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Christian Bauer vs Hikaru Nakamura
38th Biel Chess Festival (2005), Biel SUI, rd 8, Jul-25
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran Variation (D47)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-25-05  notsodeepthought: I can't help thinking that black should have gotten (much) more out of the open e file. Still, congrats to Bauer who won his first game in the tournament - against the leader.
Jul-25-05  molinov: Wouldn't 17.... Qf6 been better than Qd7 which appears to leave Nakamura with a bad position. It's certainly quieter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Nice endgame techinque By Bauer.
Jul-25-05  DP12: molinov Nakamura may have been concerned with Ba4+
Jul-25-05  TruthHurts: Nakamura is beaten on his field, ko's on board and strange openings, that's what is Bauer known for also, playing out of theory and original chess .
Jul-26-05  Andrew Chapman: The pawn sacrifice 11.e4 seems a powerful idea. It's difficult for black not to take it but if he does he opens the h file which makes it hard to castle king side and gives white an extra rook in play and better development. In the other game in the chessgames database black did castle kingside and was forced to allow Qxh7+ and then got tied up with his king on e7.
Jul-26-05  DanRoss53: The Knight moves on 15 and 16 seem to weaken Black's position beyond repair... the White Queen has a lot of mobility after 17. ♕xe5
Jul-26-05  patzer2: Here's some analysis with the Opening Explorer and Fritz 8:

<1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bb3!?> This is a less common (but not a novel) move, which has given White decent results (won 49% and drew 24% of 63 games in the Opening Explorer). More often played is 8. Bd3 as in
Illescas-Cordoba vs Dreev, 2005 or 8. Be2 as in P Wells vs Van Wely, 2005. <8...b4> This is the most popular (i.e. Book) response. <9. Ne2 Bd6!?> This move has not worked so well for Black in practice, with White winning four and drawing one of seven games in the Opening Explorer. Some impressive victories for White after 9...Bd6 include M Kazhgaleyev vs Lautier, 2004 and Korchnoi vs E Torre, 1984. Of course Black won in this line with some neat combinational play in
A Fernandes vs Y Yakovich, 2001 and E Michaelides vs C Crouch, 1978, giving the second player some hope here. Perhaps a worthy alternative for Black is 9...Bb7 as in Black's draw in the stronger position in Petrosian vs Bagirov, 1975, or Black's impressive wins in Winants vs M Al-Modiahki, 2002 and Oll vs Ivanchuk, 1985. <10. Ng3!?>Perhaps the inspiration for this move was White's impressive victory with it in
M Kazhgaleyev vs Lautier, 2004. Another good alternative is 10. e4! as in White's wins in Korchnoi vs E Torre, 1984, Yurtaev vs Savchenko, 1988 and E Vladimirov vs A Goloshchapov, 2000. <10...Bb7 11. e4!> This strong move makes me wonder if this is a prepared variation.

Jul-26-05  patzer2: <11...Bxg3 12. hxg3 Nxe4 13. Qe2 c5 14. Rh4 Nef6 15. Ne5 Nd5!?> White seems to win after the main alternative 15... Nxe5!? 16. Qxe5 cxd4 17. Rxd4 Qe7 18. Bh6 Kf8 (18... gxh6 19. Ba4+ Kf8 20. Rd7 Qxd7 21. Bxd7 ) 19. Rc1 Rd8 20. Rxd8+ Qxd8 21. Rc7 Bd5 22. Bxd5 exd5 23. Rb7 gxh6 24. Rb8 Kg7 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Qc7 . <16. dxc5 Nxe5?!> Could this be Black's decisive mistake? Perhaps safer for Black was 16...O-O 17. Bh6 gxh6 [But not 17... f6? 18. Bxg7 Nxe5 (18... Kxg7?? 19. Qh5 fxe5 20. Qxh7+ Kf6 21. Rh6+ Kg5 22. Qg6#) 19. Qh5 h6 20. Qxh6 Kf7 21. Qh7 . 18. c6 Nxe5 19. cxb7 Rb8 20. Qxe5 Qg5 21. Qe4 h5 22. Bxd5 exd5 23. Qxb4 Rfe8+ 24. Kf1 Re7 25. Qd4 Rbxb7 26. Rd1 Rec7 27. Qd2 Qxd2 28. Rxd2 a6 29. b3 Rc5 30. Rxh5 Rd7 31. Ke2 Kg7 32. Kd3 f6 33. g4 Rc8 34.Kd4 a5 35. Rf5 Kg6 36. f4 a4 37. Re2 axb3 38. axb3 Rb7 39. Re6 Rb4+ 40. Kxd5 Rf8 with only a small White advantage. <17. Qxe5> White now has a strong and clear advantage. <17...Qd7> Putting up more resistance, but apparently failing to hold for Black, is 17...Kf8 18. Bh6 Qf6 19. Qxf6 Nxf6 20. Rxb4 Bxg2 21. Bf4 Bc6 22. Ba4 Bxa4 23. Rxa4 Nd5 24. Bd6+ Ke8 25. c6 h5 26. Rd1 g5 27. Re4 Kd8 28. Ke2 Kc8 29. Re5 Rd8 30. Ba3 Kc7 31. Rxg5 Kxc6 32. Rxh5 Kb5 33. Rc1 Rac8 34. Rxc8 Rxc8 35. Rh7 Rc7 36. Kf3 Rd7 37. Rh8 Nb6 38. Rb8 Kc6 39. Bb4 Nd5 40. Rc8+ Kb7 41. Rc5 Kb6 42. Ba3 a5 43. Rc4 Kb5 44. b3 Nb4 45. Bxb4 axb4 46. g4 Ra7 47. Rc2 f6 48. Ke4 Rh7 49. f3 Ra7 50. f4 Rg7 51. Kf3 e5 52. Rc4 .
Jul-26-05  patzer2: <18. Qxg7> Now with a pawn down and the weaker pawn structure, Black has a positionally lost game. <18... O-O-O 19. Qe5> An interesting, and maybe even stronger, winning alternative is 19. a3! bxa3 20. Rxa3 Bc6 21. Bg5 Rhg8 22. Qe5 f6 23. Bxf6 Nxf6 24. Bxe6 Rge8 25. Rb4 Bb7 26. c6 Qxe6 27. cxb7+ Kd7 28. b8=N+ Ke7 29. Rb7+ Kf8 30. Qxe6 Rxe6+ 31. Re3 Rxe3+ 32. fxe3 a5 33. Nc6 Re8 34. Kf2 a4 35. Ra7 Ng4+ 36. Kf3 h5 37. e4 . <19...Ba6 20. Bxd5 exd5 21. Rxb4 Bb5 22. c6!> This little deflection wins. <22...Qxc6> Black's best defense is 22...Qe8 (Not 22...Bxc6?? 23. Rb8#)23. Bf4 f6 24. Qe3 Bxc6 25. Kd2 Qxe3+ 26. Bxe3 d4 27. Bxd4 Rd6 28. Kc3 a5 29. Rc4 Kb7 30. Re1 Rhd8 31. Re7+ R8d7 32. Rxd7+ Bxd7 33. Rc5 Rc6 34. Rxc6 Bxc6 35. Bxf6 , but after this White still wins. <23. Be3! Rhe8> Not 23... a5? 24. Rxb5! Qxb5 25. Rc1+ Kb7 26. Qc7+ Ka6 27. Qa7#. <24. Qf4 d4 25. Qf5+!> Also winning for White is 25. Rxd4! Rxd4 26. Qxd4 a6 27. a4 Qxg2 28. axb5 Qg1+ 29. Ke2 Qxa1 30. Qc5+ Kd7 31. Qc6+ Kd8 32. bxa6 Qxb2+ 33. Kf3 Qa3 34. Qb7 Re6 35. a7 Ra6 36. Kg2 f6 37. Bb6+ Ke8 38. Bc5 Qxc5 39. Qxa6 Qd5+ 40. f3 Qd2+ 41. Kf1 Qd1+ 42. Kf2 Qd4+ 43. Ke2 Qb2+ 44. Ke3 Qc1+ 45. Kd4 Qb2+ 46. Ke4 Qc2+ 47. Kd5 Qd2+ 48. Kc6 Qc3+ 49. Kb7 Kf7 50. Qa2+ Ke7 51. a8=Q . <25... Kb7 26. Qxb5+!> This grinds out the win, but also decisive is 26. Rxb5+! Ka8 27. Rc5 Qb7 28. O-O-O dxe3 29. Rxd8+ Rxd8 30. fxe3 Qd7 31. Qxd7 Rxd7 32. g4 h6 33. g5 hxg5 34. Rxg5 f6 35. Rg8+ Kb7 36. g3 Rd6 37. g4 Kc6 38. Ra8 Rd7 39. Rf8 Rd6 40. Kc2 Kd5 41. Rf7 a6 42. Re7 Rd8 43. Kd3 Kd6 44. Re4 Rb8 45. b4 Rh8 46. a4 Rb8 47. Rc4 Kd5 48. e4+ Ke6 49. Ke3 Ke5 50. b5 axb5 51. Rb4 Kd6 52. axb5 . <26...Qxb5 27. Rxb5+ Ka6 28. Rb3 dxe3 29. Rxe3 Rxe3+ 30. fxe3 Rb8 31. b3 Rg8 32. Kf2 Rg6 33. Rh1 h6 34. Rh4 Kb6 35. Rf4 f6 36. Rf5 Kc7 37. Kf3 Kd8 38. Kf4 Ke8 39. b4 Kf8 40. a4 Ke8 41. Rb5 1-0> Black resigns as White's two extra pawns (one being an outside passer) are decisive.
Jul-26-05  TruthHurts: Bauer really outplayed Nakamura here.
Jul-26-05  Montreal1666: <patzer2:> Thanks for the work.

If 16...O-O can be answered by 17. Bh6, then I wouldn't want to play it either!! That means I would choose a totaly different line much earlier.

Jul-26-05  patzer2: <Montreal1666> Appreciate the thanks. I agree with you that Black needs to improve earlier than the 16th move. Perhaps 9...Bb7 (see sample games cited above) is worth considering.
Jul-27-05  DanRoss53: Thanks <patzer2>, it looks like Fritz agrees with me that the 15th and 16th moves were what killed Black. I'm sure Nakamura also saw, in hindsight, that those two moves were the decisive mistakes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I was watching this game live and someone thought Bauer had blundered pawn on e4 but I was bit dubius ( I couldn't watch it all - too late -so I have caught up with it just now and I see he won) - and then it started to look good for Bauer - his results dont reflect his abilty - well - actually he has done very well. He gets a lot of energy for his sacrifice of a pawn.
Jul-27-05  patzer2: <DanRoss53> Glad you enjoyed the analysis. Although Black definitely has better moves, any improvement at the 15th or 16th moves still leaves Black with an inferior game. So, I'd look much earlier at possibilities like 9...Bb7 for an improvement.
Jul-27-05  patzer2: Perhaps 13...Ndf6!? offers Black an interesting possibility.

Fritz 8 gives 13...Ndf6!? 14. Rh4 c5 15. Bc2 Qd5 16. dxc5 a5 17. Ba4+ Kf8 18. Bc2 Nxc5 19.Bg5 (19. Rd4 Qc6 20. Be3 Rc8 21. Ne5 Qa6 22. Qd2 Bd5 ) 19...Ba6 20.Qe3 Nd3+ 21.Bxd3 Qxd3 22.Qxd3 Bxd3 23.Bxf6 gxf6 24.a3 b3 25.Rd1 Bc2 26.Rd7 (-0.56 @ 15/44 depth & 1227kN/s). Black appears to have the draw in hand in this line, with perhaps some practical winning chances.

Jul-27-05  Helloween: <patzer2> If 13...Ndf6?! White is great after 14.g4! c5 15.g5 Ng4 16.Rh4 Nexf2 17.Be3 Nxe3(17...Bxf3 18.gxf3 Nxe3 19.Qxe3 Nh3 20.Rxh3 Qxd4 21.Qxd4 cxd4 22.Rc1 ) 18.Qxe3 Ne4 19.dxc5 Qa5 20.Rxe4 Bxe4 21.Qxe4 O-O 22.c6

In your analysis you said <White seems to win after the main alternative 15...Nxe5!? 16.Qxe5 cxd4>, but after 16...O-O(instead of 16...cxd4)17.Bg5 Nd7 18.Bc2 h6 19.Bxd8 Nxe5 20.Be7 Rfe8 21.Bxc5 Rec8 22.Rc1 Ng6, Black has obtained an equal game. Therefore 15...Nxe5 should be answered with 16.dxe5 Nd7 17.Rg4 Kf8 18.Be3 Qc7 19.O-O-O retaining an initiative, for instance, 19...Bxg2 could be met by 20.Rxd7!?

Jul-28-05  patzer2: <Helloween> Appreciate how you are able to find improvements on some of the initial Fritz 8 lines on my home PC.

Your 13...Ndf6 14. g4! does indeed improve over 13...Nfd6 14. Rh4. A longer 25 minute look with Fritz 8 confirms your line here gives White a clear advantage. However, I'll have to look at it closer to get a feel as to whether Black still has drawing chances.

I'll look at 15...Nxe5 again later, but for now will accept your assessment that 15...Nxe5 16. Qxd4 0-0 equalizes while 15...Nxe5 16. dxe5 leads to a White advantage.

Just curious, what Chess software are you using and what kind of a PC processor/speed are you running to check and validate your assessments?

Jul-28-05  patzer2: <Helloween> After a long look with Fritz 8, I agree with two of your three analyses.

I concur 13...Ndf6 14. g4! gives White an advantage, improving over 13...Ndf6 14. Rh4.

I agree 15...Nxe5 16. Qxd4 0-0 equalizes. One interesting possibility is 15...Nxe5 16. Qxd4 0-0 17. dxc5 Bxg2 18. Bg5 Rc8 19. Rd1 Qa5 20. Bxf6 Rxc5 21. Qf4 gxf6 22. Rg4+ Rg5 23. Rd5 exd5 24. Rxg5+ fxg5 25. Qxg5+ Kh8 26. Qf6+ = with a draw by perpetual check.

However, I don't see how 15...Nxe5 16. dxe5 leads to a White advantage. Instead, after 15...Nxe5 16. dxe5 Nd7 17. Rg4 Qc7 (instead of 17...Kf8) 18. f4 (18. Be3 g6 19. f4 Qc6 20. Rh4 Qxg2 ) 18...0-0 19. Rh4 Rfd8 20. Bc2 Nf8 21. Be3 Qa5 (-0.66 @ 14 depth per Fritz 8), Black appears to have slightly the better of it.

Jul-28-05  offramp: It's gonna be a check or pawn kill.
Jul-29-05  Helloween: <offramp>lol.

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