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Joshua E Friedel vs Hikaru Nakamura
US Championship (2007), Stillwater USA, rd 1, May-15
French Defense: Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-17-07  Shajmaty: 33...Rc4!? Oh, my...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Last year, Friedel (playing Black) upset Nakamura in the first round of the US Championship:

Nakamura vs J Friedel, 2006

May-17-07  suenteus po 147: This is a case of the sweetest revenge being wrought. Friedel seems to have the draw in hand with a closed position until 33...Rc4 by Nakamura, sacking the exchange and subsequently wrecking havoc behind enemy lines. Great attack by Nakamura, no doubt motivated by a keen feeling of revenge.
May-17-07  Plato: The end of this game reminded me a bit of the conclusion from another French game with Nakamura as Black, from last year's championships: DeFirmian vs Nakamura, 2006
May-17-07  jmi: What if White plays 41. Qc5 41... Qxa3 42. Ra3 looks painful for Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: <jmi> I can't see it, but I imagine Nakamura had that scoped out. I don't think he planned anything as weak as 41... Qa3. Perhaps 41. Qc5 Re1+ 42. Kd2 Qe4 and white has to contend with the heavy piece and a serious white square problem.
May-17-07  jmi: <beenthere240> I can't honestly see anything positive for Black after 41. Qc5 and Black looks like it has to struggle. A trade of Queens would give White a slight plus and with White totally dominating the c-file, that passed b-pawn may decide matters. I will try to load up with Fritz or something when I get home.
May-17-07  crwynn: White is better than in the game after 41.Qc5, but Black still has good compensation for the Exchange. The position is very complicated, and it's not as if Qc5 snuffs out all of Black's play. He can even trade rooks and it is still hard to avoid checks.
May-17-07  Veryrusty: If 41. Qc5, then Re1+, 42. Kd2, Qe4 maintains the attack.
May-18-07  outplayer: This the first time I see "Naka" playing the frnch defense. The bad bishop proves strong and his speculative exchange sacrifice is brave.
May-18-07  newton296: I don't follow the us champs. but I noticed my favorite king pawn defense , the french, is really popular and effective for black this year! french rules!!
May-18-07  Timex: <newton296> I agree, but i think that french can be very risky and you need to be very accurate.

May-18-07  jmi: <Very rusty> In your line, what if 42.... Qe4 is met with 43. Re3? And if 43.. Qg2+ 44. Kc3 the attack looks stalled.
May-19-07  baggio: I would rather play 25. c-pawn takes bishop on Bd4? and open the c file What do you think?
May-19-07  Pi Guy: <I would rather play 25. c-pawn takes bishop on Bd4? and open the c file What do you think?>

After 25. cxd4, white can trade his queen for 2 rooks, then play Ke7 followed by Rc8, after which black controls the open c-file and the white queen will be unable to get to black's king because of the pawn structure.

Jun-11-07  capafan: Better for white from move 38. is:

38.Rb3 (prevents infiltration of black queen on b4) Bd5

click for larger view

39.f5! exf5 (39..BxR? 40.Rc8+ Kg7 41.f6+) 40.Qd2 Kg7 41.Rd3 Rg4 (41.f4!?) =

click for larger view

The only drawing line for white I have found. It would have been very difficult to find OTB, under time pressure and with Nakamura staring you down. Improvements for black on move 38.?

Jun-11-07  capafan: Play might continue (from move 42. in the noted diagram in my last post)

42.Qc3 Be4 43.d5 BxR 44.d6 Qe6 45.Qxd3 Qxe5 46.d7 Qe1+ drawn.


Aug-17-10  sevenseaman: 33. Rc4 is gutsy breaking the ice. Only the ambitious and courageous will venture out like this. A stamina game.
May-07-12  Rama: More and more I like this guy!

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