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Hikaru Nakamura vs Magnus Carlsen
Tal Memorial (2011), Moscow RUS, rd 9, Nov-25
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation (E15)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-25-11  roninmb: Seems to me that the first step towards accumulating advantage was 15...g5. 19.Rac1 was a better move than e4 which was an attempt to open the center and punish black for weakening his King side. 19...Rac8 was better than Bc5.
After 24...dxe4 white was already in trouble. Defensive 28.Le3 was better than "aggressive" Rd7. 31.Re1 finally this rock "comes to life" just to be exchanged in the next move. 34.f4 desperately grasping for some air
50...f4 looks like a coffin nail.
After 53... Kg4 game was over.
Great masters make it look so amazingly easy...
Nov-25-11  anandrulez: <waddayaplay: It took me a while to see that if 29.Rxa7 then Red8...> I think it coems with experience . You just cant miss the fact that there is a back rank weakness if you have experience getting mated like that :)
Nov-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: "I suspect that neither of us knew what we were doing in the opening." Carlsen

I suspect Nakamura was trying to get into a similar position where he won in Nakamura vs Ivanchuk, 2008
but mixed up the order of moves, playing 9 Ne5 instead of 9 Bf4, and then opted for speculative moves starting with 12 dxe5 and culminating with the dubious 15 Nf3

Nov-26-11  serenpidity.ejd: For an amateur like me it looks like a draw. Did Nakamura consumed his time?
Nov-26-11  King Death: <serendipity.ejd> Here's how it would have ended:

< keypusher: <Marmot PFL>

Quoting others, the winning plan is ...Bh5 followed by marching the king to the queenside. The white king can't follow because it has to watch the pawns. Black can meet Kg3 with ...Bg4, since the king can't take the bishop.>

Nov-26-11  Riverbeast: BTW, a lot of IM and GM kibitzers on the ICC were claiming that Carlsen messed up this game, and Naka was drawing

I guess that's the difference between Carlsen and most other players

Nov-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Hikaru Nakamura is still no match for Magnus Carlsen. Interesting final position. All the white pieces are on dark squares and all the black pieces are on light squares.
Nov-26-11  checkmateyourmove: That is what you call backing up your talk in the final round no less !
Nov-26-11  Ulhumbrus: After 14...Nc6 Black threatens to win the e5 pawn by 15...g5 displacing the bishop which defends it. 15 Nf3 does not answer the threat because after 15...g5 16 Be3 g4 displaces White's N on f3 in addition to White's QB.

Instead of 15 Nf3, 15 g4 seems necessary. Then on 15...g5 White can play 16 Bg3 and on 16...Qc7 17 Nf3 Black can't play 17...g4. It is conceivable that Nakamura had intended to answer the thrust ...g5 with a piece sacrifice on d5 in the manner of Kramnik, but saw too late some flaw in the plan.

If so, this may have been no accident. Carlsen may have tried succesfully to find a way for Black to avoid the sacrifice, and prepared it for his game against Nakamura.

In this game Nakamura may have fallen into the same trap which Carlsen once fell into when he lost a game against Aronian : If you know that a certain line is dangerous for Black it is possible that your opponent also knows that the line is dangerous for Black and for this reason has prepared for it.

19 e4 offers Black a second pawn sacrifice. Is it necessary? In return for the first pawn Black has weakened his King side, not a small concession to make. Instead of 19 e4, 19 Qc1 prepares the move Qf4. This mistaken second pawn sacrifice brings to mind the mistaken second pawn sacrifice in the famous game Botvinnik vs Bronstein, 1951

At the end of the game White has three jobs to do, to keep back Black's h pawn, to keep back Black's f pawn, and to keep back black's king from invading the queen side, and White's King and bishop can handle only two of them.

Black's h pawn ties up White's bishop, his f pawn ties up White's King and black's King strolls across to the queen side and gobbles up white's pawns there.

Nov-26-11  Fanques Fair: Why not 15- Ne4 ? It seems better, as the knight threatens to move to d6 .
Nov-26-11  haydn20: 15. Nf3 may be OK after 15...g5 16. Bc1 (instead of Be3) g4 17. Nd4 Nxe5 because White can now play 18. e4 with some counterpressure. [Just a suggestion!]
Nov-26-11  haydn20: Also 15 g4 Rc8 forces the Q off the c-file and Black follows up with f6 opening the K-side.
Nov-26-11  haydn20: After 15. Ne4 Black still plays 15...g5 and follows with 16...Nxe5.
Nov-26-11  engineerX: I was watching the live video from Moscow at the moment Carlsen played 32...Rxe1, taking the game to an opposite coloured Bishop endgame. He played the move quickly and casually, while Nakamura was left surprised, looking once at the board, once at Carlsen, again at the board, again at Carlsen for some seconds before writing his opponent's move on the soresheet. He slightly delayed recapturing, though he had no other move. My impression was that Carlsen had long ago planned to go for this endgame, where he thought he had great winning chances (or even a technically won game), while Nakamura had cut his calculations short at this point probably thinking "all opposite colored Bishop endings are drawn", or something like that.
Nov-26-11  Kinghunt: This game really displays the depth of Carlsen's endgame understanding. Most people, even strong grandmasters, would consider the endgame drawn, and it's not even immediately obvious what the win is in the final position. But Carlsen seems to have innately understood the win for the last 30 moves of the game.
Nov-26-11  King Death: < Kinghunt: This game really displays the depth of Carlsen's endgame understanding. Most people, even strong grandmasters, would consider the endgame drawn,>

Like I mentioned above, I'm not sure what the problem is here, because it's obvious to even an average player that after 33...Be2, the white king can only get into the action by sacrificing the f pawn. There's enough play after that so that Carlsen only needs to be sure his pawns stay mobile. Sure it'll take awhile, but against decent play, this ending can't be held.

< and it's not even immediately obvious what the win is in the final position. But Carlsen seems to have innately understood the win for the last 30 moves of the game. >

Isn't it? Yes, the reasoning is a little abstract, but not hard to follow.

Nov-27-11  selfmate: <King Death>

On the website I was watching the game there was an FM kibitzing who declared the endgame drawn.

I myself went to bed at the point where I was at a loss for how black was going to make progress.

If black having a winning advantage was obvious to you, kudos to you!

Speaking from my own (admittedly patzer) perspective, Carlsen seems to pull off some of the most remarkable endgame wizardry.

Nov-27-11  King Death: <selfmate> Maybe it's just all of the experience of old paying off. I don't know.

But before I tell you how great I am, let me mention all of the puzzles I've seen on here where I had trouble getting out of the starting gate. That's what happens when you're an old lame horse.

Carlsen has impressive technique for even a mature GM, and it's amazing for someone his age!

Nov-27-11  sevenseaman: I just cannot see Carlsen not winning the WC in the very near future. What is causing him to tarry is inexplicable.

It could just be that he does not rate the accolade as something very great and worth doing with some immediacy.

BTW, is there a link to his objections to contesting the candidates?

Nov-27-11  Ulhumbrus: On 15 g4 Rc8 16 Qb3 f6 17 exf6 Bxf6 18 Bg3 one question is whether Black's pawn centre will become a target instead of a weapon.

<selfmate: ...I myself went to bed at the point where I was at a loss for how black was going to make progress...>

At the end of the game White has three jobs to do, to keep back Black's h pawn, to keep back Black's f pawn, and to keep back black's king from invading the queen side, and White's King and bishop can handle only two of them.

Black's h pawn ties up White's bishop, his f pawn ties up White's King and black's King strolls across to the queen side and gobbles up white's pawns there.

Nov-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <sevenseaman: *** BTW, is there a link to [Carlsen's] objections to contesting the candidates?>

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...

Nov-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

Tal Memorial 2011: Nakamura vs Carlsen - A well timed forcing move for winning Trump cards

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXDA...

Nov-28-11  sevenseaman: <Peligroso Patzer> Many thanks for the link.

Carlsen's objections to the format seem valid. But putting his foot down and not participate until changes are effected wasn't entirely sensible or in his best interest.

One is born into the system and one sincerely tries to improve it. Boycott engenders negative stances and possibly even prestige posturing.

Nov-30-11  AnalyzeThis: The moral of the story is that if Fischer doesn't participate because he doesn't like the format, it's because he's afraid. Meanwhile, if Carlsen doesn't particpate, it's because he's a man of principle.
Jan-17-12  theagenbiteofinwit: <serenpidity.ejd: For an amateur like me it looks like a draw. Did Nakamura consumed his time?>

If white's king goes to e3, black can play h2.

After Bxh2, Kh3 wins.

Conversely, if white just shuffles his bishop around, the black king can take a walk and grab white's two Queenside pawns, which must remain on dark squares.

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