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Viswanathan Anand vs Hikaru Nakamura
Zurich Chess Challenge (2015), Zurich SUI, rd 4, Feb-17
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack. Two Knights Defense Blockade Line (D37)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-17-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: A critical moment arose on move 18.


click for larger view

Black to move.

Here, Nakamura could have swapped on b4 and a1. After the game he thought Black is better after

<18... axb4> 19. axb4 Qxa1 20. Rxa1 Rxa1 21. b5 cxb5 22. Qxb5 Ra7 23. c6 Nf8 24. Nc1 Rc7 25. Nd3 Rbc8


click for larger view

GM Deviatkin suggested that "it wasn't too late to play something like <18...Qb7>, returning to one of the typical plans of either doubling along the a-file or exchanging all the rooks".

Instead, Nakamura played <18...g6?!>. Both players criticised this move during the press conference.

Nakamura: "As soon as I played the move 18...g6 I realized I had completely blundered it. I couldn't recover after this move. The worst thing in chess is missing a good move and having to continue the game as though nothing happened."

Anand explained that 18...g6 locks the black knight in his cage on d7, since the Nf8-g6-e7 maneuver becomes impossible.

Feb-18-15  jphamlore: <LucB: <CIO>

I got the same impression too.

It seemed like Nakamura was saying in essence: "I might have lost this, but I can still spew out variations faster than anybody else!">

Like I have been asserting, Nakamura is a pure calculator, just like Korchnoi. Nakamura might be an innately fast calculator, whereas Korchnoi had to will himself to being a chess player, which is why Spassky said Korchnoi had everything one would want in a chess player except for talent.

Feb-18-15  SimonWebbsTiger: @<jphamlore>
I find your post most confusing.

Nakamura isn't an expert because he happened to win a game with white v. Peter Heine in 2010. That actually reminds me of mirthful Bent Larsen telling how he suddenly became the world's leading exponent on the Bishop's Opening because he played it a few times!

That HN-PH game was a mixed bag of mutual errors, as Hikaru showed in his game analysis for Alexei Kuzmin's New in Chess Yearbook 100 survey on this entire variation.

His (HN) opinion is that in these positions with the sets of heavy pieces and the last minors being a white knight on c3 and a black squared black bishop, black can hold. Kuzmin summarised that black's position is very safe, albeit a bit passive with white retaining a spatial plus.

7...Nh5 has certainly all but replaced Spassky's old 7...c6, where white has a pull after 8.h3; just as 6...Nbd7 seems to all but have replaced the older 6...c5. Unless you are Carlsen, who has played both!!

Feb-18-15  vsiva1: Kind attention to all those who snub The Chess Great, Anand:

Please never ever say that "Anand should retire"; Anand is finding right time to make Carlsen also like Nakamura

Feb-18-15  IndianFan: On any given day Anand may bring his best, or display his insipid drawing ways or blunder outrageously.

Ever since Chennai - he has become terrified of Carlsen and has started having difficulty playing his best against other players too because of that. Losing to the likes of Adams is really outrageous.

Well, he is what he is and his fans have to accept that.

Feb-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Nakamura: "As soon as I played the move 18...g6 I realized I had completely blundered it. I couldn't recover after this move. The worst thing in chess is missing a good move and having to continue the game as though nothing happened.">

This remark seems to point to a certain psychological weakness in Nakamura. The fact is, after 18....g6 Black's position is not that bad. But you get the impression that he spent the rest of the game beating himself up for having made it.

<jphamlore>

<Like I have been asserting, Nakamura is a pure calculator, just like Korchnoi.>

And that's another thing you're wrong about. No human is a pure calculator, and Nakamura certainly isn't.

<IndianFan>

Do this site a favor. Go get a bat and beat your brains out with it.

Feb-18-15  latvalatvian: I have no idea why Anand receives so much criticism. He is very great and very mighty. He plays chess like superman, batman, and spiderman in one movie. Yes, I know, Carlsen is okay too. I know I would lose against him. Anand is a huge huge tactician and master of all strategies.
Feb-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Anand is a great player.

A quick look at his career makes that patently obvious.

For some people, the problem lies in admitting that Carlsen too, is a great player.

Doing so, goes against their biases, so they can't have any of that.

So they look for another rationale.

Yes!

Anand is afraid of Carlsen.

Let's think about that for a moment.

We are talking about a guy who has played the likes of Kasparov, Karpov, Topalov, Kramnik and many others... many many times.

So fear as an explanation cannot be the reason why Vishy loses to Carlsen.

He's too experienced for that.

So the most obvious reason, and the one some of these characters refuse to recognize, is that (wait for it) Anand had his time at the top and Carlsen is now the better player.

It really is not that difficult to grasp.

Feb-18-15  Pulo y Gata: <So the most obvious reason, and the one some of these characters refuse to recognize, is that (wait for it) Anand had his time at the top and Carlsen is now the better player.>

I concur.

Feb-18-15  lainulo: <Carlsen is now the better player.>

against anand he surely is.

against wesley, of course not. They drew their only game remember?

don't give me that @#$%*&!# elo rating. I pointed out that carlsen has the highest annual average of games played among players in the top 10. Unlimited opportunities for carlsen translates to elo points. Lack of opportunities for wesley translates to none. That explains the difference between their elo's. The volume of activity brought about by profusion of patronage is heavily tilted in favor of magnus. He surely is better in terms of pampering but not in skill.

Feb-18-15  lainulo: <He surely is better in terms of pampering but not in skill.>

I concur.

Feb-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  dunkenchess: Giving white's bishop to the knight perhaps is a novelty thus the position favors white.
Feb-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Well, I don't know if my choice of words would be that "Anand is afraid of Carlsen", but he plays terribly against him.
Feb-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <maxi: Well, I don't know if my choice of words would be that "Anand is afraid of Carlsen", but he plays terribly against him.>

I don't agree. The 2013 match was pretty bad, but there are very few players who would have scored as well or looked as good as Anand did against Carlsen last year.

Feb-18-15  gokusano: <<Carlsen is now the better player.> against anand he surely is.>>

Definitely Carlsen is, against Anand.

<against wesley, of course not. They drew their only game remember?>

No definitive conclusion who is the better between the two. One game, and a draw as such, cannot measure who is better.

<don't give me that @#$%*&!# elo rating. I pointed out that carlsen has the highest annual average of games played among players in the top 10. Unlimited opportunities for carlsen translates to elo points. Lack of opportunities for wesley translates to none. That explains the difference between their elo's. The volume of activity brought about by profusion of patronage is heavily tilted in favor of magnus. He surely is better in terms of pampering but not in skill.>

Carlsen won the tourney they both competed, right? So it's Carlsen ahead by a stroke. Let's wait for their next encounter. No need to slam another player nor belittle his achievement. Carlsen is the most dominant player today and he is on top. No question about that. Wesley is on the rise and he is destined for that. Can Wesley topples Carlsen? I won't conclude but I concur Carlsen is the Champion right now while I'm typing this message.

Feb-18-15  kabbygov: It is funny the way Naka was chased from the a and b files and then from 7th and 8th ranks!!!!
Feb-19-15  madlydeeply: <Nakamura: "As soon as I played the move 18...g6 I realized I had completely blundered it. I couldn't recover after this move. The worst thing in chess is missing a good move and having to continue the game as though nothing happened.">

Emmanuel Lasker did not have this problem

Feb-19-15  abadravi: Superb Anand Indian Ace. But why you cant estimate against carlsen ?
Feb-19-15  iamsheaf: <Keypusher> Precisely...2013 was an annihilation... he had been playing terrible for previous few years. But 2014 was a great match, a well fought contest..Magnus is clearly stronger and sharper..but vishy despite advancing age did amazing... He lost the match basically for his inability to have the ners to fight Carlsen's style of grinding...

Only in Game 2 he was completely outplayed...and other two losses could have gone either way.. Well fought match...

Feb-19-15  SufferingBruin: I'll be interested to see where Anand ranks in all-time lists. It seems as if his best chess came between Kasparov and Carlsen (the former recognized as the all-time great by many, the latter who is on his way to similar recognition). If Anand had beaten either, this wouldn't be an issue--he would be recognized as one of the best who ever lived.
Feb-19-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <SufferingBruin: I'll be interested to see where Anand ranks in all-time lists. It seems as if his best chess came between Kasparov and Carlsen >

I think his best chess started in the late 90s - he had no realistic chance at the title then with Kasparov at the top but he was playing at a very high level.

His chess didn't improve because Kasparov retired but, obviously, his title chances immediately improved.

Feb-19-15  bennyvsfischer: blitz game...
Feb-20-15  fluffernutter: From my pazerish view, by move 18 it looked a little scary over on Black's kingside. In a game where Nak would be happy with a draw, why shove everything over to the left corner? I don't know anything but even I can see that looks dangerous.
Apr-20-15  Imran Iskandar: I don't think saying Anand is afraid of Carlsen is the right way to phrase it. A more accurate way, in my opinion, would be to say that Anand is at a psychological disadvantage when playing against Carlsen.
Apr-27-17  southeuro: why can't black play 15..bc after 15. Kg2? Bxa6 doesn't work b/c of cb or cd, but more to the point, after 15..bc 16. bc Nc5 17. dc Bc3 18. Bh7 Kh8 I don't see how white is ok -- black is an exchange and a pawn up. White may have some comp with the strong Nf3 roaming on dark squares etc (which may add to a pawn and a quarter at most), but overall black could go for this variation, no? just my very humble thought..
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