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Maurice Ashley vs Hikaru Nakamura
US Championship 2003 (2003), Seattle, WA USA, rd 4, Jan-12
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Flank Variation (B87)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-01-03  Phoenix: 10.0-0 instead is a fun variation.
Oct-01-03  xu fei: <Phoenix> What follows 10.O-O Qxd4?
Oct-01-03  Phoenix: 10.0-0 Qxd4? 11.e5!
Oct-02-03  xu fei: 11.e5 Nd5 looks bad for black, but does white get enough for the piece?
Oct-03-03  Cyphelium: 10. 0-0 Qxd4 11. e5 Nd5 12. Rad1 Qxe5 13. Nxd5 looks pretty won for white. 13. -exd5 14. Bxe7 is ugly.

Instead 12.- Qa7 doesn't look too good either. 13. Bxe7! is a tricky one...

Dec-01-05  notyetagm: 25 ... ♕f2! and White resigns since Loose Pieces Drop Off (LPDO). 25 ... ♕f2! is a wicked <double attack against two things that are loose>, the White e1-rook (0 attackers, 0 defenders) and the d2-checking focal point (1 attacker, 1 defender). White cannot save both his king and his rook.

26 ♖h1 ♕d2+ 27 ♔b1 ♕d1+ 28 ♖x♕ ♖x♖# the <refined backrank mate>

26 ♖d1 ♕e3+ 27 ♖d2 ♕e1+ 28 ♖d1 ♕x♖#

It is because Black threatens <both> the refined backrank mate and the undefended White rook that White had no satisfactory response to Nakamura's winning 25 ... ♕f2!.

Feb-03-06  IMJP: What's the name of this opening/variation?
Feb-03-06  RookFile: 8. Bg5 is a mistake. Edmar Mednis talked about this once: if white could so easily play Bc4 and Bg5 against the Sicilian, it would be time for black to stop playing it.
Apr-16-07  Knight13: What do you mean 8. Bg5 is a mistake? There's 103 games in this database that starts with that line. (Opening Explorer)
Jul-13-08  patzer2: Actually, Ashley was winning this game after 20. Qxe5! Where he started to stray was with 21. Nd5?! Instead, 21. Bd5! Bxd5 22. Nxd5 leaves White with a decisive advantage.

After missing the win, Ashley soon made an uncharacteristic, decisive blunder with 25. Be6?? Instead, 25. Rd1 = holds.

Of course Nakamura was quick to recover and take advantage of Ashley's big mistake, and happily took the swindle with the winning double attack 25...Qf2! This tactical surprise threatens to win the Rook or to pull off a back rank mate, with possibilities like 26. Qd2+ Kb1 27. Qd1+ Rxd1 28. Rd1#.

Jul-13-08  patzer2: <notyetagm> does a good job of summarizing Black's back rank threats after 25...Qf2! .

It's ironic that Black's King without any pawn cover is perfectly safe, While White's three pawns on the Queen-side smother out the White King's escape squares and facilitate Black's mate threats after 25... Qf2!

Mar-17-13  FlintEastwood: Rd1 Qe3+ is crushing!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: "Black Jeopardy."

Sharp tactics here.

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