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Garry Kasparov vs Hikaru Nakamura
St. Louis Rapid & Blitz (Blitz) (2017) (rapid), St Louis, MO USA, rd 13, Aug-18
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation (E32)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-18-17  fisayo123: Dominating game from Kasparov. He controlled it from start to finish. The head to head between this two is now <3 to 1> in favour of Kasparov.
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  Sally Simpson: The ending was instructive considering Garry was down to nil time.

Here Garry, with everyone due to his time situation predicting a draw, played h6

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Which according to him gained the important tempo that allowed him to win the opposite coloured Bishop ending.

Not too bad an assessment for a 5 second glance at a position, not bad at all. I only twigged long after he played it.

Aug-18-17  Whitehat1963: White to play after 32...g6. Are there any improvements after that?
Aug-18-17  maelith: The beast of baku.
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  kingscrusher: gary gary gary gary !
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  Domdaniel: Hari hari kiri kiri !
Aug-20-17  Petrosianic: <Which according to him gained the important tempo that allowed him to win the opposite coloured Bishop ending.>

It's not a tempo so much as that it forces Black to come around a different way. White spends a tempo to make Black take the pawn either way. But it forces Black's King to come around by way of g4-f3, et cetera, rather than g6-e7, where he has time to try to stop White's pawn.

Aug-20-17  RookFile: Genius. I don't remember seeing this idea before.
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  beatgiant: <Petrosianic>
<It's not a tempo so much as that it forces Black to come around a different way.>

In the game, Black could have played 34...Kg7 35. Kc5+ Kf7 trying to come around by way of e7, but he would be down <a tempo> compared to the case after 33. hxg6+ Kxg6 34. Kd4 Kf7.

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  Sally Simpson: Hi Petrosianic,

Gary said in the interview it gained a tempo and I figured it must be later because as you say h6 is a tempo.

He seemed more pleased with Najdorf win and quite upset with the Navara loss.

But to me him knowing there was win there after h6 and playing on a 3 time delay is more than impressive. He just seemed to shrug this off with a 'why all the fuss' shrug of the shoulders.


Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Sally Simpson> Kasparov was right, and <Petrosianic>'s position is that it does gain a tempo (see my post above; the tempo gain is if the Black king comes around the correct way).
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  Sally Simpson: Hi Beatgiant,

I'm agreeing with Petrosianic.

Aug-21-17  Petrosianic: And I'm basically agreeing with Kasparov and only quibbling about his phrasing. It's not really a tempo so much as it is a deflection. Deflecting the King to h6, from which he can't take the Low Road back to the Queenside very easily and so has to take the High Road instead.

The move is similar to Fischers' 51...g5 in Game 1 of the 1972 match. Fischer spends one move moving the pawn and Spassky spends on move taking it. So, not a tempo in the usual sense. But White's King is deflected away from a future battle zone on the Queenside.

But Kasparov isn't wrong. It IS a tempo for the inevitable race to the Queenside. But that's in the future and the deflection is right now. For a GM, his explanation is fine, but for a club player, if you showed the position at Move 33 and asked him to find a way to win a tempo, it might be difficult. But if you asked him to find a winning deflection move, it jumps right out at you.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: The comparison is 33. hxg6 Kxg6 (Black's king is on g6) versus 33. h6 Kxh6 (Black's king is on h6), hence a tempo, Black's king is one move farther from the queenside.

White could also save this tempo by the immediate 33. Kd4, but then Black has 33...gxh5 and Black gets his own passed pawn.

Aug-21-17  WorstPlayerEver: Dunno, but positionally spoken, 10... bc5 is a howler of the highest order.
Aug-21-17  WorstPlayerEver: PS 9... Ba6 or 10... Ba6 stops the h5/g4 attack.
Aug-21-17  barryh1976: For Kaspy to win this game against Naka in this fashion was a pure delight!
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  OhioChessFan: I think maybe it's a sac for tempo, but that lost tempo makes Black choose a totally different path. Or maybe it's a sac for the more generic "time". Regardless, to see that so quickly...
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  ChessHigherCat: I think Kasparov was thinking 33...Kxh6 34. Kd4 Kg7 35. Kc5 with discovered check and thus gaining a tempo allowing him to play Kb6. He couldn't care less about the terminology, it was practical question.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Can anyone post the actual win if Black does choose the other path? I see as far as this:

34...Kg7 35. Kc5 Kf7 36. Kb6 Bb5 37. a4 Bxa4 38. Kxa6 Bd1

click for larger view

Is this a definite win for White? I haven't been able to prove that.

If not, any earlier improvements for White in the line I gave above?

Aug-22-17  WorstPlayerEver: <OhioChessFan>

If it's a sac then 10... Ba6 is its purpose. To gain tempo. It's not such a hard move to spot. For a sac deliberately not is a one move action; there must be a logical continuation. In theory.

Before I get critized as being a patzer, then why does Naka post his blitz/bullet chess endeavorments online? If he's so good at blitz/bullet.

I don't think Kasparov has played much chess after his retirement. Why should he? He knows the game better than most current GM's. And we all know he's not the fastest one.

And this game shows the current chess players do know how to preparate with an engine, but one plays chess otb. I find it ironic.

After all, we are speaking about one of the most prestigious chess events.

By the way... Morphy never used any excuses when it comes to chess. Not a single one. He did not blame camera buzz either!

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: My own analysis from the diagram a posted above (after 34...Kg7 35. Kc5+ Kf7 36. Kb6 Bb5 37. a4 Bxa4 38. Kxa6 Bd1)

Try 1, White concentrates on pushing the b-pawn: 39. b5 Be2 40. Kb6 Ke8 41. Kc6 Kd8 42. b6 Bf3+ 43. Kd6 Kc8 Looks like the classic draw with bishops of opposite colors, with Black's king blockading the b-pawn while Black's bishop holds the kingside.

click for larger view

Try 2, White concentrates on keeping out Black's king: 39. Kb6 Ke8 40. Kc7 Be2 41. Bf6 Bd3 42. Kc6 Be4+ 43. Kc7 Bd3 I see no way for White to advance the b-pawn without allowing Black's king across.

click for larger view

Can anyone find a win for White?

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Ummmmm, I credit <beat> for admitting he couldn't find a win. I couldn't either, but since it was assumed, I thought I was missing something.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: So the real story appears to be:

<33. h6> wins a tempo in the race to the queenside (because Black captures the pawn on h6 instead of g6).

<34...Kh5?> is a mistake. He should have played 34...Kg7 and then a White win, if at all possible, is non-obvious.

Because Black did play 34...Kh5, some people got the impression that <the purpose of h6 is to detour Black's king up the kingside> instead of <the purpose of h6 is to delay Black's king while going to the queenside> as Kasparov said it was.

All clear now?

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