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Hikaru Nakamura vs Francisco Vallejo Pons
Donostia Chess Festival (2009), Donostia ESP, rd 4, Jul-11
Scandinavian Defense: Gubinsky-Melts Defense (B01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-11-09  refutor: good example of the king as an attacking piece
Jul-11-09  veigaman: very solid game by naka
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobsterman3000: This game reminds me of Kasparov - when the game reduced down to a few pieces he always seemed to know the right time (and right way) to advance his king up the board.
Jul-11-09  veigaman: <bobsterman3000> capablanca was a beast bringing out his king to the battle as well.

Good game by naka specially because no-one expected an scandinavian by vallejo.

Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Naka! Naka! Naka!
Jul-11-09  timhortons: <Gambitor>

it is at icc.

My chess understanding is very limited so im make it a point to pick up the kibitz of caruana and kovalyov during the game as to how the game goes on, and it helps me a lot to understand.

caruana log in mid game during the time everybody claim the position is draw, first glance he kibitz very drawish endgame and even exchange kibitz with patzers, then he suddenly realize naka seen deeper and is winning already the game.....

Jul-11-09  returnoftheking: 33. Re3 is a nice move threatening Ra3-a8 and the game continuation. Black's king is just in a bad spot.

I wouldn't expect Vallejo to lose from such an innocent position, maybe Nakamura is not the hype some people (..) said him to be but the real deal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <returnoftheking: 3 ... I wouldn't expect Vallejo to lose from such an innocent position, <<<maybe Nakamura is not the hype some people (..) said him to be but the real deal.>>>>

You are on the path to becoming a *true* believer.


Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Well, if Nakamura ends up a top-10 player (live or officially) I can only congratulate his fans. I just thought 22 is somewhat a late age for a breakthrough, especially considering his stagnation in 2005-2008.
Jul-12-09  whiskeyrebel: It will be interesting to read Naka's comments on this one. I wonder if he perceived something special in this game or considered it simply another day at the office.
Jul-12-09  timhortons: <maybe Nakamura is not the hype some people (..) said him to be but the real deal.>

you are a chess fan and you appreciate good chess...hope people like you multiply.....

Premium Chessgames Member
  Poisonpawns: I thought Nakamura showed a very deep understanding of chess in this game.I saw capablanca today.After move 12 i am sure Pons thought he would be able to draw comfortably.However with all of the simplification white held two major trump cards. They were Space,and piece activity(King).By move 20, all Nakamura has to do, is judiciously trade the pieces and his space advantage alone will win.The pawn on b6 was a killer at the end, and finally, my favorite aspect of the game is the fact that Hikaru exploited the main weakness of the Scandanavian for the entire game.This is the loss of Space,After move 12, we see that white has exactly what he needs to win.
Jul-12-09  veigaman: <Well, if Nakamura ends up a top-10 player (live or officially) I can only congratulate his fans. I just thought 22 is somewhat a late age for a breakthrough> I think that it is the right age to breakthrough in my opinion specially if you have kept playing and winning tournaments, killing and living human stages and improving your chess skills.

I remember one kasparov comment on radjabov and one karpov advised that he gave karjakin:

Kasparov said that radjabov was making a mistake playing so young with the elite because he was not learning how to win chess games instead of that radjabov was learning how to survive with the elite and i think that he was right with that point of view. On the other hand, karpov recommended karjakin dont quit his studies in the college because it is very important to have an education to model your personality.

So, nakamura may have followed this 2 advise coincidencely.

Time will say.

Jul-13-09  piteira8: Does white lose a bishop if black plays 32. ... R(e) c8? What is wrong with 32. ... R(e)c8?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <piteira8> <Does white lose a bishop if black plays 32. ... R(e) c8? What is wrong with 32. ... R(e)c8?>

33. Rxe5 fxe5 34.Bd6+ Rxc6 (can't Ka8 because of Ra1 mate) 35.Rxd6 threatening the bishop in g6. In that position the black pawns look weak and white will probably end up picking up one, especially because black's rook is committed to the defense of the back rank. For example 35...Bf5 36.Rd5 Re8 37.Bb5

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <veigaman> Radjabov did become an elite player. As did Carlsen, who played in the elite tournaments from early on too. So if Nakamura becomes one it doesn't prove he did a better job than Radjabov or Carlsen....
Jul-13-09  beenthere240: 13. Kc3 and off we go.
Jul-13-09  veigaman: <alexmagnus> the results will say who took the right way.
Jul-13-09  silas75: <AlexMagnus>

<22 is somewhat a late age for a breakthrough>

Since when? And why would you think that?

Jul-13-09  piteira8: Thank you Fusilli. That could be the reason why Paco did not choose 32. ... R(e)c8.
Jul-14-09  aragorn69: Nakamura's comment (and a nice anecdote too):

<Round 4: "Play To The Death"

In round four, I was paired with White against the Spaniard, Paco Vallejo Pons. Oddly enough, in a weird sense of pre-destiny, we first played on an airplane waaaaay back in 1996. I am not sure if Paco remembers this event at all but back in 1996, my brother, Asuka was playing in the World Youth Chess Championship in Menorca. While my brother played in the U10 for the US, Paco played for Spain in the U14 section. When my family left Menorca on the short flight back to Barcelona, I remember having the misfortune of ending up seated next to a random person at the time. For some reason, I took out my chess set and was looking at some stuff, when the guy next to me asked if I wanted to play. Although I was obviously not any good at the time, I figured why not. I should still be able to win as I was already about 15-1600 strength at the time. In the following two games which we played, I got completely blown off the board which left me terribly confused. I think it was only after we were on our way back to the US that it dawned on me that my opponent must have been someone who was playing in one of the higher up sections.

As far as the game was concerned, Paco seems to have a style much like mine in that he plays a little bit of everything. Despite the fact that I had a rest day after the third round, the task of preparation was not an easy one. Kris and I devised some basic stuff on pretty much of all of his openings except what he played! Paco made a very good choice by playing the Scandinavian with 3...Qd6 against me. After playing a highly conservative variation which led to a queenless middlegame, I declined an early draw offer as I felt there were some minimal chances of Paco going wrong. Nevertheless, I didn't see any real risk so I proceeded to continue with the middlegame. The position was roughly equal until Paco started trying to play on the kingside instead of simply exchanging bishops on d6. After I got the bishop to e3, there was always some hope for me. But it was only once I was able to exchange the queenside pawns and push it down to b6 that the winning chances became quite realistic. Also, not to be forgotten was the time control which hurt Paco considerably as we both neared time pressure. In the end though, I was able to avoid any real danger and pick up the full point after a few miscues around move 30. After this rather unexpected (after the opening) win, I was pretty thrilled as this gave me a chance to really rack up the points. >


Jul-15-09  kingfu: The position is dead even, material AND position. The pawns are all opposite one another. Two bishops versus two bishops. The only difference is Nakamura's King is advanced which he must of seen on move 11!!!! Then he proceeds calmly to shread a player rated almost 2700. Amazing.
Jul-16-09  znsprdx: <kingfu: Nakamura's King is advanced which he must of seen on move 11...> Nonsense: 26...Kb8? allowed 28.Bc4! game over...basically in 2 half moves. This game was an easy draw for Black after the queen exchange.
Sep-01-09  tarek1: Nakamura comments on this game in the latest issue of New in chess (2009/6). Here he shows he's an excellent positional player on top of his tactical prowess. After the queen exchange I thought the position was a dead draw but white had a slight advantage : center control, more space, better king. I think that with very accurate play black should have been able to draw, but... I parlcularly like the sequence e5,dxe5 Bxe5 b5 ! opening up the black king cover.
Oct-11-09  kingfu: znsprdx, the nonsense is yours. If not Kb8 then white plays Ba7 followed by kingfu.
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