightly restricted. So it's not a lost tempo for nothing, but what White gains in return is not worth the full tempo IMO.

Jan-21-10  Bjornemann: A look at the Opening Explorer tells me that White scores much better after 4.Lxc6 than after 5.Lxc6, so I agree with whatthefat, Black's minor concession means very little compared to the loss of tempo.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: And a look at the Opening Explorer tells me that White scores slightly better after 6.Bxc6 than after 4.Bxc6, so the loss of tempo probably pays off if White only waits two moves instead of one...
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Magnus has a 102 rating point edge over Nakamura. That may not mean much to some people, but holding a guy rated 2810 to a draw is pretty good.
Jan-21-10  Mr. Bojangles: Rating says more of recent performance than strength.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: Carlsen offered a draw with 28..Re3, but Nakamura is not the peaceful type. Great show by both players here.
Jan-21-10  Bdellovibrio: <Spanish game, Bayreuth variation>

When he was young, Nietzsche struck a friendship with the great composer of operas, Richard Wagner. By the end of his career, however, Friedrich had lost respect for Wagner and much of his music, instead claiming that Georges Bizet's <Carmen> was the finest opera ever composed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I thought 23 Qh4 was a brave move, as Black has two main lines-the piece sacrifice variation 24...Qb4 Magnus played, and the exchange sacrifice line that he did not.

After 24...Nb4 25 e5 (I assume this was Naka's intention-if 25...fxe5 26 Nxg7 wins the f7 bishop)

25...Rxe5 26 Bxe5 Qxe5 27 Nc4 Qe6 28 Nfe3 Kg8 29 Rfd1 Re8 30 Rbc1 -.81/19 Rybka 2.2 64 bit

click for larger view

The position has many similarities with the game, except that Black is only down an exchange instead of a piece.

Jan-21-10  Ulhumbrus: One justification for 10...c5 before White can play 11 d4 is that even if White can play then 11 Nc4, he has had the ability to play the move before as well. As Nakamura ends up winning a piece, Black has to look for alternatives before that point is reached.
Jan-21-10  RandomVisitor: <tamar>If 24...Nb4 white has a surprise option other than 25.e5: the move 25.Bxf6 where play might continue 25...gxf6 26.Qxf6+ Kg8 27.Rb3 and Rybka scores this 0.00. But I did not make a deep run on this line.
Jan-21-10  TheMacMan: if 49. h4 than white would have won, 1-0
Jan-21-10  whatthefat: <TheMacMan>

Not true, that line was shown to be a draw by <frogbert>.

Jan-21-10  manethos: I agree macman the move for white at 49 was h4 !!!!
Jan-21-10  RandomVisitor: After 48...Be4:

click for larger view

Rybka 3:

<[+0.57] d=23 49.Rxb3> g5 50.Nxh5 Kg6 51.Nf4+ gxf4+ 52.Kxf4 Ra4 53.Kg3 Ba8 54.Rb8 Kh5

[+0.16] d=22 49.h4 b2 50.Nd2 Ba8 51.Nxh5 b1Q 52.Nxb1 Rxg2+ 53.Kh3 Rf2 54.Rd6 f5 55.Rd7+ Kg6 56.Nxg7 Rf3+ 57.Kh2 Rf2+ 58.Kg1 Rc2 59.Na3 Rg2+ 60.Kf1 Rg4 61.h5+ Kh6 62.Ne6 Kxh5 63.Rd8 Ra4 64.Nb5

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <RandomVisitor: <tamar>If 24...Nb4 white has a surprise option other than 25.e5: the move 25.Bxf6 where play might continue 25...gxf6 26.Qxf6+ Kg8 27.Rb3 and Rybka scores this 0.00.>

You appear to be correct. Equal after 24...Nb4 25 Bxf6 -0.00 Black can decline, but is slightly worse after 24...Nb4 25 Bxf6 Qc7.

Perhaps Nakamura will divulge what he had in mind after 25...Nb4. He may feel the evals in the exchange sac line are wrong, much like in the game where the extra piece gradually proved its superiority.

Jan-22-10  timhortons:

icc chess FM gm speelman explains these game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <RandomVisitor: After 48...Be4:

Rybka 3: <[+0.57] d=23 49.Rxb3> g5 50.Nxh5 Kg6 51.Nf4+ gxf4+ 52.Kxf4 Ra4 53.Kg3 Ba8 54.Rb8 Kh5>

As I've already noted on p.1, this +0.57 evaluation is quite meaningless - Rybka fails to recognize that Black can force a drawn rook endgame with 52...Bxf3.

Jan-22-10  BTO7: Great game between two great players. Bummer Naka did not win even with the little edge it looked he had but not a bad result anyways.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Good video on the game by Macauley Peterson - "Future Rivals" - at At 2:18 Nakamura can be seen shaking his head in disbelief after 45...h5 (Carlsen: "he might have missed [47]Nxb3 h4+! 48.Nxh4 Ra3").
Jan-23-10  ycbaywtb: what's done is done.

Carlsen is a rock, not easily broken.

I just hope Naka doesn't get discouraged, and comes back strong.

Jan-24-10  frogbert: <the extra piece gradually proved its superiority>

it did? it gradually turned worthless, as white's pawns disappeared - typical lines ending with r+n+n vs r+b which is a draw.

Dec-21-10  elohah: Notes...

8 Nc4?! Nxe4 9 Ncxe5 Nf6; 8...Bxc4 trys for more.

19 Just trying for the g-pawn lever, but maybe 19 g3 and f4.

35 Carlsen must summon all his technique to draw impressively from here.


49 ! If 49 Rxb3 g5 50 Nxh5 Kg6 traps the knight. 49 Nxh5 g5! is another version of this.

53 Forced, or White could get mated.

Mar-06-15  JohnBoy: <whatthefat: Strangely enough, I don't believe there has been a decisive game at classical time controls between these two yet.> Boy, that's changed...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <JohnBoy> So it has, and not in a way to Naka's liking, to put it mildly.
Mar-06-15  SirRuthless: 1+1=2,
the universe is probably expanding,
crap smells bad,
honeycrisp apples are good
humans need water to survive
Carlsen is a better player than Nakamura and has a crushing record vs him especially with the white pieces ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
The more you know
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