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Hikaru Nakamura vs Christopher G Ward
Gibraltar Masters (2005), Catalan Bay GIB, rd 8, Jan-01
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Fischer Variation (E44)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: (45) H Nakamura (2613) - C Ward (2485) [E44]
Gibraltar Masters Caleta ESP (8), 01.01.2005

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Nge2 Ne4 < Prehaps best is the most popular reply 5...Ba6, which has a good reputation and won in Mamedyarov vs Istratescu, 2004, but proved double edged for Black in Aronian vs Istratescu, 2004 > 6.Qc2 Bb7 7.Nf4 < Nakamura quickly whittles the opening down to this rarely played line, which he previously played to a draw in Nakamura vs DeFirmian, 2003 but which had succeeded before in I Sokolov vs Korchnoi, 1996. > 7...00 8.Bd3 f5 9.00 Bxc3?! <This seems to give White a clear and lasting advantage, so perhaps something more unconventional is worth a try...such as 9...Nxc3!? 10.bxc3 Bd6 11.e4 (11.f3!? c5 12.Qf2 e5 13.Nd5 exd4 14.cxd4 cxd4 15.Qc2 dxe3 16.Bxe3 Qh4 seems to give Black good play.) 11...fxe4 (11...Qh4?? 12.e5 Be7 13.g3 Qh6 14.Nd5 ; 11...Bxf4?! 12.Bxf4 fxe4 13.Bxe4 Bxe4 14.Qxe4 Na6 15.Be5 ) 12.Bxe4 Bxe4 13.Qxe4 c6 14.Nh5 Rf7 15.Be3 Qc7 16.f4 Na6 17.a4 g6 18.Ng3 Raf8= > 10.bxc3 c5 11.f3 Nd6 12.e4 Nc6 13.e5 Nf7 14.Qf2 Rc8 15.Be3 Qe7 16.Rac1 Kh8 17.Rfe1 Na5 18.Qe2 Ba6 19.Bf2 Qg5 20.Nh3 Qh5 21.Be3 Qh4 22.Bf2 Qh5 23.Be3 Qh4 24.Red1 Rc7 <24...Qe7 25.Bf2 d6 26.f4 cxd4 27.cxd4 d5 28.cxd5 Bxd3 29.Qxd3 Rxc1 30.Rxc1 exd5 31.Qxf5 Nc4 32.Re1 Nh6 33.Qd3 Nf5 34.Qf3 Qd7 35.Ng5 h6 36.e6 Qb7 37.Qh5 g6 38.e7! > 25.f4 cxd4 26.cxd4 Rfc8 27.c5 Bxd3 28.Qxd3 bxc5 29.Qb5 Nc6 30.Rxc5 Ne7? <Black's last best chance for equality seems to be 30...d6! 31.Rc3 d5=>

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: 31.Rxc7 Rxc7 32.d5 Nxd5?! <This loses immediately. Black needed to put up more resistance, even though it was probably lost after 32...exd5!? 33.Qb8+ Rc8 34.Qxa7 Qh5 35.Nf2 Nd8 36.Qxd7 Ndc6 37.Bc5! Re8 38.Bxe7 Nxe7 39.a4 Kg8 40.a5 Kf8 41.a6 Ra8 42.Rb1 Qe8 43.e6 Nc6 44.Qxd5 Rxa6 45.Qxf5+ Kg8 46.Qb5 Ra8 47.f5 Rb8 48.Qd3 Rxb1+ 49.Qxb1 > 33.Ng5 g6 34.Nxf7+!? <This brings about a fascinating (and apparently winning) Queen and Knight versus Queen and Knight ending. However, Nakamura could have avoided these complications and won faster with 34.g3!! Qh5 35.Rxd5 Rc2 (35...exd5 36.Qb8+ Kg7 37.Qxc7) 36.Nxf7+ Kg7 37.Rd2 Rxd2 38.Bxd2 Qd1+ 39.Qf1 Qxd2 40.Nd6 Qxa2 41.Qb5 Qa1+ 42.Kg2 a6 43.Qxd7+ Kh6 44.Nf7+ Kh5 45.Qd8 Qb2+ 46.Kh3 Qc1 47.Qg5#> 34...Kg7 35.Nd6 Nxe3 36.Ne8+ Kh6 <36...Kf7 37.Nxc7 Nxd1 38.Qxd7+ Qe7 39.Qc6 Ne3 40.h3 g5 41.g3 h6 42.Kf2 Nd1+ 43.Ke2 Nb2 44.fxg5 hxg5 45.Nb5! Kg6 46.Nd6 Qf8 47.Qd7 f4 48.Qxe6+ Kh7 49.Qd7+ Kg6 50.g4 f3+ 51.Kf1 Nd3 52.Nf5 Nc5 53.Qxa7 > 37.Qb4 d6 38.Nxc7 <Nakamura's technique in winning this position is both very solid and aesthetically pleasing. The near flawless coordination of Queen and Knight has an almost magical quality about it (Now you see it. Now you don't. Now you do.)> 38...Nxd1 39.Qd2 dxe5 40.Nxe6 exf4 41.Nxf4 Nb2 42.Nd3+ g5 43.Nxb2 Qe4 44.Nd1 f4 45.h3 f3 46.g4 Qe2 47.Qd6+ Kg7 48.Qd4+ Kg8 49.Nf2 Qxa2 50.Qd8+ Kf7 51.Qd7+ Kf8 52.Qf5+ Ke8 53.Qe4+ Kd8 54.Qxf3 a5 55.Nd3 a4 56.Qf8+ Kc7 57.Qg7+ Kc8 58.Qh8+ Kc7 59.Qxh7+ Kc8 60.Qh8+ Kc7 61.Qe5+ Kc8 62.Qc5+ Kb7 63.Qb4+ Kc7 64.Qc3+ Kd8 65.Nc1 Qe6 66.Kf2 Qb6+ 67.Ke2 Qg1 68.Kd2 Qg2+ 69.Ne2 10
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Some observations:

(1) Black probably needs to play the more popular 5...Ba6! to get sufficient counterplay against this opening setup.

(2) Although I'm sure Nakamura could have come out on top, I think the odd looking 9...Nxc3!? would have given Black a little more counterchances.

(3) 30...Ne7? appears to be the decisive miscue, when 30...d6! could have held.

(4) Nakamura could have won faster with the more decisive 34. g3!!, but then we would have missed his fascinating maneuvering of Queen and Knight in winning with 34. Nxf7!

Feb-25-05  MagneticResonanceMan: I dont have a high rating so maybe this is a stupid ques. but why did Ward play 33...g6 when it cost him a knight?
Feb-25-05  Saruman: <MagneticResonanceMan> Nakamura was threatening 34.Qb8+ with mate to follow.
Apr-09-05  collegeExpert: Thanks patzer2 for your analysis and comments.

1) Black plays the less common 5..Ne4. This is characteristic of the weaker player deviating from the common paths

2) The exchange of Bxc3?! rather than Nxc3 (as pointed out by patzer2) could be considered the first mistake. Hypothesis: Knowing which pieces to exchange is a key difference between the strengths of the two players.

3) White keeps constant pressure, however, gives Ward various opportunities back into the game. Ward fails to capatilize, maybe because throughout the game he thought he was worst therefore never saw real hope in the position. This is very common

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