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Hikaru Nakamura vs Nils Grandelius
Tradewise Gibraltar (2015), Catalan Bay GIB, rd 4, Jan-30
English Opening: King's English. Two Knights' Variation Fianchetto Line (A22)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-30-15  SirRuthless: Four flank openings, four victories. I always wondered why Nakamura didn't play more English openings. He scores very well with them...
Jan-30-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Well, he tried it against Carlsen:

Nakamura vs Carlsen, 2009

To be fair it was a blitz game.

Jan-30-15  SirRuthless: In general Nakamura scores best with english opening with white. Infinitely poor results with Magnus notwithstanding.
Jan-30-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Nakamura has a (deserved) reputation as a tactician and a blitz hound, plus he's supposed to indulge in all sorts of opening eccentricities, but when you look you see a lot of smooth, powerful positional performances like this one. Even the "Swiss Miss" game (Nakamura vs Carlsen, 2014) was basically a positional crush until it went awry.

I don't think I have a good handle on how Naka plays chess.

Jan-30-15  SirRuthless: I think he is more of a positional player than people give him credit for. KID is a positional system which tactics can emerge from. He is a pretty universally good player. In this event he won games through positional squeezes, tactical shots and technical play.
Jan-30-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Wesley So being in the US might be the best thing that ever happened to Nakamura.

It may push his game to greater heights.

Jan-30-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Wasn't quite sure why Back resigned. However, Fritz's analysis shows it's indeed hopeless for Black.

In the final position, Fritz indicates strong play might continue 35...Bc7 36. f5 Qe8 37. Rxe7 Qxe7 38. fxg6 f6 39. Nf7 Kg7 40. Nd6 Bxd6 41. cxd6 Qd7 42. e4 b6 43. Kf2 a5 44. bxa5 bxa5 45. Kg2 Kh6 46. e5 fxe5 47. Qe3+ Kxg6 48. Qg5+ Kf7 49. Qxh5+ Kg8 50. Qxe5 (+15.79 @ 21 depth).

Jan-30-15  paavoh: @chancho: good point about So and Naka in the US, may turn out to be a useful rivarly for both.
Jan-30-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <paavoh> Agreed.
Jan-31-15  maelith: <chancho: Wesley So being in the US might be the best thing that ever happened to Nakamura. It may push his game to greater heights.>

It might be the best thing that happen to both. They might put each other to the limit and improve them. Kinda like Kasparov and Karpov putting each other to greater heights.

Jan-31-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <keypusher> Good post.
Jan-31-15  Thakku: <chancho: Wesley So being in the US might be the best thing that ever happened to Nakamura. It may push his game to greater heights.> Are you sure? We may be about to witness tons of theoretical draws.
Jan-31-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <keypusher: Nakamura has a (deserved) reputation as a tactician and a blitz hound, plus he's supposed to indulge in all sorts of opening eccentricities, but when you look you see a lot of smooth, powerful positional performances like this one. >

Yeah, eccentric chess won't get you in the top 10. Naka is currently #10 on the FIDE top 100.

Surprising to me is that Topalov is still so high - ranked #4 and one of only four players in the 2800s

Jan-31-15  SirRuthless: Actually it doesn't give up the exchange at all because white is forced to give it back immediately or lose. Grandelius' real mistake was 17...e4. From that point he was down a pawn the only question was how white would go about it.
Feb-01-15  Ulhumbrus: 14...d5?! allows White to open the c file.

15 c5? makes Black's centre secure. Instead of this, 15 cd opens the c file.

17...e4?! may open ,lines prematurely.

Instead of this Black may be advised better to first take care of all the preparatory moves he will need in place when the battle begins eg 17...Bb8 gets the last piece- Black's king's bishop - into play, and Black may need to take care of the e4 pawn in advance as well.

18 Bxf6 concedes the bishop pair in return for removing a defender of the e4 pawn.

The move 21...Bb8 consumes a tempo. This suggests that Black should have played this move earlier, before playing ...e4. A player will not want to have to spend a tempo at such a point in the battle.

Instead of 22...Nh4, 22...h5 puts the h pawn to work, and gets ready for ...h4. White is however threatening to capture the e4 pawn. This suggests again that Black has lost valuable time by opening lines prematurely by ...e4. Black would like to defend his e pawn now but as before one does not want to have to lose time like that during the battle. Black needs to have have taken care of a thing like that before opening lines.

Following the error 15 c5? I suspect that Black misplayed his side of the position.

Feb-02-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: When I played the English regularly as White, this is exactly the system I used against ...Bc5 (which is not really a great move for Black, I think). White plays a3, e3, and Nge2, followed by a general pawn advance and a gradual squeeze. Here, Black allows his DSB to be shut out, giving White a clear edge.
Feb-02-15  HSOL: <keypusher>: General conception is almost always too black and white. I very much doubt you can get close to 2800 in rating without being pretty much a universal player. (At least compared to 2500 players, Nakamura is most likely to be considered very good at everything)

<SirRuthless>: I agree. 17.- e4 seems like a big mistake. As other posters have written, it seems very odd to open up the game while having the DSB offside instead of playing Bb8 first.

Feb-02-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <chancho> -- < Wesley So being in the US might be the best thing that ever happened to Nakamura.>

Apart from growing up in the USA?

Jul-04-17  bla bla: get get get get low and i whistle blows
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