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Hikaru Nakamura vs Boris Gelfand
38th Biel Chess Festival (2005), Biel SUI, rd 10, Jul-27
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B96)  ·  0-1



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sac: 12...Nd5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-27-05  beenthere240: That was a great refutation of a sacrifice. For a whlle white is up 4 pawns for the bishop, but with the open board it's a slaughter. I wonder how closely Nakamura looked at 12....Qxd4.
Jul-27-05  euripides: Reminds me of Fischer vs Tal, 1959
Jul-27-05  Montreal1666: I think Nakamura should have kept the queens in the game. So the mistake is probably 24)Qd5 or even 22)Qxa5. And later in the end-game advancing the king-side pawns to light squares doesn't seem very wise either.
Jul-28-05  patzer2: Here's some analysis with Fritz 8 and the Opening Explorer:

<1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Nbd7> This is a book line, with the more popular alternatives being 7...Qb6 as in Vallejo-Pons vs Kasparov, 2004 and 7...Be7 as in S Sulskis vs Y Pelletier, 2005. <8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O b5 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. Rhe1 Qb6 12. Nd5!?> This was played previously for a Black win in Shabalov vs Gelfand, 2004. However, Nakamura apparently thought he had found an improvement. <12...Qxd4!> An equalizing alternative for Black appears to be 12... exd5 13. exd5+ Kd8 14. Bf5 h6 15. Bh4 Kc7 16. Qc3+ Nc5 17. Bxf6 b4 18. Qc4 gxf6 19. a3 bxa3 20. b4 a2 21. Kd2 Rd8 22. Kc3 Kb8 23. bxc5 dxc5 24. Nc6+ Bxc6 25. dxc6 Bd6 26. Ra1 Qa5+ 27. Kb2 Qb5+ 28. Qxb5+ axb5 29. Rxa2 Bxf4 30. Bd7 Be5+ 31. c3 c4 32. Kc2 Bxh2 33. Rb1 Rdg8 34. g4 h5 35. Rxb5+ Kc7 36. Ra7+ Kd6 37. Rxh5 Ra8 38. Bf5 Rxa7 39. Rxh8 =. <13. Bxf6 gxf6> Not 13... Nxf6?? 14. Bxb5+ axb5 15. Rxd4 . <14. Bxb5 Qc5 15. Nxf6+!?> Although Fritz 8 rates it stronger, Nakamura apparently wanted no part of 15. b4!? Qxb5 [15... Qa7 16. Nxf6+ Ke7 17. Bxd7 Kxf6 18. Qc3+ Ke7 19. Bxe6 Kxe6 (Not 19...Rg8?? 20. Rxd6!! Bc8 (20... Kxd6 21. Rd1+! ) 21. Bxf7 Bg7 22. e5 Rd8 (22... Kxf7 23. Qb3+! ) 23. Bd5 Rxd6 24. exd6+ Kf8 25. Qc6! ) 20. Qxh8 ] 16. Nc7+ Ke7 17. Nxb5 axb5 . Perhaps that's because Gelfand previously won as Black in this position in the Shabalov game cited above. Still, 15. b4!? may offer White better chances than the game continuation, since after 18. Qd3 Ra6 19. a3 (continuing with the 15. b4!? line), White appears to hold a small advantage.

<15... Kd8 16. Nxd7 Qxb5 17. Nxf8> An alternative Fritz 8 prefers is 17. Qc3! Kxd7 [17... Rg8 18. Nxf8 Rc8 (18... Rxf8?? 19. Rxd6+! Ke7 20. Qc7+ Kf6 21. Rb6 Rfc8 22. Qd6 Qc4 23. Qe5+ Ke7 24. Rxb7+ ) 19. Nxe6+ fxe6 20. Rxd6+ Ke7 21. Qa3 Rc5 22. Rd2 Rd8 23. Rxd8 Kxd8 24. Qe3=] 18. Qxh8 = with drawing chances. <17... Rxf8 18. Qa3 Rc8 19. Qxd6+ Ke8 20. c3 Qc6 21. Qb4 a5 22. Qxa5 Ra8 23. Qg5 f6 24. Qd5?!> Could this be a mistake? Good for the draw according to Fritz 8 was 24. Qh5+! Rf7 25. a3 Rxa3 26. bxa3 Qxc3+ 27. Kb1 Qb3+ 28. Kc1 Qc3+ 29. Kb1 Qb3+ 30. Kc1 Qc3+ =. <24...Qxc3+!> This little desperado may well be the winning move. <25. bxc3 exd5 26. exd5+ Kd7 27. Kb1 Ra4 28. g3 Rfa8 29. Rd2 R8a5 30. d6 Be4+!> After this deflection, White is lost. <31. Ka1> No improvement is 31. Kc1 f5 , and much worse is 31. Kb2? Rxa2+ 32. Kc1 Ra1+ 33. Kb2 Rxe1 . <31... h5 32. h3 Bd5! 33. g4 Rxa2+ 34. Rxa2 Rxa2+ 35. Kb1 Rh2 36. Re3 h4 37. Kc1 Kxd6 38. f5 Rf2 39. Kd1 Rf3! 0-1>

Jul-28-05  acirce: The position after 18.Qa3 is given as in John Nunn's "The Complete Najdorf: 6.Bg5".
Jul-28-05  Montreal1666: <patzer2:> Thanks again. What is the evaluation after 21...a5 . I think 22)Qxa5 gives counterplay to black. What are the alternatives? Fritz may consider Qxa5 the best move because it wins a pawn.
Jul-28-05  patzer2: After 21...a5, Fritz 8 (@ 16 depth & 1169kN/s) gives the following analysis:

H Nakamura - B Gelfand
2r1kr2/1b3p1p/2q1p3/p7/1Q2PP2/2P5/PP4PP/2KRR3 w - - 0 1

Analysis by Fritz 8:

1. = (-0.06): 22.Qxa5 Rg8 23.Rd2 Ra8 24.Qd5 Qc7 25.Qb5+ Bc6 26.Qc4 h6 27.b3 Rc8 28.g3 Qb6 29.Qd4

2. = (-0.25): 22.Qd4 Qc7 23.g3 Ke7 24.Qg7 Qc4 25.Qe5 Qc5 26.Qg7 Qc4

3. (-0.41): 22.Qb3 Ke7 23.g3 Rfd8 24.e5 a4 25.Qb4+ Ke8 26.h3 Ba6 27.Rxd8+ Rxd8 28.Qe4 Qxe4 29.Rxe4 Bb5

4. (-0.41): 22.Qa3 Qc5 23.Qxc5 Rxc5 24.g3 Ke7 25.Kc2 Rfc8 26.Re3 Rc4 27.e5 Be4+ 28.Kb3 h5

5. (-0.50): 22.Qd6 Qxd6 23.Rxd6 Ke7 24.Rb6 Rc7 25.a4 Bc6 26.b3 Rd8 27.Ra6 Bb7 28.Rxa5 Rxc3+ 29.Kb2 Rdd3

6. (-6.28): 22.Qxf8+ Kxf8 23.Rd4 e5 24.fxe5 Qh6+ 25.Kb1 Qxh2 26.g4 Qxe5 27.Ka1 Qg3 28.Red1 Kg7

Jul-28-05  Montreal1666: <patzer2> Thanks. Maybe there was nothing better than a draw for white. Winning it against a 2700 player would be quite difficult. I still think 22.Qxa5 comes up as the first choice becasue it wins a pawn. This looks as giving the initiative to black. 21...a5 was a smart move by Gelfand.
Aug-01-05  jeffnool: patzer2 can you analyze this variation for me because i dont have any computer to work with it thanks...1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bf6 gf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.Nb5 ab5 12.Bb5 can you analyze what is the best continuation for black?? 12...Bb7 or 12...Bd7??? thank and you can email me at thank you very much
Aug-01-05  Helloween: <jeffnool> Theory says that after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.Nxb5 axb5 12.Bxb5 the best move is Bd7 when 13.exf5 Rb8 14.a4 should lead to an unclear game, although I'm inclined to believe the position slightly favors Black. An example is a game where Bronstein was beaten by a 2200 player(although both sides made a lot of mistakes): Bronstein vs V Kim, 1978
Aug-03-05  patzer2: <jeffnool> Don't have access to a chess program at the moment, but <Helloween>'s suggestion looks excellent.
Aug-11-05  aragorn69: Lubosh Kavalek: <At age 37, Gelfand is back in the Top 10 on the latest FIDE rating list. With active positional play and an extensive home preparation worked out to the slightest details, he reminds me of the late Soviet grandmaster Lev Polugaevsky. In the last round in Biel, Nakamura decided to challenge Gelfand in one particular variation of the Najdorf Sicilian that the Israeli inherited from his legendary predecessor. It is possible that Gelfand analyzed this line even before Nakamura was born. The American got a lesson he asked for.>

Detailed and (as always) up-to-date commentary at

Aug-13-05  patzer2: <aragorn69> Thanks for the game analysis by Kavalek at the washington post site. Perhaps Kavalek's most interesting comment is <18.Qa3 (In 1996 English GM John Nunn assessed this position as slightly better for white. Gelfand has a different opinion.)>.
Aug-07-06  Hesam7: 20. f5 looks interesting, the game might continue: 20... Qc6 21. Qd2 Rg8 22. Re3 Qc7 (I am not sure but this might be forced) 23. Rc3 Bc6 24. fxe6 fxe6 25. g3:

click for larger view

I certainly prefer White.

Jan-30-07  sheaf: hats off to gelfand he is a true expert on najdorf, especially 6.Bg5 lines. imho exept for perhaps topalov in recent days nobody plays black side of najdorfas good as gelfand.
Jun-09-10  elohah: To ask whether this is computerized preparation by Nak...I suppose that's like asking whether Lance was using anything to win all those Tours. Gelfand must have a lot of experience playing against computers himself.
Nov-15-10  ChessYouGood: Nakamura was a bit out of his depth here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Quote of the Game:

"I was happy that greying hair and experience still proved a match for youth and computer preparation."

- GM Boris Gelfand

Source: NIC Magazine 2005 06

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