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Hikaru Nakamura vs Vladimir Kramnik
Tal Memorial (2010), Moscow RUS, rd 4, Nov-08
Russian Game: Nimzowitsch Attack (C42)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-08-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: Nakamura will probably say in one of his blogs that his mistake was "unforgivable"...

That being said, he is a great talent, and has the potential to be no. 1, in my opinion. His game is maturing quite quickly.

Nov-08-10  crazybird: The great thing about Nakamura is that he is not overawed by anybody. Arguably, the most fearless player in the game.
Nov-09-10  Chess Network: Nakamura vs Kramnik - Tal Memorial Chess Tournament 2010 VIDEO :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6Zq...
Nov-09-10  jrlepage: <kamalakanta: Nakamura will probably say in one of his blogs that his mistake was "unforgivable"... That being said, he is a great talent, and has the potential to be no. 1, in my opinion. His game is maturing quite quickly.>

Couldn't agree more. No. 1, who knows. But top 5 stuff for many, many years I'd guess. The guy's got that ever inspiring killer instinct.

Nov-09-10  Ulhumbrus: On 23 Rhe1 ( instead of 23 Rd1 as played) 23...Qa5 24 Re7 Qxb5 25 Rxg7 Kxg7 26 Re7+ Kf6 one possible way to win is 27 Re6+ Kg7 28 Qd4+ Kg8 29 Re7

On 30 Ke2 ( instead of 30 Kd2 as played) Rae8 31 Rxg7 Rxe6+ 32 Bxe6 an alternative to 32...Qxh4?? which allows 33 Rh7 mate is 32...Qb5+ followed by 33...Kxg7 or the fork 33...Qe5+ of White allows it.

On 31 Ke2 ( instead of 31 Kd2 as played) Qc3 32 Re4 Qxc2+ 33 Kf1 Qc1+ 34 Re1 an alternative to 34...Qf4 is 34...Qg5 so that on 35 Rxg7 Kxg7 36 Re7+ Kxg6 37 Bd3+ the Black King can come to f6 by 37...Kf6. Then one possible way to win is 38 Qe4 (threatening 39 Qe6 mate) 38...Ra6 39 f4 Qh5 40 Re5 Qg4 41 Rf5+ Kg7 42 Qe7+

Nov-09-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <On 31 Ke2 ( instead of 31 Kd2 [Kd1] as played) Rae8 32 Rxg7 Rxe6+ 33 Bxe6 an alternative to 33...Qxh4?? which allows 34 Rh7 mate is 33...Qb5+ followed by 34...Kxg7>

It also loses, only less spectacularly, to 34.Kd2! Kxg7 (34...Qa5+ 35.c3 doesn’t help) 35.Qe7+ Kxg6 36.Qxf8; as this line makes clear, White just has to take care not to let the black queen reach through checking a square from where it can defend e7, as after 34.Kf2?? Qc5+.

<On 31 Ke2 ( instead of 31 Kd2 [Kd1] as played) Qc3 32 Re4 Qxc2+ 33 Kf1 Qc1+ 34 Re1 an alternative to 34...Qf4 is 34...Qg5 so that on 35 Rxg7 Kxg7 36 Re7+ Kxg6 37 Bd3+ the Black King can come to f6 by 37...Kf6. Then one possible way to win is 38 Qe4 (threatening 39 Qe6 mate) 38...Ra6 39 f4 Qh5 40 Re5 Qg4 41 Rf5+ Kg7 42 Qe7+>

In fact, 39.f4?? loses to 39...Qxf4+! 40.Qxf4+ Kxe7. The most efficient way to win is 37.Qe4+ Rf5 38.g4 (or 37...Kh5 38.Re5; 37...Qf5 38.Qd4! Rg8 39.Bd3); or simply to exchange queens on g5 and play Ree7. Since both 34...Qf4 and 34...Qg5 are busted, and if the queen leaves the c1-h6 diagonal Black is mated in two by Qxh6+, it’s clear that Black is lost.

As <patzer2> already noted (and the engines clearly show), in case of 31.Ke2 the only way for Black to keep fighting is to simplify into an inferior (double) rook endgame by 31...b5(!) 32.Rxg7 Qxc4+ 33.Qxc4 bxc4. Otherwise, White's attack is too strong.

Nov-09-10  kellmano: Very enjoyable video <Tamar>

Naka is not that arrogant when doing a post-mortem with Krammers.

Nov-09-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <http://video.russiachess.org/browse...

Very enjoyable video>

Btw, for those who don't read the Russian - the link to this video (from the "best moments" selection on the right) is titled:

<Hikaru Nakamura vs. Vladimir Kramnik: what does computer say?>

Nov-09-10  Ulhumbrus: <<On 31 Ke2 ( instead of 31 Kd2 [Kd1] as played) Qc3 32 Re4 Qxc2+ 33 Kf1 Qc1+ 34 Re1 an alternative to 34...Qf4 is 34...Qg5 so that on 35 Rxg7 Kxg7 36 Re7+ Kxg6 37 Bd3+ the Black King can come to f6 by 37...Kf6. Then one possible way to win is 38 Qe4 (threatening 39 Qe6 mate) 38...Ra6 39 f4 Qh5 40 Re5 Qg4 41 Rf5+ Kg7 42 Qe7+>

In fact, 39.f4?? loses to 39...Qxf4+! 40.Qxf4+ Kxe7. The most efficient way to win is 37.Qe4+ Rf5 38.g4 (or 37...Kh5 38.Re5; 37...Qf5 38.Qd4! Rg8 39.Bd3> In the last variation the move 38...Rg8 places the Rook under attack of White's B and does nothing to stop the pin Bd3. 38...Rad8 seems more useful, counter-attacking White's Queen.

Nov-09-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <[31 Ke2 Qc3 32 Re4 Qxc2+ 33 Kf1 Qc1+ 34 Re1 Qg5 35 Rxg7 Kxg7 36 Re7+ Kxg6 37.Qe4+ Qf5 38.Qd4! Rg8 39.Bd3] In the last variation the move 38...Rg8 places the Rook under attack of White's B and does nothing to stop the pin Bd3. 38...Rad8 seems more useful, counter-attacking White's Queen.>

I've assumed that the threat on g7 is so obvious that it doesn't have to be explained in detail: 38...Rad8 39.Rg7+ Kh5 40.g4+ Kh4 41.Qf2+ Kh3 42.Qg2+ Kh4 43.Qh2#

Nov-09-10  Ulhumbrus: <<[31 Ke2 Qc3 32 Re4 Qxc2+ 33 Kf1 Qc1+ 34 Re1 Qg5 35 Rxg7 Kxg7 36 Re7+ Kxg6 37.Qe4+ Qf5 38.Qd4! Rg8 39.Bd3] In the last variation the move 38...Rg8 places the Rook under attack of White's B and does nothing to stop the pin Bd3. 38...Rad8 seems more useful, counter-attacking White's Queen.> I've assumed that the threat on g7 is so obvious that it doesn't have to be explained in detail: 38...Rad8 39.Rg7+ Kh5 40.g4+ Kh4 41.Qf2+ Kh3 42.Qg2+ Kh4 43.Qh2#> The threat Rg7 suggests that the move 38 Qd4! forks the points d3 and g7.
Nov-09-10  Ulhumbrus: One sequence containing a nasty surprise for Black is 29 Qe4 (instead of 29 Qh4 as played) 29...a3 30 Ree7 a2 31 Bxa2 Qxa2 32 Rxg7 Rfd8 33 Rh7+ Kg8 34 Rh8+! Kxh8 35 Qe5+ Kg8 36 Qg7 mate
Nov-09-10  danbotea07: What about 22 Rxg6 Rf7 23 Qe6 a6 24 Rg3 Kf8 25 h6 Bf6 26 Qg4 Bg5 27 Qxg5 Qxg5 28 Rxg5 axb5 29 f3 Rxa2 30 Kb1 Ra6 31 Rxd5 b4 32 Rd8 Ke7 33 Rd4 b5 34 Rh5 Rff6 35 Re5 Rae6 36.Rde4 Rh6 37.Rxe6 Rxe6 38 Rxe6 Kxe6 39 Kc1 Ke5 40 g3 ?
Nov-09-10  danbotea07: But, after 22 Rxg6 Rf7 24 Qe6 c3 ! 25 bxc3 Kf8 26 Rg3 Qb6 27 Qg4 Qb5 28 h6 Be5 29 Qg8 Ke7 30 Qxa8 Bf4+ 31 Re3 Bxe3 32 fxe3 Rf1 33 Rf1 Qf1 34 Rb2 Qb5 =
Nov-10-10  James Bowman: <kellmano:> <Naka is not that arrogant when doing a post-mortem with Krammers.>

I have seen many interviews with Nakamura where he appears very polite and even humble, although his tweets sometimes are a little blunt and filled with bravado.

I think some of those who constantly complain of his rudeness or arrogance, are themselves much more insulting and rude and the last ones that should be throwing stones. By no means do I intend to imply I mean you by that.

Read some of his critics on the last few pages even and see if that is not true, very abrasive and rude while accusing him of the same?

I will admit at times he can be condescending like during the last US championship and after disregarding Shulman as even a possible winner in the final, I was actually pleased to see Nakamura eat a little crow by losing to him.

I met him very briefly at the HB Global tournament and spoke a word or two with him and he was polite towards me. I have heard him give praise to his rivals also, and usually gives a straight forward assesment of what he sees.

Anyway he seems to be growing up and trash talking is a part of online blitz where he spent much of his time as a youth. Not a polite culture, but not to be taken too seriously either.

Nov-10-10  Shams: Nakamura was very deferential in that post-mortem. Seemed like he was just thrilled to be on stage with Big Vlad.

No wonder they call him that. Next to him Naka looks small indeed.

I thought it was funny that Nakamura lapsed into broken English-- "You just change on d8". I fell into that habit teaching English in Japan. Tough habit to break.

Nov-10-10  anandrulez: Naka was very humble standing with Vlad , ofcourse he is also one of the ICC kibitzers who got the chance to meet and play big Vlad !
Nov-10-10  JuliusCaesar: Perhaps Naka's digital persona differs from his 'real' persona. He seemed quite humble; in fact, he appears happy to be invited to such a big event and to share a stage with a former water closet.
Nov-10-10  polarmis: More from Kramnik on this game, and some thoughts on Nakamura in general: http://www.chessintranslation.com/2...
Nov-10-10  onur87: it seems different petrov! enjoyable game for me.
Nov-11-10  PokerPro: Why didnt Kramnik play 16...h6 instead of g6??
Nov-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Why didnt Kramnik play 16...h6 instead of g6??>

16...h6 17.Bh7+ Kf8 18.Nxe6+ Rxe6 19.Rxe6 fxe6 20.g4 or Re1 with strong initiative for White - the opposite-colored bishops clearly favor him, thanks to the control over the light squares

Nov-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <More from Kramnik on this game, and some thoughts on Nakamura in general…> <To be honest, I was already thinking about playing for a win, given he had little time left, but I couldn’t see how. Then again, a time advantage isn’t so significant against Nakamura as after all he thinks quickly. But, nevertheless, it already began to seem to me that I was about to find something. His king was beginning to run, it turned out, surprisingly, that for the first time in the game his king was worse than mine. But I couldn’t see anything significant.> (http://www.chessintranslation.com/2...)

As far as the <final> position is concerned, if White doesn’t allow a draw by repetition this evaluation by Kramnik is definitely wrong, at least in objective terms. As analysis (much of it already posted on this page) has shown, if White plays 31/33.Ke2 Black’s best option is …b5 followed by a transition to an inferior rook endgame where he has to fight for the draw; in fact, if he doesn’t find this resource, he’s just wiped off the board by White’s attack.

Going a few moves back, to the position after 26…Kg8 (an important prophylactic move, removing the king from the dangerous diagonal - 26...Rxf2?? loses immediately to 27.Re8+! Rxe8 28.Rb5+):


click for larger view

Jan Gustaffson’s observation on ICC, in his GOTD commentary, is interesting: <Looking at the position with a computer and with human eyes are two very different things. Because for a human it looks like the black king is safe for the time being, while the white king is in the center and under fire, so Black could also be better here. But the computer, of course, is not bothered by anything and just says White is better.>

Another way of saying it would be that concrete and deep calculation reveals a different picture here than what a "general assessment" might lead one to think. Because the black king indeed turns out to be far from safe - in the game, Nakamura got a very strong attack with the Rd7/Qh4 formation, creating threats of Rxg7 and Qxh6+ in many lines – and judging by the post-game press conference, he himself didn’t fully realize just how strong this attack was. Btw, another possible attacking formation, recommended by computers, involves the centralization of the white queen with Qe4 – one nice line goes 28.Qe4 a4 29.Re7 a3 30.Ke2!! (now Black has no counterplay against the white king and White’s attack is winning by force) 30...a2 31.Rh5! a1Q 32.Rxh6+ and mate on h7 next move (31...Qc1 doesn’t help - 32.Rxg7! Kxg7 33.Qe7+ Kxg6 34.Bd3+! Kxh5 35.g4#).

On the other hand, Black’s attack against the white king turns out not to be so dangerous on the whole – in most lines, the most that Black can get (unless, of course, White does something really stupid) is perpetual. One point where things could easily go bad for White, though, is with 27...Qb1+; here it turns out that the somewhat counter-intuitive 28.Ke2 is required in order to bring the king into relative safety, after 28...Qxc2+ 29.Kf1, while 28.Kd2? should actually lose: 28...Rac8 (with the obvious threat of Qb4+, but also...) 29.Re4 b5!! (Here, Nakamura and Kramnik were looking in the post-mortem only at 29...a5) 30.Rxb5 Rfd8+ 31.Ke3 (31.Rd4 Qxb5! 32.Bxb5 Rxd4+) 31...Qe1+ 32.Kf4 Rxc4! 33.Rxc4 Rf8+ 34.Qf5 (34.Rf5 Qe5#) 34...Qe6.

Jan-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  KWRegan: ChessBase Big 2013 omits the final 33...Qb1+. All other sources I know include it. That it showed up on the ChessBomb live transmission seems to rule out the possibility that Kramnik (properly) claimed a draw by repetition before executing the move, without it subsequently being played on the board. So I don't understand the omission.
Apr-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  KWRegan: ChessBase Big 2013 also has moves 28--31 transposed, with 28...Qb1+ and 30...a4. The score here is correct.
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