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Hikaru Nakamura vs Sergey Karjakin
Zurich Chess Challenge (2015), Zurich SUI, rd 3, Feb-16
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Geller Variation (A33)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-16-15  1d410: I just can't see any justification for what Karjakin was trying today :-(
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <SirRuthless> Good post. Nakamura continues to refine his game and I find it a pleasant surprise. I think he is still a drag-them-into-the-swamp type player* by nature but he does seem to be pushing very hard to keep getting better.

[*My traditional characterization, but <JohnBoy>'s is better. Plus, arete, what a great word to learn.]

Feb-16-15  bobthebob: <I wonder if he is working with Garry again to greater effect. Maybe all he needed was to grow a real beard and get a little older. Maybe it's his fiancee. .>

I am wondering with Rex S. has upped his financial support of Nak and either sponsored some Garry-time or some other resources to help him.

This is all happening at the same time that So joined the U.S. federation. Hmm... Maybe he will even pay more than the stipend the Italians are paying Caruana.

Who knows? But would be nice if there was more money flowing into chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: This reminded me of the exchange sac line in the Vienna opening. What is it FrankensteinDracula or something?
Feb-16-15  Olsonist: GM Nakamura, congratulations on joining the 2800 club. Next up, #2 and qualifying for the Candidates.

BTW, this looked like a butt kicking.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <whiteshark> Ramirez cited Carlsen vs L Dominguez, 2009 which went 15. Kb3 (instead of 15. e4) Nd2+ 16. Kc2 Nc4 and soon drawn.

This was a strange game to follow live. Nakamura reached Move 15 in 15 minutes, and his fans were hoping this was preparation and not just bluster. Then Karjakin spent almost an hour on 15 ... Ne3+ and the computer evaluations instantly changed from +0.4 to +2 in White's favor. Nakamura played the only move 17. a3 and coasted from there.

It seems Black must know this theory before playing 6 ... Qb6 rather than after. =)

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  Marmot PFL: <<I wonder if he is working with Garry again to greater effect. >

As long as they stay off politics they might get along. Kasparov takes that subject very seriously and I believe didn't speak to Botvinnik for some time after they disagreed. He is also a big critic of Obama, and Nakamura is a big Obama fan.

Feb-16-15  clma55: I'm missing something...what if 27........, Rxd7 .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: <SirRuthless: Because white has 28.Rdc1!and if ...Rd6 then 29.e5! Black is down an exchange and two pawns then because e6 will be falling next move.>
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  whiteshark: <clma55> After <27...Rxd7 28. Rdc1 Rd6 29. e5!> you'll lose the ♗c6 at least.

click for larger view

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  docbenway: The win was just swell and taking down the Putin poster boy makes it doubly so.
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  Shams: Missing the Cold War are you, Doc?
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  messachess: <docbenway> I didn't know that Karjakin was overtly political. Do you have any proof?
Feb-16-15  1d410: The idea of exchanging queens is just bizarre. What blunders!
Feb-16-15  bobthebob: <messachess> Here ya go

Feb-16-15  1d410: I doubt Naka cares about politics. The American-Japanese culture is apolitical. My types of people :) !
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: In the analysis at, Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez indicates 9...Qxf2+ 10. Kd2 Qb3 is not good for Black.

However, the Fritz 12 recommendation 9...Qxf2+ 10. Kd2 Qc5!? = to looks promising.

One line played out move-by-move with Fritz 12 went 9... Qxf2+ 10. Kd2 Qc5!? 11. Ne4 Qc6 12. Bg2 Kd8 13. b3 f5 14. Bg5+ Be7 15. Bxe7+ Kxe7 16. Qb4+ Kd8 17. Ng5 Qxg2 18. Qd6 Qf2 19. Nxe6+ Ke8 20. Nbc7+ Kf7 21. Ng5+ Kg8 22. Qd5+ Kf8 23. Qd6+ Kg8 24. Qd5+ Kf8 25. Qd6+ Kg8 = with a draw by perpetual.

Feb-17-15  SimonWebbsTiger: @<Patzer2>

in your Fritz12 line, Alexei Kuzmin (back in 2009, New in Chess Yearbook 90) gave 13.Rac1 as stronger.

As one can see, Gabriel Sargissian's incredible pawn sac 9.Qa4 was immediately tested and dissected in GM play and games/analysis published in a prostigeous reference work years ago. Hence the surprise Karjakin didn't know it!?

Feb-17-15  NightKnight: How is that continuation supposed to be "impossible" for top GM like Karjakin to find even OTB long game thinking time? Basically all the moves are only ones and forcing! More difficult than average and not trivial, yes, but impossible? Hell no. He just got confused. Of course one should memorize this stuff, makes it whole lot easier.
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  Rolfo: < I doubt Naka cares about politics.>

But Karjakin certainly does, maybe too much on the cost of chess

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: One commentator suggested that if one did not know the analysis it was not possible to find all of the moves over the board. Karjakin may have said that he had forgotten a part of the analysis.
Feb-17-15  SirRuthless: I went through some different lines after 9.Qa4, and after 15.e4. This is certainly some nasty stuff to face over the board if one isn't extremely well prepared. It could be that Karjakin was expecting this one to follow the Magnus line with the fast repetition and 15.e4, which is known to many GMs but had yet to be played in a game according to the databases, surprised him. He spent quite some time after that move before making the natural blunder Ne3+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <SimonWebbsTiger> Thanks for researching and pointing out 9... Qxf2+ 10. Kd2 Qc5!? 11. Ne4 Qc6 12. Bg2 Kd8 13. Rc1 .

Who would have thought the novelty 9. Qa4!? played in G Sargissian vs B Avrukh, 2008 would give Nakamura a plan to use for the win in this game to make him the first American player to break the 2800 rating barrier?

Apr-14-15  Absentee: <docbenway: The win was just swell and taking down the Putin poster boy makes it doubly so.>

Murrica @#$% YEAH!

Nov-28-16  PJs Studio: I thought 25.Nc8 was good. Is there a flaw?
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