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Hikaru Nakamura vs Krishnan Sasikiran
Sigeman & Co (2005), Malmo SWE, rd 7, Apr-22
King Pawn Game: Parham Attack (C20)  ·  0-1



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Hikaru Nakamura vs Krishnan Sasikiran (2005)
Nakamura (left) checks out the demonstration board as Sasikiran ponders the situation. Photo by Sigeman & Co.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-27-05  Karpova: <JustAFish>
55.nd5 is met by be6 pinning the knight
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Risking Champ> Indeed after the deflection 23. e5!, Nakamura could have won the exchange with advantage:

23. e5! dxe5 (23... Ng8? 24. exd6 ) 24. Ba7+ Ka8 25. Bc5 Rd6 26. Ng3 Red8 27. Bxd6 Rxd6 28. Rxe5 Rxd1+ 29. Nxd1 Qd6 30. Re1 .

Of course Black could have avoided this possibility with 22...c5 = or 22...Bh8 =.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Dick Brain> You may have a point there on 2. Nf3 being analyzed to a draw in the Petroff and Berlin defense. If Nakamura can find something worthwhile in 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5 more power to him.

However, when my opponents played it against me as Black, my thought was Oh goody! And I'm not so sure that wasn't Black's reaction here.

Apr-27-05  Karpova: gives:
<(23. e5 dxe5 24. Ba7+ Ka8 25. Bc5 Rd6 26. Bxd6 cxd6 ♗lack has full compensation for the exchange.)>
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Karpova> After 23. e5! dxe5 24. Ba7+ Ka8 25. Bc5 Rd6 26. Ng3! (better than 26. Bxd6 =) Red8 27. Bxd6 Rxd6 28. Rxe5 Rxd1+ 29. Nxd1 Qd6 30. Re1 , Fritz 8 assesses +0.78 @ 13 depth.

In this position, with all due respect to, it looks to be advantage to White with an even number of pawns and an exchange up for Nakamura.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's 61...b6! is a strong and perhaps decisive deflection:

<61. Rc5 b6! 62. Rd5> (62. Rc3 c5 63. Nc2 Kb7 64. Na3 a4 65. Nc4 b5 66. Nd2 Kc6 67. e5 f5 68. Re3 f4 69. Re1 Kd5 70. Ne4 Rxf3 71. Nxg5 Re3 72. Rd1+ Kc6 73. Rd6+ Kc7 74. Ne6+ Bxe6 75. Rxe6 Rg3 76. Rg6 b4 77. Rg7+ Kc6 78. e6 Rg1+ 79. Kd2 Rg2+ 80. Kd1 Rxb2 81. Ra7 f3 82. e7 Re2 83. Rxa4 b3 84. Rf4 b2 85. Rxf3 b1=Q+ 86. Kxe2 Qc2+ 87. Kf1 Qd1+ 88. Kf2 Qd2+ 89. Kf1 Kd7 90. Rf7 c4 ) <62... Kc8 63. e5 fxe5 64. Rxe5 c5 65. Nb3?!> [putting up more resistance but apparently still losing is 65. Ne2!? Rxf3 66. Rxg5 Rf1+ 67. Kd2 Rf2 68. Rg8+ Kc7 69. Ke3 Rg2 70. g5 Bg4 71. Nf4 Rxb2 72. g6 Bd1 73. g7 Bb3 74. Rh8 a4 75. Ke4 Kc6 76. Rh6+ Kb5 77. Rh3 Bf7 (not 77... a3?? 78. Rxb3+ ) 78. Ra3 Rb4+ 79. Ke3 Rb3+ 80. Rxb3+ Bxb3 ] and now Black is clearly winning with <65... Rf1+! 66. Kd2 a4! 67. Nxc5> ( 67. Nc1 Rf2+ 68. Kc3 Rxf3+ )<67... bxc5 68. Rxc5+ Kb7 69. Rxg5 Rxf3 70. Rd5 Be6 71. Rd3 Rf1 72. Rg3 Rf2+ 73. Kc3 Kb6 74. Kb4 Rf4+ 75. Ka3 Kb5 76. Re3 Bd5 77. Rd3 Bc4 78. Re3 Rd4 79. g5 Rd1 80. b3 axb3 81. Re8 Ra1+ 82. Kb2 Ra2+ 83. Kc3 Rc2+ 84. Kd4 b2 85. Rb8+ Ka4 86. g6 Bb5 87. g7 0-1> and play might have continued 87...b1=Q 88. g8=Q Qd1+ 89. Ke5 Re2+ 90. Kf6 Qf1+ 91. Kg7 Rg2+ .

Apr-27-05  JustAFish: <Karpova: <JustAFish> 55.nd5 is met by be6 pinning the knight>

... and that, my friends, is why I'm still rated lower than 1600.

Apr-27-05  mack: The pawn sac 2...Nf6 seems to gain time and space.
Apr-28-05  Knight13: Why did Nakamura played the Scholar's Mate? He knows that it's not gonna work against GMs. Anyway this is a tough fight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Just for fun I played out 4...f5!? with Fritz 8 for an entire game and came up with the following possibility:

4... f5!? 5. Ne2 Nf6 6. Nbc3 Na5 7. Bd3 d6 8. exf5 d5 9. fxg6 e4 10. Nxe4 dxe4 11. Bxe4 Qe7 12. Qc3 Nc4 13. Bc6+ bxc6 14. Qxc4 Bd7 15. gxh7 Rxh7 16. d3 Rg7 17. g3 c5 18. f3 a6 19. Bh6 Rg6 20. Bxf8 Kxf8 21. Rf1 Rb8 22. Qxa6 Rxb2 23. Qc4 Be6 24. Qa4 Kg7 25. Rf2 c4 26. d4 Bf7 27. Kf1 Nd5 28. Rc1 Re6 29. Nf4 Nxf4 30. gxf4 Qd6 31. Rg2+ Rg6 32. Qa5 Qxf4 33. Qe5+ Qxe5 34. dxe5 Rxg2 35. Kxg2 Rxa2 .

As Acirce indicates, 4...f5!? is not bad, but against a Chess genius like Nakamura you better be prepared to mix it up with a lot of sharp tactics.

Apr-29-05  ongyj: I certainly missed 4...f5!? :( But I believe White can still stand okay with 5.Bxg8 which at least makes the position more evenly complicated, which could be the objective of Nakamura's choice of 2.Qh5!?! in the first place. Whether it was a good choice or not, this game probably won the greatest attention in recent events. That's what I think spectators would enjoy, a sportsman doing something out of the box that thrills :) But there's one point I honestly don't understand. Almost the whole community who watched this game are divided into 2 factions: One enjoys it like I do:) and the other hates it to the core, with comments like "no respect", "Nakamura needs to learn better openings" or "he plays like a Kid"...(virtually endless list with similar descriptions).

The first issue that I wish to discuess is 'respect'. If playing a novelty move is considered as disrespect for opponent, then I'll have nothing more to say other than 'chess is a dead game.' Okay, so 2.Qh5 may not be considered as a novelty, after all it's not a new move, just that it's 'uniquely unpopular', especially at 'higher levels'. But how about it being the homework that a player had done? Is playing an opening which he prepared wrong? If so we should remove all chess databases of historical games, openings, books ectera. Is it considered disrespect to seemingly put yourself at a disadvantage against an opponent? If the opponent has this mentality, then he should also be criticised for being too naive/cocky and I'd rather see him pay for it. Doesn't a gamer(chess player in this case) have the rights to raise his own challenge level? With the choice of 2.Qh5!?! Nakamura is issuing a challenge to both his opponent as well as himself. "Mr. Sasikiran be prepared to face my 'homework'. With this game I shall revive 2.Qh5..." :)

The next issue is of course "Nakamura should learn better openings". First thing's first, it's hard to rate an opening better than another, even with openings statistics, historic games ectera. Most established openings are just uniquely different, having different spirit and characteristics. All I can say is 2.Qh5 is not well established. If you think that Nakamura doesn't know so called 'good openings' then I think you should really look at more games that he played. Of course I don't deny that he usually ends up with an inferior position out of the opening phase but turn the tables with his superior techniques and 'never say draw'(LOL) fighting spirits. Then again, I have no doubts that he does know the main lines of major openings, such as Sicilian, Ruy Lopez, French(advance variation) ectera. You think a pathetic player who doesn't know these can become US champion and reach such high ratings? It's just a matter of him being able to take tournaments lightly and adopt strange openings, perhaps for experimental or pure fun purposes.

"Nakamura plays like a Kid" Sure, he's still a teenager. In fact I'll love to see him remain in this fashion(but of course not to the extent of hurting his progress towards elite chess players:)

In all, from a spectator's point of view, I MUST say that I'm truly grateful to Nakamura for providing such an entertaining game which dismissed my rigid beliefs in opening theories, at least it reminds me to go for novelities at every opportunity possible. Shame on Timman and Sasikiran for chickening out with a final 11 move draw. It won't be difficult to imagine all the boos from everyone watching. Sure, they got their #1 in this tournament. Who cares, other than Timman and Sasikiran themselves. BIG deal. Chess would be dead with this type of play.

Comments and Criticisms, anyone. (I'll be expecting lots:)


Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <ongyi> No criticism. I don't see this opening as showing "disrespect." IMHO, the only person Nakamura hurt with this opening choice was himself. I see it more as giving odds by giving up the advantage and initiative of the first move in order to avoid having to study opening theory in the best 1. e4 lines. And I suppose if I were a 16 year old Chess genius who didn't mind mixing it up in even positions as White, I might be doing the same thing.

However, I do not believe a player can become World Champion without solid opening knowledge and preparation. Hopefully, Nakamura is willing to do the hard work and preparation required to develop a sound opening repertoire.

Apr-29-05  PinkPanther: <abaduba>
The same tournaments as Carlsen? He already is in such tournaments.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Perhaps Nakamura's losing mistake was 42. b4?! Qe5 c5?, giving up a pawn without sufficient compensation to Sasikiran, who excels in those kinds of positions.

Instead, perhaps 42. Qc3 Ne5 43. Rff1 Rh2 44. b4 Qf4 45. Nd5 Bxd5 46. cxd5 R8h7 47. b5 = would have given White a defensible position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Is there a name for Nakamura's opening here? I've only previously heard it referred to as an attempt at fool's mate. A fun, animated illustration of it can be found at
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: One source lists 2. Qh5!? as the Patzer-Parnham Opening = W D Collins vs J Curdo, 2001
Apr-30-05  PinkPanther: <patzer2>
He was going for a scholar's mate, not fool's mate.
Apr-30-05  aw1988: I frown at those who look at 2. Qh5 and assume Nakamura is already looking to mate Sasikiran. A sufficiently skilled player (not especially skilled, but at least some experience) will realize that you do not aim to mate the opponent until much later. 2. Qh5 was simply another opening Nakamura wanted to try out, but not mate straight away, obviously.

PS can crafty please look at 48. Rc6?

Apr-30-05  iron maiden: Of course Naka wasn't expecting to get Sasi to fall for a four-move checkmate. He's not THAT arrogant.
Apr-30-05  aw1988: Precisely. But I have heard so many ignorant people say that that was what he was trying to do. Knock it off.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <aw1988> I don't know of anyone suggesting Nakamura was going for a quick fool's or scholar's mate. What I do suggest is that White should attempt to gain an initiative and an advantage with the first move, and that 2. Qh5?! immediately gives away that advantage after 2...Nc6=. Therefore, except for surprise value against inferior play, 2. Qh5?! is not a good opening choice.
Apr-30-05  aw1988: Well, that's not technically correct; white holds no advantage after 1. e4 e5 anyways.
Apr-30-05  WillC21: I don't think anyone was saying that Nakamura was trying to get Sasikiran to fall for a Fool's or Scholar's Mate. I would like to think our kibitzers are not that patzerish. I think people were simply asking what the opening is called.
Apr-30-05  aw1988: Not on here. I was mainly referring to ICC.
Apr-30-05  aw1988: It might be a joke, but still, I guess I took it quite seriously.
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