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Alexander Stripunsky vs Hikaru Nakamura
US Championship (2007), Stillwater USA, rd 3, May-17
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Modern Line (B76)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-18-07  ALwoodpusher: 26.Rxf5 seemed a must for white survival. I wonder if black has enough compensation after 26..Rxf5 27.Qh4

May-18-07  Plato: This was a very exciting game, full of tactical fireworks and surprises with both players "going for the jugular," as often happens in the Dragon.

From a human perspective, the position after White's 23rd move seemed very difficult to defend for Black ... and yet five moves later it was White who had to resign! Stripunsky played inaccurately towards the end, but Nakamura proved again that he's tough to cope with when it comes to wild tactical skirmishes.

May-18-07  Shajmaty: <Plato: This was a very exciting game, full of tactical fireworks and surprises with both players "going for the jugular," [...]> Well, I found 12. h3 too tame...
May-18-07  Plato: <Shajmaty> I would agree that 12.h3 is not the best move in that position, but I was referring to what came later. But the idea behind 12.h3 is an aggressive one nonetheless, aimed at getting a pawn-roller started with f3-f4... and for a while Stripunsky seemed to have a vicious attack going (at least around move 23 that's how it appeared). Just look at the position after Black's 24th move! If that's not two players going for the jugular, I don't know what is :)
May-18-07  Shajmaty: I believe the only way to "cut the throat" of the Dragon is via h4-h5. Even after the 24th, <Plato>, only Black is really attacking, since White Queen at h6 is simply misplaced. Anyway, a very entertaining game...
May-18-07  Plato: <Even after the 24th, <Plato>, only Black is really attacking, since White Queen at h6 is simply misplaced.>

It all came down to a single tempo. With just one more tempo White would have had f5-f6 (or Rf4-h4) and it is the Black king that is misplaced, not the White queen. The White queen on h6 was exactly one of the reasons that I stated that both players were going for the jugular.

It is often the case, when both sides are attacking, that one side's attack will crash through first -- making the opponent's pieces look misplaced for being in attacking positions rather than defensive positions. But that's the very nature of such games!

h4-h5 is one way to play aggressively vs the dragon (and more precise in this case, I'd agree), but one can't claim that White's play here wasn't very aggressive too. The idea behind h3 was to attack, just in a different way. And Black was attacking too, of course... Both sides played only one retreating move in the entire game!

May-19-07  belgradegambit: As Dearing has stated 9..Bd2 "just looks wrong" since if Black plays Ne5 and then Nc4 he is just 2 tempos down in the standard Yugoslav attack. But of course instead he uses ...b5. There are a number of wild variations that suit Nakamura that Stripunsky wanted to avoid, ie: 12 h4 b5, 13 h5 Nxf3!? 14 Nxf3 Bxg4 and after 15 Qg2 Rxc3 16 bxc3 Qa5 Black is down a rook but has amazing pressure. Another type of wild game after h5 is here V Saravanan vs C Duncan, 1999 In internet chess I've had surprisingly good results with 8..bd7 against strong players.
May-20-07  sneaky pete: If 27.Ka1 .. how does black continue?
Jun-25-11  DrMAL: White had a nice advantage out of the opening but shifting the advance f4 and f5 both lost precious tempo that the pawn sac on d5 could not remedy. After 21.Rhe1 black can get a perpetual and starts playing for it. But then 27.Rc7 to avoid it gives Naka a full point instead.

From a comment above, if 26.Rxf5 black plays 26...gxf5 (not 26...Rxf5) and after 27.Rc1 (forced) black plays 27...Qe4 and 28...Rc5 (or 27...Re2 and 28...Re4) for a better endgame.

Jul-14-13  DillsGambitLive: i made a small video about this game at nice game by nakamura!
Jul-14-13  ounos: The last tactic is interesting. I suppose that White's last trick (defused by 29. Qh2) was 28. ...Rxh3 29. Ne3 Rxe3 30. Rh1. Rather humorous line.

Earlier than that, 26. Rxf5 would also be interesting. Perhaps even 26. ...gxf5 ?

Jul-05-16  Albanius: 27 Rc8+! Bc8 []
28 Nxe3 Qe4+
29 Nc2 Bf5
30 Rc1 consolidates a R up,
or 28 ..Qe2 or ..Qf3
29 Rc1 Qxe3
30 Rxc8#

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