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Hikaru Nakamura vs Krishnan Sasikiran
World Team Championship (2010), Bursa TUR, rd 2, Jan-06
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation (B25)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-06-10  Bobsterman3000: Typical offbeat opening by Naka, but apparently it did take Sasikiran "out of book."
Jan-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganso: between moves 30-41 Naka made 10 out of 11 moves with his Q! Amazing stuff.
Jan-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Naka didn't reach the 5th rank until move 26; seems out of character.
Jan-06-10  noviant: Naka challenge Sasi in rapid chess, on move 28 (12 moves to reach 40) both timer less than 10 minutes with complicated position. Congrats to Naka for the win !!
Jan-06-10  zanshin: <izimbra: What does Rybka think was black's best position in Nakamura vs Sasikiran, 2010 ?>

If you mean the last position where Black was not losing, I would have to say it is Black move 37:


click for larger view

[+0.00] d=16 37...b5 38.Qg4 Rc1 39.fxg6 Rxg1 40.Kxg1 Qd4 41.Kh1 (0:06.56) 17801kN

After this, White started to take over the game. I will check quickly to see if Black ever had a reasonable advantage earlier.

Jan-06-10  zanshin: It seems Black may have had a slight advantage as early as move 7, peaking about move 25:

Black to play move 25:


click for larger view

[-0.73] d=14 25...Rfc8 26.d5 Rxc1 (0:01.45) 4158kN

Then evals started trending for White, reaching equality in the late 30s. After <40...Ba6?>, White took over for good.

Jan-07-10  returnoftheking: -0,73; not as bad as it looked apparently. Still I find it hard to find a plan or counterplay for white.
Jan-09-10  timhortons: Nakamura,Hikaru (2708) - Sasikiran,Krishnan (2653) [B25] World Team Championship (2), 06.01.2010
[Robson, Ray]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6
I suppose Hikaru must have prepared for Nc6, as he seemed a little surprised by this move. 3.f4 Nc6 4.g3
Now the game transposes into a Closed Sicilian. Another possibility was 4.Bb5. 4...g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.d3 e6

The point of e6 is to develop the knight to e7, leading to a more flexible type of development. Another move, which is no worse, is 6...Nf6. 7.Nh3!?
An unusual move, although Hikaru is known for his offbeat play in the openings. In fact this move is normal in setups where Black has played e5, but in this position it is somewhat rare. 7...Nge7 8.Be3 b6 9.0-0 0-0 10.Kh1

This move is often useful due to the possibilities of checks on the g1-a7 diagonal. Also, Hikaru seemed to have a specific redeployment in mind. 10...Qd7
10...d5 11.Bg1 was Hikaru's idea, I believe. 11...dxe4 12.dxe4 Ba6 is comfortable for Black. 11.Bg1 Bb7 12.Qd2 Rae8 13.Rae1 f5
A typical move in these positions, which challenges White's center. 14.Ng5 Nd4 15.Nf3
Finally White's knight has gotten back to it's "normal" position. 15...Nec6 16.Nxd4 cxd4
16...Nxd4 17.Nd1 is about equal as well.
17.Ne2 e5 18.c3 exf4
18...dxc3 19.Nxc3 (19.bxc3 fxe4 20.dxe4 Na5 and Black has good pressure against White's center.) 19...exf4 20.gxf4 Nd4 is pretty good for Black as he can play against White's hanging pawns. 19.gxf4
This transposes to the above variations, so Nf4!? came into consideration. 19...dxc3 20.bxc3 Rc8
de as mentioned above was also worthy of consideration. 21.Ng3 Ne7 22.Bd4 Bxd4 23.cxd4 Qa4 24.Qe3 Rc2

Black is converging on White's a2 pawn, and also just getting his pieces more active. The problem for White is that he doesn't have much counterplay because he can't move his e-pawn. 25.Rc1 Rfc8 26.d5 fxe4?
A critical mistake. This move lets White get counterplay with f5. 27.dxe4?
27.Rxc2! Qxc2 28.f5 would have been quite dangerous for Black. 27...Ba6 28.Rxc2 Rxc2 29.Rg1 Qxa2 30.Qd4

At this point the momentum was in Nakamura's favor as Sasikiran was low on time and Hikaru had improved his position considerably compared to ten moves before. 30...Qb2 31.Qa4 Bb5 32.Qxa7 Nc8 33.Qb7 Qg7
Sasikiran was in serious time trouble here, relying pretty much only on the increment. 34.Qa8 Qc3 35.Qa1

Possibly Sasikiran should have tried exchanging queens to reduce White's attacking potential, but the match situation (tied 1-1, but with a losing position on board 2) demanded a win from Black. 35...Bd3 36.Qd1 Ne7 37.f5 Rd2
37...b5
38.Qa4 b5
Another mistake, but Black's position was hard to play in time trouble. 39.Qa7 Kf8 40.Qe3
Now White is clearly better, and on the last move of the time control Sasikiran made another mistake, leading to a lost position. 40...b4 41.Qf4!

There are too many threats for Black to defend against. 41...Ke8
41...Kg7 42.f6+
42.f6 Nc8 43.Bh3 Ba6?
A final mistake. Rc2 was the best chance, but it doesn't change the evaluation of the position. 44.Bxc8 Bxc8 45.f7+ Kf8 46.Rf1

At this point Sasikiran resigned. A nice comeback by Nakamura, and an important victory for the US Team. 1-0

Jan-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: In going over the game with Fritz 10, it would appear Nakamura's 38. Qa4!? is the turning point in the game, prompting the time pressed Sasikiran to play the losing blunder 38...b5?

Instead, Black should play 38...Kf7=. Now after 38...b5?, White has the surprising winning move 39. Qa2!! which, after 38...Kf8, allows him to play 40. Qe3! from where he has a launching pad to advance his passed pawn, mobilize his pieces and decisively exploit the weakly defended Black King position.

Jan-25-10  elohah: Notes...
Another infuriating game for Sassy,
since this kid is just doing nothing
in these games other than being a
computer-bot.

12...Black's first move that can be
called 'too routine'. 12...Rad8 looks
better.

15...Nxf3 16 Bxf3 fe, isn't bad. In
this scenario, Black's a-rook would
be better on d8.

16...This capture has always been
over-rated, as opportunistic Whites
(Nigel, for example) have been
demonstrating for years. Again -
16...Nxd4!

22...?! - ? ---Gives White too much
of a game (see 26, 30). White doesn't
appear to have much after 22...Rfd8
23 e5 de 24 fe Bxg2+ 25 Qxg2 Qd5
26 Qxd5 Rxd5.

Apr-22-10  nolanryan: hey sassy! your apple juice sniffs rottenly

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